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  • Writer's picturePastor Gen

Pastor Gen - Thoughts from a Sabbatical #7

Dear Veradale Friends!

Greetings from he Southern Hemisphere! I have been so excited to see the stars and hopefully some of the southern lights! The pictures from Hamburg are in two galleries. One is from the Tibetan Center where I was invited to speak about interfaith collaboration. The other is of the Uhl Family, their farm, and our visit to Hamburg. A third gallery you will see from the World Council of Churches has PAWEEN as the name. This is the Pan-African Women Ecumenical Empowerment Network. I was delighted at how the Holy Spirit brought Barbara Breland, one of the leaders of the group, and me together. She was staying in the same hotel and we “happened” to be on the same floor and “happened" to be getting a late supper at the same time-- eating at two tiny tables that were side by side. All of that is to say that I was able to support their work and give them some photos they can use to spread the good news of this powerful group of women and their allies.

It took 45 hours to get to New Zealand: 2 trains, 1 tram, 3 airplanes, and one bus. Phew! There were so many people on the train coughing and not wearing their masks correctly. There were people on the planes coughing and children that were sick. The babies were really having a tough time. Two cried the entire 9 hours from Singapore to New Zealand. It was tough.

I also started not feeling 100% and made arrangements with the workshop to self isolate until the tour comes back to Queenstown on September 22nd. After only getting 3 hours sleep in the 45 hours it took to get here, this was a very good choice. Below are some pictures from my hotel room. Everyone is invited to see all the galleries at

Reflections: Time has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Mantel clocks, cuckoo clocks, clock towers, moves about clocks, time travel, and theories about time. I remember a friendly debate between one of my church history professors and our class about whether or not the realm of God, the realm of life beyond this life, is also subject to time. The traditional answer is that eternity has no beginning or end and is therefore outside the experience of time which is what we students began to answer. Our Professor argued that there must be something we might experience as time even in the life beyond this life as time is required for change to happen. When God creates, things change, that requires time. When God relates to us, it is in the context of time. When God loves us and welcomes us into relationship with God and one another, that is in the context of time. Love its self is in time and beyond time. Love is risky business as we whom God loves can bring God great joy and great heart break, all in the context of time. As I write this, it is just 40 minutes from tomorrow at which time you will all still be in what was my yesterday. Well, don’t think about it too much — it might take too much time! Still, it fascinates me and brings a certain joy that God is with us in time or outside of time.

So, as Saint Francis would say to those in his time, All peace and good be with you!

Pastor Gen

From my window.

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