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David Ewart
Vancouver, BC CANADA
Husband, father of two grown sons, United Church of Canada minister
Interests: brain-mind research, physics, cosmology, process theology, evolution, leadership
Recent Activity
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Easter - 2021 This has been a year of pandemic, climate, economic, and political disruptions. Among other things, it has revealed deep-seated inequalities that have made plain for all to see that the old "normal" is deeply unfair and unsustainable for too many human and non-human lives. Easter provides a whole season to reflect on the Good News that the oppressive political system that executed Jesus is not the only game in town. The proclamation, "He is risen!" is not just the celebration that the individual person of Jesus is risen. We are celebrating that everything Jesus stood for is risen. Is undefeated. Is the true and trustworthy. His struggle is now our struggle. His story is now our story. How do we want to write our chapter of the life of Jesus? As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitur, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2021 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2021 The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kin_dom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2021 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Epiphany - 2021 Epiphany is a Season dedicated to enlightenment, to insight, to overcoming engrained habits / ways of thinking and understanding that prevent us from experiencing the fulness of Christ's call for how live in this complex and wonderfully diverse world. It begins with a story of foreigners reading signs in the skies that all could see, but only they acted on. I wonder what are the signs today that all can see, and who will be the ones who act? This year, there are 6 Sundays following Epiphany, January 6, and before Ash Wednesday, February 17. This will give us time to read through Chapter 1 of Mark - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). I like a long Season of Epiphany because it gives a chance to catch one's breath after Advent-Christmas before plunging into planning and preparations for Lent. I've also included links to the final few readings for Epiphany even though they aren't scheduled for this year. These are good texts that are too often not read at all because of their placement at the end of Epiphany. So every once and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Advent and Christmas provide us with an opportunity to long for - and prepare for - and welcome - the onset of God's primordial aim for the well-being of the whole earth. In times of crises, the temptation is to choose self-interest. The call of Advent is to choose community - community with all living beings; community with the whole living earth.. To mimic here on earth the the joy-making relationships eternally expressed among the Holy Three persons of the Trinity. May it be so. David Ewart Permission is granted for non-profit use of these materials. Acknowledgement in oral presentations is not required. Otherwise, please acknowledge source as, "David Ewart, www.holytextures.com." Year B - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2020 Stay awake! Advent 1 November 29, 2020 Mark 13:24-37. "The lesson for Advent is still: Stay awake. Be alert. Live in expectation. Live now as you will when the Son of Man does return." Sermon: "A Cry of Absence." Make the road smooth and straight Advent 2 December 6, 2020 Mark 1:1-8. "Unlike us, John the Baptizer is a wild and woolly character. But like us, he lives to point people to one who is greater... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Holy Textures
John has written so that our reading of his words might help us form a deeper bond with Jesus. This suggests that we need to ponder how to read John's words so that this might happen. There are many different ways to read: for distraction, information; entertainment; new ideas; new... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe
Hi Everyone, I am looking forward to being with you all for the first session of studying John together. I would love it if we could just read through the whole book during our time together – but that would take up all of our time! So instead I will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe
There have been several days of hot wind now. Green grass is beginning to show through, and the trees are fattening. We're only just into spring, and yet this is summer weather. Each season seems to contain within it a foretaste of the one to come. Blurring the boundaries of times and seasons. And there on top of the TV amid the flowers like a shrine is Trevor's picture. Grandson. Four years old, who died of leukemia last Friday. In the picture he seems plump and healthy, but the toque is probably meant to hide hair missing from the chemicals and radiation. This is a snapshot of child-life dying. Tomorrow is the second Sunday after Easter. The Gospel is John. Christ's appearance to the disciples and to Thomas. Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe. --- You are the Lord of the living and of the dead. Are you also the Lord of this manner of dying? ("We prayed that he would go. He cried all the time. They gave him morphine every few hours to kill the pain. But he only screamed louder whenever he saw them coming. We prayed that he would go. The last day was the hardest. I'll never forget the last day.") You say that we are blessed to believe without seeing. That is not the problem. The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2020 at David Ewart
6 Meditations for Communion When we pray for bread1 … we pray for what is concrete. Jesus did not invite us to pray for food. Food is abstract, general, removed. Bread is concrete, specific, particular. So do not be vague or obscure in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray for what is real and substantial. Pray that we will be as real as bread is real. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is basic. Jesus did not invite us to pray for cake. Cake is superfluous, peripheral, unnecessary. Bread is fundamental, central; essential. So do not be elaborate or excessive in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray for the heart of the matter. To pray for bread is to pray that we will be as nourishing of life as bread is. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is common. Jesus did not invite us to pray for caviar. Caviar is costly and privileged. Bread is affordable and available. So do not be arrogant or proud in our prayers. To pray for bread is to pray to share in the fate of common people. To pray for bread is to pray that we will be as ordinary as bread is. When we pray for bread … we pray for what is manufactured. Jesus did not invite us to pray for manna. Manna falls down heaven, whole and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2020 at David Ewart
