Category Archives: Ministry

Help Needed – With Love

Sometimes it is so obvious that God is moving that it is almost frightening. It is sort of like being invited into an event that is already orchestrated, being told where to stand, what to do. It is evident that what is happening is not being done on my own initiative.  At the same time my role seems to be vital to the event. Although the opening of the outreach centre for Gateway is still pending, waiting for the nod from the health board, it seems as if this is going to happen. It makes me wonder, “Why me, God? I am not really the best qualified person for a job like this. Don’t you think a social worker or an addictions worker would be better equipped?” Maybe it is because I am available and can see the needs. Maybe God just wants to show up in ways that are definitely not dependant on my adequacy for the job. I know already that I will have to rely on the wisdom and grace of God to run this drop in centre. I want it to be a place where some of the neediest in our city will encounter the love of Christ. But that is in itself a huge responsibility and necessitates my reliance on God for help. Which in turn means that I have to spend time with God listening to God. Already there are demands on my time that encroach on that time so I need to make it one of my highest priorities.

One of the realities of helping people, of loving them enough to want to help them, is that they make demands on my time – rides, a need to talk, sick people to visit, financial help needed, driver’s lesson practice. I think these are tasks I have been called to help with. Of course I can’t take care of everyone’s needs so I need discernment and wisdom on what to do. I think that setting appropriate boundaries is going to be a challenge – setting boundaries on what I can do without setting boundaries on the love of God that I reflect. I suppose part of this will be directing these folk to agencies and other people who want to step in and help too. It was a good reminder reading the account of Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18 that others need to be enlisted to help.

So, God, give me wisdom and an ability to discern where to use my time and resources and lots of love for the people I will meet and send others also gifted with love to join me in this work.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Ministry, Reflections, The Gate

A Brief Appearance

I think I am back in this space because it seems a more appropriate space than Facebook.  Facebook would be Ok since what I will say won’t be long and maybe not terribly profound except to those who know how to read between my lines.

I have been up in Edmonton leading in a small retreat for the women of Sanctuary Covenant Church – Friday evening through tonight.  No sleepovers.  Just meeting at the house; Sanctuary Place.  Sharing in study and meals. Together in the presence of God, listening to him as we shared stories and considered how we could draw closer to God and to each other, how we could deepen our relationships so that we could also help those hovering on the peripheries of the circle join us in our journey deeper into God.  (Thanks Randall for reminding me of the great way a wheel can be useful to illustrate this)

And for me it was a weekend of experiencing the presence of God.  God the creator of words was there as we shared and he was sufficient – well, actually way more than sufficient.  Exodus 4:10-12. 

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Filed under church, Ministry, Reflections, Theology

Another turn around the loop

Every day of this new gig of mine up in Edmonton feels as if it is another loop of a high speed roller coaster ride.  I step into the seat and strap myself in as I leave PA. That first day of five and a half hours of travel is just the warm up.  At this point there is just me and my bags in the seat.  But the next day we pick up speed and hit the top of the next loop by noon.  From that dizzying height we start on the really wild part of the ride and by the time we hit bottom at full speed I am wondering if I will survive the pace. 

Today the loop was smaller.  I had a traveller with me for the uphill ride this morning, another joined me in the afternoon and the rest of the day was mostly a breeze.  Getting an order of service ready seemed pretty tame. 

Tomorrow we head around another loop in this three week ride.  A long loop anticipated and the speeds may exceed that of Monday.  No, maybe nothing can beat that.

Its good.  Its exhausting.  It seems as if God shows up around every bend in his incredible ways. 

Now, if I didn’t have a long paper and a final exam looming in the next few weeks it would be perfect.

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Filed under church, Ministry, Studying

Life is good

Here I am in the “great”city of Winnipeg enjoying the weather.  It is actually a couple of degrees warmer than PA was when I left and they don’t have the beauty of our snow either.  So far the boots have been unnecessary. (In winter, I think the baggage allowance on airlines should increase – it takes a lot of room to pack along boots,winter coats, scarves and mitts.)

The Church planter conference that I am at – re:CALL – is as good as I expected.  Maybe better.  You can check out what is going on here.   I’ve been to workshops by Karen Wilk: Learning to Live in the Neighbourhood for Transformation and Shari Russell: First Nations and today I think I will attend the one by Christine Pohl: Recovering Hospitality as Christian Tradition.  Good stuff.

It been a really busy couple of days.  All the Covenant folks kind of hang out together too and that is great.  I do sort of feel a bit like the grandmother to this group – not that they make me feel old or anything.  It is really great to be with so many young leaders of the church.  Getting together with Marc and Dixie, LT(well he’s not Cov. but we like him) new folks from Ontario as well as the Winnipeg gang and other pastors from across Canada is always fun.  Jamie obligingly signed a copy of his book, The Cost of Community which I brought along  for that very reason.  I just wish I had more time to read the fun stuff they were selling on the table outside the meeting place!

I am anticipating enjoying the rest of my week as well.  I will be in ECCC board meetings for the next few days, then a committee meeting Saturday, will worship with the folks at Faith Covenant Sunday morning, at Little Flowers Sunday evening, run out to Otterburne to get the inside story on the trailer life of a seminary student.  I have to find some time to shop for a gift for my 4 year old grandaughter too since I miss her big party on Saturday.  In between all, I have to keep up with my class and start work on my exegesis paper. 

Life is good.  No shortage of things to do.

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Filed under Books and Articles, church, grandchildren, Ministry, Studying, Travels

Whew!

This week is crammed with stuff to get done. 

Half way there. 

So far: Sunday – the usual worship practice church and Sunday School class.
Monday – Halloween.  Took Nan for his road test and YEAH he got his licence!  The evening was spent getting up and down and going to the door to hand out treats, then back to the computer to finish posting for my class.
Tuesday – Grandson’s 6th birthday.  No party this day but I did cram in a shopping trip to pick up his Wii.  Then worship practice following a full day of Bread ministry, staff meeting, school volunteering and choosing some songs for Sunday.  I am the leader this week.  Prep for the Kids Klub craft.
Wednesday – a meeting and lunch for the School Dental Programme with the Saskatoon program in Rosthern, prep for kids Klub, hair appointment, then Kids Klub itself.  Got home, took out the garbage and here I am at the computer trying to think worshipful thoughts and put together Sunday’s service. 

The rest of the week won’t be less busy I’m afraid.  Work at the dental office tomorrow and Friday.  Soup on Saturday and I will be helping make soup.  Somewhere in here I am supposed to be studying, reading on Ephesians and Colossians and thinking some thoughtful thoughts on those two books. 

I wish I could say that next week will be better.   But Monday is already full of chores to do plus the delayed Birthday party.

Meanwhile, I carry on.

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Filed under church, Day to Day, Family, grandchildren, Ministry, Studying, Worship events

I’m a small fish, really

Tonight I took a leap into the dark.  At least that is what it feels like.  I became president of a board.  I’ve never thought of myself as president material.  I’m more comfortable  being just a worker drone – doing what needs to get done, anything I can do to help. Not a leader.

Please not “the leader.”

But it seems to be. 

At least it is a board I am passionate about being on.

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Here is a little blurb from a promotional publication: “We seek to alleviate the hardships of homelessness and poverty and reduce the numbers of those who struggle in these hardships.”

Someone wise told me that if Christ is with us in any endeavour, we can do it.  So that is who I am counting on. 

And maybe that is a cry for help but that’s OK I think.

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Filed under "Fresh Start", Ministry