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Talks

Take a Different View

By Talks

In this first Sunday of Lent, Peter Fitch describes thoughts that he had this week that reminded him of the beauty of tradition, ritual and orthodox belief. Quite a few of these were influenced by music and writings from Canadian musician, Steve Bell, so Peter chose to play songs of his before and after the talk. In preparation for Easter, Peter suggests that we remember that it takes a community of friends to show us who we really are because we have many hidden aspects. We are all spinning jewels. Then he asks if God might be the same way and shares his desire to see God in this season in a different way than he normally does.

Before the talk, we listened to Steve sing Bruce Cockburn’s “All the Diamonds.”
Then we listened to Steve’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.

After the talk we listened to Steve sing Bruce Cockburn’s “Lord of the Starfields”.

We finished the service with Steve singing “Kindness”.

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1 John: The End

By Talks

Peter Fitch began speaking out of the letter called 1 John at the end of June. This is his 18th and last talk in this series, although he does plan to spend some time after this summarizing some of the main ideas. Today he focuses on the last half of Chapter 5, verses 13-21. In this passage the writer encourages people to hold on to the vision they have received from God through Jesus because there is a wonderful quality to the life of this community, despite some of the difficulties and temptations that come our way.

After the talk, we recommend watching Audrey Assad sing “Drawn to You”.

After that, “Wings of an Eagle” by Steve Bell.

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Counter-Cultural Life

By Talks

Peter Fitch works on the first half of the last chapter of 1 John. It’s a difficult passage but it has an important message. The author is very concerned about some errors that have been taught about who Jesus is and how to live for him. Understanding these errors can help us identify ones in our day that we need to avoid. In the midst of the passage, and in the talk, there are some reminders about why all of this is important.

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Perfect Love

By Talks

Peter Fitch speaks about 1 John 4:15-21. He talks about several ideas he sees in this passage. The main thing he considers has to do with the Nag Hammadi texts that were discovered in 1945 after being hidden since the 4th century. Some of the writings present Jesus in a different way than does the author of this letter. This demonstrates that there was a diversity of belief about Jesus in the early church, and it may be helpful for us to ask questions about where the truth lies. Ultimately, though, the most important part of the passage has to do with securing our souls in the sense that we’re loved so that we can, in turn, do our best to give that security to others.

After listening to the talk, this song, Show the Way by David Wilcox is a good follow-on.

And this Pierce Pettis cover of God Believes in You by Carolyn Arends would be good after that.

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The Test of Love

By Talks

Peter Fitch continues in 1 John 4. Last week was about the way that truth and reality and looking for the fruit of something can help us to discern better paths. This week, the passage we look at explains what the best fruit looks like–it’s love. Peter uses this to speak about recent political news from the US and then turns toward the great affirmation that is found in these words: everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

After listening to the talk, a great thing to do would be to listen to this version of U2’s “Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way.”

Next, listen to Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons, Better Days, from this week’s Inaugural Concert. It was amazing.

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Truth and Fiction

By Talks

Peter Fitch returns to 1 John, the series he was doing in the fall. In this talk he focuses on 1 John 4:1-6, where the author is giving people a basis for knowing how to figure out which of opposing groups is right. Our historical situation is different, but there are widely contrasting ideas in our culture of what it means to follow Jesus. How do we figure out which is right? Peter thinks that this passage, and another from the Sermon on the Mount, may give important clues.

After listening to this talk, we suggest clicking on this link to hear Daniel Deitrich’s song, “Hymn for the 81%.” 

After that, it would be good to listen to Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now.”

Click here for the talk notes. 

Subscribe to the SCC  podcasts. (St. Croix Church in Apple Podcasts)

Lindsay and Teena created a playlist of an assortment of songs well loved by our community. You can listen on Apple Music or Spotify  and Google Music. Enjoy! 

Keep checking our Facebook group, St. Croix Church, for all the latest updates. We are also on Instagram as stcroixchurch

Protest as Prayer

By Talks

Walter Thiessen – This is a follow-up to another reflection on the parable of the Persistent Widow by Mark Groleau at SCC on December 20. This explores the idea of active protest as prayer that enables imagination and keeps belief alive.

I’d invite you to follow up the talk by watching this video with lyrics (or this shorter video) of the song “Glory” from the film Selma (about the most important march of Martin Luther King, Jr.) – a march that was an act of prayer that kept alive the belief of millions, including John Lewis (who mentored the two new Georgia senators). I’d invite you to compare the dignity, compassion and beauty of this protest in comparison to what you saw this past week. Good protest is prayer.

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Holy Beauty

By Talks

Peter Fitch wonders about the meaning of the old phrase, “the beauty of holiness.” Different people give their ideas about what it might mean in light of their experiences in life. Peter then imagines it through the eyes of Martin Buber. What if it had more to do with appreciating the beauty of each thing we are observing and each person we talk with, than it does with the religious baggage it’s acquired over the years? This service began with an instrumental by Jon Balcarrass, then a video of Matisyahu’s song, “One Day.” After the talk, we listened to a recording by Dean Clark of Peter Mayer’s song, “Everything is Holy Now.” Then we watched a video collage of beautiful images as we listened to Jackson Browne’s song, “Alive in the World.”

On video and podcast, the morning talk starts at the 14:30 mark.

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Renovations

By Talks

Peter Fitch compares the work we do on our souls as we battle forward in life to the renovations we might do in a home that needs to be fixed-up. He thinks that we ought to see our “interior home improvements” with more generosity and patience, and encourages us all to hang in there and keep growing. Today we used videos instead of live music. The songs before the talk are from our on-line Christmas Eve service and feature Madi Smith and Keara Hannan for the first and David Moore for the second. After the talk, there is a song by Peter with help from Rick Coates and then a new song by Cassidy Steeves and Tim Milner. 

On video and podcast, the talk starts at the 14:30 mark.

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SCC Virtual Christmas Eve 2020

By Talks

We’re taking our Christmas Eve virtual this year! #2020 am I right?

The gift in this is that we have so many people from all over North America and even Europe joining us tonight through the miracle of technology.

Join us as we share songs and poetry, welcoming Christ the Light.

Merry Christmas from all of us at SCC!

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