Tired and Retired


 

How does time pass so quickly?  It has been over two years since I have completed a quilt?  If you could see the pile beside the ironing board you might wonder, “How that could be?”  I have at least a half dozen tops that need binding, or sandwiching, or quilting.  Big Sigh!  I have been much too involved with work and just can’t seem to carve out time for hobbies.  I am tired.

May 2018 a colleague retired as the Executive Director of an important mission in the city and accepted a part time position as the Minister of Word and Sacrament for a rapidly growing indigenous congregation.  They refer to themselves as Oji-Irish, walking a blended spiritual journey of Indigenous and Christian belief and ceremony.  A person of great strength and immeasurable compassion.  To honour the occasion I designed this stole and it was gifted at a regular meeting of presbytery.  The colours of the Dakota Star and the cross are those of the Medicine Circle.  There are four bear paw blocks at the bottom of the stole.  These represent the individual as a member of  the Bear Clan. The eagle fabric on the back was chosen as it is part of the recipient’s name.   I know God’s Spirit will rest always upon them and richly bless their ministry.

Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

On the Move


It has been a long time in the making.  At least two years in the praying and the asking.  I have been called to a new congregation.  It was finalized by Presbytery in May, the next day the house went on the market and we began packing it up in earnest.

The new church is much closer to family, in a city, no less!  That is amazing to me.   I always expected to remain in rural ministry.  Even though women have been ordained as Ministers of Word and Sacrament in this denomination for over fifty years, there is still an old boys’ club and patriarchal mentality that firmly hold the glass ceiling in place.  I am not sure if I am now above or below the glass, but I am thrilled to be here.  God is good.  There are so many opportunities for great things to be done, I am blessed to be in this place and looking into the future with excitement and enthusiasm.

Leaving my previous congregation was bittersweet.  There are a number of people I will dearly miss.  As a gift of leave taking for myself, I quilted a string quilt and asked everyone to sign it.  It lies draped over the back of a chair in my new office.

DSC_0362It reminds me of things accomplished, that people are not all cut from the same cloth, that united we are beautiful and serve a purpose, that even scraps and odd and ends are useful, and that errors and mistakes can only be seen with extremely close inspection (and in the larger scheme of things, don’t matter in the slightest bit).

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Isaiah 42:9  See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Two Weeks in the Whirlwind


It’s been a tough two weeks.  The not hoped for, daily prayed about, inevitable happened.  God’s everlasting light shines upon my father.  I will miss him dearly.  Presiding at his funeral was the most uplifting experience, difficult but affirming.  Ever held in the love of God, Dad went to tend the fields of heaven.  I love you.

George with hay

Luke 6:1-5  One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

WIP Wednesday – Weekend


DSC_0910Holidays!  It’s an event packed weekend.  My parents are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.  My brother is turning 47 on the same day.  And Sunday my first grandbaby-daughter is being baptised into the family of God.

Today my two sisters, my parents and I traveled to visit my brother who lives 2 hours away from the Farm.  The day was filled with laughter, strange movie references “These are not the ‘droids you are looking for!”, stories that might have sounded like a kidnapping to someone evesdropping, “You are not listening to me.  I have the pizza.”, and twenty questions on the trip home that started conversations about food, bucket lists, places we’d been and a few tales out of school about school.  Nana, sisters M and N played Wii Dance Off 4 with nephews GR and Y. Even dad had a pretty good day.  Naturally we had to stop at Morden’s Chocolates for Russian Mints, Mixed Nut Brittle, bags of ‘seconds’ and Almond Crunch Clusters (I should have bought some of the latter…).

Pictured above is the quilt I am racing to finish by Sunday for my grand-daughter.  I am half done the binding as I type.  Cute, isn’t it?  Just like my A.A.E.P!

O Spring, where art Thou?


I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  e. e. cummings*

Thankfully, there is blue sky today, and above freezing temperatures.  Snow still blankets much of the ground.  I am watching a robin rest in the branches of a tree in the neighbours’ yard beyond the window of my office.  He seems confused, tail bobbing in irritated stabs.  He is asking, “Where is spring?  Where are the green, growing, gladdening things that coincide with my arrival?”  Even his song is not the bubbling joy of being alive and announcing the glory of another season.  Rather I hear protest and alarm, as if winter is an intruder into the space of his territory not unlike another male threatening the security of worms and bugs and nest and family.

I, another of God’s creatures, am asking the same questions.  Winter has been soooooooooooooooooooo long this year, snow on the ground early October and here in almost mid April, it stubbornly reflects brightly the sun of lengthening days.  Snow is forecast for the weekend.  AGAIN!??  <sigh>  Well, naturally, as I have to travel north for a meeting that I am not entirely prepared for.  (The photo is LAST year’s spring!)

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*Coincidentially I used this poem in the Easter Sermon

March Milestone


The day has been approaching gradually.  Today I Am with you always received its one hundredth follower

I am humbled and honoured that this little place of mine interests somebody at all.  In the beginning this was intended as a photo and ramblings e-diary.  For the most part it is fulfilling that role.  It continues to be a compilation of my favourite things and activities.  I am grateful for the opportunity, grateful to all of you for stopping in now and then to brush up against my life and draw me closer to yours.  God’s blessings upon you all, the peace of Christ be in your lives, and may a Spirit of holiness guide your steps.

you are with me still


this morning, I reached into the dishwasher

grasped the smooth handle of my favourite mug

clay from the hands of the Mistress

formed into a vessel that holds memories

sadness, pours into me,

hotter than the waiting coffee

Lord, I miss Her!

alma mater

mine, hers and Hers

this –  Her gift to me –  to celebrate the journey

the end and the beginning

alpha and omega

living

striving, thriving, surviving

my graduation, penultimate to theirs

a year passes and we gather again

to encourage, reorientate, reclaim the promise

of what and who we are called to be

another year

dead

Less that two years Your priest, Lord?

mute incredulity

really?

You heal the cancer – remission

in thanksgiving and wonder She hears You

says yes

dayenu*

was it?

tears stream as voices slosh here to there and back again over cellular waves

we did not know, we were not told

of deadly returned, cellular multiplication

liver hosts, breasts long sacrificed to hope

we did not know, unaware

we wallow in guilt

the third rants

“I know you have a good reason, God!”

begging, threatening, “tell me what it is!”

yes

dark coffee spills and fills a vessel still holding the past

leaves fall beyond the kitchen window fast

turns a season

thanksgiving approaches

thanksgiving

for Her life

yes

for death

no reason

yet

I suspect it was missed

in a moment noisy

the still, small voice

“Spring comes, She is fully alive in Me.”

Romans 8:38-39   38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

*it would have been enough for us