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The Messiah in the time of Trump

Posted on Dec 9, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

In the warm, spindled foyer where I go to university, there hangs a collection of paintings. On the stairway they are flanked by portraits of nineteenth century university doyens, in anachronistic yet recognizable clothing – principles, deans, emeriti. They are joined in the middle by six bearded and awkwardly collared reformers, gawking pensively at each other past their gold-ribbed picture frames. At the far end, on the wall just adjacent to my first-ever university classroom, dangles Richard Hooker. He is the Anglican of this group. Looking stoic and tranquil, he stands in the foreground of an English meadow split by a lazy stream. Wearing a black cassock topped with a billowed ruff, Hooker’s hands are almost raised in prayer. Only the tips of his fingers are touching, spread apart, in a reversed rabbinic blessing. Surely, it speaks to the...

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Transforming the world one lay vocation at a time

Posted on Dec 5, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Transforming the world one lay vocation at a time

At a National Church gathering, a group of men and women settled around a conference table. It was a mixed group, comprised of both clergy and laity. They had come from parishes across the country and were strangers to one other, so they began with introductions. “Hi, my name is George,” said one. “I’m just a lay person.” “I’m Judy,” said another. “I’m nobody, just a lay person.” Yet another began her introduction with “I’m nothing. I’m a lay person.” She went on to assure the group her parish priest was actually present, but attending another workshop. This pattern repeated itself again and again throughout the conference as participants and facilitators alike expressed their inferior status or apologized for their lack of qualification to speak to the gathering solely on the basis that they were lay people, not clergy....

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December 2016 Magazine

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on December 2016 Magazine

The December magazine is available here as an easy PDF that can be printed off or read on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Or, if you prefer the online magazine look, check out the Issuu format...

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“They Come to See Me See Them”: The Aesthetic and Moral Vision of Dolly Parton

Posted on Nov 25, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on “They Come to See Me See Them”: The Aesthetic and Moral Vision of Dolly Parton

This week, a warm and gentle southern breeze blew like grace through our (already) chilly northern city: the incomparable Dolly Parton came to Winnipeg as part of her “Pure and Simple Tour.” There are so many ways that she exploded all expectations, as she has been doing all her life — her graciousness was breathtaking, so was her musical versatility, and her infectious energy created an evening that was nothing short of magical. Many commentators have discussed the supposed contradictions of Ms. Parton: of an external appearance that is judged to be at odds with her acumen and serious talent, of the kind of feminine glamour that seemingly jars with her depth as a woman. But those commentators are wrong, because Ms. Parton knows a thing or two about aesthetics. I believe that hers is a deeply (but exceedingly rare) Christian...

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Retirement: the end or just the beginning?

Posted on Nov 18, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Retirement: the end or just the beginning?

For some, retirement conjures images of “freedom 55,” complete with travel, golfing, and good wine. For others, it’s a reminder of looming old age and a feeling of worthlessness. I asked four retired Rupert’s Landers — Terry Reilly, Frank Bann, Gail Schnabl, and David Pate — to share their thoughts on entering the “winter years” of their lives. Sometimes, retirement creates the space to get to know one’s self in a way that wasn’t necessary or perhaps possible when days were filled with the busyness of work and family. Although he didn’t miss the long hours, David realized that he actually needed the social activity that his job provided. Some retirees find they miss work and decide to go back, but he has filled that space with things he didn’t have time for in earlier years. He’s learned to...

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The Bible and Feminism(s): Reading the Bible as a Woman

Posted on Nov 13, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on The Bible and Feminism(s): Reading the Bible as a Woman

While Christians through the ages have certainly found biblical scriptures that speak to the soul and inspire, there is also a complicated relationship between biblical text and those who name the Bible as sacred. Christian history reveals a long record of countless theological debates, tens of thousands of splits among Christian groups and denominations, struggles over translations — some even to the death — and it continues in our current deliberations over the biblical criteria for such things as marriage and ministry qualifications, stewardship of the land, and justice and equity for our communities. It doesn’t take long to discover evidence of how the Bible has been used as abuse, how scripture has supported oppression, and how biblical text has been abused via interpretations, translations, and claims of authority. I sympathize with the Church in this relationship of struggle....

