Trash or Treasure – June 3, 2019

The late Phyllis Tickle has said, and I believe it is in her book, “The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why” (October 1, 2008) that churches go through great transitions every 300-500 years. It is like purging the attic of a house to see what is worth keeping and what needs to go. In the last few months, the neighbouring United Churches where I live and serve have met twice. Our first meeting was held on March 30th and the second, just a few days ago on June 1. In conversations we had many questions come up: What … Read more

God’s Providence: A Tap on My Shoulder – May 8, 2019  

Today, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at our V.I.B.E. (Venturing Through Biblical Education) morning gathering, we shared how we each have, and continue to experience God’s Providence in our daily lives in different ways. We have been reading the wonderful book by The Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann titled, “The Bible Makes Sense”. Today’s reading, Chapter 2, talks about how we are fed in the wilderness of life, just like Ancient Israel was fed the Heavenly Manna while they were going through the desert of life to The Promised Land. My Personal AHA moment from this chapter was, now that I am … Read more

Be a Blessing & Be Blessed on this Holy Thursday – April 18, 2019

Holy Thursday reminds us how Jesus is glorified by becoming a servant. Holy Thursday empowers us to love and serve each other as Jesus did. Here are a few pictures from the gathering that took place at Elgin United Church (The Elgin-Portland Pastoral Charge). A Holy Thursday Service of Anointing and Communion. Holy Thursday is A Gathering to Remember Jesus and his disciples around the table of Love, where Jesus washed their feet, shared the Bread of Life and the Cup of the New Covenant sealed with his blood. Here is a prayer that we prayed as a Community of … Read more

A Balancing Act – October 8-10, 2018

Foreword: This post is a culmination of the last days of our trip to Lebanon as on January 15, 2019 my sabbatical concluded. My next task is to organize the over 7000 photos we have and post them for your enjoyment. **************************************************************** Sunday, October 7, 2018, we arrived at my sister’s place after 7:30 p.m. exhausted from the horrendous traffic that took us over three-and-a-half-hours to get home instead of an hour and fifteen minutes; but we were exhilarated by the  beautiful day spent with family, friends, with overflowing conversations, and nevertheless witnessing another beautiful sunset while descending from the … Read more

Lost and Found – October 6-7, 2018

Saturday, October 6, 2018, we got picked up by my niece, to go to her house in Zahle, the third largest city in Lebanon with a population of about 120,000. My niece lives there with her husband and two daughters. The distance from Beirut is about an hour but with traffic and winding roads, it is a good two hours and a half. She showed to us a new highway is being built and told us, next time we would use that road. We were grateful that she came all the way to Beirut to pick us up to spend … Read more

Music that No Darkness Can Take Away – October 2-5, 2018

October 2, 2018 is the day we returned to Lebanon. Thank God our flight was at noon and we did not need to get up in the middle of the night to get to the airport. Davit came and took us to the airport with his right arm in a cast. We are so grateful for the gift of Davit’s commitment to help us get where we needed to go all through our week-long visit in Armenia. When we arrived at the airport, Davit pointed out the old airport to our right and the new one that we had already … Read more

Love, Perseverance and Grace – September 30-October 1, 2018

As I write this on Monday, October 1, 2018, I think how fast this week went by. It is our last night in Armenia. Tomorrow noon, we head back to Lebanon. Tonight, I look back to this seven-day adventure that was full of Grace, Joy and Lessons Learned; and appreciate how many beautiful people we have met, wonderful places we have visited and many lessons that have made us, me, stronger. I cannot thank God enough for this gift called sabbatical offered to me, by a little but a mighty in love, pastoral charge in rural Ontario, called The Elgin-Portland … Read more

From Darkness to Light – September 28-29, 2018

Friday, September 28, we had an unexpected schedule change suggestion by Davit, our driver. Our original plan was to go visit the town of Etchmiadzin, an area close to Yerevan, given the fact we needed to come back for an evening event at the Opera House. You see, after we had booked our flight to Armenia, we found out that the Armenian Missionary Association of America was celebrating their Centennial in Armenia the same week we would be here; so, this was one of the events we had been offered to attend and we gladly accepted it. Davit suggested that … Read more

Broken Crosses: Sign of Life – September 27, 2018

Thank God for Davit, our 25-year-old driver, whom we met two days ago, who has become a friend to us. He confessed that he has never driven tourists outside Yerevan, so he warned us that he will not be able to tell us much historical details as a tour guide would.  My response to him was, “No, worries, Davit. I am not looking for more information to absorb, I just want to see and be in the sacred places of my heritage and let them speak to me in their silence. My mind is full already, and this sabbatical is … Read more

Tunnels of Life – September 26, 2018

Wednesday, September 26 began a little sluggish as Gary and I were still recuperating from our early flight from the day before. Our driver, Davit, had arrived at 10:00 a.m. as agreed, but we were only able to get out of the B&B by 10:15. The plan for the day was to begin from the furthest point and make our way back “home”. The drive to Dilijan is about one and a half hours. It is found in the northern part of Armenia – some call it the Switzerland of Armenia, because as soon as travelers go through the last … Read more