All Posts By

Mary Ellen Fitch

30th Birthday Celebration

By Talks

This Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of St. Croix Church. It was also Thanksgiving Weekend and the day that Peter and Mary Ellen Fitch chose as a retirement date. All of these things were celebrated with songs, an open mic for people to share what the church has meant to them, and a potluck time with cake.

The audio podcast this week is limited to the middle hour of the time together but includes all of the open mic sharing. The video contains the complete service.

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A God I Can Trust

By Talks

Brad Jersak talks about the humility of God that’s bigger than the Christian brand. God comes to some people anonymously, but in the wounds of Jesus we find a God who suffers with us — a God who accepts us as we are and shares our experience.

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Put Your Faith in Love

By Talks

After a beautiful worship service led by Raymond Funk, communion was offered to all. Alex Henderson shared his experience on the Imagination Team and his thoughts on the the upcoming transitions. The service concluded with a talk by Jessica Williams, who invited us to behold who we are in a loving way. Courageously, she demonstrated what this looks like for her.

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Visits to Home

By Talks

Today Carole Way led music, with help from Teena Brown and Rick Coates, and Jeff Way talked about his visit in the early summer to Eden Children’s Village in Zimbabwe. The Ways have loved this orphanage/community for a long time and go there whenever possible. They have given talks about Eden in the past but today’s talk was very encouraging because of all the developments that have taken place since they first got connected. Before Jeff spoke, Julie Kelly and Rachael Barham shared about their involvement in the Imagination Team that has been leading the way forward for St. Croix Church as the Fitch’s retirement draws closer.

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All Shall Be Well´┐╝

By Talks

Today, after a music set led by Teena Brown and Rick Coates, with additional help from Pam Manzer, we had several things to focus on. First, Paul Dupuis spoke about his new book, Pauper of Misfortune: Living with a Concurrent Disorder and Being Reasonably Happy in the Face of Adversity (available from him or from Amazon). Then Jessica Williams introduced Kendall Kadatz as he shared about his role on the Imagination Team. After that, Peter Fitch led prayers for the memorial service for Tony O’Leary, scheduled for that afternoon. Then Peter spoke about Julian of Norwich and her radical vision of God’s love.

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New Direction

By Talks

After a music set led by Peter and Zoe Fitch, with help from various musicians, Walter Thiessen and Jessica Williams laid out the plans for how St. Croix Church will move forward after Peter and Mary Ellen retire next month. Then Peter gave a short talk about recent discoveries in trauma theory and the ways that we find to move from a state of “freezing” or paralysis to “fight or flight” and, finally, to “social and rest”, a happier state by far. Then he compared this to coping mechanisms in religious language like “praising the Lord” that may actually serve a similar purpose. After this talk, the band closed the time with one more song.

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Fruit of the Spirit

By Talks

After Peter’s talk last week about “Seeking first the kingdom,” Walter explored another of the simple, foundational understandings of our faith in affirming the “fruit of the Spirit.” He talked about how slowing down and being reminded of our human mortality can help us make room for the Spirit.

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Seek First

By Talks

Today Peter Fitch reminded people of some of Jesus’ most famous words from the Sermon on the Mount. He focused on “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and God’s righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Then, as he has done with other passages this summer, he asked people what this meant to them when they first began to explore faith, and what it has come to mean to them now. Some beautiful answers were given and Peter shared some of his ideas as well. In the end, he suggested that all of the answers hold meaning, from individual piety to societal transformation, to seeking the treasured atmosphere of the “already, but not yet” or the fruit of contemplation, or the creative ideas from the right hemisphere of the brain. Each of these, and others that were mentioned, can add to our understanding of what it means to “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”

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Believe

By Talks

Using ideas from Karl Barth, Peter Rollins, St. Augustine, Jesus, and several others, Peter Fitch speaks about the value of atheism as part of a faith-filled journey through life.

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A Fresh Start

By Talks

Walter Thiessen explores the role that the church has played in
helping people to make a new start and hit a re-set button, including
the need to let go of things that can be like a death.

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