So today was Ash Wednesday, and we took ashes from the midday service at Holy Trinity, Trinity Square to the streets of downtown Toronto. We’d done it a few years ago–when I had a curate and an intern–and had already decided to do it again this year, when, a couple weeks ago, I received a call from a producer of the CBC radio program Tapestry, who had read about the ashes-to-go that Sara Miles writes about in her new book, City of God. They were going to be interviewing her for the show, and had googled to see who in Toronto might be doing it as well. Long and short, Diane Eros came with her digital recorder to the service [...]
Readings: Isaiah 9:1-4 Psalm 27:1, 5-13 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Matthew 4:12-23
by Sherman Hesselgrave
The week between January 18th, the Feast of the Confession of St Peter on the Church calendar, and the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on January 25th has come to be known in ecumenical circles as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I imagine to many the words ‘Christian Unity’ must seem oxymoronic, for Church history is littered with the bodies and detritus of countless battles. St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us that Christian disunity has been around pretty much from the beginning.
Disunity comes in a variety of flavours. I have [...]
Today the Canadian Council for Refugees is launching “we’re proud to protect refugees” week and this congregation won’t have the slightest difficulty in being part of it. Over the years, the Refugee Committee at Holy Trinity has organized the sponsorship of 118 refugees with two more currently on the way. That’s a huge achievement that we can properly celebrate. Looking back, on May the 21st, 1992, along with Alex Neve of Amnesty International and Mary Jo Leddy, a number of other people, members of this congregation signed onto a document promising to protect 23 refugee cases – individuals and in most cases whole families – people who were facing deportation on grounds we couldn’t accept. That [...]
Today the Canadian Council for Refugees is launching “we’re proud to protect refugees” week and this congregation won’t have the slightest difficulty in being part of it. Over the years, the Refugee Committee at Holy Trinity has organized the sponsorship of 118 refugees with two more currently on the way. That’s a huge achievement that we can properly celebrate. Looking back, on May the 21st, 1992, along with Alex Neve of Amnesty International and Mary Jo Leddy, a number of other people, members of this congregation signed onto a document promising to protect 23 refugee cases – individuals and in most cases whole families – people who were facing deportation on grounds we couldn’t accept. [...]
Jeremiah 31:27-34 Psalm 119:97-104 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5 Luke 18:1-8
Never Give Up by Sherman Hesselgrave
The parable of The Persistent Widow (or the parable of The Unjust Judge, as it usually called), like the parables of The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and The Rich Man and Lazarus, is unique to the Gospel of Luke, and I have to confess up front that it is probably my favourite parable. I’m sure we have all, at some point in our lives, heard one of Winston Churchill’s speeches in which in exhorts his audience to “Never give up” or “Never give in” followed by several repetitions of the word “Never.” Well, that is today’s gospel lesson in ten [...]
Shaped for Mission Sherman Hesselgrave
Readings: Jeremiah 18:1-11 Psalm 139 Philemon 1-21 Luke 14:25-33
The main point of today’s homily will be to assert that Jesus, through his public ministry and the coaching of his disciples was shaping them for mission. St Paul continued this practice in his missionary work, and the Hebrew prophets also passed along God’s messages to instruct the people of God to shape up. Now, the word ‘mission’ gets tossed around to the point that it almost seems like meaningless church jargon at times. But thanks to my Latin teacher in grade nine, I know that the English word ‘mission’ comes from ‘mittere,’ to send. Not long ago, we had the story of Jesus [...]
Hosea 11:1-11 Psalm 107:1-9, 43 Brueggemann, “Giver of All Good Gifts” Luke 12:13-21
You Can’t Take It With You Sherman Hesselgrave
There are some people who think of the Bible as a book that has all the answers. I long ago came to see the Bible as a book that helps us to consider the most important questions. I was curious to see how many actual questions there are in the Bible, and it is now very easy to discover. All you have to do is go to a Bible browser—I used Oremus, which uses the text of the New Revised Standard Version—and instead of searching for a word, I searched for question marks. There are a total [...]
Hear low-income people speak from experience, HT member and housing advocate Michael Shapcott outline the rich-poor gap, and a powerful call to respond to poverty in Turning the Tide, a new video produced by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Social Justice & Advocacy Department. It’s meant to kick-start discussion around poverty and homelessness, and encourage action.
Many parishes are already planning events to show it, with a User’s Guide found at Social Justice and Advocacy web page. You can watch this 18-minute video at http://www.youtube.com/tordio135.
Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto
17 March 2013
Isaiah 43 Psalm 126 Philippians 3:4b-14 John 12:1-8
Stop dwelling on days gone by and brooding over events long past.
I am about to do a new thing;
at this very moment it is unfurling from the bud—
can you not see it? —Isaiah 43
Thornton Wilder wrote that the “whole purport of literature…is the notation of the heart.” [The Bridge of San Luis Rey, p.16]
In seminary, I took a course entitled Evil and Recovery: A Christian Perspective on Shakespeare.
One of the most dramatic themes in literature, and well represented in the canon of this great
documentarian of the human heart, is the theme [...]
Second Sunday after Epiphany (January 20, 2013) by Jennifer Henry
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of God’s favour.’ (Luke 4:18-19)
You will likely recognize these words. And even if you didn’t grow up in a strongly biblical denomination, you might be able to place them in the scriptures. For those of us who understand the Christian mandate as saturated with the call for justice, this [...]