you beyond you

January 25th, 2015

The Focused Moment at West Hill United takes responsibility for tuning those gathered into the more inspirational elements of the service, formerly what would have been called the Word in this now doctrinally-free congregation. It has evolved loosely and over time from the collection of the Call to Worship, Prayers of Approach, Confession and Assurance, and the small prayer often shared before the reading of the Word, the hearing for which all had gathered. Not all are included on any… Continue Reading…

earth’s own luminosity

January 24th, 2015

Apollo_17_Image_Of_Earth_From_Space croppedThe definition of luminosity is not “an online game to help improve your cognitive skills” despite the company that has trademarked the word. What it really means is the light integral to a celestial body; that is, light that comes from the celestial body and not that is reflected by it.

So it seemed a perfect metaphor for life on this planet, for you and I and every human who works to improve… Continue Reading…

bravery in the face of tyranny

January 21st, 2015

no matter

January 19th, 2015

Toronto 2010

Toronto 2010, photo

No matter the absence of stars
that leaves the night in darkness;
no matter the empty bowls
when the children are not fed;
no matter criminal words
are spoken without recrimination;
no matter the constant cold
that burns as hard as fire;
no matter the mocking rejection
of everything held most dear;
no matter the never-ending road,
once thought to lead to freedom;
no matter the… Continue Reading…

not without courage

January 18th, 2015

Martin Luther King, JMoving further into the Inspired by Hollywood series, we went to see the movie Selma. What a powerful film and so timely. That black men are still twenty-one times more likely to be killed by police than white men* in America is staggering and the media’s attention, drawn to this truth by the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, has drawn our attention, too. Watching Selma brought home the shameful truth… Continue Reading…

so we are

January 16th, 2015

rainbow candle bannerI have always loved the haunting melody of the ancient song, Of the Father’s Love Begotten. We used to sing it at my home church, Sydenham Street United in Kingston where the composer Graham George (our next door neighbour) was organist when I was very young. He was followed by Fred Clarke, another supremely talented man. So the sounds associated with my deepest memories of it are that of a massive… Continue Reading…

beyond boundaries – falling in love with the self

January 11th, 2015

Stepping StonesThis week at West Hill, I begin our annual Inspired by Hollywood series. Over six Sundays, I’ll lift elements from one of the movies I believe will be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and play around with them. This week’s movie is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, based on the work of mathematician Alan Turing. The theme being played with alongside the film is that of the considered life…. Continue Reading…

a letter to gary paterson regarding paris

January 9th, 2015

boosted pixelated ribbons

January 8, 2015

Gary Paterson

The United Church of Canada
3250 Bloor St. West
Toronto, ON

Dear Gary,

I write with deep concern for the world’s community as it reels following the religiously motivated attacks in Paris this week and as diverse groups respond with courage and a renewed commitment to ending acts of terrorism.

The prayer posted to the United Church’s web portal is one of the myriad responses and I appreciate that… Continue Reading…

the good, the fair, the true

January 6th, 2015

St. Anne's, Soho, as it was before destroyed in WWII and rebuilt. William Croft, its organist wrote the tune use in The Good, the Fair, the True.

St. Anne’s, Soho, as it was before destroyed in WWII and rebuilt. William Croft, its organist wrote the tune used for O God, Our Help in Ages Past and used now for The Good, the Fair, the True.

Again, the congregation of West Hill humoured and affirmed… Continue Reading…

not heel to toe but truth to truth

January 4th, 2015

credit user maggiekuo

credit user maggiekuo

Would that all our footsteps could be aligned along the path we set for ourselves. Whether heading for the cookie jar or out to change the world, we rarely anticipate the many ways in which life cajoles us from our course or tosses us by the wayside, leaving us to find our way back onto the original track we pursued or to realize that… Continue Reading…