Friday, October 31, 2008

HAppy Halloween--2!

Here are the Girls in costume:

Monkey proudly dressed as Barney

THe three of them home from Trick or Treating (Scalliwag as dinosaur, Princess as unicorn, and Monkey as Barney)

Scalliwag wore this flower pot costume to school today

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Ways of Being Church

The United Church of Canada may have closed its studio. We may no longer have a weekly TV show. But we now have a YouTube channel.

Check it out here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Advent Thoughts

It is that time of year again, time to think about how to celebrate Advent/Christmas.

I am thinking that the overarching theme this year will be Be Not Afraid. Here is what I have thus far:

Nov 30 -- Be Not Afraid, a new world is coming
  • Isaiah 65:17-23
  • Revelation 21:1-4 (Responsive Reading)
  • Mark 13:24-37
Dec 7 -- Be Not Afraid, Prophetic Peace be with you
  • Isaiah 11:1-10
  • Psalm 72 (VU p.790)
  • Luke 3:7-18
Dec 14 -- Be Not Afraid, sing for joy
  • Pageant Sunday
Dec 21 -- Be Not Afraid Justice shall be done
  • Luke 1:47-55 (VU p.898)
  • Luke 1:68-79 (VU p.900)
  • Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Dec 24 -- Be Not Afraid, the Baby means change
  • Isaiah 9:2-7
  • Luke 1:26-38
  • Luke 2:1-14
At least that is a start. I may try to do more work on it and find that it is undoable. But that is why you start these thoughts early...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One of these things is just like the other....

About 10 days ago Beloved and I were looking at pictures of a church. Suddenly there was a picture of the chancel area and I had to look twice.

IT was identical to the chancel area of the church where I did my internship. Not similar. Identical. I could look at the picture and describe what was just outside the frame. Then I looked carefully at the exterior shot and got out a history of my internship congregation. Basic structure of the building also the same.

But when you looked more carefully this was less surprising. Both are century(ish) buildings. Both were Presbyterian congregations in small farming communities. They both even had the same name. It stands to reason that there were a few buildings with common plans built in the same era.

Still it was uncanny.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Living Places

Singing Owl writes at RGBP:
...tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?
In no particular order here are my 5:
  1. This house: 7.5 years I arrived here fresh out of school, single and childless. And now? Well it has been a full 7.5 years.
  2. The One with the Pink Fixtures: This was a bachelor apartment I lived in while working at a crisis nursery program. It was the first real striking out on my own as an employed, earning my own way adult. The name comes from the fact that the sink, toilet and tub were a dusty rose colour.
  3. The Home of My Childhood: We moved into the house where my parents still live in 1974. IT is where I lived from kindergarten through the end of my undergrad degree (and beyond). To a certain degree going there will always be going home.
  4. The One With BIG Windows: This is the one-bedroom I lived in during my final year of seminary. It was a bit farther from the school than I had planned but still walking distance. And easy access to the river valley, to the local pub, to everything I needed. And it had double sized windows in the main room and the bedroom.
  5. The House Just Off Campus: 2nd year of seminary another student and I rented a house 3 blocks off campus. My one and only experience of a roommate other than family.
Bonus #1: It may only have been summer housing (5 summers at that) but the staff lodge at the Church Camp I worked at. Not so much for the building but for the setting.
Bonus #2: Without question the WORST place I ever lived was in my 1st year of seminary. I was in a basement suite where I shared bathroom/kitchen with the other suite in the basement. Dark coloured walls and floor with a teeny tiny window that got no sun as it was. Not fun -- as the year went on I found myself doing more reading and studying at the college instead of at home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Things We Take for Granted

You know like a working furnace!!!

Sometime at the beginning of every heating season the furnace in htis house stops working. THere is a sensor that needs to be cleaned on an annual basis and when it gets too much build up on it the furnace won't cut in.

On the weekend it became apparent that we were at that point already this year. But it was still sort of working and we weren't going to be around home the last couple days so I hadn't phoned the furnace guy yet. But this morning we got up to a temperature inside of 62F. All the tricks I usually use to coax the furnace on only got it to run long enough to get to 64F.

So I called. And this afternoon he came. But this year the cleaning the sensor didn't work. So now it needs to be replaced--ordered in. So no furnace for a couple more days. But on the good side, at least it is October with nights just above freezing as opposed to January with nights at -30...

CHurch Newsletter Musings

THe congregational newsletter was just released. Rather than cross-posting my piece I will let you all know that you can find it at this link

Friday, October 17, 2008

Heads or Tails?

Songbird writes at RGBP:

Well, Gals and Pals, this weekend we'll be rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and that has me thinking about coinage.

1) When was the last time you flipped a coin or even saw one flipped in person? Several times a week I flip for coffee. With a set of rules that almost defies description. We even have the girls trained in how the game works. (What, shouldn't we teach the girls how to gamble???)

2) Do you have any foreign coins in your house? If so, where are they from? It is likely that there is a USan coin or two around somewhere. At one point I had an English pound but I can't remember where it is now.

3) A penny saved is a penny earned, they say. But let's get serious. Is there a special place in heaven for pennies, or do you think they'll find a special place in, well, the other place? I would have no problem with the penny being discontinued. But the Monkey loves them.

4) How much did you get from the tooth fairy when you were a child? and if you have children of your own, do they get coins, or paper money? (I hear there may be some inflation.) Honestly I don't remember what the going rate was. I am thinking a dime, with maybe a quarter on a good day. Princess has been getting a loonie a tooth.

