Adult Spiritual Development - ACTS Ministry

AWAKENING COMPASSION through THEOLOGY and SPIRITUALITY

Visit the following website to view the upcoming events for CACG at https://www.calgarycommongood.org/?utm_campaign=new_website_correction&utm_medium=email&utm_source=commongoodyyc  Check out the CACG page on the upper left of this page. 

April 18, 2020:

The Time of COVID-19 continues and is taking its toll on our normal way of life. We have become adept at using Zoom as a way to stay connected. Texting, phoning, facebook... are the ways we stay in touch. Many of our readers belong to our group AdultForum on Yahoo which includes folks from all over North America and it is our usual way of staying in touch year long with our Monday Night Book Studiers and our other ACTS programs. 

We are watching the slow but steady progress of our dear friend and leader, Jock McTavish. This is his ninth day in hospital following an unfortunate fall last Friday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jock, Bonnae and their family and friends. Watch your email for future updates. 

April 18, 2020: CACG is asking members to consider giving up old tablets, laptops and other devices for use by folks who need them. 

As well, we have a note from Jan from Hearts and Hands which updates the program for the near future: By clicking on the ACTS Hearts and Hands menu on the upper left of this page, you can read Jan's letter. 

April 7, 2020

Hi to all the great folks who make our ACTS ministry so vibrant. It seems like ages since some of us gathered at Mt. St. Francis for our Annual Lenten Retreat. Little could we have guessed that we would be entering the longest retreat in many of our lives as we moved into a period of self-isolation. Here we sit, this morning, in the kitchen on our rockers, both engaged in connecting 'work.'  We are exploring the exciting world of ZOOM by participating in online zoom sessions, inviting friends and family into informal sessions and just feeling the edges of this amazing resource.

Conversations have been ongoing as to how we might finish our Monday Night Book Study. We always enjoy the recap that Ken offers and hope that the powerpoints attached below for Session #9, covering Chapters 9 and 10, have been useful to you in your study. Our AdultForum continues to keep us in touch and it is hoped that before April moves into May that we will have a ZOOM session to which all of our members will be invited. It might be useful to develop a little familiarity with the application ZOOM prior to our session. Watch for an invitation in your email. 

I have been involved in several http://leadershiftpm.ca sessions at which United Church folk from Alberta and British Columbia gathered in cyberspace to listen, watch, learn and share ideas about ZOOM. I have enjoyed the gathering in the waiting room as participants informally make connections prior to the beginning of the meeting. 

Rev. Deb along with Deb C. have been utilizing YouTube's private online program to upload weekly Reflections. It was the recommendation from the experts at LeaderShift that that was the best way to upload entire services and then to use ZOOM for discussion, visiting and connecting after the service. Rev. Peggy and Deb C., along with computer and sound experts, are working toward livestreaming the Easter Service. With limits of five in effect now innovative and creative ideas are in order. Bless you! 

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of each Session's file attachment to read the final slides. Enjoy! 

SESSION #9: 

This session has been formalized in three separate homes over the past two weeks. It was difficult to spend March 16 and March 23 any other place than at the TM room at St. David's. My component, Chapter 10, was developed over a longer period of time than usual while Wayne and Jock worked together on Chapter 9. We hope that you will devote some attention to the questions posed which were really questions we asked ourselves in preparation. This is a time of major change for us - where belonging, believing and saving the world blend in ways we could never have conceived before. Each of us will have time to reflect, read, pray and keep connected in what ever ways we can. 

A team of St. Davidians are working on a process to have the Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020 service live streamed to us. Currently, St. David's video camera is at our house as we check out its features. It was purchased some time ago but hadn't been taken out of its box. It is now time!!!!

Let's keep in touch via our Adultforum, facebook, instagram, facetime... whatever it takes for us to ensure that we look after each other. The weekend looms. March will forever be remembered! 

If you haven't checked out SERMONS on the home page, you will find last week's service. As well, be sure to read Mike Grammer's notes to ADULTFORUM, regarding Challenges 9 and 10. Take care of yourself, Mike. 

Lent Five lies ahead of us. Know that you are a blessing to those around you at this time. 

ACTS Annual Silent Retreat at Mt. St. Francis

On Sunday, following service, a number of us made the trek to Mt.St. Francis for our annual retreat under the leadership of Susan Campbell, Director. This year, she shared with us thoughts about St. Francis and provided us with thoughtful questions to ponder during our afternoon of silence. With blue skies and sunlight streaming through the windows and reflecting off the snow, we really did get to enjoy early springtime in Alberta. As it turns out, this gathering of St. Davidians and friends may be our last for a while as we move into our isolation in the attempt to flatten the curve for the impact of COVID-19 on us. We promise to stay connected using media and phone calls. Be healthy and 'T'il we meet again' be safe. Click File Attachment below to read the poem that Deb Charnuski wrote about her experience at the retreat. 

Session #9 -- When we can gather together again!

 

Session # 8 -- March 9, 2020

We had two challenges to deal with last night: De-Americanizing the Gospel and Defeating Divisive Culture Wars. The conversations, points of discussion and level of participation made for a very lively evening. Thank you to Eldon for your words of wisdom both as Opening and Closing and to the degree of dedication all of you demonstrate with your input. Next week, Joan Gray will open and so far, we have no volunteer closing. Call me if you bring our evening to a close. Readings are Challenges 9 and 10 -- pp191-236. See below for the pdf for Session #8.

