"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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Here we go!

The two photos are views of the interior of St. Stephen's sanctuary, which is where we normally worship together. The one featuring people milling about the pews was taken during one of the services last Sunday morning and the other was taken that evening after the pews had been removed. The following day the... Read More

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Thoughts while flying home ...

As I write this I’m returning from Toronto where I was attending the 2014 meeting of Cruxifusion, an association of Christ-centred ministry personnel in the United Church of Canada. This is the second time I have had the pleasure of attending the gathering and it did not disappoint. For 3 days 90 of us worshiped,... Read More

Post-mission thoughts

Some initial thoughts on just arriving back from the congregation’s most recent mission trip to build some hope in the form of houses in Tijuana. First, we have some excellent leadership. It was very, very well organized and the trip unfolded very much in the way it was planned. Of no less importance—and perhaps... Read More

An Open Apology to the Local Church

These are strange days for the Church … and, yes, I mean the large “C” Church. Denominations and congregations and house churches around the world are in a time of tremendous upheaval. We seem to be in the midst of one of those –every-500-year bumps that Phyllis Tickle has reminded us about. Our own denomination... Read More

Pruning the vine

As I wrote in my previous post, I quite enjoyed my day last week with Darrell Johnson at the “Wearing Jesus’ Easy Yoke” seminar. One of the texts that we studied together was John 15:1-17. The first two verses of that passage read as follows: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every... Read More

Wearing Jesus' Easy Yoke

I spent Thursday at the Carey Institute in Vancouver. The event was called “Wearing Jesus’ Easy Yoke: The Heart & Soul of Pastoral Ministry” and it was focused on assisting people ministering in local churches. The seminar leader was the Rev. Darrell Johnson, a most able, insightful, and engaging individual.... Read More

So ... what am I for?

One of the dangers in church life is the temptation to define ourselves by what we’re not. I see this regularly across the Church and it’s surely alive and well in our little portion of Protestantism. “Who are we? See all those church people? Well, we’re not like them.” I actually know of a colleague who chose to... Read More

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My new SodaStream product

A couple of weeks ago I bought a product made by SodaStream. And you might respond to that news by saying, “That’s mighty interesting, Phil. Any updates on purchases of rice, gasoline, or paper towels? No, please, don’t keep us in suspense.” It sounds rather dull, I admit, but I made the purchase with some... Read More

Church FAQ

During a staff meeting a couple of years back we got to chatting about questions that people had asked us about visiting a church. After that meeting I put together this list of “Frequently Asked Questions” and an attempt at some answers.  What do I need to do to come to church?  Come through the door.  Really. ... Read More

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