5) Did anyone in your household collect the state quarters? And did anyone in your household manage to sustain the interest required to stick with it? Certainly not the state quarters, not being USan and all. However the Canadian mint has put out a few different series of special coins (quarters at times, loonies at times) and I have sometimes started trying to set them aside. But I always forget that I am doing so...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why ALL of it?????

One of the actions that national governments are taking (and being pressured to take) in reaction to the Global Credit Crunch/Economic Disorder is to insure the full balances of all bank accounts.


I can understand insuring a certain amount, a base that safeguards all people. But why 100%?

If you have bank accounts of half a million pounds (as one story from Britain I saw talked about) why does it ALL need to be guaranteed? I see the role of these insurances to ensure people have enough to live on, not to protect their wealth.

By all means insure some. By all means we can debate what the threshold should be. But those who have many times more than the threshold can afford to take a risk. And let us be honest, most people's bank accounts are well below even a modest threshold.

Or maybe my socialist tendencies are showing?

ETA: Currently in Canada the CDIC insures up to $100 000 That seems like more than enough of a cushion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

As We Vote...

Tomorrow is voting day in Canada. Let us pray...

God of community, you call us to live in peace with each other,
on this eve of an election we hold our brothers and sisters in prayer.
As we head into the voting booth may we all be blessed with wisdom.

Grant us the wisdom to consider carefully the future path of our country,
to choose the party and the candidate who we feel most clearly shares our vision of that future,
and, when the counting is done, to offer support to those who are elected -- even when we don't agree with their positions or their choices.

We pray for those who have let their name stand.
May they be gracious both in victory and in defeat.
May they move past the voting day committed to making this country a better place, a fairer place, a place where more people can live in abundance and justice.

Gracious God, on October 15 may we look back on the results in acceptance,
may we look forward to the future with hope,
may we share the knowledge that Your vision for the world lives not in any political philosophy but in the vision and hearts of the faithful.
Help us to always work towards that day when the words Your kin-dom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven are more than just lines we mumble in prayer.
May they become a reality in the world.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Travelling FIve

...for today's Friday Five, you're invited to share your experiences with the exciting, challenging world of business travel....

1. Does your job ever call for travel? Is this a joy or a burden? Frequently. 2x a year we travel to Presbytery meetings, once a year to the annual Conference meeting (whole family goes to those, the Beloved is a church court junkie too). Then there are various other meetings to attend, and sometimes even a con-ed event to attend. It is both enjoyable and a burden at the same time.

2. How about that of your spouse or partner? Beloved joins in as above, and also on some con-ed travelling. However her job is child-care for our three (Princess, Scalliwag, and Monkey) So little out of town travel called for there.

3. What was the best business trip you ever took? This is a tie. One would be a meeting that took me to Toronto 4 years ago. A couple of nights in downtown TO with the national church footing the bill. The other would be a con-ed event in Halifax the next spring. Beloved and I both went and made a trip out of it.

4. ...and the worst, of course? When I first joined a conference committee plane flights were not helpfully scheduled. So to save the church the cost of a hotel room and to get myself back sooner I decided to take an overnight bus to Big City, attend the day-long meeting, and then overnight bus back. I did that twice before deciding it was a really bad idea. Luckily plane schedules changed to make it possible to fly there and back the same day as the meeting (then I left the committee and took on a different role anyway).

5. What would make your next business trip perfect? What makes any trip perfect? I don't know. Relaxing travel and a smooth meeting? Anyway the next trip happens to be next week...


Blogrolling has disappeared....

Not only does the blogroll not come up, I can't get to the site (

How can I keep up on blog reading without remembering the URLs????

ANyone else having this problem or is it just me?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dayeinu For Thanksgiving Sunday

As promised on Saturday. Here is my re-write of the Jewish Passover song for Canadian Thanksgiving. What do you think?

Da-da-yeinu, da-da-yeinu
Da-da-yeinu, Dayeinu dayeinu
Da-da-yeinu, da-da-yeinu
Da-da-yeinu, Dayeinu dayeinu

1) If our God had merely made us
Formed us, blew life's breath into us
Simply gave us our existence

2) If our God had only fed us
Gave us food and drink to nourish
Fruits of earth for us to cherish

3) Or if God had brought us freedom
Freed us from sin and oppression
Merely made us free for service

4) If our God gave us companions
Family and friends for comfort
So that we would not be lonely

5) Or if God gave us vocations
Tasks to do that give life meaning
Helped us feel that we had purpose

6) But our God provides more blessings
Gives us life in great abundance
And so daily we say thank-you

Sunday, October 05, 2008

6 Unremarkable things about me

Apparently almost everyone has done this already. I saw it most recently at Inner Dorothy. And theoretically it should be easy since here is little remarkable about me...

  1. I have a tendency to put myself either first or last, rarely in the middle.
  2. My eyes are blue
  3. I have never been called athletic
  4. I always thought I walked slowly until I realized my comparator just walked really fast
  5. I watch far too much TV
  6. As a child I was always fascinated by watching campfires -- and I continue to be fascinated by campfires

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Next weekend is Thanksgiving up here north of the border. My sermon title for next Sunday is Dayeinu and my plan is to write verses for the song as a part of the sermon.

SO what would be enough? What is enough? AS we stop to say thanks, what would have been enough for God to have done?

What would you write a verse about?

PS>I'll post whatever I come up with (assuming I come up with something)...