Sundays are Fun

Ok, so… Sunday morning started out with me giving Shannon a hug and kiss, the RowanChild a wake up snuggle and then heading over to the church at about 7h45. I was about to sit down at my desk, to start going over the morning worship service, when I realized that I had loads of time. So I moved into the sanctuary and spent nearly an hour in meditative prayer.
What a beautiful way to start one’s day. I really need to move from a short morning prayer to something with more substance!
Prepping worship – leting my mind wander over the scriptures… yep… everything was coming together.
The children were active participants.
The choir was wonderful.
The meditation… actually made sense!

After church, some time to chat with people during our the after-church “fellowship” time. (Good cookies, good juice – great people.) Conversations with members of a couple of committies. Its coming up on annual meeting time, so we’re trying to make sure that we’ve got everything in place to tell the story of God’s ministry in and through St. Marys United.
A quick bite to eat (thank goodness for Subway!) and then off to the Profession of Faith Class.
Six teens. Lots of laughter. Some pretty deep insights. More laughter.
Their assignment for the next month – to intentionally set aside time for prayer each day. Each of the participants will be keeping their eyes open during the day, on the lookout for people and situations that they would like to lift to God in prayer. (If they don’t see anything, they’ve agreed to listen, watch or read the news and pray for someone that they’ve read about.)
We laughed some more.

Sit down at desk – throw on a sweater – do some prep for the week.
Wake up ten minutes later, realizing that I need to get a loittle bit more sleep at night.

Get ready for our “Family Time – Together Time” – a potluck supper followed by a time of worship. ‘Bout 15 minutes long… focussed on the childeren, led by them (with a bit of help). Rowan and Shannon were there. (Yea!)

Then off to spend some time with a family who are grieving. Lots of stories, lots of tears and lots of laughter.

Now I’m home.

Yes, a good day.

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Sitting at Union Station

in downtown Toronto.

I’m connected to the web using one of Bell’s high-speed public terminals. It’s ok, but the chicklet keyboard is driving me nuts… and cutting down on my typing speed. In some ways it’s a waste of a toonie. But I’ve got a few hours before my train leaves.

I headed into the big city for my Spirit Connection interview. It was great! (The experience, I mean. I have no idea what the interview was like in production terms. I’m looking forward to seeing it at the end of the month.)

Unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to wander around T.O. with this book bag / computer case on my shoulder. I think I load the dratted thing with books as a security blanket… I have never used the resources that I carry with me – usually forgetting that I brought them.

So, I did my gig, wandered through the Clarica tower (buying a couple of interesting books at a “discount re-saler”), hopped back on the subway, made it to Union Station, filled my tummy… and now, am sitting here.

I’d like to go for a walk… but there’s nowhere to drop my bag.

Oh, well. Sit. Read. Plan the next few weeks.
Look forward to the train trip home.

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On the Train

So… I just couldn’t see paying more to be able to blog from a kiosk with a chicklit keyboard and a high, stainless-steel (cold) metal seat. No back.

I fired up the handy-dandy laptop, forgetting that I had my wireless dongle attached. A Telus HotPoint!! Cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have a passcode. Oh, well.

I’ll sit and read a book. No. I’ll sit and listen to a fellow passenger pointificate about how people of races other than hers really don’t care about “us folks”. For some reason, I guess that she thought that I would agree with her or, at the very least, be a nice Canadian and be tolerant of her beliefs.

I’m afraid I wasn’t very tolerant. I had little difficulty explaining to her that I wasn’t particularly tolerant about racism and when she mumbled something about politically correct asshole. I responded, Sometimes correct, often political… but not usually considered an… oh, well, never mind. Blessings and peace to you.

So, now I’m sitting on the train. The train is not yet moving. I’m not actually blogging right now I’m in VIA’s regular class… no net connect here. I’m typing away in OpenOffice and, when I get home, I’ll plug this into my blog.

