Category Archives: Reflections

Reflections from the Wednesday Noon Eucharist (27 April 2016}

Today we remembered St Mark the Evangelist, whose Feast day falls on March 25th. At this weekly service, instead of a homily, we spend a few minutes reflecting as a group on the appointed readings or on the saint being commemorated, or on what God is doing in the world or in our lives.

The blurb about the saint of the day in For All the Saints, notes that Mark “was addressing a Church confused by the gap between the promise of “the good news” and the reality of persecution.”

This reminded me of a review I read   in the latest New Yorker of a new book about the poet Wallace Stevens. The reviewer (Peter Schjeldahl) mentions his candidate for the finest American modern poem: “The Idea of order at Key West.” I pulled out my anthology of 20th-century poetry and read Stevens’ poem, finding it a challenging piece of work. The phrase “blessed rage for order” comes from this poem, although it was more familiar to me as the title of David Tracy’s book about theological pluralism. I looked up an analysis of poem and found this: “The core of the poem lies on the interdependence of imagination and reality. Stevens stresses the “essential discontinuity between them” and emphasizes their differences by “demonstrating the vain struggle of the imagination ‘to grasp what it beholds in a single version of it.”

Another member of our Wednesday circle mentioned having seen a PBS special on Buddhism recently, in which a Buddhist monk spoke of people being surprised that Buddhist monks continually struggle with earthly temptations on their spiritual path. The struggle between the illusory and pursuit of Nirvana is ever present.

Whatever the spiritual path we walk, there will always be distractions, washouts, potholes, detours, forks, dead-ends, and the unknown. We have always had to live with these tensions as part of the journey.

— Sherman Hesselgrave

A long night of work…

Peter Haresnape’s Homily for Easter 3

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was now living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

[— T. S. Eliot, “The Wasteland“]

After the busyness and disruption of Easter, we get back to work, the children go back to school, and Simon Peter gets together with his friends and goes fishing.

A long night of work, and nothing to show for it, but then, through the sudden provision of great abundance, they recognise the Lord in the mysterious, almost unrecognizable form waiting by the shore. Continue reading A long night of work…

“Water is the blood that flows through this wounded body”

A reflection on Water For Ecumenical Good Friday,
Church of the Holy Trinity, March 25 2016

Who lives the pain of Good Friday in our time? Communities of Pimicikamak /Cross Lake, Syria, South Sudan, Kashechewan…

Where do we hear the cries? Taste the thirst for justice? Refugees fleeing, women sexually assaulted, black lives ignored, Indigenous girls missing…

Where do we see the wounds? Melting permafrost, fracked earth, tailings ponds, tanker spills… Continue reading “Water is the blood that flows through this wounded body”

Notes for a Sermon at Holy Trinity February 14, 2016  by Suzanne Rumsey


Suzanne Rumsey


Suzanne Rumsey’s sermon

First Sunday in Lent/Valentine’s Day


From “Lullaby,” by the Dixie Chicks

How long do you wanna be loved?

Is forever enough?  Is forever enough?

How long do you wanna be loved?

Is forever enough?

‘Cause I’m never ever giving you up.


When Alison asked me to preach on this first Sunday in Lent and this Valentine’s Day, I asked how she might like me to focus my reflections.  She wrote the following:

“My hope is that the preacher can talk about the temptations that we experience at HT. Stones into bread. Political power. And the one that I think we seldom identify: our temptation to suicidal behaviours. What are we doing to tempt our own fate? Do we think we have a lock on our survival? As humans, settler Canadians? Anglicans? HT? Do we need to consider our responsibility to use our lives? How does that sound?”


To which I replied:

“Wow, and I thought it was all about the love (kidding)!  Okay, I will give this some thought and do my best with the challenge you present.”

