Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preparing for a Wild Goose Ride...

It's Wednesday, humpday!  Tomorrow Anna and I will gather with Justin, his girlfriend Kaitlin, her parents and Zack (when he gets home from work) and hopefully his girlfriend Trish to celebrate Justin's 20th birthday.

Its hard to believe.  Seems like just yesterday we were rushing to Calgary from Acme anxious for his birth, just yesterday that we brought him home to the Manse and opened the house to family and friends as we celebrated his arrival into the world.  And so on... and so on... Wow!  Lots of memories!

As the title notes, I am preparing to ride again.  Following Justin's actual birthday on Friday (and officiating at the funeral of a lady in Sackville) I depart for Hot Springs, NC where I will take part in the Wild Goose Festival.

“Wild Goose” is a Celtic spirituality metaphor that evokes unpredictability, beauty, and grace.  The Festival takes inspiration from this concept, as well as many events such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community and SXSW.

Its been a bit of a wild ride these past few months and I am looking forward to a different pace for a while.

 Just to recap: at the end of May, I and four colleagues formed and incorporated a new company: Kairos Pneuma Chaplaincy Inc.  Between then and June 19th we prepared a response to a Request for Proposals for the delivery of Chaplaincy services by a single contract holder (300+ pages).  In the third week of July we were informed that we were the successful bidder and were awarded the contract... and the email alert chime has been sounding constantly ever since!  Its exciting, worrying, daunting, invigorating, humbling, and in all an awesome opportunity and responsibility!!
while.

One the first challenges we faced in forming the company was finding a name that somehow reflect the mission of our endeavour, was reflective of our interfaith orientation, and was not in conflict with one of the hundreds of thousands of other business names.  "Kairos Pneuma" Kairos, loosely translated from the Greek means opportune time.  Pneuma, again loosely translated from the Greek, is one of the many words for Spirit... hence, Kairos Pneuma: Opportune Time of the Spirit.

We believe that this time of transition in respect to the delivery of Chaplaincy services within CSC Institutions is an opportune time of the Spirit.  It is an opportune time to look again at the Canadian context and develop a service that better reflects the diversity of Canada's faith communities.  It is an opportune time to consider anew the focus of the work and how we can best assist individuals in embracing the transformative power of Spirit and connecting with them at the basic levels of human compassion.  It is an opportune time...!
"Compassion for the other comes out of our ability to accept ourselves. Until we realize both our own weaknesses and our own privileges, we can never tolerate lack of status and depth of weakness in the other."  ~ Joan Chittister
The next two weeks will be an opportune time for me... to catch my breath, to ride, reflect and renew my spirit in preparation for what will be a very busy fall.  So, if you are coming along for the ride here is what the schedule will look like:

I depart on Saturday August 2nd and will take until Wednesday to get to Hot Springs, NC.  On Thursday the Wild Goose Festival opens and I have identified the following presentations and workshops that I am definitely going to take part in:

On Thursday: Alexia Salvatierra, The Blessing of the Other: Creating Welcome for Immigrants and
Other Wanderers followed by a second gathering with James Alison, Undergoing God, undergoing a paradigm shift: Introducing "Jesus the Forgiving Victim"

On Friday morning I will be with Phiip Yancey followed by a workshop with Holly Roach -
Mutual Liberation: Building Transformative Social Movements and another workshop with River Jordan - Praying for Strangers.  Friday evening I plan to be with John Dear as he talks about Mahatma Gandhi's Life Lessons for Us Today followed by some time in the Darkwood Brew Unplugged - Hosted by Eric Elnes and Frank Schaeffer with Richard Cizik.

Saturday will see me spending most of the day at the Main Stage with the likes of Phyllis Tickle, Philip Yancey and James Allison and Brian McLaren and the Indigo Girls who after sharing in conversation for an hour then offer an hour long concert!

On Sunday morning Brian McLaren begins the day with a presentation: We Make the Road by Walking... (Somehow I really think I am going to connect with this!!!) and the even wraps up with closing ceremonies at 1:30PM...

But the fun doesn't end... I pack up, spend the night with new friends (retired clergy I met on the
internet) who will be storing my motorcycle for me while I am on the next leg of the Wild Goose Ride... one that actually involves flying!  But more about that tomorrow!!

On the Sabbath Road... almost!!
"We make the road by walking..."

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