Monday, July 28, 2008

An Intriguing Possibility

In the mail today was an envelope from the seminary I attended for my MDiv. Half expecting the latest fundraising letter I opened it up.

Instead was an invitation to consider enrolling in a new degree program. The college, in conjunction with two other seminaries on the UofS campus, has long offered an STM degree and I have often wondered about when (if?) I might go back to school to take such a thing.

But now the STU is offering a new STM degree. They have partnered to form an organization looking at issues in rural ministry (the website is still largely under construction) and are offering a STM in Rural Ministry and Community Development. The program description says:
...targeted towards rural clergy...interested in a rigorous program of interdisciplinary theological study aimed at helping rural ministers to lead their congregations in a more effective engagement within their communities.
It would be a 3-year program with 3 week-long intensive courses per year plus either a thesis or two additional courses for the non-thesis option. And it would blend theology with issues like rural health, rural culture, ecology, and community development. It truly sounds intriguing. Costly but intriguing. This will take some thought, and some negotiation with the M&P committee should I want to go forward with it.

A Hunting we will GO

Bear Hunters in the church yard!

Today at noon I was coming back from the church and the neighbour called me over to say that she had just seen a large black bear heading through the parking lot into the bush.

THen tonight the phone rings, bear is back. Wild animal control officer shows up and the bear just sits in the church yard and watches him walk up.


Bear is shot, dead now down by the river. It had previously been chased out of town a couple of times and the fact that it was around in the heat of the day and paid no attention to human presence were causes for concern.

I am pretty sure this wasn't covered in rural ministry discussions at seminary...

The odd thing is that even with their window (on the church side of the manse) wide open the girls never even stirred with 3 gunshots just across the parking lot.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bun Making

For Children's Time this morning we mixed up some yeast to see what would happen. SInce we had the yeast started we decided to make some buns:

The dough starts to rise...
This was a first for the girls -- they had never seen buns made before.

Ready for baking

The finished product

ETA: Last night at supper Beloved looks at me and says "I really like your buns" THen giggles, because we are all 12 after all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This link came in my e-mail today. TWin baby moose and mama in someone's backyard playing in the sprinkler.

Verrrrrrrry cute!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can't Leave Home Without...

Singing Owl writes at the RGBP:

We will be at a chaplain's convention when you all are answering the Friday Five Questions. I'll look forward to reading your answers next week when I get home. At the moment we are trying to get the car loaded so we can hit the road, so this will be a simple F.F. This running around madly in order to leave has me wondering: what are the five things you simply must have when you are away from home? And why? Any history or goofy things, or stories?

1. Something to read. For years, like since I was a child, reading material has been an absolute must when travelling.

2. The laptop. A new addition, but we now make sure we choose hotels with internet access. And it makes it so much easier to keep the accounting program up to date when it travels with you. Mind you, I am thinking of making some trips without it next winter...

3. Lately, on long trips, Gravol. Eldest daughter seems to be prone to car-sickness and so the medicine is a need...

4. Music. In this part of the world there is a high chance that radio signals will not be with you for the whole trip. Unfortunately the girls want us to ALWAYS take the same CDs.

5. Cell Phone. Again a new addition. But the plan we have allows us to call anywhere in Canada with no Long Distance or roaming charges, which is far better than calling card calls or hotel charges. Besides, who actually remembers phone numbers without speed dial these days?

Almost MAkes me Wish I knew Greek

The Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, is now online. Here is some more about it:

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.

Granted, it is little more than a neat thing to look at for those of us who can't read ancient Greek. But still it is really intriguing.You can find it here

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What Have you read...?

As seen at I Am Chorus
Ok now, let's see how we do. The bolded titles are those that I've read, in case you haven't seen this on some other blog already! ANd to add my own twist, italic means I have never heard of it...
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (well much of it anyway...)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (but I have read another one by Heller. Can't remember the name but it was about King David)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (all five parts of the trilogy)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (Through the Lookning Glass too)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (wait, isn't this redundant what with #33 being the whole series?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Now some of the others I have read abridged or children's versions of. ANd several of them I have seen movie or theatrical adaptations of...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Development Options

One of the challenges faced by small resource-based communities is that their economies are incredibly fragile. All it takes is the resource (or the industry around it) to collapse and the community economy is put under severe strain. This is what is happening in much of this area.

One of the possibilities for another economic engine around here is a TV project currently in development. I have been asked, an hve agreed, to serve on a local committee working on the project.

Check it out here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Laugh and a Half

BEing a long-time fan of satire, I am no sure why I haven't found Wittenburg Door before...

Anyway, take a look at Noah's Blog (caution, Biblical literalists may find it a little irreverent, but that's what makes satire good!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

But I Want to See the Videos!

Lately I find that YouTUbe is unviewable...

WHenever I click on a video on a website or blog I get a message that the video is no longer available. ANd oftern on the YouTube page as well.

Is everyone finding this problem or does the site just not like me???

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hey, this is pretty good!

The ultimate Star Trek alien quiz
created with
You scored as Bajoran

You are Bajoran. Your life is dominated by spiritual belief and history. Your culture is important to your everyday life and you know how to accessorize.
























