To Menu of Richard's activities during my 2003-2004 Health Leave of Absence from Dorion Bible Camp and Conference Centre and BEYOND!
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Richard Pepper's June 2004

Northwood Park Church of Christ Activities

Yard Sale
June 5

Youth Camping at Whitfields'
June 17/18

Youth-Led Worship Service
June 27

June 27

Birthday Party
Douglas Livingston Sr.
(and Alan and Adrian Pepper)
June 24


Year End Banquet
June 5

Les Belles




Gift for

"I promise

Exec BBQ at Vieiras'
June 6


Friday, June 17/04
McKellar Hospital

Tuesday, June 22/04
Warehouse of Westmount Stuff

Rishes Over for Supper
Monday, June 21/04


Just the usual Senior Home visits
"Saturday Night Life"
Lakehead Baptist's Mens' Breakfast
with Robin Harbron
June 25/04

Life After Camp

Happy Memories of Dorion Bible Camp)

(To Ideas DBC Could Consider from MPC)

(To Ideas DBC Could Consider From Other Camps)

(To Camp Comments Explanation.)

(Note: the bottomline is that I indicated my willingness to participate in all three versions mandated by the Board of discussing personal differences with my excoworkers. I cannot speak for the choices of the others, but one by one each version was abandoned despite my willingness to move ahead with it.)

Of course, this was a very strange June for me. For 25 summers June would be the month I would be moving out to Dorion Bible Camp. For many years it was a month during which gradually the core staff would assemble and begin to live, work and play Balderdash together. By the time July rolled around and the campers arrived, we already had several weeks of happy memories to share.

Just about a year ago (writing on June 25/04)* I was finalizing with CSSM Ministries the negotiation of the terms of the Health Leave of Absence I had been required to take. I was quite grieved that I would be missing Summer 2003, but, unlike this year, I took comfort in the fact that we had negotiated together all the requirements for my reintegration back to the job I loved -- ideally by January 1/04, but a whole 12 months would be taken if necessary. I felt encouraged by the assurance that "every effort would be made" to do so.

Though it was an emotional struggle -- I missed Dorion Bible Camp intensely -- I resolved to make the effort to benefit from the Leave -- not that I enjoyed being an exile, but I decided to seek adventures and enjoy them during the time. These "activities" pages have been an attempt to reflect something of my attempts.

(Because the terms of our agreement included regular meetings for my health needs and for mediation with my co-workers, I wasn't free to travel after the summer).

I likened my situation to a husband who had been thrown out of his home. Even if he deserved it, he likely would still miss his home and family and not appreciate being made an exile and the lack of face-to-face communication. OTOH he also might find that during that time he had many adventures which possibly he couldn't have had otherwise. He could even enjoy those adventures and yet be determined, as I was, to do everything required to return. This would be especially so, if he and his wife had actually negotiated what that was before he left.

And yet here I am this June. I never was returned to my duties and at the same time I wasn't given the entire year off we had negotiated either, as I was let go not-for-cause on April 19. I feel as if I did benefit from the adventures and activities I pursued and was pumped to bring renewed vision and ideas to Dorion Bible Camp and Conference Centre

-- and yet it is not to be.

One advisor suggested that maybe I have "outgrown" Dorion Bible Camp.

I'd be more inclined to accept that, except that two weeks before I was let go the board told me that issues about DBC's reputation had been brought to their attention, which they were now determined to address in a bold, new revision of how we (now "they") do and think about things. It was very important to them that I accept this new approach and their plans to reintegrate me into it. I did so -- feeling especially enthusiastic about the new approach.

I feel as if since about 1999 (and especially since Fall 2001) I have been growing (& somewhat differently than my co-workers) -- and this new approach sounds very much like the direction in which I believe my growth is headed. For various reasons until now it had felt hard to me to express this direction and these issues without risking rocking myself right out of the boat.**

But now look where I am!

And look which way the boat is heading!!

Someone else recently said that she believes that "it's their loss".

So why am I so sad?

* Clarification: Although I questioned the appropriateness of the imposed leave, I did agree to take it and communicated that to CSSM Ministries by June 6/03. Unfortunately, the date of June 17 reported in the Fall '03 "Dorion Digest" could give the impression (intentionally or not) that I "stressed out" just before Camp, went on leave at the last minute and yet there was no problem in adjusting to my absence. For what it's worth, I was placed on leave May 22nd and likely it was decided even as early as the May 12th board mtg that I wouldn't be around for Summer '03. (I'm uncertain, as I was not present at the mtg and the entire discussion about me is missing from the minutes.)

I do not believe I am irreplaceable and yet (again) FWIW they did have a month or more to prepare for my absence. As well, we also had that period of time during which we could have discussed (likely with a mediator) the issues which had led to the alleged stress symptoms.

** Without attempting to represent the views of others, it is true that over the years I did at times perceive some differences in philosophy of ministry between my co-workers and me. Had we sat down and discussed these openly together, indeed it might have become obvious that our differences were too great for us to continue working together (or not). And so the decision to move on without me -- and yet in the direction I prefer -- is especially disheartening. But, presumably, even if my former co-workers previously disagreed with this direction, now they do not. Thus any such differences that existed were in fact not irreconcilable, after all.

Some MP3s of my (& the Transparencies') music

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To Menu of Richard's activities during my 2003-2004 Health Leave of Absence from Dorion Bible Camp and Conference Centre and BEYOND!
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Latest Update Mar. 14, 2020 Lenovo

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