July 26, 2020 — Four spiritual songs — We released a video recorded on July 5. It offers four songs that have been of spiritual significance to me over the last 20 years — Ian
July 19, 2020 — David Faber led the congregation in an online worship service. Click here to watch the video.
July 12, 2020 — Summer blessings — I reflected upon the blessings of summer with inspiration from a well-known gospel story about the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:25-34) and a well-known poem by Mary Oliver (“The Summer Day”). We also celebrated communion.
July 05, 2020 — Think globally, act locally — We reflected on how a spirit of worldwide solidarity could inform our work at the local level of church, family, and neighbourhood.
June 28, 2020 — Love the world — At the beginning of the week that included Canada Day, the July 4th holiday in the US, and the end of the first half of 2020, I reflected on a spirit of universal love in a world dominated by the spirits of nationalism — Ian
June 21, 2020 — Reserves we live within — On the first day of summer, we celebrated the Indigenous Day of Prayer with a service focused on how Canadians of all backgrounds can live in right relations with each other.
June 14, 2020 — From recovery to Jubilee — On the last Sunday of spring 2020, we reflected on the biblical notion of “Jubilee” — a once-every-50-years event in which slaves are freed and debts repaid — and related this dream to the work of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 07, 2020 — Pride and prejudice — On Pride Sunday, we heard texts about unity with diversity (1 Corinthians 2:4-14, and an excerpt from a 1999 book Rev. William Sloane Coffin) and reflected on the current worldwide uprising against police brutality and anti-black racism.
May 31, 2020 — Busting the bubble — On Pentecost Sunday, we heard stories and sang songs about the Holy Spirit and celebrated the sacrament of communion.
May 24, 2020 — “You’re not the boss of me!” — On the seventh Sunday of Easter, we used the 201st birthday of Queen Victoria as an occasion to hear a biblical passage about the dangers of monarchy (1 Samuel 8) and to reflect on sovereignty.
May 17, 2020 — Realities we struggle to understand — On the sixth Sunday of Easter, we heard Jesus tell his friends of the coming of a Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-21) and discussed the difficulties the world has in understanding what is true or real.
May 10 2020 — Family memories — On Mother’s Day, we reflected on the 23rd Psalm. We sang a version with a traditional translation and heard a contemporary paraphrase that focuses on mothering.
May 03 2020 — Coins and fools — On the fourth Sunday in Easter, we heard a famous Gospel passage (Mark 12:13-17, “a question about paying taxes”) and reflected on how idolatry might be seen as an economic concept as well as a spiritual one.
April 26 2020 — Community values — On the third Sunday in Easter, I reflected on a famous Easter story (Luke 24:13-33, the road to Emmaus) and discussed the economic implications of following a spiritual path — Ian
April 19 2020 — Earth Day at 50 — On the second Sunday in Easter, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Earth Day.” The first was held on April 22, 1970. My reflection was on an essay by astrophysicist Carl Sagan and on a paraphrase of Psalm 24 — Ian
April 12 2020 — Silent spring — On Easter Sunday, we celebrated new life with stories and song of resurrection.
April 10, 2020 — Confronting Good Friday — a short reflection on Paul’s startling statement “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:19-20) — Ian
April 5, 2020 — Palm/Passion Sunday — We marked the various days of Holy Week as stops along the way of the prayers for communion in what was our first-ever virtual communion celebration.
March 29, 2020 — Peace in Lent — On the fifth Sunday in Lent, we heard a poem by Wendell Berry and a passage in which Jesus offers his friends peace (John 16:22-35).
March 22, 2020 — Faith in Lent — On the fourth Sunday in Lent and the first Sunday of spring, we heard Jesus say that faith can move mountains and reflected on how to maintain faith in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
March 15, 2020 — Hope in Lent — On the third Sunday in Lent, I reflected on the COVID-19 pandemic in conjunction with a story of a conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman (John 4:5-28). The choir sang “Be the Love of Christ” — Ian
March 8, 2020 — Notes from the underground — On the second Sunday in Lent, I reflected on the Academy Award-winning movie “Parasite,” and compared its motifs of darkness and light with those from two Gospel readings — John 3:1-9 (being born from above) and Matthew 17:1-9 (the Transfiguration) — Ian
March 1, 2020 — “Going too far . . . or not far enough?” — On the first Sunday in Lent, we started the season with a story about Jesus facing three temptations following 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11); a reflection on what Lent might mean for us; and a celebration of communion. The choir sang “Dumela Kaufela”
February 23, 2020 — “Lost in translation” — We concluded a series of four Sundays on the “The Lord’s Prayer” with a reflection on a song by Leonard Cohen (“If It Be Your Will”) and a reading from Mark (Mark 14:32-42, Jesus prayers in Gethsemane). The choir sang “Jesus Ueja” – Ian
February 16, 2020 — David Faber delivered a reflection called “We are all God’s workers” based upon Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.
February 09, 2020 — David Faber led a reflection on the light of Epiphany. The choir sang “This Little Light of Mine.”
February 02, 2020 — God help us — We resumed a series of reflections on the “Our Father” prayer that Jesus taught his friends. The choir sang “Bread of the World” and we celebrated the sacrament of communion.
January 26, 2020 — “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?” — We joined with our Zimbabwean friends for worship and a simple lunch catered by The Congregational Care Team. I reflected on God’s call based on a reading of Matthew 4:12-23 in which Jesus calls his first followers. The choir sang “There Is No One Like Jesus” – Ian
January 19, 2020 — Kingdom come — We continued a series of reflections on the “Our Father” prayer that Jesus taught his friends (Luke 11:1-4) and on the place of prayer in our lives The choir sang “Patience” by Linnea Good – Ian
January 12, 2020 — “How, then, should we pray?” — We began a series of reflections on the “Our Father” prayer that Jesus taught his friends (Matthew 6:9-13) and on the place of prayer in our lives.
January 05, 2020 — Vision 2020 — On the 12th day of Christmas, we heard the other biblical story of Christmas, the one involving a star, Magi from the East, and a murderous rampage by King Herod (Matthew 2:1-18). I reflected on what might lie ahead for us in 2020 – Ian