Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Fundraiser for Men's Spiritual Wellness Retreat

Fundraiser – Men’s Spiritual Wellness Retreat – Fundraiser
Living Life on Life’s Terms

As the ministry of ICPM flourishes within the inner city community a special direction is taken to support more fully men in their spiritual journeys.  Month by month 15 – 20 men gather for fellowship, share the struggles and joys of their life journeys, and  explore together the strengthening aspects of the practice of spirituality when applied to one’s personal life.

The culmination of this year-long activity is the annual retreat held at the Star of the North Retreat Centre, St Albert.  The reflections offered at the retreat echo the archetypical themes of a life journey, and envision the movement across thresholds of change, change that in many cases is more desirable due to the lived experience of the chaos and loss created by addiction and addictive behaviours.  As the Men Spiritual Wellness Group meets, the challenge is to continue, with God’s help, to move through the doorways of healing and reconciliation, advancing into lifestyles of intentional recovery. Rethinking life choices participants are ensured physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.  Life in the Spirit – A beautiful blossoming!

A participant writes … “Thank you! The first thing is – the Retreat is a blessing place. When I was there, I had a different feeling in my body. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was.  My heart is clear now.”

The cost per person for the weekend retreat is $200.  Each participant is asked for a small offering if they are able. The main cost of the retreat is carried by individual donors who wish to support one or two persons who will attend either the Men’s Spiritual Wellness Retreat, Living Life On Life’s Terms - 2017.  If you wish to support this valuable ministry please send your offering of support to:

·         Inner City Pastoral Ministry 10527 96 St NW, Edmonton AB, T5H 2H6 … or donate through …
·         CanadaHelps.org . 

A note of thanks and a tax receipt will be issued!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Great to be sick at home, when you have a home

This week I have nothing exciting to blog about as I was down for the count.  Knocked out by a flu and allergies, I had met my match and waved the white flag.  As I was throwing back the Neo-citron chasers, and watching Netflix on my laptop, I realized that I was very blessed and lucky to have four walls around me, a roof over my head, and heat and electricity to keep me warm and in the lap of luxury until my temporary illness faded off into the sunset.  It is nice to have a home to be sick in and the technology to have pizza delivered to my door while I type these thoughts out to you.

For many who I serve at Inner City Pastoral Ministries, the same can not be said.  I have many people who suffer way worse illnesses in places unfit to live in or they are homeless.  Struggling to find warmth on the street outside in -20 to -30 weather is absurd when healthy, but to hide away in the tunnels of the LRT while sleeping on cold concrete while the body aches for comfort and warmth, is a struggle most of us do not have to endure, thankfully.  

Even the shelters, albeit they are warm, are just 1-2 inch mats put on the ground with around 400 other people around you.  When your sick, it is an impossible situation.  No wonder the community I serve gets irritable some times at us.  

There are no comfy beds, tv's to entertain you, a dog (in my case) to snuggle with, or family and friends to make you soups or warm drinks.  The human touch isn't there.  Yet, my friends, who I am honored to serve, not only survive they do it for years without complaint nor desiring sympathy.  

It makes me think, it is easy to be sick at home...when you have one that is.  

Monday, 6 March 2017

Building New Relationships by Giving Up Stuff

Stop being a hoarder!  Guess what I am giving for lent.  Yes, we are all in that time of year where people give up things they love for lent.  A practice to create a spirit of penance, and focus on God, you know the things that matter.  In recent years, people will give up on the exercise of fasting, and giving up their beloved items for lent because often it makes them unbearable human beings which in turn can be anti-gospel.  Years I ago I decided to give up on "giving up" for lent.

Yet, this year I decided to take up the practice again.  Why?  As you can guess, working in the inner city I see my share of people who need the stuff I don't use.  So my wife and I realized that over the past year we have been collecting, and collecting stuff given to us.  In fact, we don't know what to do with it.  It becomes a contentious debate sometimes and this stuff often becomes a distraction from our daily focus of prayer, life, and family.

So for the forty days of fasting, penance and focusing on God's Word, we have decided to give up the things we don't need and give them to people who do need them.    

Obviously, there is probably about two hundred things I could give up for lent, but this made sense to me because this act brings the wider community into the picture of my penance.  After all,  penance is based on relationship building.  So by giving someone I don't know an extra coat I have not worn for three seasons and having a conversation with them about their story is just that--relationship building.  I do dare put this challenge out to others, it just may help you focus on the Gospel news more and to help build the kingdom by giving help to someone in need.

Happy Forty Days!