beginning at 5pm in Calvary’s fellowship hall. We’ll have brats, dogs, and chicken breast sandwiches, chips, beer, wine, lemonade and coffee. Please bring the following:
- A friend or neighbor
- a game or games
- a dish to pass; salad, side dish, dessert
There’s talk of a Euchre tournament and a Wii bowling match.
Sunday, September 22nd was the installation of Rev. Craig Satterlee as the fourth bishop of the North/West lower Michigan Synod. The ceremony took place in Trinity Lutheran Church, Midland. Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson conducted the installation. I wasn’t back from my trip yet, so was unable to attend. Here’s a couple pictures from the synod’s web pages. Check out http://mittensynod.org/installation_photos.html for more. Follow this link http://www.craigasatterlee.com/ to learn more about our new bishop. I feel a special connection to him because he was a high school student member of Bethel Lutheran Church in St. Claire Shores when I interned there in 1978-9.
There wasn’t any white smoke, though the fire alarms did go off the following Saturday in Grand Rapids. Calvin College’s VanNoord Arena hosted the diocese gathering and was filled with wonderful music, uplifting preaching, and plenty of incense. The consecration of the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan was joyous. Rev. Whayne Hougland displayed both humility and courage as he stood before the gathering to answer the questions of the four bishops seated before the altar. A choir of more than 150 voices accompanied by brass and organ provided marvelous music for the festivities. I was struck by the attention to detail that emphasized the importance of leading our church. Follow this link for (lots) more pictures.
I expect great things from both these faithful and gifted men.
… back when vinyl was the format titled, “Heroes and Villains.” It came to mind while riding through many of the small towns on my route. Whether families or communities, we brag about our heroes and take a perverse pride in our villains. Did you know Al Capone had a retreat home in Edson, Alberta? There are two log cabins off Bunker Hill Road that were built by Henry Ford after he had visited the Traverse City area a century ago. In central Ohio there are signs for miles in every direction from Wapakoneta reminding the passerby that Neil Armstrong grew up there. I wonder if there are, “Genghis Kahn slept here,” signs across the Middle East. Anyway, I’m getting away from my story.
We find heroes in all occupations. Sports is a definite biggie. Proof of that in a particular way came repeatedly as I rode along. Many small towns erected signs identifying the NHL players they claimed. I guess big towns care too. Edmonton has a Wayne Gretzky Drive. I have to confess, I didn’t recognize a single name I saw on the small town signs, but I doubt it made any difference to the people of those villages. I wonder why we identify with heroes.
Maybe if gives us a sense of worth in lives that are otherwise unremarkable. Who will ever know of me? What are the chances I’ll ever be on national television? You have to do something really great — or really terrible — to get that kind of notoriety. Not likely for me. How about you
On the other hand, we are told as Christians that our call is to care for “the least of these,” because in doing so, we care for our Lord. Maybe being heroes is different for Christians. There won’t be a sign with our name on it, but there will be a place in heaven. Keep your stick on the ice.
I came across this church in a little town called Insinger. The Church stands isolated from the town, just off the Yellowhead Trail, Canada route 16. I stopped to shelter under its front entrance to add more layers because the temperature was hovering around 50 and it was raining. The sign over the door is almost eroded by weather and the western sun. I could just make out the words. Uk[rainian] Orth[odox] church Holy Spirit Insinger. This is the first time I’ve seen an onion dome church “in the flesh.” I don’t think it’s being used anymore. I wonder if there are people, “saving it,” like something you have no use for, but can’t quite get rid of. Worse, maybe there isn’t anyone who cares enough to even tear it down. Seemed sad. At the same time, it provided me sanctuary from the rain which was pretty nice. Nothing profound there, just an observation on a grey, wet day in the plains of Saskatchewan.
Pretty quiet and open here in Saskatchewan. The wheat harvest looks about three quarters or more done. I’ve seen trains of grain cars more than a mile long. The combines roll across the fields as far, literally, as you can see to the horizon, leaving a cloud of wheat chaff billowing behind. Trucks and huge wagons shuttle between the combines and the big semis waiting to haul the grain to elevators nearby.
