I wish you every blessing as you continue your spiritual journey through the 2016 season of Lent!
My partner Kristan and I, along with our two daughters, Hannah and Kathryn, are really excited to be joining with you in the near future. As I write this article we are camped in a Winnipeg hotel for an energetic week of “House Hunters—Winnipeg!” While finding a place to call home is the main focus of the week, we are also looking forward to the chance to explore both the highlights and the side streets of this fair city.
Of course, the excitement and energy of a move is also tempered by the stuff of relocation itself. We have found ourselves busy as we sand and touch-up walls, pack boxes, make trips to the local landfill, and generally pare-down the accumulated clutter that each home seems to attract. As we ready our house for sale, we are also tying up loose ends in our relationships and preparing to say “farewell” to friends and responsibilities in the community of Outlook, SK. There’s nothing like a pastor leaving to create a sudden urgency in congregations, and I am preparing for eight baptisms and five confirmations in the next three weeks! In a way this is a parallel season of Lent which we as a family are journeying through as we look forward to the Easter-like new beginnings of living in a new city and making new friends.
We are already thinking of you as our new adoptive family, and we are really looking forward to meeting and forging relationships with each of you. If the warmth and hospitality which Kristan and I experienced while meeting with your Call Committee are any reflection of the character of your congregation then we know we will be in a warm and welcoming place—one that will feel very much like home. As an aside, I would like to thank you in particular for bringing Weston Dressler to play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers—his presence will make Winnipeg feel a lot like being back in good old Saskatchewan!
We will be praying for you as you make your pilgrim journey through the season of Lent, and we hope that you will pray for us as well as we make preparations to join you in the season of Easter.
In closing, I leave you these words from the letter to the Philippians: “. . . but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “
Grace and peace be with you all,
Pastor Chris Bishopp and family.