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  • Julie Canlis

The Pilgrimage Through the Church Year Begins

Dear Trinity, When Eugene Peterson said “We were created to live rhythmically in the rhythms of creation," he was reminding us that we are not just spiritual beings, but also embedded beings - embedded in creation, in seasons, in relationships, in all the goodness of what it means to be human. This is not a limitation - it is a superpower! C. S. Lewis plays with this notion in his poem "On Being Human" when he compares humans to angels who have superior knowledge of the world, but who cannot enter it as we humans can because they lack "embeddedness" in the created world. We are humans. We are creatures. We are dust. And yet ... ... and yet this is our glory. God's glory is revealed in the frailest things, like babies and crucifixions. And so as we stand before God, as beloved creatures under the limitations imposed by our humanity, we also can work WITH these limitations to know and love God in our unique way as only humans can. (This is part of the secret as to why he created us!) So if we are created to "live rhythmically in the rhythms of creation" (as Peterson says above), then the understanding and honoring of time is fundamental to our discipleship. There is nothing holy in itself about following the church calendar, but it is tapping into our superpower (being embedded in creation and time) to help us with holiness (which is living the Jesus-story in our stories). This weekend (Sunday night, 7:30-8:30pm on Zoom - apologies to Rachel Madson who spends her whole life on zoom!) I will be kicking off our first monthly gathering around understanding the Church Year (or "Liturgical Calendar" as it is also called). If you'd like to join . . . sign up ! And also pick up at church on Sunday morning a copy of Bobby Gross's book that we will be following called Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God (as well as the optional book by Kimberlee Ireton, The Circle of Seasons - bring cash, cheque or credit card). Bobby has recorded a personal message for Trinity Church, because he is so excited that we are working through his book this year:

Bobby Gross (Author of "Living the Christian Year") records a message for Trinity

Finally, as part of the Calvin College "Worshipping Communities" Grant (of which this book study is a part), we have been given funds to hire artists to help us engage the Church Calendar more deeply. We also have funding for speakers to give us lectures on the church calendar, so this will be a learning pilgrimage for all of us. Glad to be walking this journey alongside you ...


PS - This is not a book group for this year, but also for sale on Sunday will beMark Galli's book "Beyond Smells and Bells" which is a very wonderfulintroduction to anyone experiencing a liturgical church for the first time. Here are some of the chapter titles:

  • “How the Liturgy Draws us into Community”

  • “How the Liturgy Helps us Meet a Holy and Loving God”

  • “The Liturgy is More Relevant than We Can Imagine”

  • “How Liturgy Reshapes our Sense of Time”

  • “How the Liturgy Changes our Sense of Place”

  • “Why the Liturgy Engages the Whole Body”

  • “How the Liturgy Helps us Know God with Imagination”

  • “How the Liturgy Changes Us at the Very Core of our Being"

PPS - The "Open Table" group will be exploring the book of Revelation, under the teaching of Father John Behr (Orthodox) and other theologians (Anglican, Pentecostal, non-denom, and more) once/week for this coming academic year. Highly recommended!

Costs around $100 to participate and listen in on as these scholars discuss Revelation on Thursday mornings, 9-10:30am.


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