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Three truths about stewardship

This has been difficult terrain for many years now. Giving throughout mainline Protestantism has been in free-fall for at least thirty years, and is proving to be challenging even in evangelical traditions that supposedly teach the tithe.

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The Geometry of Time – Sermon Video

The three major western religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, teach that time is linear but goes on for eternity. Many eastern religions tend to view time in repeating circular patterns. Both are guilty of undermining the message of environmental scientists who are telling us that we are simply running out of time. We have no reason to be certain that we will have an infinite number of chances to try again or that God will enter history and take us all away from a dying planet. The savior we are looking for is staring back at us from the bathroom mirror.

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Are You Sure?

A poem by Madeleine L'Engle

There is also a legend that Mary was not the first young woman to whom the angel came. But she was the first one to say yes.
And how unsurprising it would be for a fourteen-year-old girl to refuse the angel. To be disbelieving. Or to say:

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Advent. Resource Types: Poetry.

The Marion Diaries

Reflections by Michael Hollingshead

I could feel the warm afternoon wind blowing a few moments before; right through the window where I was standing, stacking some bowls.

A moment later it blew again, only this time it was cool and refreshing, and even smelled sweet like hyssop, or juniper, or jasmine.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Jesus Studies, Preaching/Teaching, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Texts: Luke, Psalms, and Titus. Resource Types: Readings and Sermons.

Poem to Mother Mary

“Blessed Virgin Mary, I’m coming full circle
and I want to be your…what is it I want?
I want to be your child and friend again.
May I?”

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Gender and Sexuality, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Resource Types: Poetry.

“Keep awake! Watch for we know not when Christ comes.

Advent is about waiting and watching: waiting and watching for the coming of Christ. We wait for just the right time to celebrate the birth of Christ in our midst and we watch for Christ’s promised return. But how do we wait and where do we watch?

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Mary, Joseph, Jesus (The Astronomers’ Carol)

From the Boundless Life collection

Mary, Joseph, Jesus,
The characters remain.
Shepherds and the angels,
Truth travellers’ contain
Shaped in ancient story’s
Sweet mystical refrain.

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When the child is at the center

From the Boundless Life collection

When the child is at the center,
When the babe is in the stall,
When the adult nurtures wonder,
When the carols warm us all,
Then the fragments come together
And the vision shines as one

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MARY’s STORY:  Let It Be 

The way you tell the Christmas story, it all sounds so simple. So simple. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I really like it. It’s just that for so long now people have been telling my story and the way they tell it, it all sounds so simple and easy, so neat and tidy, that I hardly recognize myself in the story. It’s not your fault.  It all started a long time ago. Luke and that other fellow Matthew, they started it all.  They wrote my story down and wouldn’t you know it they cleaned it all up. But who can blame them.  Nobody likes messy birth stories. And as birth stories go, my baby’s birth was a really messy one.

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