Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That was close!

I take part in a weekly prayer brochure project. Not really onerus since I have only had to write once since January. ANd it makes a great addition to the lives of those who use it.

Anyway, I was scheduled to write for the week of June 11-16. ANd so in my head I thought "oh good, then I don't have to write it until after conference". WRONG

This morning I got an e-mail reminding me that it needed to be submitted by this Friday so it could be posted next weeek and copied for June 11 (d'uh). And we are leaving town tomorrow morning to not get back until Monday. And I had nothing written yet.

Thank goodness for reminder e-mails and a quiet morning at the office so I could get it done.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I can live with this.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
HAt tip to Will Smama

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Well now...

SO the sermon is done. Not a great one, needed to be a bit more focussed. But Pentecost has come and gone for another year--and I don;t have to come up with a sermon for two weeks!

Next week in the Conference AGM (bulletin for that is already done, using a service provided by the United Church Observer) so I am not here. Then the week after that the sermon time will be a joint report from COnference (got the bulletin for that service done this afternoon).

And got the lawns cut after supper. THe lawn was a little on the damp side (so the mower needs a cleaning big time) but it really needed to be done before we leave town on Wednesday.

Now I just need to figure out what to do for a devotional at the long-term care wing tomorrow morning. Generally I start with a story or two and hope that I hit a topic that gets them telling stories/sharing memories.

And I am pondering preparing a proposal for the Conference annual meeting. I want to raise the issue of a Gauranteed Annual Income but to do that properly will take far more time then I have between now and then. Of course I could always bring forward the motion around COnference Executive that was roundly defeated at February's PResbytery meeting--rejig it a bit and present it to the COnference as a whole.

Friday, May 25, 2007

30 years ago in theatres near and far away...

Memorial Day weekend 1977. A legend began.

Star Wars changed how we saw movies, especially how we saw science fiction. WE saw ships flying through space, we saw the beginning of the march to digital effects.

At camp years ago we marked time by this movie (as in "now we have campers/volunteers/adult staff who were born after Star Wars")

I remember teh first time I saw SW. It was a neighbour's 8th birthday party. During the drive home we were popping up in the back seat firing laser blasts at the cars behind us. And there were so many classic lines: (name the speaker and scene)

WOuld someone get this walking carpet out of my way

I suggest a new strategy R2, let the wookie win

I find your lack of faith....disturbing

No reward is worth this

If there is a bright center to teh universe you are on teh planet that its farthest from

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age

Monday, May 21, 2007

THis is a test

Today is a statutory holiday in Canada.

What is it called? And Why is it a holiday?

SOrry no prizes...

Words, WOrds, Nothing But Words

As I begin thinking about our Pentecost celebration I find myself mulling over the question of language. This year both readings we are using touch on the topic. In Genesis we hear the Biblical explanation for why we don't all speak the same language. And a major point in the Acts story of the first Christian Pentecost is that all the hearers heard the Good News proclaimed in their own language.

So what challenge does that give us? It challenges us to ensure that we are telling the old story to people in their own language!!!! Thee and Thou are not a big part of many people's language today.

Language is a tricky thing, mainly because it is always (and I mean always) evolving. Not just slang but everyday language changes generationally. Lately it has been even faster. So what language do we need to use? Does it make sense to use shepherding and farming images to inner-city kids who only see food wrapped in plastic wrap on grocery store shelves? What idioms have the meaning that we want to portray when we talk about the Good Shepherd?

In the church we really do need to be multi-lingual--even if we are only using English. What language do we use to tell the Good News to those who are around to hear us?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eventful Friday Five

