Arrogance & Imagination


Arrogance & Imagination
2016 10 22 – Mississauga Mennonite Fellowship

Scriptures: Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 – Jeremiah pleads with God
Luke 18:9-14 – the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Arrogance & Imagination – as followers of Christ in a wealthy & powerful nation, our spiritual path often takes us towards humility and gratitude to God for the opportunities in our lives. This is all the more the case as we encounter the true impacts of Christian arrogance in the TRC report and the continuing witness of Indigenous people to the church. I want to take time to consider this arrogance and entitlement. Where does it come from? What do our scriptures say? When does following God require these behaviours?
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Do not put your trust in princes II – Christian Anarchism


Do Not Put Your Trust In Princes – Christian Anarchism
2016 07 24 Workshop offered at Toronto Anarchist Bookfair
Based off an outline from 2014 06 27 London Anarchist Bookfair

Introduction (5 minutes)

To – identify the anarchist impulse historically in Judeo-Christianity
To – suggest ways to reimagine contemporary Christianity
To – talk about the spirituality of Empire and of resistance
Not – discuss the existence of God
Not – convert people
Not – to defend religion
Not – engage in autocritique – i.e. not attempting to resolve all possible problems. Continue reading

The Limit of Limits


The Limit of Limits
2016 06 26 – TUMC sermon in the Borders & Boundaries summer series
Listen to the audio here

Scriptures: 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 4, 6-14 – Elijah is taken away, Elisha travels with him.
Luke 9: 51-62 – Jesus sets his face towards Jerusalem

I recently realized that, for all the failings of the English Comprehensive Education system, every child has the chance to develop an extensive knowledge of siege warfare. Britain is full of castles. I grew up scrambling up and down earthworks, playing in towers, peering down murder holes and oubliettes, and going up and down endless flights of spiral stairs.

At some point in my childhood I grasped what a castle is – a way of arranging stones, earth, and humans so that it is easier to kill people. Castles aren’t just defensive structures, they are tools of conquest.

Castles are not neutral. You build one to assert a claim, project power, and increase the vulnerability of your enemies.
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“Think” reflection


Cahoots festival morning gathering “Think” (part of “Think, Pray, Love”) 2016 06 10

Words of welcome:

Welcome to our morning gathering
We come to be renewed in our minds
We come to share our thoughts
To question and be questioned, to challenge and be challenged
Trusting in God’s redeeming, transforming and liberating intention
For us and our world.

A reading from Paul’s Letter to the Believers in Rome, tempted on all sides to abandon their identity. Continue reading

Doctrine of Discovery/Vision of Reconciliation


Doctrine of Discovery/Vision of Reconciliation
2016 06 05 – 
Bathurst United Church sermon, before a congregational meeting responding to the TRC Calls to Action.

We ended the service with a commissioning based on the Ecumenical Statement on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This reading was prepared by Ken McEvoy who served as worship leader and kindly made the texts available:
Full version; Short Version

Scripture: Revelation 22:1-12 (NRSV)
Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

I was asked to speak about the Doctrine of Discovery. While I could give a lengthy workshop on its history and legality, I thought it was more appropriate to talk about the spirituality of the Doctrine of Discovery. Where does it come from? Where in our scriptures? And what are the resources within our own religious tradition to combat it? Continue reading

Prayer of Protest


Prayer of Protest
1.5 hour Workshop offered at Cahoots Festival, 2015

Prayer can be used to name injustice; lament sickness, destruction and death; to glorify God and much more. Prayer has always been part of faith-driven social movements as a way to unify struggles, collectively calm our woes, and remind ourselves (and others!) that God is bigger than the Powers that aim to deny God’s goodness in the world.

Participants will discuss their experiences of prayer – good and bad, faithful or desperate, silent or shared. We will talk about how glorifying God can be a revolutionary practice. We will design Christian Peacemaker Teams Emergency Prayer Vigil Kits to help bring prayer into the public square.
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Prayer Service before River Run


Prayer Service before the River Run
2016 06 02 – Organised by Christian Peacemaker Teams and the Student Christian Movement

Welcome (Peter)
We are many individuals but we are one body.

We share a basic chemistry with each other and with the creation we are a part of.
The vapour on a single breath in winter and the sweat on the single body and summer – we share this nature with clouds, springs, tides and oceans.

When one part suffers, the whole suffers. When one river is poisoned, that poisons the whole of creation, including all of us.

As people of faith and people gathered in this watershed, we bring our hearts and minds and bodies together to speak for the waters, to support the Anishinabekwe of Grassy Narrows, and to commit to a reconciling relationship that starts with justice.

Group Prayer before River Run
Sarah Mikhaiel (SCM) leads the Litany of Repentance

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