Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tender Mother

Holy Mother,
tender you are
as you cradle
your son,

our Way.

As you kiss
his lips,
his breath,

you remain
of God,
of love.

As you have
and given birth
to love,

you invite us into

the intimacy
of Love's embrace,
the joy
of Love's kiss,
the fullness
of Love's breath,

to conceive
of Christ
who is Love.

20 December 2016

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Winter's Solstice

Winter's solstice
descends upon the land
with a deepening
blanket of darkness

marching toward that
point verge
when the earth
and leans again
into the light.

Softening the despair
of the expanding night,
shining stars
appear on trees
outside in gardens,
inside of homes,

as light
breaks the darkness,
as the sun
invites hope into the day,
and the Son
is born into the heart.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Advent and Taize

Earlier this year I had the honour of visiting Beaumont Hamel in France, a memorial and reminder of humanity’s need to “wake up” to a deeper love that is needed to heal and reconcile our broken world. Also while in France, I got to visit two very important communities who are doing foundational work for peace and reconciliation within the human family: the Buddhist community of Plum Village and the Christian community of Taize. 

Plum Village was founded by a Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thick Nhat Hanh. Thick was a victim of the Vietnamese war, and is now one the world’s leaders in the practice of mindfulness, inner peace, and compassion for all. Thousands of people visit Plum Village every year from all over the world to learn and deepen their practice of mindfulness and compassion, and thereby having a significant impact on lives, families, communities and the world. 

I also was able to visit and experience Taize. Taize was founded by Brother Roger after the Second World War. The Church of the Reconciliation at Taize was built by German youth as the process of healing and reconciliation began between the two countries. Taize attracts thousands of youth each year from different countries, cultures and languages. These are youth (and others) want to “wake up” to a larger life. The spiritual tools used at Taize to help “wake” people up, among others, are: chant, meditation, and praying with icons. 

One of the many icons in the Church of the Reconciliation is the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration has its rightful place within the liturgical year, but this particular icon also has advent written all over it. Praying with this icon is a call to wake up to Christ’s life. 

Notice that the disciples at the bottom of the icon are sleepy, just barely awake. They have halos (loving consciousness), but they are hardly visible. As you move up the icon, symbolic of the journey of spiritually “waking up,” there are trees and obstacles in the way. Inherent in a meditation practice is to learn to recognise the obstacles within us that prevent the flow of Divine love that we are. At the top and on either side of the icon, there are Elijah and Moses. Their halos (conscious love) are brighter than the disciples. And they are also within two spheres - heaven and earth, spiritual and material. In this icon, Elijah and Moses are “awake” and connected with divine life. And, of course, Jesus is at the centre of it all. His halo is the brightest. As fully human and fully divine, Jesus is fully conscious of the Divine Love that he is. In Jesus exists both heaven and earth. In you and I exists heaven and earth. All is one in Christ. This Advent, the world needs us to “wake up” to the reconciling love that is within every human being, of every language, gender, sexuality, colour, culture, and religion. God is all in all. Love is all in all. Wake up!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Mystery of Night

In this paradise of
where eagles and whales have
the sun has
night has
creatures are now at

The mystery of life
in the darkness
as the ocean roars and crashes
against the shore
"I will be with you all

preparing you for a new
with new encounters,
in a new

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Nature's Majestic Procession

The lonely
white owl

in the silence
of what remains
to night.

begins to soften
with new light.

The majestic

Colour spreads
over the awakening

the morning air

as the sun
in splendour

and creation says
to a new beginning.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Summer's Dusk

The last day
of August.
is drawing to an end.
there is a coolness
in the island's air.
The tree's leaves show no sign
of their impending demise.
The garden's perennials
have bloomed.
The berry bushes
have yielded their harvest.
The vegetables
are not far behind.
This island is ripe
with changing life,
as summer offers
her dusk.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Hidden Ground of Love

in your gaze.

into your eyes

I am no more.

is suspended

as the seas of self

and I journey into the

of your

The light of your

invites me deeper into the

of our true

within you.

within me.

The hidden ground of

Hiking and Meditation

Being in the outdoors and connecting with nature is something that we are made for. The exercise, the fresh air, the beautiful wildlife and landscape has the God given potential to open up the mind and free the soul. Over the last number of years, hiking and being in nature has taken on for me a more intentional spiritual practice. I’ve been spending more time in nature as a means of getting out of my busy, overcrowded, tiny mind, and connecting with the freedom, beauty and spaciousness of creation.

Last fall I was on a solo overnight backpacking hike on a section of the East Coast Trail. On the hike out of the wilderness, I met two men working on the trail, members of the East Coast Trail Association. We got to talking, I told them I was an Anglican Priest, and that they should consider taking me on as “chaplain for the trail.” One of the men thought there might be something to that idea, and invited me to apply to become a hike leader for the Association. With that, I applied, went through the orientation process, and led my first group hike in August as a “Nature and Spirituality” hike.

