Peter Fitch continues the hunt for principles that will lead to a healthy spirituality. In this talk, there are some great suggestions from the parking lot crowd and then Peter shares two that he sees: 1) God’s values (as seen in Micah 6:8, for instance, are more important than anything else and, 2) we are on a slow train to making them real. God’s values of justice and beauty and compassion are more important than ethnicity, economic status, gender, religion and even morality. Our slow train is heading in the right direction but too slowly. We need to take advantage of moments of crisis and then work them out in periods of process.
Walter read Colossians 3.12-16 and emphasized the physiological side of compassion and our call as a community to help each other to enter a “compassionate space” by a compassionate presence for each other – especially those of us who for a time are anxious, defensive, angry or afraid. He also touched a bit on the issues of shame that Pete introduced (using Ray’s poem and song as a helpful example) and strongly recommending Brene Brown’s podcast on Shame and Accountability.
Peter Fitch continues the study on 1 John. In this section he speaks about two new principles of a healthy spiritual perspective: a) God is for us and it makes a difference and, b) we can be transformed to be more like God. Once again, he sees two ditches to avoid: 1) missing out on the help God is willing to give and, 2) thinking that this grace is only for people who say they believe a certain thing or have prayed a certain way.
Peter Fitch continues his series on 1 John. He believes that this letter contains a treasury of wise principles for healthy spirituality. Last week, looking at the end of the first chapter, he began to speak about confession. This week, before moving on, he decided to say a little more about this wonderful gift. In the talk he shares some of Brené Brown’s ideas about shame and guilt, and he tries to sketch a middle way between, on the one hand, the pretense that we never make mistakes and, on the other, living in a state of shame.
Peter Fitch looks at 1 John 1:5-10 in the first indoor service since mid-March. It was raining this morning so we decided to meet indoors. It was good to be together and to be able to have more interaction during the talk than we were able to do in the parking lot services. Peter thinks that 1 John is full of wisdom about healthy spirituality and he plans to teach through the entire letter over the next period of time. This talk focuses on the second half of chapter one.
Peter Fitch begins a series on 1 John, a New Testament letter that he thinks has wise principles of healthy spirituality. As he examines the beginning verses, it gives the opportunity to talk about mistakes in Christian history that still affect us today. He also focuses on Howard Thurman’s question about what does the Christian Gospel have to say to people whose backs are “against the wall.”
Today we had our second parking lot service. It was Father’s Day and National Indigenous People’s Day and it was the day after Don Olmstead passed away. Each of these things brought meaning but the loss of Don felt like we were all under a great weight. Peter spoke from the heart about him and about the last passage of James that he had just recorded from his video series. The music, maybe especially after the talk, became so deep as we were all caught in our own thoughts.
In this final installment, Peter speaks a little longer than in most of the videos. He discusses the origin of some of the words that are used in this passage and then he addresses some key concepts. Most importantly, he gives four possible ways to think about James’ teaching that people will get better if church leaders pray for them. Peter thinks there is a ditch on either side of this issue that ought to be avoided, but that there are two rich possibilities between them. One focuses on the psychological benefits of community, and the other explores the notion that spiritual power flows through the new community when many individual parts work together.
Today we had a short parking lot service at the back of our church building. It was our first face-to-face service since March 15th. We videoed the entire time so that people could listen to the music as well as the talk given by Peter Fitch. He spoke about the strange situation that we have encountered with the pandemic and then the great social unrest in the United States. Living through these times allows us to have a greater understanding of some of the Scriptures that were written while people were in exile. We feel both the longing for the “old normal” and the dream for an even better world than we have seen up to this time. Near the end there is a beautiful poem written and shared by Marissa Wiebe. Music before and after the talk is by Lindsay McKay and Jacob Rose. (the audio podcast begins at the talk)
Peter Fitch gives the 10th of his short video commentaries on the letter called James. Today’s passage begins with a word of warning for “the rich people.” Peter believes that these are not just people with greater wealth than their neighbours; rather, they represent a posture toward life that allows them to take advantage of others. After this, there is encouragement for the members of the new community of Jesus followers to persevere; God will take care of them in the end, either in this life or the next.