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Vignettes from Jail

Posted on Nov 6, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

Norman Collier is the Chaplain at the Agassiz Youth Centre and an Anglican Priest. The following is a set of powerful snapshots of conversations and interactions from his experiences.     Sometimes the things he says are beautiful. He says he can see God in the sky, the snow, the trees. In another age, we might have called him a mystic. But sometimes the things he says are troubling. God is speaking in his head and telling him to do things. He jumps up on chairs and laughs at nothing at all. He is disarmingly intense. There is medication for these mystical outbursts, but the medication saddens him. When he takes the medication, he can no longer hear God. He says when he takes the medication the sun no longer shines on his brain. * * * * *...

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November Magazine 2016

Posted on Oct 31, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on November Magazine 2016

  The November magazine is available here as an easy PDF that can be printed off or read on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Or, if you prefer the online magazine look, check out the Issuu format...

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Why #BlackLivesMatter Is a Canadian Struggle, Too

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Why #BlackLivesMatter Is a Canadian Struggle, Too

Here, in not-Africa, race is uncomfortable and racism is unpalatable, I think as I hear the chuckle of a blue-eyed, muscular, white classmate at the University of Manitoba. He tells me, agitatedly, that he cannot take another immigrant or person of colour whining about racism on his Facebook feed. I look at him, trying to remember why, three years ago — staring at a red field with a white square and a red maple leaf, beautifully printed on my study permit — I had not anticipated agony of this kind. It is just another day at the university. Meanwhile, he proceeds to tell me that the apparently self-proclaimed victims of racism are given the most breaks and those who do not advance up the social and economic ladder; it is because they are not “tough enough.” This is a...

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The Hospitality Way of Life

Posted on Oct 14, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

For the Maritime Plymouth Brethren, hospitality has always been a way of life. Ever since they became a people in exile, they remembered the feeling of unwelcome and in turn opened their doors to strangers as a sign of abundance. My grandparents, perhaps the 12th generation of such people, remembered their own parents welcoming “hobos” for meals during the Great Depression. Every summer when I went to visit, they had a different person staying with them or another visitor sitting at their table. My grandmother was so generous, in fact, that we would write her name on gifts in permanent marker to prevent her from giving them away to the next person who needed something. To our bewilderment, complete strangers would find her number and call to ask for help of one kind or another. If you had asked...

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The Call of Nathaniel: Sarcasm in John’s Gospel

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

The account of Jesus’ meeting with Philip and Nathanael early in John’s Gospel is the first extended affirmation of John the Baptist’s declaration that Jesus is to be understood as the “Lamb of God” (1:29) and “Son of God” (1:34). Andrew’s disclosure to Peter that “We have found the Messiah” (1:41) positions the reader for a similar reaction from Philip and Nathanael. However, Nathanael’s initial response is one of great scepticism and disbelief. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Yet immediately following Jesus’ visionary reply, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you” (1:48), Nathanael says, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (1:49). This appears to be an exaggerated reply to Jesus’ apparent foreknowledge of Nathanael seated under a fig tree. Such a rapid move from doubt based on...

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Youth Ministry Without a Frame

Posted on Oct 3, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Youth Ministry Without a Frame

It was about 7:30 a.m. in the busy L’Enfant Plaza subway station. There among the crowd, a young man in jeans and a baseball cap was playing the violin. His case collected the occasional dollar, tossed in by a rushing passer-by. He played for 43 minutes. The Washington Post reported that 1,097 people passed by, six stopped to listen, and $52.17 was tossed into the case – just another busker in a subway station. No one realized that the young man was playing a 300-year-old Stradivarius, valued at 3.5 million dollars, or that he was playing one of the most difficult pieces ever written for violin (Chaconne by Bach). With the exception of one woman, who tossed him $20, no one recognized that the young man was Joshua Bell, a world-renowned violinist. It was an experiment to see if...

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October Magazine 2016

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on October Magazine 2016

The October Thanksgiving edition of RLN takes a look at the many faces of hospitality in our lives. You’ll find an update on refugee sponsorship in the Diocese, a feature on youth ministry, and a piece on sarcasm in the Gospel of John. The magazine is available here as an easy PDF that can be printed off or read on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Or, if you prefer the online magazine look, check out the Issuu format...

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Martin Luther King on Sabbath and Sacrifice

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Martin Luther King on Sabbath and Sacrifice

On April 7th, 1968, Nina Simone, one of the most stunning voices and personas in the history of blues music, sang a concert at the Westbury Music Festival in New York. Nina sang the concert broken-hearted, questioning, and on the brink of hopelessness. Three days before, her friend and leader in the civil rights movement in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr., had been murdered in Memphis. The concert was on a Sunday. Simone dedicated the concert to King, and she sang two songs in his honour. The first was an angry elegy, one that would predict the rest of her career. In it, she cried out in full lament of the condition of the black community and she predicted that violence was coming; the “King of Love”, as she called him, was dead. It is an achingly...

