Our 2017 Norway holiday

Recently my wife and I went on a wonderful holiday to Norway. At one time in the past Norway was among the poorest countries of Europe; now it is the richest. There are countless places to visit and things to do in this most beautiful country. One of the things we enjoyed doing was to visit some of the churches. With the exception of the Anglican church and the last two photos below, these are Lutheran churches. The Lutheran Church of Norway is the largest denomination. Here are some photos.

Our first port of call was Eidfjord. We visited two churches there, the old one dating back to the twelfth century, with stone walls five feet thick!

The new Eidfjord church.

The new Eidfjord church chancel had some impressive artwork, depicting biblical themes.

Our next port of call was Ålesund. The church here was locked unfortunately, and it was pouring rain when I took this photo.

Our next stop was the UNESCO world heritage site, Geiranger Fjord. We attended the worship service (all in Norwegian) in this octagonal church on Norway’s constitution day, May 17, 2017.

Members of the 17th of May parade dressed in traditional Norwegian costumes.

Our next port of call was Bergen, where we visited three churches.

The Church of the Cross.

St Mary’s Anglican Church.

Bergen Cathedral exterior.

Bergen Cathedral chancel, with altar, elevated pulpit, and pipe organ.

Bergen Cathedral windows.

Kyrke in the village of Flam.

Then we sailed on to the beautiful city of Stavanger, where we visited Norway’s oldest cathedral, dating back to 1125.

Stavanger Cathedral pulpit.

Stavanger Cathedral stained-glass windows.

Stavanger Cathedral pipe organ.

After that, we stopped at Kristiansand and visited the cathedral there.

Mjondalen Church side view.

Mjondalen Church.

Our final port of call was Oslo. This is the Roman Catholic cathedral, Trinity Church.

Oslo Trinity Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2016 & New Year Greeting

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Edmonton’s Fringe Festival 2016

Yesterday, while still on holidays, we visited the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. It has evolved and grown over the years. In the early years, from what I remember of it, the Fringe was a fair bit smaller, and more confined to the Strathcona area of the city. Now it has expanded considerably, and venues are more spread out. We decided to go to two plays. Here’s some photos.

Edmonton's International Fringe Festival 2016

Edmonton’s International Fringe Festival 2016

The Fringe 2016

The Fringe 2016

Watching a hoop act, the boy on the left was chosen from the crowd to participate.

Watching a hoop act, the boy on the left was chosen from the crowd to participate.

The hoop act b & w

The hoop act b & w

Scaramouche Jones

Scaramouche Jones

Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher, played by Robert Benz, was the first play we chose to see. In this engaging storytelling adventure, Scaramouche reminisces the events and multi-layered stages of his life, which include, among other things: sorrow and joy, darkness and light, tragedy and comedy. If you like long monologues, this is the one for you.

James & Jamesy in High Tea

James & Jamesy in High Tea

This play was co-written by Aaron Malkin, Alastair Knowles, and David MacMurray Smith. Malkin and Knowles entertain the audience with light-hearted British humour. The play is quite imaginative and audience members were ‘conscripted’ in the performance. If you like to keep it imaginatively light, this is the play for you.

For more information on the Edmonton Fringe Festival, click here.

Canada Day 2015

Today, Canada Day, we celebrated Canada’s 148th birthday and the 50th anniversary of our flag. In my humble opinion, it is still one of the best places on earth to live. We are a very blessed and privileged nation. I wonder what our pioneer ancestors would think or say to us if they were with us today. At any rate, below are the photos I took of our Canada Day celebration here in Camrose, Alberta.

Kokopelli

Kokopelli

We enjoyed the Kokopelli choir from Edmonton, there were a couple of guest choir members from South Africa and Namibia, and most of the songs were, interestingly enough, African.

Colourful Canadian woman

Colourful Canadian woman

This person celebrated Canada with class!

All aboard!

All aboard!

This train was busy most of the day, providing rides around Mirror Lake.

