Eleventh Turkey Epsitle

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Today we went, once again, across the Bosphorous to get to Karikoy and both the Crimea Memorial Christ Church and the Church of the Resurrection.

Arriving an hour early for the first church service, we went to our crazy coffee shop which is part of that funky chic hotel in Galata.  This time we sat outside at one of the 2 tiny tables perched on the narrow ledge outside the front windows. It was fun to watch this little neighbourhood wake up. Shop owners raised the protective metal blinds in front of their shops, set out boards of souvenirs, and hung bags and coverlets in bright Turkish fabrics.

The Crimean Memorial Christ Church

Today, instead of an organist there was a violinist with 3 singers as well as the conductor. One of the fellows was a tenor soloist.

It was Trinity Sunday and Father Ian preached an excellent sermon on the true Catholic f

Faith that points us to Jesus Christ. He went on to say:

“In sacred communion and fellowship through the church’s sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ we live in a relationship with Jesus Christ. The pulpit in which the preacher stands in Christ Church Istanbul is made from marbles taken from the sites of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse which are a symbol in St. John the Divine of the whole church.  On the pulpit 3 mottos are inscribed. One the Pauline phrase used in the Reformation “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23); another from Constantine who founded this city and established the Faith in the civilized world “In this sign conquer”; and another motto from the great 4th century Gallican theologian St. Vincent of Lerins,  “What (has been held) always, everywhere, by everybody – is the Catholic Faith”.

After the service, I asked him if I could have a copy of his sermon and he said to take the one in the pulpit.  He said “ We are green here and I usually just throw it out”.  It is special to have it – complete with corrections in the margin in his own handwriting – just like Murray’s sermons.

Outside I met a lovely couple from San Francisco visiting their son who is the newly appointed U.S. Councillor General in Istanbul. He sings in Barbershop quartets and is a member of the choir here.

Next I started talking to a woman, also from San Francisco, who had lived here for 10 years.  She is an artist and showed me a book of her work. She sketches disappearing historic sites in Istanbul before they are forgotten forever. I asked her how I could get a copy of her book and guess what? I could buy that very one.  She dramatically signed it for us – and the beauty of it all is that the book is as light as a feather. She does this deliberately because she knows tourists don’t want to buy heavy tomes.

Meanwhile, Murray was speaking to Father Ian and was asked to preach on June 29th!!!  So, life is getting busy in deed.

Church of the Resurrection

It was now time to wend our way up Istiklal Caddesi (Street) to the turn off to The Church of the Resurrection where Murray was set to preach on The Trinity. One of the wardens was the translator. He is a mathematics professor and his wife is doing a Phd in Ethno Music.  One funny moment happened when Murray used 3 distinct words to describe the relationship of the Trinity. Everyone started to laugh and the fellow in front of me explained that there is only one word in Turkish for all 3 of the words that Murray used.

A funny thing always happens at about 10 minutes after the start of the service – just as we are beginning to worship – the local mosque broadcasts the muslim call to prayer. I like to think that we are united in our desire to pray.

For the last 2 Sundays, an American scientist has been attending the church. He is here for 2 weeks working in collaboration with a professor at the university.  We were planning to go to the art gallery nearby to see an Andy Warhol exhibition that Ros had recommended. In the end Ros, Bill, the American scientist, and Murray and I went together.

The art gallery is a little treasure and we are going to go back to see their Ottoman collection.

Istanbul Design Center

It was now time to go back to the Istanbul Design Center to pick up my necklace.  With great relief we found our way there with ease. Walking across the courtyard between the Blue Mosque and Haiga Sofia, I mentioned to Murray that it is nice to be so at home here that we now see these great sites as comfortably familiar.

Walking into the Design Center we were greeted by the student who had been our guide the first time. She led us up to the gallery on the second floor and Fatma ran out of her office to meet us with warm hugs. The artist who designed my necklace wasn’t there but Fatma called her and we had a lovely chat. Ayse is going to translate the poem that accompanied her piece and send it to me. She also let me have her story board with her original sketches.  The whole experience has been such a gift.

We were urged to sit at a little table, brought tea and Turkish coffee, and invited to have delicious pastries that had been served to celebrate the finale of the exhibition.

Tired, we took the tramway back to the harbour, boarded the ferry and eventually got back to the Kadikoy harbour.

A wonderfully full day!!

Question of the Day:

How do you move a book store?


Pack the books in smallish boxes

Enlist the help of about 100 willing friends

Form a long line between the old store and the new store ignoring the fact that this is a busy road

Pass the boxes from one person to another until all the books have been transferred

Simple – if you know how!!!


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