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Chasing After 1JustCity

Posted on Sep 18, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Chasing After 1JustCity

You’ve heard the term “together is better” and you’ve likely read Ecclesiastes: “a three-strand chord cannot be broken”. Over the past two years, a group of ecumenical non-profits here in Rupert’s Land has taken these community-building concepts and created 1JustCity, an innovative development project. 1JustCity began with four Anglican and United Church inner city ministries realizing that they were doubling up on many resources they could be sharing: four volunteer administrative assistants, four tax returns, and most critically, four donation requests from the same donor bank. In 2014, West Broadway Community Ministry, St. Matthew’s Maryland Community Ministry, Oak Table, and North End Stella Community Ministry decided to take the first step toward better stewardship of their resources in a changing ecclesial landscape. The 1JustCity board then hired Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud as a fund developer. Blaikie Whitecloud’s work began with...

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Farming God’s Way in Kenya

Posted on Sep 9, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Farming God’s Way in Kenya

When we arrived at Jane Manjiku’s farm in Kambiti, Kenya, she invited us to take a bit of soil in our hands and join her in prayer, giving thanks for God’s goodness on her land. Since 2014, Jane has seen dramatic changes on her three-quarter-of-an-acre farm. Her yields have increased enough that her family went from being hungry for about three months of the year to eating their fill, as well as selling enough food to pay for school fees and finance a small business. Jane believes this is a result of a vision God gave members of her community about a new way of farming called “farming God’s way.” The group listened to staff from Anglican Development Service, a partner of Canadian Foodgrains Bank member World Renew, talk about the method and decided together to try this new...

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Complex Trauma in the Inner City

Posted on Sep 2, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Complex Trauma in the Inner City

Grief, loss, and trauma have a major impact on our life journeys. The effects of violence and  chronic poverty contribute to the complex traumas often experienced by the people who access our inner city community ministries, such as West Broadway, St. Matthew’s Maryland, and Agape Table. In these spaces, the common experience of having lived through complex trauma walks like a dark pall over the people, and at times, the community. Addictions that are often in response to trauma provide a deflection and a way of self-regulating that, while ultimately unhelpful, are understandable. This is the reality of living with complex trauma for many people. Complex trauma occurs when individuals have experienced developmental trauma from poverty, parental addictions, experience of violence, abuse, personal addictions, and systematic oppression. Dr. Amy Bombay, who examines the concept of historical trauma at the...

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September Magazine 2016

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

It’s September and RLN is back, with a particular focus on community outreach and development. This month, read about the effects of complex trauma on some of Rupert’s Land’s most vulnerable, who access our inner city ministries. Explore a small Kenyan farm, flourishing through new farming techniques, thanks to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Or, learn about how our inner city ministries are working together to better steward their resources through 1JustCity. The magazine is available here as an easy PDF that can be printed off or read on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Or, if you prefer the online magazine look, check out the Issuu format...

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Rupert’s Land at General Synod 2016

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Rupert’s Land at General Synod 2016

Nine Rupert’s Landers had the opportunity to join Anglicans from across the country at the 2016 General Synod in Toronto over the past week. Our lay representatives were Tannis Webster of St. Mary Magdalene; June James of St. Paul’s, Fort Garry; and Matthew Terlinski of St. Matthew’s, Weston. The clergy delegates were Paul Johnson of St. John’s Cathedral, Vincent Solomon of the Urban Indigenous Ministry, and Allison Courey, of St. John’s College. Connor Blaikie, of St. George’s, Crescentwood, was the youth delegate; Don Phillips was bishop; and Barbara Schoomski attended as a (non voting) member of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP). The week opened in worship with a wide variety of visitors from other Christian traditions and a couple of leaders from other faiths. A major highlight of that service was a performance done by a local...

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Into the Silence: a look at Quaker worship

Posted on Jun 27, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Into the Silence: a look at Quaker worship

“Worship is our response to an awareness of God. We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God’s presence. We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God’s love drawing us together and leading us.” Quaker advices and queries I am a Quaker, but not like the picture of the old chap on the porridge box! Most Quaker worship is grounded in silence because there is no plan other than that those present sit together, gathering into silence. But the silence is not the worship. The silence, like garden soil, is seeded by the light of God. Worship grows in ways familiar to those who have come before, yet it is still unknown. We wait in expectancy, seeking to listen...

