Sometimes a handful of words in the Bible can be wrenched with violence out of context in order to support a position that is pernicious. Take today’s Gospel reading of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus. The phrase often plucked out of this little passage is part of verse 21 that most of us know by heart in the poetical language of the King James Version:
“Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”
This story was obviously considered important to early Christians as it is repeated, in somewhat similar form, in Mark and Luke.
Skip forward to Romans 13 and we read, once again, in the good old KJV, ‘let every soul be subject to higher powers’ in verse 1 and the word ‘render’ appears once again in verse 7. In fact, the margins notes in my old and beloved King James Bible has these three phrases next to the first few verses in Romans 13 – Duty to the State, Authority of the State, Duties of Citizenship.
Once a month our worship service is led by our local band Fallen Angles in a pop vein. The service is always thematic and uses contemporary music, both popular and liturgical. We strive for an integrated experience that affects everyone who comes.
This month our theme is death and loss as we approach all hallows and all saints. We will be featuring the music of Carrie Newcomer, Grievous Angels, Marty Haugen, Stephen Foster, Bobby McFerrin. There will also be contemporary readings and time to reflect on the losses in our lives.
There is a climate justice theme running through the liturgy this Sunday, in anticipation of the summit in New York on the 23rd. University of Toronto professor and activist, Stephen Bede Scharper will preach.
Holy Cross Sunday will be marked in both the service and children’s time this week beginning at 10:30 AM
Ian Grundy, our new music director will play his first service this Sunday. Ian has a rich and diverse background in music. Since 1997, he has been teaching music at Buttonville Public School (Grades 1-8). He has also been the music director of two Anglican congregations: St Cuthbert’s and Christ Church, Deer Park. He conducts a chamber choir, VocalPoint, which has held concerts at Holy Trinity in the past.
Children’s program for school age children begins this Sunday. We leave during the peace and will explore images of the cross and forgiveness together.Our children’s program combines stories, conversation, prayer and physical activity determined by the children present. Beth Baskin leads our children’s ministry and has thirty years of experience exploring faith with children.
A couple Sundays ago, with the church doors propped open on account of the nice weather, a pigeon wandered in during the Sunday drop-in and discovered we had free food. He was chased out, but kept coming back. Ditto, the next day. Today, he brought two others. Talk about effective evangelism. Unfortunately, the numbers won’t be included in our parochial statistics.
August 24, 2014 Reflection by Beth Baskin
The secret of bringing life into the world
Theme: midwives, & parents in all their forms
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts reveal the truth of God for us in this place and time.
Full disclosure, this is not a carefully exegeted sermon, the form of which I was taught in theological school. This is not a sermon my homiletics professor would hold up as a model for systemic theology. This is a reflection on a passage that spoke to me and begged to have some truths told.
The opinions voiced in this are mine coming out of life experience, quiet time, prayer and reflection which I believe hold some truths that can guide those of us who call ourselves people of faith.
Homily by Bill Whitla Pentecost 6 (Proper 11A) July 20, 2014
Gwenlyn asked me to preach because she said that the readings were difficult—and I knew that was a golden opportunity. Little did I know that the reading from Romans would be cut off half way through [Sherman later reported it had been taken from a 2011 bulletin where the co-ordinator had abbreviated the reading] and the Gospel was completely invisible, having been left out of the bulletin altogether. A challenge indeed. Continue reading →
Some seeds fell on the path and were eaten by birds. Some fell on rocky ground and they never took root. Some were choked by thorns. And some, some fell on good soil, and brought forth more grain than could be imagined.
Well, I am no farmer, not even a very experienced gardener, but it sure makes me wonder about what kinda crazy sower we have here who tosses the seed to fall where it may. Most of it never makes it to harvest time. Today he might be sowing while texting.Continue reading →