Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Theology "ON TAP" Now On Tuesday Evening!

Theology "ON TAP" moves to a new day this evening.  We are meeting on Tuesdays from now on because of a scheduling conflict in the church.

What will not change is the nature of our discussions.  While the name of our evening's gathering alludes to two important aspects of our meetings (God and...) the scope of our discussions is not limited by either.  I hope that we will engage as many of our collective concerns as we can.

Just as a pertinent example, what does "Occupy Wall Street, or Occupy Ottawa, or Occupy Vancouver" have in common with Deep River?  The beauty of our time together is that what we talk about is entirely dependent on what we wish to talk about.  If the discussion wanes we can move on and if it waxes we can take it up again the next time.

So, come and join us each first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7:00 p.m. at The Bear's Den and engage in sharing what's on your mind.  My experience is that our collective sharing always sheds light on both the matter at hand and in our hearts and minds.

Peace,

François"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Audio Recordings of Sunday Homilies Now On This Website!

During the past week we have added functionality to our website. You now will be able to hear audio recordings of the Sunday Homily by clicking the link on the right hand side of the page. Many people have asked over the past year for copies of my Sunday Homily. By providing an audio version on our website, you are able to listen to it as many times as you like. If you are away from us for a Sunday, you may also "tune in" and be with us through the audio recording.

Over the past two Sunday mornings our congregation embarked on an exciting seven-week journey. Two weeks ago I began a seven week series of sermons in our worship services which will hopefully help us further engage the gift of the Christian faith. This series is called “A Guide to What Matters Most to Christians.”  In the weeks to come I will continue to explore what “moderate” Christianity holds as both unnecessary and necessary for us to hold fast to in our rapidly changing times.

For example, I will examine some of the things we do not need to hold on to as we call ourselves followers of Jesus: We do not need to believe that “good” Christians do not doubt.  Or, that it is OK for Christians to be judgmental and obnoxious about it at the same time.  But that will only be a short part of the series.  What is far more important is the wonderful system of belief centered on Jesus Christ we Christians have to share with each other and the world; that we have greatly promising answers to some of this life’s most challenging questions and profound difficulties. 
During the series I will look at some of the hardest questions we all have to face, such as, “What matters most in this life of ours?   Where is God?  Why is there suffering? And is there hope?”  There will be other questions and ideas as well but I hope you get the gist of things here. 
My desire is for us, as we begin our church year, to help clarify what it is we have to offer each other and our neighbours as a Christian Church.  I see this as a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of just who we are as Jesus’ followers in the Anglican Tradition.  And, I hope, to share that in an accessible manner with others who are just as thirsty as we are for the kind of helpful answers that can support us as we face life’s toughest questions.
You have a part in this. 
You can invite family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to visit our church during the seven week series.  Share with them what you love about your faith and St. Barnabas and tell them we are doing something special that you think will be of interest above and beyond our “business as usual” Sundays.  To that end the services will be modified somewhat to accommodate those who may be new to church, with an emphasis on making them feel at home.
To help clarify things here is a sample of each Sunday’s topic:
            Week1: (Don’t!) Gimme That Ol’-time Religion 
         Week 2: Jesus’ Priority: What Matters Most?  (Jesus!)
            (the audio of these first two homilies are on our website  
                  under the Audio Homilies Tab on the left)
            Week 3: Jesus’ Grace: Am I Accepted?
         Week 4: Jesus’ Work: Where is God?
         Week 5: Jesus’ Example: What Brings Fulfillment?
         Week 6: Jesus’ Death: What About Suffering?
         Week 7: Jesus’ Resurrection: Is There Hope for Us?
I am excited about continuing this series, our worship services, and what we will offer to others.  I look forward to this special time together.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
 It’s a privilege and joy to be a part of this!
 In Christ’s love and service,
 François