Session #7 -- March 2, 2020

What a wonderful group! The sharing of ideas, opinions and queries is a cause for celebration, for sure. Last night we recapped ideas from Challenge #5: Spirit-Filled Communities and then moved into the challenge for the evening, Challenge #6: Rejecting the Heresy of Individualism. Jock is recovering from a nasty cold and will be back in action next Monday night. We missed you!

P.S. Frans' Opening has been included in the Keynote 44-07 Future Faith file attachment. Readings for next week are Challenges #7 and  #8 - pp. 135-190. 

Session #6 -- February 24, 2020

A great session - I gained some clarity however... I believe the best is yet to come, right? How would we feel if we had all the answers??? Check the file attachment below for a recap of last night's session. 

Session #5 -- February 10, 2020

"Perceiving the World as Sacred," Granberg-Michaelson's 4th challenge in his book Future Faith, brought out a plethora of ideas, memories and epiphanies as we shared stories and heard from individuals in our world like Pope Francis, Richard Rohr and Sally McFague. Opening prayer and reflection was shared by Cheryl Campbell as she relived memorable times with her grandfather as a child walking through the forests.

One of the Sacred places enjoyed by Calgarians -- Nose Hill -- Brenda's Closing reflected upon the writings of poet Wendall Berry. Here is the link to his poem: https://vimeo.com/74755473 detailing how nature has impacted his life. 

Session #6 will focus on Challenge #5: Affirming Spirit-filled Communities, Chapter 5, page 85-107. Remember that there is no study next Monday night. It's Family Day!! 

Please see

Session #4 -- February 3, 2020

Tonight dealt with the third challenge put forth by Granberg-Michaelson in his book, "Future Faith" -- that being "Seeing Through Non-Western Eyes." Together we pondered the effect upon our lives as Christians and Canadians from the paradigm shift we are experiencing over which we have so little apparent control. Because our author is American and writes from that vantage point, we have tried to incorporate the Canadian story as often as possible. Monday night we drew upon the wisdom of Charles Taylor, Rene Fumoleau, Dishna Charron, Spencer Sheehan-Kalina and Russil Paul to help us "See Through Non-Western Eyes." Of course, we willingly shared our own experiences to the mix as we tried to see how we would benefit from broadening our perspectives. There was a concern expressed regarding the vocabulary that Granberg-Michaelson uses from time to time - it pays to have a dictionary closeby. 

Jack McFarquhar opened last night and Brenda Wallace closed. Session #5 will focus on Chapter Four: Perceiving the World as Sacred. Cheryl Campbell plans to open our session. 

Remember that there will no be a class on Family Day, Feb. 17. 

January 28, 2020

Session #3 brought 24 of us together to consider the challenge to 21st Century Christianity of "Embracing the Colour of the Future." Our member from Toronto who follows our Monday Night Book Study sessions posed three questions with which we launched our study. Discussion is lively and so informative. Joan is keeping notes of pieces of wisdom that emerge.

Jock produced some slides from Reginald Bibby's new book that focuses on the demographics relating to millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and their feelings about religion. Granberg-Michaelson's book shares demographics from the USAs and world at large so with Bibby's input we can translate conclusions for Canada. Interestingly enough, yesterday's Herald gave background to new church development in the Toronto Diocese with new churches opening yearly and mass said in 37 languages. Yes, the Spirit is among us!!

Next week we will be studying Chapter three: "Seeing Through Non-Western eyes." Jack McFarquhar will be opening. If you would like to share a short closing, let me know. 

January 21, 2020

Session #2 brought out lots of ideas and concerns as we worked through Chapter One of our Book. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson's first challenge is what to do about "Revitalizing Withering Congregations." Videos regarding changes taking place in Canada with mainline churches and the phenomenal 800,000 member congregation in Korea gave us lots to consider. One of the excitements of our study is resorting to research to confirm/contradict what we are hearing. Special thanks to Kelly for taking a closer look at the Korean megachurch and sharing it with us. 

There were 24 of us out last night, enjoying the pleasant change of temperature. As usual we discussed meaningfully, ate hungrily and listened carefully to all that was said. Check out the pdf attached below to see the Presentation - 44-02 Future Faith. 

Next week we will be looking at Chapter 2: Embracing the Colour of the Future. Granberg-Michaelson poses the following question: "What is your reaction to the author's statement that 'the North American church must embrace the changing colour of its future with its decisive shift in its dynamics of power?' (Question 4- p. 238) Each chapter he asks: "What more do you want to learn or do based on reading this chapter of the book?" Feel free to examine, question, discuss, argue... the notes that are filling up the margins while I read each chapter indicate that that is what I am doing, for sure!!

January 14, 2020

Twenty-one hearty souls braved the frigid night airs to participate in Session #1 of our Monday Night Book Study. Our book this session is "Future Faith: Ten Challenges Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century" written by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson. I've heard from some of good folk who elected to stay home last night. The good news is that each day gets a little longer and there is always next week, right?

We listened, we viewed, we prayed, we laughed, we ate, we shared and we voiced our opinions as we came together for our favourite Monday night activity. We also spent some time last night looking at different approaches to our study. Don't hesitate to let us know if you favour our suggestions or have your own suggestions. We are flexible. 

Refer to file attachments below to follow the pdf for Session #1. Jock has added an appendix to the pdf which offers additional reading related to our study. As well, Joan has sent along her notes to Session #1. Enjoy!