St. Croix Church on Victoria
Why We Gather
In a short (8 minute) talk, Walter asks what the reason is for having a local church community, and he suggests that it's to create a social place that welcomes everyone interested to participate in exploring meaning together – to express it, to weave it into our lives, to act on it together, to connect it to where we’ve been and where we’re going. You can read the transcript if you'd rather read than watch the video. And after you listen, share your thoughts on what you think is the main reason to have a local church community.
Tradition and Revolution
Peter Fitch shared ideas from a chapter in a book by Thomas Merton called "Tradition and Revolution." Merton thinks that there is a form of traditionalism which is not helpful, just as there is a form of revolution which changes things only in appearance. And yet, there is something priceless, given by God, in the heart of tradition, and there is such a thing as a true revolution, which continually renews the heart as we turn back again and again to the revolutionary message of Jesus.
The focus this morning was on a poem by Paul Dupuis called "Tears." We began by watching a worship video from a conference in Brazil where the singers led with the song "Exalt the Lord our God." Next, Peter Fitch read several passages of Scripture that connected with ideas in Paul's poem. After that, Paul introduced the poem and read it. This was followed by discussion and prayers, and then we watched two videos of the same song, "One Day", by Matisyahu. The first is one we used fairly often through pandemic services. The second is from Koolulam, a group that creates social initiative gatherings with music. Both are beautiful, but the second seems miraculous as it brings together 3,000 Jews and Muslims to sing Matisyahu's song, crying out for the end of all violence and war. Peter explained that he thought this could be a symbol or icon of the need for the world to be reborn.
Happy Boxing Day!
Today a few of us gathered together to watch the Christmas Eve video that Jess and Janell made with Hayden Wiebe's help and with musicians young and old. Afterwards, we discussed ideas that we liked in the video and people shared thoughts and feelings in a beautiful way. If you haven't seen the video yet, here is a link to it.
"We gathered a few readings, reflections and some of our community’s beloved musicians to bring a glimmer of Christmas joy to you and yours at home this year. We hope you enjoy a moment of pause with this Christmas Eve Collective.
Blessings and Merry Christmas from St.Croix Church."
Today's service began with instrumental music by Michael Leung and Advent readings by Renate Gritter. Then, after prayers, we watched part of David Moore's talk from last week in Santa Barbara. It was called, "Mary, You did Know!" and can be found at this link. It would be good if everyone in the world could hear this talk. After that, Peter Fitch led in a conversation about Christmas presents God gave to the world in the Christian Gospel. At the end, Peter sang Stephen Foster's song, "Hard Times, Come Again No More."
Peter Fitch shares some thoughts about a subtle distinction that divides Christians, as well as others, into completely opposing attitudes toward social issues. Behind the obvious differences that come with being Orthodox, or Catholic, or Protestant, there are very different attitudes and practices in relation to power. Some individuals and groups have chosen coercion over a form of self-emptying, co-suffering love. Many have flipped and flopped from one kind of power to the other, at times looking like Jesus and at other times looking like His opposite. Understanding this may help us avoid manipulation and the temptation to oppress others in various ways.