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"Preparation"

My latest submission to the "Faith" column of the Parksville Qualicum News ....   “Did you notice that?” That’s what I called out to my wife after I saw my laptop tremble a little and heard a muffled thudding sound. “Notice what?” was the response. “I think we just had an earthquake,” I said. In truth, it was not... Read More

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"When You Live in Interesting Times"

We’re turning 90 … our denomination, that is. This June, the United Church of Canada will be celebrating 90 years of existence and I expect that this will be marked both joyfully and anxiously by all of our congregations across the nation. The joy—I hope—is self-explanatory. We have much to look back on with... Read More

Assisted Suicide

The Supreme Court of Canada has today struck down Canada’s assisted suicide laws and called for new legislation that will allow competent adults to request assistance in ending their lives. For me, this is a sad day. I am quite sure that the motivation for this is good: it is to relieve the suffering of those who... Read More

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"Exodus: Gods and Kings"

My son and I saw the film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” last night and it was an enjoyable evening. Do note that I’m not offering “stars” or “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to the movie. There are far more capable commentators available for that task. I tend to go to movies simply to be entertained … and happily, I was... Read More

"An Open Letter to the Town Council"

I'm on a roster of local church leaders who are invited to submit columns to one of the newspapers in the area, The Parksville-Qualicum News. Here's my last offering. An interesting note: I received a small amount of pushback for supposedly crossing into the area of politics. My view? This is a pretty gentle... Read More

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Blessing the Town Council

For the second time now, I was asked to moderate a couple of the “all candidates” forums in the most recent municipal elections. Once again I found it interesting and enjoyable, though there was a strong and palpable undercurrent of discontent during the gatherings. The most recent Town Council had been a rather... Read More

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Post-Gospel Night

I’m a little tired this evening. A Sunday night occupational hazard in pastoral ministry, I suppose. But I’m a little more tired this Sunday evening than others – we just had an evening of singing at the church. We call these gatherings “Gospel Night” and they’re the brainchild of Bruce, one of our congregational... Read More

Festival of Faith

At present I’m sitting in YVR waiting for my connecting flight to Nanaimo. I’ve just spent the last few days in Smithers, B.C. as a guest of the Prince Rupert and Cariboo Presbyteries of the B.C. Conference of the United Church who have just finished their first “Festival of Faith.” I was invited to be their theme... Read More

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"Somebody There"

It was early in 1969, late at night, and I was listening to the radio when it came on: “Good Times Bad Times,” a song by some new group called Led Zeppelin. From the raw opening E chord I was utterly captivated … and thus began my long infatuation with the music of Led Zeppelin. There was just something about them... Read More

"No Service By Request"

What follows is the article I submitted for the "Faith" column in the Parksville-Qualicum News. It hasn't turned up in this week's edition :-) but I'm sure it will eventually.    It’s hard to be a death-denying culture in Oceanside. The demographics are such that most, if not all of us, would find ourselves hard... Read More

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