Listen and Learn

PENTECOST 2019     

A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from a friend, requesting that I come to Queen’s Park about 4.00 pm the following Monday to join a demonstration. The occasion for this was the attempt on the part of the NDP to pass a bill declaring climate change an emergency.

But a striking fact about this invitation was that I was requested to wear my clergy collar.  Now if, like me, you’ve been to many lefty- type protests,  you often DON’T want to be identified as a clergy person! But not this time. I was there were greeted with open arms, invited to pray and then to pose for a group photo.  

Walking back to the subway, I pondered on this turn of events. It occurred to me that maybe it was because the organizers, mostly university and high school students, are for the most part, “unchurched.” Their parents likely didn’t bother baptizing them and regular church attendance was not a part of their upbringing. So maybe this unchurched generation are not as predisposed to regard the church as something alien.

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Community Director Hired

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Zachary Grant as our new Community Director. This is the next step in our ongoing process of change. He’ll be helping us realize some next steps over the coming months.

Zachary will start July 15. All those of us who have met him are really excited about starting this new era together with him.  Once he starts, there will be a series of “cottage meetings” to allow everyone to meet him in a more intimate context. He will be at church some weeks and preach from time to time, but will not be there every week.

A brief biography follows…  

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2 Historic pews for sale

These pews or benches were built in 1847 and have been in continuous use at Church of the Holy Trinity at Yonge and Dundas since that time. They were built by local craftspeople using pine cut in the forests around the 1847 edges of Toronto, now just uptown.

Many bottoms have rested on these pews over the years: rich and poor, young and old, politicians and citizens. They have been rattled with music from choirs, organs, and bands of many kinds — the Cowboy Junkies recorded here and rested on them in the 80s. This place has been at the centre of many community moments in 172 years. They have been slept on and around by draft dodgers, endured fire and flood. Now it’s time for some to go to new homes to allow new life for them and for those that remain.

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Getting out of God’s Way (Homily for Easter 5)

Acts 11:1-18     Psalm 148      Revelation 21:1-6     John 13:31-35

Sherman Hesselgrave

If there is one thing today’s scripture readings have in common, it is about God doing something NEW. “I give you a new commandment: love one another.” “Look, I make all things new.” And then there’s Peter, who clued in to the new thing God was doing after the third memo.

Jesus warned his disciples that God would be doing new things in the future, things they were not ready even to think about while he was yet with them. And, sure enough, it didn’t take long. One afternoon, while he was enjoying his siesta, God gave Peter a vision, which Peter interpreted as a test of his faithfulness to Jewish dietary laws. [A reproduction of Fran Sowton’s painting of Peter’s vision at Joppa is the featured image for this post.] When Peter came to realize that it was not a test, but a message, specifically a message that God was making the circle wider, and he needed Peter to be onside, he made the necessary adjustments, and embraced the new scope of the mission. In this instance, it was Peter’s own religious upbringing that got in God’s way—a phenomenon we will encounter repeatedly throughout Church history.

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loving justice in the heart of our city