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Jeremy Duncan

Summer with the Psalms

Summer with the Psalms

Prayer is a pretty big deal. After all, at Commons we opened this year with prayer and we’re closing the year with prayer. From the Lord’s Prayer in the fall, to the Psalms prayer book in the summer, we’ve got instructions and illustrations to shape our prayerful souls in all seasons.

So what’s prayer to you? Is it the recitation of prayers you learned as a kid? Is prayer the words that spring up inside you like “thank you,” “help me,” and “I’m so sorry”? Maybe prayer is becoming less wordy and more connected to deep breaths, centred contemplation, and heart-soaring awe.

There are Christians in all kinds of traditions that pray the Psalms every day, morning and night. And sure, the prayerful poems are more familiar year after year, but they never stop speaking and shaping the human heart before God. Dive into the Psalms with us this summer and find yourself refreshed with honesty, lament, and praise.

Discussion notes for the summer series


Psalm 1


Habit

Habit

For better or worse, we’re more or less a collection of the things we do repeatedly.

For some of us, this is something we approach strategically, crafting our schedules to produce the best version of ourselves. For others, our patterns and tendencies leave us feeling like they control us.

In talking about these realities, David Brooks says that somewhere between our ‘resume virtues’ and our ‘eulogy virtues’—between our pursuit of wealth,significance, success and our desire forkindness, bravery, integrity—there is a need for an intentionally formed inner life.

Which means that, wherever we findourselves, there’s always an opportunity to start something new.

A new approach. A new tradition. A new practice.

Join us as we consider how the scriptures can be an unexpected guide on this journey.


The Habits of Rich Young Rulers

Discussion notes

Today we’re talking about the primacy of patterns, how deeply they shape us and what they reveal about our trust.

Bonus Material

We all know we're saved by grace but the truth is we are also changed by grace. Knowing ourselves as God knows us, as loved and welcomed and forgiven is the only thing that can actually transform us.


The Habit of Confession

Discussion notes

Today we are talking about confession and how it impacts us on both personal and communal levels.

Bonus Materials

Confession is a far more important category than we realize–even for Protestants.


The Habit of Singing

Discussion notes

Today we are talking about how our singing is about more than our songs.

Bonus Material

There is room for us to bring all kinds of emotion and experience into our corporate singing. But a big part of what we are doing when we gather to sing is declaring where we believe the story is going.


Wealth

Wealth

The great land owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away...

—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

We live with wealth. And not just money. We have time and resources and talents and opportunities that surround us here in Canada. And so the question is not so much whether wealth is good or bad but instead how we will steward such wealth— comparatively slight as it may seem at times—into channels that serve the Kingdom of God on earth.

Walter Brueggemann writes, “a study of the various biblical texts on money and possessions makes clear that the neighbourly common good is the only viable sustainable context for individual well-being.”

Our challenge then is to explore what
it means to enjoy our blessings, to plan wisely for our individual needs, all while contributing to the common good around us.

May we be wealthy well.


No Coveting

Discussion Notes
Today we are exploring the connection between memetic desire and the promise of God to set us free.

Bonus Material

Sometimes wealth is as much about perspective as it is about bank accounts.


Generosity and Justice

Discussion Notes
Today we are looking at the relationship between generosity and justice.

Bonus Material

A scarcity mindset can make it hard to celebrate with those we love but it can also steal from us our motivation to change the world for the better.


The Pursuit of Happiness

Discussion notes
Today we’re looking at wealth and our experience of happiness.

Bonus MaterialS


This weekend was also Pentecost Sunday. You can read through the liturgy we created for the day here.

Vision Sunday 2019

Vision Sunday 2019

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 reorient 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 workplaces, for Calgary and our world.

This is a day to find alignment as acommunity around some of our most exciting possibilities. And there is a lot on the horizon.

Discussion notes

Holy Week

Holy Week

Palm Sunday

We are approaching Easter, the centre, the hinge-point of the Christian faith. The moment we stop and watch, realizing that what we witness is on our behalf, for our life and hope and future.

Groups Discussion Notes

Bonus Material

Some thoughts on the “injustice” of grace.


Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross began as pilgrims retraced Jesus’ final steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where he was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to Jerusalem, they created local stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition.

Kensington Parish open 9AM-9PM Tuesday and Wednesday


Good Friday

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-giving for others?


Resurrection Sunday

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let them enjoy this beautiful and radiant day. If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of the Lord. If anyone has wearied themselves in fasting, let them now receive recompense.

Discussion notes

Bonus Material