Praying For General Council

When the Moderator’s Arnprior event took place, I organized a group of people from a number congregations (both United Church of Canada and others) in St. Marys to pray for the women and men gathered in discernment.

Because I am in geographic transition, I didn’t think about inviting a group to do the same for the General Council and its Commissioners.

So I thought I’d put it out to the Christian blogging community (and the communities of which we are a part).

Are there congregations, groups, or individuals who would be willing to take a few hours (or a day), between August 13 and August 19 to pray for General Council?

If you’re interested, please let me know in the comment section. (If you’d like to know what’s going on, here’s the link to the agenda (PDF alert!)
Currently we have open (all times EST):

August 13:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 14:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 15:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 13:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 16:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 17:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 18:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

August 19:

– 9am to 10am

– 10am to 11am

– 11am to 12noon

– 12noon to 1pm

– 1pm to 2pm

– 2pm to 3pm

– 3pm to 4pm

– 4pm to 5pm

– 5pm to 6pm

– 6pm to 7pm

– 7pm to 8pm

– 8pm to 9pm

– 9pm to 10pm

Continue Reading

Last Sunday at St Marys United Church

That was today.

The service was full – baptism, communion, VBS participation, the choir, a soloist and a litany ending our covenant together.

*sad smile*

I got through everything relatively well. Well. Almost everything.

When we got to the part of the service that was focused on ending our covenant as enabling minister and congregation, things got difficult.

Returning the ewer, cup and bible that they had “loaned” me during our covenanting service was not difficult. When I did some thinking about it, I realized that those things didn’t bother me because I will still be celebrating at the font and the table, and interpreting the Word… just with other folks.

When I came to the part of the service where I handed over my keys to the chair of the property committee… wow. My voice choked, the tears flowed, and I had a great deal of difficulty continuing. Why? Because, in that moment, I realized that this is it. Handing over the keys was tangible. (The church treasurer and I had an interesting conversation about it. He works as an accountant for a multinational. He said that it was that action that forced him to see this as ‘real’, too. In his world, handing over one’s ID, keys and credit card is the final act of an employee moving on. That quickly reminded me that I needed to had my ‘Staples/Busness Depot credit card in. *LOL*)

Handing the congregation’s “Rolls” to the representative from presbytery was even more difficult. It was important for me that Presbytery remember its responsibility… and for the congregation to realize that they are not in this by themselves.

Lots of tears.

Last week, Jan (our church administrator) asked if I was going to be ready to go. I asked her if she meant, “Would you be packed?” or “Would you be ready to go?”

Packed? Yes.

Ready to go? As I get closer to July 31, I become less and less ready. It has nothing to do with Maple Ridge, or St. Andrew’s Haney United Church. Its just that St. Marys became our home.

This was the first place my beloved and I got to live in the same house.

This was where we bought our first home.

This was where we became parents.

And, for all of the frustrations, there were also a whole lot of joys.

I’m going to miss this place.

Continue Reading

So… A Member of the Congregation Walks By My House

earlier tonight.

Actually – the entire family.

In the course of the conversation, they’re going to:

a) take the computer desk that I didn’t know what I was doing to do with;

b) take the writing desk I didn’t know what I was going to do with;

c) take the swing set that I really didn’t know what I was going to do with…

and d) help me get my car sold.

WOOHOO!

Continue Reading

Movin’ Blues

Woke up in the mornin’…

nah… middle of the night.

Felt my heart pumpin’

(an’ not out of delight!)

No – it was fear – fear, cold and dread…

of packin’ those books –

fore they fall on my head.

Those damnable books –

authors I love –

those grand, blessed books…

into crates I must shove.

42 boxes of books and counting.

Continue Reading

Sleep is elusive.

My body is tired, but my brain motors on.

Tomorrow afternoon Shannon and I officiate at a friend’s wedding. I pray that the love that I see between these two people will be able to see them through.

Sunday morning is will be my second last worship service at St. Marys United. Five baptisms (in three families)… one infant and four children – and each of the children have gone to their parents to ask to be baptized.

Sunday afternoon I head to Camp Bimini for my last ever week there as Christian Education director. The theme of the week – “The Mission”. I guess I’d better get started on my programming. I love Camp Bimini – the staff, the campers – I’m going to miss them. Having said that, I do have to wonder if I’m hitting that point where I’m ‘out of touch’.

Next Sunday will be an off day for me – recovery from the week at Camp.

Mornings of that week will be spent taking part in our Vacation Bible School.

Then my last Sunday as Enabling Minister at St. Marys United Church.

One week of comp./holiday/study time… which will be used to pack – then off we go to BC.

I’m really not stressed.

Right.

Continue Reading

New Beginnings

are connected with endings.

You may have noticed that new theme for looking back… looking forward.

Well, the new look is connected with a pretty major change in our life. Shannon, Rowan and I are going to be ending our time in ministry with our respective congregations, here in St. Marys and Kirkton-Woodham… and moving west.

Yep – we’re heading to the province of British Columbia. I’ve been called to the congregation of St. Andrew’s Haney United Church, in Maple Ridge, BC.

Part of the reason I’ve not been writing much has been because of a low to medium grade exhaustion that grew out of a number of things in life. Hopefully, most of those have been taken care of. Having said that, I’m going to have to be careful not to dump myself into a whole lot of things in this new beginning.

There’s a whole lot of excitement building in our household… which is great.

Saying good-bye – well, not so great,

I’m glad to be typing again… there are lots of things I’d like to share, now that I don’t feel like I’m going to blurt something out inadvertently.

Continue Reading