Drab beauty
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Drab beauty

If you have never lived with bluebirds, you don’t know what you’re missing. Bluebird restoration projects – mostly involving the creation of nesting boxes – are very popular, and for good reason. The bluebird – eastern, western and mountain species – are the hobbits of the songbird nation. When my father “got” a pair of…

Don’t go it alone

Don’t go it alone

In a famous movie called Shenandoah (1965), Jimmy Stewart’s character says grace before he and his family partake of a table heaped with food produced on their farm. Lord, we cleared this land;We plowed it, sowed it and harvested it.We cooked the harvest.It wouldn’t be here – we wouldn’t be eating it – if we…

Psalm 139 Revisited
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Psalm 139 Revisited

Search me not, for dust is what you’ll find.Divinely-made, but dust remains, from whatAn image once contained in flesh and blood. Search me some, for likeness fair – a faceTo nameless fear – still stays inside.A place to hide abides within, amid The Me, the small-fall character once full,Rife with life and love and piety.So…

‘Efficient’ Eden?
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‘Efficient’ Eden?

It’s tempting to follow the utilitarian ideal – “designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive” – when thinking about the population of this world. We need, say some, to use every square inch of space to feed a rapidly increasing population. Combine this concern with mechanization and extensive agriculture, and all sorts of…

Edenic landscapes II
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Edenic landscapes II

Many of us have been influenced by classical ideals when it comes to our ideas about landscapes and gardens. This can be shown in two ways. First, through ideas about reason, order, and even God. For people as far back as at least the 5th century B.C.E. – Plato’s time, roughly – the mind was…

Edenic Landscapes I
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Edenic Landscapes I

Genesis gives us remarkably few details about the garden of Eden: two naked people, a serpent, two notable trees. So what do you imagine when you hear the word garden? You may think Beyoncé is lush, but last year’s gardens in Quick, B.C. define the word. With a rain forest weather pattern this summer things…

Look, a star!
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Look, a star!

“The star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great delight. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with his mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped him”(Matt. 2: 9-11a). Long…

Zoom church
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Zoom church

Church leaders have written much on “how COVID-19 changes everything.” Yet it seems that the goal of church leaders is that everything should eventually return to normal, despite their protestations to the contrary. The literature suggests that some lasting effects of the pandemic will include more virtual congregations, individualism and (gasp) lower financial offerings. Will…

The Doctrine We Never Discuss
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The Doctrine We Never Discuss

Do you remember discussions about free will and predestination? About total depravity or limited atonement? Should women hold church office? Should the church bless faithful, covenanted same-sex marriages?  I’ve been involved in discussions on all these topics, and although they’re important, as I get older, I think that there is a doctrine that should take…

Give Me a Break
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Give Me a Break

What does Sabbath mean when we can’t worship together physically because of the dangers to physical health? Do we take a break, essentially “fasting” from celebrating the Sabbath? Are we in “a time of eucharistic fasting, in which we join with the whole communion of saints in longing for the bread of new life and the wine of the age to come,” as the Anglican Church of Canada’s website suggests?