Thursday, July 20, 2017


If we ever had a notion that retirement from formal pastoral ministry meant separation from the issues that trouble people around us, these past five years have cured us. I am nine years into retirement and five years ago we moved from our detached home on a third of an acre to a unit in a strata complex. At this moment (12:40pm Jul 19), Christine is sitting with a young wife who voluntarily came over in tears to talk about her marriage that has died. Thirty minutes earlier her husband spoke with both of us apologizing for the noise emitted from their unit when they fight, and through tears saying they are trying. On several occasions we have lifted a drunken, weed smoking woman from her toilet and her floor and her bathtub when she could not move but her cell phone was within reach. In the past I have been asked to officiate a funeral for a resident, and Christine has played the piano for that service for which the family requested one hymn of their choice. "Amazing Grace," sung at full volume by an auditorium of unregenerate people, enfolded by the gospel. We have spent time with a dying neighbour in palliative care and been able to ensure that we would know the Father's love for her. We have harvested first name relationships with many people, shared appies and meals. We have experienced our own health concerns and appreciated the interest and concern of our neighbours. We have discovered neighbours who are believers. We have found covert Christians disenchanted by their previous church histories. Church does not guarantee community, but interestingly community can be church.Sunset 

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