100th Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday Sunday, September 29, 2013, I was privileged to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Stettler, Alberta, where I was ordained and served in my first call as pastor.  Of course brought my camera along and took some photos.

Church Exterior Front

Church Exterior Front

Church Exterior Sideview

Church Exterior Sideview

Church Sanctuary

Church Sanctuary

I appreciated the opportunity to assist the resident pastor with the worship service and share a greeting/address with the congregation. Meeting with parishioners after so many years brought back many warm and grateful memories too. There were both tears and laughter, as folks reminisced; remembering the saints of old who have gone to their eternal reward; as well as the saints of today and their participation in this community of faith. I learned many things from the folks in this congregation, three of which I am in particular most grateful: the ministry of hospitality and generosity, the importance of listening on a deep level, and the love of and appreciation for music. Most of all I’m grateful to God for his constant faithfulness, love and grace, which continue to be poured out in abundance among the pastor and parishioners of this congregation. To God be the glory!

 

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My 25 Anniversary of Ordination

My 25 Anniversary of Ordination

Yesterday, May 13, 2009 marked my 25th anniversary year of ordination into the ministry. My congregation, Grace Lutheran Church, Medicine Hat, Alberta celebrated this special day with me by organizing a potluck supper and presenting me with this beautiful stole. Thank you family of Grace from the bottom of my heart!

grstole

It is a high privilege to serve such a wonderful congregation. You live up to your name! I never cease to be amazed by the grace-filled folks of Grace Lutheran. I give thanks to God for the love, forgiveness, trust and respect that the people of Grace have accorded me. And for 25 years of ordained ministry, Soli Deo Gloria!

The Diary of a Country Priest

The Diary of a Country Priest

This summer I recently read The Diary of a Country Priest by the political writer, Georges Bernanos. As the title suggests, it is written in diary form and is set in a poor rural parish in France during the early twentieth century. The priest, an orphan, is young and sometimes naïvely idealistic, while at other times most insightful. As the Christ-figure in the novel, he has his share of suffering and matures in his faith because of it.

For those who may be interested in the novel, here are three rather profound quotes:

Rich and poor alike, you’d do better to look at yourselves in the mirror of want, for poverty is the image of your own fundamental illusion. Poverty is the emptiness in your hearts and in your hands. (p. 62)

It is very easy to surrender to God’s will when it is proved to you day after day that you can do no good. But in the end one would thankfully accept, as divine favours, set-backs and humiliations which are simply the inevitable results of our folly. (p. 190)

Even from the Cross, when Our Lord in His agony found the perfection of His saintly Humanity—even then He did not own Himself a victim of injustice. They know not what they do. Words that have meaning for the youngest child, words some would like to call childish, but the spirits of evil must have been muttering them ever since without understanding, and with ever-growing terror. (p. 292)