"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, April 08, 2013


It's been a significant few months on my part of the planet.

Some time ago, Dude With Whom I Co-Pastor started talking about retirement. Not because he's tired. Certainly not because he wants to golf. (He hates golf.) And even more certainly not because he wants to golf in Florida every winter.

He has a special narrow-eyed stare
for people whose only goal in life
is to winter in Florida,
while golfing every day.

That goal does not even begin to compute
in his understanding of how life works.

He simply came to the conclusion that he was ... done. As in - a job well done. He had completed what he had set out to do. And from that perspective, we all were forced (albeit grudgingly) to agree.

Twenty-one years ago he left a full-time, decently-paying job with benefits to begin volunteering downtown at a new church called Crossfire. It was a crazy group of people. Just over two decades later, the congregation is stable, healthy, self-sustaining and vibrantly passionate, thoroughly engaged with our own community, our city and a few places around the world too. He even led us in finding, purchasing and renovating a permanent church home, located right on one of the two main thoroughfares in our city. With on-site parking, no less. Under his leadership, we have survived ups and downs, and have learned to live and love generously, no matter what.

 We're still a crazy group, though,
and rather proud of it.

So his logic was that if he had now completed his work here ... well, then there must be another adventure just waiting in the wings for him. And he DEFINITELY didn't want to miss out on THAT, whatever it might be.

That's how his brain works.
Don't you just love it?

So ... he retired. Which involved all kinds of meetings and processes and formalities. And a kickin' Retirement BBQ a few weeks ago, attended by about 300 people, including our City Councilor, various community business friends, and all kinds of people who aren't particularly a part of Crossfire but who wanted to honour and thank "Pastor Roy". It was, truly, a fabulous day.

And this leaves me with two changes.

First- our church has just one Lead Pastor now, instead of two. We had two for a number of years - a unique situation that I have not heard of elsewhere, and that worked fantastically here. Now we have one Lead Pastor, like most other places. That one is me.

Second - I no longer have to refer to Dude With Whom I Co-Pastor(ed) as such. I can now call him Dad, as I did for several decades before moving here, and as I continued to outside of the office while co-pastoring with him.

So THAT'S very nice.
We're both quietly pleased about that.

Spike and I gave Dad a card at his Retirement BBQ,
but it somehow was lost before he ever saw it.

It was a picture of a cat facing a whole line of dogs.

And the caption was - "You defied the odds. And won."

I'm very proud to follow him.


P.S. Dare I tell you that ... with all of the meetings and formalities and changes now mostly behind me ... with my current class completed, and the next one not beginning until July ... dare I tell you that I hope to show up in this space a little more frequently again?

After all, you likely want to know about Spike's teeth after their sudden altercation with a D-ring last fall.

You might be amused by the results of the behaviour-and-motivation assessment I completed recently that left Spike laughing, head in his hands.

And you certainly want to know about the song that was sent to Spike and me from Ukraine - written and performed just for us.

And our sinkholes. We have sinkholes. It's always exciting to see what will happen next on our little property.

Talk to you soon!

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