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Better than Working!



April 9, 2006

Far too much time has gone by since my last entry in this space!  Oh dear!
Christmas family with 'Rudolph'
Christmas family, with ‘Rudolph’
(Christopher, Heather, Alexa, Tony, Matthew, Andrea)

And this one won’t be very lengthy either, because I’m beginning it late at night and I am still – for a retired guy – ferociously busy.

Ordinarily, from January 1st to April 1st a working person who puts in a 40 hour week would work 520 hours.  Would you believe I have actually tracked 470 working hours in that period (and I think there were a few more hours I didn’t note)!

Retirement?  What’s that!?

Of course there was a wonderful trip to Vernon for Christmas, visiting our son Christopher and his family.  For the fun of it, I put here a picture of us at their church following the Christmas Eve service.  Some browsers may even be able to display it in a manner which shows that the goofy grandmother is wearing a flashing “Rudolph” nose!

After Christmas I began work as a part-time (interim) Rector of the parish of St. Luke, Winnipeg.  Basically my job was to preside at Sunday worship, do some pastoral care and basic parish maintenance during the sabbatical of the Rev’d Robert Brownlie, their actual Rector.

Things picked up speed once Lent began, for in my retirement project (see my Albwost page) I had hoped to do some teaching of basic Adult Christian Education at various churches, and some parishes did respond with requests for me to give their Lent programmes!  The heaviest week started on March 26, just after my duties at St. Luke’s came to an end:

Day Engagement Church
Sunday Guest preacher, on “God’s Healing between Christians and Muslims” St. Stephen’s
Monday Session #1 in a series on the Anglican Reformation St. Philip’s
Tuesday Session #4 of an Overview of Christianity St. Luke’s
Wednesday Session #4 of a course entitled Adventure in Congregational Development St. Saviour’s
Thursday Lecture: Living Alongside Islam; - an Introduction to the faith of our Muslim neighbours St. Stephen’s


In addition to all that, Heather and I went to Toronto March 9th for an extraordinary five days:  The main purpose of the trip was to hear Rachael in The Marriage of Figaro, an opera put on by the University of Toronto.  It was a wonderful experience, and of course, being her proud parents, we thought our daughter’s performance in the demanding role of “Susanna” was outstanding.

Even if the opera had been the only thing we did, our trip would have been exciting and memorable, but there was much more.  Heather and I also connected with friends of our youth – Heather with a woman who had shared an apartment with her when they were both in their twenties, and I with a high school friend whom I had not seen since 1959!  Heady, emotional, and altogether satisfactory!

Finally, this:
In 1979 the parish of which I was Rector decided it was being called to give assistance in the “Boat People” crisis that had developed in Vietnam, and sponsored a family of refugees into Canada.  A young man, his wife, and two little children came to Winnipeg to start a new life with the help of our congregation.  They found work and saved their money, eventually moving to Toronto to be near other family members and connections.  We lost touch, and the years went by; enough years for those two children to grow to maturity.

In February they got in touch.  The little boy, now a grown man of about 30, had married, and his wife decided to search on the Internet for the parish which had brought her husband’s parents to Canada.  That parish, sadly, is closed, but the young couple found me and Heather!

While we were in Toronto for Rachael’s opera, the whole Vietnamese clan took us out to dinner.  It was a marvellous and emotional reunion.

There is much much more that could be set down here, but you can at least get a rough impression of why there has been very little activity on this website lately!

Oh yes, and my book?  Sadly, after completing one more chapter I had to put it on hold, but after Easter, work resumes.

Tony

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