Not daring to be silent


silence-in-the-face-of-evil-is-itself-evil-god-6887308

LIFE ALONG THE WAY:

Well … this was unexpected

I thought I was done with this blog. Quilting slowed to a crawl as other things took precedence: knitting (projects for another post), a bit of garment sewing and baking for church and our own (over)consumption.  I kept telling myself that everything has a season, and the season for Bible Block Quilts had passed.

Then….

  • A pastor friend interjected in the middle of a Facebook  discussion about journalists’ adversarial relationship with the current US executive branch:
    • **is a leftist jerk. The worst reporter on the Clinton News Network.
  • The national leader of the denomination in which I hold lay minister credentials wrote a letter on behalf of the denomination arguing vehemently against a recent Bill before Canadian Parliament that made it illegal to say hateful things about Muslims.
  • I was chastised by a representative of my denomination for reacting to an email  sharing a putative “news report” that was neither news nor a report but was actually a hate-filled rant that made me physically ill at its sheer nastiness. Apparently my response (…don’t EVER send me anything like this again!)  wasn’t polite or tactful. “You can catch more flies with honey, Kim.”

So here I am. Back again.  If there’s anyone out there still reading this, be prepared: there will be precious little quilting, much less baking and sharing recipes.

I’m not likely to be posting sweet spiritual messages to accompany pretty patchwork. I’m not interested in catching flies (with honey or anything else). I am determined to proclaim truth, to speak out against the evil that has overtaken my precious church.

Some who claim Jesus would approve of xenophobic hatred point to his wrath overturning the tables in the temple (Matthew 21:12). I respectfully ask you to remember that it was those who claimed to worship His Father that incurred His anger, not followers of another religion.

You who profess to be followers of Christ yet twist the gospel to justify hatred ARE the moneychangers in God’s house today: you have sold your calling in exchange  for political coin.

This is not the Grace into which I fell when my soul was broken and mended. This is not my gospel. This is not my Jesus.

I will not be silent.


Comments on these posts are moderated: I will not tolerate personal attacks nor will I countenance incivility. You are welcome to disagree; you are not welcome to disrespect.

May 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm 2 comments

Yes….Another Mask Tutorial


CLICK TO DOWNLOAD NORTH MEMORIAL MASK SEWING INSTRUCTIONS — simplified method with added wire

IMG_1280

I’ve been sewing masks for my neighbours: packaging them in plastic and pinning them to the bulletin board by the community mailbox.

I’ve adapted the North Memorial pattern found here: https://northmemorial.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/north-memorial-health-homemade-healthcare-masks.pdf . You will still need to download and print or draft their pattern pieces.

I add a small piece of wire at the nose to eliminate any gapping, and changed the sewing instructions slightly: no need to mark and tack the mouth/cheek pieces. Feel free to print and share my take on this for your own use.

–Kim

April 16, 2020 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

Leaning in: Easter Saturday


river1It’s Easter Saturday as I write this: that most unappreciated day of the season. It’s the sorrowful wait: the worst has happened; the best is not yet imagined.

Most years we slide right over Easter Saturday. It’s the last day to buy candy and baskets for tomorrow’s frenzy of finding;  the day to thaw the meat, prep the vegetables, count the knives and forks and set the table for the big family gathering. But this year, Easter Saturday comes into its own.

This year, I begin to understand how the day must have felt for the disciples. Borne under by a flood of sorrow; fearful of every sound outside their door. Everything they had hoped for; everything they had dreamed at the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday is crucified with Christ yesterday at Calvary.  The loss is total and devastating.

Let’s lean in. Let’s join the disciples (all the disciples, not just the twelve, but the women, the followers who didn’t make the cut, the late comers, the hopeful-but-not-sure). Let’s grieve for all the plans that have shattered. Let’s recognize the fear of death that lurks at our door. Let’s acknowledge the floodwaters of grief that close over, leaving us gasping for air as we fashion masks from bandannas while bombarded by a mind-numbing stream of misinformation. Let’s admit, as they surely did, that nothing will ever be the same again.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s say out loud that this is hard; let’s allow ourselves and others to grieve because this isn’t what we believed God had in mind for us. Like the Marys, we begin to put together what we need for right now, but it feels more like herbs and cloths and spices for the corpse than the celebration we thought we should have.

A couple of months ago, we watched the flood waters pour over the banks of the river across from our house. When the water receded, it left behind devastation: debris, rocks, toppled trees. That must have been how the Jesus people felt on Saturday as the first shock began to slip away, leaving them changed forever. That’s how I feel as I contemplate what life may look like on the other side of the curve we’re flattening for Covid-19. Much of my comfortable world looks like debris.