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For most of my ministry I avoided the Gospel of John. There are no punchy one-liners. No quick feel-good, "look at Jesus being wise and doing good" stories. Instead, there are speeches of Jesus that go on, and on, and on - for chapters and chapters. There are repetitions, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at Written So That You Might Believe
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season after Pentecost - 2020 - September to November When we Christians pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," we are praying for an end to the violent injustice that elites use in the name of "government" to enrich themselves. And instead for life on earth to be like it is in heaven: just and joyful. And when we Christians listen, learn, and follow Jesus we prepare for the tumult that our prayer is asking for; and practice for living together as joyful and just communities here on earth - just as it already in heaven. This is the promise that Jesus makes to us as we walk with him these remaining Sundays to his upside down "enthronement" on a cross. Doesn't the whole wide earth long for rulers who understand that the highest and best life is one given for the good of all? Welcome to Holy Textures as we journey together on the way to the Reign of Christ. If another sins against you Pentecost 14 September 6, 2020 Matthew 18:15-20 "Real churches have - or should have - real conflicts. The only real harm that will... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures I'm honoured that you have chosen to receive email updates from my blog, Holy Textures. I use Feed Blitz to provide this service. Your contact information is safe with me. I do not sell, share, or trade your data. Ever. I'll only email new posts from Holy Textures. No spam. Ever. These promises are also made by Feed Blitz. You can easily and safely unsubscribe at any time by using the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each email. I update Holy Textures regularly. But I do not send out weekly updates. Instead, you will receive an email from me shortly before the beginning of each new Season: Advent and Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. Because Pentecost is so long, I send two updates. The first covers from Pentecost Sunday through to the first Sunday in September. The second covers from September to the last Sunday of Pentecost. So you can expect to receive 6 emails from Holy Textures in a year. I send out help for all the Sundays in a Season to help with long-term worship planning. But if your inbox is anything like mine, email from Holy Textures will quickly sink out of sight. But if you visit https://www.holytextures.com, you will immediately see links to all the posts for each Sunday. It has been a passion and a blessing for me to prepare these writings. The experience of seeking to hear... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season after Pentecost - 2020 - Up to the End of August Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. This year, Easter was almost as late as it can possibly be. And so Pentecost and Trinity Sundays come just as we in the Northern Hemisphere enter the summer season. And enter into continuing uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 infection will impact our ways of being gathered communities. The chaotic upending of life as we knew it is not new to the Biblical story. No one expected Jesus' resurrection. And just like the first disciples, we too must now ask one one another, "What shall we do now?" And like them, perhaps we too will glean some comfort and some guidance by remembering what Jesus said and did while he lived amongst us. Having left off reading through Matthew three months ago, we pick up at the end of Chapter 9. What has happened since we last were listening to Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount back in Chapter 7? Quite a bit actually. Jesus has been... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2020 at Holy Textures
Hi Everyone, Turns out, that in my case at least, you are never too old to learn from mistakes - or if not "mistakes," then "learning from things not working out as anticipated." I am going to start re-using Feedblitz to email new posts from Holy Textures. This post will be the first. It may be that some of you will receive this post even though you have unsubscribed from Holy Textures. I apologize for this. Please use the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email to do so again. I pray that this email about such a small thing finds you safe and well in the midst of these difficult times. As the Public Health Officer where I live daily reminds us, "Stay safe. And be kind." David Ewart holytextures.com Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at Holy Textures
I’m not sure that being 75 entitles me to sobriquet of “wise elder,” but having been invited to offer Commencement thoughts to the graduating classes of 2020 here they are. The Class of 2020! What a great year to be graduating. You will be the class with 20-20 vision; 20-20 hindsight. But. And this is the most important thing I will say to you. You will never be the class of 20-20 nostalgia. You will never be the class to put on rosy coloured, false memories, of “Those were the days!” Nostalgia is the enemy of the better. It is the enemy of clarity. It is the enemy of wisdom. And right now, the planet desperately needs an entire cohort of wisdom, clarity, and discernment of the “better.” But. And this is the other most important thing I will say to you. You are the cohort who are embedding in your minds, hearts, flesh, and bones the blessings and banes of “novelty.” Novelty is the engine of creativity; of transformation; of healing and reconciliation. It is the never-before-this-new-possibility. It is the engine of evolution. It is why we are all here in this beautiful, wonderfully diverse world. Never wish that novelty would cease. Embrace it. But. And this is one more most important thing I will say to you. Recognize that novelty requires learning how to learn as you go. And that means novelty will always be messy. Will always... