They say it takes at least three years for people to get to know each other well. The assumption is that by the third year, you’ve gone through a lot of different experiences together, both good and bad. You’ve probably faced obstacles, seen each other under stress, and had disagreements. People open up to each other at their own pace, and some might even say you can never really truly know someone – just when you think you do, something unexpected happens. In the Gospel of Mark, there is a recurring theme – Jesus’ identity. His identity is affirmed in some cases, concealed in others, and revealed under extraordinary circumstances. Why is it important to understand who Jesus is, why he came to earth, and what he did for us? The Gospel of Mark puts our faith under a microscope and challenges us to evaluate, or even to re-evaluate, our understanding of Who is Jesus. Take this journey with us.
Easter marks one of the biggest celebrations in the Christian calendar. Join us this Easter as we reflect on and celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and ask what relevance that has for our lives today. We have something for everyone from children to adults, skeptics to believers. All are welcome.
There is a lot of talk and focus on mental health issues these days, with advertisements and company sponsorships encouraging people to speak up and seek the help they need. We are hearing more stories of deep struggles as people are coming forward to share their experiences. This is backed up by statistics saying that one in five Canadians will suffer with mental health issues in their lifetime. Being a person of faith does not exempt us from the conversation. And it does not exempt us from facing deep challenges in our own lives. What it can do is drive us to the bible to see what God says about things – things like our inner self, our thoughts and emotions. This month we will look to God’s word for comfort and solutions to some of life’s most challenging questions.
Some people are particular about their New Year’s resolutions, carefully setting goals that will lead to improvements in their lives. In some circles, it becomes a challenge to see who will break their resolution first. Then there are others who don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions at all, as a matter of conviction or simply…
What’s part of your Christmas tradition? In the Philippines, a giant lantern festival is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. The competition is fierce as everyone pitches in to build the most elaborate lantern. In Venezuela, on Christmas eve, people head to church on roller skates. This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so people can skate to church in safety. Christmas remains a novelty in countries like Japan, however some quirky traditions are emerging, like feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas day. In Toronto, the annual Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start to the holiday season. A Christmas Tree in Nathan Phillips Square – and the whole Square – light up, usually accompanied by spectacular fireworks. You may have your own family traditions handed down over generations, or want to start your own. Whatever your tradition, we welcome you to join us for the weeks leading up to Christmas. We will take an often-quoted verse from the book of Isaiah and dig deeper into the meaning of the names of God listed there. What’s in a name? More than you could have ever imagined. Take this Christmas journey with us.
Think about a time when something wasn’t going as you had hoped. Or the stresses had piled up so high that you could not see a way out. The day’s news alone can fill our minds with tragedies and potential storms that seem insurmountable. While words like “Everything is going to be ok” might seem superficial at first, what if these words were indeed true? What if you heard someone say to you, “We got this” – an expression used these days that, when sincere, shows we are not alone, there is someone who cares and can do something about it. This Sunday we encounter a chapter in the book of Daniel where the main character – Daniel – makes formidable predictions about the future of our world. We learned in our series that Daniel had a gift of interpreting dreams and visions. In this chapter, he had bad news to share…and good news. And the good news is worth hearing about especially today. Spoiler alert! “God’s got this.”