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Sun, Jan 14

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Vancouver

Sermon Series

Beginning on January 14, we are embarking on what is affectionately known in the trade as “a sermon series”. This sermon series is called 'Blessings and Goodness.' More information on this series is available below.

Sermon Series
Sermon Series

Time & Location

Jan 14, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Vancouver, 2195 W 45th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 2J4, Canada

About the event

Message from coordinating minister, Maggie Enwright:

Beginning on January 14, we are embarking on what is affectionately known in the trade as “a sermon series”. Let me confess – I have never been a big fan. I attended theological school in the era of the United Church liturgical renewal and so was steeped in the lectionary and seasons of the church year. As a consequence I prefer our services and themes to be dictated by the collective church calendar and the assigned scripture for the day, rather than the whim of the preacher and the latest book they happened to have read.

This time, however, it was not a personal preference of a preacher, but a collective decision by the community of those who gathered for our “Creative Minds” event last November. Each person who attended was invited to bring a book that they thought might have “liturgical potential” and offer it as a basis for the worship theme over the five week period which encompasses the Sundays after Epiphany and before the beginning of Lent. The two books that emerged as the top choices were: “To Bless the Space Between Us” by John O’Donohue and “Made for Goodness (And Why This Makes All the Difference)” by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. Both of these books invite us to focus on the power for good in ourselves and in our world and to use that power to choose the path of blessing for ourselves and for others.

I have both a fear and a hope about embarking on this series.

My fear is that this will turn out to be a bit of a Pollyannish-accentuate-the-positive-and-eliminate-the- negative-theme – somehow inappropriate and naïve as the world around us continues in crisis. If, however, you recall the socio-political climate in which Desmond Tutu did much of his work and ministry, you will know he does not shy away from harsh realities. And if you are familiar with the prose and poetry of John O’Donohue, you will know that his writing carries a depth that pierces the darkness rather than avoids it.

My hope is that the series will open up new possibilities for blessings and rituals that our community might participate in that will feel authentic and nurturing and sustaining. We are in need of that. What’s more, the world is in need of that.

- Maggie, for the Ministry Team

Evil cannot have the last word because we are programmed – no, hard-wired – for goodness. Yes, goodness can be enlightened self-interest. Kindness builds goodwill. Generosity invites reciprocation. But even if there were absolutely no material benefit to being kind, you can’t counterfeit the warm glow that you have inside when you have been kind. You just can’t! That glow is something you relish because that’s how we’ve been created. To be hateful is operating against the deepest yearnings that God placed in our hearts. Goodness it not just our impulse. It is our essence.”

from “Made for Goodness” by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

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