Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-37

Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?

Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Advent Music at Holy Trinity: Welcome to Andrew Donaldson and Wendy Wyatt Donaldson

Holy Trinity invited Andrew Donaldson to coordinate music for our Advent Sundays. He and his wife, Wendy, have been part of our Advent Planning Team, along with Susie Henderson, Jennifer Henry, Clara Pasieka and Sherman Hesselgrave. Andrew will also collaborate with the Fallen Angles on the service for Advent IV. Several of their friends have also joined Holy Trinity’s singers to prepare and lead congregational songs on Sundays. Continue reading Advent Music at Holy Trinity: Welcome to Andrew Donaldson and Wendy Wyatt Donaldson

Revelations: Advent Sunday Morning Forums

The Book of Revelation… stuffed full of monsters and other nightmares and visions of heaven floating down from the sky: What could that possibly have to do with Advent? Why, there is not a single reference to Santa Claus or elves or reindeer or mangers or shepherds in any of the 22 chapters of the book. Although, rather intriguingly, the “super-hero” of Revelation is a lamb (not a lion or a bear).

Continue reading Revelations: Advent Sunday Morning Forums

National Housing Strategy Update

by Michael Shapcott
On the second Tuesday of every month, two dozen or more people gather at the south doors of Holy Trinity for a memorial to remember, by name, those who have died on Toronto’s streets. The homeless memorial, which has close to 1,000 names, offers a small measure of dignity to people who have died without housing. Each month, the small gathering renews its call for a National Housing Strategy to end homelessness in Toronto and across Canada. Over the years, our quiet remembrance has reverberated in Parliament and in other halls of power.

Continue reading National Housing Strategy Update

Trans Esteban: An Oasis

by Maurice Francois

One day in spring, I received a phone call asking me for a meeting. Three people had seen a sign for our Hispanic Mass as they passed by our church building. Of course, I marked my calendar and scheduled a meeting. The day and time arrived and punctually arrived three women who wanted to know if they could attend the Mass without being rejected and expelled. They had already experienced negative situations in other denominations in the city. I invited them to our regular Mass on Sunday at 2 pm. The reception by the congregation was great, and one of the women shared her testimony and immediately after her words, she received hugs of support and our three new guests became members. Continue reading Trans Esteban: An Oasis

Lifting Spirits and voices

Lifting Spirits just finished its second edition. Thirty years earlier, almost to the day, The Cowboy Junkies recorded their breakout album, The Trinity Session right here at HT. The sound in our space is amazing and we made good use of it. Pub Choir sang three songs from that album and did three more that were a little easier to wrap our lips around and made the room ring.

James Harbeck took some great pictures, though they seem to miss many people, maybe he has more to share. 🙂 Continue reading Lifting Spirits and voices

help make emergency shelter space

faith leaders hold placards representing homeless deaths.
The Interfaith Coalition to Fight Homelessness is demanding that the city declare an emergency and open 400 more shelter beds. ‘It’s up to you, Mayor Tory. Stop. These. Homeless. Deaths. Now,’ said Rafi Aaron, as he stood at the podium. (John Rieti/CBC)
CBC: Toronto faith leaders urge city to call shelter emergency, open 400 beds

Toronto’s homeless shelter situation is dire. The shelters are full, many people, especially women and families cannot even get a shelter bed. So far any actions taken by the City have failed to meet the basic need of shelter.

After many deputations at the November Community Development and Recreation Committee by community members, front line agencies, advocates, union locals and faith organizations – the Committee voted to support several motions calling on the mayor to declare the situation in the shelter system an emergency and to open 1,000 shelter beds to alleviate the Continue reading help make emergency shelter space

What do we do with the King of Kings?

Keith Nunn, Nov 26, 2017.
In case the lectionary readings today didn’t tip you off, this Sunday is called the Reign of Christ. This is the last stop before we start the cycle over with Mary’s story and the infant Jesus.

Co-incidentally, the first sermon I delivered after entering theological education was on the reign of Christ. At that time, I felt a need and pressure to justify my position through scripture. Not so much anymore. However, I do feel a need to maintain the conversation with scripture in general and with the person of Jesus Christ in particular.

Today, in spite of my infamous reputation for jettisoning the lectionary, I have kept all the appointed readings, albeit in abridged form. The straightforward interpretation of these texts probably makes most of us somewhat uncomfortable—I know it does me. I’ll return to them shortly, however. Continue reading What do we do with the King of Kings?

Homily: November 18 2017

Isaiah 58: 1 to 12
Psalm: 72: 1 to 15a
Revelation 21: 1 to 4
Luke 10: 25-37

Good morning.

None of our lessons, not even the Psalm, were appointed for reading today. So, I’ll start by revealing the hidden agenda behind today’s worship: Driving our hearts and minds towards the third of our strategic planning sessions for Holy Trinity. That session begins just after today’s worship service ends. Continue reading Homily: November 18 2017

loving justice in the heart of our city