A pie plate pilgrimage, p.1
A Pie Plate Pilgrimage, p.1William Loewen
A Pie Plate Pilgrimage
By William Loewen
Copright 2014 William Loewen
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Cover design and images by Clara Hildebrand and Kelsey Siemens.
Author photographs by Derek Janzen.
To my wife Ana,
and our children Ruby, Sebastian and Felicity,
who walk with me on my pilgrimage through life.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Ryan Dueck
1. The Sunday Morning Gathering
2. Westminster Printers
3. The Commissioning
4. Reverend Ballard
5. The Demographics Consultant
6. Benjamin Worsley
7. Alistair Graham
8. Monica Lang
9. Religious Women
The prospective authors package
10. Fair men of the Board
12. Oscar Braun
Two more potential authors
13. The Most Attractive Candidate
14. The Development Team
15. Like a Deer in the Headlights
16. Chicken Wing Consolation
17. The Funeral
18. A Person of Influence
19. Momentary Clarity
20. Out with the Old
21. Legal Ease
Simmons Family Pie Recipe
22. Spiritual Pruning
Group Discussion Questions
New Testament scholar and popular writer N.T. Wright once described a “pilgrim” in terms as simple as you could hope to find: “A pilgrim is someone who goes on a journey in the hope of encountering God, or meeting him in a new way.”1 To this I would only add that sometimes pilgrims only discover what (or who!) they are hoping to encounter part of the way into the journey. And that whether or not we have a clear idea of the goal in mind before we take our first step, the company of fellow pilgrims almost invariably makes the journey more pleasant and illuminating. One encounters things differently when one does not wander alone.
I have gotten to know Will Loewen mainly in the context of journeys. We have spent time together bouncing around in the back of a truck in a South American jungle, wiling away hours in distant airports, sifting through the sadness and hope of far-away slums, and wandering the streets of major metropolises. Though we live only a few hours apart in southern Alberta, it is mainly in the context of being “on the road” that I have gotten to know this fellow pilgrim on the journey.
And the person I have gotten to know is a man with a keen intellect, abundant curiosity, and a lively sense of humour. Will is a gifted writer and pastor, as well as a friend. He has been a fellow-pilgrim in the best sense of the word—a good person to encounter God alongside of. Will understands the unique opportunities and challenges of following Jesus in a twenty-first century postmodern context characterized by suspicion, cynicism, even hostility toward faith. Will knows well what it means to think and write in a cultural context that wonders if it is even possible (or desirable) to encounter God on the journey. And, perhaps most importantly given all of the above, he knows how to tell a good story.
But you will see this for yourself in the book that your are about to read. A Pie Plate Pilgrimage is the story of discovery and of loss, of encountering unexpected things, of having one’s eyes opened, of having assumptions unsettled, and of being surprised. It is a book about a book—the writing of a book, in particular. Which is to say, it is a book about a different kind of journey, a different kind of pilgrimage. Through the characters of Lydia and Oscar (and others), we encounter a number of intersecting paths and trajectories both metaphorical and literal, all oriented in their own way around the question of who God is and what God has in mind in this broader story of which we are all a part. It is a story about getting to know God and getting to know each other, of finding out what faith is, what it isn’t, and what it could be.
Wherever you find yourself on life’s journey, whatever you are hoping to encounter (or avoid), I warmly invite you into this story that Will has told. Like all good stories, it is one in which I suspect it will not be difficult to locate your own story. And Will makes good traveling company for the road.
Pastor of Lethbridge Mennonite Church
Writer at Rumblings (https://ryandueck.com)
Tom Wright, The Way of the Lord: Christian Pilgrimage Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 13.
Thanks for faxing over the signed non-disclosure agreement. I’ve included all of the documents connected to the book project. I’m not sure what you’ll be able to make of it. I’m still not even sure what I’ll make of it. Either way, I hope you at least get to enjoy reading it through.
Let me know as soon as you make a decision,
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