In his book Free At Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience, Carl Ellis talks about theology through musical metaphors. He writes, “Like classical music, the classical approach to theology comprises the formal methods of arranging what we know about God and his world into a reasoned, cogent and...full post »
This past fall, our church began a four year deep dive into some of our primary Christian faith practices. Our National Bishop invited us to join her in a new four-year emphasis on Living our Faith, as together we pray, read, worship and love.
From September 2019 until September 2020, ELCIC members have been invited...
At our 2018 Synod Assembly delegates engaged in some challenging conversations and exercises that identified how racialized differences, and the lack thereof, impacts the life of our church and its congregations. It accentuated the need for a better understanding of who we are as a predominantly white church and how we can...full post »
I love Christmas. I’m no Scrooge. But year by year I have become more distressed, if not depressed, by the consumerist bacchanalia which dominates our North American commemoration of Jesus’ birth.
Although we might try to deny it, most of us are quite aware of where we sit in humanity’s seating plan. We are a part of...
Here’s a distressing fact. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the whitest denomination in the United States. The 2014 Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study found that 96% of the denomination’s members were white, 2% black and 2% mixed race or Latino.
We don’t have similar demographic data for...
The coming of autumn makes me think of transitions. And those who know me best know that I don’t particularly like them. When the kids were younger, I dreaded the approach of Labour Day and “back to school.” I liked the gentler routines of summer, the comfortable rhythms of just hanging out as a family, unburdened by the...full post »
I have a pretty unique perspective on the life of our church. In my work I interact with an amazingly wide variety of congregations and rostered leaders. I visit your churches. I worship with you. I share food and drink with you. I counsel with you. I celebrate your joys and mourn your losses.
Week in and week out I...
It’s a phrase we hear, read and perhaps say quite often. In moments of catastrophe and loss; in times of crisis or disaster, the flow of “thoughts and prayers” through my twitter feed can become a torrent.
And in its wake there is often a subsequent torrent telling us in no uncertain terms what we can do with our “...
“Can you give me a blessing?” “Would you pray for my brother in Argentina? He is dying and I’m out running for him today.” “I am a Muslim and I think...full post »
"Behold I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19)
One of my favourite Scripture passages is Isaiah 43, verse 19. “Behold I am doing a new thing says the Lord; even now it springs forth. Do you not perceive it?”
It reminds me that our God is a creator God who is always doing some “new thing!” God is...
“You don’t save what you don’t love.” So says Margaret Atwood in her address to the 2018 Parliament of World Religions in Toronto in November 2018. “Unless people with faith get behind fixing the planet, it is not going to happen.” You can listen to a portion of her remarks via the CBC Radio Tapestry website.
Ms....full post »
It’s that time of year when we conduct our Congregational AGM’s, elect new leaders and re-convene new Congregational Councils.
Sometimes we struggle to identify those new leaders; people are reluctant to serve. In some congregations, council seats sit vacant.
I wonder if that might have something to do with...full post »
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”
As a child, I was always mystified by this line from the carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. I understood something of the hope of Christmas. I knew something of how that hope was expressed in Jesus. I had good Sunday School teachers, parents; a fine...full post »
It’s a command performance. All six ELCIC bishops are invited and expected to attend our Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth conferences every two years. But it’s a command performance that I, and I trust all of my colleagues, look forward to. This year’s gathering was held at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario and I’d...full post »
The following is an excerpt from Bishop Michael Pryse’s sermon at the closing service of the Eastern Synod Assembly which was convened June 21-24, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario under the theme “Liberated By God’s Grace … to be neighbour.”
In the fifth chapter of Luke’s Gospel we read another story of Jesus and...full post »
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