Tag Archives: Manitoba

It seems so small, so long ago.

Late last night we planned to drive our kids to school this morning on our way to the city. So this morning I watched from the living room as their school bus pulled up to the driveway, sat in wait for a minute or so, and then pulled away. It reminded me of that morning in Manitoba (it seems so long ago) that our kids nearly missed the bus, when I ran out in my bathrobe (and little else) waving and yelling at the bus at the end of our road. I don’t remember all the details of that episode, although I’ve probably written about it here. I just remember it being late and Luke—probably 4 or 5 at the time—being upset because we couldn’t find his proper mittens. I was begging him, pleading with him to just take the (wrong) mittens I had given him because we needed to catch the bus, then running out in my bathrobe, waving frantically at the bus and starting the van to drive him there.

This morning I felt a wonderful calmness as I saw that bus sitting there for a moment and then pulling away. The kids wouldn’t need to run this morning or start their day in a panic induced by panicked parents.

It put me in mind of quiet mornings in Manitoba when I didn’t have a class. I tried to imagine myself having breakfast and a cup of tea in our little kitchen. The trailer was 14 feet wide. Subtract another 4 feet or so for wall thickness and counter space. We had no more than a 10 x 12 chunk of floor space in our kitchen to use for cooking and for eating at a standard-sized table for six (four on the sides, two on the ends). In this tiny space we cooked, ate, played games, and welcomed many guests. Our living room was no bigger and our bedrooms were much smaller. Our headboard and bedside tables couldn’t fit side-by-side; we had to wedge the headboard behind the tables.

It was such a small space, but we made it work. Perhaps it helped that we knew we were there for only a short while. We live in a much bigger space now—a house that’s probably bigger than we even need. But we are no more or less happy in the larger space than in the smaller space.

That trailer was so small. Five of us, for three years. There’s a lesson in there.

(It seems so long ago!)

Whither The Eagle & Child?

I was thinking of posting some church-related musings tonight–you know, something meaty, significant.  But I shan’t.  But neither shall I not blog for the rest of May, which was another option.

Instead, I alert you, dear reader, that we’re off for a marathon drive to Manitoba tomorrow, where we will do some reconnaissance work on Friday–on the seminary, lodgings, schools, etc.  On Saturday we will spend the day with friends in small town Manitoba.  On Sunday we will join the good folks at Faith Covenant in Winnipeg, before making the marathon return trip to Prince Albert that same day. 

It’s bound to be a tiring, but useful weekend.

I’m getting tired of myself referring to us doing “reconnaissance work”, which I have done several times.  And it was only marginally clever the first time I said it.  If that. My sincerest apologies to those of you who’ve had to hear it more than once.

In other news, I emailed  my second (yes, only the second of several) seminary assignment to Briercrest the other day.  I made an enquiry into the process for getting a due date extension (it’s officially to be done June 10).  I was merely asking questions, because ideally I would like to get this course done on time, but with home improvement things and whatnot I thought perhaps that final research paper might need a little extra time.

It seems that officially, the extension ‘process’ is simply a request for more time, though it comes at a price: $75 for a 4-month extension.  I wouldn’t expect to use another 4 months, but whatever.  As it happens, they granted me an unasked for, free 2 week extension.  This will make a world of difference.  A due date of June 26 sounds a lot better than June 10, doesn’t it?

(I just checked the syllabus and the paper doesn’t, for the moment, seem that daunting anymore.  Glad tidings.)

Got some work done at the church today.  I was feeling pretty useless there yesterday, but today was better.  Did some administrative stuff and finally got some idea rolling for my sermon on the 17th.  I sometimes wish I could record my thoughts, because my sermons always seem to be better (and more passionate) in my head than when they are put on paper and then into speech.  Even the transfer from thought directly to speech suffers great loss of clarity, so a dictaphone or recorder of some kind wouldn’t be much help.

Interestingly, ideas seem to flow best when I walk slow laps around the perimeter of our sanctuary.


I saw you nodding of there.  Yes, you.

Ho hum.

Whither The Eagle & Child?  Well, clearly not entirely here.

I got a letter in the mail today.

I got a letter in the mail today.  The letter announced my acceptance at Providence Theological Seminary.

And just like that things are a little bit more real, a little more scary and a little more exciting.

I confess that I only applied to one seminary.  Some might think that’s crazy; others of you who know me will realize that this was a rational course of action.  Had I taken a shotgun approach to the application process and been accepted in even a handful of seminaries, I would have been paralyzed by the options.  

The only other seminary that I seriously considered applying to was North Park in Chicago, which is our denomination’s seminary, and one way or another I will have to take some courses from them if I plan on being ordained in the Covenant Church.  Two main reason I put North Park on the backburner: finances and distance.  We’ll already be moving away from family as it is–no need to leave the country at this point.  And financially?  Well–I’m aware of one person who got their entire degree at Providence for what it would have cost for one year at North Park.  A bit prohibitive, wouldn’t you say?

(Briercrest was also a natural choice, given my history there, but there is no denominational church down there and I want to stay connected.   Providence, on the other hand, is near Winnipeg, which has a Covenant church, and seems to be developing a connection with that denomination.)

When I first started thinking about going to seminary I didn’t know where to begin–how would I choose?  Someone says Seminary A is “liberal” and someone else says Seminary B is “conservative” (and those are often fairly relative terms); someone says Seminary C has better professors than Seminary D; someone says Seminary E has better program X than Seminary F.  In the end I decided to disregard that concern–the “grass is greener” principle applies to schools, too, I think. 

When I was in Bible college 13 years ago I would never have imagined myself as a seminarian.  Seminarians were pot-bellied, middle-aged men with moustaches and receding hairlines, tucked-in checkered shirts, briefcases and cup of coffee perpetually in hand.  (It’s all about the style, you see–and that image was not a good one to a 19-year old boy)  But I shall become one of them, sans moustache and briefcase.  (I’ve already got the pot-belly and checkered shirts.)

So, assuming everything comes together in the next couple of months, we will be moving to Manitoba in the summer.  I love Saskatchewan and would love to live here for the rest of my life.  But Manitoba is the next best thing.  The two provinces have a kinship of sorts, I think.  And probably sometime in early July I’ll be unemployed for the first time in 8 years or so.

What an adventure!  That’s the most exciting part.  I don’t know what things will be like once seminary spits me out–I’m prepared to not end up where I’m heading right now.  At this stage the uncertainty is thrilling.

I just have to get through the next couple of months…