sign up for our weekly emails
This form does not yet contain any fields.




    The Morning After Blog

    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, we 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 our Ministers or 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!


    October 4 - Sadness


    September 27 - Disgust

    Yesterday, some of us were invited to taste crickets, literally, as a symbol of disgust. ( I do say wine would have helped!) We wondered what 'turns Gods stomach? What makes God disgusted with human behaviour?

    I looked at the words of the prophet  Amos regarding distaste for worship that doesn't lead to action. He is the one that said, "let justice roll like an ever flowing stream."

    I explored the Pope Francis challenging transformation of "church", in his presentation to the US Congress and lifted up his unique ways that speak a sacred truth worth noting. Some will feel surprised that I affirmed the message so much. Many will feel the church hasn't done enough or been enough. I get that. I agree. However, there IS something to a message that humbled and lifted people at the same time. That is what I might call Gospel Wisdom.  The gospel convicts with grace. I saw Jesus in all of the Popes week in the USA. For those who feel I am off the mark, write here or call me, I do want to engage and learn more. I do hope you heard and saw his living example of compassion. Is it perfect, no, is it moving an institution that has been stuck a long time, yes! is there MUCH MORE TO MOVE....YES!

    What do you think?

    September 27 - Disgust


    September 13 - FEAR

    On Sunday we began our series on the movie Inside Out. It looks at our emotions and honours them in a unique way.

    Fear kicked us off:  I wondered with people whether fear was a gift, a good thing?

    I know we all fear, but is it possible to encourage us to action?

    Is it possible, it is necessary?

    Of course first world fear is different than the way many in our world live daily. For me it is about not masking or hiding or ignoring fear, rather it is about living through it. Even embracing it!

    My  knees knock lots.  Breathe. (God?) Help me through; the mantra: I love you, (intake) I love you (out) helps me center myself.
    Reminds me I am loved... and held... What about you, how do you experience and live with fear?
    - John
    p.s. Anyone write their funeral service yet?:) 

    September 13 - Fear


    September 6 - We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

    Last Sunday we had a full day - celebrating Pride with a special service of reflections, video, and music, and then marching in the Pride parade! Despite the cold weather, we had 70 Hillhurst people in our float!
    Throughout the service, we reflected on what it means to be Affirming - to be fully accepted - by God and others. We also talked about the "lifeboat experiment" - this idea that guides a lot of our daily actions. We act like we are on a lifeboat, always fighting to not be the one chosen to be thrown overboard, and also feeling like we have the power to choose who is worthy to stay afloat with us - or not.
    Only when we let go, when we see that there is nothing to prove because there is no lifeboat, is when we can truly care for others and see ourselves as God sees us - worthy of love and belonging.
    Pride Sunday is layered - we mourn for how far there is to go - for how many LGBTQ people past and present who have not experienced inclusion, especially in faith communities. But we also celebrate that we are not alone, and that together, we are working hard to remove the barriers to inclusion that should've never been there to begin with. May our work be ongoing, and this tension of gratitude and anger be in balance.
    Huge thanks to Pace Anhorn for sharing some of his story with us, and to all of those who made our amazing Affirming video possible.
    Listen to reflections from: Pam Rocker and Pace Anhorn

    August 30 - Ordinary Time

    Yesterday we had a great service reflecting on Ordinary Time and how we can use this time to notice more - to see the sacred in our ordinary lives and be aware that we are upheld by the Midst (Barbara Brown Taylor).

    What are the things you have noticed in this Ordinary Time?

    When have you felt God's presence?

    What do you do to bring awareness to the sacred in the every day? 

    Here are two references and a link to  people/books I was quoting yesterday...
    Barbara Brown Taylor, "An Altar in the World." 
    Annie Dillard, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek."