Minister's Blog

Nov
10

November 10, 2016

Communitas. A Latin word meaning the “spirit of community.” Not “community” per se, but the feelings, thoughts, ideas, and everything that goes into making and sustaining community.

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May
13

May 12, 2016

A friend of mine is working on a research study in Toronto called the HALO project. This project originated in Philadelphia and looks at the impact of places of worship in the community; specifically, what would it cost the community to replace the services/programs offered by the faith community.

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May
01

May 1, 2016

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
   ~ Isaiah 43: 18-19 (ESV)

I’ve run across a concept in the past few weeks known as the “Great Vowel Shift.” Having googled this concept, I’ve discovered it’s a highly technical linguistic happening that occurred in the English Language from about the 1300s to the 1700s. The experts contend that the way English people pronounced their words (particularly the “long” vowels) changed. And you can experience this shift then when you read poetry from the time, or songs, or even the Bible!

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Mar
22

March 22, 2016

I have some American family members who are, well, typically American and Christian—which means that despite the constitutional separation of “Church and State” they are very much in favour (notice the “u”!)of a God fearing pres’dent.

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Jan
31

January 31, 2016

I was once bilingual. Sure, I was born on the West Island of Montreal (what up Dorvalians or Point Clairers!).

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Jan
31

January 31, 2016

I was once bilingual. Sure, I was born on the West Island of Montreal (what up Dorvalians or Point Clairers!).

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Jan
06

January 6, 2016

A couple of days ago I read an article in the English newspaper The Telegraph: Practicing Christians who talk to friends and neighbours about their beliefs are three times as likely to put other folks off of God as to attract them.

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Dec
04

December 4, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I have certain “traditions” that I keep every year when Christmas comes round.

The first thing is putting up the Christmas lights. Or rather, untangling the myriad strings of broken lights, frayed wires and other flotsam and jetsam.

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Oct
24

October 24, 2015

"So Rev, you only work one day a week, eh?”

And that was my father-in-law. It’s a funny calling, being a minister. The majority of those who “see” me during the week end up seeing me on Sunday mornings—at worship. But just as only 10% of an iceberg is visible, and the remaining 90% is hidden beneath the waves – the same generally applies to being a minister.

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Oct
04

October 4, 2015

September 11 was the 14th Anniversary of 9/11 and the trees were just beginning to show their first blushes of autumnal glory. 9/11. I remember that day so clearly. I had finished chairing a meeting of the gathering of ministers and priests in Prescott, Ontario. And for some weird reason, decided to take the five-minute journey over the international bridge to go to the Walmart in Ogdensburg NY.

They have different things in the U.S. Walmarts!

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Jun
13

June 10, 2015

I try not to get too caught up in political correctness or anything political, really. Oh, I have my opinions about things, but I see my task as a minister in helping the people in my congregation come to their own understanding about what God would have them do about things like Divestment in Israel/Palestine, Keystone XL, Homosexuality and Biblical interpretation.

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Jun
01

June 3, 2015

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

“Time” by Pink Floyd

Time is on my side, yes it is

“Time is on my side” as recorded by the Rolling Stones

There are two types of time, according to the Ancient Greeks – the forebearers of our modern thought: Chronos and Kairos. And they both have their place. Chronos is the time we measure by clocks: minutes, seconds, millennia, googles (look it up!). And it seems to be the sort of time that the rock bands Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones sing of. But the other type is different.

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May
15

May 12, 2015

What does it mean to “be” a Christian? For a lot of us we self-identify by “going” to church; if I go to Church, I’m a Christian. Makes sense. But then we might get bogged down in the whole “do I have to go to Church to be a Christian” argument. And, frankly, we don’t need any more arguments.

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Apr
16

May 1, 2015

I am “recuperating” after a busy week at the 2015 Cruxifusion Conference that was held at Wellington Square United Church, Burlington Ontario April 26 to 30. It was a gathering of 90 United Church ministers of all stripes and splotches—from radically progressive theological liberals to grumpy “regressive” theological conservatives—but who hold one thing in common: the most important thing in all the universe, Jesus Christ.

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