Sunday, January 8, 2023
We worshiped at Saint Matthew's Anglican Church in Addis Ababa at 10 A.M. Saint Matthew's Church, Addis Ababa and Saint Ambrose, Raleigh are connected because both churches are members of Anglican Communion. This is the worldwide network of churches that share a common prayer and communal worship. Our family entered the 19th century stone church that resembles so many American and English church architecture from the same time period. We felt very much at home as the liturgy was close to The Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. The scripture lessons and prayers were around the Baptism of Jesus as it was the First Sunday after the Epiphany. The Rev. Martin Reakes-Williams is the rector and warmly welcomed us. There were 50 to 60 people present, the vast majority being of European lineage. There were Ethiopians from the Gambella region where the Anglican/Episcopal Church is growing rapidly. This is an expat's church, with most of the people attending having connection to the International School of Addis Ababa or are foreign diplomats. A good number of children attended, making up 1/3 rd of the congregation. The music ministry consisted of youth, with the pianist being no more than 9 years old. Our daughter treasured the crown she made during church school as the lesson was about King David. There were clergy and members of the local German Lutheran congregation worshiping. Both church worship together regularly. The Communion service in the church occurred simultaneously as coffee hour on the lawn. Some chose to go to coffee hour while the rest remained for Communion. Rev. Martin invited the congregation to stand around the altar to receive Communion. We met American families from Savanna, GA and the midwest following the service.
We went from spiritual food to physical food. Our guide suggested an excellent restaurant
called Romina The fish kitfu was outstanding! We drank an Ethiopia soda called Negus (meaning King) best described as a coffee, caramel, and vanilla dark drink. Delicious!
Later in the afternoon, our family drove up the mountain to Entoto, at an elevation of 10,500 ft., nearly twice as high as the Mile High City of Denver. Entoto is where Emperor Menelik II and his wife, Empress Taytu Betul came to establish the new capital of Ethiopia in the late 1800s. It was the Empress who convinced the Emperor to leave Entoto and travel down the mountain to make the new capital in what
eventually became Addis Ababa. Empress Taytu named the city Addis Ababa because she saw a new yellow flower she had not seen before present all around the region. Addis Ababa means new flower. Addis is at a slightly lower elevation of 8,000 ft. Our family saw the Emperor and Empress' palace from the 1800s and the large Orthodox Church that stands on the mountain. We visited the newly constructed Entoto Park, with a breathtaking view of the city. We also saw the newly constructed monument to the medical persons who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our hotel was erupting with celebration, music, and dancing with wedding festivities when we returned.