Wednesday, May 30, 2007

week 3 of spring school

Well...I guess I'm settling into the rhythm of posting once a week. It's not intentional, but there you have it.

This week is a bit nuts as I'm in class every afternoon for 3 hours. It's amazing how this can disrupt normal life. :) But it is a lovely disruption. The class is called "Spiritual Discernment" and it is being taught by fellow Christian & Missionary Alliance'er Gordon T. Smith.

More to come as a result of this class I'm sure, but for now let me tease you with his main two questions. (which must be asked TOGETHER)

1. What do you think Jesus is saying to you at this point in your life?
2. How do you know it's Jesus? (what are the indicators that lead to some degree of confidence?)

Wow. I have to admit that I'm often very uncomfortable when the first question is asked or answered, but now I realize that it is because the second question is usually neglected.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Middle of the week...

This week has gone by slow and fast all at the same time.

Monday the country paused to celebrate Queen Victoria, but spring school continued, so there was chapel. Marva Dawn spoke and she was excellent. I think I've heard her before, but this time I won't forget hearing her. She began her talk with a sentence something like this: "Well, since I gave Andrea my text, I changed my mind." (read: mild panic as I TOTALLY dwelt on her ideas of dark and light...) Thankfully, she didn't change direction, she just went one step further. So it worked really well as I dwelt in several psalms and then she went on to speak from John 1 about the light coming into the darkness and the darkness not being able to overcome it. (after a brief heart attack, all was well)

Yesterday I had my second session with my little opera composers. They're hilarious. We've written five songs now, one more to go. So now it's a matter of getting the music into my finale program and then trying to garage band some sort of practice cd for them. I think on at least one of the songs, we figured out we could use xylophones and some hand drums. (giving 7 and 8 yr olds accompanying duties...oh yeah!)

Today is a Regent office day. The morning to work on upcoming chapels and the afternoon spent in meetings. I'll use my summer UPass for the first time (just got it last week...) which is lovely as it cost me $50 again to fill up on Monday. Crazy. (Last July we both used transit all month and we didn't fill up in the entire month...that's looking like a great plan!)

This weekend my friend Rochelle is getting married ... and while I'm excited for the wedding and all its festivities, I'm REALLY excited about two friends who are travelling to Vancouver to be her for it. Audrey (of bloglist fame) and Margo (my doctor friend having many adventures in the Bronx). Can't wait!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

still here...just a bit silent

So, as you probably assumed, Pastors' Conference did indeed continue on.
And it was a good week in the end. Exhausting, but good.
Perhaps one of the subtle highlights was trying out a couple of my own 're-tuned hymns' on these folks and having them well-received and then fielding the "how can I get my hands on this stuff?" requests. Confirms that maybe I'm on to something the church might want and even need. I think my favourite part is that nobody knows how to categorize them...are they old? are they new? and the T and C words kind of go out the window. (If you are not aware, I belong to a school of thought that would like to completely remove the words 'traditional' and 'contemporary' from our worship vocabularies. More on that another time.)

Anyway. Now spring school is in full swing and we're figuring out how to run Regent Spring School out of Carey and St. Mark's. Next week chapels will be in VST's Epiphany Chapel to accommodate a large class that meets just before chapel. It's challenging to be out of our own space, but I LOVE that we're in every other seminary on campus during this month. It's so easy to completely ignore or forget these other institutions that are about the same business as we are...perhaps with different methods and systems sometimes, but ultimately these are our brothers and sisters! So, needless to say, I'm loving it.

AND I only have two more sets of lessons to teach. Today and tomorrow and next week and then it's the recital and BOOM! we're done til September. It feels like it's gone really fast. Meanwhile, I have embarked on an Opera project at Westbay school where my friend Heidi teaches. I'm the "musician" who is helping these 36 grade 2 students set their couplets to music. It's this Vancouver Opera Project which encourages teachers to teach a unit by getting the kids to create and opera. So they are learning about how animals are suited to their various environments and so we'll have 6 songs: Desert, Ocean, Fresh Water, Jungle and Forest. I'll have to keep you posted, but yesterday was my first session with them and we wrote three songs in 2.5 hours! :) Masterpieces, I tell you.

Ok. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

greetings from Pastors' Conference

Pastors' Week: Day Two

Well, I'm pooped. And I've only survived Day One so far, but once again I'm marvelling at my job and the unique opportunities it affords. Day One was good and I'm excited about today because Joyce from Jacob's Well is our morning speaker.

Not too much time to write much else, but must tell you that I had dinner with John Stackhouse & Leonard Sweet last night. Always a treat to sit down to a meal with folks that we mostly interact with in their writings. John, of course, is familiar face from Regent and Tenth, but it was good to have extended conversation. And Leonard, for all his 'provocative' statements, really loves the church which was so great to see up close.

More to come...must go.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday links

Well, first of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Brian. He's 50 today which seems impossible except that Myrna already reached this milestone and re-defined 50 for all of us...I'm really glad you were born, Brian.

Secondly, I have a link to share... a Regent friend has posted some fantastic photos of tulips. Nice work, Matt!

Friday...and there's some sun out there...and I have new plants to replace my pansies...and an absolution from dear sweet Andrea Moller Bridges :) ... (see comments from yesterday's post)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

good news and bad news

Well, we'll start with the good news...My office is officially unpacked and organized!! Yay.

The bad news is that I've killed three plants. Yes, me who blogged photos of my lovely patio garden. The geraniums (hearty little brutes) are fine, but the pansies are laying-down-in-the-dirt dead. And they're not getting back up. And inside I've killed an ivy plant that I've only had for about a month. (after killing its predecessor)

Oh dear. So I'm not including pictures. The admission is hard enough. And I don't want you all to have to see the carnage. Maybe I'll dig them out on the weekend and replace them and THEN snap some shots.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

almost organized...

Well, I've been working on getting unpacked into my new office and after a good solid day of sorting and filing and re-organizing things that have just been lurking in the back of my filing cabinet, I'm feeling like I have a clean slate. There remain two piles of music and miscellanea on top of the filing cabinet, but I'll work my way through them in the next couple of weeks. I'll have to take some pics so you can see my new digs. :)

Took my huge Montreux Jazz Festival 2001 poster (on foam core) and put it on my big empty wall. Feels better already. And I've reorganized the way the papers 'flow' more to reflect how I actually tend to do stuff, rather than keeping things the way they were. This is tricky. But hopefully I've paid close enough attention over the past year and a half...

Meanwhile, Gordon and I went to TOSCA on Saturday night. Lovely. Great singing and an enjoyable evening all round.
Sunday we looked at a house we can't afford and, mercifully, didn't like it. You might ask why we'd even go look at a house we can't afford, but here in Vancouver, when a house in the city is this price, it's usually a teardown...and this one looked so good. And then you start trying to figure out how you could possibly squeeze more money out of your budget...But as I said, in God's wide mercy, we didn't fall in love with the house. I was certainly twitterpated by the idea of a house for the two and a half days between seeing it online and the actual open house...Coming home felt good though. We love our little place!

Ok. Must get off the couch and head for work. Now that my desk is clear, I need to get some concrete things planned for next week!