Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rainy Days...

My softball game was rained out on Monday night. Sailing will probably be rainy, too, but that won't stop us unless the lightening comes. It may give me a chance to try out the pair of rain pants I picked up from MEC a few days ago. Have I said that Mountain Equipment Coop is one of the best stores in Toronto? Good prices on excellent equipment. I was particularly impressed with their selection of bags and packs the last time I was there. Would be kind of nice to have a waterproof duffel bag specifically for sailing gear. Kind of a go-bag for water fun. Anyway, the rain has been much needed. Our tomato plants seem very happy.

But last night I had a disturbing dream. In it, I was told that the Diocese rejected my application for an innovative ministry fund grant to fund the ARC. In the dream I was furious. I mean, livid! I demanded a meeting with the Bishop in which I told him exactly how I felt. I knew I was jeopardizing my future in the diocese, but I really didn't care. I was that angry.

In reality, something like this may just happen. I give the grant application a 50/50 shot. If I don't get it, we can still proceed, it's just going to be a lot harder. And if we don't get it, it's really going to shift the way I think about the Diocese. So far I've really been trying to work within the structures of the diocese to grow my church, but what if those structures are working against the mission of COTM?

I really feel caught between two different worlds and modes of ministry. On the one hand, there is the traditional inherited church with its traditional models of ministry. It's beautiful and comfortable and holds the spirit. On the other hand is something new that is also spirit filled. I feel like I can see what this new kind of church looks like--I've seen compelling glimpses in many places. Yet I'm not quite sure how to make it over that tipping-point edge. Within my parish setting I've got lots of freedom--more than enough--to explore and experiment. But what to do?! I've tried to create networks and alliances to connect our mission to the larger mission of the church, but I'm encountering resistance and apathy. It's frustrating to put my heart into something like the Anglican Resource Centre and get a shrug from the very people that are supposed to be encouraging the kind of mission it represents. We parish priests are being told that whatever is going to happen has to happen at the parish level, yet I'm also told in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that I really don't have the permission to do a lot of the things that I want to do. It's a very confusing time to be a parish priest.

I feel as though a breakthrough is coming. I just have to be patient and hopeful and continue to develop the pastoral relationship and missional imagination of this church. That means more talk and more sharing.

Rain is predicted for this afternoon. Off and on. Maybe some thunderstorms....


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