Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day coincide this year. With two service times—12:15 PM and 6:00 PM—you can still make a Valentine’s dinner reservation.
The ashes for Ash Wednesday are made by burning the palm branches from last Palm Sunday. With the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return,” we are reminded of our mortality.
On the Sundays in Lent, the appointed Hebrew Scripture readings in Year B focus on covenants: the covenant with Noah on February 18, the covenant with Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah on February 25th, the covenant with Moses (the 10 Commandments) on March 4th, the covenant in the wilderness on March 11th, and the new covenant that Jeremiah foretells on March 18th. Continue reading Lent 2018 at Holy Trinity: We Are A Covenant People
Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?
Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1
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
October 28th is the Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude. It was on the eve of this day in 1847 that the Church of the Holy Trinity was consecrated. At the midweek Eucharist today we remembered Simon and Jude, and as I was reading aloud the biographical comment in For All the Saints, I realized how appropriate they are as patrons. “Simon was called ‘the Zealot,’ which suggests that he once belonged to the Jewish resistance movement. …Jude is considered the patron saint of what is shunned by the world, especially lost causes and those who suffer from incurable diseases.” [p. 318]
On Wednesdays, in place of a homily, we have a group reflection on the appointed scripture readings, on the person/s being commemorated, or on what God is doing in our lives or the world around us. The gospel reading from John 15 included this passage: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” One of the Wednesday regulars, Matt McGeachy, related the time from his university experience when the journalist June Callwood spoke to his class about the first time she was arrested for her social justice activism. Ms Callwood was participating in a demonstration on Bloor Street when she saw the police grab a black man and pull him into an alley to give him a beating. She went into the alley and demanded to know why they were doing this. They told her it wasn’t any of her business. She responded that they were public servants–members of the Toronto Police Services–so yes, it was her business. She was arrested for obstructing the police in the performance of their duties. (No cell phone videos in those days.) Continue reading One Hundred and Sixty-Eight Years of Social Justice