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→
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?→
Since ancient times, the sun has been an object of fascination. Without it, there is no life on Earth, and it is good to use this moment of the solstice or “sun stand still”, as it is literally translated, to mark changes internal and external in our world.
On December 21 from 8:30 pm-10:30 pm, we will celebrate the longest night of the year with a candle lit labyrinth walk, followed by refreshments and singing inside. Join this family-friendly version of Lifting Spirits as we observe the turning of the year!
Here are a few excerpts from our recent Sunday gathering: Many Waters.
Come, launch the light canoe;
The breeze is fresh and strong: The summer skies are blue, And ’tis joy to float along; Away o’er the waters. The bright-glancing waters, The many-voiced waters. As they dance in light and song.
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue.
We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony
with each other and all living things.
So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.
(Excerpt from Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, Greetings to the Natural World)
Lace your boots,
pick up your paddle,
mount your bike and go out
blessing each other—
strong, brave, laughing
and making hope wherever you may. Amen.
Before there can be reconciliation, there must be truth. The Treaty People group is hosting a pair of Kairos Blanket Exercises on August 11. One at noon and again at 5:30pm.
The Blanket Exercise is a visceral way to hear and enter into the history of indigenous peoples and settlers in North America. It provides a starting point for doing the work the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has asked of all Canadians.
This event is aimed at all citizens and residents of Canada and those curious about the history of Canada with respect to indigenous peoples. We invite you to join us for the Kairos Blanket Exercise at noon (or 5:30pm), to be followed by an age appropriate circle and discussion. If you can’t spare more than an hour, the exercise is still worthwhile, but be aware that it is profoundly affecting and we encourage you to stay for the second hour to build relationships.
Our guest homilist on Pride Sunday at HT (June 26) will be MPP Cheri DiNovo, long-time activist for LGBTQ rights and an ordained United Church minister. Named by NOW readers in 2015 as Best MPP.
From her official bio:
Cheri has been a 40+ year activist for LGBTQ issues. She was the only woman in Canada to sign the ‘We Demand’ statement in 1971—the first demand for gay rights on Parliament Hill. In 2012, Cheri succeeded in getting Toby’s Act passed, an amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression–the first of its kind in North America.
Our liturgy this morning was on the theme of feast. I am including the reflection I shared, in both text and video forms as well as the bulletin which has most of the service text. There are a few bits missing from the bulletin, but the most exciting bit was that the Fallen Angles played “Changes” by David Bowie as a Postlude and tribute. Thanks to everyone who sang and danced along. Continue reading Feast – reflecting on community and intimacy→
This service is on opportunity to delve into Mary’s song musically, emotionally, and physically. The worship leadership will be moving from place to place and we invite you to participate in as many ways as you feel comfortable. We recognize that this does not fit our familiar pattern, but hope the richness of words, images, and actions will offer much to your spiritual experience this morning.
The service will be in 4 movements:
Relationship (Family/community/gathering). Who do you run to? Who do you talk to?
Revolution/Re-creation (Justice). “The arc of the universe bends toward justice.”
Redress/Reconciliation (Jubilee). What is a good thing?
Response (Action). How do we respond? What are we to do?
As Canadians and Christians we feel a lot of social pressure to be nice. To not cause trouble. Especially for folks who seem nice. Nobody should be distressed. Let’s keep everything, on the surface anyway, agreeable and pleasant. Well that’s nice isn’t it? Sometimes it’s even a good thing. But sometimes what is required is real honesty. Whether that’s telling our true feelings to a friend who needs to know, or speaking a difficult truth to those in power. Or even challenging our own assumptions.