Comforting Words: I am Back

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I am Back

I am Back

It’s almost official – summer is over!

The trees are beginning to turn yellow here in Edmonton and although the official start of autumn is still a few weeks (I believe) away, the air is changing.

That is how I knew that it was time to kiss good bye to the life I have been leading – one of idle fun – and back to the computer to be fully in touch with Comforting Words readers.

How are you my dears?  How was your summer and how are you greeting the new season that is upon us?  I want to know the details (or as much as you wish to share) and the plans for these last four months of 2006.

As for me, to tell the full truth, I really did not have an extended break from any type of work.  I just had a break from my writing commitments to Comforting Words.  

My summer break was spent preparing for and being at that Together In Toronto Conference which was a real blast and a wonderful experience.  I met some wonderful people but a few really stood out, one in particular who I would like to mention.  She is Reverend Irene Monroe.

Talk about a kindred spirit!  We gravitated to each other and although time did not allow for us to draw ‘long bench’ (as we say in Jamaica), we really connected.  You can read more about her and her work here.  It is my hope that in the coming months, as the Comfort Foundation & Ministries continues to develop and evolve that Irene will journey with me and us.

My official training in Clinical Pastoral Education and work as a Chaplain-Resident came to an end during my summer break.  As I was about to get into my usual ‘panic’ about what next – Fate stepped in and I was presented with what I consider an opportunity of a lifetime.  

Without going into the details, life has given me the opportunity to journey with a group of sisters who are facing, what would be for most of us, one of the worst losses of physical freedom.  Through this short assignment, I am learning, feeling and growing so much!  It is one of those experiences that, as I said to my partner recently, clarifies one’s life and the reason for being on this earth plane.

On the ‘fun’ side, Juds and I took a few short road trips and spent one of the most wonderful weekends at a friend’s lake side house!  It has been almost four years since we resided, even for a brief period, close to a body of water and so the chance to do so was a real blessing.  We also partook of the offerings of the various festivals here in our city and had a couple BBQ’s of our own.

Being who I am, a little political activism was part of my break.  The recent threat to introduce Bill 208 in the Alberta Legislature that would give marriage commissioners the right to refuse to marry same gender couples and to exempt teachers and students from teaching or participating in lessons that would include reference to homosexuality propelled me, alongside others, into action.  

Our letters of objection and outrage at this clear attempt to legislate discrimination were well received, with some being tabled in Parliament – mine included. I am happy to say that the skillful work of politicians who understand the full implications of this Bill for everyone, not only LGBTQ people but people of colour, people with disabilities and women, did their duty and stopped the Bill albeit temporarily.

With all of that, I still managed to write a couple articles for magazines and newsletters, delivered a sermon and fervently worked on moving Comfort Foundation & Ministries to the next level.  You will hear more on the latter as time passes.  

Now it is your turn.  Send me your emails filling me in on your summer.  They will remain private, however, if you do not mind sharing with the readership, use the comment icon at the bottom of this post and share with us.  

Either way, I am back and looking forward to being with you one hundred percent again.




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