Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Morning in Brocket and Cardston

The view of the Rockies from St. Cyprian's, Brocket, the Piikani nation. (with a funny filter on).
St. Cyprian's...this building was moved onto the reserve about ten years ago to replace the old, historic, freezing cold in the winter church that is still on the highway. The priest of this parish, Sidney Black, is also the Archdeacon for aboriginal ministry in our diocese and a wonderful man. I bring my youth out here and they love it. The Sunday in the year when we make the road trip out (a little over an hour from Coaldale - 50 mins from Lethbridge) is one of their favourite. The people are very friendly and my kids love the music that they do - mostly older praise songs. I never lack for adults willing to drive either. My little parish really feels connected to this little parish. I'm looking forward to returning later this summer.

This was my first time in St. Paul's, Cardston. One of the men told me that the church used to be at the residential school on the reserve (the Kainai nation is right next to Cardston). In the '70s he said it got moved to Cardston where it is just a few blocks from the very imposing LDS Temple. I loved their altar but the nave is very long and when people sit in the back pews they are reeeaaaallly far away. I love Anglicans! We had to race from St. Cyprian's so they put food plates together for us and then there was a delicious potluck at St. Paul's so we enjoyed wonderful hospitality.The view of the Canola fields driving back to Lethbridge was gorgeous. I didn't stop again to take pictures of the windmills but they are pretty spectacular along this highway.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saying goodbye to Robbie

Today most of my Lethbridge family gathered with me to scatter Robbie's ashes at the home of two of the people he really loved. They own beautiful property with a view of the coullees and the mountains. We prayed and read scripture and scattered the ashes while standing downwind (it was a typical windy Lethbridge day). It was lovely and sad and then we ate a lot and talked a lot. What a wonderful day. I am very blessed.

The view from where we scattered him - the second is later in the day with a fancy setting on my camera. That is Chief Mountain.

A reading from Romans 8

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Another of God's creatures enjoying the beauty of the day.

Learning more things on the camera

Friday, June 27, 2008

Iron and Wine

I fell in love with Iron and Wine after hearing the soundtrack from Garden State and have eagerly listened to all Sam Beam's music. So I found this blog entry about evangelical interpretation of Iron and Wine fascinating.

Not all evangelicals would appreciate this blogger's views but I think that there is enough truth in it to consider seriously:

The world for many evangelicals is basically black and white. But art is all about the gray, and herein lies the source of the difficulty: how can an evangelical really appreciate art when the evangelical posture toward the world is one that is anti-aesthetic? Evangelicals see things in terms of propositional and moral truth; but art is not primarily concerned with the propositional and/or the moral. Art is not teaching by a different means. If we think of the classic transcendentals, evangelicals are perfectly at home with Truth and the Good—with logic and action—but not with Beauty.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And still more

More pics


Since Robbie died I've been pouring energy into nurturing things, growing living things, feeding the birds, feeding friends, basically nesting. I took some pictures tonight with the help of a friend who is showing me all the cool things I can do with my camera. What fun.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sufjan Stevens

A couple of years ago some of our students got me hooked on Sufjan Stevens' music and I've been listening to him a lot. If you want to read a wonderful discussion of the power of his lyrics check out this post over at Faith and Theology.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Threshold Issues

We used to joke that Robbie had threshold issues. He was great with people (except the postal carrier) outside the house and in the house but not at the door. Even with friends he would go a little nutty barking his head off if someone stood in the doorway.

Now I have threshold issues. When I come home I pause at the door to listen for him on the other side. When I leave I turn to tell him how long I'll be. It makes comings and goings particularly difficult.

