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On the Road with the Islam Presentation

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On my 65th birthday my daughter Ariel phoned and asked how I felt.  The answer seemed to rise from some place within that I had never noticed or thought about: “You know, every phase of my life seems to have been better than the one that went before, and this – being 65 and a genuine Senior Citizen and retired – feels like the best yet!”

It’s true!

Yes I know that this is the phase prior to the big EXIT.  I know that for many people the trouble and discomfort that precedes actually going through the Exit door is very very hard (and, truly, if I could skip that bit I would be ever so grateful)....   Yes, I know these things.  But in the sunny and vigorous beginning of the closing chapters of my life, there is no one I would rather be, and nothing I would rather do, than be who I am and do what I am doing right now.   I am richly blessed.

At this exact moment I am sitting with Heather in a Regina hotel.  We are here to participate in the Synod of the Province of Rupert’s Land of the Anglican Church of Canada.  Heather is “Deputy Prolocutor” of the Synod, and will be involved in all its proceedings, and I?   Well, I have been invited to give my presentation on the fundamentals of Islam to about forty of the delegates.  It is the lecture I have given several times and in several places over the past winter, and I am glad to do it, in the fervent hope that it will contribute at least something towards better Christian-Muslim understanding.

Once this assignment is done, the intense activity of the past eight months – so unexpected and so delightful – will subside somewhat, and I hope to resume work on my cherished project (writing a book on the Anglican Reformation).

Not that the months ahead are completely quiet and without event!  Heather and I will be travelling – a lot – over the next few months.  We’ll be in Toronto in June attending the graduation ceremonies of our daughters.  Shortly afterward we’ll be in Banff for the wedding of a young lady we’ve known since she was five.  Then there is the annual trip to the cottage, in the Province of Québec.  We are, quite literally, criss-crossing the continent by car!

As well, in the weeks and months ahead I will be preaching or leading worship at St. Luke’s and at one or two other churches.  For the curious, I have decided to post a partial itinerary on the web, which you can access by clicking here.

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