We’re in the Easter Saturday waiting. Don’t rush through it. Mourn the ones we have lost, even while we are separated from others who should be here to comfort. Sit with our sorrow; cry together (while apart); honour our shattered hopes and prepare them for a decent burial

But also remember we will enter a different life once waiting is over. God is not surprised at any of this; He walks us through Saturday and into Resurrection life.

Let’s not rush toward it, but know in our souls that Sunday morning is coming, just as this impossibly delicate wild lily pushed its way through the debris beside the river, preserved against all hope from the watery grave of winter floods. There will be improbable beauty on the other side of this long, weary Easter Saturday.

He is Risen. Life wins

chocolate lily

— Pastor Kim

April 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm 2 comments

Tangy Sourdough Bread – no added Yeast


sourdough

COVID-19 has all sorts of my friends anxious to try their hand at baking bread. They’re obviously not alone: it’s really hard to find yeast in any of the stores as everyone is trying to be sure they can have fresh bread for their families in these uncertain times.

One answer to the yeast shortage is old-fashioned sourdough, so with a lot of help from King Arthur Flour’s Extra Tangy Sourdough Bread recipe, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing another Bake-along on my Facebook feed. I’ve condensed the bake-along into a printout, saving the photos and my own comments. It’s here for you to print and share. Do remember to give credit to King Arthur Flour for their wonderful recipe.

Kim’s Tangy no yeast sourdough in PDF for you to print, share and save.

April 1, 2020 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

Kim’s Social Distancing Fruit Bread


Like everyone else, we’re in isolation here. I’ve spent the day making fruit bread and posting a Facebook tutorial “bakealong” so friends who are home with children and family can make their own version. Mine’s all done and cooling in the kitchen.

Here’s the recipe: KIM’s fruit breadfruitbread done

March 26, 2020 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Darkness and Light


Catholic Advent ClipartWe’ve been talking about Darkness and Light this advent season. Instead of me opening each Sunday service with a reading from the Psalms as a call to worship, we have been calling each other to worship with these responsive readings: Darkness and light readings for advent. It’s been a meaningful experience, especially as the darkness settles in early each afternoon. All of us have been longing for more light earlier in the morning, and later in the evening.

One of my blessings/challenges for this year has been working alongside our associate Pastor Don Weston. He’s been grumbling all season because I have steadfastly refused to place the big white pillar candle in the centre of our wreath. Tonight, Christmas Eve, will be the first time it’s in place. I’m not just being contrary (although I freely admit, it’s a bit of fun to make Don grumble!) I’m hoping to focus our thoughts on the missing light.

It seems to me that much of the evangelical Christian world is missing the message of the Christ light. We content our selves with the trappings of Christianity: we pay lip service to needing Jesus, but we don’t really notice what is missing. We even proclaim that He is the Light of the World, and we’re happy to worship that Light.

But, we miss the point: Jesus is the light of the World, not just so we can see the glow and be drawn to it, but so that the darkness becomes illuminated. If we claim to see Jesus, we must look and see what His light is showing us: the hungry, the thirsty, the imprisoned, the stranger. He is the light of all people, not just (or even mainly) the privileged. When the Christ light is present, then everything is revealed, and we who would also be light are called to do something about what we see.

Tonight the Christ light is lighted in our little church and around the world. What are we doing about what He is showing us?

bags stacked

 The Ladysmith Resource Centre Association asked us for 20 Christmas gifts for the local Cold Weather Shelter. That’s 20 people in our small community who do not have loving warm homes this Christmas. We’re doing what we can to respond. https://www.lrca.ca/bridges-community-church-at-larosa/

 

December 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

A Little Leaven


leaven

Matthew 13:33

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Way back at the beginning of June, my sourdough starter was carefully tucked into the freezer to await our return from a long road trip. By the time we got back, we had:

  • traveled across five northern states, into Ontario and Quebec;
  • unexpectedly met up with old friends Murray and Sue at Grand Coulee Dam and spent a couple of hours reconnecting and learning about new adventures and challenges;
  • spent an amazing evening of deep soul talk with our former pastor John and his wife Marg.  John and Marg now live in New Brunswick; we live in British Columbia (a whole continent away). But, God knew I needed John’s wise counsel for challenges in our ministry, and that all of us needed a safe place to speak from our hearts and to pray together. So, He brought us together in a Walmart parking lot (in North Bay Ontario, of all places!), crowded around our RV’s little table sharing a very potluck dinner.

