On the Saints

In my library, I have two books on the lives and legends of saints in the church: David Hugh Farmer’s somewhat staid Oxford Dictionary of the Saints, and Richard Coles’ considerably more playful volume, Lives of Improbable Saints. Where Farmer’s book aims to distinguish what is historically verifiable from what

November 2020 Magazine

In November’s issue, we’re meditating on All Hallows or all the saints and souls of the Church. In ‘On the saints,’ Jamie Howison reflects on the dual natures inherent in the lives of the saints, and proposes that their stories are just as present in our own communities as in the worlds of history. Christopher Trott examines

Pandemic As Sacred Context

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to examine and evaluate the daily stuff of our lives. We have been asked to step back from our usual activities and withdraw from life as usual. In the past few months, we may have needed to readjust our occupational

The Sacrifice and the Glory

On Christmas Day of 800 C.E., Charlemagne knelt meekly before Pope Leo III, who crowned him Holy Roman Emperor. After four centuries of humiliation, the Western church’s leap of faith and its resurrection of an old title forged what it hoped would be a new era. The act itself was

Plagues and Protest

When presented with the opportunity to consider possible meanings and purposes of the plagues of Exodus for RLN, how could one refuse? The narratives of the Hebrew Scriptures are full of twists, turns, power plays, love, betrayal and more; and these ten plagues do not disappoint. But what can be

And there is no health in us

With the arrival of the pandemic, there has been renewed interest in Albert Camus’ 1947 novel, The Plague. It tells the story of an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the Algerian town of Oran. Many read it as an allegory of Nazi-occupied France in the second World War, but

October 2020 Magazine

In October’s issue, we’re meditating on the question of life after the plague. As we move into the second wave of the pandemic, how might we attend to God’s presence in the darkness? How does God speak to us in the midst of sickness and corruption? As Lowell Friesen writes in his reading

Something Like Manna

As we pass the six-month mark since the pandemic struck, we who are Christians, churchgoers, or seekers are discovering different ways of gathering and worshipping. During this time, we have been battered and shaped by sudden confinement, fear of infection, illness or death, and a radical departure from our known

The Poetry of Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg

Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg (1633–1694) was an Austrian-born poet of the early modern period whose devotional sonnets blend technical skill with vivid imagery and intensity of feeling. Her first and best-known book, Geistliche Sonnette, Lieder und Gedichte (Spiritual Sonnets, Songs and Poems), published in 1662, contains 250 sonnets as well as

Grief and Gifts in the Pandemic

I remember, as a young person, being given a book filled with short facts about human beings. I admit I can’t recall most of them, but the one piece that I do remember was about how people get dressed in the morning. The book observed that most people follow a

Worshipping Outside the Walls

This pandemic has completely up-heaved our lives. In the midst of it, we have been isolated from friends and family; stores big and small have been shut down, affecting the livelihood of many business owners and their employees; schools have closed their doors so students of all ages have had

September Magazine 2020

In September’s issue, we’re exploring what it means to be people caught in the occasion, observing a crisis through prayer and perseverance as New Easter People. Theo Robinson takes us outside the church building and poses the question of virtual worship being part of the “new normal.” Andrew Rampton searches

The Silent Witness of Evergreens

If you have ever driven across rural south-west Manitoba, you might have noticed the odd clumps of evergreen trees punctuating the landscape. Depending on how ecologically aware you are, you may or may not realize that these trees do not really belong here. This part of the world is mostly

Preaching ‘The Lord of the Rings’

As a director at Manitoba Pioneer Camp, I gave a series of morning devotional table talks over the course of three summers based on The Lord of the Rings. Staff would act out a scene, and then I would give a short reflection based on it. The practice of reading

The Inklings and the Artist Network

“In art, either as creators or participators, we are helped to remember some of the glorious things we have forgotten, and some of the terrible things we are asked to endure, we who are children of God by adoption and grace.” – Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith

November Magazine 2021

November’s issue is devoted to the stories of people who have felt called to the church—those who have chosen to stay. In our first feature, Theo Robinson gives a testimony of his journey towards becoming one of Canada’s first transgender priests in the Anglican Church. Lynda Wolf writes about her first encounters

Fragility, Fiction, and Faith: C. S. Lewis’s War Wounds

This is a companion piece to “C. S. Lewis, the Great War, and an Unwitting Canadian Connection” in December 2018’s issue of Rupert’s Land News on Sacred Space. Fragility. On one of the branches of the River Cherwell, near Magdalen College of the University of Oxford, there is an area

Walking: A Soliloquy

I am one of those people who much prefers to read about walking than to actually walk. I am not talking about those healthy “hike a nature trail across half of North America” types of walking books, but rather those that reflect on philosophy and walking, or perhaps the philosophy


In the Silence

This month, contributors to the magazine converse with silence.

In our Community Catechesis section, Phil Barnett writes about the Christian contemplative tradition and introduces readers to spiritual practices of silence. Kirsten Pinto-Gfroerer meditates on silence amid suffering—on “trusting silence” which may sit with pain. Allison Abra and Matthew Bowman are interviewed about St John’s College’s efforts to house Ukrainian refugees and the gift of enlivenment that the college’s guests have brought amidst the quiet isolation of the pandemic. Finally, Theo Robinson challenges readers to consider “silent voices,” those persons whose voices are suppressed through means subtle and direct, and consider how we might speak up for all.

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