In this talk, Jessica Williams reflects on the longings that drew her to St. Stephen’s University and to the St. Croix Church community. She explores the cracks in the foundation of the church and within herself that “let the light get in,” as Leonard Cohen sings. Jessica ends this talk by reading a letter written by Walter Thiessen earlier this week, offering an update for those who “Joined Us As We Stepped Away” from Vineyard Canada in 2020.
For this Sunday’s talk at St. Croix Church, Peter Fitch gives a couple of important ideas from the Book of Romans in the New Testament, and then he follows this by introducing Rutger Bregman’s book, Humankind. Both parts of this talk challenge conventional wisdom about the nature of humanity and argue for an essential goodness in the heart of people that shows itself in crisis and in caring for others.
In a short (8 minute) talk, Walter asks what the reason is for having a local church community, and he suggests that it’s to create a social place that welcomes everyone interested to participate in exploring meaning together – to express it, to weave it into our lives, to act on it together, to connect it to where we’ve been and where we’re going. You can read the transcript if you’d rather read than watch the video. And after you listen, share your thoughts on what you think is the main reason to have a local church community.
Peter Fitch shared ideas from a chapter in a book by Thomas Merton called “Tradition and Revolution.” Merton thinks that there is a form of traditionalism which is not helpful, just as there is a form of revolution which changes things only in appearance. And yet, there is something priceless, given by God, in the heart of tradition, and there is such a thing as a true revolution, which continually renews the heart as we turn back again and again to the revolutionary message of Jesus.
The focus this morning was on a poem by Paul Dupuis called “Tears.” We began by watching a worship video from a conference in Brazil where the singers led with the song “Exalt the Lord our God.” Next, Peter Fitch read several passages of Scripture that connected with ideas in Paul’s poem. After that, Paul introduced the poem and read it. This was followed by discussion and prayers, and then we watched two videos of the same song, “One Day”, by Matisyahu. The first is one we used fairly often through pandemic services. The second is from Koolulam, a group that creates social initiative gatherings with music. Both are beautiful, but the second seems miraculous as it brings together 3,000 Jews and Muslims to sing Matisyahu’s song, crying out for the end of all violence and war. Peter explained that he thought this could be a symbol or icon of the need for the world to be reborn.