Archive for December 2012

The Common Good

IMG_0085What is it that binds humanity together?

Sometimes it is a reminder from people like Jim Wallis of the Sojourners Community in Washington, D.C. 

Here’s part of an e-mail note that I recently received from Jim; one that caused me to remember that we are not alone:

“I started 2012 with a three-month sabbatical to write a book — a book about the common good and how we seem to have lost this concept in our politics and our society.

What I learned in the course of writing was how ancient the concept of the common good really is. This quote dates back to the fourth century:

This is the rule of most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good … for nothing can so make a person an imitator of Christ as caring for neighbors.

—John Chrysostom (ca. 347–407)”

The past Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Mardi Tindal, has written that;

“We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.”


Advent Love

Love in Advent

Christmas 2012
(The Divine Unfolding)

Through your own incarnation, my God,
All matter is henceforth incarnate
Teilhard de Chardin

Christmas melts the coldest hearts
The shortest day and the longest night
Dancing, feasting, fires and tarts
moves our inner axis to the cause of right.

The old Romans scoured the sky
for the first signs of lenghtening day
missed the babe emerging from the sty
and a deeper clue to the life-giving way.

Those clever folk of yore wisely scanned the stars above
filaments of mystery in a cosmos  frightening
missed the miracle of Word made flesh. Love
incarnate, a new creation, the deepest truth of things.

Winter solstice, December 21 and four days later on
Lo the renewal of light, the naked eye espied
The very birth day of Sol Invictus,Unconquerable Sun
“We’ll take it for the risen one” we cried.

We continue to gather two millenia now, an Advent gestating
We have seen something fresh, a new way of being
The  mystery of Christ, new patterns unfolding
The  Galilean points to a new way of seeing.

Wassail and rejoice; Hope has bought us gifts galore
Reconcilaition, forgiveness, compassion beyond compare
Tears, kindness, justice, peace and much much more
A heart attuned to the stars and grace, grace everywhere.

Ted Schmidt

Advent Joy

Joy in Advent

Where are we to find JOY in our lives during this season of Advent, 2012?

Guaranteed it will not be through purchasing more “stuff”. However, if you would like to read an articulate rant about “stuff”, here’s what George Monbiot has written in The Guardian:

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men,

but from doing something worthwhile.”

Wilfred T. Grenfell

Posted December 14, 2012 by allanbaker in Economics, Environment

Tagged with , ,

Advent Peace

Peace in Advent

“One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek

but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


“Peace is not the product of terror or fear.

Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.

Peace is not the silence of violent oppression.

Peace IS the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.

Peace IS dynamism.

Peace IS generosity.

It is right and duty.”

Rev. Oscar Romero

Remember the Land

Remember the Land

Canada is home to 75% of the world’s mining and exploration companies.

Canadian stock exchanges raise 40% of all mineral exploration capital worldwide.

In May 2011, 150 people –church leaders and grass roots activists– from around the world gathered in Toronto to consider the impact of Canadian mining in their communities.

Remember the Land is the story of that gathering — the story of peoples from the Global South who are engaged in struggles in protect the land that they know and love; the land that sustains them materially, culturally and spiritually; the land that has its own deep, inherent worth.

This 11 minute video features rich theological reflection and offers a number of action opportunities for individuals and churches.

Remember the Land - vimeo

KAIROS has created educational resources to help you use the video in your church or community.
Go to our online store to order a copy of the video with 4 page study guide. 

You can also view the video online and download the Study Guide.

If you’d like to go a little further, you can also download the following related resources:
Community Mapping Activity 
Find Your Voice: Workshop on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent 

Advent Hope


Hope in Advent
This morning at Kingston Road United Church we once again entered the Advent journey by singing a traditional Advent hymn from the 9th century:
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.
It is an Advent ritual.
It is an hymn of hope.

“It’s always too early to give up on the future of our dreams.”

(Mark Kingwell)