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Will Heaven be Boring?

Posted on Jun 17, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

In a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon, a man in heaven sits on a cloud wishing he brought a magazine. The heaven of pop-culture cliché — white robes, angel wings, pearly gates, harps — tends to assume a complete break with present experience, with no sign of the material world remaining. No more mud, flowers, rocks, birds, and trees. Sounds dull. There’s not much to do on a cloud. I wish I brought a magazine. C. S. Lewis suggests “The hills and valleys of heaven will be to those you now experience not as a copy is to an original, nor as a substitute to the genuine article, but as the flower to the root, or the diamond to the coal” (Letters to Malcolm). If correct, the implications are startling. It means this world — and its human and...

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The Jesus Way and Basic Income

Posted on Jun 10, 2016 in Featured | 2 comments

Christ taught in a community struggling to live a renewed set of values rooted in an old gospel. He stood for a culture of loving engagement and mutual support, living within but rising above the profanity of power and brutality that was ancient Jerusalem. It was a community where brother and sister living in Christ looked after each other in a hostile environment, with a sense of calling and mission, while starting to build a new society of love and compassion. But the average new Christian was caught in the middle, surviving in the secular culture where everyone strives to seek satisfaction of one’s needs and wants wherever one can get it — yet also believing in their Christian culture of compassion and service to others, especially the lowly. Every one of them except Christ was a mix of the...

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The Daily Examen: waking the conscious sleeper

Posted on Jun 3, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on The Daily Examen: waking the conscious sleeper

“The majority of people are sound asleep more than half the time!” So complained the famous American writer Henry David Thoreau in his bookWalden, published in 1850 but perhaps even more relevant in 2016. Thoreau built a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in beautiful rural Massachusetts and lived there alone for two years. His purpose, he said, was “to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Thoreau consciously practiced awareness. In his time at Walden Pond, he became more and more wide awake to the amazing life around him — bugs, tiny animals, fish, plants — the world became alive to him in a way he had never noticed....

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June Magazine 2016

Posted on May 30, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on June Magazine 2016

This issue includes two articles on a Christian approach to money: one on the concept of basic income and the other taking a look at debt. The second article in our prayer series takes a look at the daily examen and the practice of mindfulness. In the via media column, Professor Michael Gilmour compares popular and biblical concepts of heaven as he asks, “Is heaven boring?” Read about the Quaker approach to Christian worship, and meet the man hired to be the urban indigenous ministry developer in Rupert’s Land. Click the image below to read the magazine online, or click here to download it to your computer or mobile device for easy reading and...

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Father Henry: the surprising journey of a (not so) new Canadian

Posted on May 20, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Father Henry: the surprising journey of a (not so) new Canadian

Henry Falkner walked into Holy Trinity Church in downtown Winnipeg his first Sunday in Canada and he hasn’t looked back for 27 years. It wasn’t long before his infectious smile and positive attitude landed him in the role of verger and caretaker of the space. Like many newcomers to Canada, Father Henry was surprised by the poverty and outright hunger he began running into on a daily basis after moving into a suite attached to the church. What began as regularly sharing a sandwich with his needy neighbours turned into the Holy Trinity Mission, which today feeds 150 hungry Winnipeggers a day, hosts a clothing room, and gives out over 70 food hampers each Christmas, primarily to new refugee families. For Father Henry, meeting the needs of his inner city neighbours is in his blood. Growing up in his...

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Connecting to a Global Church

Posted on May 13, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Connecting to a Global Church

Cultural Expressions of Christianity and the Anglican “Bonds of Affection” In January, my parish priest and another member of our parish church accompanied Bishop Phillips and others on a ten day visit to Uganda. More than one eyebrow was raised at the expense and time required for such a journey, wondering whether it was the best use of our resources – our own or the Church’s. Yet for the fourteen years I worked with the partnerships department of General Synod (now defunct), the importance of nurturing relationships with partners throughout the Communion was an unmistakable priority of the Anglican Church of Canada. We knew that the delicate web of the Anglican Communion was held together by “the bonds of affection” – bonds that needed to be strengthened by experiencing one another in our own culture and context, by spending time and...

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Culturally Rooted Expressions of Church

Posted on May 6, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Culturally Rooted Expressions of Church

It is not always easy for one to leave their place of origin and culture, but there are many reasons why people need to immigrate to another country, such as safety and economic security. Like many other immigrants, members of Emmanuel Mission (the South Sudanese Dinka congregation) left their country of origin mainly because of political instability that resulted in a prolonged civil war. The immigrant experience is rewarding as well as challenging culturally, socially, economically, and spiritually. A culturally rooted church not only serves as a source of comfort and strength, but also as an anchor for immigrants while navigating their new environments. Moving to a new cultural setting is testing to families and individuals. Kids and youth are quick to adjust, but adults, in general, take more time to integrate socially and culturally. Although living in Canada has...

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Legalizing Marijuana: trial or triumph?

Posted on May 2, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Legalizing Marijuana: trial or triumph?

The Burning Bush is a semi-regular column which features debates and discussions on current issues in culture and media and suggested ways for Christians to engage them through the lens of faith. New article ideas are always welcome. In Favour: Kalyn Falk and Ro Walker Mills are part of the community of saint benedict’s table. The process of marijuana legalization in Canada has been layered with fear and lack of factual evidence. This article will outline our current understanding of marijuana and the flaws inherent in it, the economics of legalization, and our role in mandating behaviour. “Not because of sound science, but because of its absence, marijuana was classified as a schedule 1 substance” (Robert Ferris, “These Are The 9 Reasons That Sanjay Gupta Changed His Mind About Marijuana”). This means the United States government considers pot a drug with no...

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May Magazine 2016

Posted on Apr 29, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on May Magazine 2016

This month’s magazine takes a look at cross-cultural ministry from a variety of angles: Are culturally-specific congregations a good idea? How do we connect in the Church across cultures, both locally and around the world? How have the Church’s historical ties to colonialism created additional challenges for doing this, and how do we begin to heal in those areas? You’ll also find an article in the Burning Bush, our debate column, on legalizing marijuana. If you have a response or ideas of your own, leave them in the comments section below or send a letter to the editor. Read the magazine online below or click here to download a simple PDF version to your computer for reading or printing....

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Seeking Maori Ora

Posted on Apr 22, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Seeking Maori Ora

They came by the thousands from around the world seeking Maori Ora (life force, a positive state of being, vitality). The seventh gathering of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide was held in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Indigenous peoples have traveled the world in search of common healing since the first gathering in Edmonton in 1992. The Healing Our Spirit Worldwide movement began as the vision of one woman to create an international forum focused on alcohol and drug abuse issues in indigenous communities throughout the world. Maggie Hodgson, a founding member of the Nadleh Whutren Carrier First Nation, lobbied the International Congress on Alcohol and Addictions and the World Health Organization in the late 1980’s to begin arranging the gatherings. I attended the first gathering in Edmonton and was impressed with the scholarship on addiction and recovery. Then, as now, indigenous...

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The Art of Seeing

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 in Featured | 2 comments

Last summer, I was visiting family in Cleveland and visited an exhibit called “Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse.” Travelling through the exhibit was like a pilgrimage through garden after garden of spectacular beauty. The ability of the French Impressionists of the 19th century to see, and to capture their sight (or insight) in colour laid down on canvas, was an experience of prayer for me. It took me into the heart of God’s creation, and showed me the beauty at the heart of human beings who are so open to the divine image that they can reflect it in their art. After journeying through a series of galleries, I ended up in the “holy of holies,” as it seemed: a room at the end that was the climax of my pilgrimage. Facing me on the wall were...

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Visiting the Gurdwara

Posted on Apr 8, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

Polly Pashu The word “Sikh” evolved from the Sanskrit term Shishe, which means “disciple”. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that was founded by Guru Nanak in Punjab, India. Guru Nanak was born on April 15, 1469 in the village of Talwandi, located in what is now western Pakistan. Guru Nanak was a religious pioneer in that he revolted against the caste system and rituals held at the time, declaring that all people should be as one, irrespective of their colour, creed, or religion. He was never afraid to raise his voice against cruelty and injustice and lived among the people, sharing their sorrows and joys, and teaching them the way of honesty and truth. After Guru Nanak’s passing in 1539, his message was carried forward by each of his nine successors. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, ordained that subsequent to...

