2020: The Year in Review

Wow, what a year! I could never have imagined that this year could be like this. But believe it or not, I do not consider this my worst year. I can think of at least two years in the last decade that were worse for our family.

Family

This was a big year for our family. Emma became a teenager, Abby became an adult and Justus started high school. Justus also got some publicity with his guitar playing as his short tribute to Eddie Van Halen was picked up by the media.

One of the hardest family issues for us was because of COVID-19. I have only seen Logan and Abby three times since February. We didn’t even see Logan on his 19th birthday. On the positive side, Logan and I started emailing each other. Since Logan is nonverbal, I’m learning things about him for the first time.

There were big changes for Amanda. After working with me for two years at Queen Street Baptist Church, Amanda accepted a position at Southridge Shelter. She is continuing her studies in the Master of Theological Studies program at McMaster Divinity College.

Another big thing for the family was that I have discovered that I have a number of half-siblings. I have not met them in-person, partially because of COVID-19, but we have been in contact. As someone raised as an only child, this is a big change for me.

Ministry

I am just completing my fifth year at Queen Street Baptist Church. It is hard to believe that it has been five years already. We have had to adjust to the pandemic and this has required a tremendous amount of change. I am so proud of our congregation for changing so much, in such short time, and without complaint. We had set a one ton challenge, seeking to collect 2000 pounds for our local food bank. We were forced to cancel that and replace it with a two ton challenge because of people’s generosity. We did collect our 4000 pounds.

I have now been one of the chaplains at the Lincoln and Welland Regiment for a year and a half. I have really enjoyed my time there and I look forward to the year ahead. Like the church, the regiment has had to adapt to the pandemic situation. I have been so impressed with our leadership and how they have guided us through this. I’m proud to serve with these men and women.

School

I should have graduated from Acadia Divinity College with my Doctor of Ministry degree a number of years ago. I almost quit. But instead, I changed my research to disability ministry for small churches. This new direction has energized me. The first draft of my thesis is pretty much done and I’m on track to graduate in 2021.

Blogs, Podcasts and Videos

I have been very active on my blogs and podcasts. One of my new projects has been a website and podcast on the Jesus Myth Theory. I have also restarted my YouTube channel and have been having a lot of fun with that. Why do I do all this when I am already so busy? It is part of how I unwind.

How has 2020 been? It has been stretching. That means I have grown a lot as a pastor and a Christian and a human being. It also means it has been painful. I have seem this pandemic bring out both the best and worst in people. I hope that it has brought out the best in me.

Thank you for your support in reading my blog posts. God bless you and your family.

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