Are Today’s Trials Pushing the Church Back Together Again?

I had a cool encounter last night at a panel discussion on Christian Unity at the Newman Centre (the Catholic Student Union) at McGill University.

During a break, another out-of-place looking guy walked over and introduced himself: “I’m Terrell, and I work as a Parish Vitality Consultant for the Catholic Church.”

Surprised, but excited, I replied back, “No way! I’m a Congregational Vitality facilitator in the Protestant church! In fact, I just finished a graduate certificate in Congregational Vitality.Continue reading

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Ten Experiences Children Need in Church

At our junior camp this year, we had a boy who liked to ask a lot of questions—questions in the middle of our lessons, questions about completely different subjects, questions that evolved into stories, etc.  I gently responded each time, “that would be an excellent conversation to have after our lesson.”  Finally, when I started to say this yet again, he cut me off, “I know… that would be a good conversation to have later.”

Realizing this could have been discouraging for him, I caught up with him later in the day.  I said, “I want you to know that I LOVE all the amazing questions you have… and I don’t ever want you to stop asking them, because your questions are a gift from God.”  I image the lessons from camp are probably long forgotten now (even by me), but his experience of camp and his experience of Christian leaders and volunteers remains.

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The Art of Living in Exile: Finding home in Post-Christian North America

It was a beautiful hike up the mountain. My wife and I were in Canmore for a retreat, and we had just enough time for a late afternoon hike. We’d fallen in love with the colour pallette of the Rockies in the autumn, which is very different from home in Quebec.

The terrain was relatively easy and the route well marked. But coming down, the trail became unfamiliar and we struggled to get good footing in the only casual shoes we brought with us. Suddenly we realized that we were off the trail and had to backtrack. Finally we found some other hikers who assured us of the best way down.

A bit of Grassi Lakes trail outside of Canmore, Alberta.

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Wise men, and wise women?

visitofmagiThe Christian holiday of Epiphany was this Friday.  If you’d like to read a good devotional on Ephiphany, check out Seven Lessons from the Magi (unless you are in my small group, in which case, wait until tomorrow night:).

Wise Women

Many ministers have prepared a sermon for tomorrow on the Visit of the Magi.  I got a chuckle reading an online conversation about it this morning.

“Could any of the wise men have been wise women? Why or why not?” wrote one minister.

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