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Pastor’s Notebook

Easter Eggs

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First Published in Trinity Times April 2018 I love eggs.  I am told that my eggs benedict is one of the best around, to the… Read More »Easter Eggs

New and Changing

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Pastor’s Message
March 2013

In my first sermon here at Trinity I talked about ‘something new’.  This was not just about Kebbeh Cooper’s name (Kebbeh means ‘something new’), it was also about the start of our new ministry together. I was talking about new things and that changes that might happen. I also said that I did not know what those changes might be. Read More »New and Changing

The Apostle’s Creed…and All That Jazz

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The first speed limit legislation was created in the United Kingdom with the Locomotive Acts (automobiles were in those days termed “light locomotives”). The 1865 Act introduced a UK speed limit of 10 mph (16 km/h) which was then reduced to 4 mph (6 km/h) in rural areas, and 2 mph (3 km/h) in towns by the 1865 Act (the ‘red flag act’).

When the first motor car was built there were no speed limits, you know … those pesky numbers posted beside roads to slow us all down.

The first parliament act to limit the speed was probably in response to somebody driving too fast.  That makes sense.  Now that a limit is in place we can all have the same understanding of “too fast”.  That first speed limiting law of 1865 has developed somewhat since then.  Today in Ontario there are different penalties if you drive more than 50 Kph  above the posted speed.  The laws are written to prevent misunderstandings of what is meant by speeding.

In a way the Apostles and Nicene creeds were a response to concerns about misunderstandings.  Read More »The Apostle’s Creed…and All That Jazz

Theme: Hyperbolen – An Excellent Way

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Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:27 – 13:13

I’m sure you remember the day of living out the social conflicts of the playground. There were squabbles and broken trusts and shouts of “You’re not my friend anymore!”.  Then there is that classic playground “binary opposition” technique. What is binary opposition, I hear you ask? That is when your options are reduced only two states: For instance – If you are alive or dead; It is day or night. ; Is your answer yes or no? Things are good or bad? Is it warm or cold?  In politics I have heard this idea stated: You are either with us or you are against us. Read More »Theme: Hyperbolen – An Excellent Way

Discussion Is How We Do Theology

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Verse: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

In our household we have a few favorite TV shows.  One is still being produced and every Thursday night at 8:30 we look forward to gathering around “the tube” to catch the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory.

OK I lied.  We don’t gather around any kind of TUBE.  Do you remember that term?  Or maybe that was just a British term for the Television.  The TUBE was a slang term for TV or tellie as again the Brit’s called it.  From a technical point of view, the TUBE was a really good term.  It refers to the big ole cathode-ray tube that shot electrons at a phosphorus coated screen. Now days … we watch a flat Light Emitting Diode screen and we never watch LIVE TV broadcast.  Nope … we recorded it on the PRV and watch the TV show on the LED screen later on so we can skip all the ads.

How many of you are like my family and watch – The Big Bang Theory?

But then there are the groups of faith-filled Christians that would cringe that the Pastor’s family watch such a Biblically heresy titled show.  Their reading of the bible tells them that the world is only 7,000 years and that the scientific theories of the big bang creation, fossil records and carbon dating are all fallacy.

I gotta tell you – let me be bold and clear – I truly believe the scientific record and the evidence that the world and universe is so much bigger and older that literal biblical interpretation of the world being only 7,000 years old.Read More »Discussion Is How We Do Theology

Seven Verbs for Deeper Discipleship

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2011-02-side1At the Festival of Homiletics as few years ago, I heard Diana Butler Bass speak about modern Christians and what they are seeking and responding to. She said people are looking for practical ways to connect to faith which is more than simply showing up at a worship service on Sunday mornings. In that same year at a spiritual retreat at Mount Carmel in Niagara Falls, Bishop Susan Johnson talked about some practical approaches to deepening our discipleship.

2011-02-side2We are all disciples– yes even us modern day Christians. As disciples we are followers and learners. The Greek word is mathetes, meaning “a learner, indicating thought accompanied by endeavor.” So a disciple is not someone who just knows things, rather, a disciple is some who hears, learns and does. Discipleship is an active role. Discipleship is for each of us to engage in.
This is Bishops Susan’s list of practical approaches:
• regular attendance at worship;
• daily prayer and scripture reading;
• yearly involvement in a program of study;
• regular service in the community (not just the congregation);
• regular and proportional giving,
• commitment to telling the good news with those around us, beginning with our family and friends.

Each of the bolded words can be stated as a verb:
Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give, Tell.Read More »Seven Verbs for Deeper Discipleship

How Many Wise Men?

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Can you name the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh?

Dasher                        Dancer                        Prancer
Vixen                          Comet                         Cupid
Donner                       Blitzen                        Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Then there is the is the tenth reindeer – Olive – All of the other reindeer smile

Can you name the wise men – the Magi – the Kings – the astronomers from the East?Read More »How Many Wise Men?

But What If?

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Maybe the first card game you ever learned to play was ‘snap’.  I don’t remember learning it but I did teach it to my daughters.  It is really easy … divide up all the cards equally, don’t look at the faces of the cards, then we take turns at turning one over. If that card matches the previous one, shout ‘SNAP’.  First one to shout gets all the turned up cards, and when you get all the cards you win.  See … easy.  So right after you explain the rules somebody will likely say (and maybe you just did), “But what if we both shout SNAP at the same time?”  That’s how we deal with a lot of things in life.  The rule says this, and somebody will go digging to find a “But what if?” question.  This is not just the stuff of lawyers and physicists (yes they like to ask lots of “But what if?” questions too).

This is not just a modern phenomenon. In Jesus day he had to deal with some “But what if?” characters like we find in Mark 12:Read More »But What If?

Keep Watch: Christ Is Coming

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Last month in my newsletter article, “Church Words Are Peculiar”, I asked “Can you help me put together a list of Trinity’s peculiar words? “  This was not meant as rhetorical and I did receive a list from one person – thank you Daniel. One of his words was “Advent”,  a word that comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming”.  It is a pretty unique and peculiar word.

The idea with Advent is for us to reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ.  Not an easy task at this time of year.  Much of our world is already preparing – Christmas music, Christmas wish lists, stores loading up with gift options, Christmas party planning, and the list goes on.  So for the church to say stop, listen, pay attention to the arrival of something extremely important, wait for the arrive of Christ, the world might say, “Later, I’m too busy getting ready for Christmas.”  However, the Christmas story was a once and only act – just like the resurrection was a once only event. The birth of Jesus happened only once.Read More »Keep Watch: Christ Is Coming