At the Redeemer, we know that asking deeper questions and exploring issues of faith help us grow both as individuals and as a community.
The Sunday Explorations series is taking a break through Lent and resumes after Easter. Join us then for more discussions on selected topics, Scriptural reflection, book talks, and more, Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the Board Room downstairs. The sessions are a wonderful chance to get to know one another better and to share questions, concerns, and insights about our faith and how we live it.
Lenten Book Study:
The Risk of the Cross: Living Gospel Nonviolence in the Nuclear Age (Art Laffin)
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century?
More to the point, in an era of increasing war and violence, that sees nations expanding and redeveloping their nuclear arsenals, what does it mean to follow the one who said “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “Love your enemies?” It is a call of both blessing and risk.
Using the Gospel of Mark, thoughtful reflection on the text, and drawing from contemporary peace literature, Art Laffin’s The Risk of the Cross: Living Gospel Nonviolence in the Nuclear Age challenges us towards an engaged discipleship of nonviolent resistance to evil as the only means to build God’s reign of justice and love.
We will gather for four sessions to discuss the book and reflect together on our call to a discipleship of love and nonviolent resistance to evil. The fifth session will bring all participants together at Redeemer for a Eucharist shaped around a vision of peacemaking, March 20 at 6:30 PM.
Paul Pynkoski will host an in-person group at the Royal Conservatory Coffee Shop 2 PM on Wednesdays, February 21 and 28, March 6 and 13.
John Deacon will host a Zoom-based group Wednesday evenings (same dates) at 7 PM.
We will place a group order for copies of the book at the end of January. If you want us to order a copy for you, please indicate that with your registration no later than January 31. The cost is $29. We have funds available to purchase the book on your behalf if this is unaffordable.
Reading and Praying the Psalms Together
Whether you don’t know a psalm from a palm, or you’ve been praying them all your life, please join Redeemer member Prof. Judith Newman for this three-session course via Zoom! Meetings are Thursday evenings 7-8:45 PM. Registration will be available soon.
Just as the Bible doesn’t speak with one voice, so too, the book of Psalms reflects a host of voices, individual and communal–sharing joys, crying out laments, and giving thanks. We’ll consider formal “academic” approaches to the psalms, but also theological and spiritual aspects, as we read and pray them together.
April 18: Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.
Understanding how Hebrew poetry works can deepen our appreciation of the psalms. Our first session will look at the characteristics of Hebrew poetry: parallelism and word pairs. We’ll read Psalm 18 and consider both its formal aspects and theological content.
April 25: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
There are many types of psalms: laments, thanksgivings, royal psalm, wisdom psalms and more. The predominant type is the individual lament. In the second session, we will read Psalm 22–the first words of which were on Jesus’s lips as he hung on the cross.
May 2: Bless Yahweh, O my soul.
The Dead Sea Scrolls include many psalm texts, including some new ones not contained in our Psalter. There was a proliferation of the psalms at the time when the New Testament was written. God’s activity in creation was and remains a particularly important theme. We’ll focus especially on Psalm 104.
About Redeemer Explorers
Our congregation offers a rare and rich diversity of learning opportunities. These include the initiatives of committees and ministry areas like Creation Matters and the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group (ISWG), as well as offerings from outside the parish, such as the courses led by Sylvia Keesmaat and Brian Walsh through Bible Remixed.
Redeemer Explorers aims to complement these offerings with opportunities for small-group discussion and reflection, experiential learning events like labyrinth walks, and occasional one-time programs on specific topics.