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I’m always on the search for interesting worship music.
Recently, I stumbled on some songs from Church of The Beloved, a Lutheran Church plant across the pond in Edmonds, Washington. Beloved is on my bucket list of nearby Churches to visit in the next couple years. (Beloved is also sister parish to Church of the Apostles – also on the list – and, at least from what I’ve heard, the two represent some of the more interesting younger church plants in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions – and both compose a lot of their own worship music – but I digress.)
One of the songs from Beloved that I downloaded to my iPod a while back is based on the words of Martin Luther and is called “Come Holy Ghost”.
One day, it randomly started to play while the kids and I were driving in the car.  The words, backed by a haunting tune went like this:

… I guess when it rains it pours (at least here in Victoria).  Here’s another one I wrote for the Spiritually Speaking Blog. The more I wrote on this one, I realized I have about three of four postings along this line – so stay tuned for more ‘localism’ posts!  r


“In whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.”   —Abba Anthony, 3rd century AD

* * *

We live in an age characterized by increased mobility.  It is more and more common for us North Americans to live in many places, have several careers, and to travel often.  With this backdrop to our lives, the idea to settle down into a single place for the long haul… well, that seems kind of quaint, doesn’t it?

In spite of the odds, the notion of ‘rooting in place’ is becoming increasingly popular with some folks.  Read the rest of this entry »

This upcoming Sunday marks the Feast of Christ the King.  Here’s a little reflection on that notion.

Many years ago now, I heard NDP MP and Christian Minister Bill Blakie speaking at a conference on ‘Christ and Empire’.  There, Bill posited that Christians need to hold up Jesus as eternal sovereign against empire – to proclaim Jesus as the “King of kings” (over all other kings).  Though I can’t remember his exact words, he proclaimed that reclaiming this “King of kings” notion might be the only way that Christianity might actually be able to re-establish some of its ancient prophetic voice – a voice which in ancient times challenged and shook empire down to its very roots.  After the talk – I approached Bill and asked him to expand on this. In the conversation Bill admitted to me that without a  high view of Christ (or a high Christology, as the theologians like to say) – without the ability to see Christ as King – we Christians really have few resources to challenge the notion of earthly ’empires’ of oppression, violence and injustice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Somehow, I found myself shopping at Walmart the other day.  I can’t say I’m particularly proud of the fact that I was shopping there. The reason why I was there (as well as my resistance to being there!) is a long story and is outside of the scope of this post.

The ethics and ideals of shopping aside, there I was, pushing my 2-year old son in an oversized shopping buggy when, seemingly out of nowhere, he  started shouting a song at the top of his lungs.

Yes, right there in the middle of the produce section – somewhere between the genetically modified peppers and the biotech plums he started shouting this:

 Holy Holy Holy Lord! God of Power and Might!
Heaven and Earth of Your Glory are filled!
Hosanna in the Highest!

Read the rest of this entry »

I think this is one of the best ‘Christian’ hymns ever written by a Montreal-California Jewish Buddhist poet-pop star.

Read the rest of this entry »

About 10 years ago, I was part of starting an experimental, hip, alternative worship service under the umbrella the then-budding emerging-church movement.  Relevance was our mantra.  “How can we make the church more relevant for ‘native post-moderns’”? we asked as we consumed designer beverages at our planning meetings.

Though the experience of starting that worship was a good one, I do have to confess that 10 years on I’m skeptical about the very notion of relevance. I’ve learned that a desire for relevance – especially in the church world – has too much to do with performance, about keeping up with (or mimicking)  the culture and ultimately about making worship a commodity to feed a client base.  It is too often a last-ditch attempt for congregations or denominations to fight with futility against their own imminent death, by simply injecting a little ‘relevance’ into their worship.  Heck, maybe the youth will even show up!

And that might even work – at least for a while.   Read the rest of this entry »

I waited patiently for the Lord. - Psalm 40

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