Hat Tip

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly...

Got this in an e-mail to night:

Native Canadian Wisdom...

When told the reason for daylight saving time the old Indian said...

“Only a white man would believe that you could cut
a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the
bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Idea...But...

One of today's news stories...
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says forestry and mining activities will be prohibited in a 225,000-square-kilometre area of the province's northern boreal forest.

This is a good news story. Preserving the boreal forest is a sound goal. And setting aside large sections of land from use by resource-extraction industries is a good way to do it. OF course those industries will likely cry that this is a terrible hardship that will cripple them.

And in part I sympathize with that cry. The troubling part of the story as I first heard it is that it will take 10+ years to map out what area is to be declared off-limits. For the industries this is bad because it throws an incredible amount of uncertainty into their future planning. For the environmental lobby this is bad news because there is absolutely no guarantee that it will actually happen. we have election every 4 years in this province. By 2018 we will have had at least 2 more (2011 and 2015, assuming there isn't a minority government elected and then defeated in the house). That is 2 chances for the government to change, and what one government puts into motion another can stop dead in its tracks.

The idea is good. And admittedly discernment is needed to determine which areas to preserve. But 10 years is too long. Too long to wait, too much uncertainty. But the idea is good. And if it hurts the mining and forestry industries then so be it. Only if we assume that human needs/wants trump the rest of creation is it automatically bad to limit resource extraction.

Role of Ministry...

Earlier today I read these posts by Cheesehead and Jan and they got me thinking...

What is the role of "minister" in the life of the church?

Are we called to actually be leaders and help with vision development and keeping?

Are we called to be teachers?

Are we called to be evangelists and reach out to those on the fringes?

Are we called to be chaplains of the existing congregation?

In essence we are sort of called to all of them. But, as a colleague of mine says, if everything is high priority then everything is also low priority. So where is our priority? Where does it need to be?

I am convinced that to be a chaplain to the existing congregation leads inevitably to the death of the congregation. Inevitably. Maybe it will take years but still...

Then there is the whole question of discerning what the church needs as opposed to what it wants as opposed to what it expects...

So what is the role of the minister anyway???

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back From Camp...

LAst week was our annual week at camp.

The UCCan churches in this area rent a camp for a week each summer and offer a program. In part it was started expressly to offer a different brand of theology in church camping than was currently being offered by other groups renting the same spot. And so it was a blessing to realize that this year when a guest speaker talked about many paths to one GOd/Creator/Source (I wasn't in the room so I am not postive what terminology was used) that we were the camp where such a statement was safe. It was also a blessing to hear one of the leaders, a young man who has worked at a variety of camps, say that one of the reasons he wanted to come back to us (besides the paycheque) was because we were different -- we were more open to questions and difference than others.

THis year was a good one overall. THe weather was, well let's just say there could be better weather for a week at camp (and worse too--it didn't rain every day!). The theme sessions in the morning seemed to go well. THe craft project was a hit from everything I could see. ANd no one got really hurt or really sick and everyone appeared to be having fun for the most part.

I love church camping. I have been doing it since 1989. THere is something special about a week at camp. AS a leader it isn't restful, not by a long shot. But it is rejuvenating even as it is exhausting.

This is the first year that the girls really seemed to be a part of the whole thing. And they had a ball. THey canoed (both in the lodge and in the lake), they swam, they crafted, they sang. ANd they slept! Oh how nicely they slept at night. ANd other than some moments of being overtired or impatient for what was happening next, they had a ball making new friends and playing with the others.

And now it is over for another year. Ah well, there's always next year!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

BLogiversary Day!

THree years ago today I wrote this post.

and recently I find my blogging energy lacking. Or amybe jsut my energy in general...

Friday, July 04, 2008

A (Friday) Five for the Fourth (of July)

From RGBP:

1. Barbeque's or picnics ( or are they essentially the same thing?) In my mind, a barbecue (bbq) is something that generally happens at one's home whereas a picnic takes place at the park or the beach. And each have their own place. Then again there is the wiener roast which sort of combines the two.

2. The park/ the lake/ the beach or staying at home simply being? Around here the lake and the beach mean the same thing. After all the seacoast is a loooooong way from here. And I like all of them for different reasons. But truth be told I would often choose just at home being for real relaxation

3. Fireworks- love 'em or hate 'em? It has been a long time since I last saw a fireworks display in person. When well done I really enjoy them.

4. Parades- have you ever taken part- share a memory... Taken part in several. One memorable one was the rodeo parade when I was in, Grade 10 I think. It poured rain the whole way. By the time it was over my once white socks had been dyed red by my shoes. Oh and then there was the first time we went in the Canada Day canoe parade here in town. The river was high and fast running and we kept getting swept into the shore on corners. The most interesting part was that the Beloved would quit paddling and yell "Tree" or "bush" as we hit them. (for reference, it is much easier to steer a canoe when both people paddle consistently)

5. Time for a musical interlude- if you could sum up holidays in a piece of music what would it be? Hmmmmmm, that would depend on so many variables...