Archive for March, 2017

Rural Church ministry

Friday, March 31st, 2017

I’ve spent the last few days doing a venture of over 1100 km to touch base with others about rural church ministry.

This is not my usual posting – more an expression of the fun I’ve had!

Imagine meeting people with a passion the same as mine – that rural areas receive the same pastoral care as anywhere else. 

Imagine discussing how rural churches have much to pass on to other churches.  The relational approach meets our hearts and lives!

Imagine hearing others affirm an impossibility as possible. 

There is much work to come – to even approach a viable rural ministry center.  And that excites me.

This is not about grieving over hurts from being overlooked.  This is all about finding the great strengths that come in rural church ministry.  And humbly offering those treasures to others around the world.

A different day and age!

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

November 6, 1973 should be a date you remember!

That was the day that the official minutes of the 5th Day Adventists outlined the new movement that was beginning (and died as quickly as it started!!).

Some late (and some were often literally late all the time) teens were in a jovial mood.  The more they ventured into the hilarious, the more their discussion generated into degeneration.

To safeguard the innocent (or not so innocent), no names will be mentioned, but I do have the original document.

Here are a few choice (and they are my choice) pieces from the document:

Minutes of the meeting held of Nov. 6, 1973

Present:  [Names withheld to see if you can figure this out!]

I.  Some of the doctrine was discussed:

1) Thursday as a holiday . . .

3) Truth as found in grass [an aside here – this would be related to Nebuchadnezzar approach to grass??]

4) Women are the root of all evil . . .

II. Ways of raising money were considered:

1) Initiation fees

2) Selling of indulgences

3) Government grants

4) Local initiative grant (or LIP)

The meeting was then adjourned when the treasurer decided she was leaving!!

Signed . . .

I love the idealism, cynicism, freshness, naivite, truth seeking,  literary and political allusions, and stupidity of youth!!

On the imminent passing

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

A friend of mine is on temporary life support.  He collapsed while playing hockey and sustained some injuries.  The official statement of the finality of his life is expected soon.

Eric Greenway was a friend, colleague, mentor and fellow churchman.  His children were the ages of my children.  His love for writing was an inspiration to me as I took up writing.  His quiet spirit was a cloak of righteousness for the right and the just and the true.  He loved and was loved by others.

The excruciating decision to release a life is truly difficult.  Twice I have been placed in such a situation, and there is nothing easy or comfortable about the decision.  For all the reasonableness and quick calculation that must take place, the finality is final.  Blessings on his family at this time.

Each day is a gift.  Use your gifts to love God and love others with a fierceness that cannot be tamed! 

Thanks for your life, Eric! 

In search of a definition

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

I’m working on helping to start a Rural Church Ministries Center – along with a training track for rural church ministry. 

Here are some thoughts about how we might define a rural church.  This is just a start. 

How would you define a rural church?

My own observation of those who use the label rural church would include the following:

  • People matter – service oriented, local connection, mentoring, one-on-one, cooperation.

  • Change a life – transformation is the goal, flourishing is the economics of the church, world changing starts with one person at a time.

  • Small is still beautiful – numbers do not determine success, beauty is enhanced not crafted, unique is admirable.

  • Conviction trumps culture – doing the right is more important than applause, an uncompromising culture of Christian love is vital.

The Lent of status quo

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

I am a person of more than one idea – per minute!!  After many years of various activities and involvements, the ideas seem to come even faster!

Retirement has meant that many of the usual restraints on my time have been “dismissed”.  Except that now I am busier than ever.  I tend to venture further into my explorations of possibilities.

I think a regular job is a joy – in the sense that you have a focused time of attention that allows you to get “something” done.  The focus most often comes from a boss, or a deadline, or the time clock.  Some of my best times were spent in studies at post-secondary schools.   You knew when you had accomplished what was required, and there is real satisfaction in this.

Entering Lent this year, I sought assistance from God.  A still, small voice seemed to say – just do what you are doing.  For most people that is status quo. 

For me, that is plenty.  The activities I am involved in are always turning to new ventures.  The more new ventures, the less likely I am to finish well those adventures that I began a while ago.

So, Lent for me this year is not about giving up things that I’m currently involved in, but giving up those things that I could be involved in.  Maybe that will give me a bit more time to spend with God!