Community Garden

As the garden is set to expand again and provide more to our neighbours and londoners in general the local media has taken an interest.

It is our hope that this year that we will be able to reach over 1000 lbs of fresh vegetables delivered to Social Services, The Daily Bread and the Fellowship Centre, at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Read about the garden here.

Social Media Etiquette, Part 2

Etiquette is important. And there are all manners of etiquette lessons that need to be learned in life. Which fork to use, or how to dress for certain receptions and such. Well the same is true for our interactions online, and maybe even more profoundly because our actions online will be seen and read by many. They, in essence, represent not only us, but also the church.

I would like to offer a few more useful tips from the original piece I wrote in November 2011. This of course is not an exhaustive list, and I am sure I will add to it again in the future. The following three suggestions are meant to build a strong foundation for social media etiquette and our online behaviour as church.

What to post

  • Do I want my boss to see it?

    If the answer is no, it is best not to post it. A good practice is to assume you are at a cocktail party and your boss is next to you. He/she may not be listening to your conversation, but then again, they just might be. Treat your online postings in the same manner.

  • Do I want my mom to see that picture from my vacation?

    Sometimes we share content that may be humorous, or we tell a story or leave a comment. But imagine if that comment or picture was seen by your mother? Do you really want to have to explain the concept of body shots to your parents?

  • Can you say what you write from the pulpit?

    This is a good rule for clergy. Remember your parishioners are watching, reading and digesting what you post. And while you may think your privacy settings keep people from seeing certain content, it is best to not risk that content getting out and being shared.

What You Say Follows You

  • The Internet has a long memory.

    What you write today may come up on a Google search easily accessible by present and future employers. You are leaving an impression, an impression for your readers today, but also for the future. It is common practice, even in the church, to Google a candidate for the rector’s position and go through your timeline. Imagine the new congregation you wish to lead reading your comments and discerning whether or not they would want you.

Dealing With Comments

  • Not everyone is going to like what you post/share.

    But deleting comments is the equivalent hanging up on a person or slamming the door shut in their face. It reflects upon you and your ministry. Sure, never feed the troll or engage with someone who is spewing hateful speech. You can delete those comments. But to delete someone’s comment who doesn’t agree with you or challenges you is not only rude, but shows a lack of understanding of social media. If it is not a behaviour you would do face to face, then don’t do it online.

  • There is a fine line between public and private.

    But if you are using your personal account for the church in any manner, then realize you have invited people into your life and your actions can have consequences. One of those consequences is that you are representing the church when you delete, censor or silence comments you don’t like.

Educate yourself about a Saint

I picked Martin of Tours…my name sake.

I did know the story, or should I say part of the story, of Martin. How he clothed the beggar with his clock that he tore and in the morning it was made whole again.

I knew of his dream about Satan appearing to him.

But I did not know some of the other miracles attributed to him, his lifestyle as monk, even when he was bishop and his distaste for politics and the gathering of bishops.

Have to say, I liked him before, now I think he rawks.

Give $20 to a local non-profit

Alms, alms alms…it is what Lent is about. There are so many good charities in London that need assistance.

Tomorrow I will be serving at the Fellowship Centre as the Bishops are in the Cathedral blessing new oil to anoint the baptized and the dying, as is the custom on Maundy Thursday. What seems appropriate to me is that on the day that Christ washed the disciples feet to give us a model of ministry I will be in the Fellowship Centre serving.

So what better place to donate my $20 bucks today, then the place I will find myself serving tomorrow.

No sugar day, where else is there sweetness in your life?

No sugar day…well, there went the double double for the day. It wasn’t all that difficult to cut sugar for a day. I had my coffee black, which is fine. I begged off cookies and treats. All in all it was a worth while exercise. Tasting coffee as coffee and not the over sweetened super rich cream that one gets from Tim Horton’s.

The sweetness in my life? Well I think that is in new relationships. At church we have done a book study, I am a Church Member, through lent with our neighbouring parish from the Lutheran Tradition, Redeemer Lutheran. Working with the other clergy was nice, and getting to know other Christians was better and practicing full communion was definitely sweet.

Confess a Secret

The challenge never stated if it was public or private confession. Not that I have anything against private confession. I do seek private confession on a regular basis myself. But I think the gist of this challenge is to open yourself to the world, not necessarily confessing a sin, but a secret. It is to be vulnerable.

For the many of you that know me, I am bombastic, gregarious and larger then life individual sometimes. Not meaning that I am awesome (which I am *wink wink*) but rather that I put forward a front of confidence and self assuredness.

I seem at ease with people and in most situations. I stride from problem to problem, person to person always seeming in control.

The secret…really I am terrified. I am terrified that I will fail. I am terrified that I will not be good enough. I am terrified of disappointing those I love.

My secret is that behind the strong and confident exterior is a very small and scared boy.

Worship at a friend’s mosque, synagogue or church and look for the beauty

I was really looking forward to this challenge. I enjoy seeing how others worship. Unfortunately I have been just so busy leading up to Holy Week I took the time to finish some work for Good Friday. In essence challenged failed. I didn’t go.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t go. I will make this up in Eastertide.

Read John 8:1-11

Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone. A very poignant reading from John’s gospel and one we often need to be reminded off. One we take to heart at St Andrew Memorial

Whether in Lent, or anytime of year it is always good to be reminded that we all fall, we all sin. Some will sin one way and others another. Yet part of loving your neighbour has yourself is offering grace and mercy, and leaving the judgment to God.

Don't Judge Others

Donate Art Supplies To The Local Elementary School

There are two things that bother me. 1) Check book Christianity and 2) Donating things people don’t need.

I understand the basis of this challenge. To enrich the lives of kids and lessen the burden felt by the school system. The thing is, I have no idea what they need. I could go out and buy a bunch of stuff, paints, crayons and such. But they could also way too much of that and not enough construction paper.

So I am left in a pickle. I know what it is like when people donate too much of one thing and not enough of another. But I also know what it is like to simply write a cheque and walk away. There is no encounter with people. There is not the action of going to the store, buying something and delivering it. The writing of a cheque is impersonal.

So what to do when caught between the two positions? Cave and write a cheque. To assuage me of my guilt, I did pen a letter explaining the reasons for the cheque rather then art supplies.

Use Freecycle

This one is tough for me. Not because I don’t like the concept, but I normally either save all my garage sale items for the church’s garage sale, or I donate them to Goodwill or Mission Services.

But I do love the concept of having something that you no longer need and offering it to any who like to come and pick them up. So I decided that I would offer up my old golf clubs on Freecycle to any who want them.

They are like 30 some odd years old…and as of now..no takers