    croziers

    Frank, Kim, John and Marg

  • helped with the final packing and sorting as our son JD, daughter-in-law Bre-Anne and four precious grandchildren (plus two dogs and a cat) cleared out their Quebec home ready to move overseas to London.
  • said “goodbye” to them and to many of the wonderful people who have been their friends, chosen family, and support network in the life they built in Quebec.
  • wandered our way along the St. Laurence River through Ontario.
  • attended an extraordinary evening church service in Brockville Ontario, at Wall Street United where their Pastor Kim so clearly demonstrated what it is to shepherd the people God has given her in response to the Spirit’s guidance. My heart was so touched as each speaker began by saying “Hi, my name is…..and I am believer.”
  • checked in to attend our denominational conference, hoping  we would be able to find common ground and allies in our ministry.
  • discovered our attempt to find a way past differences of political opinion, and problems with governance was dismissed by the national pastor and board of directors. Instead of working toward unity, our little church was disfellowshipped by the denomination’s leadership.
  • headed for home, deeply saddened and shaken by the lack of compassion for us and for those with whom we minister. It was a very long and weary trip as we tried to make sense of this unexpected ending after years of supporting our national church with prayers, encouragement and substantial financial contributions.

Back home, I pulled the starter out of the freezer in the middle of July and thawed it for a couple of days, watching anxiously for the first signs of bubbling that show that the natural yeast is at work. Once it was happy and active, I mixed the starter with flour and water, kneaded the dough and waited patiently for it to rise.

As I worked, I mentally replayed the events of the last month. Looking back, I see the little bits of Godlight “leavening” the heaviness of a difficult time: warm friendship in an unexpected place; meaningful conversation and an example of how godly men and women speak into one another’s souls; ministry that recognizes all of us are journeying together. All along the way, God gave moments of grace to strengthen my commitment and resolve to minister as He calls us.

Interesting that we can choose how leaven works in our lives (and in our bread.) If sourdough goes “off”, nothing will make it right. Sometimes starter gets tainted with a bad “catch”…it smells gross and truly sour, not clean and tangy. I once made the mistake of trying to carry on with a tainted starter, and discovered that the resulting loaf, while risen enough, tasted horrible. There was nothing for it but to throw it all out and start over. So, as Paul says, in his letter to the Galatians “a little yeast leavens the whole lump.” A little legalism; a little “follow the rules instead of the Spirit”; a little gossip; a little backbiting; a little anger and bitterness: any of it mixes into the whole church and makes an unpalatable and unwholesome mess. Sometimes, there’s nothing to do but recognize the failure and begin again.

But, like my healthy sourdough, a little bit of Kingdom leaven can also work to make something wonderful, fragrant and nourishing. Just as my little bit of sourdough made these beautiful loaves; so love, grace, truth, mercy make something lovely in our churches. Heavenly, indeed.

Love and grace

Pastor Kim

August 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

Precious Snowflakes


It seems we’ve forgotten we serve the fellow who overturned tables when he disagreed with the way the religious folks were behaving in the temple.  (Matthew 21:12-13).  (Or that we come after Paul and Barnabas and Peter and all the others who preached the gospel of love and truth in the face of great opposition, never once demanding special protection.)

Continue Reading July 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER #2: CRANBERRIES


 

IMG_2120My favourite version of a traditional accompaniment combines fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, sugar and a whole orange to make a fresh, tangy relish for turkey or chicken. Use your microwave to make this fuss-free or, if you prefer, cook and stir on the stovetop a day ahead then cool until it’s time to serve.

  • 1 package fresh or frozen whole cranberries [ about 2 cups
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice**

**I usually combine a couple of spoonfuls of orange juice concentrate with warm water, but if you don’t have orange juice, just go ahead and use plain water for a slightly less “orange-y” sauce.

Slice off the stem and blossom end of the orange. Cut the orange in chunks and throw into a food processor or blender with the orange juice. Process until all the peel is shredded. Combine the orange with the sugar and cranberries in a VERY LARGE microwavable bowl ( ask me how I know this will bubble over if the bowl isn’t at least  twice as big as I think I need!).  Cover and microwave on high for about 8 minutes until bubbling. Remove cover, stir and continue to microwave uncovered on high for another 8-12 minutes or until the berries have popped and the sauce begins to thicken. [Sauce will thicken considerably more as it cools.] Cool to lukewarm and then refrigerate until dinner time.

This Canadian Thanksgiving, though, I popped the finished sauce into the fridge and….

FORGOT ABOUT IT!!!

 FINISHED

When we remembered [just before I served dessert!], it was too late for dinner, so I was left with a double batch of sauce to use up. So, Sunday baking for LaRosa was an experiment: Joe Zaleski’s coffee cake from the old Quilter’s Neighbourhood site adapted for a fruit filling instead of the usual streusel.

