Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 31, 2005
Isaiah deepened pastor's love of creation
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
The vision of an elderly blind woman showed the Very Rev. Walter Farquharson where his heart lay in the Bible.
As pastor several years ago of a six-congregation parish in eastern Saskatchewan, Farquharson called the woman who was no longer able to attend church. He asked her if she would like him to visit and read Scripture. He asked her what passage she would like to hear.
Although he was raised on a farm southwest of Saskatoon with a profound love of nature, the woman opened his eyes to the abundance of creation.
"She told me she wanted to hear Isaiah 55," said Farquharson, former moderator of the United Church of Canada.
"Then she said, 'You will probably be able to recite it.' I had to tell her I really didn't have a clue what was in it."
Farquharson, speaker at Strathcona County's ecumenical mission, told more than 50 people who filled the basement of Ardrossan United Church Oct. 25 that prairie weather continually reminds him that he is not the one in charge.
"I was fortunate to grow up in a family that loved and had tremendous respect for the world of creation. I give thanks for the environment I grew up in in terms of our family home, but also for the prairie landscape with its seasons, climate and weather."
Farquharson led the group through the chapter laden with natural elements and imagery. It describes a plentiful life for the righteous followers of God.
"We live in a particular juncture in history where there is an amazing disjointedness between most of the cultures we are a part of and what we call the world of creation. There is little sense of reliance upon the earth; of water and so on," he said. "What will happen if we see creation as God's word?"
We will keep going if we see creation as the fulfillment of God's good graces, Farquharson said.