Look Ma I got a tattoo!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Well, sort of. 

The other day I found a box of Shakespeare tattoos I had bought in Denver one summer when I was there for meetings. So last night I got one out and after my shower I applied the temporary tattoo to my right arm. I impressed Lauralea because I’m a bad boy now.

“Brevity is the soul of wit” it says. 

I know I know, that’s not a very pastoral thing to say. It’s true I know few preachers who can keep it short and sweet. Most of us do tend to go on a bit. Or at least we can if the needs arise.

Funny, I just realized I should’ve shown it at the town ministerial I went to at noon today. I wonder teasingly if they would’ve been more offended that I got a tattoo, or by what it says. :)

I have been hearing from some people that having preaching done online by video sure makes it easier to turn the preacher off when you’ve had enough. It does seem to be happening out there. So I challenge my preacher friends, how is our preaching going to change as a result of this season?

If there are lessons we can learn, perhaps we should.

What I've been doing with my time

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Well, they didn't teach us this in College. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Being a pastor in this time of pandemic is a bit like being a shepherd without having a flock of sheep. Or maybe better yet, pastoring the flock from one field away. :(

Most churches have moved online as have we scatteredbutgathered.com but one of the ways I daily try to connect with the people is through short prayer videos like these. thefieldpastor.com

The levels of work required to climb the learning curve have been great and most pastors are working full out to try to provide spiritual care for their people.

So I haven't really been home here lately, but I do think of you often, dear reader.

This is me checking in and reminding myself that this is home. I do miss it. 
But if you want a daily sprinkling of my face, (I know I know, a face for radio) you can always drop in at the above link.

Keep taking care out there.


Are these not the best looking buns ever?

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Under the category of “ask and you shall receive,” I asked for cinnamon buns and she made them. They are beauties indeed. And taste as good as they look.

I think she’s been stepping up her cooking game lately. She’s always been a great cook and an awesome baker. She’s come a long way from her hard buns when we first were married. :)

We’ve been eating well during this forced stay at home patch. I think she’s doing it to keep up morale. It’s been flagging as of late. A sort of sadness comes and goes in waves it seems. Grieving the loss of ways of living that may never come back. Loss of travel to see kids. Loss of summer plans. Even illness of friends and acquaintances. It’s all in there.

Grief is real and maybe you are feeling it too in some unexpected ways. It’s good to just acknowledge it and let it be for a bit.

After all, what’s the saying, starve a cold, feed a pandemic?

Be safe.

This Girl

Saturday, April 18, 2020

This girl, in the deep ways that matter, was always so different from me.

She lived life fully, without much reservation. She teased and laughed and liked the snow and the wind. She would throw snow at my face and sing broadway hits without warning.

I was the rock, difficult to move. She was lightness and love. Her sense of freedom against my sense of duty. Her invitation to grace against my rule of law.

She said I was the anchor she needed. But I knew she was the joy my heaviness required to even have half a chance at a good life. And it’s been a very good life indeed.

This picture of a picture was from back in college, and says so much about her.

April 18th will forever be stuck in my mind and my heart. It was on that day 37 years ago on a dirt road way up in northern Alberta, she agreed to date me.

And the rest, as they say, is history.
But what a blessed history indeed.

These Are Challenging Times

Monday, April 13, 2020

In once sense these past four weeks have gone quickly, yet in other ways, boy they have been dragging on.

I'm surprised at how the work hours have increased, but that seems to be the standard fare hearing from other pastors. Trying to learn quickly how to care for their people from a distance. Trying to learn new ways to engage the people with teaching, let alone the new ways to worship.  Then there are those who are expected to live-stream a service from the empty church with no support or aid.  I'm trying to keep it simple and I'm still putting in many more hours.

It's been such an interesting time. Thinking through what worship, and gathering around the scriptures really means. What is community, really. Can you have that community by Zoom or YouTube. I'm not sure.

These could be days when the whole direction and processes of the church are renewed. Preaching, teaching, worshipping, communing. Less and less can I see us just returning to the same old same old sort of worship. The crowds will be different, the expectations different.

Anyway, I sure do miss the people. I realize these days how much they are in my heart.

And most of my online work is going into other efforts for the time being.

scatteredbutgathered.com is the regularly updated blog of news and updates from the church. And www.malmochurch.ca/scattered-but-worshiping-together/ is the page with links to our worship gatherings and activities.

These days have not surprised God or caught him unaware. That gives me comfort.
I am curious to see how He makes good come from days such as these. As He will.


Scattered but Worshipping Together

Sunday, March 22, 2020

So, yes I am a pastor. I care for a church of people and each Sunday for 127 years there has been prayer happening here in this Field, barring bad weather or the occasional single Sunday away. I still don't know what happened here during the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920, though I'm looking though old minutes. But I don't think they closed the doors then. But for this pandemic our doors are closed for who know how long.

So how do we provide some sense of community and corporate worship and prayer experience for the people who normally worship here. Many churches are internet streaming empty sanctuaries with preachers preaching from the front. That's fine for them. But we figure we're not really streaming people. For some they would have difficulty making it work, for others, they don't even have the internet in their homes yet.

So we settled on the idea of Scattered but Worshipping Together. We prepared a sheet of prayers and scripture readings along with a short devotional. At 11 am on Sunday, families, couples and individuals throughout the area gathered in their homes to worship "Together." Early reviews report that it was a significant time for people. This may not end up being a season of lack, but a season of abundance, as people worship together in ways maybe they've never experienced before.

Its the community people miss the most. Connection and community is a big part of our long history. I hope we don't have to do this for an extended period of time but it remains to be seen how long this will go.

I am comforted by the fact that none of this is a surprise to God. Christ has been the head of his church for over 2000 years and has seen it through some pretty dark days. He did warn us that in this world we would have troubles.

Boy, was he right

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