I Am One Hoopy Frood and I Do Know Where My Towel Is


You’re The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!
by Douglas Adams
Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You’ve also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it’s shown you so much of the world that you don’t care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.

Thanks for pointing me to the book quiz, Bene!

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Got A Call

from a friend who lives far away.

We talked about what’s going on in their life.
We laughed a bit.
We cried a bit.
We prayed a bit.

Hey… friend? If you’re reading this – don’t forget.

You are a beloved child of God – no matter what anyone (including you) says or does.
You are a sibling in the family and household of Jesus Christ…
and you are good.

Christ’s peace to you and all those around you.

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Tonight, I Get to Be

the minister’s husband.

Shannon is the Minister of the Kirkton-Woodham Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada. It’s about 15 minutes away from our home.

So, she’s part of the Exeter & Area Ministerial Association. A different Association than the one I’m part of. Most of the folks there don’t know me.

Tonight is their ministerial bar-be-que.

We’re on our way. See you later!

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Same-Sex Equal Marriage: Another Suggestion

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about the same-sex / equal marriage debate that is going on in our fair country.
Part of the reason that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it is because I’m one of those people in the province of Ontario who has a licence to officiate at weddings – specifically because I’m a minister in the UCCan, currently serving a congregation.

For the past few years I’ve done a lot of thinking about what it means to be both an “agent of the church” and an “agent of the state” during a wedding service. Some of you know that I’ve been working with the church to explore a minister’s ability to decide to officiate at a wedding, even when one’s congregation does not agree.

Since Christmas, I’ve had the sense that there are a couple of other options that we could explore.
In no particular order, they are:

a. Rather than continue to move towards same-sex/equal marriage, we could work to remove the term ‘marriage’ from Canadian law. Backdate it to… oh… as far back as is possible. All couples (of opposite or same-sex) who have entered, or are entering, into a partnership could then be partners in a “civil union”. This idea would respond to the decisions of the various Provincial Court rulings.
b. Remove clergy responsibility to be an “agent of the state”. Currently (in Ontario) a couple must make an oath that all of the information they have given to the “Issuer of Marriage Licences” is true. Why not go a step further, making the oath the act of civil union itself? After signing, the couple could decide to have whatever celebration of their vows they darn well wanted to. If that happens to be in a religious context, they would need to negotiate whether or not that faith tradition could celebrate/bless/whatever, their partnership.

Thoughts?

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Being A Dad

has got to be one of the coolest things a guy can have the fortune and blessing to be.

As long as they can find the internal and external resources to support them in that Calling.

I still believe that even ten years ago i would have completely sucked rotten eggs as a father. I didn’t have enogh patience with myself, let alone with a partner or a child.

It’s taken me a long time… and a whole lot of learning.

Maybe wisdom will come next.

Until then, I’ll be happy meandering along – loving to the best of my ability (and sometimes beyond), and accepting the love that my child and partner offer.

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It’s All About Relationship

This morning, I had the chance to:
– spend time with a young couple as they explored their readiness to marry;
– chat with another couple who are very, very, very excited that they will be parents… and soon;
– cry with another couple who found out that they were’t pregnant… again;
– dance with a 5-year-old during a hymn;
– celebrate with a dad that his 29-year-old daughter, who was slammed by a stroke two months ago, is once again walking;
– laugh with a young person who “isn’ ever going to get married… because all the fun stops then”, while a whole bunch of couples in theur mid-20s listen and smile;
– receive a hug and 15 minute “catch-up” conversation with our guest soloist – a woman currently studing music at McGill (who is only with us once or twice a year, but feels deeply welcomed by the congregation;
– and a couple of hours, hidden in my office, asking that God might help me to “put some flesh on the bones of an idea for the morning’s meditation.

All that before noon!

Now it’s time for me to meet with a family, to prepare the celebration of their mother’s life and the mourning of their loss in her death.

The I get to head home… and take time to be partner and Dada.

Alleluia!

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“How Do We Tell New Generations?”

That was a question we were just asked. My answer… “We DON’T. As soon as we start telling, rather than exploring and listening and sharing, a whole bunch of the ‘new generations’ are going to be out the door.”

Listen to their story.
Then…
share the Christ story as it intersects with their and our life-stories.

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YES!

This is SO COOL!

I just finished beinin a small group with: Kelly (a young lay-woman from Elgin Presbytery), Jaclyne (a young lay-woman from Hurn-Perth), Bob (a Designated Lay Worship Leader from Elgin), and me.

We’ve talked about what’s working and what isn’, and we’re coming up with new ideas about whjat can happen in the future.

We’re looking at talking with Conference Swell to see if they would help us to run “mini-swells” (waves?) in our Presbyteries.

