Saturday, October 28, 2006

Two Hints

Inside the white envelope was a yellow envelope. The yellow envelope had a possession date and an address on it. And inside the yellow envelope:


Friday, October 20, 2006

First Snow

We had our first snowfall a couple of days ago. There was something comforting about it, but in a strange way. It felt both exotic and familiar at the same time.

When people learn that I am moving back to Winnipeg from California, the response is often quizzical. Finally a young woman at the Tim Hortons said what I think was on everybody else's mind when they heard about our move. "What in the world did you do that for?" she blurted.

Her response was a very Winnipeg kind of response. Aside from the fact that we were in Tim Horton's, her response was honest, and there was no anxiety about our feelings. The truth is, and this is something great about Winnipeg, is that people are comfortable saying what they think. There is no perceived threat in saying something truthfully and straghtforwardly.

This difference in attitude has come up a number of times in conversation, and a few people have noted that relationships here in the northlands may just be that much more resilient because of the harshness of the climate. It is almost as if the cold weather gives us an ability to live with others regardless of their particular peculiarities. We're going to have to tough things out together anyway, so why worry about minor offense?

The result of this relational resiliency, as I see it, is a much richer texture to conversation and friendship. So, if living here cultivates the attitude of "we can work it out," and that means that people reveal more about themselves, and their thoughts, without worrying about small offenses -

I'm all for the snow.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


We had a Celebration of New Ministry here at St. Mary Magdalene about a month ago. I said some vows in my office in the presence of the wardens and the bishop before the service began (the only one that included "so help me God" was the one where I swear obedience to the bishop. Hmmmm.) A good friend preached an excellent sermon, and the bishop read the letter to the parish making me the incumbent. I was also presented with some symbols of my ministry, such as keys, a Bible, canons, water, bread, and wine. A joyous celebration, and many friends were there along with members of the parish.

All went very well until the passing of the peace. Nothing went wrong when we passed the peace, but a man from the back approached me. He looked familiar. But when he said "peace be with you, father," I nearly fell out of my chair - it was a friend from seminary, who happens to live in *Alaska*, who just happened to be at the service.

As it turns out, Dick was on his way through Winnipeg from Alaska to Maine, where he is starting a new ministry.

So I did the Anglican thing, and had him over for Scotch after the service, we caught up, and he was off on his way the next morning.

It's hard to believe, really. It all happened so quickly. But here it is - the evidence. Dick gets first prize. He was the first friend to see me in action here at St. Mary Magdalene, and I've got the picture to prove it.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Slowly Moving In

Here I am in my new office at the church - trying to look pensive. As you can see if you look closely, I'm still moving in. Books are on chairs and my walls are bare.

It has been a whirlwind so far. I knew the learning curve would be steep, but knowing something and experiencing it are two different things completely. Life is settling down a little, giving me at least a minute to show off my new church digs (and to play a little with my new iMac!)

Karen and I are bidding on a house today in Norwood Flats, not too near the church, but not too far, either. Karen fell in love with it when she saw it, I fell in love with it just from the pictures. We saw it together the other day, and we fell even more deeply in love with it. We are praying that the right thing happens, whether we are out-bid, or our bid is accepted.

I have a meeting in a minute, so this is all for now. Back to work!

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