Songbird writes:
Did you know that the major purpose for forming a non-profit, RevGalBlogPals, Inc., was to be able to attract grant support for a large scale RevGalBlogPal meetup? My dream from the beginning has been attracting financial support that would allow as many of our bloggers to be together as possible.RGBP, Inc. now has a planning committee, and we are in the early stages of planning the RevGalBlogPal Big Event. What, When, Where and Who are all on the table at the moment. In that spirit, I bring you the Big Event Friday Five.
1. What would the meeting be like? (Continuing Ed? Retreat? Outside Speakers? Interest Groups? Workshops? Hot Stone Massages? Pedicures? Glorified Slumber Party?) Not much for hot stone massages, pedicure or slumber parties. But a retreat with interest groups sounds good. Workshops on computer usage (both for blogging/website and for in worship) would fit with the fact we are all at least semi-literate in the things.
2. When in 2008 might you be able to attend? January? Shortly after Easter? Summer? Fall? Some other time? January possibly, sometime between Easter and Pentecost is another. That is if I could afford it of course (and convince the family to let me go)
3. Where would your dream meeting location be? (Urban Hotel? Rural Retreat Center? New England Camp? Southwestern Fantasy Hotel? Far away from civilization? Nearby Outlets or Really Great Thrift Stores?) I'll pass on the shopping thanks. Rural is good in any time of year IMHO. Of course it would have to have internet access (preferably wireless). If we want to be truly exploratory I would suggest that Canada has some great centres.
4. Who would make a great keynote speaker? (That's if #1 leads us in that direction.) NOt much for keynote speakers. Often they end up being overhyped anyway.
5. Did I leave out something you want to suggest? nope, nothing comes to mind. Remembering that many of us would be looking at this as con-ed some content might be good but then a retreat is con ed as well. Oh and are we at all considering a family event??

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another Newspaper piece

Wonder of Wonders

Currently CBC’s The National and Sounds Like Canada are having a contest to name Canada’s 7 Greatest Wonders (http://www.cbc.ca/sevenwonders/). Currently they have a short list of 52 natural and constructed nominees (from the Sleeping Giant to the Northern Lights, the canoe to the Vimy Memorial).

As I was listening this morning I was struck by two thoughts. One was certainly that this is a great way to talk about the many wonders that make up this country. The other was to ask what makes something a wonder. What are indeed the great wonders of life?

There is a story I heard a long time ago. A class was voting on what were the 7 Wonders of the World today. The climax of the story reads (taken from http://www.inspirationpeak.com/shortstories/sevenwonders.html):
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:
Before we read what she said. I ask again, what makes something a wonder? What adds so much to life that you can only stand in amazement at the wonderfulness of it? Maybe it is that first time you stood holding your newborn child (I will always remember the first time I saw each of my three girls). Maybe it is the sounds of music reaching to the skies. Maybe it is the full moon shining across a mirror smooth lake. Maybe it is the awestruck excitement of a child on Christmas morning. What are the greatest gifts God has given you?

In the end that is what the great wonders of life are. They are gifts from God. Amazing, unexpected gifts from God. They are the gifts that make life more than the drudgery of paying bills and buying necessities and doing the everyday tasks. In February 2006 we were at a joint worship service in Thunder Bay. As the pipe organ soared and hundreds of voices joined in the introit Sarah looked at me and said “Daddy WOW!”. That is what a wonder does.

The girl in the story listed as her wonders:
1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love.
I can’t say as I would argue. I can’t argue with her list or with her statement that there are so many that it is hard to choose only seven.

How will you celebrate the wonders in your world?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Year LAter

Last year on this morning I awoke at 5:30 to find Patty in the shower. THen we hurriedly packed up and headed in to the hospital in Thunder Bay. This morning was a little more relaxed.

Happy Birthday Miriam!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

WEll That Didn't Quite Go As Planned...

Yesterday there was no sermon. Instead we had Stump the Preacher. LAst time we did this there were around 8 questions in teh box so it worked well.

Yesterday there were 2. And only one of those was a church-y question. So I dealt with it a bit and then asked for questions from the congregation (got one). Then I talked about a question that came up during STudy Group on Thursday. ANd then I wrapped it up for a shorter service all told. Which actually worked out well since the brunch was ready to go by then.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Make Our Teens Travel

One of the challenges in a country as large as Canada is that often people in different parts of the country have little or no understanding of the rest of the country. WHile it is easy to believe that there are some people who never leave their home town or province, it is an oddity that many Canadians have been to other countries more often than to other provinces in Canada.

With that in mind I posted this thread on WonderCafe

I have a theory. I propose that the country would be healthier if EVERY student in every province were required to travel from Atlantic to Pacific (or vice versa) by land as a part of their high school diploma. The trip should take long enough that they get out at various places to get a sense of the physical and/or cultural geography. And as a base requirement for graduation it needs to be funded to a certain base level by the province (with the ability for students to fundraise/bring money for extras).

THink it would fly???

I suspect the same could be said for the US.

Monday, May 07, 2007

WHat WOuld They See?