Oh wow! Now we have a NEW family and church favourite: I have stockpiled bags of cranberries and plan to make up batches of sauce just for this wonderful 

Zinger Joe’s Cranberry Coffee Cake

bake at 350º for about an hour: makes a 9″ bundt or tube cake.

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar

I promise you: this is well worth using every bowl in your kitchen. Like the original recipe, you’ll need to start by organizing different bowls of ingredients, then combining them. Here’s how that goes:

INGREDIENTS

  • Bowl #1: beat together margarine with first amount of sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  • Bowl #2: stir together flour, baking powder and  salt.
  • Bowl #3: Sprinkle soda over yoghurt [or sour cream] beat with a whisk until light and foamy
  • Bowl #4: Cranberry sauce [we use our own recipe from above, but you could also use a can of whole cranberry sauce –not jelly)
  • Bowl #5: Stir together 1/4 cup sugar with orange zest and set aside.

Grease a 9″ bundt or tube pan. [I use Pam®]

Add flour and yoghurt mixture alternately to margarine mix, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well after each addition.

HALFFILL

Beginning to add the second layer of batter on top of the cranberry sauce.

READY

Ready for the oven.

Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the pan. Spoon cranberry sauce evenly over the batter. Top with remaining batter. Swirl with a long thin knife until bits of cranberry show through the top, but DO NOT STIR…you want to have streaks of berry not a pink cake! Smooth the top then sprinkle with the orange/sugar mix. Bake in middle of oven for about 1 hour or until it tests done. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.

Makes a wonderful dessert or a morning snack…sustenance for shopping on Friday after Thanksgiving, perhaps?

November 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER: SWEET POTATOES


Sweet Potato Cake

Our folks at LaRosa don’t get to enjoy the best part of Thanksgiving: the cooks do a great job of Thanksgiving dinner, but food service protocol doesn’t allow for next-day meals of leftovers. Our Canadian Thanksgiving in October gave me a chance to share some of our leftovers with my friends in special treats for Sunday morning.  This year, one of our new favourites starts with my version of a Thanksgiving standard: Sweet Potatoes or Yams. Here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving dinner followed by the 2fer recipe beginning with leftovers as a base to build a wonderful autumn treat.

Sweet Potato Bake

I’m not a fan of sweet main course sides: I don’t get the appeal of yams with marshmallows. But, sweet potatoes or yams are a must-serve item for Thanksgiving dinner, so I’ve developed my own no-fuss take on this dish. (Sorry, there’s no photo for this part: my kitchen is no place for a camera when I’m cooking for a crowd!]

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and sliced half-inch thick. I usually cut these in half for half-circles so they’re easier to layer;
  • 3 slightly underripe pears – Bosc are my favourites, but any that aren’t mushy will do. If the skins are thin and attractive, you can leave them on, or peel if desired. Core and cut into slices.

Toss potatoes or yams in a bowl with a little olive oil [no more than a tablespoon], then layer in the casserole dish alternating with pear slices. You can drizzle with a little maple syrup if you wish. Sprinkle with about

  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with foil and bake.  I do my bird at 325°, so I put these in alongside my roasting pan about an hour before it’s done. Test after about 45 minutes: if potatoes are fork tender, remove foil and let brown for 10-15 minutes. Serves 10-12 if you have other side dishes.

As usual, I made way more food than we could eat, anticipating leftovers. About 1/2 of the sweet potato dish was left, so I adapted an on-line recipe from Taste of Home to use them. The little bit of pear was a lovely light addition to this special autumn cake: everyone who tried it agreed “Yum!” (I’m sure this would still be a hit with any sweet potato leftovers: if you sweeten yours for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to reduce the sugar accordingly.)

Sweet Potato Cake

Start by scooping the leftovers into a stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until thoroughly mashed, or mash as you would potatoes.  Measure the sweet potato mix and return 2 cups to the bowl and beat with

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine

Beat until well mixed, then beat in

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 large eggs

Stir together:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom**
  • **SUBSTITUTE Pumpkin Pie spice if you prefer for any or all of the spices.

Add all at once to the sweet potato mixture. Mix just until moist, then stir in

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used Craisins®)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Spoon into a well-greased 10″ bundt pan or tube pan. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.  Before serving, dust lightly with

  • Icing sugar

Next time I may try this in a 9×13 pan: perhaps with cream cheese frosting? I’m betting it will make a wonderful dessert to serve after Turkey Pot Pie.

HINT: More than 2 cups of sweet potatoes/yams? Freeze leftovers to add to muffins or pancakes for added nutrition.

 

Looking for more post-Thanksgiving recipes?  Quilter’s Neighbourhood, has a couple of our favourite Thanksgiving leftover recipes: Turkey Pot Pie and Cranberry Muffins here.

 

 

November 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm 1 comment

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