Continue reading Notes for a Sermon at Holy Trinity February 14, 2016  by Suzanne Rumsey

Reflections on 1 Corinthians chapter 13 – a homily by Michael Creal

Homily Jan 31,2016 — Michael Creal

Michael Creal

Today’s readings provide rich fare for reflection and commentary but following the principle that sometimes less is more, I’m not going to deal with either the Isaiah passage or the gospel passage, important as they are. Instead, I’m going to focus on Paul, and that chapter from first Corinthians. [Ch. 13]

Just to contrast some features of the contemporary world with what Paul sets out in that famous chapter, let me draw to your attention the movie, The Big Short. If you have seen it, you will probably agree that it is pretty chilling stuff. It’s about four stock traders (and, of
course, there were many like them)in the period of the 2008 crash who saw they could make a killing by selling to unsuspecting buyers bundles of mortgages that they knew would eventually be worthless). Continue reading Reflections on 1 Corinthians chapter 13 – a homily by Michael Creal

Feast – reflecting on community and intimacy

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

Ecumenical Working Group on Residential Schools

Reflections to Spark Conversation on Christian Theology

April 2015 It has been 45 years since the formal participation of mainline Christian churches in the Indian residential school system was dramatically reduced, and more than 25 years since survivors began confronting those in the church with the disastrous consequences of that system on themselves, their families, their communities, languages and cultures. For a long time, the churches avoided coming to terms with this history and its legacy. The subject of residential schools has been shrouded in silence and justified by a veneer of “good intentions.” It only has been relatively recently that churches have begun to reflect in deep humility on the theological assumptions and interpretations that gave rise to the churches’ complicity in this evil. This paper proposes that theological colleges, learning centres, and scholars have vital roles to play in supporting deeper theological engagement with this topic. Continue reading Ecumenical Working Group on Residential Schools

Homily for The Baptism of Jesus

Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7     Psalm 29      Acts 8:14-17     Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Called By Name 

by Sherman Hesselgrave

What’s in a name? My mother’s father, Grandpa Larsen, was descended from a Dane names Lars. My grandfather Hesselgrave’s family hailed from a town in Northern England named Hazel Grove, so it is thought that our family name is a variant spelling of a place. Some people bear the names of ancestors’ occupations: the Bakers, Carpenters, Farmers, and Schneiders, for example.  My father told the story of an occasion when he was conducting a baptism in the African bush, and asked the parents the name of the child. They said, “Matata.” Now, thanks to The Lion King, many people know the Swahili phrase ‘hakuna matata,’ means ‘no problem or no trouble.’ So, my father asked the parents why they wanted to name their son Trouble, and they explained that they had had great difficulty in bearing children, and this baby had finally survived. He managed to persuade them to choose another name, and not saddle the child with the memory of their suffering. Continue reading Homily for The Baptism of Jesus

Gleanings from the We Make the Road by Walking Bible Study

Each Sunday as we gather at 9:00 AM for the We Make the Road by Walking Bible Study, we begin with this prayer: Creator, we give you thanks for all you are and all you bring to us for our visit within your creation. In Jesus, you place the Gospel in the centre of this sacred circle through which all creation is related. You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life. Give us your strength to live together with respect and commitment as we grow in your spirit, for you are God, now and forever. Amen.

This past Sunday we engaged with some difficult scriptures. The session title was “From Ugliness, a Beauty Emerges.” The first passage we read was from Deuteronomy 7: Continue reading Gleanings from the We Make the Road by Walking Bible Study

Pinch me, I must be dreaming…

Homily on November 8, 2015 by Katherine Assad

Yesterday on the bus I got a text message from Rob Shropshire, a member of the Holy Trinity refugee committee whom many of you know, telling me to listen to an interview on CBC with John MaCallum, our new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Rob said that the interview was so amazing he was literally pinching himself, so I listened to it right then and there.

The minister confirmed that the government will indeed be moving ahead with the resettlement of 25,000 refugees and that the interim federal health program for refugees that was cut a few years ago would be fully reinstated. And these 25000 to be resettled will be government-assisted refugees. These numbers do not include the number of refugees that will be privately sponsored by constituent groups like ours of groups of five. For me this point is huge. Continue reading Pinch me, I must be dreaming…