The Mysterious Life of Seeds
Jesus tells two short parables in Mark 4:26-34. They're both about seeds: in the first, seeds that grow up mysteriously overnight after a farmer has scattered them far and wide across the ground. In the second, the tiny mustard seed grows into a great shrub that then gives shade and shelter to nests of birds. We know that Jesus did a lot of teaching through stories, perhaps because they invite us in and expand our imaginations, revealing something of God's work beyond our understanding. The mysterious life of seeds paints the Kingdom of God as a living, growing, extravagant reality in which we are invited to participate. This is our last lectionary podcast episode before the summer. Join us around the virtual table as we close this season with these hope-filled parables.
June 12, 2021
"Understanding" the Holy Trinity
Can anyone really understand the Holy Trinity? Many people have fought and wrestled and argued over how to understand God through the many different ways that God is revealed in the Scriptures. We approach this topic from two angles this week. First is the Gospel reading from John 3:1-17, in which Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night to try and figure out what Jesus is all about. Jesus doesn't give a direct answer. Instead, he talks about the Holy Spirit, and God's only Son given for the love of the world. From there, the church through time has extended and developed its understanding of the nature of God through prayerful study in community. You may have noticed that the word trinity doesn't actually appear in this reading, nor indeed anywhere in the Bible. Jesus just talks about God, the Son, and the Spirit, but he doesn't say anything about how they all relate. Are they the same? Are they different? That was left for the following generations to wrestle with. So, we must turn to what we can learn from how Christians have articulated the one God as three 'persons' in the centuries that followed. This is the reason we celebrate Trinity Sunday, the great feast of the church that takes place this week. Don't make the mistake of assuming this is just a dry, dusty intellectual exercise! Indeed, the doctrine of the Trinity is the best way the Christian faith has found to capture the heart of a God who is both perfectly united and relationship-driven, willing to dive into the messiness of human existence. Paradoxically, the mystery of the Holy Trinity gives us the clearest possible picture of who God is and who we are in relationship to God. Please join us around the virtual table this week for this celebration and praise of God as a unity and trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May 29, 2021
Conversation with the Rt. Rev. Gordon Light
It was a privilege to spend some time with the Rt. Rev. Gordon Light for the second of our conversations on worship and the life of the church. He is the retired bishop of the Parishes of the Central Interior (now Territory of the People) in central BC, as well as a great friend to our parish. As a songwriter and founding member of The Common Cup Company, he has several pieces published in hymnals of Anglican, United, and other churches. In this conversation, you will hear his reflections on music as prayer and the joyful heartbeat of the gathered community of faith, alongside stories of how some of his best-known songs came to be. He also touches on what has influenced his expansive and ecumenical outlook on faith and worship. We hope that you will be inspired by his gentle and generous wisdom as you listen. ~~~ This is part of a Hope Canteen series called Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing where we talk with people about many facets of worship, and how it enriches our life together. We have planned conversations with people whose ministry involves leading the church in music and worship, asking them to reflect on what is most important about worship to them. We hope that you will join us in these conversations as we look ahead to emerging from the pandemic and shaping our in-person worship. The Rt. Rev. Gordon Light was born in Alberta, but lived in many places growing up. He attended Carleton University in Ottawa (B.A.) and Trinity College in Toronto (S.T.B). Ordained deacon and priest in 1969, he served in parishes in Cariboo, Edmonton and Rupert’s Land dioceses. Following a time as Dean of Cariboo in Kamloops, he moved to Toronto in 1992 to serve as Principal Secretary to the Primate. Returning west in 2001, he was Administrative Assistant to the Metropolitan of BC and Yukon, and then consecrated bishop for the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (formerly Cariboo). After retiring at the end of 2008, Gordon was appointed chaplain to Church House staff until (2010). Among other hobbies, a longtime passion has been song-writing. He is married to Barbara Liotscos, also an Anglican priest. Both retired first to Meaford, Ontario, and now live again in Kamloops, BC. They serve as honourary assistants in St. Paul’s, Cathedral, but have also been engaged in interim ministry in other parishes. They have taken some time to travel, enjoy connecting with children and grandchildren, and have recently added their young Bernedoodle, Keady, to their household.
