Pastors Garage

*Pastor’s Garage Oct 21/2023*

So I just got back yesterday afternoon from a week-long conference for the
Canadian Police Chaplains Association in Winnipeg. There were chaplains
there from coast to coast, and some from the states , representing a wide
variety of police services such as RCMP, municipal, military, Ontario
provincial, and the many cities and towns from across Canada that have
their own police services. There was even representation from Nunavut and
the Yukon! Now I have been to many a conference in my day, and they can
differ greatly in breadth and scope, so in going to this one I didn’t know
what to expect. Well I can tell you it was amazing! It’s not that I
necessarily had low expectations, it’s just that it greatly surpassed
anything I dreamed it could be! But the content was not for the faint of
heart. The days were long, filled with many presenters often addressing
weighty topics! There was not much time given for rest or relaxation, or
even interaction for that matter. I should have clued in as they were
calling it an ATS which stands for the Annual Training Seminar. This was no
retreat, in fact it is a necessary component, along with six online
courses, to become credentialed with the CPCA(Canadian Police Chaplains

I never have been one that loves sitting indoors at a desk all day. In an
effort to keep some sanity, every evening either just before or after
supper, I would go for a walk. On the first night I discovered a dog park a
couple blocks away from where we were staying. Being a dog lover, this
became my daily routine, to walk down to the park and just sit and watch
the dogs for a few minutes. At any given time there were usually 15-20
dogs, along with their owners in the park along with other constant
arrivals and departures. My first observation was that they all seemed to
get along much better than I expected. I wondered what kind of chaos would
ensue should I ever bring my two orangutan’s to such a park. I’m not sure
I’d chance it! As I sat there for a while I found it quite entertaining how
each dog had such unique and different personalities. There was a large
black dog who was the greeter! He would walk around the park from dog to
dog, but then bolt to the entrance gate to be the first one to greet any
new arrival, tail wagging vigorously! There was a large brown shaggy dog
who acted like the police. If any two or more dogs started to get into less
than friendly interaction he would immediately get in-between them with a
very authoritative loud bark. There was the ball chaser, who seemingly
wasn’t even aware there were other dogs there, totally fixated on the ball
its owner was throwing. There was the ball steal-er, totally fixated on
getting that same ball. There was a beagle that didn’t spend a lot of time
interacting with dogs, but rather went from person to person soliciting a
pet or two. There was a pug type dog I called nervous Nelly, constantly
just running around wide eyed from dog to dog, and person to person, but
never really interacting with any. There were those who constantly were
running, jumping, wrestling, and playing with any dog who would interact
with them, and then there were those who would just sit off to the side,
happy to observe all the action. There were all sizes, shapes, colours, and
breeds of dogs in that park and it was nothing short of beautiful watching
such diversity, along with quite a bit of chaos, confined to one small park.

As a church family we are not totally unlike that dog park. Each of us have
our own unique personalities and even though quite different we are
confined to a park of sorts. I wonder if the thought ever crossed the mind
of any of the dogs in that park “Why can’t these others just see and do
things the way I see and do them?” I wonder if certain dogs’ personalities
frustrate other dogs? I find it interesting that as a dog owner and lover I
could sit in that park and think that because of the variety it was
beautiful to watch, and yet as a long time church goer I sometimes find
very similar variety frustrating. I wonder what thoughts cross our heavenly
Father’s mind as He watches us interact in our local park? I will close
with some verses that come to mind on community. I urge you to walk in a
manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all
humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1-3
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude
of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has
received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s
varied grace. 1 Peter 4:8-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil, hold
fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one
another in showing honour. Romans 12:9,10

This Sunday, as in tomorrow, there will be a large team of 15 from the
Regina Apostolic church coming to minister to both us and the Jacob Bear
Community church. Clint Taylor, who totally rocked it earlier this summer
as a guest speaker will be ministering to us again. They will also be
leading us in worship. Please make it a priority to join us. We don’t
gather out of some religious obligation to try and appease an angry god. We
gather to honour and worship our God because he is worthy and we all need
the support of standing and gathering together as a family! Next Sunday,
Oct 29, Lowell Oshowy will be sharing his testimony so you don’t want to
miss that either!

Pastor Mike