Well we are into the start of the Saskatoon summer and things aren’t really going as planned. As Wendy writes on her blog, she is struggling a bit with her depression which impacts us all in the house. That has changed our travel and vacation schedule so instead of going up to the cabin this weekend, we are spending Father’s Day in town. We also canceled a quick trip to Calgary in early July. For now, I have to work next Sunday morning which means for a quiet weekend. I am not sure when I will go out to the lake next. I haven’t been out since early May, mostly because of work obligations on the weekends but hopefully next week we will go out for the Feast by the Lake. I had planned to go out on July 1st but it’s a Wednesday this year which just seems to be a waste of a statuary holiday and Wendy will be working it anyways.
Many have asked if the shelter ever gets quiet or is less busy. While winter has it’s challenges, summer has it’s challenges and it is just as busy. For me it is a little busier as staff books off holidays and takes more days off. While it is a little easier than last year, there is still a lot to do over the summer. A friend of mine who is a pastor was chiding me that I needed to get away for my own spiritual health this summer. I reminded him that most of us get holidays and that’s it. We don’t get the luxury of a study break, extended vacation and a four day work week (Don’t give that I preached on Sunday and so I need an extra day of rest. I did it for a decade and it isn’t that hard once Sunday rolls around and if it is, it means you have downloaded a sermon on Sunday morning and slacked for the rest of the week). He asked, “How do you not burn out?” My sarcastic reply was, “My mortgage payment.” The real answer is believing that I am making a difference in the world and to be honest, I am not preaching 45 weeks a year any more. What I do involves creativity and some ingenuity but it doesn’t require the same kind of creativity that someone who is engaged in a performing art needs every week (no disrespect meant to those preachers who read this by calling what they do a performance but I think there is an element to that). I am not manufacturing creativity on a schedule, different situations require different solutions. It’s a different game.
Of course all of that being said, summer around here does allow me to try some new ideas out. A retreat for some of our longer term clients, a Canada’s Day barbecue, a CFL kickoff celebration, and a really, really big garage sale later this summer. It also lets me figure out what we can do here in the fall and winter. I would like to do an evangelism/discipleship class for guys who are largely illiterate. Something quite a bit simpler than Alpha. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments.