Learning, Growing, Changing

Good morning!

 

Learning, growing , changing – all these things happen in a variety of ways as we make this journey of life and faith. Sometimes it means opening ourselves to new information by reading and listening. Sometimes it happens as we meet new people and develop relationships that open new possibilities and understandings for us. Sometimes it happens as we move outside our comfort zone and find ourselves in new places and situations that stretch us. Our learnings might reinforce what we already know and believe; or they may offer us an unexpected experience that touches us with insight and wonder. In our journey of becoming all that we are called to be, the important part is that we do all that we can to gain understanding, ground our convictions, expand our horizons, and deepen our relationship with the Sacred. This is not easy. It is far easier to stick to what is familiar and to what we know. This provides a sense of security but it also means that we miss so much and we become fixed and stagnant. Sunday you were invited to step outside your comfort zone as we entered a time of worship in a different space and in a slightly different format. Thank you to all of you who dared to take this journey. Perhaps you left feeling blessed in some way and perhaps you left thinking “ that was okay but I don’t want to do that again”.  Both are wonderful in the experience of becoming.  Sometimes even when we don’t really like something there are still moments of connection and amazing grace. I am not a big fan of Taizé  Worship and it certainly is not the way that I would like to worship on a regular basis. However while attending the General Council in 2000 I was invited to step outside my place of comfort and to worship in this way as we discerned all of the issues coming before our church. What I experienced was an amazing presence of the Sacred in the midst of very difficult discussions. I felt the presence and power of the Holy Spirit that was tangible as we connected to one another and allowed Divine energy to flow through us. This opportunity helped me to form my thoughts and ground my actions in a way that enabled me to grow and learn and transform. When we dare to open the doors and allow the unexpected to enter there lies the possibility of things beyond our imagining.

 

The Open Doorway     ~ by Jyoti Sabi

 

The closed door locks in our deepest fears.

Shuts out the thief, the maimed, the stranger,

Protects us both from light and danger,

Saves us from the unwelcomed guest

Who may demand attention, disturb our rest.

Threaten and claim our most precious lives.

But closed doors seal us in our own tight fists.

 

Unlock our hearts, draw back the bolts

Roll stones away

For the open doorway’s wide embrace

Welcomes all unafraid and undismayed

And so makes possible movements of grace.

 

 

As we continue on the journey together may we be open to the movement of grace among us.

 

Blessings

Valerie

 

Reminders of the Week

 

Saturday 7pm at St. John’s Anglican – An Ecumenical Service “ Make a Joyful Noise!”  Featuring 8 different musical offerings from various churches including First United Church Choir.   YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT!!!!!

 

This Sunday  – Worship in the Sanctuary as usual and the question of the week is “ Which is more important, what we believe or what we do?”  This is also World Wide Communion Sunday

 

Worship Committee  –  immediately following worship in the Parlour

 

Youth Group  –  Meet in the church parking lot Sunday at 3pm

 

Additional Food for Thought on Last Sunday’s Question  “ What is the Bible?”

 

By Jim Taylor

The signboard for a local church asked, “Are Science and the Bible compatible?”
        Well, of course they are. If you cherry-pick the right verses, you can show that the Bible knew about everything from DNA to dinosaurs long before science discovered them.
        After all, the Bible contains around 780,000 words, in 66 books, officially credited to 40 authors. But the book of Isaiah had at least three authors. Several of Paul’s letters were written by someone who wasn’t Paul. Tradition says that Moses wrote the    first five books of the Bible, but a careful examination reveals that at least four groups shaped sections of the narrative to suit their own priorities. The Psalms identify more than a dozen different writers, plus another 47 by that prolific author, Anonymous. And the Proverbs are a collection of folk wisdom, by who knows how many people.
        Total, up to 100 authors.
        If you took any library shelf containing the writings of 100 different authors, you could almost certainly find in those texts at least one sentence that would support any idea at all.
        So yes, science and the Bible can be compatible.
        But using the same process, you could pick texts to prove that the Bible and science are hopelessly incompatible.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?
        I wonder, though, why it’s so important to prove that the Bible and science can be compatible. Is there an underlying assumption that if they aren’t compatible, one of them must be rejected?
        Given the stated theology of this particular denomination, I bet it wouldn’t be the Bible. The Bible, they would insist, is a complete and inerrant revelation of God’s intentions. And God cannot be wrong.
        But the Bible is not God’s only word.
        As letter writer to a Christian Reformed Church periodical argued, several decades ago, he saw no conflict between science and the Bible. He called the Bible God’s faith textbook; he called the world God’s science textbook.

ARTIFICIAL DISTINCTIONS
        I would go farther. I would argue that God IS science.
        God is the laws of physics that enabled the universe to explode into existence. God is the laws of chemistry that allowed certain atoms to bond with other atoms, forming new materials. God is the principles of biology by which individual cells cluster together to function more effectively — including becoming human bodies. God is the social sciences that explore how we human beings relate to each other, and to all other beings. God is the immutable, unchanging laws of mathematics that ensure two and two will always make four.
        When the Bible disagrees with science, it doesn’t mean that God was wrong. It means simply that the people trying to discern ultimate truths grasped only part of the picture. Just as Ptolemy got only part of the solar system right, Einstein missed quantum theory, and Newton had flaws in his calculus.
        Later generations of scientists corrected those mistakes.
        Bible writers did the same. The prophets revised earlier understandings of a vengeful God; the New Testament records a shift to a loving God.
        But in one sense, I suppose, the Bible and science are not compatible. Science acknowledges and corrects its errors; true believers seem unwilling to do the same with the Bible.
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Copyright © 2014 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups, and links from other blogs, welcomed; all other rights reserved.
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