August 18, 2019

It’s been a week of “vacation” camping at a nearby lake. Usually our summer vacation involves a 6 hour drive to get to a BC lake, and a gathering of several families. This year, we switched it up, and stayed in Alberta. The gathering was small – just myself, my spouse, and our two kids (both adults). It’s been several years since we all camped together, and for the most part, it was a good time. Of course, when 4 adults get together, there’s always a bit of readjusting to one another. I found I had to remind myself a few times that these aren’t my children anymore, they are my adult family. I tend to want to ‘parent’ still. Not saying I don’t parent anymore, I just need to do that differently! I took a picture that will be my latest favourite sibling shot – our kids laughing together at the campfire, as they enjoy a rare treat – S’Mores! The smiles say it all. I’d love to show you, but they aren’t crazy about mom posting their faces!

And on the other side of the family configuration, another great photo for my album! My daughter and I spent part of yesterday with my dad. It was one of those times of privilege being with him, as a friend visited that he has not seen in years. He and his friend have known each other for most of their lives. They both turn 91 this year, and they went to school together right from grade one on! The stories, the memories…for both of them short term memory is a struggle, so to be together and share stories that they both lived, really an experience to treasure. Ken’s daughter and I enjoyed the moment, and her mom spoke so lovingly of my mom. An honour indeed. That photo will get printed asap and posted on dad’s cupboard to help him remember the day.

The next couple of weeks are for re-grouping, reading, and preparing for a road trip to Manitoba, where I’ll begin my visits to congregations that are flourishing in these changing times for the church. I hope to find nuggets of wisdom to share that might help other congregations on the journey. Along the way, we’ll be taking a few days of enjoying the prairie landscape, as we’re taking our trailer. We’ll also connect with my spouse’s family, and spend time with them. Looking forward to that, as its something that we don’t get to do often.

Feel free to offer your own nuggets of wisdom, your comments, your suggestions for possible congregations to connect with.

Blessings, friends, old and new!


Author: Tammy Allan

I am in ministry with the Olds-Sundre Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada. I've served in a rural farm community, in a resource / tourist based community, in an urban city church, and nw back in rural ministry (over 6 years in this community). In August 2019, I began my 2nd sabbatical...the focus of which is to study what helps rural congregations thrive and flourish. That time concluded in December 2019. Today, I resurrect this blog, as we journey through this time of uncertainty as a result of a world affected by COVID 19 or coronavirus. So, journey with me, as we stay connected in this time of "social distance."

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