Peter van Kampen

February 7th, 2007

Peter is a remarkable man. He is gifted in many ways and he is now married. I haven’t seen Peter in a number of years but I just found out for sure that he is a married man. I suspect that he is off galavanting on a honeymoon with his bride. Won’t it be a surprise when he returns if this little blog post about him is vying for top spot in the search engines for his name Peter van Kampen.

I’m inspired to write something about Peter because of my gratitude for having met him and my joy at the news of his marriage.

The first thing that comes to mind about Peter is that he is both memorable and meets a lot of people. Peter is one of those guys who’s name might come up in some remote corner of the world like Radway, Alberta and the person next to you says “Yeah – Peter! I know him” and starts a chorus of voices going around the room with the same sentiment. The next thing you know, no one cares about what you were saying – they just want to tell you their funny Peter stories.

For some reason, his name starts with a van – it’s not capitalized and it has a space after it. van Kampen! Some would say it means ‘son of Kampen’ but really it means ‘the son of the son of the son of and so on until you get to Kampen – who knows what his last name was’.

I break into humour because Peter is such a funny guy. At the same time he is passionate about life, about people and about God. He has a special talent for connecting with young people. Maybe it’s his enthusiasm or his lack of presumption. Or maybe it’s because they all think he is the coolest guy in the world. He is pretty cool – and darned good lookin’ too!

Peter and I met in the seminary in 1999. Peter was one of my absolute favorite things about being in Ottawa that year. Perhaps it was because he thought he was as weird as me that we got along so well. I was never convinced – in fact I always admired him very much. Among my other favorite things about that time were Catherine Fletcher and Lisa Shaub. These were two fantastic women and great friends. It seems to me that they were always happy and it was the happiness of faith and love of God. It was a joy that was both strong and deep and I can still taste it today.

I can probably say a whole lot more, but I’ll stop by offering congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Catherine van Kampen. You guys look great from the one photo I saw of you. I’m so happy for you.

Oh yeah and sorry for making you suffer through my guitar playing for that whole year, you really are saintly folk and I miss you. God bless!

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