being a simple church means having simple churches

One of my (many) grumbles is the extravagance of some of our church buildings. I have little respect for the “decorator priests” who come flying into a parish and begin renovating or pushing grand building schemes – all on the backs of the parishioners. I’m not talking about necessary maintenance or structural work, but of the ego-centered attempts to leave a personal stamp on “their” church. It’s been happening for centuries from small villages to the halls of the Vatican. Perhaps with our new pope’s call to be a simpler, poorer church we should be reconsidering these building projects.

Here’s a piece I just wrote for the Prairie Messenger on this topic….

the month that was….and good riddance!


To all the good souls who are kind enough to follow this blog (if you’re still out there!)…..

Dear friends,

I was losing steam this past spring, and decided to be more intentional in grabbing lots of ‘holy leisure’ this summer. Time away can be energizing and revitalizing. Hubby and I had a glorious July and August, splitting our time between the lake and the office. So good, in fact, that I began having visions and dreams of retirement. Wouldn’t it be glorious??? We headed out on the Labour Day weekend to enjoy one last summer bash. On the Saturday afternoon, we received a call from one of our employees. There was a bigger bash happening back home. Someone had driven a car into our dental office!

It seems that a novice driver was still learning the subtle difference between the brake, the accelerator, and the forward and reverse gears. My cell phone began ringing off the hook with texts, calls and offers to help. By the time we made the three hour trek home, the frontage had been secured. We owe a debt of gratitude to friends and family who dropped everything on a holiday weekend to help us out. Thanks to a friend who is also an ace contractor, a temporary facing and door was installed so our office could stay open while we waited for the permanent renovations. All was good. We headed out on the Friday, joking with the staff about having a drama-free weekend. It was not to be…

The next day, I was driving hubby to the city for emergency surgery for a detached retina; a mere week after the office crash. Really God???? Are you kidding me???? All of a sudden, visions of retirement turned to a very real possibility. I could still do my work with some impaired vision in one eye – but I don’t do the detailed, fine-motor work required of dentists. Again….dear Lord…what were you thinking????

It’s been almost three weeks since the surgery. Hubby is still recovering. The prayers and love of many are supporting us through the unknown. Each day, his eye looks and feels a wee bit better. All we can do is wait to see how much vision is restored. There is reason to hope that all will be well….