Friday, September 13, 2002

Credit Where Credit's Due

In a CBC interview aired September 11 my Prime Minister, Jean Cretien (a leader to whom I rarely look for wisdom) got himself in trouble for suggesting, "You cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others, and that is what the Western world – not only the Americans, the Western world – has to realize. Because they are human beings, too." The CBC also quotes Cretien as saying that if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, there will be "long-term consequences" within a few decades. "And necessarily, we're looked upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied, greedy and with no limits. And the 11th of September is an occasion for me to realize it even more."

Well said and bravo.

Thumbs us, also, to Svend Robinson (NDP) and Joe Clark (PC) for the courage to see beyond partisan politics.

As for Mr. Harper (Canadian Alliance) - your comments reveal you to be an embarrassingly and offensively, simplistic man.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Tomatoes 'N Cheese

Our garden has graciously offered Barb and I, not only an amazing volume of tomatoes, but with a feast of succulent, meaty (in the best sense of that word), glorious, luscious red tomatoes! Each tomatoe is thick. Each is filled with vibrant flavour. Each is a gift from the gods of decadence.

Barb and I have already committed hours blanching, peeling, cooking, and freezing many of them for future use. But some of these beauties are kept on the counter in their natural state for a more holy purpose. The best part of these delightful gems is when they are thickly sliced and married with globs of mayo along with chunks of tangy cheddar cheese all delicately laid between two slices of fresh seven grain bread. It's like a moan and a sigh all rolled into one heavenly food.

Anyone care for a bite?

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Marking 9/11 One Year Later

I made a deliberate and concerted effort to avoid all forms of mass media today. Why? I felt the best way that I could mark this day was by living freely and filling my day with meaningful, satisfying work (and believe me, in my profession that is often a real challenge).

So here was my day.

1) After dropping off Barb at the bus terminal so she could visit her neice, nephew, and other grown-up relatives (good for her; boo-hoo for me), I went to work early to work on a way to help our people reach out to our disenfranshised membership. That took up most of the morning.

2) For lunch-hour, I joined an inter-denominational group of clergy to discuss Sunday's lectionary readings. Naturally, the conversation soon turned to the 9/11 anniversary, but the conversation was good. That is, it was personal, direct and honest, and (best of all) it was not mediated by someone else's idea of what we needed to witness, experience, or talk about.

3) Later I was honoured to have one of the parishoners proudly show her new home to me. It was such a simple thing to do, but it so obviously made her happy.

4) The rest of the day was committed to preparing the opening worship for a seminary class being held at our church this semester. This meant combining two things I really like about my job - leading worship and biblical studies. Ours is the only example in our Synod of the seminary stepping out to meet people where they live, exposing them to solid theological study without turning them into Masters of Theology students. Out of twenty people in that class (about twice as many who would sign up for the same course offered on the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary campus) 19 are auditing the course for their own interest! That ought to tell the seminary something! Anyway, it was good to finish my day participating in a New Testament Studies class.

Today I felt good about my life and my job. I write this evening happy with what I do, and thankful that I am able to do it without fear. I'm not sure I'd be feeling this way tonight if media reports of the 9/11 anniversary were the biggest part of my day.

I like to think of it as my own private dig at both terrorism and the simplistic, vengeful war against it.

I used this prayer after the Communion service tonight. I hope I am correct in attributing the words to the Rev. Ray Niebergall.

We leave this table, O God,
mindful of our world that has so much human pain
and where creation groans for liberation.
We leave this table,
with love and inner peace for change in our ways,
for healing of pain,
for freedom,
for life.
Amen