CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

Called Away, a 2024 New Year Mantra

The last weeks of 2023 were busy. Whether this statement is true of you as well, we found the truth in the pudding (and the pie, and the turkey, and the ham, and the scalloped potatoes and the more than enough food that appeared on various tables). Three major family events were planned between the middle of December and the end of December.

First was a trip to my daughter’s family in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan. Their family, my wife and I spent time eating, talking, visiting a church service and giving gifts. Our three grandchildren range in age from 11 – 18. They love to talk, walk and explain their passions. Of course, we had to discuss cars and mechanics – that is an overarching theme in a family that owns a “car farm” (that story is for another day).

The next trip was to Calgary for another family reunion. Not everyone could be there – some were in Mexico and some in the North West Territories. Those who were present were regaled by our grandson of six years of age. He is active and actively commands attention. The rest of us chatted, and rehearsed our lives with each other.

Another Calgary activity was a quick tour of the area of Calgary we plan to move to in the next few months. We saw the contours of the North West area of Calgary, experienced the maze like qualities of their streets and realized that finding accommodations will require a very concerted effort.

We tripped back home to Kindersley and hosted my wife’s mother, the siblings and any family that extended from that tree. We had just over twenty of us. Food poured in from outside our pantry and we contributed the staples of a Christmas/New Year’s extravaganza. The two day festivity and feast was welcomed by those who had come well and left well nourished.

This family contains financial genius and neurodiverse genius. A decided spiritual impetus, catalyzed by “grandma” meant carol singing and Bible reading. And . . . I had the privilege of touring our house with the guests – telling them all to take something home with them. Books, a table, kitchen accessories – all were up for grabs. We don’t want to move a lot when a few boxes will do!

Which brings me to 2024. Moving to Calgary by Spring will mean downsizing. Although we own real estate in Kindersley, I have been known to characterize the sale of Kindersley property as “you can sell two houses in Kindersley and buy half a house in Calgary.”

Which brings me to the idea of being “called away”. Kindersley is my birthplace, the site of my first “real job” as a pastor. Kindersley is also the location of my final pastorate. And for eight years I have lived here in retirement (or as close as I can get to “retirement”). I have written the history of Kindersley, I have encouraged the growth of Kindersley, I am passionate about the future of Kindersley.

But . . . the call. My pastoral ministry is based in a tradition where “the call” led people of the land to leave the land and to venture into a new land. We have no pressing need to leave this land of Kindersley – a land I love. Never the less, my wife and I both came together one day this fall and agreed that we sensed God’s call to move to Calgary.

And when God calls . . . 

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