27 Mar

Rumblings from the Rectory

This morning we begin the final journey into Jerusalem. We are approaching the most important part of the entire Christian year. While all the hoopla seems to be around the Christmas event, people tend to forget that the real reason for Christmas is to prepare us for Easter. Palm Sunday is the lead up to Easter, the time when Jesus faces the truth about his mission. This morning we welcome him into the city, waving palm branches, throwing down our cloaks so that his way is not sullied by the dirt of the world. Children are cheering, the streets are crowded for the parade. It’s too bad there is no brass band or pipes and drums, or even some floats and clowns. Instead there is only a man on a donkey, followed by a motley band of disciples. The man knows he is riding to his death, and yet he manages to smile and wave at the cheering crowd. It’s a day of celebration, and yet we know it is also a day of mourning, the end of the journey.
As we enter into Holy Week, as we walk through these last few days of Christ’s earthly life, I encourage each of us to take a good look at our own lives, and see where we fit into this journey. Are we part of the cheering crowd, welcoming Jesus into our lives and into our city? Are we easily swayed by the rest of the crowd as they turn into a mob screaming for his death? Are we like the disciples, ready to scatter when times get rough? Are we like Peter, promising to be true and yet denying Christ when it becomes inconvenient to be a disciple?Or are we like Judas, not understanding Jesus’ true mission, and so ready to betray him when he becomes an inconvenience?
This final story, the Passion of Christ, is a parable that we hear each year, a message for how we should live our lives. I encourage all of our congregation to join together for the final walk with Christ towards the cross. On Thursday we participate in Christ’s final meal with his disciples. On Friday we once again re-enact the horror of the Crucifixion, and on Saturday tell the stories and sing the songs as we await his glorious resurrection. And of course, we look forward to seeing you all as we celebrate that special event on Easter Sunday morning.

10 Oct


Itadakimasu  (Eee tah dah key maaahs)
No, I haven’t lost the rest of my mind and started typing gibberish.  Colleen and I have friends in Virginia that we enjoy visiting whenever possible, and their son was in Japan, and brought home this short prayer.   In brief, it means “Thanks for the feast”,  and in Japan it is prayed together before every meal, with the palms of the hands held together and the head slightly bowed.  While it may be construed as a religious prayer by those who are Christian, it is in fact giving thanks for all aspects of the meal.  It is a way of saying thanks to the cook for preparing the meal.  It is a means of saying thank you to the hosts if you are guests in someone else’s house.  It is thanks for all aspects of the meal; the gardener who grew the potatoes, the turkey for giving up its life so that we could have a meal, the dish washer for ensuring that we have clean dishes from which to eat.  And, as a Christian, to God for all the benefits that we have received at God’s hand.  (a little bit of Anthropomorphism here, assuming that God has hands)
Living in Canada, we have a great deal to be thankful for, and I pray that we all continue to realize that fact and not take it for granted.  As other areas of the world continue to struggle with war and disease, the evil of ISISand the ebola plague, we really are fortunate.
On this thanksgiving weekend, I pray that each member of our congregation will take a look around our community, and reach out to those who are less fortunate than we are.  I pray that you will remember others who have needs in your prayers, and with your generosity.  Sadly, not all Canadians have the same advantages and opportunities, and it is our responsibility as Christians to reach out to those in need as we give thanks for all that we have been given.
May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving this weekend.
megwich kchi manitou (Ojibway for Thank you, Great God)

24 Jun

rumblings from the rectory

Well, did you phone someone from your past this week?  I don’t just write these rumblings for the good of my health, you know.  I truly hope that when you read them you take them to heart. (except of course the whimsical flights of fantasy that I occasionally stick in just to see if anyone is actually reading the rumblings.)    Speaking of old friends and people that you may have lost touch with over the years, some of them are right here in Dryden, not even a phone call away.  In the time that I have been here, a short almost three years, I have celebrated funeral services for twenty-five members of our community, most of whom were Anglicans who were active members of our congregation.  I don’t need to list them, as many of you can remember who they are.  Most of them left family behind in the community, some of whom are still grieving their loss.  Grief can take many forms, and there is no timeline or deadline (no pun intended) for the grieving process.  Every one deals with death in different ways.  People who have never gone through it or who don’t understand the process sometimes have the attitude “Get over it”, or “suck it up, these things happen.”  Many of those who are grieving would love to “get over it”, but in the meantime the process continues.  YOU CAN HELP.  You don’t need to be minister or a counsellor to help others through their losses.  A phone call, better yet a visit, or even something as impersonal as an email can make a difference to someone who has lost a family member or a friend.  Don’t know what to say?  Afraid of opening wounds or floodgates?   One of Jesus’ most common sayings is “don’t be afraid”.   You don’t need to talk, you need to listen.  We call ourselves a “Christian Community”, and one of the roles of a Christian Community is to look after our members.  Jesus calls us to “care for the widows and the orphans”.  PICK UP THE PHONE.  CALL SOMEONE TODAY.  LET SOMEONE KNOW THAT YOU CARE.  Yes, I am yelling.  Being a member of this congregation means much more than just showing up in church on Sunday mornings.  It means taking responsibility for the well-being of our members, no matter who they are. Take this opportunity to show your Christian love for your friends and neighbours.