Welcome to part of my world!I invest some of my time and energy on helping others explore the integration of sexuality and spirituality.
Another part of my life is engaged in volunteer service, some of it on boards, but more of that below.
I have been inspired to write articles other than sermons,
as well as fiction and plays for churches.
Here is a collection of my writings
relating to spirituality and sexuality.
I enjoy acting both amateur and commercial.
In a volunteer and amateur sphere, I am a long-standing member of the intergenerational community theatre troupe GeriActors and Friends. and here.
Commercially I have two activities:
serving as a Standardized Patient in roles for teaching and testing health professional students, and
Performing in commercials such as:
a grumpy farmer at a car dealership complaining and
an eccentric millionaire for an Escape City room called The Inheritance.
Unique as we all are, we can none of us be labelled or boxed sufficiently to be truly described in a word or two. That said, here are some words that I have chosen to describe myself and I invite you to get to know me, if any of them intrigue you.
I enjoy working with others to make this a better world with more loving and more justice and more joy.
I love the colours blue and green and so this marbled paper caught my eye.
Here are photos of me.
I love living in sunny Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
I'm a gay Christian who is ordained in the [Metropolitan Community Church].
I agree with a former Principal of St. Stephen's Theological College when he wrote about what the Bible says about homosexuality in this article published in the Edmonton Journal.
I emphasize Spirit and embrace the Original Blessing of God's ongoing creation.
I am an active member of the United Church of Canada's support group for GLBT folk - Affirm United.
I worship and serve among a GLBT-supportive faith community at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church in Edmonton [Alberta's first Affirming (publicly affirming and welcoming GLBT folks) Congregation].
I support Camp fYrefly and have served as Spiritual Advisor to the youths attending the Camp. [No it's not a typo; the camp was named by the first attendees and it means "fostering Youth resilience, energy, freedom, leadership - yeah!"]
I consider myself to be a work in progress. I started out in Hamilton, ON in November of '35 (a Scorpio!) and I am still growing and learning.
I am a champion for a humane (caring, just, and inclusive) society and for human rights.
I volunteer on the board of the Diversity Conferences of Alberta Society as well as volunteer my services to theatre groups.
I'm an amateur actor serving as a Standardized Patient for students in the health disciplines to practice on.
I am part of the amateur GeriActors and Friends playwriting and performing troupe.
I am fascinated with labyrinths and I not only maintain the website for the Labyrinth Society of Edmonton but I also have created a four-quadrant labyrinth garden in my backyard. You can see photos of it on the society web page. I also painted an 11-circuit "Chartres" labyrinth on a parachute that belongs to Southminster-Steinhauer United Church.
I enjoy puttering in, or relaxing in, my garden.
Coming out to who you are (and dis-covering the bright spirit God created you to be) is a life-long process. I came out of my closet when I was 45 and my children had left home to go to university. I have been blessed with acceptance and you can read more about it by clicking on the coming out process.
In the Enneagram Type Indicator, I'm mainly a "Helper", but also a "Motivator/Achiever" (adaptable, success-oriented type), a "Generalist/Adventurer/Enthusiast" (active, optimistic and productive type), and a "Peacemaker" (easygoing, accommodating type).
See who you are by taking an Enneagram Test which operates on-line.
I also am a hard-working, but easily distracted (I'm a Myers-Briggs ENFP) and often procrastinating, person. Okay, here's the scoop on me as an ENFP:
An ENFP is the "Journalist or Champion" who has an uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama; they're emotionally warm and empathic. ENFPs occur in 5% of the total population.
It's all based on how you prefer to deal with life. Here's a sketch of the four facets:
1. Energizing - How a person is energized:
Extroversion - a preference for drawing energy from the outside world of people, activities or things. OR
Introversion - a preference for drawing energy from one's internal world of ideas, emotions, or impressions.
2. Attending - What a person pays attention to:
Sensing - a preference for using the senses to notice what is real. OR
INtuition - a preference for using the imagination to envision what is possible - to look beyond the five senses. Jung calls this "unconscious perceiving".
3. Deciding - How a person decides:
Thinking - a preference for organizing and structuring information to decide in a logical, objective way. OR
Feeling - a preference for organizing and structuring information to decide in a personal, value-oriented way.
4. Living - Lifestyle a person prefers:
Judgement - a preference for living a planned and organized life. OR
Perception - a preference for living a spontaneous and flexible ("keep your options open") life.
Here are some observations about us ENFPs.
You can take a test The Jung and Myers Briggs Types to determine what type might best reflect your preferred way of dealing with life.
And another form of the test the test or a third form of the test.
Here are 2 versions of the profiles of the 16 types: from TypeLogic and the four temperamens grouping of the 16 types from Keirsey.
Another way of discovering who you are spiritually is to take the 19-page Theological Worlds Inventory which is a PDF document file you print off and complete before you read the descriptions of the 5 Worlds [Warning: the first page is blank, so scroll down to the next page.]
I'm an avid recycler and composter [Master Composter/Recycler for the City of Edmonton - a volunteer program involving 40 hours of training].
I'm also keen on conservation and gardening and doing what I can to make this a healthier, sustainable world.
I love word games and hooking rugs that I design myself and writing fiction.
I love being in the woods, in the Rockies, or beside the ocean.
I enjoy solving puzzles: jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, but I'm not good with the mathematical ones.
My current favourite quote is
Discrimination hinders Coming Out, but Coming Out hinders Discrimination.
You can reach me at Charles.Bidwell@UAlberta.Ca
and you can scan the entire Bidwell Family Tree from Devon, England to Ontario and beyond.
Sexuality and Spirituality Resources
Spirit Journeys offers a variety of workshops, retreats and adventure trips for the gay community that provide self discovery, personal growth, rejuvenation, and brotherhood.