Moving to Yellowknife! (Kenneth MacRae)

2 Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

Twelve! That is the current number of times I have moved in my life. This is not counting six months in Kuwait, nor the months living in a field in Wainwright, nor the 14 weeks on basic training. 12 represents the number of times I have had to pack up my worldly belongings and move to another home. Over the summer I had to move, curtesy of the military, from St Albert to Yellowknife. I hate to quote George Carlin the comedian but he is very accurate when he said, “That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? …., everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff.”

The good news about moving is that you have to sort through your “stuff” to figure out if you need to take it with you. When we arrived in Yellowknife the movers put our 32’ tube TV in the basement. We sort of forgot we even had one. The basement of our home was basically our son’s domain, so we never went downstairs to relax. When that heavy TV was being lifted downstairs, my wife and I looked at each other and said that it was time to get rid of it. Thankfully there is an eco-center in Yellowknife so it is not just in a dump…I hope.

Government housing is usually old so that means smaller rooms. When we arrived in Yellowknife we had a “march – in” to our duplex. That happened from 1030 -1150 hrs. The moving van arrived at 1155hrs. We were still trying to figure out what rooms were in the house that we hadn’t seen before, to tell the movers where to put everything.

This move however was a little unique. As a Presbyterian minister and military chaplain I usually don’t have to worry about finding a home church. I’m usually called to a church or to a base chapel. Here in Yellowknife there is no chapel and no Presbyterian Church. For the first time in my life my wife and I went “church shopping”. Every church says that they are a welcoming church. Not every church embodies that phrase. People get use to their “cliques”. They want to spend time with their friends. Some churches welcomes the strangers in their midst. Others just look at the strangers.

We think we found a church home. We have visited 4 different churches but a local Baptist church was very friendly to us and introduced us to various people in the church. They were not putting too much pressure on us and had various groups to join which sound interesting. The music is great. The preacher is not too bad either…for a Baptist!

While every community that we have moved to is unique in their own way, one of the blessings that we have as Christians is that we can usually find brothers and sisters in Christ in every community around the world. Home for me is not really about my “stuff”. It is finding people to love and to be loved by. It is finding people who like to laugh, to share your concerns, to pray with. It is a bonus if I find people who like to golf, or fish, or play games with. No matter where we live, as long as God is present with us, we are never alone. Let the adventure begin.

Padre Kenneth and Cathy MacRae