Archive for the ‘faith’ Tag

Religion AND Science   Leave a comment

“You’re a scientist AND a you want to be a minister in a church????”

That is a question that a friend was asked prior to his ordination.

In the UC Observer there are testimonies from four scientists / ministers who have also been asked that question of how they square the circle of being a scientist and a Christian leader.

https://ucobserver.org/faith/2018/04/4-science-trained-faith-leaders-share-what-still-gives-them-goos/

A grouping of young stars, called the Trapezium Cluster (centre), shines from the heart of the Orion Nebula in this photo by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Photo: NASA/ESA

 

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Come and witness First Light   Leave a comment

Easter, 2018 is about to arrive.

What does that mean to us in the 21st century? A thought-provoking video from KAIROS Canada provides one possible response.

See you at sunrise on April 1, 2018.

Are “Thoughts and Prayers” getting a bad rap?   Leave a comment

Mourners light candles and leave flowers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting victims memorial in Las Vegas, on Oct. 6, 2017. Photo by Gian Sapienza/iStock

Writing in the UC Observer, Jackie Gillard comments on one common practice of the political class. When a tragedy, such as a mass shooting occurs, politicians tell the media that “our thoughts and prayers” are with the bereaved; the victims, whoever. Then, life goes on.

Gillard writes that, “The world has had enough of those feeble sentiments.” However, in this column she also writes that, “Thoughts and prayers can be seeds that germinate into affirmative action.”

Access the whole column at: http://www.ucobserver.org/columns/2018/02/school_shootings/

Posted March 7, 2018 by allanbaker in Canadian society, Christian Faith, Politics

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Make Babylon Great Again   Leave a comment

I first encountered the Rev. Dr. William Barber on TV when he was making a political speech. His Christian faith shone brightly through his words.

Now, Barber’s words have reached me through a short article that he wrote for Sojourner’s magazine, “Make Babylon Great Again”. It interprets the actions and words of the current President of the United States of America through the lens of the Book of Daniel in the Bible. It is interesting to read how Rev. Barber draws parallels between Nebuchadnezzar and the President.

https://sojo.net/magazine/march-2018/we-will-not-bow-down

 

Living Spiritually?   Leave a comment

 

In 2017 Anne Bokma attempted to “live spiritually” for twelve months. The UC Observer says that; “Having long explored the “spiritual but not religious” demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.”

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

Bokma summarizes her journey in this column, published in The UC Observer: http://ucobserver.org/myls/ 

At the bottom of her column there is an opportunity to access each of the 12 monthly columns that she wrote on this topic.

It is an interesting journey to observe, especially if one believes that all of life is infused with Spirit.

 

 

Being Open   Leave a comment

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” It’s all about opening, really. When I open myself to the world and its possibilities – even its hurts – I become whole. But when I choose to close, my life becomes fraught with struggle. Everything I do becomes about shielding myself rather than inviting good energy to fill me. Everything is energy, so I try to let the negative pass through me, rather than holding on to it.”

Richard Wagamese in his book, “Embers”, page 112

Posted January 10, 2018 by allanbaker in Peacemaking, Spirituality

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Hope in an unexpected place   Leave a comment

The following story – from the U.C. Observer –

( http://www.ucobserver.org/columns/2017/03/spirit_story/ ) –

is one that encourages all of us to remember those basic human characteristics of empathy and hope. Although the writer, and the story, are from the U.S.A., similar stories are happening in Canada too.

iStock.com/fstop123

Hope in a hardware store

By Alicia von Stamwitz

A new immigrant to the United States must enter public areas with caution, alert to hidden dangers. It’s a lesson I learned at a young age when my mother was bullied by a stranger in a grocery store.

So when I spot a Mexican man in a Home Depot store in St. Louis, I am not surprised that he looks anxious, shifting his weight from one foot to another. He’s short — maybe five feet tall in his heavy work boots — with a bushy black moustache. His furtive glances at the overhead signs tell me he does not read English.

I slow my cart, remembering a frightening experience from my childhood.

“Look at the treetops, Alicia!” my mother says as we creep along on shaded streets in our new station wagon. “The American oak trees are so tall and the branches are so wide that they meet at the top, like friends hugging each other.” She speaks to me in Spanish, but she is fluent in English thanks to her American teachers in Cuba. And thanks to American television, I have learned English fast.

We stop at a grocery store and push our cart up and down every aisle. “It’s expensive here,” she whispers in Spanish. As we wait in the checkout line, I notice the man behind us is watching my mother. He takes a step forward and says in a low voice, “What are you doing here?” My mother looks up, startled. “I — I am shopping.” Her English is perfect, but her voice is high, as if she is asking a question.

“You do not belong here,” the man growls. My mother turns to the cashier and holds out a coupon. But the cashier does not take the coupon; her eyes are fixed on the man. Everyone is looking at him. “Go back to where you came from, spic,” he hisses. The word hits my ears hard, like the word “spit.” Nobody moves at first, not even my mother. But when the man pushes past me to force her out of the narrow aisle, she turns to run and pulls me after her. When we are safely inside our car, I push down all four locks. My mother is trembling as we pull away.

This happened over 50 years ago. I want to believe things are better now, but I fear they are worse.

A long minute has passed, and the Mexican man in the home improvement store has not moved. I am about to step forward to help translate when a burly employee in an orange apron appears beside him. I tense. But the employee is a good man. You can see things like this at a glance. The way he ducks his head to meet the Mexican man’s lowered eyes. The way he nods encouragingly and speaks softly. I let out a breath. I did not realize I was holding it.

He gives me hope, this employee. I want to thank him when he is done helping the Mexican man. I want to remember that he and others like him have more collective power than any politician, even a demagogue.

On the way home, I look up at the treetops and repeat my mother’s words, like a poem or a prayer.

Alicia von Stamwitz is a writer and editor in St. Louis.