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season of Easter - 2020 This year, Easter will arrive in the midst of the experience of a global pandemic and all of its consequences. One of the strengths of living within an ancient practice is being able to draw on the experiences and learned-from-experience wisdoms of those who have gone before. We are not the first generation to live with the stress and anxiety of a deadly present and unimaginable future. Nor are we the first generation to discover that our "faith" was actually based on taken-for-granted assumptions that we were unaware of - because those assumptions just happened every day - never needed to be thought about. Whatever your context may be, I pray that Holy Textures will guide you in responding to these times with insights / wisdoms / faith that is adequate for these days. I have been blessed with time to give a close reading to the Holy Week biblical texts and background information about life at the time of Jesus. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2020 The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. A close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information leaves me even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - "this cup" - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. By entering your email and clicking "Subscribe," you can receive all new posts by email. You will only receive new posts, nothing else - no spam, nada, zip. Year A - Season of Epiphany - 2020 This year, the Season of Epiphany is 7 Sundays, which makes it almost as long as it can be. This is two pieces of good news for working preachers. The first is that we can get our breath before launching into the intense work of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. The second is that we get a chance to do a sermon series and/or Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7. Matthew's collection of these teachings of Jesus provide an excellent map of the Christian life: the attitudes, values, and behaviours we should cultivate. But covering all of the Sermon on the Mount, means adjusting the Epiphany readings so that 6 of the 7 Sundays in Epiphany are used for the Sermon on the Mount, and that would mean opting out of using either the Baptism reading at the start, or the Transfiguration reading at the end. Or. Not using all 6 of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2019 at Holy Textures
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The 2019 Canada Federal election is over, and it is time to once more rant on social media about how unfair the current election system is. If you have a system with more than two parties, then a system where the candidate who gets the most votes is the winner often results in candidates winning with less than 50% of the votes cast - and too often with less than a third of the votes cast (which means the person elected is actually opposed by two-thirds of voters). No wonder there is so much dissatisfaction and dis-trust of politics and politicians. And nationally, the number of candidates each party elects often bears no relationship to the total number of votes for that party. On first glance, this is patently unfair. And the 2019 election is no exception. Take a look at this screen grab from the CBC News election results. CBC News The Conservatives had more votes but fewer seats than the Liberals! Unfair! And look at the New Democrat who had double the votes of the Bloc Quebecois but fewer seats! Unfair! And the Green had almost as many votes as the Bloc, but only 3 seats compared with the Bloc's 32! Unfair! If the 338 federal parliament seats had been distributed by Proportional Representation (where seats are proportional to total votes received for each party), then the seat count would have been: Liberal - 112 (and not 157)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. By entering your email and clicking "Subscribe," you can receive all new posts by email. You will only receive new posts, nothing else - no spam, nada, zip. Your information will not be shared or sold in any way to any one; ever. Below you will find links for the various Lectionary readings for Advent and Christmas, but I have stopped using the Lectionary during Advent (and Lent as well). Why? It seems to me that in this day and age you can never tell the story of the first Christmas (or Easter) early enough or often enough. It is far better to begin with the story we are trying to tell - Christmas - and then provide the historical context along the way. Starting with the historical / theological / history of salvation has the unintentional effect of making the story we are wanting to tell seem like nothing more than a foretold, logical conclusion - a prepared script for actors on a stage - and not the flesh and blood seizing - or passing up - actual in-the-moment opportunities for God's will to be on earth as it is in heaven. Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2019 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is my attempt to provide a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. How does our Christian story help us to respond to the various crisis - personal, political, and climate - that our planet is facing these days? This is not the first time that followers of Jesus have felt they were entering cataclysmic social and political turmoil. My prayer is that Holy Textures will help you uncover and live trustworthy, clear-eyed, non-anxious, compassionate hope that is worthy of God's unwavering justice-seeking-love for this beautiful world. When you give a banquet, invite the poor Pentecost 12 September 1, 2019 Luke 14:1, 7-14 "This is what Jesus is teaching / proclaiming here. What does it look like for those with higher status / honour / privilege to live the year of the Lord's favour?" Sermon: "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" Sit down first and consider the cost Pentecost 13 September 8, 2019 Luke 14:25-33 "So at a minimum these sayings of Jesus ought to draw us up short. Cause us to reflect how much the choices we have already made are costing us - and our planet; and to consider whether the costs of following Jesus might be a better investment." Sermon: "Passion." (c) Cortney L.