As we celebrate the approaching Winter Solstice, here is a playful explanation of their origin – along with appreciation of the beauty they offer to our planet!
Story Book – This is a Serious Book
Contributed by Andrea Young
A solemnly playful story for all ages!
December is a time full of festivals and holidays. These are opportunities to contemplate the passing of time, to consider our place in the world, and to spend with people dear to us – weighty matters that go to the heart of who we are!
These are solemn questions, balanced by the playfulness that go with them – we take these occasions seriously… and we have fun with them, finding joy as we seek deeper understanding.
Outside of Sundays, we can Take the Theme Home with these resources, as we share this search together.
As we move into our theme of Healing the Spirit in November, we have a full course of resources to feed our awareness on our ongoing conversations on racial justice and anti-oppression, which are central to our prophetic role at the Fellowship.
To help us be well-fed for our Teach-in on White Supremacy on November 5, here is a menu of short, digestible resources. This is a full buffet of different media, including a generous helping of Canadian content! Help yourself to single servings, or try out the entire menu!
Appetizer: a sweetly accessible analogy of Tallness and Privilege (3-minute Read) explaining privilege with a palatable dash of humour.
Side-dish: a spicy video explaining that nebulous term – Intersectionality – with a feminist flavour (4-minute Watch). It is seasoned for a younger palate, but will intrigue the more adventurous gourmands.
Canadian Combo: Looking for a Canadian experience? Try out this sampler by Robyn Maynard, offering a powerful blend of Black Lives’ Experience in Canada(8-Minute Read)
And by our chefs from CBC Radio, you can savour this interview of Dr Nell Irvin Painter (33-Minute Listen)
Take-out Option: In a hurry? Take it to go! This Article of the Interview with Dr Nell Irvin Painter (3-minute Read) will give you a taste of her main points.
For a fuller experience, you can also watch the Original Lecture – simply click on the link and choose the option for Minns Lecture 1. You can pick-and-choose to watch the Lecture Only (54-minute Watch) or get add on the works, with the Full Video (1h47m Watch), including the Q&A session at the end.
Dessert: Still curious? Top up your awareness feed with this Confection (15-Minute Read) by Lori Lakin Hutcherson.
Green things growing are a sacrament.
The tiny flower in this stray plant
Is just as catching to the soul or mind
As the roses that proud in the corner stand,
And green things growing have a stubbornness.
They say to winter, to drought, to time, to us,
Wait until summer, until next year. Wait.
Let us bless the Earth,
And all that is steady and firm.
Let us bless the Sky,
And all that is open and filled with light.
Let us bless their union,
Holy and without ceasing.
Let us bless their children,
The bounty of field and forest,
Stones, plants, animals, and all living things.
May the gifts of the Earth and Sky
Strengthen, refresh, nourish, and heal the peoples of the Earth.
Free Will – Sam Harris – ISBN 9781451683400 – suggested by Mike Jan
A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.
Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.
Choice Theory – William Glasser – ISBN 9780060930141
William Glasser’s choice theory begins with the idea that behavior is not separate from choice; we all choose how to behave at any time. Second, we cannot control anyone’s behavior but our own.
Choice theory posits most mental illness is, in fact, an expression of unhappiness. Glasser champions how we are able to learn and choose alternate behaviors resulting in greater personal satisfaction.
The Illusion of Conscious Will – Daniel Wegner – ISBN 9780262731621
Wegner argues that it is easy to show that people have the illusion that they are in control of events when actually they aren’t. Based on neurological research, he concludes that unconscious brain events cause both the intention to act and the action, but conscious intention does not cause actions.
You, me, the trees, the birds, squirrels, the creek, the air, the stars are all phenomena. There is a relationship between one phenomenon and another. If we observe things deeply, we will discover that one thing contains all the other things. If you look deeply into a tree, you will discover that a tree is not only a tree. It is also a person. It is a cloud. It is the sunshine. It is the Earth. It is the animals and the minerals. The practice of looking deeply reveals to us that one thing is made up of all the other things. One thing contains the whole cosmos.
When we hold a piece of bread to eat, if mindfulness is there, if the Holy Spirit is there, we can eat the bread in a way that will allow us to touch the whole cosmos deeply. A piece of bread contains the sunshine. That is not something difficult to see. Without sunshine, the piece of bread cannot be. A piece of bread contains a cloud. Without a cloud, the wheat cannot grow. So when you eat the piece of bread, you eat the cloud, you eat the sunshine, you eat the minerals, time, space, everything.
One thing contains everything.
With the energy of mindfulness, we can see deeply.
(from Going Home Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hahn)
Recipe – Simple Bread
Want to make more bread like we did this past Easter? Missed out on the service? Here is a version of the simple bread recipe we used for our “Flour Communion”!