So many people live their lives trapped in the cage of their unrelenting and limited thinking minds. There are even those who hit the trail and enter into nature hoping to experience more inner freedom, only to carry all of their mind noise and distraction with them on the trail. Therefore the intention of the nature and spirituality hike was to enter into nature with simple presence and appreciation as a means of opening up our busy and complex minds. The beautiful landscape helped us to become forgetful of self and, through encounter with nature, connected us to the larger Life that pulses through all of creation.

The hike began with some direction on how we might want to consider combining meditation and hiking. The 20 participants could linger and do their own looking and listening and experiencing at their own pace during the first leg of the hike, all of which was done in silence. At the half way point, and before eating lunch, the invitation was made to reflect upon and share something of how we experienced and connected with nature. The return leg of the hike was at a more normal pace together as a group, in silence, but with more open minds and a greater sense of simple presence.  Hiking straight through on the return leg was also an opportunity to practice mindfulness in focusing on each step and each breath we take. Again at the end of this portion of the hike, the group shared something of their own inner experience. All participants fully enjoyed and got something refreshing out this nature and spirituality hike. Creation is in us and all around us, inviting us to connect and to become whole. All we have to do is to step in!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Solitude in a fierce landscape

along the coast.


The fog
draws close
as the sea
against the shore.

The horn
in the distance

A gentle
to shelter
to the
of the

in the
of a

Sunday, 15 May 2016

This Nothern Island

The cold wind
in May.

The spirit
to rise,

as the heavy sky
it down.

The restless mind
of a warmer land.

New buds
the bare trees,

new growth
up through the cold earth,

offers a measure of
on this northern island.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Beaumont Hamel: Memorial of Hope

In this 100th Anniversary year of the Battle of the Somme, Valerie and I have had the privilege of visiting Beaumont Hamel Memorial Park in Northern France. In the battle for Beaumont Hamel, and because of the horrible losses to the regiment, communities and families of the small island and nation of Newfoundland in 1916, the identity of a people was forged. “Beaumont Hamel” is etched in the collective memory of every Newfoundlander.
When Valerie and I walked into the fields of Beaumont Hamel, it felt like home. It felt like we, as Newfoundlanders, were part of that place.
The iconic Caribou memorial and the Salt Box style interpretation centre certainly affirmed what we were feeling in our hearts. But looking out unto the trenches, battle field and cemetery, the warm feeling of home was chilled by the memory of the brutal realities of war. Standing near the famous “Danger Tree,” a landmark where the regiment was ordered to gather, the war cemetery loomed in the distance.
We read the names of many of the fallen Newfoundlander’s aloud as we prayerfully moved over that holy ground. And as we did, we had a great sense of being at one with the Newfoundlanders who lost their lives. At one with them in the one Life that is God. These are our dead. This is our land. This is our memorial. Yet as walking prayerfully around this beautiful and at the same time haunting memorial park, I was called to remember the German men who lost their lives there. At the far end of the memorial park, there is also a Scottish memorial for their fallen on that field and who eventually won the small plot of land. As I walked and sat and reflected (the bronze cast at the entrance to the park reads “Tread softly here! Go reverently and slow”), I had an expanding sense of the tragedy and senseless loss of life in war. And I had an expanding sense of being at one with not only the Newfoundlanders who lost their lives, but also with the Germans, the Scotts, and all who lost their lives at Beaumont Hamel. Much has changed in the world since 1916, yet the call to identify with the union of all souls and respect for all of life remains. Beaumont Hamel is our enduring memorial to that hope. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Easter Love

Holy One
you call us to more.

Jesus suffers
and opens the way

to more union
with you.

From that place
of unitive life

my truest self
is without sin

my truest self
is worthy

and at one with Life.

From this calm depth
may the new creation
that I am


and transform
my entire life

until I am only


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Suffering Jesus

Suffering Jesus,
you offer yourself
on the cross

to set us free
from slavery
to sin,

to set us free
from the illusion
of being separate from God.

You gave your life
to reveal to us
that there is only
one life
one flow
that all share in.

It cannot be taken from us.

It is who we are.
It is what we are.

Suffering Jesus,
you offer yourself
on the cross

only to rise again,
the first fruit
of true life.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Drop the rock

             Who are you
            to judge another.

      You look on with distain
         a rock in your hand
         ready to condemn
         ready to sentence.


               the woman.
               the sinner.
             all the sinners.
     all those who make mistakes.


                  If not,

             drop the rock!

Monday, 7 March 2016

I Share in Your I Am

Open Presence,
gentle and loving.

You invite me
into your embrace.