In this month's issue of the Observer (the national magazine of the United Church of Canada) there is an article on mystery-worshippers. Unfortunately the article doesn't seem to be online.

A mystery worshipper program intrigues me. It is a great way to find out how really welcoming a congregation is. I mean I know that all congregations like to see themselves as welcoming and friendly but then again the reality can be somewhat different.

So what would a mystery worshipper see/experience if they came to your church? ANd what would you do with the feedback?

Is This Hilarious or WHat??

THis is a picture of a special quarter made to honour Canada's veterans. Very attractive, very striking.
Are people associated with the US military really this paranoid--and borderline delusional?

Friday, May 04, 2007

FRiday Five on Parties

Songbird writes:

I hate to say it, but over the years I've been to too many parties where I, or the birthday child, has felt much like the chorus of Lesley Gore's old tune. I am therefore not the biggest fan of birthday parties.
1) Would you rather be the host or the guest? Guest. Partly because we have a small house with little space and a neurotic, anti-social dog so hosting is pretty difficult. Most of the time I end up in a hosting role is at congregational events where I get the easy part of hosting--wandering around visiting-and little of the hard work preparing.

2) When you are hosting, do you clean everything up the minute the guests go home? Will you accept help with the dishes? Pretty much yep. As for dishes, that is what dishwashers are for, or possibly paper plates.

3) If you had the wherewithal, and I guess I mean more than money, to throw a great theme party, what would the theme be? I have never really been big on theme parties. IT would probably depend on the occasion/reason for the party.

4) What's the worst time you ever had at a party? The first two summers I worked at camp we celebrated the end of the season by going for "supper" at the nearest town. Actually we did eat but there was also a little bit of drinking involved. My first year was marked by the fact that it was my first time over-imbibing and my clearest memory is bending over the guardrail across the street um revisiting supper. Mind you, my co-workers found that very amusing....

5) And to end on a brighter note, what was the best? 2nd summer at camp. Yes I over-indulged again but wasn't quite so spectacularly ill. And the staff team was great to work with. The best part of the evening was pretty much after we returned to camp and had a big fire (I think furniture was involved). Time spent sitting by the fire talking to good friends can't be beat.


The Right Reverend David Giuliano, Moderator of the United Church of Canada, is taking a sabbatical for medical reasons. We hold him in prayer.

More Details here

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So What would This Look Like???

Or more what would it feel like? TO be getting "out there".

Last week I was at a Living the Welcome event,a part of the United Church's Emerging Spirit campaign. The campaign is about connecting with those who are not churched. But how to do that??

Reflections On Ministry

Here are ten propositions on ministry. They are well worth reading.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Struggle Continues

The Anglican Church of Canada has released a Pastoral Statement on the question of Same Sex Marriage. THe most relevant part reads:

We certainly hope no child is denied baptism solely on the basis of the sexual orientation, or the marital status, of the parents. It is inconsistent and unacceptable to deny baptism to children as a way of imposing discipline on the sexual behaviour of the parents.
We hope no baptized Christian will be denied communion or confirmation because of being in a committed homosexual relationship or because of their marital status. ...
BUt then reads:

When a civilly married gay or lesbian couple seeks our church's reception of their civil marriage and asks their parish's recognition, it may be possible, with their bishop's knowledge and permission, to celebrate a Eucharist with the couple, including appropriate intercessory prayers, but not including a nuptial blessing.
When a gay or lesbian married or committed couple seeks to hold a reception or celebration in a church for their life in Christ, again intercessory prayers for their mutual fidelity, the deepening of their discipleship and for their baptismal ministry may be offered, not including the exchange of vows and/or a nuptial blessing.
It appears to be yet another attempt to walk a middle ground on this terribly divisive issue. As such it will please nobody, certainly not either extreme. It may be "politically wise" but since when does the church have to be politically wise?

I encourage you to read the statement in full and pray that when the General Synod meets the Holy Spirit will be acting within the body and calling teh church to do what they truly feel is faithful.

Starting Young

Sarah had to make a building for her music class. When mom asked what it was she was told it was a church!

Hm, think she is comfortable with churches???

Why we haven't made it yet.

Hat tip to Sue

Growing up in a world where many of the big gains of feminism had been made, it was easy to think that all people accepted that equality had nothing to do with gender. But alas such is not true. THis video reminds us that some of these thoughts are still out there.