Thursday, May 21, 2020

Book 4 of 2020 -- Insurrection

To be honest I bought this one simply because I loved the title. I mean I have been known to use the phrase "when the revolution come" in an Advent candle liturgy and to title my Christmas Eve sermon "The Revolution Begins tonight".

More seriously, I have also long felt torn between the comfort of the church as I have known it and the clear sense that the church as I have known it is not what the church could be. I also am clear in the sense that the church as I have known it is not what the church needs to be moving into the future if we want to be faithful to the Gospel of Christ.

So I liked Rollins suggestions in this book. Not at all sure how to apply what I liked so much about the vision of Christianity he shares in real life but I want to. I want to learn how to be a follower of Christ who embraces the world-changing effect of living by kingdom values, or holding up an alternate way of life.

Much of what Rollins says challenges the church as a place of comfort, or appears to. But the journey of Christian faith has to take us through death. We have to experience the cross, the total loss, in order to be ready for Resurrection. And that will not be comfortable. Can I do that as an individual? Can the church do it as a community?

Friday, May 08, 2020


Well technically my Ordiversary is not for a couple weeks yet, but today RGBP was holding the May Ordiversary Party.  In the post they ask:
  • something you remember from your ordination service
  • something you have particularly enjoyed about ministry so far
  • something new you have learned in the course of your ministry that they “didn’t teach you in seminary”
1)  I was ordained on May 26th 2001. The service was at St. David's United Church in Calgary. There were 4 of us Ordained that day. Instead of a sermon there was a dramatic presentation (though I can not honestly remember what the drama was about). AS this was a year when our Conference did not have an Annual Meeting the service was on a Saturday afternoon rather than a Sunday morning.

As a part of the service we were allowed to choose up to 3 people to take part in the laying on of hands (in addition to the Conference President and Executive Secretary). I had decided to choose people from 3 stages of my journey to ministry but was unable to get someone from my Camp Maskepetoon days so ended up with two. One was a member of the Youth Group and the Confirmation Class I had helped with during my internship. Ben and I had connected during those months. The other choice was obvious. Jane had been my Sunday School teacher when I was in Grade 6, she had a group of us help with special projects for the Jr (Grade 4-6) department at the time. Years later she invited me to help teach that same age group, which I did through University. She was definitely one of those people who led me into ministry (she continued teaching in that department until the middle of the first decade of the 2000's, so well over 20 years).

WE were also asked to choose one person to be our partner for serving Communion. This is where I brought in family and had my sister assist.

Later that day our family and a number of friends as close as family went out for supper. The next morning I got up and drove to my internship community to lead worship.

2) WOrship leadership has always been my favourite part of ministry. That I expected to be the case. I love preaching, baptisms, serving communion. A surprise has been how much I would appreciate being involved in serving the wider church.I really never expected administration and policy and procedure to be such a good fit with me.

Oh and I like to write stories from time to time!

3) In seminary we never talked about uploading sermons to YouTube and emailing out bulletins and having meetings on Zoom and hosting FB Live prayer times or all the other things we are all experimenting with at the moment.  Then again why would we -- most of these things were not possible in 2001, much less in 1992 when I first walked through the  seminary doors.

PS: 9 years to the day after I was ordained our youngest daughter was born. Ashley was very excited a couple of years ago when she read my Ordination certificate and saw that it was on her Birthday.