We see that Presbytery needs to work to overcom (or work with) the level of “congregationalism” – the sense that one congregation isn’t really connected with other congregations. At least the part of the United Church of Canada feels like this.

How can Blessed-Peace Pastoral Charge help Southminster to explore new musics in worship… especially when we aren’t sure we want to talk with each other?

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Places Where We Meet

My last post talked about taking part in a day of discernment about London Conference of the United Church of Canada.

At the moment, I’m sitting in a conference room at the Best Western, just outside of London. Because of its lication, and because one of our Conference staff is a negotiator extrodinaire, the hotel has offered the conference room for an excellent rate.

Its a wonderful space. As I wait for the others to arrive, I’m sitting in a wingback chair. The lighting, while more than adequate, is subdued – offering space for meditation. There is more than enough room for us to work – at table, in circle, in break-out groups. We can move around the space, sing, dance, explore. All of the “standard” workshopping tools are here and ready to go. (As one who facilitates workshops in various locations, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful that is!) From a conversation I has with a staff person here, they’re ready with just about anything else we could ask for.

In lots of ways being in a space likew this is wonderful. We don’t have to worry about the “stuff”, allowing us to focus on the “STUFF”.

In this same room I helped to introduce our Conference Executive to some of the practice is spiritual discernment. I’m not sure I blogged about it then, but I took a good deal of time wondering if the venu would be supportive of what we were doing… or whether it would be a distraction. I believe it worked in our favour that day. We truly felt like we had separated ourselves from the regular, and had moved into a deeply different place.

Could it have workwd against us? I’m sure it could have.

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow

and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to…

ah, never mind. Lady MacBeth was in a poor mood at that point.

I’m not.

Tomorrow, I get to join with other members of London Conference for “a day apart”. Our President has invited people from the various Presbyteries to enter into discernment on where God is calling us to go.

Prayers that we might be open to God’s direction would be much appreciated.

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My Friend’s Named Jen

There’s my wonderful host – Jen.
And there’s a great UCCan type who is in Northern Ontari-ari-ari-o – Jen.
And there’s a theolog who is in Northern Ont… but will be moving to Eastern Ont. in the near future – Jen.

I’ll be blogrolling those who aren’t already there… as soon as I can remember my password. 😉

Three of the best people on the face of this here planet!

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Yep… this is me

What's your theological worldview?
created with
QuizFarm.com

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Emergent/Postmodern

100%

Classical Liberal

71%

Roman Catholic

71%

Modern Liberal

64%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

57%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

54%

Neo orthodox

39%

Reformed Evangelical

7%

Fundamentalist

7%
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Many of You Know

That I’m supportive of the exploration of and movement towards equal marriage in Canada.

Some of you, I am sure, think I’m absolutely nuts.

That’s ok. Sometimes I think I’m whack, too.

If this is rhetoric, it’s going to backfire.

If its actually the way that its going to go, I’m going to be sending my licence to marry back to the province in protest.

I believe that equal marriage is valid and needs to be respected.
I also believe that religious beliefs are valid and need to be respected. If churches or ministers cannot, by their conscience, marry a couple then they should not be forced to – nor should privilidges be taken away from them because they can not.

I deeply believe that both human rights and religious freedoms can be respected.

(By the way – my flame-proof shorts are on the line – its too hot to be wearing them at the moment. So, if you need to burn me, please keep it to a medium broil.)

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It’s Hot

I’m sitting in the church office.

I’m wearing a collar.

In about 45 minutes, I’m going to put on my ol’ black preaching robe (with the tabs), throw my academic hood over the back, and drop my preaching scarf over top of that.

I was going to ride to the church on a horse, but couldn’t find one stupid enough to be out on as hot a day as it is right now.

You might be able to tell that today is a bit different. I normally wear an flax coloured alb with a stole the colour of the liturgical season. Not my academics.

You seel, we’re doing an “not so ancient/future church” service. A couple of days ago it was the 80th anniversary of The United Church of Canada – so the order of service we’re following, as well as the music and my garb, is going to be according to the service that was done here at St. Marys United Church on the Sunday of church union.

We even have a Profession of Faith today! (One of the people who was to make their profession a few weeks ago was ill and couldn’t be at the church that day – so today it is.)

It should be interesting. “Thee”s and “Thou”s and the sermon being the absolute last thing in the order of worship. Yow!

I am not, however, going to preach for a couple of ours.
Although it is tempting. *grin*

The theme that the General Council Offices has offered to congregations is “Dare to be…”. With the lectionary passages today, I’m going to use the service’s retro look to talk about where I believe God is moving our congregation and denomination.

It isn’t in a direction that most of the people in these pews will feel comfortable with.

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