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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!


    The Happiness Project: Belonging

    There’s so much you can say about belonging. With too much to say in a 15 minute reflection, I chose to talk about kinship and belonging to God and to one another. There are lots of other ways we could’ve gone Sunday.

    After church someone mentioned that she heard a statistic that the average Canadian feels he/she has 0.7 people in their lives who are confidants – that’s not even 1 person! Wow. Who is it that we confide? Do we just rely on ourselves? The dog? 

    I read that the rise in numbers/demand for psychologists is at an all-time high – the implication is that we are paying for confidants. I think it’s super-hard to find really deep friendships, especially as an adult. It seems that childhood friends, or college friends, fit that bill. I suppose we’re much better at cultivating those friends earlier in life – or, we have more in common. When we’re adults we probably put up a lot more walls around ourselves. What do you think? What’s been your experience? 

    - Sheena


    The Happiness Project: Committing to Common Social Projects

    This past Sunday felt like it was a duty of sorts but there were so many obvious connections in the world and
    I wanted to affirm the people who do common social projects already so it also felt like a no brainer.

    I received one email that saw it as a bad sermon after a great one! Oh, the joys of diversity.
    We are God's hands, feet and voice in the world...only we can make change. I know it can be hard to believe.

    But boy do some people not like that climate change topic!

    As an old Alzheimer's patient told me "we are all a part of it." When I disappoint people at HUC I sure feel it!

    I'm still happy though!



    The Happiness Project: Creative Leisure

    We started our latest series this past Sunday with a bit of an overview on the Happiness Project, and then focused on Creative Leisure as a way toward meaning. This is a huge topic. l like wondering about how it fits into our understanding of the connection between faith and happiness. More questions than answers.

    I do think religion is about meaning and more about happiness than holiness.

    Anyway, I accept the invitation to dance with the Creator...

    - John

    Sept 14 2014: Creative Leisure


    How to Ride a Bike

    Sunday was fun! It was a chance to answer and explore a question from a younger person in the community: "how to ride a bike?"

    I loved the question and the opportunity to consider the parallels within the spiritual journey.
    Whether you ride or not, the chance to consider connections between what we do and how it connects to our faith is fun. It is what we are called to do! See the sacred connections. You may have different ones

    If you missed the service, check out the audio recording / podcast to hear my connections!



    Sept 7, 2014 - How to Ride a Bike


    Through the Roof!

    This past Sunday we explored the Bible story about a paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus to be healed, and when the men who brought him couldn't get through the crowd, they went up on the roof, ripped a hole in it, and lowered him down. They wouldn't be stopped!

    I love the visual of 4 grown men, in the middle of the night, clawing a hole in a house because they believed that whatever the risk was, it would be worth it. 

    I also think - what would I have done if I was crowded in to see Jesus and a bunch of guys were trying to push past me? Would I make a way for them or dig in my heels and cling to my hard-earned spot? Obviously the crowd did not make room for them. 

    When we read stories, we often picture ourselves as the protagonist. Sometimes we are, but sometimes we are the wounded, the bully, the silent by-stander, or the comfortable; afraid to get involved. 

    One of the things that I love about Hillhurst is that so many people are open to being uncomfortable sometimes, if that means someone else can be comfortable for awhile. Striving to be an affirming community in reality and not just in theory, is not easy, and it never will be. We will often be unpopular, make mistakes, make people angry. We are digging through the roof therefore we WILL get splinters in our hands and mud on our faces. We are human, but we live in the hope that the work is ongoing, and trust that the Spirit will honour our courage. 

    In the story - Jesus healed the paralyzed man, not because of his own faith, but because of the faith of the men who brought him. They believed so strongly, but they didn't just 'wish', they lived out their belief with radical actions. 

    I am so pleased that Stéphane shared his story with us, about a small slice of his tremendous journey towards
    not only being himself, but being PROUD of it, against all odds.
    A huge thank you to all of those who walked with us in the Pride Parade - 50,000 people had to chance to see us walk in solidarity and celebration. Thanks for being some of the best roof-rippers I know!
    - Pam

    Aug 31, 2014 - Through the Roof!