I’m afraid that the gentleman sitting beside me has a DVD player. I’m hoping that he’ll plug headphones into his system soon. I’m not sure that I really want to listen to whatever movie it is that he’s watching. Then, again, I might not have much choice. Neither might the rest of the train. sigh

So… the books I picked up. I got Buddah Mom: The Path of Mindfullness Mothering by Jacquline Kramer. While the parts about pregnancy and childbirth will have little to do with me, I hope that some of the other sections will speak to my soul. Next is Favourite Medieval Tales… fun! Finally… and the one that is interesting me is a 2001 book by Mark Surman and Darren Wershler-Henry entitled Commonspace. I’m looking forward to seeing how their discussion of building on-line community can connect with church life.

Here’s the opening paragraph…

The Internet isn’t about dot coms, online malls or customizable coupons. Its not about routers, servers, browsers, or any of those other fascinating widgets and gadgets. It’s not about the business hype or the eye candy. It’s not about the toys. Nope. In fact, the Internet isn’t even about technology.

It’s about us. The collective us.

For those of us who have church leadership responsibilities, this statement could be speaking about church. Try it this way:

The church isn’t about emergent, cathedrals or reformed liturgy. Its not about candles, staff, bulletins , or any of those other fascinating widgets and gadgets. It’s not about the vestments (or non-vestments) or the stained glass windows. It’s not about the toys. Nope. In fact, the church isn’t even about religion.

It’s about us. The collective us. The collective us in relationship with the Divine.

Fun, isn’t it.

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Something’s Happening

Over the past month, three of the people who have had great difficulties with my ministry here… some of whom have been pretty darn verbal about it… have come to talk with me about what they appreciate about my ministry – and what they appreciate about me.

Its getting a bit overwhelming.

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In Life, In Death

in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.”

On Sunday, the United Church of Canada saw one of its ministers enter God’s household through death.

The celebration of the life of the Rev. Jesse Doyon will be held this Thursday, January 13th at 11am at Trinity United Church 1250 McCraney St. E., Oakville.

I only met Jesse a few times – often at General Council. He was one of the people who (it seemed tirelessly) ensured simultaneous translation into French of everything taht was happening on the Council floor. He had an energy and passion for life that was truly wonderful to watch. From what I have heard, he served God and a number of congregations with that same energy.

Peace and love to all those grieving his death.

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Dishwasher… Out

This morning I started to take out the old “under-the-cabnet” dishwasher we have.

I wouldn’t consider myself the handiest of people… but I try to do things in a logical order. So – I shut off the power to the dishwasher at the panel (double cheking the power was off using my handy-dandy line tester.

Then I went into the basement and followed the copper line that sends water into the dishwasher… and followed… and followed… until I found a shutoff valve. I shut off the water.

Then I unscrewed the various screws holding everything together. Yep. I took the front base panel off, so I could get access to the various connectors.

First thing… whoever had installed the old dishwasher had an interesting idea about how to connect electrical wires. Wires wrapped around other wires and then wrapped with black electrical tape.

Let me get this straight. Live electrical… dripping water… hmmmm. Intelligent.

Then I cound out that they had soldered the intake line to the dishwasher. Hmmmmmmmm. Ok. Check the net. How do I “sweat” a connector off a pipe?

Get out the blowtorch. (Why do I have a blowtorch? Oh, yeah. When Dad was doing some plumbing in the basement.)
Remove the old pipe.
Install a cap and 3/8″ compression fit connector. (WhooHoo! Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?)
Run down to Home Hardware and pick up the necessary flexible connections between the water intake and the intake on the dishwasher. And Marettes.

Now… wait until the new dishwasher arrives. Seven o’clock tonight.

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Having Fun With Stewardship

As with many congregations, St. Marys United is getting ready for its Annual Meeting. I’ve been having a really good time working with the Finance committee. One of the concerns is that we’re having some difficulty helping people understand what their financial offerings do. In the conversation I was asked if I could put together a way of communicating some of the information.

People in the United Church of Canada are invited to participate in the “Mission and Service Fund” – its a voluntary process by which the mission and ministry of the denomination is funded. It’s a “unified fund” – which sometimes makes it difficult for people get a sense of where the money goes. So a booklet containing “Minutes for Mission” go out the congregation.

For the past six years, we’ve read a “Minute for Mission” at each service. From comments received, its been a helpful way to inform people.

So we’re going to try replacing one with a “Minute for St. Marys United” once each month.

If you’d like to comment on what I’ve written… read on.

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