Every other day I walk a long 1.5 hour walk. OK, I’ve been doing it for only two weeks. I walk down the hillside (some would consider it a mountainside) from our house and walk through the arbour-ed grounds of Riverview Mental health hospital to the preserved marshy flat land. When I get there, I come to a fast moving stream that is about 20 to 30 meters/yards wide. I pause and watch it flow for a bit, then I extend my hand and after a while it stops flowing and I cross feeling like Moses. Shortly after I finish crossing, the traffic starts up again and the stream continues. But the feeling remains.
Monthly Archives: May 2007
In between packing up and sorting books today I attended the Tri-Cities Ministerial meeting. There I had a conversation with the volunteer coordinator at Eagle Ridge Hospital who is the one who is also doing the hiring of the person to fill the half-time chaplaincy coordinator. On the basis of reading the job description online and that conversation, I am setting that opportunity aside for now. Half of the job is administrative which gives me pause. They also want a one year commitment and I can’t do that. It struck me in the conversaton that it would have been a good bivocational solution.
Well, it’s done. The Pentecost Combined service with the Koreans went better than I had expected. The same ‘energy’ and excitement and spirit was there again, as in the previous services. We are getting a little more at ease with this each time we do it. There were three full benches of young people, most of them looking like they were highschool age. The worship space felt full. The music was excellent, with Rob doing his thing on the drums and Eric on the guitar, Sarah on the piano and Frances playing the Alto recorder now and then. The missing Korean musicians was compensated for wonderully by two young girls from the congregation being song leaders along with Sue and Christina. That all sounded wonderful.
An interesting moment before the service for me was when I saw a girl from our congregation meet up with a Korean girl and they started playing together immediately. I went over to talk to them, and they told me they were in a class together at school. Those are the kind of things that were adding ‘buzz’ and a feeling of celebretive reunion to the service.
This was the first time I had a team who helped me put it together. That helped a lot. Even so, there were lots of last minute changes and decisions to make right up to the start. But there is something neat even about the chaos preceding such a service, a chaos which suddenly comes together into a worship event that clearly most are thouroughly enjoying.
I found the part where we had numerous people stand and say John 3:16 in various languages to be very touching. I think there were about 12 by the time we finished, ranging from Hindi to Fresian, Dutch, German, French, South Africaans, to Japanese, Taiwanese, Mandarin etc all started with English and Korean. It was powerful somehow. What added to it was the enthusiasm and serious intensity mixed with joy some showed in speaking that gospel nugget. Dora added “He’s Alive” when she finished the French (I may not have heard that right). Florence recited the verse from memory in Hindi with a beaming face showing joy. Amanda had to be coaxed into saying it a second time in Taiwanese, but she too did it from memory. Awesome. Touching. Fitting.
Afterward there was a lot of excitement too. Conversations, questions etc. Florence had an Indian lady friend visiting from Australia and that lady asked Pastor Park and I to pose for pictures, which we gladly did, putting our arms around each other like good longtime buddies. Her camera was not working right, so we stood there quite a while. She never got her picture, though she got one when Prakash and I posed.
Pastor Park and Nick knew it was my last service, and began telling their people that after we were done. The response was not something I had expected. Several of them came to me and in the best English they could muster expressed their sense of loss. One man was talking to me and his young son came and interupted. The man said something to the boy, which I took to be “I am saying goodbye to Pastor Pete, this was his last Sunday here” and the boy immediately moaned and went limp with a clear expression of sadness. I gave him an arm around the shoulder and had a little chat with him about how even though we might not like goodbyes, they were sometimes necessary. There were a few such moments with Korean members. Nick and Pastor Park also said their goodbyes and I told them how much I had appreciated working with them, and they returned that.
Several people from Mundy Park also came to acknowledge and express their feelings about this being my last Sunday.
So it is done. I almost was overwhelmed with emotion driving home. This whole thing feels so WRONG, yet I see it’s necessity clearly. But when the wrongness overwhelms me like that, I don’t like the deep sadness I feel. I gain comfort from the ongoing sense that God is leading this, that I am to trust, to wait, to see, because he has something good in store, something good for his Kingdom.
Pastor Pete here. See “About” over on the right for more on the purpose of this site. As I write this tommorrow is my offical last service at MPCF. I am hoping for a good service, though right now it doesn’t feel like it will continue to build year-on-year momentum as previously. It’s in danger of being long, and my understanding is that the Korean congregation no longer has a strong youth contingent, which brought energy to the worship on previous Pentecost Sundays.
Regardless, of how it goes, it will be a relief when that last function is done and there will be just a few details to wrap up and the major job of cleaning out my study.
I have a humanly absurd sense of calm about my future. I have resolved not to be too proactive pursuing what God has in store for me next until mid July. Yet three opportunities (or hints of them) have come my way in just the past week without much seeking. That is reassuring. One is a half time chaplaincy. But when I first investigated it seemed like it was more of an administrative/coordinator positon than a bedside care one. I will have to clarify that next week… Then a pastor I met at the Regent Pastor’s conference asked to do lunch with me. We have very similar interests. He has lost two associates in the past 6 months… Then an old friend and former employer asked to go for lunch to talk options and other things… (the three dots, called an elipsis, mean these sentences and options are still ongoing, open).
That’s it for my first post.