Some of you have been asking, so it's probably time to let you in on the place we are heading for the beginning of November.
It's in a field, located next to the Malmo Mission Covenant Church, which is about 20 minutes southeast of Wetaskiwin Alberta.
The manse where we will be living, is located next to the church, and near the cemetery, kind of beside the field. It certainly will be further from any neighbours than I have ever known in my life. And the Manse is only a couple of years old. We'll have to learn how to live with a well and a septic system and skunks and other vermin.
The church draws about half from the surrounding farms, acreages and homes, and half from town. A unique dynamic. They are good rural people who are connected to the land, so they know what it's capable of, good and bad, and they watch out for one another. Classic prairie people.
So life is taking a turn for us, and like I wrote earlier, I've pastored in Southern Ontario with many people, then in Winnipeg with lots of people, then in Prince Albert with a few thousand people. But who am I when I pastor a church in a field? My world seems to be continually getting smaller, or perhaps more focused. I am excited by that potential, to shepherd and pastor in a wide open space. I wonder how that shapes me, and who I become in this context.
I think your surroundings effect who you become. Think, living in a garbage dump in Manila, or in a mansion in Beverly Hills. The South side of Chicago, or Alaska. Even living in an area with four seasons compared to living in a place with one or two. We are shaped by our surroundings, and I am interested to see who I become, living in a field, in Alberta.
But enough of that. Here are a few images I uploaded to my flickr account and you can click on them to see them expanded.
The church building.
The inside of the church building.
The back yard.
Life in a field.