Romans Pt II

“What is the “good news” of Jesus Christ? Why do people need to hear it? How can they experience it? What will it mean for their future? And what does the good news have to do with everyday life? These large and basic questions form Paul’s agenda in Romans—an agenda dictated by a combination of audiences, circumstances and purposes.

Last year we started into the book of Romans and worked our way–verse by verse–through the opening two chapters. This year, we pick up where we left off and keep moving forward.

As Luther said:
[Romans] is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes”

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Vision Sunday 2017

Vision Sunday 2017

vi-sion (noun): sight; the anticipation of what will come to be; a vivid, imaginative concept

Each year at this time we talk about our common vision. Each year we take time to look a little ahead of ourselves, project where our path might lead us, make adjustments if necessary, and re-orient ourselves to our true north.

This is the chance to share what is on our minds and hearts, what it is we can do and be for our friends and families, for our communities and work places, for Calgary and our world. This is a day to find alignment as a community around some of our most exciting possibilities. And there is a lot on the horizon.

Discussion Notes:
Vision Sunday 2017

Holy Week 2017

Holy Week 2017

Holy Week

Palm Sunday

Every year we realize that we need to tell and hear the story once more. Every year we find ourselves surprised by it, overwhelmed, and yet comforted in a way that’s hard to explain. Every year we are drawn back to humble worship, and the pledge of renewed commitment.
We invite you to take time to embrace the story:

Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, April 9 as we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.

Discussion Notes:
Palm Sunday 2017

Stations of the Cross 

On the Tuesday and Wednesday (April 11 and 12), we invite you to experience the Stations of the Cross, a rehearsal of the last hours of Jesus’ life. A specially prepared booklet will guide you through the stations and the church will be open from 9am to 9pm for you to come, reflect on the season and pray as we move toward Resurrection.

Download the Reflection Booklet here (print copies will be available at the church)

Good Friday

Join us to remember Good Friday on April 14. We will have two services at 9AM and 1030AM.
The religious leaders derided Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” (Luke 23:35)

The Roman soldiers joined in with the taunt, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” (Luke 23:36)

One of the criminals hanging beside Him pressed the message upon Him, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” (Luke 23:39)

Everything about the cross event was bent to the task of pressuring Jesus toward self-preservation. The core essence of God’s character was under siege. The pivotal question of the ages hung before men and angels, Who is the Ruler of the universe? What is He really made of at heart? Will His love prove itself a sham under pressure, or will He plunge to the deepest depths of total self-sacrifice for others?

He could have saved Himself and abandoned us to our selfishness and hate. But He simply, profoundly, chose not to.

Resurrection Sunday

Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ. This is something that anyone who knows me could tell you, and I am not afraid to say it publicly, no matter what some people may think.

I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.

–Peter Rollins

The Christian faith is an Easter faith. That means it is ultimately a joyous and hopeful view of the world. Christ has triumphed over the enemies of life. Death, sin, and despair have been given an expiry date. Love, hope, and mercy have fully guaranteed futures.

But this Easter faith we participate in, does not come cheaply or without challenge. There is a pathway to joy that must be taken seriously. Let us endeavour to truly follow the way of Jesus this Easter with grace and peace.

Discussion Notes:
Easter Sunday 2017

Sermon by the Sea

Sermon by the Sea

Sermon by the Sea

Most of us know the Sermon on the Mount. The foundational sermon Jesus gives as he launches his public career. It’s a masterful invitation into the life of God. Most of us are less familiar with the Sermon by the Sea. An enigmatic sermon Jesus gives later in life as he is preparing to head toward the cross.

If the sermon on the mount presents us with the common sense life of God and the practical steps we can take to experience it, the sermon by the sea presents us with the strange and paradoxical imagination of the upside down kingdom. A kingdom where Jesus’ death is his crowning glory, and to give away everything becomes the means to receiving what we have always truly, deeply wanted. As we prepare ourselves for Easter, we explore the sermon of Jesus that perhaps most directly pointed to the surprise of Holy Week.

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If tithing isn't part of following Jesus, where does generosity fit into the faith equation? On Sunday I threw out a quick statement about our relationship to money while I was talking about Jesus' words in Matthew 13.
I have been loving our current series in the parables but one of the questions I am often asked is how do you read these stories well? How do you notice the subtleties that Jesus embedded in the story?

Thessalonians vs Thessalonians

Thessalonians vs Thessalonians

There are two letters to the city of Thessalonica in our Bibles. Both are traditionally held to be written by the apostle Paul and yet some scholars have questioned that because of the apparent contradictions in the content. One letter seems to encourage its readers to prepare for the imminent return of Christ. The second letter seems to be putting the breaks on and reminding the readers that they will still have to engage in culture, keep their jobs, and pay their bills. But is this really a contradiction? Or perhaps part of an ongoing struggle to find balance in our faith. Let’s explore together how Paul addresses this community, watches as they respond, and pastors them toward a healthy rhythm in life.

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