May 26, 2021
Pentecost & the Holy Spirit
Pentecost is one of the great feasts of the church. It marks the coming down of Holy Spirit on the first disciples and the beginning of that great family of Christ we call the church. It's described in Acts 2:1-21. In this story the disciples are gathered together for a Jewish agricultural feast that was celebrated every year. By this time in Jewish history, they had long been dispersed across the world in what they called the diaspora, but they would return to Jerusalem for the feast days. On this Pentecost, something profound happened. The room shook, there was the sound of wind, the disciples found they had tongues of fire on their heads, and they could suddenly speak other languages. They poured out of the upper room, proclaiming with boldness the Good News of Jesus Christ. What was going on? The lead apostle, Peter, tells them that this event is indeed the beginning the fulfillment of all that the Scriptures had pointed to: God’s Holy Spirit would be poured out for everyone. Join us around the virtual table this week as we talk about the work of the Holy Spirit, the expansiveness of the mission of Christ, and what it means to live in the breath of God.
May 21, 2021
In this week’s podcast we are looking at the Ascension, one of the most underrated of the feast days marking events in the life of Jesus. Two passages tell this story: Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11. The church celebrates the feast of the Ascension every year exactly 40 days after Easter, to echo the 40 days that Jesus stayed with his disciples after the Resurrection. During this time, he met with them, taught them, and opened their hearts to understand the Scriptures. Finally, the disciples see him lifted up as he returns to God. Even though this feast doesn't get as much attention as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, it is crucial to how we understand Jesus’ ministry of salvation. It is also the catalyst for the arrival of the Holy Spirit ten days later. The Ascension marks the end of Jesus' earthly ministry, launching the church to take up the Jesus movement in its turn. Join us around the virtual table as we explore the joy-filled Ascension Day.
May 15, 2021
The Challenge of Love
This week we are looking at John 15:9-17, one of the core teachings for which Jesus is most known. The instruction to love one another resonates within and beyond the Christian faith. He says to them and us: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” He then goes on to elaborate that he no longer calls them servants, but friends. They are his friends if they love one another like he loves them. This simple but profound teaching forms the heart of Jesus' message and underlies everything he does. His love takes him all the way to the cross. Sharing and participating in that love in big and small ways shapes and challenges us more than anything else. Join us around the virtual table this week as we delve into what love really means.
May 7, 2021
Conversation with Dr. Joy Berg
We are excited to share with you our conversation with Dr. Joy Berg. Dr. Berg is well known in the Edmonton area for being a musician, scholar, educator, and choir director. We enjoyed talking with her about worship and music, and she drew on her considerable experience to invite us to go deeper in our understanding of these central parts of congregational life. She has a lot of interesting things to say; we hope you enjoy it. This is part of a Hope Canteen series called Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing where we talk with people about many facets of worship, and how it enriches our life together. We have planned conversations with people whose ministry involves leading the church in music and worship, asking them to reflect on what is most important about worship to them. We hope that you will join us in these conversations as we look ahead to emerging from the pandemic and shaping our in-person worship. Dr. Joy Berg was awarded the Companion of the Worship Arts for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 2014. She holds a Doctorate of Music degree in Choral Conducting as well as a Doctorate of Worship Arts. As a longtime church musician, she has focused her research in hymnody, liturgy, Canadian hymn-writers, and worship planning, and is actively involved in local and national church events. You can visit her website here: https://sanctuarysounds.ca/
May 5, 2021
Abiding in Christ, the True Vine
Last week we looked at the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Today, we look at a very different metaphor from John 15:1-8: Jesus as the vine. Jesus introduces this teaching by saying, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower.” He follows this metaphor with four images. First, he says that if he is the vine, then the disciples are the branches that come out of the vine. Second, he tells us that the branches are expected to bear fruit. Third, he tells us that branches that don’t bear fruit need to be pruned back. Fourth, the relationship between the branch and the vine is one of abiding. Like the branch abides in the vine, so we must abide in Jesus. Join us as we reflect on what it means to bear good fruit as we are nourished in the life of God. (Revised Common Lectionary: 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B)
May 1, 2021
Jesus, the Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd is an important metaphor that Jesus uses to help describe his ministry. Join us around the virtual table as we explore what this teaching means to Jesus and for us. Scripture reference: John 10:11-18 (4th Sunday after Easter, Year B)
April 24, 2021