“Brian and Andy, the Church today calls you into a ministry of hope and renewal, but so help us God, do not serve Her maccafouchette.” These were the words preached by Canon Winston Joseph, then Rector of All Saints Church in Trinidad and now rector of St Patrick West Palm Beach, Florida. The Glossary of Trinidadian English shares “Although the official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, the most commonly spoken languages are Trinidadian Creole English and Tobagonian Creole English. Trinidadian usage includes a large number of local words and expressions. Many of these have non-English origins. These words are derived primarily from French and French Creole, Spanish, various West African languages, and the East Indian language.”
Maccafouchette is of French Creole origin and is popularly used in Trinidad to describe food that has been cooked and is often times reheated and reserved; leftovers. The challenge that was given to Brian and to me at our ordination to the priesthood was that of seeking to preach the message of Jesus Christ in such an intentional manner as to breathe new life into a dying church. The call was for us to use both authenticity and creativity based upon our love for God and a love for His people.
That call has led us on spiritual pilgrimages which have moved us far beyond even the boundaries and limitations we had imagined as new clergy. As we were led by the Holy Spirit, our pathways took us to many parts of God’s vineyard. If one was to ever chart the courses of our lives, we can both confess it could only have be written by the hands of God.
I am a firm believer God has a huge sense of humor. How else can one explain after twenty-four years and our taking diverging pathways, we would be serving together in the same diocese. Or, how else can one explain, I would be serving in a parish where the Haitian community is so strong maccafouchette is now a staple of my diet.
Yet, the call for us to preach Christ Jesus in new and refreshing ways remains central to our ministries and in conjunction with exploring the many ways we love God’s people, Brian and I have continued strive to help transform homes, communities and social structures. Canon Joseph warned us against the evil of allowing structures to become restrictions or obstacles. And, with that warning in our ears and in our hearts, Brian and I continue to teach and reach the ultimate goal of the Gospel of Jesus which is to embrace the freedom to love and to serve God and His people. My brother, Brian, will be delivering the sermon at the Annual Republic Day Celebrations hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Washington D.C. on September 24th. If you are in that area, please join him in this celebration.
On this Homecoming Sunday, I will be joined by Canon Charles Simmons, Canon for Ministry in the Diocese of New York, along with my mentor, Canon Francis Ceaser at our celebrations at St Elizabeth’s. Come join St. Elizabeth’s Homecoming celebrations starting at 10:00 am. I promise no maccafouchette in the worship, but no guarantees in the reception Hall.
I give God the honor and the glory for allowing me to serve His Holy Church.
God bless you.
Canon Andy J. Moore
Rector of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church