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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!


    REEL Theology pt 1: Selma

    This Sunday's music was brilliant, as someone said after, 'they looked like they had fun" indeed.

    I was feeling sick which was too bad since the passion and inspiration of this movie was lost in my kleenex and throat lozenges.

    Selma certainly provoked the questions:

    Can anything good come out Selma (or Nazareth)? Yes, of course something can!

    What does prophecy require? Prophecy requires prophetic inside knowledge of systems, to transform those systems, to break rules, to bring change.

    How can movements take place? Movement can only happen when we build bridges to those who are different and yet similar in truth, like the arts, governments, business, etc.

    The experience of Ash Wednesday on the streets of Kensington was a metaphor for how and who we might become as a Hillhurst United city church. Literally building bridges with culture.

    What would I change? Not much since my health limited the passion of the day.

    Our annual financial meeting after was brilliant. It was an excellent presentation that spoke of our MOVEMENT, OUR BRIDGE, OUR PROPHETIC voice that answers the question can anything good come out of HUC. I say YES!

    - John

    Feb 22 2015 - Selma

    Feb 22 2015 - Selma - Special Speaker


    Love is a Verb pt 5: Physical Touch


    Love is a Verb pt 4: Acts of Service

    This past Sunday we continued the conversation about Love Languages, and specifically, "Acts of Service."  

    There were a couple of thoughts I didn't include on Sunday morning…

    First, it's probably important to reflect on the prevalence of entitlement and the assumption that we should be served. It seems that we often believe people should be doing things for us. Our scriptures, over and over again, invite us to serve others, however.  How do people react when we do something for them?  

    Second, I had dinner with a couple who attend Hillhurst, and one of them pointed out the interesting research that has been done on the benefits of doing something for others on our health. Doing something for others makes us feel good - and keeps us healthy, according to research.
    Interestingly enough, all the world's religions have some element of service or kindness. When I lived in Houston, there was an annual MLK Day of Service - this event brought people from all different religious traditions together to help others - it was a great event in that it connected people in service and helped people get to know others from different religious traditions.  
    What are your thoughts?
    - Sheena

    Feb 8 2015 - Acts of Service


    Love is a Verb pt 3: Quality Time

    This Sunday presented a wonderful opportunity for CBC Eyeopener host David Gray to interview me. I began by saying that the CBC helps make us better Canadians; a topic I mentioned in a letter printed in Maclean's Magazine. I think it expands and informs our world.

    I appreciated the chance to just think off the top of my head. Questions covered the relevance of God, Jesus, and the church. We talked about why we do what we do and I reflected on my sense of call.

    The interview went well I thought, and I'm thankful for the many wonderful people who make Hillhurst what it is. No one person makes it on their own and I'm appreciative of the many who make things happen here. This Sunday was 'quality time' for me.

    Have a listen and send YOUR question in.

    - John

    Feb 1 2015 - Quality Time


    Love is a Verb pt 2: Gift Giving

    This past Sunday we continued to use Gary Chapman's Five Long Languages as our framework to see how we might give an receive love. This week, we focused on receiving gifts. We talked about how that theme shows up in our sacred texts; particularly the story of the woman who washes Jesus' feet with her tears and costly ointment.

    We looked at how we can all give extravagantly. I think Mother Teresa is attributed to the quote, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."  It's the intention of the gift that makes the biggest difference.

    Where do you see extravagant giving (in love, justice, mercy)?  When have you received a gift that was extravagant in this way?  

    - Sheena

    PS: If you haven't had a chance to do the love languages quiz, here's the link!

    Jan 25 2015 - Gift Recieving