From the Minister's Study

From the Minister's Study - December 2017

Our theme this month is “Giving and Receiving”. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Faith Rocket chose this during the month when so many gift-giving traditions are taking place. And as we move into the winter of the year, when there is less light, more time indoors, it’s a natural time to also be intentionally reflective about the gifts given and received in our lives since last winter. 

Read more: From the Minister's Study - December 2017

From the Minister's Study - November 2017

"He was singing a melody he did not know, and yet the notes poured from his throat with all the assurance of long familiarity. They moved through the time-spinning reaches of a far galaxy, and he realized that the galaxy itself was part of a mighty orchestra, and each star and planet within the galaxy added its own instrument to the music of the spheres. As long as the ancient harmonies were sung, the universe would not entirely lose its joy." A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L'Engle, p.77

A couple of years ago when I was living in Nashville, I attended a concert by Portara Ensemble. I knew it was going to be good, but I was unprepared for how deeply and profoundly the performance would affect me. The theme of the evening was "On a Starry Night," and it featured songs written about the stars from a stunning variety of sources. More than that, however, was the music itself—the live performance.

Read more: From the Minister's Study November 2017

From the Minister's Study - October, 2017

Our Annual General Meeting is this month, right after the worship service on October 29th. Our Board of Directors -- who are our trusted elected leaders -- is asking us as a congregation to vote yes to joining the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord. If you haven't read it yet, this initiative, passed unanimously by the city council, can be found here: http://www.winnipeg.ca/Indigenous/WIA/default.stm

Some of you may remember that I shared parts of the Accord in a service during my candidating week back in May. I said then that, no matter the outcome of the vote to call me as your minister, signing on to the Accord seemed a natural choice for a congregation that already was living into a call for Truth and Reconciliation. One week later, you called me to come live among you as your minister, to become one of you, and join the ongoing story of this congregation. Even just two months in, I clearly recognize the same enthusiasm and dedication to this necessary work of healing that I glimpsed so many months ago.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - October, 2017

From the Minister's Study - September, 2017

As you may have already heard, sometime on Saturday, August 12th, our street sign was defaced in black paint with a message of racism and anti-Semitism. In the days following we learned that this was not an isolated incident, and that whoever did it continued down Wellington Crescent and into other areas of Winnipeg. City officials removed the graffiti from our sign as part of their full cleanup effort. I was able to speak with a Winnipeg police officer, who shared that this case is assigned to a major crimes unit that specializes in hate crimes.

Our mayor, Brian Bowman, made a public statement emphasizing that diversity is one of this city's many strengths, and denouncing this act in no uncertain terms. Read Brian Bowman's statement. While this hate crime did not reach our Jewish neighbors across the street, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, the nature of what was written was an attack on them simply for existing. I have reached out to their rabbis to assure them that we continue to be their allies.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - September, 2017