 

 

Alma mater & church convention

From June 19-21, I attended our Alberta & the Territories Synod Convention at Camrose, held on my alma mater-then Camrose Lutheran College, now Augustana campus, University of Alberta. Those who are convention aficionados know that they can range from exciting, surprising and inspiring to boring and divisive and everything in-between. As a seasoned convention attender, I wouldn’t say this was the most exciting one I’ve ever witnessed, nor was it the most boring-rather, it was somewhere in-between. The most upbeat aspects of the convention for yours truly were: i) re-election of our bishop, the Rev Dr. Larry Kochendorfer on the first ballot; ii) the music and worship services; iii) the opportunity to visit with other colleagues and former parishioners whom I hadn’t seen for some time; iv) the keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Alan Roxburgh of the Missional Network, addressing, among other things, the new paradigmatic direction of Christendom in terms of what it means to be “missional,” and where God is leading the Church into the future and possible changes needed to be a part of that journey. Below are a some photos I shot of the ever-changing face of my alma mater campus.

New Performing Arts Centre to open this October

New Performing Arts Centre to open this October

Library with the young Luther statue in foreground

Library with the young Luther statue in foreground

The young Luther statue

The young Luther statue

Sign

Sign

Front shot of Luther statue

Front shot of Luther statue

Classroom building

Classroom building

Glen K. Johnson Faith & Life Centre

Glen K. Johnson Faith & Life Centre

Founder's Hall-in my day it was referred to as Old Main

Founder’s Hall-in my day it was referred to as Old Main

A wheelchair accessible elevator tower will be added to one end of Founder’s Hall.

L-R Colleagues: Rev. Ron & Rev. Dr. Gary

L-R Colleagues: Rev. Ron & Rev. Dr. Gary

Both colleagues helped carry some of our books for the book exchange table at the convention.

Colleague Rev. Howard & delegate Phyllis

Colleague Rev. Howard & delegate Phyllis

Re-elected Bishop Larry

Re-elected Bishop Larry

Synod banner

Synod banner

Elements of creation from each of our Synod Conferences

Elements of creation from each of our Synod Conferences

Synod delegates at work in session

Synod delegates at work in session

Another highlight of the convention was the celebration and recognition of those pastors who have served in the church for 25 years, 40 years, 50 years and 60 years. There were 10 clergy celebrating their 25 anniversary of ordination; 7 clergy celebrating their 40 anniversary of ordination; 6 clergy celebrating their 50 anniversary of ordination; and 3 clergy celebrating their 60 anniversary of ordination. I had the opportunity to chat briefly with the Rev. Barry Lyall, who was one of the 60-year clergy. I was amazed at his health and resilience, he told me that he still enjoys serving as a pulpit supply pastor.

 

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Krista writes:

“In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that captures the threshold — that point just before the action happens, that oh-so-sweet moment of anticipation before that new beginning. It could be a door about to open, or something a bit more metaphorical like a flower about to bloom. Looking forward to seeing how you capture “threshold.””

So here’s a photo I took upon arrival at the Tel Aviv airport. When I took the photo, myself along with the tour group were excited and had a lot of anticipation of our dreams coming true and being realized by visiting Israel. To view other entries go here.

Tel Aviv Airport

Tel Aviv Airport

 

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

This week Cheri writes:

A place reveals itself on its streets, from pedestrians strolling during lunch time, to performers entertaining tourists on sidewalks, to the bustle of local markets, and more. Whether you’re shoveling snow from your own driveway or walking a familiar route to work or getting lost in a foreign city, a snapshot of a street (or road or path) can tell a tale.

I explored the cobblestone streets of Lisbon one summer, captured above in a shot of one of its neighborhoods, Bairro Alto. I especially loved the city’s sloped alleyways, as well as the graffiti-strewn walls and grittier feel of this particular district.

For this challenge, document the movement (or stillness) of a street: tell a story with your snapshot, capture a scene that reveals a bit about a place, or simply show us where you live — or a path you often take.

Recently, my wife and I made our first pilgrimage to Israel. Here is a photo I took on the corner of busy Ha Kotel Street in Jerusalem, near the temple mount. This street, down through the centuries has likely been walked on by all kinds of people, likely from all over the world. Visit the other entries here.

Members of our Israel trip tour group

Members of our Israel trip tour group