From Monday, October 31 to Tuesday, November 8, I returned home to Barbados at the invitation of the Rector, Church Council (Vestry) and People of All Souls’ Anglican Church, Bank Hall, St. Michael. I was invited to preach at their Feast of Title Celebration (All Souls’ Day is November 2) and their 90th Anniversary of being a Christian presence in the Bank Hall area. Unfortunately, my family was unable to join me on this trip since it was during school time and we did not want to take our children out of school. Nevertheless, it was great to be back home but it was truly a working trip. Originally I had planned to write my sermons while in Florida before reaching Barbados but that plan did not materialize because of a number of commitments. As a result, I wrote one sermon before leaving Florida, which was the one I preached on the first night. This meant that I spent the daytime writing sermons and the night preaching them.
The Rector of All Souls’, The Rev. Coleridge A. Darlington, who incidentally is my cousin, met me at the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados. My second mom, Marjorie, was also there to welcome me. As usual, when I arrive in Barbados, the first thing I always have are two rotis from Cheffette Restaurant. I did not have to go far since one of those restaurants are now at the airport. After lunch, I drove to my parents where I would spend the week. It was wonderful to see them and they were excited to see me since I had not been home in three years. With a few hours to relax and to look over my sermon, it was time to head to All Souls’ Church, with my mother, for my first of seven preaching engagements. My parents, siblings, other family members, and friends including members of the clergy, would also be in attendance during the week.
The theme of my sermon series for the week was, “Beyond These Walls: The True Us.” I focused on Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, and each night, I shared a different sub-theme:
Monday, October 31 – Faith
Tuesday, November 1 (All Saints’ Day) – Evangelism
Wednesday, November 2 (All Souls’ Day) – Love
Thursday, November 3 – Living True Lives
Friday, November 4 – Hope
Sunday, November 6 (Morning) – Community
(Evening) – Overview of the Week and Exhortation
Each night, in addition to the All Souls’ Parish Family, there were guests from organizations around the Diocese of Barbados. These organizations included the Mother’s Union, Men’s Fellowship, Altar Servers (Acolytes), Prayer Groups, Church Army, Youth, and Choir. There were also different kinds of services each night – Evensong (Monday), Eucharist (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday morning), Mission Service (Thursday), Youth Service with dramatic, musical and poetic presentations (Friday), Musical Extravaganza (Sunday evening). The services, which were very well attended, were an opportunity for me to re-acquaint with friends and congregants of parishes in which I served as a priest in Barbados. Due to the long conversations after the services, each night I usually got home around midnight.