Wednesday, June 06, 2007

How many more years till retirement???

It's funny how the most familiar things around you are often the things that you simply fail to record through photographs and other imagery ... I spent four years of my life having my morning coffee looking out the front window at these two buildings ... our house was directly across from Emmanuel United Church in the Nuxalkmc community of Bella Coola ... and yet, I can't say that I have one picture of either the church or the long house in my vast collection of photos ...

They show up in the background, but I never really thought of taking a picture of them ... Now, that old white wooden church is a memory - having been replaced several years ago by a new Emmanuel Church that now serves the people of the Bella Coola First Nation.

I got thinking about Emmanuel Church today because it was 14 years ago today on a HOT, HUMID, DISGUSTINGLY uncomfortable day, in an un-air conditioned auditorium in Windsor Ontario that I kneeled before the esteemed "elders" of London Conference and after the appropriate prayers and words, I rose with the honorific title of: "The Reverend" bestowed upon me ... and within hours began heading west to the community of Bella Coola where my ministry as an Ordained Clergy would begin. I have to admit that there have been more than a few days when I wonder if the title is more Horrorific, than Honorific - by and large though, it's been a good journey ...

My path has lead me from Ontario to Bella Coola to Langley to Minnedosa ... Along the way I've taken my share of bruises, I've seen some ugly people doing some ugly things, and I've been wounded deeply and profoundly ... Thankfully though, for every ugly person doing ugly unfaithful things, there are dozen of other caring, loving and faithful people who are too busy living their faith to be caught up in such nonsense.

I have little use for the bureacracy we call the church ... but I enjoy every day I have working with the people who ultimately ARE the church alive and well and trying to make a difference.

Today I can look back on a journey that has had more than its fair share of ups and downs and twists and turns ... It's not been easy ... at times it's been fun ... and at times I've wanted to just walk away ... But through it all comes the understanding that I am called to be in ministry in This United Church of ours, and in spite of the difficulties that sometimes brings, I can't imagine doing anything else right now ...

The last 14 years have been quite the ride ... So, given that no one else will say it - I will:
Happy Anniversary to ME !!!


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary Rev!

Wendy said...

Happy Day of remembering joy and struggle and all you have given and received in these years of ministry!
I remember being in Windsor that humid hot day.
Bless you!