A recently tapped resource beneath these vast wheat fields is potash, a chemical used in glass production, chemistry, fertilizer and
There’s a seminary in Saskatoon at the university. I stopped in for a visit and took this picture with president Kevin Ogilvie and visiting pastor Andreau from Madagascar.
(click pictures for a larger view)
Have you ever had a name or label carried around in your head without anything clear to attach it to? Years ago, Sucile and I had a membership in REI. It’s a recreational clothing and equipment coop headquartered in Washington state. Over the years we bought a few things and received frequent catalogs. There would be pages of beautiful jackets and coats designed to keep you warm and dry under the most arduous conditions. High tech materials and construction techniques were guaranteed to satisfy our most particular demands. At the prices, they’d better do that and make me a cup of coffee in the morning! In these beautiful collections of coats, there was always a model named “Bugaboo.”
That word has always puzzled me. Isn’t a bugaboo something like a glitch or a snag? It sounds like something I don’t want to encounter; an unexpected problem or complication. Why would a company name their expensive coats that? Yesterday I found out.
The guides here at Panorama sent me on the “Golden Triangle.” It’s a route through the mountains crossing between the BC side of the range and the Alberta side and back; perfect for a motorcyclist’s pleasure. About 240 miles long, it climbs up and over diverse terrain, visits several towns with sharply contrasting characters, and has lots of fun twisties.
You head north from Invermere to Golden. The road is almost deserted once you pass Radium Hot Springs. Several times along the way, I felt like I was back in Northern Michigan. It just felt familiar; pine, aspen, and birch, crows and canvasback geese. The headwaters of the Columbia river were on my left. A roadside kiosk explained that it is the only part of the river that remains natural.
When a beautiful range of mountains appeared over the ridge to the west, I stopped to take some pictures. Checking the map, I discovered their name, Bugaboo! So that’s what it was all about. No wonder they were such beautiful and rugged coats. They would have to be to live up to their names.
I wonder what we have to do to live up to our name? This is the pastor writing, so of course I’m talking about being named Christian. Funny thing, we have a much simpler description than those Bugaboo coats I used to see in the catalog. Our job description is simple and precise: Invite. Without our invitations, others will not be introduced to the good news. Without our invitations, those who are hurting, hungry, alone, and afraid will continue to suffer. You don’t even need to be as good looking as those fancy jackets!
Crow’s Nest Pass is a stretch of highway through the southern Canadian Rockies. I’m looking out my window at an amazing view which I fear this picture won’t communicate very well. Getting here, I’ve passed through one state and three provinces that are swarming with oil and gas exploration companies. It really was amazing to see only equipment hauling rigs and company pickups full of workers running up and down the roads. There was hardly anyone else traveling. Gas stations and small towns are struggling to deal with the numbers of workers looking for everything and anything. People who have lived their lives with almost no one around (North Dakota has half the people of metro Grand Rapids, Saskatchewan about the same as the Michigan city), now have to remind the hundreds who come in daily not to track drilling mud into my store or restaurant. It’s a little like tourist season around Elk Rapids. It’s great to have the customers, but hard to take the crowds. Funny thing; I only saw one drilling site the whole time and it was just being constructed.
As I entered the mountains west of Lethbridge, the scenery changed in two ways. The country got a lot more up and down and there were wind turbines lined up across the ridges. I think they are beautiful. Like dancers or acrobats, they cartwheel in synchronized rows. I know they can’t produce all the power we need, but it’s nice to see them at work.
I’ve talked/written about the power of the wind before and how it reminds me that the words for Spirit in the bible are also the name for the wind. Funny how 21st century technology gives us a new understanding of Jesus’ words, “the wind blows where it will and you can’t see it, but you can recognize its power.”
I’ll post some more pictures when it clears up more.