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Easter Proclamations II – Hobbies

I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do.Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 CEV

If you’re wondering what I did on the weekend after Easter, I was an “exhibitor” at an event called Supertrain. It’s advertised as Canada’s largest model train show, and it takes place yearly here in Calgary. A little over a year ago, my family and I went, thinking that Ian enjoy seeing model trains. Megan was a big fan of Thomas and Friends when she was a toddler/preschooler, and we thought that Ian might enjoy it. Boy were we right. While we were there last year, I happened to encounter the Calgary N-Scale club called “Cantrak” –they dealt in the same model railroad stuff I had collected when Megan was younger and had been in storage. After Supertrain last year, it all came out of storage and I ended up joining the Cantrak club. That’s why I was at Supertrain this year as an Exhibitor.

Waitaminute John, aren’t you more of a science fiction and fantasy geek? Shouldn’t you be talking about the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo coming up this week?

Well, yes, and I will be going to that as well. In truth, my hobby skill set in building and painting models can be applied to almost any genre. So while I have painted models from my favourite science fiction films, and they adorn my office, the skill set is transferrable. So my contribution to the Cantrak group this past year was this:

Everything you see in this picture I built, painted and/or landscaped. It may not look like the Millennium Falcon or the Enterprise in my office, but it used all of the same skillset.

Okay, so what does this have to do with Easter? These weekly messages are supposed to have some devotional element and not just a chance to show off your own hobby work.

Well, here goes: among many different themes, Easter is about new life, life from lifelessness, or personal renewal. New life is a taste of resurrection, the central theme of our faith. Hobbies, at their best, are activities that allow us to recharge our batteries, of doing something that we find life-giving. I’ve known too many colleagues who don’t really have hobbies, or don’t feel the need to have them. Unfortunately, they’re also among the first to feel burnout, because they haven’t taken the time for self-care.

We spent the seasons of Epiphany and Lent talking about and experiencing different ways to pray as means to deepen one’s faith. Hobbies can also be a part of that, and they can have a spiritual element to them, as they allow us to relax and to set aside the concerns that so often consume our day-to-day lives. In essence, all those activities that we undertake in order to renew and recharge give us a taste of the new life at Easter. They can be a way to remind us of God’s life-giving presence in and through every facet of our lives.

I am hoping that my reflections throughout the Easter season draw out those things that give us new life. So what gives you a taste of resurrection?

Yours in Christ,


Upcoming Events

  • Shakespeare at St. Matthew’s
    • Wayne Valleau is leading our next foray into Shakespeare with an exploration of Anthony and Cleopatra. The seminar started Easter Monday, April 17th at 10:00am in the Conference Room, and continues on Mondays at 10:00am.
  • The Crusades: A Dark History
    • Starting tonight! Monday April 24th at 7:15pm, John Crowdis will be leading his latest seminar, exploring the historical military campaigns known as the Crusades from the late 11th Century to the mid-13th Centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
  • Spirituals Sunday!
    • Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 25th for our annual service of African-American Spirituals. More details to come!
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am running personalized membership classes as a way of exploring faith. I am making use of a United Church resource called “Jesus 24/7” which explores our faith using the New Creed that we say every week as a jumping off point. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.





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