It happened again.
I blinked, and the summer passed me by. I hate when that happens. I realize that the calendar declares January to be the start of the new year, but for me, autumn is its real start. And I think there are many people who echo that sentiment.
Anyway, here I am, mid-September, back in my office, and ready to take on the responsibilities that go along with being clergy in a rural pastoral charge. Meetings happen. Services get planned. The Sunday School teachers gather to coordinate the curriculum and the kids. New music is picked for the Season of Creation, and the coming Advent and Christmas season. Some old routines are dropped, and others carry on. It’s the circle of Pastoral Charge life. (cue the music from “Lion King”).
As well, I’m picking up the reins and beginning to fulfill the commitments I took on when I was elected this year’s president of Maritime Conference.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Berwick Camp this summer, courtesy of an invitation to preach at the Camp’s opening Sunday evening worship service. I’ve never been to Berwick Camp before, and was delighted to be there. I met new friends, and caught up with current and longer-term friends. The worship service was wonderful: music and liturgy and theme and kids and congregation, all coming together in joyful communion. I stayed overnight, and as I left the next morning, I felt strongly that I will be back; perhaps for some study-leave time.
This past week I was in St Croix Presbytery, doing an official visit with those folks. Again, it’s a place I’d never been before. The hospitality I received was lovely, and I really appreciated the opportunity to spend some time and share some thoughts with them.
This week, I’m off to Chignecto Presbytery, and to Miramichi. Later this fall I’ll be visiting Halifax Presbytery, and will be preaching at an anniversary service. I’m looking forward to all these visits. I love meeting people, and building relationship. I love giving and receiving hospitality. And in my visits, I am pleased to be able to share a bit of what’s going on in our Conference at this time. I’m giving updates on General Council’s Comprehensive Review work; I’m talking about the ‘Affirming’ educational process that was started at this past year’s Annual Meeting; I’m talking about the fundraising efforts in support of our new Conference Staff and Archives building. And I will talk about whatever is on your minds. Whatever it is that’s important to you. I’ll talk, and I hope, most of all, I’ll listen.
Blessings and God’s peace be with you.