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2019 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is my attempt to provide a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Easter was late this year, so the first three readings are not used this year. These are shown as Pentecost NN. Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. And I know that Pentecost Sunday is the final Sunday of the Season of Easter, but I've included it here just to get us started. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit Pentecost Sunday June 9, 2019 Acts 2:1-21 "We might all hear the same words - each in our own language - but we will not all hear and understand exactly the same meaning. The problem with life, and faith, and following Jesus is always: What does this mean?" Sermon: "All We Need Is Love." The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name John 14:8-17, (25-27) "Those who are bonded into Jesus will know a Truthful Spirit who will (Verse 26): 'Teach you everything; and remind you of all that I have said to you.' We, who like Philip, have been with Jesus all this time, and still do not know him, should... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitur, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? At dawn, the women came to the tomb Easter Vigil April 20, 2019 Luke 24:1-12 "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." But Mary stayed weeping outside the tomb Easter Day April 21, 2019 John 20:1-18, Alternate Reading A "As the Word descended from the Father and became flesh at the start of John's Gospel, Mary is experiencing the reverse process - of the flesh becoming Word." Sermon: "The Rising." At dawn, the women came to the tomb Luke 24:1-12, Alternate Reading B "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." Jesus himself came near and went with them Easter Evening April 21, 2019 Luke 24:13-49 "The details reported in Luke... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2019 at Holy Textures
I recently had a wonderful time auditing a two week intensive on John. It was great to be part of such an excellent class of fellow students and teacher. Here are my personal top take-aways: 1. When John refers to "the Jews" (as he does over and over again), ask yourself: Is John referring to the 8,000,000 people living throughout the Roman Empire who identified as belonging to the people of Israel? Or to put it another way: Is John wanting us to include as one of "the Jews" Lazarus - whom the text says Jesus loved; and Mary - who anointed him before his arrest? And when John actually includes "Jews" in the story, who are they? (Answer: about 90% of the time they are Judean elites who were collaborating with the Roman Empire as local rulers.) (The Greek text uses the word for Judean, i.e. people from the geographic region called Judah - which historically was in the process of becoming the generic word Romans used to refer to the entire people of Israel. English translators have continued this practice even though it is often debatable as to whether this is the correct meaning.) 2. The pascal lamb that is sacrificed on Passover is NOT a sin offering. Identifying Jesus as a sin offering is not Johannine. Jesus' death (at most) is an offering for protection, community formation, and escape from bondage. John is placing Jesus in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2019 at Holy Textures
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The Transfiguration is an apt Preface to Lent and Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, because what lies ahead is both a confrontation between the non-violent justice of the Kingdom of God and the violent injustice of the Roman Empire; as well as the non-violent way of the Beloved versus the hoped-for victory by the Messiah. The crowds at Jerusalem will be cheering for "the one who is bringing the Kingdom of our ancestor David." This is not the same as welcoming God's Beloved. I wonder how much in our hearts, we are still cheering for Jesus as the triumphant Victor? (c) Armando Alemdar Ara, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence 3.0 Year C Transfiguration Sunday March 3, 2019 Sunday before Ash Wednesday May be as early as February 1 or as late as March 7 inclusive OR Year C Lent 2, Alternate Reading B March 17, 2019 Read the passage at the bottom of this post: Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The Message or Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "Fresh Visions." This passage requires reading the First Testament passages about the prophet Elijah, 2 Kings 2:1-12: The Message or The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). "About 8 days after" could be a foreshadowing of a later 8th day - what we now call Easter Sunday. On the 7th day, Saturday, the Sabbath, God rested; on a Sunday, the next day, the 8th day, Jesus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at Holy Textures
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We may be a United Church, but we are definitely not a uniform church. In 2011, there were about 3,000 congregations: 1,500 were single-point pastoral charges, and 1,500 were part of 659 multiple-point pastoral charges. If the United Church were uniform, one would expect to find that the people and financial resources of single-point pastoral charges would equal multiple-point pastoral charges. In the chart, the two blue bars are the single-point pastoral charges. The light blue bar shows the 300 congregations with the highest average worship attendance, while the dark blue bar represents the remaining 1,200 single-point charges. The orange bar represents all 1,500 multiple-point congregations. The total money raised by the light blue group is 65 percent higher than the total for all multiple-point pastoral charges combined. In fact, in almost every Year Book measurement, the top 300 congregations exceed the total of the multiple-point pastoral charges. Make no mistake: a congregation in the top 300 is not better than a multiple-point congregation. Each will have its own strengths and challenges — but very different strengths and very different challenges. Given the magnitude of the differences, I wonder if we don’t need to imagine ourselves, not as a United Church, but as a Trinitarian Church — one in three and three in one: (1) large single-point pastoral charges; (2) medium and small single-point pastoral charges; and (3) multiple-point pastoral charges. I wonder if we have the capacity to imagine... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at David Ewart