Blood of the Covenant

23Mar

If you were to enter a blood oath with your child - would you let them walk through the parts? No, you'd insist they stay away. In the same way, God walks through the parts and Abram does not. God anticipates unfaithfulness and yet.... 

 

 

Blood: Life Cries Out from the Ground

8Mar

This sermon is about the question God asks Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" 

 

It kicks off our Lent series on BLOOD and it's a hopeful reflection on reconciliation and what it means to love your neighbour as yourself. 

 

One of our siblings wrote a lent devotional on this text which also fits with the theme of this sermon. You can find it here.  

 

Reflection: 

Who is your neighbour?

 

You might not think you have any 'enemies' but perhaps there are people in the world crying out for you to dismantle systems of oppression which you benefit from. Who might think of you as an enemy? 

Body: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth

8Mar

There aren't any marriages celebrated in the New Testament except the great wedding day when the world to come overshadows this world. The New Jerusalem comes like a bride! Heaven and Earth become one flesh. 

This is the conclusion of the BODY sermon - salvation is about our whole body, not just the soul and it's about the present and not just the future and it's about the power of God not just to us and for us, but through us and for the neighbourhood. What is our hope and how that impact the way we treat our bodies and the bodies of this world that we all call home? 

 

On this Sunday we celebrated a bunch of people becoming members of the BODY that is Awaken Church! 

Body: Marriage- What’s it for? Who’s it for?

22Feb

This week Jess Dell Andrews led us in an exploration of what the bible says about marriage. It's a complicated topic - the Old Testament conception around marriage was extremely different than the Western concept of romance and equality. The New Testament also doesn't talk about it much - the only married couple in the NT discussed in any detail is Annanias and Saphira and well..... that story doesn't end well. Both Paul and Jesus say that we should avoid marriage if we are able (so I guess God didn't design any of us to be a 'husband' or a 'wife') - marriage is an accommodation in the NT. And yet - marriage is good and beautiful and a powerful school to learn what it is to love your neighbour. 

 

Enjoy! 

Body: Story Time with Beth Carlson-Malena and Cal Malena

15Feb

This was the most beautiful Awaken gathering - thank you to all who helped make it happen!

 

Dr. Cal Malena is a ‘true blue’ Canadian Baptist. He grew up in First Baptist Church Prince Albert and then attended Avalon Emmanuel Baptist while studying to be a Chemical Engineer at the University of Saskatchewan. He went to the Baptist Leadership Training School (BLTS) before going on to Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and later did a doctorate at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in San Francisco. His ministry started by directing Baptist camps at Katepwa and Christopher Lake in Saskatchewan. While working for Shell Oil in Calgary, he was involved in the planting of the new church - Bonavista Baptist. After seminary, he went to First Baptist Lethbridge as an Associate Pastor. After that, for the next 27 years, he was at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Saskatoon. For the last 12 years he has been at First Baptist Prince George, first as Lead Pastor and then as Pastor Emeritus when he retired in 2015.

Over these decades, Cal has been very involved in denominational life, teaching courses through the Carey Centre, serving on the Board and as President of Canadian Baptist Ministries. He recently served on the Board of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC) for six years before being asked to resign because of his convictions on LGBTQ+ issues. Cal and his wife Joanne have 4 adult children and two grandchildren. They are active as allies to the Christian LGBTQ community and together they co-host a national support group for the parents of LGBTQ folks.

 

Beth grew up in Saskatoon and spent the first 22 years of her life at Emmanuel Baptist Church before moving to Vancouver to study theology at Regent College. While working on her MDiv, she spent several years living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, fostering friendship-building and community in her work with Jacob's Well Ministries, and co-pastoring a church plant called God's House. In 2013, she and her housemate Danice came out publicly, and they were married the following year. No longer able to work in the CBWC, they both accepted jobs with Generous Space Ministries, a Canadian non-profit dedicated to dismantling fear, division, and hostility at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality. Four years ago, Beth and her friend Mark launched a non-denominational affirming church called Open Way in Vancouver, where she co-pastors today, alongside her side-gig as a wedding officiant. 

Body: The Wisdom of Your Sexual Body

8Feb

This sermon was an exploration of toxic and untrue myths about sexuality and anatomy and invitation to see what our sexual bodies teach us about God. God's dream is always a dream of making love - God is the ultimate source and maker of love. 

 

Recommended Resources:

The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Gregoire

DIvine COmmunion: A Eucharistic Theology of Sexuality by Jay Emerson Thompson 

After Whiteness by Willie Jennings

 

The cultivation of belonging should be the goal of all education. Not just any kind of belonging, but a profoundly creaturely belonging that performs the returning of the creature to the creator and a returning to an intimate and erotic energy that drives life together with God. These words, intimacy and eroticism, have been so commodified and sexualized that we, Christians have turned away from them and fear that they irredeemably signify sexual antinomianism, moral chaos, and sin, or at least the need to police, such words and the power of they invoke. But intimacy and eroticism speak of our birthright formed in the body of Jesus and the protocols of braking sharing, touching, tasting, and seeing the goodness of God. There at his body, the spirit joins us in an urgent work, forming a willing spirit in us that is eager to hold and to help, to support and to speak, to touch and to listen, gaining through this work, the deepest truths of creaturely belonging: that we are erotic souls. No body that is not a soul, no soul that is not a body, no being without touching, no touching without being. This is not an exclusive Christian truth, but a truth of the creature that Christian life is intended to witness." - WIllie Jennings, After Whiteness

