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Reflecting on 2014

I must admit that I’ve been rather delinquent in making any sort of updates to this page since October. My excuse has been that I have been in the throes of courses in order to complete my transition into the United Church. That much has been true, in the spring I took a “double” course that covered both History and Theology, while this fall I took two separate courses, one covering Polity, and the other Education.

I have to admit that I had serious misgivings as to whether or not I could successfully complete the Education course, given its workload. In addition to the priority of my work here at St. Matthew’s, the course-load was about the same as a Masters-level, which included multiple papers, a book review, a major project and a paper reflecting on the major project. However, now that it is all over, I can faithfully report that I not only passed the course, but “Passed with Distinction” –I guess that’s the equivalent of an “A”, so I must have done something right.

In early November, I also had my interview with Conference for final approval for my reception into the United Church. With their approval, all that is now left for me to do is make sure a few loose ends are tied up, and I should be received into the United Church in a formal way when Conference meets in Slave Lake, Alberta in late May.

For me, 2014 has been about completing a time of transition. In the opening days of 2012, my wife, daughter and I arrived in Calgary. Sarah was beginning her work at Symons Valley United Church. It was a leap of faith for us, where I returned to my home town without a church to go to, trusting that God would guide me. During that time, I had been unemployed for nine months, working for a year at Stettler United Church, commuting each week and living off the grace of those who would put me up for a few days. From Stettler, to seven months in Drumheller, and then in July of this year, I began with you here at St. Matthew’s.

A few days into the season Christmas and I am reflecting on this gift of being able to work with you, to discern God’s call for St. Matthew’s as a congregation. 2014 has been a year of transition, a year of new beginnings. While Epiphany is coming, where we begin to see where God is at work, Christmas is about God’s gift of Christ.  So in this short season, the tree is still up, the lights are still on, and I’m simply taking some time to appreciate the gift! Thank you so much!

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