A dispatch from Toronto Airport, April 29

Hello, friends. This first posting is something of a test while I get to grips with the blogging software. So I beg your indulgence as I go through the learning process...

I’m happy to say I made it out of Baltimore and am now in Toronto airport waiting for my flight to Tel Aviv. I have 3.5 hours to burn, so I’m sitting among rows of counters with a host of iPads courteously provided by the airport authorities for the use of their patrons. I can’t help thinking of when I managed a medical publishing office in London forty years ago (gulp!) and we all thought that our telex machine was the greatest advance in communications the world had ever known…

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the wonderful send-off service yesterday. Deacon Emily composed a heartfelt prayer for all of us, and I am especially grateful for your prayers as I embark on this sabbatical leave, which I have looked forward to for so long.

Those who have visited my office with reasonable frequency know how papers and books have a habit of multiplying on my desk under the cover of darkness. However, I spent some time yesterday getting things in order, even though the stacks still remain. Take a look at this!


Packing for the trip yesterday afternoon only took me an hour or so. I confess I went to REI in Timonium earlier last week and loaded up on some lightweight clothes for the Jerusalem heat and also splurged on a backpack with so many pockets it will take me a while to find where I put things. (Thanks, Karen and Dirk Hoffman, for the box of trail mix that I’m sure will come in handy as I walk in the footsteps of Jesus — that’s actually the title of the pilgrimage I’m on.)

I was up at 5:00 a.m. this morning to finish putting things in order and was out the door and headed for BWI at 7:10 a.m. That’s me, below, with the limo driver in the background. Incidentally, talk about Smalltimore! Turns out my driver worked as a photojournalist at the Baltimore Sun for a number of years and knows my good friend Dion Thompson, formerly a reporter with the Sun and now an Episcopal priest. Dion+ and I went through the discernment and ordination process together and still get together regularly for lunch to talk about our ministries.

A Bientot!, as the French say. See you soon….

A Bientot!, as the French say. See you soon….

That will do it for the moment. I’ll write again from Tel Aviv after a day or two to get my bearings…

Blessings to you all!