Hello St. Pete’s! I doubt we have met yet. For a little over the past year, I have been sort of sneaking in and out of St. Peters, coming in a tad late and tending to leave the moment the service is done. I also have been rather uninvolved with the St. Pete’s community, due to working in the restaurant industry (I work at one of Vancouver’s big Chain Restaurants) where I work a wonderfully irregular schedule. This means I work when everyone else is done work, or rush over to work after church, or I hang out on my couch waiting to work when no one is free.
So when Alastair mentioned that the blog was looking for more writers my ears were tickled at the thought of being able to plug into St. Pete’s a little more, while also being able to pay rent.
As with most that find themselves in this beautifully unaffordable city, I’m not from here. My wife Diandra and I moved here in the fall of 2016, a month after getting married. We arrived in the city in a 2010 red dodge grand caravan, loaded with all our earthly possessions (really just clothes and books), with no place to live, no jobs, and just a letter saying that my wife was starting school in mid-October. To quote Bon Jovi, we were living on a prayer, a prayer that somehow we would be able to make it in this city. Two days after arriving, we signed for an apartment on the spot, the next day I interview for a job and got it on the spot, and about a week after that my wife got a job as well. Somehow as a newly married couple in a city 4,299 km away from home, we have been able to establish a home here in Vancouver, even if home was, at first, a completely empty room with a mattress on the floor and a foam pad for a couch.
Through the year and a half that we have been here, we have been able to build friendships and find community. We have learned to love and support one another through difficult and uncertain times, as well as trust and rely on God in the midst of uncertainty.
Apart from working nights at a Restaurant, what takes up most of my time? I am a champion when it comes to the Netflix binge (it’s probably an addiction), I am an avid lover of comics, and I am an amateur Dungeons and Dragons Gamemaster. I love a good americano and fancy a strong whiskey from time to time. My wife and I love long walks around False Creek, where we will point at every single dog, wishing for the day we’ll have our own.
But none of that answers the question of why I am excited to write for the blog.
The biggest reason is that I miss pouring myself into subjects of faith. I miss speaking at length about why I think faith is important and I miss being forced out of my comfort zone. Before moving to Vancouver, I worked as an intern and pastor at two different churches, after studying theology and religious education at school. Both of these experiences filled me with a desire for learning more and more about faith, and how it can lead to a more fulfilled and robust way of living.
Being a Pastor was a joy and a privilege. It was an opportunity to constantly learn and grow in faith and to invite others into that learning experience with me. I looked forward to writing sermons at every opportunity because it meant I had to dive into scripture, theology, history and pop culture, and wrestle with the implications all of those might have on our lives. For the past year, I have been waiting for an opportunity to talk about faith again. So when Alastair mentioned that the blog was looking for more writers, my heart leapt with excitement! Here was an opportunity to explore, life and faith within a community – while still being able to pay rent!
To be able to write to, for, and from a community like St. Petes, is a bit of a daunting task. While there are many diverse backgrounds and experiences in our congregation, I hope that I am able to provide a unique window into Christian life and faith, that in some ways my words can be an encouragement, inspiration, alternate perspective, or maybe even a challenge.
At the very least I think that I might be the only person within St. Petes to somehow relate the Christian faith to Dungeons and Dragons, and I’m hoping others will find that exciting!