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    • Rev. Dawn Hutchings
    • B.A.(Hon.); M.Div.

      I serve in Team Ministry with Pastor Tom Doherty at Holy Cross Lutheran Church; a small progressive Christian community just north of Toronto in the town of Newmarket. Holy Cross Lutheran Church is a place for seekers of a Christianity that is unconstrained by church dogma, liberated by reason and imagination, and nourished by our passion for peace, justice, and diversity.

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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Pregnant with Possibility:  Was Mary a Virgin or Was Mary Raped?

Mary, this enigmatic woman has remained in the shadows for centuries. All too often the epithet “virgin” has been applied to the young woman who fell pregnant so long ago. As her Advent appearance approaches, I this re-post this sermon which I preached a couple of years ago in which I asked some questions about Mary. At the time I was reading Jane Schalberg’s “The Illegitimacy of Jesus”, John Shelby Spong’s “Born of a Woman” and “Jesus for the Non Religious” along with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg’s “The First Christmas” and this sermon is laced with their scholarship.

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Shattered Angel

As Christmas draws near, we turn to stories to express the inexpressible. Like the Gospel writers we are at a loss to explain the activity of our God in the world and so we too resort to story telling. Families gather and the reliable old stories are told. And each year new stories are added to our treasure troves as we seek to express the inexpressible and touch the hem of our God who is love. And what better way to touch and be touched by God than to tell stories of God’s love in the world. We all have treasure troves of stories of Christ taking on flesh and dwelling among us. My story took place when I was a young woman determined that my first Christmas living out in the world would be the type of Christmas that dreams are made of.

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Reckless Generosity – a Sermon for Thanksgiving

We are the wealthy ones on this planet. We live lives that are beyond the wildest dreams of 90 percent of the people who share this planet with us. We are richly blessed. We are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of most of the generations who celebrated Thanksgivings before us. We have much to be thankful for! Yet, when I remember the poverty of the majority of the people on this planet, all too often I begin to feel not gratitude, but guilt.

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We Need New Words to Praise the Silent Night Cosmically!

Silent night, holy night is a perennial favourite! T’is the season for nostalgia. But what if we are serious about providing more than nostalgia in our worship? Can we, or do we even dare to offer worshippers new images that endeavour to engage our reality? Can we touch the spiritual but not religious crowds that wander into our sanctuaries seeking an encounter with the Mystery we call God, with a hint of our unknowing. Or are we content to address only the nostalgia seekers with safe images designed only to warm and not excite the imagination? Dare we beckon the nostalgia seekers beyond their memories toward the future? I wonder? Maybe we can summon up the courage to compromise by simply adding a few new verses? The challenge belongs to all of us to write new words to enable us to sing our praise with integrity.

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Who IS God? – Not One, Not Two – a sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday

YAHWEH: I AM WHO I AM. From backseat somewhere far away, we can be heard to cry, “Who is God?” A legitimate question. Big Bang. Stardust, DNA. Evolution. Expanding universes. Quantum leaps. Higgs Boson. Expanding consciousness. String theory. Black holes. 14 or 26 dimensions of space and time. Metaphysics. Metamorphosis. Meta-literal. YAHWEH: I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE. Who is this God? I AM the bread of life. Give us this bread.

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Big Bang, Darwin, and Evolutionary Images of Divinity

In the words of our ancestors as they grappled to tell the story of the Divine Mystery we call God, it is written. “Then God spoke all these words, and said, “I AM YAHWEH who brought you …

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Teach Us to Pray, with Pastor Dawn- Class #1

Published on Sep 29, 2014
When you no longer believe that God is a cosmic puppeteer, why pray? An exploration of progressive Christian ideas about prayer. In the stories handed down to us from our ancestors, we hear the disciples of Jesus ask, “Lord teach us to pray!” For generations Christians have continued to seek ways to communicate with the ONE we call God. Progressive Christians seek new ways of understanding God and notions of God as a cosmic puppeteer who lives in the sky are being replaced with images which point toward the Reality which lies at the heart of all that is. As we begin to see God as the ONE who lives and breathes in, with, through, and beyond us, our understanding of prayer is evolving. This Keynote presentation includes youtube videos of John Shebly Spong – Honest Prayer Parts I and II, and Fred Plumer on Prayer and Progressive Christianity.

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A Little Self-Involved? Try Looking Outward!

The Gospel writer tells us that Nicodemus addressed Jesus with respect: “Rabbi” he said, “Teacher.” Then Nicodemus discloses his own heart, when he says, “We know you are a teacher come from God, for no one can perform the signs and wonders that you do, unless by the power of God.” Nicodemus heaps upon Jesus the kind of praise that many the Pharisee would have coveted for himself. Could Nicodemus have come under cover of darkness because he too wanted to be just like Jesus; a wonderful teacher capable of great things? Jesus, just like many the wise teacher before him and since him, delivers the blow that teachers all too often must deliver to their ardent admirers, Jesus pushes Nicodemus beyond his child-like ardor, to a vision of a life that is totally transformed. “The truth of the matter is, unless one is born from above, one cannot see the kindom of God.”

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