Today is Remembrance Day. 
During the week
my boarder, Jillian asked me for some advice as to how to impart the concept of
Remembrance Day to the young children she would be leading in some
extra-curricular activities.
It is super hard because although we do not
want to frighten these small people with the horrors of war we must at the very
least, instil in then such a desire for peace that the coming generations will
never be able to condone global conflict again.
I think Jillian must have done a good job
because she told me that, as they glued red petals on paper poppies,
several children had shaken their heads and solemnly said it was “so sad”. Of course
we want children to be happy all the time but we also need to help them
experience other emotions as long as it happens in a healthy and caring
environment. Remembrance Day is a time to help them understand some of the harder lessons of our troubled world . 
 I
think we do a pretty fair job of walking this line in Day Camps. Some stories
we share from the Scriptures are full of joy but we also teach the hard and
difficult things doing so from the context of loving and safe space.
This week I’ve spent quite a lot of time
listening to Christmas music. A passing eavesdropper might well think I was
pushing the Season, little would they know that I’m actually trying to assess
the impact of the 2018 Liturgical Dance, hoping that it will be repeated during
Advent and Christmas Services NEXT year!
I have not yet found the right piece. So
many of the most well known Christmas Carols have been reduced to saccharine
“muzac” blaring through loudspeakers in shopping centres, beginning on the day
after Halloween. UGH!!  So I’ve been
leaning towards more obscure songs and Advent Carols in the hopes of finding
the perfect fit.
This past summer our Liturgical Dance was
the African Song- “Seed to Sow”, very upbeat and multicultural to go along with
the “On Fire!” Theme so this year it would be good to illustrate to host
communities the flexibility of this form of prayer by perhaps choosing a
quieter and more reflective piece. Oh dear! This is hard!!!
Besides scrolling through YouTube there has
also been the usual amount of correspondence, a bank deposit, posting Facebook
and calendar events etc.
As Advent draws closer most communities are
too busy gearing up for Christmas Pageants and Carol Services to give much
thought to summer Day Camps so my work tends to turn inward and focus on
various aspects of Program preparation and other advance planning.
Midweek the weather also turned very
wintery with temperatures dropping below -10º and even a sprinkling of snow.
This caused the fallen leaves to freeze firmly to the ground so that even this
morning it was hard to rake them off the now frozen lawns and flower beds. It
will likely warm up a bit again before winter truly begins, meanwhile the scene
outside it pretty drab!
This weekend I’m preparing for another
visit from my “Ottawa Godsons” as their parents will be having a couple of days
away from home to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The small “tribe”
will be delivered to my house on Monday evening and will stay until late
Wednesday. This means stocking up on milk and juice, along with some of their
favourite foods as well as making up beds and hunting out the big tub of Lego!
After raking for over two hours this
morning it seemed wiser to concentrate on prepping baking for tomorrow rather than launching into it late this afternoon. Right now Wil is
giving me “the LOOK”, his internal clock has still, after one week, not yet
adjusted to the time change and so despite the fact that it is only 4pm he is
convinced it is suppertime.😊
Well before I am forced to give in and feed
him, we’ll close off with a recipe.
Since we have had such a cold week I’ve
been pulling out all my soup and stew recipes. One evening we enjoyed…
White Bean, Mushroom & Tomato Stew

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. each dried thyme, fennel & sage
12 oz. mixed mushrooms, quartered
¼ cu chicken broth
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with juices
½ cup chopped cilantro
Grated Parmesan for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over
medium-high and add the onion, garlic and herbs. Cook for about 10 minutes, or
until the onion is soft and browned.
Stir in the mushrooms and broth, cover and
simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes and cilantro and simmer for 10
minutes, until slightly thickened.

Serve over brown rice. Serves 4