Showing posts from August, 2009

Turn Over Day

Monday we turned the program over to the participants. Judy taught them how to lead and plan a workshop and then the participants chose four topics to focus a workshop on based on chapters in the Book Way to Live . The topics they chose are: Choices; Friends; Forgiveness; and Prayer. This afternoon they spent time in their chosen groups and created their workshops. After supper we journeyed to another part of the campus to walk within a labyrinth. A labyrinth is a spiritual tool used to explore yourself. It is different from a maze because there is only one way in and one way out... you can't get lost in it. I found it quite profound really. When we returned home we had a brief and lovely worship on the lawn and then went inside to find Fr. Bill Cliff waiting for us for "Bull with Bill". This is a time when the participants are able to ask any question they want by writing them down and putting them in a box. This makes the questions easier to ask because they a


Sorry for the delay on posting about the goings on... sleep took precedence the last couple of nights. Saturday saw us engaging in a Quiet Retreat day. It began with Judy giving us a very powerful demonstration of what to do with our brokenness using a glass jar and a watermelon. We can either use our brokenness to lash out and cut people (broken glass) or we can use our brokenness to reach out and feet others (watermelon). We journeyed down to a nearby river and discussed how we experience this kind of brokenness and each of us was encouraged to throw a piece of watermelon rind into the river as a symbol of letting go of that which is bitter and useless in our lives. We spent the afternoon in silence and engaging in a number of workshops that various leadership team members provided. I offered to teach individuals about the nature and use of the sacrament of Reconciliation. I had two young women come and I taught them about what confession looks like and how it can be used in o


Sorry I missed a day, been busy around here... Wednesday was "Faith in Action Day". I went with four participants to the Tillsonburg Community Centre where we joined a group of people who were launching the P.I.E.R. Program for youth to help them with illicit drug use. P.I.E.R. stands for Peer Information Education and Resources Program. It is peer led and run using the various social resources that are present in the community. It looks like a good program though I felt the launch was a bit political in nature with too much time for politicians to get the photo op and not enough time for the people running the program to tell us all about it. They fed us lunch which was delightful and then we went back to London for a tour of the Addiction Services program. We arrived a bit early so we took the opportunity to visit the local Cathedral. We spent 30 minutes exploring the space and taking copious pictures. We then went to our appointment at Addiction Services and Pam t


Tuesday saw us do more biblical study with Fr. Bill. We spent 90 minutes discussing the parable of the Good Samaritan. The participants are really starting to integrate what they are learning! One memorable quote/story from the morning class: Fr. Bill retold the story by setting it in the Toronto neighbourhood of Jane & Finch - an area known for violence and racial tension. Picture it this way he said, "A member of the Ku Klux Klan is walking though this neighbourhood and he is beaten up and robbed and left for dead (no surprises here) and then a little, old, black lady comes up to this beaten man and takes him home, binds his wounds, feeds him, hires a nurse to take care of him for 10 days and is willing to do more to ensure that this man is returned to health." Upon hearing this one of the participants, a girl from Toronto, was heard to exclaim, "Okay! Now, I'm astonished!" And that is what this parable is all about... removing the limits of our obl


Monday saw the beginning of the formal educational portion of this program. Well, we have been learning lots before today just now we've moved into an actual classroom is all. The participants met the Rev. Canon Bill Cliff who began to teach them how to read scripture in a whole new way. Having had been here last year I sort of knew what was coming. I am always profoundly moved by what Bill has to say but this time I actually got to watch the participants be profoundly moved by what Bill had to say and it was something to behold. Bill taught us about problems of intrepretation and how sometimes the Bible can be translated with an agenda and we need to be careful about that and not be afraid to ask the question, "Is this what it really says?" He taught us about his three laws of Biblical intrepetation. And we used them to look at two Parables of Jesus (the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price). When they were presented with the idea that WE are the t


Today we began our journey of discovery with some education about what theology really is anway. Out of that conversation we discussed what a Christian community can and should look like. Judy told us: Christian Community is: The place where we can become fully ourselves The place where we support each other and help each other grow The place where we accomplish a mission or make real a vision - accomplishing a purpose. After lunch, while the participants were creating their covenant as a community I sat down with Andrew and planned out the evening's Eucharistic worship. After supper we were divided into our small groups and participated in a series of "Small Group Challenges" all of which are designed to test our abilities and the wisdom of the group. The challenges are designed to be fun and, well... challenging. My group acquitted itself admirably with all the tasks it was asked to do... even despite my ineptness at some of the games. The evening ended with a c


