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    The Morning After Blog

    From our Minister, John: Welcome to the Morning After. Preaching is created and offered and it’s a little awkward because you 'bare your soul' and it’s like you stand there buck naked, share what’s important to you, people get to peek and then walk away! It’s hard because it feels 'one way'. That is, I speak, people listen, and then choose to walk away or wander back, often with little comment one way or the other. 

    So here is a chance for me and our guest speakers to clarify, and for you to comment and for all of us to learn together! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, questions, or wonderings. This is a free space to engage!

    Thursday
    Jul172014

    Sometimes You Just Gotta go to Church...

    Yah, that's exactly how I felt, 'sometimes you just gotta go to church.'
    Nothing would satisfy; food, bike, songs, nothing, thats how i knew..."sometimes you just gotta go to church." 7 words...

    I was reflecting on the recent news of abduction and murder. I mentioned our close link in the baptism of Nathan, the funeral of Kathy Likness and Kim's mother Koreen. We are their community.
    I reflected that at baptism we say, "baptism isn't a protection from life - it is an invitation to life." I will never look at those words the same way again.

    Looking back, if I were to do Sunday differently I would stick with the theme but preach it black preaching style, rhythmic and engaging. I ended up reading it, i was too tender...in hind sight i should have let the spirit lead more.

    Sometimes you just gotta go to church...am I right?

    - John

    Thursday
    Jul102014

    Faithful Hospitality

    This week we looked at the connection between Calgary Stampede and our faith. I chose hospitality as a common theme between the two. 

    I began by saying the word "nice" isn't in the bible, but "hospitality" is.

    If I were to do this all over again I would really go there - there are not nice stories in the bible, Jesus wasn't nice, and sometimes God isn't portrayed well either! Now THAT is interesting!

    I felt my sermon was kind of so so, but there were other highlights from last Sunday. Right in the midst of preaching Shawn, our street person, was introduced as "clean" from booze for 39 days! And, we were in the presence of a family connected to the recent abduction story in Calgary. Holy!

    Anyway, though I was perhaps not my best, this Sunday was a good one. 

    - John

    Saturday
    Jun212014

    Father's Day

    Father's Day and Trinity Sunday - what do they share in common?

    Well, I suggest that it's the word 'relationship' - a relationship between the different aspects or experiences of the sacred, and a deep realization that fatherhood is about relationships too.

    I enjoyed how last Sunday's service went. Father's day is a deeply emotional day for those who have difficult or challenging relationships with a father. Yet, it provides hope that we are opening up to the joys and challenges it is to be a dad and, that the joy and challenge with the intimacy that is God.

    What does Father's day mean to you?

    - John

    Tuesday
    Jun102014

    Songs, Stories, & Scripture: Golden Thread

    This week we did our 'Pet-ecost' Sunday, blending together the Pentecost story and our annual Pet Blessing. It was a fun service with fifty or more pets in our presence!

    It was a time to talk about the book by Harvey Cox, Future of Faith. I like his overview of where we have been and where we are headed because he speaks of Hillhurst as an age-of-the-spirit congregation.

    Overall, I wouldn't change much about this past Sunday other than to bring more attention to what we are doing already! HUC is an 'age-of-the-spirit' church and this helps us grow, expand and deepen our mission.

    What do you think?

    - John

    Thursday
    Jun052014

    Songs, Stories & Scripture: Let it Go

    The biggest gift and challenge of the spiritual life is letting go. Not trite or wreck less abandon, but true open honest release.

    The soloist this past Sunday was stunning, and the words of Stephanie, too. The email from a congregational couple said it all...wow.

    If I were to change my sermon from this past Sunday at all, it would be to try hard to 'get' the letting go concept. I am NOT an expert, I live with regret lots of the time, but I do know the ultimate letting go is significant for our journey.

    When have you let go and felt it 'work'?

    - John