And God Saw That It Was Good … eh?

I arrived back home at 10:30 pm Saturday night after a two day drive from Thunder Bay. The Beginnings and Beyond Institute has definitely helped me focus on the work of Christian Initiation … an apprenticeship of adults into our Christian way of life. There is much to rethink and reformulate, how we invite and welcome those who seek communion with us, how we help them draw closer in relationship with God, how we ourselves respond to God’s invitation to ongoing conversion, how we observe the periods and mark the process to full communion, how we invite them to participate in the church’s mission of reconciliation and service, how we perceive the unfolding of God’s plan in our lives. This evening our Christian Initiation Team met to plan the next few months. We are hoping to switch to a year-round catechumenate model, where people who wish to begin the journey can begin whenever they are ready. So we provide the mechanism for them to respond to God’s invitation to full communion with us at their pace.

This doe was grazing behind our place of residence for the week on the campus of Lakehead University. I took a couple of pictures. In this one, she is actually looking at the camera.

The cornerstone (although not at a corner) of St. Patrick’s, the downtown parish where the Beginnings and Beyond Institute was held, a combination workshop and retreat that kept us intensely engaged. Truly excellent presentations! Yay Catherine and team!

The altarpiece in the sanctuary of the cathedral. Quite a modern work of art. I don’t believe I actually got a closer look. This was a zoom shot from the front doors of the cathedral. We weren’t supposed to be taking pictures during the adapted rites nor the presentations … it would take away from our full and active participation. They really know their documents.

On Thursday, Bob took a group of us to the Fort Williams Historical Park, a living history experience. Standing to Bob’s left, history reenactor woman (don’t believe we got a name), Margaret, Randine and Sharon. After taking this picture we entered the wigwam, where a charcoal fire gave heat (and smoke) to warm us weary visitors, while a soft rain fell all day. This was supposed to be set in the early 1800s, and this was their experience of home. I was cold and wet, and found myself longing for home in Waynesboro (where I could be warm and dry).

Don’t know why I decided to do some reenacting myself … in the tailor’s shop.

Sharon doing her impression of the woman at the well. She said the pitcher smelled of kool-aid.

With the natives (well, the women who fed all the inhabitants of the fort). They showed us how coffee beans were slow roasted in their day.

In the Great Hall, Sharon and Randine played chess … convincing at first glance. But notice how they’re moving pieces at the same time.

In the Great Hall at the head table set for the next meal under the watchful gaze of someone really important … had no idea who it was.

In one of the bunk houses, Randine and Sharon portray a 14 point buck.

Back at the Institute, Bob and I worked as a pair. At the first adapted rite (Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens), I played an inquirer, Bob was my sponsor.

The first person I met at the Institute, Ron from St. Ann’s on the reserve, a native Ojibway. He took me to supper where everybody knew his name (literally, and him their names as well) where I had deep fried pickerel (walleye) and chips. Tasty.