Reign of Christ Sunday

Happy New Year, all,

    This cold–outside and inside–this past week, along with a busy social calendar, has floored me. Of course, you all understand, I’m sure, that, as I am a man, I am suffering as no one else. Enough said.
    2014The Reign of Christ Sunday tested our fortitude and fidelity, as the church furnace would not co-operate. Worshipping in 55 degree temperatures is quite the challenge, but as someone commented, if it had been April and that temperature, we would have been delighted. We chose to tough it out, sang lustily and with good courage, rose and sat more vigorously, and survived to tell the tale. A good sense of humour helps to meet such challenges. The furnace repairman came this Wednesday and fixed the minor problems. The sanctuary should be heated for Advent.
    And Advent begins this Sunday. There will be lessons and carols at the 10:30 service: no homily! If you want to hear a sermon, you’ll have to come to the 8am service.
     Don’t forget the Christmas Tea on Dec. 6.
     Shalom. wf

 

Harvest Thanksgiving

Greetings, St. John’s,

    Well, my homily last Sunday has proven to be rather timely, even prophetic, for winter has definitely arrived, albeit early. St. John’s was the first church I’ve attended that celebrated Thanksgiving over three consecutive Sundays, so since I wasn’t with you to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, and, as I explain in my homily, the Harvest celebration is a moveable feast, we observed a service of Thanksgiving for the Harvest. However, if you read the Nov 16.harvest sermon, you’ll see my comments on the “hard rain” of winter.
     Eleanor and I took off right after services Sunday to drive to Fergus where I officiated at the baptism of the four-month-old daughter of dear family friends. Rector Rev. Dr. Pauline Head graciously welcomed us to St. James, Fergus, for a private family service, well attended by 50+ people. The grandfather of the babe is my academic mentor, a McMaster English professor, specializing in American Literature, whom I met in my second year as an undergraduate (1966), and who supervised my Masters thesis on Hemingway (1975). His encouragement was important for Eleanor and me during our PhD studies. It was wonderful to be part of this family celebration.
     We have known the child’s mother since she was around 6 years of age. I co-officiated at her wedding and she and her husband now own The Brew Pub on the Grand in Fergus, which has a couple of B&B rooms. They graciously put us up for the night, so we enjoyed a quiet evening and morning on our own. The cold and snow put a damper on our exploration of the town, and I developed symptoms of a cold, which knocked me out for a couple of days, but all is now well.
      Thank you for the birthday wishes on Sunday. As Thursday is my special day, I won’t be in the office, but Eleanor and I will be on hand Friday to help Eleanor Frost prepare the Roast Beef dinner for that evening. See you next Sunday for Reign of Christ, the last Sunday of the current church year, New Year’s Eve.
       Shalom. wf

 

Dr. David G. Benner

When I was an undergraduate student at McMaster University in the late 1960s, one of my closest friends was David G. Benner. We met through Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and were active in that campus organization.

After graduation, David and I lost touch, but we reconnected via the internet a couple of years ago, and, lo and behold, he, like me, had moved far from those evangelical roots in IVCF along a psycho-spiritual path of deep knowing, of self and the Divine. It was great to reconnect and discover that we had taken separate life journeys but arrived at a similar place.

David has written many books on the topic of spirituality. Check out his website at www.drdavidgbenner.ca and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DrDavidGBenner   I follow David’s daily meditations on Facebook.

If you enjoyed Bishop’s Michael’s 2013 Lenten recommendation of Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward, you will appreciate David’s spiritual insights as well. In fact, David has enjoyed a faculty appointment at the Richard Rohr Center for Action and Contemplation and is a visiting lecturer there.

One of his books, Surrender to Love, has just been published as an audiobook and is available at http://www.audible.com/

I highly recommend for your exploration the writing of  Dr. David G. Benner.

The Prodigal Father

Greetings, all!

There were 31 people at the 8am service last Sunday! A renaissance is happening. Wow! Lots of fun at the 10:30 service, especially with Halloween treats for the children from Barb. A great All Saints service. Blessings on all the saints, the living and the dead. Homily on nov.2.The Prodigal Father here.

Eleanor was attending the baptism of our grand-niece in TO last Sunday morning. My daughter and I met up with Eleanor at our son’s home to celebrate some family birthdays. It was a very pleasant, relaxing time together.

St. John’s is heading into a busy time, with the bazaar this coming Saturday, along with the Synod of the Diocese of Niagara at the cathedral in Hamilton on the same day. On Sunday, we will observe a Service of Remembrance at both services, with Duncan preaching at 8am, and me at 10:30. In just three weeks time, we will enter the season of Advent, that time of preparation for the joyous celebration of Christ’s birth. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Join us for the Advent journey toward Christmas.

Shalom. wf