Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It was a busy intense week
time-wise and emotionally.
Grateful for those looking out for us and them we love.
Flying standby can be stressful.
Air travel is costly, even if it's relatively cheep.
Skyscrapers and landmarks - the world away was familiar.
So much more, but happy for what was.
A wicked detour and off to Carolina in the morning.
Surprisingly low key and non-musical at first.
But soon, the five elements were everywhere.
Building relationships and houses.
And music from so much talent.
Spirit, opened my heart!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As I sit at the Calgary Airport, waiting to head to the US for a week of study leave, I am conscious of what a privilege it is to be able to do what I do. The other day, I was mentioning to some people I know outside of church circles that I had this study time coming up. The response was: "must be nice!" It is. I am grateful to serve a vocation that values life long learning; that believes in rejuvenation and rest as part of the learning process.

I know that I can become a better minister as I take advantage of opportunities to challenge my heart, mind and soul.

Thanks be to God. Now it's time to board!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Sometimes, there aren't enough hours in the day,
or enough dextrose in the tank.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


On Sunday, I preached about the over-arching love of God:


The text was the passage in John 13:31-35: Love one another, as I have loved you. I keyed in on the unconditional nature of this love. I further proposed that the prominent orthodoxy that says that we must see God's love as "conditional" on our need to have Jesus absolve our basic sinful nature was hard to reconcile with what I hear John's gospel saying.

It was a Communion Sunday; there were ten minutes of announcements, so I know that I couldn't say everything I wanted to say. Thank God for blogs.

Even though I believe in a God who love unconditionally and I believe in a world and creation that is "good" (cf. genesis 1:31), I also believe in "sin" and I think it is a major issue for people and for the church. I like the way sin is addressed in the United Church's A Song of Faith: A Statement of Faith of the United Church of Canada.

Made in the image of God,
we yearn for the fulfillment that is life in God.
Yet we choose to turn away from God.
We surrender ourselves to sin,
a disposition revealed in selfishness, cowardice, or apathy.
Becoming bound and complacent
in a web of false desires and wrong choices,
we bring harm to ourselves and others.
This brokenness in human life and community
is an outcome of sin.
Sin is not only personal
but accumulates
to become habitual and systemic forms
of injustice, violence, and hatred.
We are all touched by this brokenness:
the rise of selfish individualism
that erodes human solidarity;
the concentration of wealth and power
without regard for the needs of all;
the toxins of religious and ethnic bigotry;
the degradation of the blessedness of human bodies
and human passions through sexual exploitation;
the delusion of unchecked progress and limitless growth
that threatens our home, the earth;
the covert despair that lulls many into numb complicity
with empires and systems of domination.
We sing lament and repentance.

John quotes Jesus: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

To not love what Jesus loves could be called "sin". To not love the world, as God so loves the world could be called "sin". "Sin" is a choice to be guided by selfishness or hatred or indifference and not by the love that is the heart of the universe. And sin deserves our attention, individually and corporately.

Where I have problems with the orthodoxy is the theology that God chooses not to love us because of sin. I hope and pray that in our sinfulness, God loves us that much more. That's "grace". As A Song of Faith puts it:

Yet evil does not—cannot—
undermine or overcome the love of God.
God forgives,
and calls all of us to confess our fears and failings
with honesty and humility.
God reconciles,
and calls us to repent the part we have played
in damaging our world, ourselves, and each other.
God transforms,
and calls us to protect the vulnerable,
to pray for deliverance from evil,
to work with God for the healing of the world,
that all might have abundant life.We sing of grace.

In the end, we should all be able to agree with Jesus: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another".