Wednesday, 9 August 2017


You know you're not living in the city anymore when you look out the window while you're having an early morning coffee and see a raccoon and her five babies scamper along the fence top toward your deck. Or when you are driving to the lake so your dog can have a swim and as you look up and see a hawk flying overhead - with lunch in its talons. Or when you go outside to water your flowers and notice that a pair of mourning doves have decided to nest in your hanging begonia.

I immediately checked to see how long it takes for the eggs to gestate - 16 days. Clearly these doves need to be patient.

The need for patience has been a recurring theme over the last few weeks. First, as previously written about, we are engaged as a congregation in a period of discernment. This process is testing the patience of some in the congregation. There are repairs that need to be made beyond the re-roofing of our Christian Development building, initiatives they'd like to see implemented. But someone keeps reminding them that we're engaged in a process of listening and need to wait until we have decided what direction we're going to take. I sympathize with them. I'm not very patient either but sometimes we need to brood over the eggs for new life to come.

New life takes time. As the organizers of a festival that Glen and I attended in Paris Ontario are discovering. The Skylight Festival is a new venture, spearheaded following a group "pilgrimage" to the Greenbelt Festival in the UK a few years ago. A large group of United Church leaders were sent to experience the event and get some ideas for new ways of being church. My big discovery was "Forest Church" along with "Order of the Black Sheep" which I blogged about during my sabbatical. The attendance dipped this year from last, but as I shared with a friend of mine, the Greenbelt Festival has been going more than 4 decades, and even then attendance has ebbed and flowed. Skylight is small for now but has a nascent Greenbelt vibe with a quirky living room in the middle of a field and of course a tent village and a pub.

As usual my main interest is in "fresh expressions" of church so I was keen to participate in "Be" - an alternative service facilitated by folks from Maritime Conference.

I was also curious to attend "Bible meets Broadway", an exploration of showtunes as sacred music, an idea I've toyed with myself since attending U2charist at Greenbelt and not being able to attend the "Les Miz Mass" at the same event because it was overcrowded. (Truth be told the title of the music event at Skylight took me by surprise because that is what I was going to call a worship service using showtunes as hymns. Clearly it was a good name.)

Overall this year's Skylight was great and I trust with some careful brooding it will grow over time.

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