You Are the Salt of the Earth Oh People!!!

One of the joys of this blog is the community that gathers here in this virtual space. I am so richly blessed by your feedback, encouragement, and challenges!!! Thank-you so much for the comments, emails, cards, letters and even donations to Holy Cross Lutheran Church which underwrites the blog. Recently, a regular follower of this blog responded to the audio of Sunday’s sermon by sending me a link to the video below and encouraging me to post it! She encouraged me to challenge those of you who appreciate these blogposts to consider making a donation to Holy Cross Lutheran Church to encourage them to continue their generous support of this blog. While I generally shudder at the idea of asking for donations, I know that the good folks at Holy Cross have given generously to ensure that the progressive theology expressed on this site continues to shine a light on new ways of articulating Christianity!  So, if you’d like to help out, consider clicking on the link for Holy Cross’ address and do it old-school via a cheque and snail-mail. Thank-you for supporting the many ministries of Holy Cross. Let it shine!!!

Introduction to the Gospel according to Mark

P45 Mk7Holy Cross’ Adult Education Classes begin an exploration of the Gospel according to Mark using as our guides a commentary by Marcus Borg and a New Testament annotated by Amy-Jill Levine. You can listen to the first class, view the keynote slides, and get a copy of the class handout here

Jesus and ISIS – adult education class 2

Jesus & ISIS

Listen to the class here

Walter Wink video shown during the class:

Jesus and ISIS – adult education class

This past Sunday, while studying the prayer attributed to Jesus, various questions arose about “forgiving those who trespass against us” which led to a conversation about loving our neighbours. One question in particular: “How can we love ISIS?” revealed how many of us are wrestling with the question of violence. As a class we decided to change the Adult Education schedule so that we might spend more time talking together about questions arising as a result of Canada’s involvement in the current struggle with ISIS. None of us could have imagined the tragic events of this week. As we struggle to come to terms with the violence which has been perpetrated in Canada, the loss of innocent victims, and the loss of innocence our nation is grappling with, it seems even more important for us to gather as a community to think, pray, respond, and support one another.

So, this Sunday our Adult Education class began to consider questions concerning the challenging teachings of Jesus and our responses to violence, especially in regard to the struggle against ISIS. Below is an audio recording of the conversation and a copy of the Keynote presentation used during the class. Our conversation continues next Sunday Nov. 2nd. 

Evolutionary Christian Theologian and Educator coming to Holy Cross in Newmarket May 2-4

We are really excited to begin selling tickets for Michael Morwood’s visit to Holy Cross May 2-4. Morwood has an uncanny ability to re- imagine and articulate christianity in ways that speak to those of us who embrace all that we are learning from science about the origins and nature of the cosmos.  You can read more about Michael and sample videos here and hereMorwood poster 2014

Morwood pastordawn

Atheism for Lent begins: at Holy Cross Lutheran Church Wednesday March 12 at 10:30am

AFL Strawman

For details of the program click here

You Are the Salt of the Earth Oh People!!!

One of the joys of this blog is the community that gathers here in this virtual space. I am so richly blessed by your feedback, encouragement, and challenges!!! Thank-you so much for the comments, emails, cards, letters and even donations to Holy Cross Lutheran Church which underwrites the blog. Yesterday, a regular follower of this blog responded to the audio of Sunday’s sermon by sending me a link to the video below and encouraging me to post it! She encouraged me to challenge those of you who appreciate these blogposts to consider making a donation to Holy Cross Lutheran Church to encourage them to continue their generous support of this blog. While I generally shudder at the idea of asking for donations, I know that the good folks at Holy Cross have given generously to ensure that the progressive theology expressed on this site continues to shine a light on new ways of articulating Christianity!  So, if you’d like to help out, consider clicking on the link for Holy Cross’ address and do it old-school via a cheque and snail-mail, and support the many ministries of Holy Cross. Let it shine!!!

Bishop John Shelby Spong interviewed on the day DOMA was consigned to the history books

SPONG swirl

“You don’t resist consciousness, nor do you turn it around. Nobody would contemplate re-segregating; no one would contemplate taking the vote away from women. Nobody will contemplate forcing gay and lesbian people to go back into the closet today – we just passed that, and consciousness doesn’t go in a two-way street; it’s always a one-way direction. You’re always more open to the future.” – Bishop John Shelby Spong

I first met Jack Spong in 2008 when he travelled to what he called “the frozen north” to help us launch our Re-Thinking Christianity Speaker Series at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket. At that time, from the confines of my church imposed closet, I and many others were working together to end the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s discrimination against  LGBT members. The terms of my closeted existence meant that I could not speak publicly about who I am lest my denomination take actions against me because of who I love. So, Jack and I spoke privately about the struggle that my life had become. His gentle encouragement “to be all that I am created to be” together with the love and support of so many others gave me the courage to come out into the struggle in more public ways as Holy Cross defied the discriminatory policies of our denomination.

Jack has returned to Holy Cross several times over the years and each time his love and support has been a blessing to our congregation and to so many people in our part of the world. A great deal of water has flowed under a good many bridges since our first meeting. Over the years, our community has continued to be blessed by Jack’s visits and his considerable support. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has removed constitutional barriers to the full inclusion of LGBT members and we continue the work of living into our vision of equality for all. Even though I have married the love of my life, I continue to serve as the pastor of what Jack has dubbed “the jewel of the north” and surprise, surprise, the sky has not fallen in. My wife Carol and I are both grateful to Jack and his lovely wife Christine for their ongoing love and encouragement! 

The interview below took place on June 26th, 2013, the day the U.S. Supreme Court announced its monumental decisions on the Defence of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. As I watched it, I was reminded that the struggle for the rights of LGBT folk is only one of many human-rights struggles that Jack has engaged in during his long and distinguished career. Jack is a giant among men; and not just because of his great height or his former office, but because he lives the benediction he teaches:  “If God is the source of life, I worship God by living. If God is the source of love, I worship God by loving. If God is the Ground of Being, I worship God by being more fully human; the embodiment of the Divine.”  Thank-you Jack for all you’ve done to help so many of us to embrace our humanity and thereby embody our Divinity!!!