Category Archives: love

Opportunity for a Course Correction?

The following column appeared in the Victoria Times Colonist on Saturday, June 5 2017

holy-spiritThis coming Sunday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Pentecost. Our scriptures tell us the followers of Jesus were filled with the fire of the Spirit and began speaking in languages no Galilean fisherman should have commanded. Travellers to Jerusalem heard them speaking about God’s deeds of power in their own tongues, and they were mystified.

“What does this mean?” they asked.

Some went to find out. Others sneered: ‘too much wine in Galilean heads,’ and turned away. Some were ready to experience a miraculous turning. Others knew miracles were passé. At best the wine-oiled claims of naïve fishermen, at worst some fraudulent scheme. Continue reading Opportunity for a Course Correction?

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On My Life, My Unions, My Understanding of Socialist Engagement, and Ministry

A friend in ministry had some thoughts about the current provincial election in BC. So did I. We were sharing them on social media, until my need to be expansive overtook me. So I’ve posted here. For anyone to look at, if they choose.

Hello my friend,

I hope this is useful for you. It has been for me. My ‘editor’ (Laurel) shares my context, and I have little idea of yours (other than that which we share) and, therefore, have no idea if this will translate, or be of service. It’s too long, I know, and I could edit for publication, or sermonizing, but I am trying to communicate something of my understanding, rather than writing to convince or intrigue, and I have a sermon to write too, so I’m leaving it as it is.  A ramble through my life, Canadian political and labour history (as I have experienced it), and some thoughts about where this goes as it informs my ministry. Thank you for instigating.

My life:

I come from a long line of working people, farmers, coal miners, labourers, skilled trades, the odd engineer and teacher and not a few activists. My folk were part of the army of settlers who came here for the land and were part of the army of soldiers who fought and died for empire and against fascism. My ancestors gave their lives in combat for ideals, and in deep dark holes in the ground, mucking coal and other valuables for the folk that our country gave right of ownership to.

I grew up in industry towns, (Kitimat and Flin Flon), and was steeped in the lore of Company versus Union at our dinner table. My dad (a staunch union member and organizer) would talk about Cadomin and the Coal Branch in Alberta, the company towns where his father and his mother’s family earned a living. His dad was a Legion manager, who was gassed at Vimy, and didn’t really have the lungs for other work. I’m told he could sing “Old Rugged Cross” and play a mean Nova Scotia fiddle. Dad’s mom’s dad and her brothers worked underground in places where you can still see the monuments to men killed when methane blew the bottom out of the mine. Those monuments are everywhere, if you have time to look. They’re still making them, less frequent here than in other countries, but you don’t have to go to Central America and Gold Corp to learn about the willingness of mine operators to risk and sometimes sacrifice life for profit. You can find it here too. And not just at Mount Polley. Continue reading On My Life, My Unions, My Understanding of Socialist Engagement, and Ministry

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On Gretta?

To read many of the social media comments of folk in United Church 1corinthians13jpeg1-thumb-2circles, Gretta Vosper is the issue at hand, the issue of the moment. But it’s not the issue at hand that’s at the root of my churning. That is almost always the case, is it not? So many commenting and almost no one commenting about the issue we say we’re commenting on. It’s all about us. The eternal ‘I’.

I think some are pretty raw on the whole “United Church has no theology, no allegiance to Christ, no boundaries” calumny that’s often tossed our way by our holier brethren, and they’ve decided to draw the line on Gretta. Others have, well, other things going on. I don’t think a lot of it has much to do with Gretta, or her communication choices. It’s much more likely to have something to do with our own paths, the roads we’ve taken to get to here. Continue reading On Gretta?

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Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

Walrus Talks on Spirituality

(see them for yourself on or before April 15 at http://ucobserver.org/walrustalks)

What did I think?

Initially I had to get over my pique at the Observer partnering with the Walrus. I’ve had issues with the Walrus taking Enbridge money (constant stream of full page ads telling us how committed they are to the environment while doing all they can to convince small communities that big money and fossil fuel transport needs trump traditional values and concern for the environment). For me it would be like the church accepting funds from the armaments or tobacco or pornography industries because there is no relationship between, as the Walrus puts it, editorial and advertising…as if. Anyway, once past that, what did I think? Continue reading Observing Walrus Spiritual Speaking

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Of Light and Love

chasing-star-of-bethlehemLike many others, my emails carry a quote at the bottom. Lately I’ve been using one from a book on Martin Luther King Junior: “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches”. The quote?

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

It seems self-evident. Just as clear and plain as it did when Jesus came to remind us of it two thousand years ago. Only love can drive out hate. That should be as clear and plain and self-evident as…well, as the nose on your face. Or the wound in a soul weeping for Gilead.

Continue reading Of Light and Love

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From Blindness to Sight

Shalombartimaeus

I sign my letters “Shalom”

Peace, and more than peace. A state and place and time of being. Utopia designed by creation in the light and call of love.

Writing shortly after the birth of a renewed urging of the love that resides in all things another man calling attendance on love, one Paul, formerly of Tarsus, now of Jesus, opened his letters with “The Peace of Christ”.

A radical opening in a time when the peace of Rome wreaked itself upon the people of Europe, Turkey and Northern Africa by means of armed might and crude repression. Continue reading From Blindness to Sight

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