22 Sepember 2019
Readings: Amos 8:4-7 Psalm 113 Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison) Luke 16:1-13
the noontime Eucharist on Wednesdays, we usually commemorate a saint
who is remembered on the church calendar that week. Last Wednesday,
we used the propers for St Ninian. The short biography in For All
the Saints, told us that Ninian was “a fifth-century bishop who
was the first to preach the gospel in western Scotland. He originally
came from England, then a province of the Roman empire, and spent
many years in centres of Christian culture like Rome and southern
Gaul. At that time the leaders of the Church tended to think that
people who lived outside the boundaries of the Roman empire were not
worth converting to Christ. In Britain this attitude was visibly
reinforced by Hadrian’s Wall, a string of stone forts built across
the northern boundary of England, in order to keep out the Scottish
tribes. But one day Ninian either climbed over or sailed around this
wall and headed into barbarian territory in order to bring the gospel
to the enemies of his culture.” The spunkiness of Ninian’s
extramural adventure caught my attention. We live in a time when
there is an ocean of rhetoric about walls. I have lived long enough
to remember when the Berlin wall was erected, and I own a chunk of
the wall from when it was torn down in 1989. Walls are real or
imagined, bricks and mortar, as well as metaphorical.
Continue reading Climbing Over Walls (Homily)
September 15, 2019
Holy Trinity Refugee Committee Sermon
Katherine Assad and Rob Shropshire
(Note: the Scotiabank Marathon fundraiser will be on October 20 –
Donate here: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?teamID=878153#&panel1-1)
Continue reading Refugee Ministry Sunday Homily
- Jo (coordinating) gets up to introduce the sermon – “…Katherine and Rob.” She calls us up, but we aren’t there. She is surprised. She calls us.
- Katherine jogs in, chipper. Runs around the sanctuary and up to the lectern, calling for Rob to catch up.
- Rob enters, wheezing, struggling. Struggles up to join Katherine at the podium, out of breath.
Michael Creal’s homily on September 8, 2019
Readings: Deut 30:15-20 Psalm 1 Philemon 1-21 Lk 14:25-33
At the time when Lee, in a moment of
some desperation, asked me to do the homily for this Sunday, I just
happened to be brooding over the climate change crisis. I looked at
the readings for today and these words from the Deuteronomy passage
jumped out: “This day I have set before you life and death,
therefore choose life that you and your descendents may live” –
those words provided a sharp focus for what I was thinking about. In
the case of today’s reading from Deuteronomy that choice for the
Israelites – between life and death – was a question of honouring
or not honouring the covenant that Moses put before the people.
Honouring it meant choosing life and living in accordance with the
Law, or rejecting it with the destructive consequences that could
follow. Renewing the Covenant and confronting that choice was
something that the Jewish people faced repeatedly in the course of
their history . Today, the stark choice of choosing life is something
we face. What I think that means for us, I’ll come to in a moment.
Continue reading THE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
2019.08.04 Holy Trinity
Transfiguration – A visit with dragons
Readings: Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-19, Luke 9:28-36, The Peace of Wild Things (Wendell Berry)
A few weeks ago I met up with Tim, a friend from Christian Peacemaker Teams who I haven’t seen for several years. As we caught up on our lives we compared our networks of Christian activists and peacemakers, noting the connections, discussing the mentors and inspirational people we interact with. Tim referred to ‘holding the dragon close’. He explained that a dragon is an influential and powerful person in your life who is somewhat dangerous.
Continue reading A Visit with Dragons: Homily for Transfiguration
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.
Continue reading Listen and Learn