Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here Safely

I made it here safely. Karen and Len are still on their way.

Just to underscore the identity conflict, the Oakland A's are playing the Toronto Blue Jays on TSN.

I'm wondering who should I be cheering for. Am I a Canadian? Then Jays, of course. But my heart for baseball burned most brightly in the East Bay, making the A's a natural choice.

Maybe I'll just cheer for whoever is winning.

In that case, go A's!

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Somewhere Near the 49th Parallel North

As we were packing up all our things, I began to collect all the certificates and documents I’ve collected during my time in California. I have a diploma saying I completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, another calling me a Master of Divinity, one saying that I was ordained a deacon, another calling me a Master of Arts, then one saying that I was ordained a priest, and finally one saying that I completed a full year-long residency of Clinical Pastoral Education.

This brought the past five years into some focus. Not only can I dress my walls with all sorts of fancy looking papers, but I leave California looking different myself. I can wear a hood at the evening office, wear a clerical collar, for a while I wore the deacon’s stole, now I wear my stole straight. I wear a chasuble. I can even look confident in a hospital, like I might even know what I’m doing there.

The internals are a lot less tangible. What does it mean to have served at an altar regularly for this long? To have preached that many sermons? What does it mean to have grown in knowledge of the Church and her people? To have gathered pastoral wisdom, confidence, and a few blunders? Have I grown in the faith, and in hope? In charity?

How has the West Coast changed me? This one is the most difficult to feel and see. The place I leave has its own way of being, its own subtle and explicit customs of language and behavior. Some of them are good, and I hope that I carry with me the optimism of California, the willingness to experiment, the ability to try all things new. Some customs I hope I don’t carry with me, like the subtle judgments, it’s coercive social programs, its ability to exclude for the sake of inclusion.

I hope it has all been for the best, I hope it has prepared me to serve. I hope certainly hope it’s been about more than the clothes, the calligraphy, and the parchment.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Almost Gone

I got a wicked head cold last weekend, just in time to interfere with packing as much as possible. I picked up Len, my father-in-law, on Wednesday. I had my final day at the Med Center on Friday. And today, we said goodbye to St. Martin's. Len and Karen are off picking up the U-Haul as I write, finally giving me a minute amidst the crazy packing to give a short update!

Karen and Len are driving to Winnipeg starting tomorrow. I will be flying, landing in Winnipeg at about 9:30pm tomorrow, arriving about three days ahead of them. (I won't be much help with the driving anyway. That, combined with my need for rest, led Karen to graciously let me off the hook.)

If you have a minute, pray for us all while we travel.

I begin at St. Mary Magdalene's on the 1st of September, though my first Sunday presiding and preaching will be the 10th - the vestry was also gracious enough to give me a little more time to rest. We will celebrate this new ministry at 7:30pm, at St. Mary Magdalene's (3 St. Vital Road) on the 17th.

I look forward to seeing all my Winnipegger friends again, even as I'm sad to leave so many friends here in California. A fond farewell to those I leave, and hello again to old friends. Bittersweet, I suppose.

Goodbye, California.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Beer Blessing

In Latin, no less:

Beer Blessing
From the Rituale Romanum (no 58)

Bene dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi: et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti, ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corporis, et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen

Bless, O Lord, this creature beer, that Thou hast been pleased to bring forth from the sweetness of the grain: that it might be a salutary remedy for the human race: and grant by the invocation of Thy holy name, that, whosoever drinks of it may obtain health of body and a sure safeguard for the soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I usually just say "cheers for Jesus." But this is way, way, cooler.