6/26/15

looking back, looking ahead

Thirty-five years after my ordination as a Minister of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral care in the United Church of Canada I have come to the end of active ministry ... in other words, I have retired. It is hard to imagine Saturday nights without anxiety about the sermon and Sunday mornings without the responsibility and privilege and joy of presiding. When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis four years ago I feared that illness might prevent me from departing from ministry on my own terms. Now, twenty years after arriving at University Hill Congregation, it is the right time to stop and to begin a new life on the other side of congregational ministry.

6/22/15

to the other side

June 21 was my final Sunday at University Hill Congregation after twenty years as its Congregational Minister. Thirty-five years after my ordination I am retiring from full-time congregational ministry. Here are the notes for the sermon I preached on this occasion.

Mark 4:35-41

Today we find ourselves at the end of twenty years together. For me it is the final Sunday in the pulpit and at the table thirty-five years after ordination. How appropriate that the lectionary brings us to this miraculous story on the sea … a story that has functioned as a root gospel narrative for the church. When memory fades, when communal amnesia takes hold and we forget the gospel we can return here, to the story of the stilling of the storm.

pomalidomide (cycle six)

I am concluding of my sixth month on pomalidomide along with dexamethasone and more recently also with cyclophosphamide. My latest blood results reveal that the treatment is holding my free light chain count steady (currently at 225). The flu-like symptoms (soreness & fatigue) I had been experiencing have recently faded and are less bothersome. I am hoping it stays this way! All things considered, the news is good as I head into retirement.