Life of a Montréaler Dept: I find out today is Sunday is something called “Kodumaalt Lahkumise Jumalateenistus” (Leaving Estonia ahead of the advancing Russian Army Sunday). Such a thing exists? So I include prayers for modern-day refugees. As the Estonians file in for church, there are two visitors who happen to speak only Russian. What are the chances? They want to know if I will take their book, in Russian, and find a translator for the Finns, the other group I am responsible for. They may be Karelians with links to Finland, but I can’t tell. So I wave at the replacement organist for my Estonian service, who happens to have moved to Montreal from Ukraine. She comes over and they talk, in Russian, about the Finns, while I put the finishing touches on the Estonian-English liturgy about fleeing the Russians. Another day as a Lutheran in Montreal.
I love this post, Matthew. Such is the experience of one who serves in a multicultural society (i facilitated a multicultural seniors’ drop-in for a few years :-).. Coincidentally (or not?) on Sept. 17 we remember the anniversary of the Russians’ invasion of Poland; both my parents and their families lived near the eastern border. How lovely though that the folks you write about were able to meet in peace today.
True, Wanda; what struck me is the way that everyone talks to each other (here in Canada) so many years later. Something to work toward in other situations perhaps.
I am so glad for your having shared this vignette! We live in interesting times, although I suppose all times are interesting, perhaps differently…
we do….and interesting places!