Blame

Coffee by Unsplash, Pixabay

For the last several months, I have barely been able to get a Focused Moment written in time for the service at West Hill on Sunday. Sometimes, it’s been written late on Friday or early Saturday. But some days, I’ve penned it Sunday morning; once even on my phone on my way… Continue Reading…

flattened spectrum

We are well into our Inspired by Hollywood Series at West Hill. This week we looked at the intensely beautiful Moonlight, and the decidedly flattened spectrum of life its protagonist is forced to live. Previous Sundays have brought discussions of Arrival and Manchester by the Sea. One thing that is abundantly clear each and every year we look at movies nominated for… Continue Reading…

“No-fault Divorce”

This morning, in an article in the Vancouver Sun, “Will Gretta Vosper obtain ‘no-fault’ divorce from church?”, Douglas Todd raises the idea that Toronto Conference, using The United Church of Canada’s polity as found in The Manual, could place my name on the Discontinued Service List with the slightly more polite qualifier “Voluntary”. The piece of polity to which he refers, Section C 2.7, gives the church the right to remove clergy from its roll who begin working in ministry in another… Continue Reading…

Agreeing with Michael Coren. Sort of.

Pope Francis. A pope loved by the people. (ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Pope Francis. A pope loved by the people. (ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Christianity could address political chaos

It is a rare occasion that I agree with Michael Coren but I do think he is bang on in this Toronto… Continue Reading…

Post-theistic Resources for Year A Anyone?

Interested in post-theistic resources but still using the Revised Common Lectionary?

I am looking for five to ten colleagues who may wish to work with post-theistic resources over the course of Year A. I began to create these resources at the beginning of Advent in 2014 using the next year’s texts, Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary, as my starting point. My review by the United Church, however, got in the way and I never completed the year. This past Advent,… Continue Reading…

A letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Events in the United States have triggered conversations here in Canada and will require responses on a growing number of fronts. I’m sharing a letter here that addresses two issues raised in the first couple of days after the election of Donald Trump: the possible overturning of President Obama’s refusal to continue with the Keystone pipeline project and the likelihood that Trump, as President of the United States, will reject the Paris Climate agreements.

International Boun Continue Reading…

Trentham: A Hymn for My American Friends

An election night like no other

The night ended late. Scott and I stumbled to bed after too many hours of the American election and hearts that were heavy with the result. We weren’t shocked. Not as shocked as some. Perhaps watching it unfold from this northern vantage point had already scared us more than those steeped within the polls and election rhetoric. No, we weren’t shocked. But we were deeply, deeply saddened about the choice that has been made for… Continue Reading…

Colleague asks to be defrocked

Queen's Theological Hall

Queen’s Theological Hall

My colleague, Beverley Burlock, a former classmate at Queen’s Theological College, has asked to be “defrocked”, removed from the roll of clergy of The United Church of Canada because of the manner in which it is reviewing my ministry under the auspices of my effectiveness. Beverley’s letter has saddened me and, I hope, has saddened others. But her convictions are strong… Continue Reading…

The God Delusion – 10th Anniversay

Ten years ago this month Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion hit the world with force, its silvery cover inviting any who picked it up to see an image of a god creator peering back at the unwitting shopper. The thousands and thousands who read it in its first few weeks rode the first wave of the New Atheists and began a conversation that continues to sweep the planet.

Visiting with Raihan and his family in 2015. Continue Reading…

Do you still belong in this UCC?

The 95%-of-United-Church-Clergy-believe-in-God Survey

The Rev. Richard Bott

The Rev. Richard Bott

Last Spring, Richard Bott, a United Church minister, decided he wanted to get to the bottom of the question about how many United Church clergy do or don’t believe in god. He was spurred on to the work of designing the God survey… Continue Reading…