Robert L. Peters

16 May 2013

30 more Sermons…


Winnipeg, Canada

At Geez headquarters they’re once again dusting off the people’s pulpit with a contest of Biblical proportions.

Five years ago Geez called on readers to step up to the soapbox and deliver a sermon you’d never hear in church. Atheists, anarchists, students and farmers filled the pulpit, and their sermons were defiant, dysfunctional, ambiguous and insightful.

Now Geez is looking for the same and more… hoping to hear from closet agnostics and Bible school dropouts, uncertain intellectuals and open-minded evangelists, incendiary pacifists, unapologetic atheists and good old-fashioned preachers who have been holding back all these years.

“The Social Gospel needs a new voice, and the sermon as we know it has become cliché. So let the rappers and the ranters take the stage. Let the poets and the storytellers preach. Share your apocalyptic visions or soothe our weary souls. Teach us what scripture is really about, or why it doesn’t really matter at all. Defy our expectations, make us squirm or tell us what has been left unsaid for far too long.”

“This is the pulpit of determined impropriety, so cast out your assumptions, get up from your pew (if you haven’t left already) and lead the Geez congregation with a sermon of holy mischief in an age of fast faith.”

Deadline: September 1, 2013 | More contest details here. (Full disclosure: I’ve been an Advisor to Geez since the magazine’s formation in 2005).

30 April 2013

Goodbye, my friend… rest in peace.


Vancouver, Canada

A funeral was held today on Mount Pleasant for my poet-cousin/friend Sam W. Reimer. He will not be forgotten…

Samuel Wayne Reimer was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada on 26 May, 1949, the second son of John K. Reimer and Leona Ruth Reimer. Raised on “the Bible, hymns, porridge, borscht, home-baked bread, and prayer,” he discovered Shakespeare around the age of eight by means of a copy of Hamlet found in his grandmother’s basement. As he put it, “this confirmed my life-long passion for ‘the Word Over All,’ as the Beatles (John Lennon in particular) would do again a half dozen years later.”

In 1964 his family moved to Meade, Kansas, where Sam lived until 1968—“just long enough to be eligible for the Vietnam War and the draft”— an entitlement that caused him to “skip back home” to Winnipeg. Sundry jobs held him in Manitoba for a year or two (Winnipeg Supply & Fuel Company, & Canada Dry offices, etc.) before the happening zeitgeist of “tuning in, turning on, dropping out” swept him west to the BC coast (en route to San Francisco). In Vancouver, a ‘Jesus Rediscovered’ experience and a sojourn with Dave Milton at The House of Daniel would deeply influence his life-course.

Sam married Elizabeth St. John in 1970, a union that would bear a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Dylan. A stint of writing for Maranatha Free Press in Vancouver predated a 1976 move with kids in tow to Mission, BC, then to the mountainous country of Robson Valley, with spells of work as railway section-crew and in a plywood-veneer plant. A short-lived teaching role in creative writing followed, via Fraser Valley College’s Community Education program— two complete semesters with students aged 18–80! Then it was back to the urban setting of Vancouver, a separation in 1981, and a divorce in 1984.

Since 1987, Sam lived on his own in the Ivanhoe Apartments in Vancouver, where he penned literally thousands of poems. In 2008, a collection of 200 of his works was published in the book Gray Matter Graffitti.

Sam passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital in the early hours of 26 April, 2013, with family members by his side. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer (Kaleeg) Hainsworth; son Dylan (Tonya) Reimer; granddaughters Ella, Huelwen, and Bridget Hainsworth; father John K. Reimer; brothers David (Katy) Reimer and Rod (Deborah) Reimer; sisters Lucille (Jim) Pfeifer and Arvella (Mike) Lucas. Sam was predeceased by his mother Leona Reimer.

29 April 2013

Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007)

19 April 2013

Historically, the most terrible things… war, genocide, and slavery… have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.

Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

13 April 2013

The earth is not dying, it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses.

Utah Phillips (1935-2008)

28 March 2013

Our capacity to be wounded is surpassed by our capacity to forgive.

Steve Bell (from a Facebook post of his today, quoting Kelly Hughes)

19 March 2013

Said to be a carpenter by trade…

Cartoon by Art Young (1866-1943)

6 March 2013

Where there is love there is life.

—Mahatma Gandhi

5 March 2013

Exporting democracy…

(image source unknown)

24 January 2013

Do small things with great love.

Any questions?

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