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Recently, folks across the region of the denomination that I will be ordained into in a couple of months were asked the question:  “What do you understand your parish’s  goals/priorities to be at this time?”

If you scan their responses (I’ve pasted them to the end of this post), you’ll notice that almost all of the answers are about 1) buildings 2) fiscal debt or 3) scarcity of people.

At a recent gathering of the same denomination, the numbers person reported on the numerical health of those same parishes.  I can summarize her report by two words: decline and deficit  (you can watch the report here starting at about the 4 hour 26 minute mark until 4: 32 if you don’t believe me).

On the surface, this is not good news. Read the rest of this entry »

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At a recent church meeting, a colleague noted that in Europe the Churches are empty, but the pilgrimage sites are filled to overflowing.

I’ve just come off of the West Coast Trail – 75km of God’s best hiking – an epic, remote, rugged coastline walk that runs from Bamfield to Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The trip was a pilgrimage of sorts for me – in part to mark the start of my 40th year on this planet. Nine of us brave souls spent six days walking and building community together.

As I think back to my last week, there were many kinds of markers along the way.

Read the rest of this entry »

A response to Grant McKenzie

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Ina recent issue of Monday magazine (a weekly news and entertainment mag here in Victoria), editor Grant McKenzie decided to take a bit of a stab at organized religion.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is an article I wrote as a guest blogger on the Victoria Times-Colonist’s ‘spiritually speaking’ blog. (originally titled ‘Spirituality in Tension’) – which explores spiritual themes which have local interest.  Thanks to Christopher Page for offering me this guest spot.

 

2013 marks the twentieth anniversary of my first visit to Vancouver Island.  As a wide-eyed 19 from Ontario, I took in the sights and sounds of this amazing city based out of a lively hippie house in Fernwood.  I camped at Mystic Beach – dancing and drumming with fellow Caucasian hippies who chanted Hindu chants around a blazing campfire. I also experienced the warm hospitality of squatters (since evicted, I’m told) who served one of my most memorable vegan meals: chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms with fresh wild herb sauce; all culled from the land around the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

I waited patiently for the Lord. - Psalm 40

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