Thoughts from the Wilderness

Father John with Cleo
Father John with Cleo

With all the conflict in the world, I pray that we have peace in our hearts. Then we can be part of the answer rather than part of the problem, we can overcome evil with good, we can be peacemakers. We’ll need God’s help for this and none of us are perfect. We’re human. Our unique combination of gifts and strengths and weaknesses makes us the unique, often lovable people that we are.

I thank you for your prayers for my bad neck pain. After months, cortisone injections have brought significant relief for which I am grateful.

As I said at church a few weeks ago, a colleague and I had a trip in June to the coast of Wales filled with wonderful sights and sounds. This was continuing education with a festival celebrating the highly regarded poet and Church of Wales priest, R.S. Thomas. There were paintings by his wife Elsie, and also live music and worship. There were beautiful thousand-year-old churches on cliffs overlooking the ocean. There were castles, much natural beauty and friendly people. And we lucked out with great weather in Wales with temperatures in the 70s and sunny most every day. The biggest challenge was traveling, particularly delays and chaos at the Toronto Pearson Airport.

I also had a good vacation in July in southeastern Wisconsin where I grew up and enjoyed seeing friends, family and many relatives, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years at a birthday party/family reunion. Again there were delays with flights.

It’s good to be back in beautiful Columbia County. Though with supply chain issues, a part for my car that’s under warranty has not been available for a long time. It took a while, but I finally have a rental car that is partly to be reimbursed by the Ford dealer. I mention this as supply chain issues and inflation are causing hardship for many. Though it is good that the unemployment rate is low.

I’m excited that the SJITW Harvest Festival is coming up on September 17! Thank you to the leadership of Jim and Patricia Wann and Marjorie Hoog and those of us on the committee helping out!
SJITW continues to move forward with:

  • big overhaul of the sacristy,
  • new accessibility entrance to the church,
  • new parking area (completed) and blacktop,
  • new shed/pavilion,
  • new woodland gathering/prayer circle and
  • restoration of the Pomeroy Graveyard.

These are thanks to the Capital Campaign Committee led by Brian Boom and Lucy Eldridge, the Building and Grounds Committee (which is blessed with two architects: Chair, Marjorie Hoog and Dale Peterson) and which includes Bob Flynn. And with thanks to the leadership of the Vestry. As the buildings and grounds in this beautiful place are maintained and enhanced, it enables all of us to continue to come together for worship, prayer and enjoyment of the beauty inside and out here at St John in the Wilderness.

Thank you everyone, members and friends of SJITW, for your prayers, your presence, your ministries, your good work and your support. Finally, I want to highlight with thanks Wendy Langlois and Arthur Eppler for their important coffee hour ministry these days.

In peace, John+

Ancient church in Wales
Ancient church, Wales

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