You call me
out of the noise and clutter of my mind
into the calm of your heart.

You are the door
through which I enter.

You are the energy
that draws me deeper.

You are the Spirit
revealing to me
that I share in your
I Am.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

It is more important to Belong than it is to Believe

I’ve recently read Nadia Bolz-Weber’s “Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the wrong people.” Nadia is a tattooed and cursing Lutheran Pastor in Denver, who founded the House for All Sinners and Saints. The birth of this particular community came from the call on Nadia’s ministry to start a church community for the marginalised - a place for people who didn’t “fit in” to mainstream conservative church. Nadia tells the story of a middle aged gay woman, who did not believe in Jesus, but who found “meaning in the belonging” at the House for All Sinners and Saints. This person found purpose in simply belonging to the community. After a number of years of being a part of this inclusive church, the woman had a crisis of faith, and asks for a meeting with Nadia - she was starting to believe in Jesus! Through her experience of belonging to this Christian community, as she was, she eventually came to faith in Jesus. What a beautiful story of transformation. The Christian church, for far too long, has been very good at judging people, telling people who was in and who was out, who was welcome and who was unwelcome, how to behave and how not to behave, what to believe and what not to believe. And if you didn’t conform, you were made to feel guilty, and excluded from the “Holy Communion.” The beautiful truth is that there is no one outside of “Communion” with God - and no church denomination or world religion can change or altar that! Historically the church has been more concerned about being “correct” than about being “connected.” The Good News in Jesus is not judgement, but grace. Jesus calls us to open up to what and who we already are. We are more than our ego personalities. We are more than our moral behaviour. We are more than what we can think or conceive. Our deepest and truest self, our spiritual hearts, are one with the Divine Life. It is the one Life and Love that we all share. It is the place where everyone belongs. The call on the church today is to get better at helping all people belong…as they are and where they are. Belief in who Jesus is will come.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

What is it?

What is it
to be alone with Spirit?

It is
to be alone with self
in the presence of Self

and experience love.

What is it
to know temptation?

It is
to know weakness within self
in the presence of Self

and experience compassion.

What is it
to live more fully?

It is
to be changed
by love and compassion

and experience the presence of God.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

the way

so many walls
so many barriers

every created
person or thing
every human
thought or action
every communal
prayer or ritual

is a potential obstacle
to communion
with the Source

the way
of jesus is
the way
of Spirit
the way
of Love

the way
that breaks through
the way
that tears down

the way
that is less about letter
the way
that is more about spirit

the way
that transforms
into pathways
holy communion

Friday, 15 January 2016

All are Welcome and Belong to the Church and God that I Know

Beginning a new year, reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future, (and in spite of the recent Anglican Primates decision to exclude the Episcopal Church of the USA because of human sexuality issues) I am aware of a deep sense of thankfulness to be part of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Dioceses in Newfoundland and Labrador, and its witness. 

Our church and its leadership has been on the front lines in opening the doors, welcoming and sponsoring Syrian refugee families. Inspiring inner city work is being done as our church has partnered with Safe Harbour Outreach Project to provide a new location to operate their human rights-based sex worker advocacy program.” Our church has been doing important work with a new furniture bank called “Home Again.” These are only some of the outreach and witness of the larger church in the last year in our local diocese. At the parish level throughout our province and nation, there are uncountable expressions of outreach, care and inclusion of all people of gender, colour, faith, culture, and sexuality. 

Even more than this, in a global climate that is charged with fear and the highlighting and excluding of what differentiates and separates, I am thankful to be part of an Anglican Church of Canada that is seeking to include any and all inquirers of faith and deepening life, and a church that is encouraging understanding, respect and dialogue with every expression of life affirming faith, ideology and culture. 

This is all beautiful and of God. But the truth remains that in order for our Church to survive on the margins of society and to offer effective outreach and witness to the community and wider world, we need to go deeper. Jesus never did say “worship me,” but he did say “follow me.” As we deepen our awareness of the gift of Christmas, that each and every one of us are incarnations of God, we will deepen our consciousness as a church, as a society, as a global village, that all are included, all are loved, all are adored. That’s the church that I belong to. That’s the church I am thankful for.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Church has left the Building

marginalized church
on fringes
of modern society

discerning identity
it's place
in a changing world

no longer dictating
what to believe
how to live

inviting people
into community

depths of God
that is love


a place of blessing
the church
outside the building

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Epiphany of Love

Good news
for all peoples
for all times.

The treasure
that all cultures and creeds

The star
the brightness
of human and divine.

We are not separate
from God.
We are not separate
from each other.

The babe from Bethlehem,
the child from Nazareth,
the man from Galilee,

has made known
to all peoples
to all times,

the way
of love,

for all to make known
to all peoples
to all times.