Peter Fitch focuses on the idealism of the early church with its communal vision. He thinks that it grows from a shared experience of wonder that opens people’s hearts to share with others. This is provided as a contrast to the painful political situation that is so often in the news.
Wendy VanderWal Martin spoke today about church denominations that have chosen to exclude churches that affirm same-sex marriage. This talk is powerful and is full of grief, lament, anger, and then hope, though Wendy resisted the temptation to tie it nicely in a bow. She asked questions and the people gathered shared their thoughts. Some of the responses were about unjust systems and some were about individual grieving. Music before and after the talk was by Wendy’s husband, John Martin.
Peter Fitch read an ancient account from Eusebius of Caesarea of a letter that a king wrote to Jesus asking to be healed. Eusebius found this letter and a letter in response from Jesus in the archives in the city of Edessa. Together we discussed this story and also commented upon some anti-Semitic references in the piece. Following this, Peter played a short video of Kumail Ninjani on racism, and spoke about the pain of Sikh people around the world after the brutal assassination this week of Sidhu Moose Wala, a hip-hop artist and inspirational hero who gave many the strength to withstand racism in Canada. Finally, he spoke about the kind of bias that has kept a story like the one Eusebius tells from becoming better known.