Today is the day... the participants arrived. I spent the day being "around" to help. By that I mean: doing two trips to the London Airport to pick people up; hanging out; welcoming people; helping with bags; meeting people; learning names (got 15 new ones); helping with meals; helping with making aprons; fielding questions; taking everyone on a tour of the places we will be at the College; getting holy hardware for Sunday's Eucharist; eating; laughing... being. Supper was our first meal all together and the first time we all sat in the same room at the same time. Our community is begining to form and it looks like it will be another amazing group of young people who are eager to engage in this process and look deeply into themselves, their church, their faith and their world. After supper we did some "get to know you games" and finished the day with a brief an meaningful worship around a cloth map of Canada that Judy constructed - each of us who wished pla


Friday was another day of preparation for the leadership team... preparation and fun. We began the day discussing some of the norms for a community like this: norms around food safety and personal safety. We told stories from our experiences of how we dealth with tricky situations where boundaries were blurred and how we kept ourselves and others safe. After lunch we made sure all was in readiness for the arrival of 15 excited and terrified young people. The rooms are prepared. The living spaces are ready. The members of the leadership team are unified! In the afternoon we went to the shores of Lake Huron to have some fun together. I'm not much of a beach person but I pushed myself as far as I could... something I have promised to do. We ate a wonderful meal (I even got to barbeque!!) had fantastic conversations and then we went back to the beach to sing and pray in preparation for the day to come. The singing was wonderful, the prayer was powerful, the team is ready. We


I awoke this morning and was quite perturbed to find myself in pain. I have a bit of a wonky back and every now and then it says to me, "Hey, idiot, you did too much the last couple of days and now I'm going to punish you!" So with a pain in my back I got out of bed and had to tell the team that I had to be on "light duty" today so that I could let my back get the rest it needs. The team is very understanding and they gave me the space I needed... they even washed my dishes for me so that I would not have to stoop down over the very low sink we have here (thanks Allie and Andrew!) Today was filled with group building activities for the leadership team which I participated as best I could with my back in the state it was. We shared in a couple of games, a couple of initiative tasks, a couple of sharing opportunities to tell where we were coming from and what we were carrying with us as we begin. After lunch the mentors of the program sat with Judy and discu


Today was a day of preparation. We went to the airport twice (once in the morning to get Allie [residence advisor] and once in the evening to get Su [mentor]). We went out for breakfast at a local greasy spoon - had a lovely b'fast... it came with both sausage AND bacon! After b'fast we came back to Brough and began unpacking the things for the kitchen and washing ALL the dishes in the house so that we were assured they were clean before we started using them. This afternoon we went to the train station to pick up Andrew [mentor] and after a brief bagel and coffee run we came back to the house to set it up in preparation for the young people to arrive. Lots of opening rooms, making name tags, putting up posters, etc. In the midst of this hubbub Jen [residence advisor] arrived to lend her hands to things. After we picked up Su we all went to a restaurant for dinner - fantastic!! I had the best ribs and hot wings ever! During dinner Janet [kitchen supervisor] arrived and


The trip from Halifax to Toronto was very uneventful until landing. As we touched down on the runway an electrical storm decided it would be good to descend upon the airport. It was not dangerous at all but it did delay the retrieval of my luggage for about 45 minutes - no big deal really. I found Jenny (my Toronto contact) while I waited. So good to see her again. Jenny then took me on a bit of a tour of the greater Toronto area and I got to see some fairly large buildings like the CN Tower, etc. We drove down to her neighbourhood and she took me to a lovely pub for supper. The food was lovely! We then got her gear and began our trip to London. We only got lost a couple of times but I was content as I was with a friend and we had lots of catching up to do. Traveling around London was interesting as we took a number of wrong turns and actually got to see a lot of the city. We did finally arrive at Brough House and there I found Judy waiting for us... Soooooo good to see her

Ask & Imagine

Tomorrow I depart for the wilds of southern Ontario (London to be exact) to engage in the Ask & Imagine program for high school aged young people. I will be a member of the leadership team in a mentoring role once again (I must have done something right last year because they asked me back). As last year I will do my best to keep you updated with all that is going on during the program. My goal is to post a note every day. That may not be a realistic goal because I know it was hard to do last year, but I'll set it anyway. I would ask for your faithful prayers for the participants, for the leadership team, and - unworthy servant that I am - for me throughout the program (Aug. 12-16) as we explore the bounds of our faith, make new relationships, learn new things and open our souls to God's presence. Knowing that you are praying for us (and for me) will be a great blessing. So, stay tuned and I'll keep you posted as best I can. Blessings!

Back at it

This week sees three baptisms at St. George's, something I always look forward to. HERE is the link to my sermon for this week. I've posted it in text format at present and the audio will be up shortly. Your comments and feedback are valuable to me.

Another Special Guest Preacher

This week we were blessed with the presence of Cydney Proctor who recently attended the Ask & Imagine May Program for Young Adults. I am headed back to the High School form of this program later this month and wanted the church family to hear what sort of things I'll be getting up to from someone under the age of 40. HERE is the link to the audio of her fine sermon.