Holy Koinonia!

As I write this, first responders and tow truck operators are untangling 70 vehicles from a massive chain-reaction pile-up on one of Canada’s busiest highways. Squalls and blowing snow warnings have been routine from coast to coast for what seems like a week. And our poor, desperate friends in the Prairie provinces are locked in ... Read more

We’ve Got it — Use it!

The ability to receive seekers at our doorsteps is essential. “People, get ready!” is what I said in my last blog. I truly believe that because so many of us are inwardly focused — prepared to deal with potential abusers but woefully incapable of talking to skeptics — the Holy Spirit isn’t encouraging people to come our way. Prepare, and I honestly believe that they will come. Part of that is prepping our virtual entrances. … Read More

People, Get Ready!

We Presbyterians are a careful bunch. We carefully follow legal process in our courts. We develop protocols when dealing with children and vulnerable adults. We study issues carefully and repeatedly, especially as they relate to doctrine. And for good reason: Insurance, due diligence, criminal record checks, The Barrier Act and guidelines for appropriate touch are ... Read more

We’re not cans of soup

Years ago, I worked in a grocery store. Cleanup went with the job. Boxes and sacks would break open, jars would shatter, cans would dent and lose their labels. There wasn’t much we could do with the broken boxes or shattered jars but the unlabelled cans could be sold at a fraction of the price. ... Read more

Good News! Great Joy!

As a deprecating remark aimed at those who puff themselves up, we make light of the term “God’s gift to the world”. Heaven help those who use it on themselves. In truth, God’s gift refers to His Son. And it’s the historic reason for Christmas gift giving, modeled on the Magi who presented gold, frankincense, ... Read more

Cyclical Churches

The Presbyterian Church in Canada doesn’t exactly have a reputation for evangelical church planting. It’s not like the folks at 50 Wynford haven’t tried. For years, Canadian Ministries had a coaching network that worked with church leaders who felt the call. Ongoing grants helped sustain several church communities. But the interest was hardly overwhelming. “I ... Read more

Differences and Division

The Oxford English Dictionary has chosen “toxic” as its word of the year for 2018. It’s derived from the Latin term for “poisoned.” The key consideration for the honour was how the word has been employed in many different ways. Oxford listed the top 10 contexts: chemical, masculinity, substance, gas, environment, relationship, culture, waste, algae ... Read more

Questions About the Question

The more I read, think and pray over the paper, “On the Question of Unity and Diversity”, the more questions I have. For those unaware, this is the document that the 2018 General Assembly referred to the church for study and response in light of our deep division over the issue of same-gender attraction and ... Read more

Thirty Seconds Of Silence

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” I thought as I prepared an email to the synod clerk, offering to bring greetings to the court from the Renewal Fellowship. I’d been reminded of our age-old Renewal mission to be a praying presence in our courts. I was planning to attend anyway as moderator of my presbytery, so why ... Read more

May the Living Stones Cry Out

Don’t let anyone convince you that history has no bearing on the future. While doing some research for my congregation’s anniversary service, I found out that there was once a Presbyterian church in a nearby hamlet. It had to have been torn down because there’s no sign of it today. What amazed me was that ... Read more