What a strange, strange week I’ve had. I must say I am feeling a little discombobulated. Let me start with end of the week and work my way backwards. I think you will find a few engaging tidbits, so be sure to read to the end.
First, the picture is of a Chokecherry tree. If you have never tasted a Chokecherry, now is not the time to start. We used to call them pucker-berries, because although they look like little cherries, they are very, very tart. But… they make an amazing jam. For those who don’t know it, I am a bit of an artisan jam maker. Generally making my jams for foraged fruit. My favourites are probably wild grape, and black raspberry, but chokecherry has an exquisite taste that is to die for. I had been searching for years for a tree in my area with a decent enough crop to make my jam, and today (Sunday) I found one. It was just a few blocks from my house, growing wild next to the hockey arena.
Two weeks ago I had picked Saskatoon berries. For those who don’t know what they look like, imagine a blueberry growing in a tree whose taste is a combination of cherry and almond. That is the Saskatoon berry for you. The best pie I have ever eaten was a Saskatoon berry pie. Well, I didn’t have enough Saskatoon berries to make a batch of Jam, so I decided to throw them in with my Chokecherries. And I got to wondering, has anyone ever made a jam with that combination before? Quite likely not.
So I set my juicer on the stove with all the berries in the top. Once the juice was flowing nicely I decided to come down stairs to write this post. Well this being the week that it was, I was soon summoned upstairs. The smell of burned chockecherry juice permeated the upper levels of the house. I had let the juicer run dry. Fortunately, I was able to rescue enough of the juice that I will be able to make my jam this week.
That morning we decided to play hooky from church. We did a six kilometre hike around a lake with the intention from going for a swim at the end. The temperature hit 93 degrees, and with the humidity it felt like 105. My the time we got to end of the hike, we just wanted to go home, shower, and nap.
Of course I wasn’t the only one playing hooky on Sunday. I read Friday about a recent study published by Barna. Apparently the initial reports of increased online church participation were in fact just a curiosity bump. Apparently only a third of Church attending Christians have been faithful to their pre-covid churches. The rest have either been also checking out other churches, switching churches, or stopping attending altogether.
The dropout rate has been highest among millenials with 50% those who attended prior to Covid-19 no longer attending.
I am not sure where Saturday went. I think it involved a lot of sleep.
On Thursday I found out that a prior co-worker had just passed away from a heart attack. He was only 45. He used to sit in the cubicle next to mine and helped be out a lot when I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He had been diagnosed as a child. It hit home. Donovan was passionate about racing his motorbikes and I always appreciated his sense of humour.
On Tuesday another friend of mine made the National news by refusing to be the videographer at a gay wedding. In Canada, with some narrow exceptions, if you offer a service publically, you cannot discriminate who you offer it to. Although I have been quite outspoken as an ally of LGBTQ persons, I do have some empathy for the videographer, as no one deserves the hate that has been directed her way. It will be interesting to see where this ends up. As an interesting side note, about a year ago I was walking out of church behind a couple of guys who I didn’t know. They were talking about a wedding photographer friend of theirs, who “wouldn’t confirm his availability until he confirmed that the couple were straight.” I thought to myself this week, so are those the only options left to conservative Christians in the wedding business in Canada, be forthright and get crucified for it, or be deceptive? I think that Evangelical Christianity is going to have to take a long look at this and figure out where it is headed.
And last Sunday was another strange day. In my post last week I had said that I would try to make the best of a bad situation as far as Sunday morning worship goes. Then last Sunday they announced a change in the music format. The music team was going to be altogether again. Multiple singers, multiple musicians, all indoors, no masks. I was so upset I had to leave our TV room, and take some time working in the garden to calm down. Like the majority of those in the survey I will probably look to do something different on Sunday mornings going forward. Hey Chaplain Mike, is your service still online?
Well that was my rather strange week. I managed to get some work for work done in there as well. There are a few things in there to chomp on, and as usual your thoughts and comments are welcome.