The last few days have been very eventful. I have not blogged for a couple of days so brace yourself this is a long one!
On Thursday Mom and Dad made the trek back to Newfoundland after a great visit of nearly three weeks. It was a crazy day. Their flight was from Toronto at noon which meant leaving here at 6:30 AM. I thought we were going to have to go back in time and have one of those morning sessions where Dad would have to wake me from my sleep. We got off on time and made it to Toronto in good order. What I had not counted on was driving through snow on the way back. This is mid October for heaven’s sakes. It was highly unusual.
We were sad to say goodbye to them. We always enjoy their visits and they seem to go by faster every year. They certainly enjoyed their trip and were overwhelmed as always at the great hospitality they received from everyone in the parish. In any event they arrived back home in good shape to their new bedroom which was rebuilt and decorated for them and all set for living. We have great family and I am so glad that they work so hard on that end to look after mom and dad’s needs.
In the meantime back here on the ranch, we had a busy weekend. Saturday I taught a workshop to the chancel guild on “Holy Hardware – a walk through church furnishings.” It may not sound exciting but my …..it was riveting. The participants we on the edge of their seats. (Which are moulded chairs – plastic circa 1993. These chairs have their history in church halls and are said to have been used by many important people over the years. Legend has it that at one time there were as many as 120 of these special “hall chairs.” The only accurate information we really have on this church furnishing, is that there are really 93 and that they were manufactured somewhere on the North American Continent). This task required some preparing and it was actually good for me to get back to reading some church history and I loved having an opportunity to “teach” again.
Today was “Bring a Friend” Sunday at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. This moveable feast day is focused on a very simple method of evangelism. Invite all parish members to invite a friend to church on the same Sunday morning. This is the third year that we have had this day and each year is a great success. There are parishioners here today who came for the first time three years ago when we did this. I would like to thank Janet Simpson, Bev Watson, Jane Cornett, Janet Forster, Alyce Sandie and Gloria Zeman for spending a couple of hours on Saturday assembling gift packages for the newcomers. We had a good number of visitors today and I was thrilled to have the chance to meet and talk to so many of them after church during coffee hour. It was great to see the parish disciple-ing. Not only did they invite their friends – they introduced them to others in the church and it was great to see so many people entering into each other’s stories over a coffee or a tea. Job well done folks. Once again you let your Priesthood shine.
Tomorrow is another day. I am exited about the many things to do t5o ready for important events in the life of our community. On the weekend we announced our Guest speaker of the 7th Annual Celebrity Steak BBQ and Auction. This year’s speaker will be Tony Doucette from CBC here in Windsor. Tony has a long career in broadcasting with many great stories to tell and we look forward to hearing him speak. (read more of Tony’s Bio. by clicking on his name)
You can hear Tony every Morning on The Early Shift and on Monday Mornings at 8:15 AM EST on 1550 AM you can hear me on air with Tony for Jumpstart Trivia (I am the quizmaster). If you do not live in Windsor and would like to listen online click CBC Windsor (and select you bandwidth) The Auction will be on November 17 at 6:30 PM. This is a great event – last year it raised over $20 000 for Refugee and Youth work in our parish. It is also an event which sells out early. Last year we sold 270 tickets. If you want to be there please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church office at email@example.com to order your tickets. It is a great event. In the past six years over $125 000 have been raised for the advancement of the Good News in this parish. This has been due to the hard work and dedication of so many parish volunteers and all who attend. Rob Agnew is the Auction Chair and will no doubt be excited to have the enthusiastic help of all who wish to lend a hand. We look forward to a great night.
Tuesday coming marks the visit of Bishop Bob Bennett to our Markus Committee. This committee has been working hard at finding ways to continue the growth that we have experienced in this parish. We all look forward to his visit and to the great conversation we can no doubt have on Tuesday evening. Markus which is a group of 10 has brought in about 32 others to engage in conversations about every aspect of this parish and how it has been impacted by our transitioning from a pastoral (100 -150) to a programme (150-200) parish. I cannot say enough about the dedication of those people to stay on task and to keep their eyes on the goal of presenting recommendations to Annual Vestry in January 2007. There have been some great ideas come forward that are being implemented already that are making day to day operation and growth much easier. It is good to be part of this exciting time of growth at St. Mark’s.
That being said – I need to rest for tomorrow. There is much to accomplish in the new day! I pray that God will give us all the courage to work to achieve God’s will. ( And I promise to Blog more often so these are not soooo Long!)
I go to bed with this prayer of Henri Nouwen:
Lord God, give me the courage
To be revolutionary as Your Son Jesus Christ was.
Give me the courage to loosen myself from this world.
Teach me to stand up free and to shun no criticism.
God, it is for Your kingdom.
Make me free, make me poor in this world.
Then I will be rich in the real world, which this life is all about.
God, thank You for the vision of the future,
But make it fact and not theory. Amen