Wild Goose Ride... (-2 days)

“We make the road by walking...” This phrase, the theme of Brian McLaren’s closing reflection at the upcoming Wild Goose Festival is stuck in my head.  I find myself pondering it from so many different perspectives: the road Anna and I have walked for the past 25 years; the road I have walked in ministry for the past 22 years; the road I have walked for the past 8 years as Chaplain in a prison; and the road I and other have  embarked upon in the provision of Chaplaincy services through Kairos Pneuma Chaplaincy Inc. (KPC Inc.)  “We make the road by walking...”  There are so many truths in that short sentence!

We.  We make the road together.  Not “I”, not “you”, but we.  We together make the road.  I imagine a group of people sometimes following one or the other, sometimes walking two abreast, occasionally three or more abreast as they seek to find their way... and other times they trust in the one at the front and the path becomes well tramped down from many feet – a little narrower – but clearly defined and before you know it there is a road...

Walking.  The road does not get made by sitting and planning it out.  Nor is the road created in computer models or strategic plans.  The planning and the modelling are important... but, for there to be a road we must set out.  We must take the first step.

Perhaps it is this first step that so excites me in respect to the formation of KPC Inc. and this new model for the delivery of Chaplaincy services within the Correctional Service of Canada.  This is an incredible opportunity for Chaplains (and the faith communities of Canada and the Correctional Services of Canada) to begin walking together in a new way under a banner!  Just maybe KPC Inc. can be a banner that allows for the provision of focused, nationally consistent,  direction in respect to the delivery of services?  Just maybe KPC Inc. can be a banner that allows for the provision of nationally consistent support to Chaplains irrespective of faith tradition... and provides a model and forum for Chaplains to work together in new ways: ways that call forth mutual respect and understanding across religious and spiritual traditions.

We make the road by walking...

The second half of my Wild Goose Ride will see me fly from Asheville, NC to Milwaukee WI on Monday Aug 12th where I will be taking part in an event being offered by the Centre for Courage & Renewal: Habits of the Heart: The Courage to Practice a Faith Worthy of the Human Spirit.  The Center was founded by Parker J. Palmer a world-renowned writer, speaker and activist who has reached millions worldwide through his nine books, including Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, and Healing the Heart of Democracy.  Parker will be making a rare appearance in person at this event.  Also, one of the facilitators at the event will be Mardi Tindal, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada...

I was excited about this event six months ago when I first signed up!  Given the events of the past few months I am even more excited.  Much of the retreat will revolve around what Parker Palmer calls “habits of the heart” as outlined in his most recent book Healing the Heart of Democracy:
An understanding that we are all in this together.
An appreciation of the value of “otherness.”
An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways.
A sense of personal voice and agency.
A capacity to create community.
I can’t help but make the connection between the road we are walking in Chaplaincy and the place that these “habits” can play if we are able to nurture them within Chaplains... and within inmates and staff... if we were able to draw on all that is good and life giving in the various world religions and work together out of the habits as offered above... now that's a dream to ponder!

“We make the road by walking...”


  1. I was a member of a Common Life Community out of Five Oaks, in the early days of CLC. Mardi was one of the leaders and she often said, "We are creating the path as we walk it."

    Blessings as you make the new road.

    ps. SO envious of the PP event with Mardi.


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