Number 7 on my Turning 60 List goes as follows:

Outliving your friends really sucks. It’s happened too often. Lately it’s been happening more and more. The longer I live the worse it’s going to get. Like I said, it sucks!”

Today offered up more evidence of this.

I first met Gary Chapman working on the set for “Death of Salesman” at Guelph Little Theatre in 2006. He and his wife Lin were in charge of building and decorating the set. When we went on to WODL  Festival that year he was the one who coordinated moving what was essentially a two-story house from our stage to the one in Sarnia. To put it frankly – he impressed the hell out me! One of the most amazing experiences of my life.

That experience was re-enacted in part when Gary and Lyn served as technical directors when Guelph Little Theatre hosted the WODL Festival a couple of years ago. It was such great fun. One of the best March Breaks ever. Gary proved once again why he was so loved and respected by so many.

You noticed the past tense right? Yeah, Gary died this morning. He’d been sick for a while. Cancer–what else?  He and Lyn were scheduled to host the 5th Annual Arthur Awards Gala back in September. He couldn’t make it because of surgery. I guess it was too little, too late.

To describe him as warm, friendly, talented, and dedicated is understatement. He was all you could hope for and more. The theatre community in Guelph and area has lost a tremendous friend and talent. To say he will be missed is to engage in more of the aforementioned redundancy. But, it needs to be said.

It’s gonna take a while to process this, but for now…

Goodbye Gary, gonna miss you pal.

Gary Chapman


Suicide in the Bible

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Personal

Dennis Gray:

Given the number of cases of suicide that have made the rounds in social media of late I will be following this series with interest. I have often found Dr. Mariottini’s insight of benefit and share this article for others who may have a similar burden for the suffering on their hearts.

Originally posted on Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament:

Every society and every culture has to deal with the problem of suicide. Taking one’s life is, in general, a phenomenon that most societies have rejected, and yet, the reality of suicide is present in every society, past and present.

Since suicide happens every day, people have taken different views about suicide and the eternal consequences for people who take their own lives. Ethicists and theologians differ on their views about suicide because neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament explicitly condemns suicide.

Most Christians are highly influenced by the views of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas on their view of suicide. Although the early Church Fathers allowed the taking of one’s life under certain circumstances, Augustine believed that suicide was not allowed in any circumstance. He believed that anyone who took his or her own life was beyond repentance because that person had violated the sixth commandment which clearly…

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Dennis Gray:

Very interesting article. I’ve heard similar from the people I know in the Parti Quebecois. It’s discomforting how much idealism can resemble less popular forms of governance.

Originally posted on wakeupscotland:

 Ewan Morrison is an award-winning Scottish author and screenwriter.

how one word silencedFour months ago I joined the Yes camp out of a desire to take part in the great debate that the Yes camp told me was taking place within their ranks. Being a doubter I thought maybe I’d failed to find this debate and that it was exclusive to the membership of the Yes camp, so I joined hoping I could locate it and take part. But even as I was accepted into the ranks – after my ‘Morrison votes Yes’ article in Bella Caledonia, I noted that 5 out of the meagre 20 comments I received berated me for either not having decided sooner or for having questioned Yes at all. Another said, and I paraphrase: ‘Well if he’s had to mull it over he could easily switch to the other side.’ That comment in Bella Caledonia worked away…

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Why Am I Still a Christian?

Posted: September 11, 2014 in Personal

Dennis Gray:

When I read this is I found myself tearing up. It was like reading my own diary, and I’m not gay. But that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my faith. Doubt, fear, uncertainty, rejection by peers who disagree; many Christian wonder why we still have faith. Stephen’s words express what many believers are feeling. If you’ve ever wondered why we keep believing – read this.

Originally posted on Sacred Tension:

Lately, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my faith, and why I even have it. The past few months have been hard, and I’ve been thinking a great deal about why I should hold onto my faith at all.

And here’s what I’ve realized: I’m not a Christian because it makes my life easier. It doesn’t. I’m not a Christian because it has saved me from depression, addiction, and pain. It hasn’t. I live every day with a battle against addictions, despair, hopelessness, and pain, and that has been true every day of my adult life. I’m not a Christian because it rescues me from the cold, terrifying hands of doubt. It doesn’t – I struggle with doubt every day.

I’m not a Christian because I have a home in the church. It has never really felt like home to me. I’m not a Christian because church feels like…

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Dennis Gray:

I’ve been reading Dr. Mariottini’s blog for a few years now and have learned a great deal from doing so. His review of the movie “Noah” contains a number of “spoilers” but is a good guide, I think< for a Christian to decide whether or not they will go see the movie. It's up to you. I now feel I can go and enjoy it because knowing what to expect it will not be a surprising disappointment.

Originally posted on Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament:

Noah 2

This post is a review of the movie “Noah.” If you have not seen the movie but are planning to see it in the near future, I recommend that you do not read this review. Read it after you have seen the movie. Below I will mention what I liked about the movie and the reason this movie is not a retelling of the biblical story.

Last weekend my wife and I went to see “Noah” the movie. I liked the movie, but my wife did not. As a movie, Noah was a good movie, but as a biblical story, it does not come even close to what the book of Genesis says about Noah and the flood. There are several issues in this movie that do not reflect the biblical narrative.

In her review of the movie, Kathleen Parker lambasts some people whom she calls “literalists” who…

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