Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Work

Most of you know that on June 30th I ended a wonderful 26 year pastoral relationship in Cole Harbour and I began my "summer of retirement" - 8 weeks being unemployed (I didn't actually retire and start receiving a pension) - 8 weeks without "work."  It has been a wonderful summer and truly a gift to be able to live for a period of time without being concerned about an income since that money had already been set aside.

Over the course of the past 8 weeks I have thought a great deal about the concept of "work" which so often is exclusively tied to income  Work is what we do, to earn money so that we can enjoy life.  With the exception of looking after a dog for a week and officiating at a few weddings, I did not work, in that traditional sense but I had the joy of working in a whole new way. For the first time in years I baked brown bread; I took delight in planting a vegetable garden at the cottage and tending to it all summer.  My sister and I planted flowers in beautiful barrels and actually kept them alive. There was no money exchanged but the work was life giving and soul satisfying.

We do a huge disservice to the concept of work when we think about it primarily in terms of money and we separate it from all other aspects of life.  The hymn "Worship the Lord" #401 in Voices United, by Fred Kaan and Ron Klusmeier, proclaims in the refrain that "worship and work must be one."  The second verse says
Praying and training that we be a blessing
and by our handiwork daily confessing
we are committed to serving humanity
worship and work must be one!

Work is so much more than how we earn a living.  It is all about what we do to make a difference in the world and make the world a better place. 

I am happy to be going back to "work" this week. Once again I get to use my gifts and skill, passions and abilities in a vocation I love and I will earn a little money which is always helpful. I am looking forward to my time with the fine folks of the Waverly Pastoral Charge.  Next week I will also return to work at Atlantic School of Theology to teach once again.

May your week be filled with good work - whatever that looks like in your life. And as we come to Labour Day and enjoy the last long weekend of summer, may we remember the many people who sacrificed greatly to create a Labour Movement and unions to give workers a voice.  Blessed are we as a result of that "work."

Milan

Our last day in Italy was spent in Milan visiting 4 very impressive sites. We started at the Cathedral which is the 4th largest in the wo...