A few years ago on retreat the director talked about the parable of the prodigal son and focussed on how the father, seeing his son a long way off, runs out to greet him with an embrace and a kiss. He asked us if we knew that God, seeing us a long way off runs out to greet us. I thought of Robbie always thrilled to see me whether I had been gone a half hour or a day. After that he was always a special reminder to me of God's love.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Women in Universities

This article on women in faculty positions is well worth reading. Thanks Lisa! And as the daughter of a university professor who took his briefcase stuffed with work on every family vacation and who stayed up late most nights grading papers and doing other academic work I have to say I get really annoyed by people who go on about the cushy holidays of university profs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wonderful words from J.K.Rowlings

These words by the author of Harry Potter are wise and wonderful and inspiring.  I've heard a few memorable commencement addresses in my life but only a few.  Most, frankly, I have forgotten.  But these words are wonderful.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fictive Family

I just watched a sweet film starting the marvelous Joan Plowright entitled Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. It is about an elderly woman who moves to London where her grandson also lives. She encounters a young man, a writer, and they become friends. The other residents think he is her grandson and since her own grandson never visits she allows the misunderstanding to continue. It is really about the way in which fictive family, that is family that is established by the participants rather than by birth, adoption, or marriage, can be much more profound than the family we have from circumstance. As someone with a large fictive family I quite delighted in the film.

Critical Hospitality

Over at Church for Starving Artists there is a very interesting post on how critical hospitality is for the life and thriving of congregations. There is a great little coffee spot in Lethbridge, The Round Street Cafe, that has this spirit of hospitality and it is always lively. It is a good lesson for churches to learn.

Delightful way to show concern for your non-Christian neighbour

Over at Letters from Kamp Krusty Brant has a funny posting about this awful way to care for your non-Christian neighbour. I may just be cynical but you have to love selling a product when you don't have to worry about people demanding their money back.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lewis on the Vulnerability of Love

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. C.S.Lewis

Six Unimportant Things about Me

Mick has tagged me to list six unimportant things about myself...this is assuming that any facts about me are unimportant :-)

1. I took recorder in elementary, guitar and piano lessons outside school and played violin and cello in jr high. I play none of these instruments today.

2. I didn't get my driver's license until I was in my 30s and my first car was a Chevy Citation.

3. I met Tommy Makem when I was 15 and was so awed I was speechless - this has not happened many times in my life.

4. All our cats when I was a kid were named for characters from the Goon Show and my first dog was named for Spike Milligan.

5. Tommy Douglas patted me on my head when I was five years old.

6. My first movie in the theatre was Mary Poppins and my favourite movie when I was young was Doctor Doolittle.

Anyone who feels like doing this, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


After Robbie died I was driving through Bragg Creek and it had just poured. There was an incredible rainbow - a short one but really intense. In that moment I thought of God's promise to never abandon us and felt an intense moment of peace. A friend and the vet's office sent me this little story of how animals go to the rainbow bridge and I thought it was really interesting that people make this connection between animals and rainbows. Then I went to church this morning and one of the kids gave me this picture because Robbie had died. At the announcements one of the women who had walked in the Relay for Life described how an amazing rainbow came out to encourage them at one point.

I am surrounded by rainbows!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another Sad Day

I had to take Kafka in this morning because he was losing weight and was restless. He hadn't seemed to be in any pain so I thought it might just be old age but the vet found a big nasty tumour under his tongue. It wasn't noticeable three weeks ago but she said it was probably some form of cancer, forget the name, that grows really fast. So we put him down and I cried again. Northside Veterinary Clinic has been absolutely incredible. They have treated us so well. I am so grateful to them.
Kafka, age 15 or 16, came to me 13 years ago. A sweet big suck.

Friday, June 6, 2008


It may be gray in the sky but it sure is green in the ground. Here is the view from my res room while I was at the conference:

Back to reality

I'm back from a week in Vancouver and Vernon during which time the blunt reality of Robbie's absence was somewhat removed from me although I choked everytime I saw someone walking a little dog. Now I'm back and taking my old cat into the vet...maybe to join Robbie...he is not a well boy. This is the problem of having animals all the same age...when they start to go it is one after another, although 10 days apart is a bit much. Maybe the vet will have good news.

It is good to be back. It rained a little here today but it is a good honest rain, it falls and then it is done and the sky is bright again. After a week of mist and rain and gray I was thoroughly sick of BC.

While I was gone a young friend started a new blog. Check it out here!

I've had a day of puppy therapy from a friend's little dog. She's been generous in her kisses so I better go be generous with her dinner!

Monday, June 2, 2008