In recent months it has been a great privilege to have another lady called Karen join the St. Clement’s congregation. She is not to be confused with Karen the TEFL teacher, who has been the subject of several of my previous blogposts and who now lives in Istanbul, but remains a very regular and faithful commenter here. Nor is she to be confused with Czech/Australian Karen, who helped us with adopting Sam the dog. Nor is she Karin, (note the slightly different spelling), who has also previously worshipped at St. Clement’s, currently lives on the Greek island of Paros and, from time to time, also leaves comments here.
This latest Karen is the Rev’d Dr. Karen Moritz, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She came to Prague at the end of September last year as a Mission Co-worker with the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB), the joint Lutheran-Presbyterian Church who are the largest Protestant grouping in the Czech Republic and who own Kostel Sv. Klimenta where we worship.
Between Monday and Friday each week, Karen works in the Ecumenical Department at the Headquarters of the ECCB. She is also having Czech lessons three times a week and has become far more conversant with the Czech language in seven months, than we have managed in two and a half years. Since late October 2010, she has made her Czech worshipping home with the ECCB Kliment congregation. She attends their 9.30am service each Sunday, joins them for coffee after their service in the hall on the third floor of Klimentská 18, but then she returns to worship with us at 11am because she likes our liturgy and hearing a sermon in a language that she fully understands!
I was delighted to discover when I enquired earlier this year, that under the Ecumenical Canons of the Church of England, it is possible for Karen to be licensed to do within our worship, what a licensed Anglican Reader can do, namely preach, administer the chalice and lead a non-Eucharistic services. We are currently getting her through the various hoops of child protection procedures and references being taken up, to enable this to happen.
We are still waiting for the official formal permission but, in anticipation of it being granted, it was a great pleasure to have Karen preach for us on Sunday 1st May, the Second Sunday of the Easter Season. This was Karen’s first time ‘back in the pulpit’ since leaving the USA last year. Her boss in the ECCB Ecumenical Department, Rev’d Gerhard Frey-Reininghaus, very kindly attended the service to support her and also took the photograph above. The photograph below was taken by Sybille using Gerhard’s camera.
Having Karen join our congregation has been a great joy and the possibility of using her gifts and talents within our worship in the coming months and years will undoubtedly be a great asset to both me and the wider congregation. Her sermon on Sunday 1st May was very much appreciated by all those who heard it and can be also be listened to here on our website. Karen is also providing a wonderful strong link between the English-speaking St. Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church and our host ECCB congregation.