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Showing posts from September, 2020

Shoulder Pads and Shin Guards

It's October 17, 2018, and it’s been just over a month since I last sat down to write. This is partly because the fall is always a busier-than-usual season in the life of a church, but it’s also a result of the fact that I actually haven’t been struggling to sleep lately. Pretty much everything I’ve written to this point has been during nocturnal writing sessions at the margins of my days, but today I have intentionally sat down to get caught up on our church’s story and how my own pastoral journey is moving along. (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 .) It’s early fall as I look out of our living room window, watching the leaves of our Autumn Blaze Maple tree doing exactly what their name suggests. Aside from the cascade of colours, it’s an otherwise dreary day, but weather aside, I’m about to begin a two day mini-retreat that I try to take each year at about t

One and the Same Place

It’s September 14, 2018. On this date twenty years ago, I officially began my pastoral journey with the launch of our student church at the University of Waterloo. There were months of preparation that went into our kick-off at the Humanities Theatre, but that night was when things really began. We tried to spread the word the best we could, which was quite a challenge in a world that was just dipping its toes in the internet and still several years away from the advent of social media. I was hoping and praying that God would draw 50 students out that night, not because numbers were the focus of what we were doing, but because the theatre we were meeting in had 675 seats and anything less than 50 people simply would have been embarrassing. In the end, 85 people walked through the doors and our church was born. I remember lying in bed late on that first Monday night and saying to Melissa, “I just thought of something: We have to do this again next week!”  (Note: This post is part of an

Turning the Page

September 4, 2018. Today is the first day of school. Our oldest son has moved into his dorm with a week of orientation already behind him, but this will be the first day of classes for all three of them. Everyone experiences the first day of school differently, but I believe that for most there is a mixture of fear and excitement. Even as adults, we can recall to memory quite easily those feelings of anticipation as the summer winds to a close and we get ready to head back to the routines and relationships that will give structure to our lives for the better part of a year. (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 .) In a church, too, September brings a return to ‘normalcy’ as we slide back into our routines and re-connect with the broader community that we may have lost touch with a bit over the course of the summer. In my early years pastoring a student church, I reme