This is not exactly a return to IASP at this time.

But, when I am away from the parish, I like to use this vehicle to allow the people among whom I serve to have some idea of what I am up to.

This week, along with some fifty other ordained persons who serve in the Anglican Diocese of BC in various capacities, I am presently in Chemainus sharing in our annual Clergy Conference.

This year, we began with an address from the Bishop of the Diocese of BC, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie. In part, Logan said:

“We have an amazing resource in our Diocese of lay people with skills, commitment and energy. I urge you to be among them supporting them in their ministry.

“I believe the vision we have crafted as a Diocese will change and transform us. We are on the verge of something new as a Diocese.

“We always hear that there are not enough resources for the job that needs to be done. There have never been enough resources. But God will work through us if we are open and attentive to what is happening. We are called to action.

“In 1990 Jeremiah Wright preached a sermon on a painting from 1886 by George Frederic Watts that hangs in the Tate Gallery in London. The painting is called ‘Hope’.

“The woman in this painting is dressed in rags. Her instrument has only one string remaining. And yet she is still a vision of hope.

“Jeremiah Wright’s sermon inspired a young man who was on the verge of accepting the Democratic nomination to run to be the President of the United States. Out of this sermon, Barack Obama was inspired to come up with the title for his book, The Audacity of Hope.

“In his sermon, Jeremiah Wrights explained how such an apparently hopeless painting could in fact be a symbol of hope. Dr. Wright said:

In spite of being in a world torn by war, in spite of being on a world destroyed by hate and decimated by distrust, in spite of being on a world where famine and greed are uneasy bed partners, in spite of being on a world where apartheid and apathy feed the fires of racism and hatred, in spite of being on a world where nuclear nightmare draws closer with each second, in spite of being on a ticking time bomb, with her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God. The vertical dimension balanced out what was going on in the horizontal dimension.

“We are called to have an “audacity of hope” when we only have one string left. We are to step out and join the people who are ready for change and ready to move ahead. They are hoping that we will listen to God and have a faith in things not seen, a faith that things are going to get better.

“We are going to adjourn the councils of despair. We are going to stop telling old stories and join together in making a new story to pass on to a new generation.”