Thursday, November 26, 2009

Study Group Idea

LAst winter the group that was working through Revelation kept asking me a question,  "What does the United Church believe about...?

WE have some people who whave expressed an interest in confirmation classes.

And so I have come to a conclusion that combines both things.

Starting in January I am going to offer a study group that will double as confirmation/re-affirmation of faith class for those who are interested. The group is called What does the United Church believe about...
and possible topic areas include:
  • God
  • Jesus
  • Holy Spirit
  • The Bible
  • Human Nature
  • The Church
  • Communion and Baptism
  • Death and What Lies Beyond
  • Society
  • Sin and Forgiveness
  • The Realm of God--Now, COming, Both?
  • Prayer
  • The Created Order
  • ?????
SOme could easily be further subdivided.  SOme may be combined. What would you add to or subtract from this list?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And Baby Makes 4

Yes that's right---4

Mind you they already outnumber (and some days out think) us anyway.

And maybe this one will be another male in the house???? (Scalliwag says she wants a brother)

We'll find out at the end of May/beginning of June

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Irony Anyone???

I couldn't help but laugh when I read this story:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper urged journalists to "shine light into dark corners" of government affairs during a speech late Saturday, but wouldn't take questions from reporters covering the event.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Memory Test

Check out this little test of facial memory/recognition.

I got 83% on remembering I had seen them, and 85% on remembering where.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A New Citizenship Oath

As part of my preparing to ask where our loyalties do/should lie I looked up the US Pledge of Allegiance. Very interesting reading here.

Sadly, in reading this brief summary on wikipedia I fear I may know more about the history of the Pledge than many people who routinely recite it.

I also found the text of the Canadian Citizenship oath

But of course as people of faith it is arguable, and theologically sustainable, that our true allegiance is not to any flag or nation or political party/leader.  Indeed our loyalty is to a kingdom proclaimed by a man on hs way to a cross.  Our allegiance is to a way of life that was (rightly in some ways) condemned as subversive in the eyes of Empire.  Our citizenship is in a realm that is of this world and yet not of this world -- the now and the not yet.

And so I submit a Citizenship Oath For Reign of Christ Sunday:
I swear that I will remain faithful to the Creating Parent,
bear true allegiance to the Child who brings life,
and open my life to the wildness of the Regenerative Spirit.
I affirm my commitment to truth, to justice and to true peace.
I will faithfully strive to understand the rules of Kin-dom living
and fulfil my responsibilities as a follower of Christ.
God being my helper. Amen.


May we always remember our call to be subversive, may we struggle to live into our true citizenship, may we be reminded that the kin-dom of God is born not of power but of "liberty and justice for all" Amen.

I Almost....

Wish I was in TOronto. Then I could go see this show

I just watched a piece about it on TV and it looks like a real hoot.

My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding "tells the story of a mother and son," according to production notes. "The mother feels lost in life, wrestling with her identity. A new job brings new opportunities and with it a chance to truly find herself…discovering her sexuality, rediscovering her faith, and eventually coming out to her teenage son, ex-husband and homophobic Jewish mother.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

THis Looks Neat!

Want a new Advent experience?

How abotu an online Advent Calendar?

Check it out here

I am thinking we will do it in this house

Friday, November 13, 2009

SUnrise over The River


Taken earlier this week as we got out of bed

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thinking of Using this for Sunday's Sermon...

A COuple (Bad) Swine FLu Jokes

BOth told during tonight's concert:

1)  Did you know the difference between Bird Flu and Swine FLu?

WIth Bird FLu you need tweet-ment but for Swine FLu you can get by with oink-ment.

2)  Apparently the Pope came down with Bird Flu.  HE caught it from one of the cardinals.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Gives?

In eight years being here the garbage can had never been knocked over once.  NEver.  Despite there being bones or food scraps in it.

In the last month it has been dumped and garbage strewn at least 4 times.

Wonder who/what moved into the neighbourhood?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

WHEW!

End of a busy weekend...

YEsterday morning I left home at  9 in the morning.  Today I got home just after 5 in the afternoon.

In between those things I had a total of 7-7.5 hourse of driving.  And a training session for Joint Needs Assessment COmmittees (paired with teh first meeting of said committee).  And a chance to take in the last hour of a church tea.  And 4 hours of leading a workshop on funeral leadership.  And2 worship services with communion (but luckily being able to reprise last week's sermon) and 4 baptisms at one of them.  (BTW, I love doing baptisms).

What I ddin't have was sleep, or at least not a good one.  So now, sweet readers, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Must See!

I was sent this link in an e-mail this afternoon. Following it I found this video that needs to be watched:

The Real Deficit -- Newspaper Column

Deficits. We seem to hear that word a lot these days. Governing parties debate with the opposition how much of a financial deficit is acceptable in the midst of an economic downturn. Politicians muse about a democratic deficit in our Parliamentary processes. Analysts have been talking for years about an infrastructure deficit as our streets and bridges and sewer/water systems age beyond their expected lifespan. Economists constantly watch trade numbers and talk about trade deficits. But with all this talk about deficits is it possible we have missed the biggest deficit of all?

I think we have. I think at almost all levels of our lives together we have a more important deficit to worry about. And in fact, to a degree, dealing with this deficit will help us find a way to deal with all the rest. This is the deficit of vision.

One of my favourite verses in the Bible comes from the book of Proverbs. In the King James Version it is translated Where there is no vision, the people perish. This verse is in fact inscribed over the West window of the Peace Tower in Ottawa. Vision is vital for us to survive and thrive as a society and as a community.

When vision is lacking we tend to go around in circles. When our vision is not forward-looking we tend to spend all our time trying to get back to some sort of “Golden Age” from the past. But when we have a vision that looks ahead, a vision that guides us into the future, then we can grow as communities. With a vision we can find a new way to thrive, without a vision we may struggle to survive.

Where does vision come from? For people of faith asking “where is God calling us to go?” or “what is God calling us to do?” or “who is God calling us to be?” is a way of opening ourselves to a new vision for the world. This means that in our personal and communal life we have to open ourselves to the urging and blowing of the Spirit. And we have to be open to that urging even though it may lead us to a place we have never been before.

As I look around the world I see a lack of vision, or at least a lack of trust in a vision. I see leaders trying to keep an economic model alive despite the evidence that the model is fatally flawed. I see small organization trying to operate as they did 50 years ago despite evidence that people are no longer interested in that way of being. I see people facing crisis by asking how to get back to where they were instead of how to find a new start. At many levels of life we are crying out for a vision of hope for the future.

Where will God's vision lead us in the future? Are we ready to take the risk and open ourselves to the Spirit's leading? Can we dare step forward in trust and hope without really knowing what comes next?