This past week has rushed by in a windy
whirl of LEAVES. When I work on this laptop at the dining room table, they are
swirling around outside the windows and whenever I venture outside with Wil
they blow into my eyes and face!
     Every
afternoon I’ve taken about 2 hours to wage war with them and still they
continue to fall. Of course this neighbourhood is full of very large old trees,
mostly Norway Maples, but the winds have been so strong I find myself raking
oak leaves, birch leaves, ash leaves etc. that have blown in from other
streets. However it sure beats shovelling snow in -30° weather!
     After
sending out thank you cards to all those who worked so hard on last weekend’s
Coffeehouse, I settled have down to more work on the 2017 Program.
     Feedback
Forms from communities have indicated that our Follow-up Brochure, (given at
the close of a Day Camp to the Clergy and Coordinator) needs to reflect the
reality of the non-traditional Camp settings in which many of our Day Camps are
now held. Thus I’ve been working on a rewrite and hope the new version will
address some of these concerns with fresh ideas and suggestions. Anna (our
Slideshow creator) has agreed to look over the draft and also to do some
reformatting, which is also certainly required!
    In recent weeks there has been quite a bit
in the news about the suicides of young girls in Northern Saskatchewan. This
terrible tragedy has hit home to us in Montreal as the communities involved are
all places in which we have lead Day Camps. We feel it is very likely that at
least some of those who died could have been Campers and are all heart broken
over the loss, praying that perhaps, because of the experience of attending Day
Camps, we might have helped other youths to remain strong and hold on to their
Special Friend Jesus, in these dark times.
    Thursday
I mailed off a letter I have written to Bishop Michael, of the Diocese of
Saskatchewan, a number of Team Members have also signed it and added their
comments. It is a small gesture but we want to reach out and let the people of
these communities know that, far away in Montreal, we are grieving alongside
them and praying for them.
    Looking ahead: – in the next week or so I
hope to send out reminders to last summer’s host communities, encouraging them
to start sending in their Applications for 2017, and also to a list of
potential locations that have expressed interest.
     Little
will happen as Advent and Christmas approach since even our non-church hosts
are caught up in the Holiday Season. So I know it is now or never to send out
these early reminders
J
     Over the next month or so my work tends to
turn more inward and time will be spent on advance planning for the Training
Retreat and other aspects of the Program which do not require interaction with
the outer “world”.
    I always look forward to this reflective
space just before we dive into the more active work of recruiting as spring
approaches. But I’m getting too far ahead of myself right now I want to savour
the upcoming Advent Season, my most favourite time of year.
 
Unfortunately Advent, this year, will be tinged with sadness too. After
participating in a Parish “Town Hall Meeting” this past Wednesday, it is now
public knowledge that, in just three weeks time, a Special Vestry will be held
at which a vote to close our church will be taken.
   This
Blog is intended to focus firstly on the world of Day Camps, secondly on the
wider work of CTM and thirdly on my own personal life and how I try to live it
out in Christian witness and service. Thus it seems appropriate to include the
current situation, as it will most definitely impact on my life in a major way.
    Last
week it was necessary to share this information with the Jillian, Director of
Crossroads, which for the past year has been meeting at St. Stephen’s. I was
worried that as a new Director she would be very upset but her main concern was
for my losing another church home. Oh my! what would I do without the community
of CTM so much kindness and caring!!
 Perhaps starting out on a new “church search”
will prove a valuable exercise. I’ll be sharing some of my experiences along
the way
J.
Well all the baking is now out of the oven
and my attention should turn to cooking dinner but before signing off, we need
a recipe. Hmm, these Pear Muffins are proving to be a hit with morning coffee
visitors so…
Pear Muffins
½ cup toasted nuts, chopped

2/3 cup cane sugar
¾ cup rolled oats
1 cup unbleached flour
½ cup spelt flour
¼ tsp. each nutmeg and cardamom
½ tsp. salt
6 Tbsps. Melted butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk
2 pears, peeled, cored and grated
In a large bowl whisk together the dry
ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients, including the
grated pear.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, do
not over mix.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups and
bake in a preheated 375° oven for approx. 20 minutes. Makes 12-15 muffins.