Category Archives: Reflections

The Rest Is Silence

Sermon, Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto, November 11, 2018

Readings: 1 Kings 17:8–16; Hebrews 9:24–28; Mark 12:38–44

Hear this sermon as it was delivered:

On November 11, 1918, at 11 AM, the Great War officially ended and the guns fell silent.

That’s not just a figure of speech. It’s not just lofty poetry. Guns kept firing right until 11 o’clock. Artillery kept blasting away. More than 10,000 people died that morning.

Nobody was tape recording the sound; they didn’t have tape recorders. No one was at the front with a wax cylinder to record the sound phonographically. But oil drums in several locations were rigged up to transmit the vibrations for visual recording on a strip of film. They were used for triangulating the positions of enemy guns. They were still in use on the morning of November 11th, and a filmstrip has survived. It looks like a multi-line seismograph. The Imperial War Museum commissioned a reconstruction of the sound. You can hear different kinds of artillery blasting holes in the air more than once a second for a half a minute. And then they stop like a battalion of troops ordered to halt.

The war to end all wars was over.

It didn’t end all wars. We keep shooting at each other. Continue reading The Rest Is Silence

A Cloud of Witnesses (Homily for All Saints)

Wisdom 3:1-9     Psalm 24     Revelation 21:1-6a     John 11:32-44

A Cloud of Witnesses

Sherman Hesselgrave

All Saints is when the universal Church remembers the Christian faithful throughout history who make up the great cloud of witnesses, the communion of saints who surround us and inhabit our memory across time. If I asked you to think of a person you consider to be a saint—someone who has inspired you by their courage or their convictions, someone you aspire to be like, someone who left their fingerprints on your life, I’m sure you could name them or see them with your mind’s eye. Even though they were touched by death, they live on in our hearts and in our memories.

Continue reading A Cloud of Witnesses (Homily for All Saints)

discovery

The second Monday in October is marked as Thanksgiving in Canada, and Columbus Day in many states in the United States of America. In recognition of the brutal, on-going history of colonization across Turtle Island, parishioner Len Desroches offers this poem.  

by Len Desroches

Columbus, if only you had not been so afraid of discovery
Christopher, “Christ bearer,” if only you had discovered soul
discovered soul before rushing off
in gunboat for Spanish empire
stealing land
shedding rivers of blood
to mine shiny bits from Earth’s bleeding bowels

re-writing Gold with a capital “G”
made it easy to also leave out the “l”
Gold became God
Gold becomes God

Continue reading discovery

Are you on a team?

Holy Trinity is a community which works  together to accomplish meaningful acts. From the Refugee Committee, whose community care and involvement speaks for itself, to the Worship Committee and Co-ordinators, the Fallen Angles, and other musicians who create thoughtful services that are unique in our diocese, to the Alice Heap Hospitality Committee that provides wonderful and inclusive nibbles for all occasions, and the People Presence and Sunday Drop-In teams which keep the church doors open to all, and all the other individual and plural efforts that make this place vibrant, this community pulls together to make sure we are living our values.

This church building has stood as a downtown landmark for Torontonians since 1847. But more importantly, this community serves as a “heart-mark” for the people of this city.  The people of Toronto know this church. They know it for its Pride banners, for the wonderful concerts they’ve attended here, for its presence on social justice issues. They know it for the Homeless Memorial and its heritage of hospitality. They know it for the community you have fostered and fought for.

This purposeful, heart-centred, community is in need of a boost. The teams that keep our doors open to all, People Presence and Sunday Drop-In, are actively recruiting. Will you mindfully examine whether you can apply to join one of these teams? We need your commitment. We also need you to be an ambassador. We need you to tell your friends and colleagues, your family members and your neighbours. We need them and we need you to join our teams, to keep our doors open.   We need you so  we can continue the community building and presence that has been nurtured here for more than 171 years.

To volunteer or learn more, contact Volunteer Co-Ordinator Kate Werneburg at kwerneburg@holytrinity.to or 416 598 4521 x225.

 

“We have met the enemy, and he is us”

July 8, 2018

The Jesuit priest James Martin tells of his drive near the Rift Valley in Kenya two decades ago:

“I was transfixed by the verdant green grass that carpeted the hillside”, he writes. “Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a lone white sheep clambered down the hillside and darted in front of my car. I swerved to avoid hitting it… Then I watched the sheep gingerly climb down into the valley on the right side of the road. Just then, from my left, a figure darted across the road. It was a young Maasai shepherd… The shepherd dashed in front of my idling car. Barefoot, he smiled and waved to me as he passed. He scrambled down the side of the hill in pursuit of the sheep, raising clouds of dust, calling loudly all the time… Then I looked up and saw the rest of the flock, about twenty or thirty sheep, up the hill on my left. How stupid! I thought. He’s leaving behind the whole flock for that one sheep. Then something dawned on me, and I laughed out loud. It was the Parable of the Lost Sheep in action!”

Continue reading “We have met the enemy, and he is us”