Community Thanksgiving Dinner 20161119_151738

On Sunday, November 20, 2016 our congregation and community friends gathered at the Massillon School cafeteria to enjoy our traditional annual Thanksgiving/Harvest turkey dinner. It was a happy and festive event and our young “Lunch Bunch” kids had the tables beautifully adorned with their hand-made Thanksgiving decorations.

The school chef and his team prepared our delicious American style feast with a few French twists. Homemade desserts were in abundance. Father Rob gave the blessing, thanking God for all the good things we enjoy, especially our fellowship together. Two representatives from L’Église protestante unie de France also joined us. The Christ Church Youth Group sold their beautiful hand-made wooden reindeer and tea cup bird feeders.  Proceeds from their efforts will be used for a yet to be determined mission project.

There are many people to thank for this wonderful event, especially Vestry Fellowship member Shannon Holley. We look forward to the year ahead as Christ Church Clermont-Ferrand plans its activities and service for expats and locals alike.  A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Autumn cultural events at Christ Church Chapel

Autumn cultural events at Christ Church Chapel

An Introduction to the World of Islam

20161104_214755On Friday, November 4, 2016 we enjoyed learning about the roots of Islam and how it has evolved and changed through the centuries. We also discovered how the different Islamic groups developed and why there is tension between them, both in the past and in the modern world. In today’s world we see fighting and power struggles between these groups. This talk by Peter Robertson helped us to better understand the politics and ideologies that are involved in these struggles.  Peter’s familiarity with this subject is evident in his bio below.

Peter Robertson is a long-time member of Christ Church.  He spent much of his childhood in Cairo and has travelled and worked extensively in the Muslim world.  As a young man he studied both Arabic and Persian and has led courses in the past for service clubs and for our parish church designed to familiarize people with a religious tradition which is much in the news. 

 

Traditional Sacred Harp Singing

sacred-harp-cccfOn Friday, November 18, 2016 we gathered at the chapel to learn about Sacred Harp singing and to participate with the members of the local Sacred Harp group and the Paris group. Everyone enjoyed this style of singing and it didn’t take long to lift the rafters with song!  Everyone was invited to join the local group on a regular basis. Some members of our congregation already attend.  Some information on Sacred Harp singing and the Auvergne group is below.

 

20161118_211726Frederick Eymard, from Issoire, is the organizer of the Sacred Harp group in the Auvergne. This choral tradition grew up in rural America, primarily in Appalachia and has had a recent resurgence of popularity – especially in Europe.  Sacred Harp singings take place regularly in major European cities.  Four members of Sacred Harp Paris travelled down to Clermont and members of our church and the larger Clermont community  joined in this evening to learn how to sing in the Sacred Harp style and most importantly to fill the chapel with song. 

 

Dancing the African Way

On Friday20161202_215457-v2, December 2, 2016 we had a wonderful opportunity to learn about traditional African dancing and singing. Our own Emmanuel Cudjoe, a young man from Ghana, taught us a song and a dance. A small but enthusiastic group followed his directions and managed to dance to beautiful African music. Emmanuel then performed a dance for us and explained the meaning of the various dance movements.

The history of the the African people is preserved in their music and dance. Emmanuel is studying African Dance Anthropology in the university in Clermont-Ferrand. His studies in this Masters Program have taken him to Hungary, Norway, and the United States.

Thank  you, Emmanuel, for this rare opportunity to experience close up this beautiful African tradition.