At the Redeemer, we know that asking deeper questions and exploring issues of faith helps us grow both as individuals and as a community.
Throughout the year, we offer a variety of speakers and learning series, providing opportunities to gather and learn together; details are provided here as well as through our eNews. A warm welcome awaits all who join – parishioners, friends and members of the wider community.
Looking for Resurrection
The Gospel appearances of the risen Christ are veiled in Mystery. The first thing on Easter morning, Mary Magdalene thinks he’s the gardener, until he calls her by name. Jesus falls in with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, as in our beloved chancel window, but they don’t recognize him until they’ve walked together, shared a meal, and their Guest has disappeared. The disciples are in a boat, see someone roasting fish on the shore, and then realize who it is. They’re gathered in a closed room in fear (as indeed many of us are now), and the Risen One somehow appears among them.
Discerning the Resurrection isn’t straightforward. No one has the Polaroids. We find hope in the midst of fear, an escape route from Pharoah’s army through the middle of the sea, reassurance in the face of uncertainty, comfort in the presence of pain, new life in a valley of dry bones. We’re surprised by deep joy, and find ourselves saying, “Oh–it’s You again.”
Learning@Redeemer (which is for the time being Learning Somewhere Within About 10 km of Redeemer) invites you to share the places you’re discerning Resurrection in your daily life as we negotiate this challenging, anxiety-laden season. Did the smile of a stranger on the street touch your heart? Did you connect with a friend you might not have contacted if it weren’t for the pandemic? Did a YouTube clip of Italians singing to each other from their balconies bring you joy? Are you grateful to your neighbours that their gardens are coming into bloom?
Every Sunday, beginning on April 19, we’ll post the Gospel reading for the week on a platform called Substack. We hope that you’ll then offer your own daily experiences of Resurrection for our community to share.
If you’d like to engage with the community via Substack, sign up for the L@R Newsletter. You will then be contacted via email when we’ve provided a new Gospel reading. The email will include a link where you can comment and respond to other people’s comments for that week.
Redeemer Readers – Church of the Redeemer’s Book Club
The group will meet this year in the board room on the lower level for one hour at noon on Thursdays – October 24, December 5, January 30, March 26 and May 7. New members are always welcome and all are invited to attend as many of the five sessions as you can. The books selected for reading this year all illustrate the consequences in people’s lives of what they believe, or what those who have authority over them believe. We will be able to see how good and bad belief systems affect their practices and their lives.
The Books We Will Read
Our brochure for this season is available here.
Thursday, May 7: Wounds Beyond Healing? – Robinson, Marilynne. Lila. Toronto: Harper Collins, first Canadian edition, 2014.
This is the third book of the Gilead trilogy, covering much of the same time period as Gilead and Home. Lila has made an appearance in the earlier books, but here her point of view is central. After her bare-survival childhood she meets the minister John Ames, is baptized, proposes to him and marries him. How complete is her transformation? Where do we see the remnants of her past popping up? Her theology is good, but how complete a conversion can good theology and a loving community bring about?
All are welcome. Please join in.
Contemplative Radical: The Legacy of Thomas Merton
Amidst a monk’s life of silence and prayer, Thomas Merton (1915-1968) authored over fifty books. Deeply rooted in the contemplative tradition, he spoke prophetically on issues of war, race, and the economy. He was a chaplain to the peace movement of the 1960s. A pioneer of interfaith dialogue, he formed relationships with Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi , and Jewish mystics and theologians.
Four sessions were held between September 18, 2019 and January 15, 2020. Links to the audio of these presentations are below.
Thomas Merton: Global Visionary – with Michael Higgins. Audio of this September 18 session is here.
Woods, Landscape, City: The Prophetic Spirituality of Thomas Merton – with Paul Pynkoski. Audio of the October 16 session is here.
Thomas Merton and Wisdom-Sophia: Awakening to the Feminine Face of God – with Christopher Pramuk. Audio of the November 20 session is here.
We Are Already One: Indigenous Peoples and Race in Thomas Merton – with Paul Dekar. Audio of the January 15 session is here. During the session, reference was made to the Digging Roots’ performance of “Cut My Hair”. This video can be viewed on YouTube.