Body: The Wisdom of Your Sexual Body

8Feb

The cultivation of belonging should be the goal of all education. Not just any kind of belonging, but a profoundly creaturely belonging that performs the returning of the creature to the creator and a returning to an intimate and erotic energy that drives life together with God. These words, intimacy and eroticism, have been so commodified and sexualized that we, Christians have turned away from them and fear that they irredeemably signify sexual antinomianism, moral chaos, and sin, or at least the need to police, such words and the power of they invoke. But intimacy and eroticism speak of our birthright formed in the body of Jesus and the protocols of braking sharing, touching, tasting, and seeing the goodness of God. There at his body, the spirit joins us in an urgent work, forming a willing spirit in us that is eager to hold and to help, to support and to speak, to touch and to listen, gaining through this work, the deepest truths of creaturely belonging: that we are erotic souls. No body that is not a soul, no soul that is not a body, no being without touching, no touching without being. This is not an exclusive Christian truth, but a truth of the creature that Christian life is intended to witness." - Willie Jennings, After Whiteness

 

This sermon is an exploration of the toxic myths we've been taught about sexuality and anatomy and an invitation to consider God's vision of intimacy and connection.

 

Recommended Resources:

The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Gregoire

Divine Communion: Eucharistic Theology of Sexuality by Jay Emerson Johnson

After Whiteness by WIllie Jennings

Body: The Wisdom of Your Sexual Body

8Feb

This sermon was more about dismantling myths about sexuality and physiology with the goal to reframe our understanding of God's purpose for sexuality: always about intimacy and never about power and domination.

 

Recommended Resources: 

The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Gregoire

Divine Communion: A Eucharistic Theology of Sexuality by Jay Emerson Johnson

After Whiteness by Willie Jennings 

 

The cultivation of belonging should be the goal of all education. Not just any kind of belonging, but a profoundly creaturely belonging that performs the returning of the creature to the creator and a returning to an intimate and erotic energy that drives life together with God. These words, intimacy and eroticism, have been so commodified and sexualized that we, Christians have turned away from them and fear that they irredeemably signify sexual antinomianism, moral chaos, and sin, or at least the need to police, such words and the power of they invoke. But intimacy and eroticism speak of our birthright formed in the body of Jesus and the protocols of braking sharing, touching, tasting, and seeing the goodness of God. There at his body, the spirit joins us in an urgent work, forming a willing spirit in us that is eager to hold and to help, to support and to speak, to touch and to listen, gaining through this work, the deepest truths of creaturely belonging: that we are erotic souls. No body that is not a soul, no soul that is not a body, no being without touching, no touching without being. This is not an exclusive Christian truth, but a truth of the creature that Christian life is intended to witness." - Willie Jennings, After Whiteness

The Body of Christ: It’s a Church!

31Jan

Earlier in this series we talked about Jesus and Gender through the lens of asking, "If Jesus is God and Jesus is a boy - does being a 'boy' make you more like God?" and this sermon explores the idea that Jesus' body isn't a "boy" it's a "church"! WE are the body of Jesus and we are a diverse and complex system. So let's talk about what it means to be a part of the body of Christ and share the throne with Jesus as his body. 

 

Karen Keen gave this sermon at Awaken and you can find her blog at karenkeen.com 

 

Karen R. Keen is a biblical scholar and spiritual care provider at The Redwood Center for Spiritual Care and Education. She has taught biblical and theological studies in both academic and church settings. Trained as a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition, Karen loves seeing how God moves in people's lives in subtle and unexpected ways in daily life. She is the author of several books, including The Jesus Way: Practicing the Ignatian Spiritual ExercisesScripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships, and a forthcoming book (2022) entitled The Word of a Humble God: The Origins, Inspirationand Interpretation of Scripture. Karen earned her M.S. in education (counseling) from Western Oregon University, M.A. in exegetical theology from Western Seminary, and Th.M. in biblical studies from Duke Divinity School.

 

 

Body: Embodiment, Disability, and the Church by Pr Heather Morgan

25Jan

 
 
Heather Morgan is a queer, disabled pastor licensed in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and currently studying disability theology through her MDiv at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. Heather has a lifetime of lived experience as a physically disabled and neurodiverse woman as well as living in a neurodiverse partnership and parenting multiple children with disabilities. As well, she has more than two decades of professional experience walking alongside individuals with disabilities and their parents. Heather has passionately worked out her faith in the midst of her embodied reality for almost four decades, and loves nothing more than to pull up a fresh seat at the table for a dear sibling in Christ.
 
Listen to this beautiful sermon about the value of churches that are diverse! Hannah talks a bit about church history including Augustine and Gregory of Nazianzus  and their takes on the body and disability with a beautiful call to action from Luke 14 and the parable of the banquet! 

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