Summer brings many blessings such as the opportunity to spend yesterday with the fine MDiv Summer Distance students at Atlantic School of Theology. These students have studied hard over these last weeks, and will head back to home and learning sites today, as I head for Berwick Camp to join the 140th annual encampment. This camp community continues to work hard to recover from last December’s devastating storm, and I will carry the love and support of the church with me.
It’s great to hear about more playful summer pastimes enjoyed throughout our country and church as well. Here’s one that might be fun for you:
As background, it was great to be back in Bay of Quinte conference serving as theme presenter and preacher during their annual meeting and celebration of new ministries this year. President Jean Wilson (now past president) chose ‘The Tree of Life’ as the conference theme, providing a great framework for conversation with children and youth as well as with everyone else.
We were greeted with ‘Hope is a Cow’ placemats as we first gathered, for dinner offered by the rural life committee.
The Rev. Steve Spicer explained that he got the theme idea for this dinner while following the May General Council (GCE) meeting on Twitter.
During that GCE meeting I mentioned Hope, the firstborn of cows purchased by the ‘Save our Prison Farms’ movement in Kingston, about whom I told you in an earlier blog entitled ‘Embracing Hope.’
In response to my story, Paul Stott, Chairperson of the Permanent Committee on Governance and Agenda, invited submissions of verses to a new hymn entitled ‘Hope is a Cow’, to the tune of Brian Wren‘s ‘Hope is a Star’.
Within moments, hymn writer Linnea Good offered this:
Hope is a cow, she’s true and she’s real
More than outstanding in her chosen field
When hope is a cow,
the earth is our friend
Digesting the story again and again and again.
And God shall e’re be praised!
Bill Steadman then offered:
Hope is a cow our hearts and minds warms
Symbol of courage so fear is disarmed
For God is the one who placed us on earth
And gives to us all lives of eternal worth
In prisons or on farms.
Via twitter, Richard Bott chimed in:
Hope is a cow that moos in the shed
Calling us all to get out of bed;
When God is a cow, there’s milk in the glass,
Manure for the fields (lots of methane gas)
And all will be amazed.
Puis, Nicole Beaudry nous a donnée:
“Hope,” c’est la vache qui jamais ne se cache.
Malgré les sécheresses et les inondations.
Dans le vent qui fait rage ou la brise légère.
Dans le sombre des nuits, ou le soleil des grandes jours:
“Hope” est toujours là!
Since then, conference meetings have had fun getting into the action. I received ten more verses from Hamilton conference’s AGM including this one:
Hope is a cow that chews on its cud
hoping that someday it’ll get out of the mud.
When God made the cow
there was beef on God’s mind.
For dinners at church
and the funds that will find;
to keep the church alive!
So if you’re looking for another summer pastime, why not add to what twitter users are referring to as this ‘Magnum opus’! Singing is a great way to participate in God’s healing – in any season.