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April Magazine 2016

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on April Magazine 2016

Christ is risen! This month’s magazine has a focus on resurrection life. Read about one priest’s exploration of self-determination among the Mauri in New Zealand, an Anglican sister’s experience of “slow prayer,” a Winnipegger’s story of being Sikh in Canada, and one woman’s hesitance at leaving the uncertainty of Lent for the joy of Easter. To read it online, click the image below. To download it to your computer for easy reading or printing, click...

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What the Vultures Know

Posted on Mar 31, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on What the Vultures Know

For years, I loved Lent and Holy Week, yet dreaded Easter. Once, I named a homily “I Hate Easter.” The problem for me was that Easter rang false; it was a premature “all’s well” after the facing of Hell. The problem was not with Resurrection, but with the way our culture had bled it of its meaning. One of the lies our society tells itself is that death is failure and must be avoided at all costs. Resurrection, then, becomes an escape, a way to cancel out death. As a parent, I am troubled by how present this escape is in children’s stories such as Robin Hood, The Jungle Book, and Harry Potter. In the pervasive story, the friends begin to mourn the character’s death, but suddenly he (usually he) opens his eyes and is not dead after all!...

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Seeing God through the Eyes of a Child

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 in Featured | 1 comment

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matt. 28:19-20 The mission of the Church is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them – and to do this in confidence that Christ is with us always. What an amazing image of growth, of life, and of power at work in us, greater than we can ask or imagine! Have we got the faith, the courage, the audacity to do that work, to live in that confidence? What help can we find? There is a group of people in the Church whose capacity for faith, whose...

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Four Kinds of Leaders for Four Seasons of Church

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Four Kinds of Leaders for Four Seasons of Church

Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes — not just one. And different situations call for different styles of leadership. So what types of leader does the Church need right now?  1. The Traditional Pastor Traditional, healthy churches need leaders who can preach and teach, train and give pastoral care, lead inspiring worship, and be competent administrators. It is a tall order, but over the years, even centuries, many have done this wonderfully well. And seminaries continue to turn out good shepherds of this kind. Frankly, however, there is a limited need for those with this skill-set. This kind of pastoring assumes that the congregations to which they go are in healthy midlife, and simply need building up and encouraging in the way they are already going. But, sadly, there are not many of those around. It is true,...

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Moving Toward a Missional Model of Church

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Moving Toward a Missional Model of Church

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to be part of the Church in today’s society? I suspect Christians have been asking that question for two millennia, and today’s Christians are no different. What is different for today’s people are the answers, renewing a focus on Luke 10 and the role we have in how God is bringing about the kingdom of heaven. Within contemporary missiology, a term has arisen called “missional church” and within the last 15 years, the body of written works on the subject has rapidly grown. The subject is too large to summarize here, but it is my hope that this may whet some appetites and provide a catalyst for further conversations. During the 20th century, North American culture began to change in radical ways. Some have argued that we...

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March Magazine 2016

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on March Magazine 2016

This month’s magazine has a focus on living missionally. What does that even mean? How can we do it or should we even care? Explore these questions as you flip through the March RLN. To read online, please click the image below. To download it to your computer for easy reading or printing, please click...

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The God Nudge Factor

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on The God Nudge Factor

Has it ever happened to you where you were rushing to get somewhere and you ran into someone you knew who appeared in distress? Did you feel a little nudge to stop, listen, and love? Did you ignore this nudge and hurry away to fulfill yet another obligation and regret this later, knowing that your gift of time and prayer should have been offered? I recall this happening a while back when I should have taken the time to be present for my friend, but did not and so missed her story of devastating illness. She died three weeks later. If I had only listened to the nudge to stop, listen, pray, and love. Another time, I listened to a gentleman whom I have known for years speak from his heart with deep caring and concern for his beloved,...

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Nearer the Heart of our Longing: Addiction, Suffering, and Hope

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Nearer the Heart of our Longing: Addiction, Suffering, and Hope

Addiction can be a bewildering affliction. We’ve all heard the stories: tragic, heart-breaking accounts of betrayal and defeat; of ruin and despair too heavy to bear. It’s not hard to imagine the final dissolution of a life nearing the end of that strange illness of mind, body, and spirit that is addiction, but neither is it easy to make sense of. What could cause someone, healthy in other respects, to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of their own undoing with such reckless abandon? What lies at the root of this thing that draws men and women from every walk of life to exchange the good things of their lives for the bondage of a merciless and endless thirst? What could it be, other than that mysterious, deadly, and undeniable brokenness that runs across every human life, and cuts through...

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