Posts Tagged ‘Legion’

The last few weeks have been unbelievably busy.  Emotional roller-coasters as we grow the family of God through the rites of Baptism.  As we vigil with those who are dying.  As we journey with those who struggle in their faith.  As we celebrate with couples who are marrying; all the while engaging on a deep emotional family with the families in the congregation and the community as a whole.

Last week I spent some time each morning at a large hotel in the City, addressing the mass of 700 ladies who were gathered for their provincial convention.  The first day I gave them a blessing and made some comments (some humourous observations) on society as a whole.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I “warmed up” the room as those in charge were trying to get the last minute preparations in place.  When the leaders were ready to start, I said a prayer, invoking a benediction and went on my way.

Most mornings after the hotel I was back at the Church for study or at the hospital holding vigil with a family.  The struggles in not wanting a loved-one to die and yet knowing they are going to a better place, free of pain is so difficult.  My cell phone has been at my side on vibrate all week and I check it constantly, awaiting it ringing with an urgent call from the family.  That happened on Tuesday and I dropped everything to be there.

Friday afternoon there was a wedding rehearsal with a very anxious bride.  Things that could go wrong were going wrong, so I took her for a walk and helped her put things back in perspective.  By the end of the 15 minute walk, tears were dried, breathing was regular and we were ready to go.  They will have a beautiful day as T and J join together in holy matrimony.

And so today there is a flurry of activity in the Church as the group gathered prepares for Harvest Home and for a Parish Breakfast.  I’ve not yet even looked at the readings for tomorrow, and yet I trust the Holy Spirit will be with me as I stand before the Congregation and preach.  Perhaps it will be a homily about Thanksgiving, or Coming Home?  At this point I really don’t know.

But what I do know is I am wonderfully and fearfully made by a loving and gracious God.

And so are you.

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In Churchland there is an understanding that each priest will be involved in extra-curricular activities in the community or the wider world. For me, it is involvement with the Royal Canadian Legion. I have been a member of the Legion since I was 19. There were a couple of years where I couldn’t afford to renew my membership, but have always held the Legion high in esteem.

When I lived up north I was involved quite heavily – long before I was called to a life of ministry and service. As the average age of members rises and new members aren’t as able to donate time I’m seeing a trend in Legion that I also see in Church: fewer people doing more work.

This weekend the local Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary is hosting 700 women from across the province. Quite a remarkable feat! Just finding accommodations is a huge task. While I have been a member of the Legion for a long time, I have not been as involved with the Ladies Auxiliary. I was approached by the Zone Commander to see if I could help with a cenotaph service today. The challenge with Sunday activities is they almost always happen in the morning and I’m generally in service until noon.

The time of the parade was moved to enable me to participate. It will be a quick change from Church to cenotaph but I am confident I can do it.

For the most part I am able to juggle the demands placed on my time, and generally, there is not much that is demanded of me outside of the occasional prayer service or Legion funeral. Being asked to be present at Chaplain was a great honour, and while I will be completely shattered by the time the parade is over, it will be a very good shattered. I will sleep well tonight!

I am humbled to be asked to participate in a provincial convention. I know, firsthand, how much work goes into these events. The woman who is in charge of the entire convention has a cognitive impairment – she was diagnosed just after she accepted the task. She keeps a memory book that she carries around everywhere. She has notes and sticky notes on everything – and she is one of the most organised women I have ever met.

It is supposed to rain this afternoon – but I can’t see a bit of rain dampening the spirit of the Ladies who will gather. The Silver Cross mother from the City will be laying one of two wreaths at the Cenotaph and the parade is supposed to have a police escort. For about an hour this afternoon, the City will have 700+ women marching downtown. It will be a remarkable sight, and something I am looking forward to.

I have also been asked to provide the benediction and blessing for the start of business for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Also something I am humbled to be able to do.

Quite often in Churchland we get so caught up in our own little world that we forget out other means of service. Being asked by the Ladies Auxiliary is a great honour and I am delighted to be able to do it.

A little rain? Never stopped 700+ women before, it’s not likely to stop us this afternoon!

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