Tag Archives: hope

Dry-Bone Valley

It’s like trying to stay upright,
scorched and breathless, in the blast
of some sneezing rot-toothed dragon.

This guided tour, God, is tough going.
As vistas go, it’s in questionable taste–hills
bare-ribbed and drought-dried to the bone;

Satan plays Lego with Rwandan skeletons,
chews over the remains of hope in Darfur
and a thousand other slums:

such pornography of desolation–
O God, can these bones live?
how have we been brought to this?

We wait on you.  Do not press REWIND,
returning things to the good old days
that never were.  Plant something new

in us, reassemble the strewn backbones
of our resolve, breathe prophecy into us
so that blade by blade, tuft by tuft

we may animate these Lenten slopes
with living green of Easter hopes.

Dry-Bone Valley (Ezekiel 37:1-14) by Ian Sowton from The Stink of Experience

Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

By Susie Henderson


  • Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11
  • The Sweetness that Remains: Orange Blossom Honey Blessing in The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief by Jan Richardson
  • John 1 :6-8, 19-28


They say that grief is the tax on love — if you love you grieve, no getting around it. I brought rosemary today to honour the losses that we all carry and may be particularly mindful of at this time of year.

Rosemary — has a long history and there are many stories tied to this fragrant herb. Historically it has been thought to strengthen memory and that tie to remembrance and it has been included in both the wedding bouquet and the funeral garland.

Medicinally the camphor in rosemary has helped to clear congestion. In our house it mostly comes out with a little lemon to season Jennifer’s favorite roast chicken.

Today I offer it as a sign of remembrance, a scent that lingers, a way to witness that death is not the end of love. Death is not the end of love.

During this reflection, I invite you, if you’d like, to come forward and make yourself a mini wreath of remembrance that you can take home for a christmas tree or to place somewhere in your line of sight, a sign of the presence of those who have gone before us, still present, still missed, still remembered in our holiday times. You can make it during the service or just pick up the pieces to put it together when you get home. Continue reading Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

What do we do with the King of Kings?

Keith Nunn, Nov 26, 2017.
In case the lectionary readings today didn’t tip you off, this Sunday is called the Reign of Christ. This is the last stop before we start the cycle over with Mary’s story and the infant Jesus.

Co-incidentally, the first sermon I delivered after entering theological education was on the reign of Christ. At that time, I felt a need and pressure to justify my position through scripture. Not so much anymore. However, I do feel a need to maintain the conversation with scripture in general and with the person of Jesus Christ in particular.

Today, in spite of my infamous reputation for jettisoning the lectionary, I have kept all the appointed readings, albeit in abridged form. The straightforward interpretation of these texts probably makes most of us somewhat uncomfortable—I know it does me. I’ll return to them shortly, however. Continue reading What do we do with the King of Kings?

Songs of Hope & Resistance, Sunday, May 1, 3pm – ECHO Women’s Choir

Echo Women’s Choir, Spring Concert,
Songs of Hope & Resistance, Sunday, May 1, 3pm
Church of the Holy Trinity

Co-Directors: Becca Whitla and Alan Gasser
With Special Guest: Singer Ewelina Ferenc & Yura Rafalui, Hammered Dulcimer

Tickets $15. Advance, $10. Seniors/Children/Underwaged, $20 at the door.
To reserve tickets email: info.echo@gmail.com

ECHO gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council.
To find out more about Echo: www.echowomenschoir.ca

A long night of work…

Peter Haresnape’s Homily for Easter 3

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was now living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

[— T. S. Eliot, “The Wasteland“]

After the busyness and disruption of Easter, we get back to work, the children go back to school, and Simon Peter gets together with his friends and goes fishing.

A long night of work, and nothing to show for it, but then, through the sudden provision of great abundance, they recognise the Lord in the mysterious, almost unrecognizable form waiting by the shore. Continue reading A long night of work…