A homily preached November 17, 2019 by Zach Grant
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
My grandfather grew up in New Hamburg, the land of the Wendat Nation
He was a settler there, born into a Mennonite family.
His father, my great grandfather, drove the buggy, down the dirt roads
wrapping the cleared land, and past the gnarled fruit trees
marking lanes to green roofed houses.
He met a woman there who was a braucher-
this is the Mennonite healer,
the midwife and the undertaker,
the charmer of sickness and sorrow,
the keeper of the way. Continue reading “how the light gets in”
As I approached this
service and read the appointed readings I was struck by the sense of
end times captured there. In our present era it feels as if we are in
the end times. It gives me more sympathy for the writers of these
apocalyptic pieces and helped me decide not to jettison them in
favour of Maya Anjelou or Richard Wagamese as I might otherwise be
tempted to do.
Of apocalytic texts in general, the theologian Ched Myers, who has preached here on a few occasions has this to say:
Continue reading Resisting Apocalypse
“Apocalyptic discourse in the Bible is not about predicting God’s cataclysmic destruction of the world, as so often assumed in popular culture. Rather it expresses the fierce imagination of those who long for the end of destructive oppression by the imperial state. After all, for the poor, the “end of the world” is already and forever being visited upon their communities by soldiers and fortune hunters and police.
Street Nurse, Author
you for inviting me to this place I have spent a lot of time in.
like to read something by someone you all may know – Brian Burch:
We know what heaven is like: “In my father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2). And we know what Toronto is like. In our city are many heating grates; in our city are many file folders full of names of our sisters and brothers seeking a home. In the midst of our city are many trying to bring to life in the present heaven’s promise. This is done through protests and petitions. It is done through opening up sanctuary spaces for temporary resting places. It is done by squatting empty buildings. And it is done by those that weave together funds from various sources to develop new housing.”
was by then Rev. Brian Burch in a homily given in 2005. Brian tells
me he is now a grassroots co-op activist – which I think is a
of the Holy Trinity is woven through my memoirs, A
Knapsack Full of Dreams.
likely won’t surprise many of you. I’ve spent a lot of time here.
Continue reading “When the veil is the thinnest…”
Environmental Planner, McKibbon Wakefield Inc.
Let’s pray: may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and Redeemer. Amen.
Thank you for the opportunity to deliver this
sermon to you today. This opportunity comes at a perilous time: we
are failing to address the threats arising from a warming climate.
David Wallace-Wells speaks to the dangers facing us in his book
entitled: The Uninhabitable Earthi.
I can summarize his analysis visually as three successively larger
rings each fitting within the other. The inner ring identifies what
is incontrovertible: the world’s climate is warming. This inner
ring is surrounded by a second larger ring, within which he describes
the results of this warming: species lost, wildfire such as that
occurring this weekend in California, extreme weather such as the
winds that are driving the wildfires in California, flooding, rising
sea levels etc. linear results. In the larger third ring are less
well understood and tipping points, loss of agricultural
productivity, permafrost melting, uninhabitable landscapes, failed
societies, climate refugees, etc. non-linear complex tipping points
where the landscape character changes substantially and possibly
Continue reading “becoming available to the land”
One of the items on this morning’s broadcast of Metro Morning was coverage of a report on the happiness of Torontonians (or rather the apparent lack thereof). One of the things that emerged from the conversation is that often people in smaller places are happier because they have stronger community connections and that sometimes the connections we make in cities feel more fleeting.
Like many people I have felt some version of this. One of the places that has tried to hang onto stronger connections is churches. Churches however are also struggling against (sometimes justified) suspicion that they have another agenda to win converts. Like many churches we want to keep the vision of an intergenerational community alive, but we have never been about evangelism. If we are evangelistic about anything, it is our desire for a more just and caring neighbourhood, city and world.
We want you to feel welcome to join the HT community, but no specific belief system is required–just a desire to be part of a community that cares about you and others. Many of us are Christians, but we hold an assortment of beliefs with respect to spirituality, including some who are entirely non-theistic. We host events and activities that we hope appeal to people in different places in their lives from cocktail parties, and discussions of the issues of the day to Sunday worship, and concerts.
We have begun developing co-working space in our historic buildings to let us build partnerships with people and organizations who would like to join and build a strong and diverse community of common care in downtown Toronto.
If any of this resonates or you’re curious about this weird and wonderful place, please check out at an upcoming event (I personally recommend Lifting Spirits) or talk to our Community Director about how we might connect with you and what you care about.
Keith Nunn, 2019 OCT 10