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.
On the Jesus Train: Bruce Cockburn and a Christian Imagination
Part bible study, part listening party, for four weeks we will ride the Jesus train, listening for deep biblical resonances in the music of Bruce Cockburn. All are welcome, regardless of religious affiliation. No prior knowledge of Bruce Cockburn or the Bible necessary.
For more information, go to bibleremixed.ca.
Redeemer Readers is the church’s book club. It was founded in 2008 and is now led by Pauline Thompson (an emeritus professor at the University of Toronto and a parishioner at Church of the Redeemer for over 30 years). We read 5-6 thematically related books a year, and have covered a wide range of topics; we finish the year with a novel. Usually there are about a dozen participants. For the past two years we have met on Zoom but we look forward to a time when we can again meet in person.
Our theme for 2021-22 is The Church in the 21st Century. This fall we read two books by the Episcopal Priest Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church and Learning to Walk in the Dark. On January 27 we met to discuss a book of essays with the arresting and evocative title The Church Has Left the Building. There are several options for Lent (meeting March 31) and the final novel for the year is Evensong by Gail Godwin (May 19). See below for more detail.
Upcoming discussions for 2022 are scheduled for the dates noted below, at 12:00 PM. Please contact email@example.com for more information, and Marjorie Wrightson at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom link.
Gail Godwin. Evensong. Ballantine Books, New York, 1999. 405 pp. To read Gail Godwin is to touch the very core of human experience. With Evensong, she translates our everyday existence into soul-touching truths as she brings to life the people of a small Smoky Mountain town — and a woman whose world is indelibly altered by them. The central character, Margaret, is an Episcopal priest. Evensong is a “quiet, thoughtful, intelligent look at the complexities of faith” (San Francisco Chronicle).
All these books are widely available in paperback, with an average cost of around $25. Coffin’s Credo and Godwin’s Evensong are available through the Toronto Public Library.
Summer Readers at Redeemer
Freeing Jesus by Diana Butler Bass
Who is Jesus?
Who is Jesus for you?
In Freeing Jesus, Diana Butler Bass explores these questions. Current social research suggests both believers and nonbelievers are becoming less comfortable with creeds and dogmatic statements. But Jesus, she insists, is not bound by dogma.
“Who,” she writes, “is a relational question.” Drawing on her personal memories from inside and outside the church, and reflecting six different ways she has experienced Jesus over six decades, Bass encourages us to look more closely at our own experience of Jesus.
Summer Readers will follow our usual format: discussion groups of ten to twelve each. We’ll meet weekly to reflect on the book chapter by chapter, beginning the first week of July and ending mid-August. These groups have been wonderful occasions of community. Come share your reflections, renew acquaintances, and make new friends!
Once again, groups will meet on Zoom this year, both because of the ongoing uncertainties around Covid, and the better to accommodate summer travel. You can tune in from anywhere you’ve got internet!
Please register here. If you’d like us to order a copy of the book for you, for $18.50, please be sure to register no later than June 3. If you need assistance with purchase of the book, don’t hesitate to let us know. We have funds available to defray the cost. We’ll be in touch with registrants about organizational details the second half of June.