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Showing posts from June, 2020

The Sound of the Bell

Our Board met the other night to discuss what some next steps might look like for our church. One of the team members hosted the meeting at her home, so we were able to sit out on the deck and enjoy a perfectly comfortable spring night. There were a couple of important items for us to talk through, but as the case has been for the past six months, we all knew what we would spend most of our time talking about. One of the items I put on our meeting agenda was “Silent May.” Everyone liked the phrase and we joked about making it an annual tradition to set aside a month where we wouldn’t talk about any heavy issues. But more than liking the name, the rest of the team each reflected on how they had a similar experience to myself, finding deep value in taking a break from this intense conversation. 
(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)
There is just something about giving you…

Re-Entry

June 7, 2018. The cone of silence has been lifted. I’ve had one month with no conversation with anyone from our church about the theme of same-sex attraction, and really, I haven’t had much conversation with people outside of our church, either. When someone on our Board first suggested I take a break, I knew that I needed one, but at the time I didn’t realize just how much.

The month of May is always the most challenging month of the year for our family. Our three teenage children all play travel baseball, so as soon as the calendar flips, our lives become a whirlwind of activity that eats up just about every evening and weekend for a four month stretch that ends on Labour Day. Case in point: over the last two weeks of May this year, our kids played a total of thirty baseball games—that’s right, thirty! The schedule doesn’t really start slowing down at all until the end of July, but the reason May is such a challenge is that we’re not used to it. We go from having sit-down family din…

Whale Watching

May 12, 2018. Last week, Melissa and I hopped on a plane and flew across the country to attend our denomination’s General Conference in the beautiful city of Victoria, British Columbia. When we were first married, we travelled to Canada’s westernmost province three times in a four year span—each time to attend a wedding—but it has been fifteen years since we last made the cross-country trek together and it couldn’t have come at a better time. What an incredible part of the world! As we walked around exploring the city, I found myself wondering, Why does anyone live anywhere else? 

(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)

Instead of staying at the conference hotel, Melissa found us a rental apartment through Airbnb, which is something we’ve been doing for years now in order to have a more unique experience of the places we visit. The apartment was only a block from the harb…

Dancing Through Thistles in Bare Feet

Today is May 4, 2018. Last week, I got in the car and drove for two hours to meet with a retired pastoral couple who, more than a decade ago, walked down a path similar to the one I’m currently on. I came across their story in the book, Dancing Through Thistles in Bare Feet, a short memoir written by Gary Harder, who was pastoring a Mennonite church in Toronto when his associate pastor told him that she was a lesbian. Her announcement led to a year-and-a-half long discernment process by the church, culminating in a decision that the congregation would seek to be more open and welcoming to LGBTQ individuals, but would not allow them to serve in a staff capacity.

(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)

Even as I write that, I feel like I’m dishonouring their process, as I’m learning first hand just how complicated and nuanced these things actually are; how many gruelling ho…

The Talking Stick

Last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with our church’s high school students during their Friday night gathering. It’s been three months since Eric shared his story with the Youth, and since then, there hasn’t been an opportunity for them to talk about what our church is walking through as a whole group. Conversations have come up, of course—on a retreat weekend, on the trip some of them took to Northern Ontario, and no doubt in other informal contexts—but we wanted to create an intentional space for them to share some of the thoughts and feelings that were swirling around in their minds and hearts with the group as a whole.

(Note: This post is part of an ongoing series called The View From Here. Please follow this link and start reading at the oldest post, Fear and Trembling.)

We met in the Youth Room, which as you might have guessed, is in the basement of the church. In the time since we began sharing space with the Lutheran congregation that owns the building, this space has s…