Pastor Chris (Page 6)

Pastor Chris (Page 6)

All blogs written by Pastor Chris Clarke.

Distant Neighbors

This past week I read a book called “Distant Neighbors”. It is a compilation of some of the correspondence between two of my favorite living writers and farmers (one of whom was a central person in my M.A. thesis), Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. The title refers to a line in one of the letters and the idea that these two fellas feel like neighbors even though…

Thoughts of a Paper Shredding Pastor

Every now and then I look for some paperwork or other and realize how cluttered my files are. I then get the urge to purge, purge, purge and this leaves me cutting endless mounds of paper while I watch television. Now that I am starting to grow up and have what many people would consider a real job I have access to grown up luxuries, like a paper shredder at work. This is…

Into the Routine

I love this time of year, the moment after Christmas when things go back to normal. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas and all the hullabaloo that go with it are awesome, the food, the time with family, the extra time with my brothers and sisters at the church, the tree, the food, the lights, the food. All of it can be fun and good but it leaves me tired and ready to get back…

Prayer, Facebook, and Reconciliation

This week I realized that prayer is like a spiritual version of Facebook; it is something that breeds familiarity and community even as one sits alone in a room with the door shut. I have been involved in a mentor group since June. The group is made up of pastors at various points in their careers from retired all the way to the newly ordained (me). We meet monthly, using…

I’m Sorry About Mars Hill

Like many people involved in the church I have found myself watching the happenings over at Mars Hill Church the same way I slow down and gawk at a car accident, not because I really want to, and not because I think I will learn about how to drive better, but because I cannot help myself. I know many people disparage the work of Mark Driscoll and other mega-church…

Reading and God

One of the events that takes place each month at St. Andrew’s Duncan is called the Nifty-Fifty Lunch and it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a lunch (this week we had ham with all the fixings) during which a whole lot of folks (mostly retired) spend time in fellowship. Each month they ask a speaker to come and talk for 10 minutes or so about whatever they feel…

When All Else Fails

In my office the last week or so there have been a small parade of people bringing tidings of woe. They come in, sit down, and then struggle not knowing where to start their story. Then they find somewhere and off they go, the words either tumbling out of their mouths because they have so longed to tell someone what’s going on, or for some the words come more slowly,…

Thoughts on Remembrance Day

We are all so heartbreakingly small. We feel like we are the center of the world because we see the world through only one set of eyes and that set takes on epic proportions. I know when I am really happy; when there is a bounce in my step and I feel light, I cannot believe how unhappy or indifferent the people around me appear to be about life. Just like when we were…

What Did He Say?

  This week I read one of the most chilling quotes I have ever come across. It went straight to my heart, and I instantly felt a wave of panic come over me, like it was referring to my own little boys, or the parents of the little girls I know. It was the sort of quote that sends me to my knees in prayer, the sort of thing that can only allow for two responses, first…

We Still Need Community

We need community ties. This past week has been an amazing reminder of how relevant the bible always is. My mind is racing with all the ways I want to apply its wisdom to the issues of the day, but a scattered few is all there is time for here. It’s been a tough slog in Canada, between shots ringing through our parliamentary buildings and city streets, violent beatings to…

Missing It, While It’s Happening

Last night was a joyous occasion in the Clarke household. It was the second birthday of our younger son, Thomas. It was a nice day on which I accomplished more then I set out to do and finished it all off with a birthday party with many of the new kids and parents in my life. Oliver was dressed as an astronaut, because that’s how kids dress these days. Everyone had a good…

Presence

  I’ve been thinking a lot about presence this week. As Mary and I settle in to a new life in a new place we need to very present to each other. It reminds me of when we first brought Oliver home and he refused to sleep and Mary had a long recovery from a difficult childbirth. We needed to be close to each other, to hold each other, to lift each other up and…

Welcome Fall

Hello folks, This is my first day in the new office and what a beautiful God-given day it is!  What a pleasure it is to set up an office on a splendid October morning (or not set it up and spend your time writing instead, as the case may be).  For me October is a time of settling in, probably thanks to many years of schooling I’ve been conditioned to expect change…