Adult Spiritual Development - ACTS Ministry

AWAKENING COMPASSION through THEOLOGY and SPIRITUALITY

Here are the upcoming events for CALGARY Alliance for the Common Good CACG

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Local Training: April 26-27th at Christ Chruch Anglican - 3602 - 8 St SW

Environment Team: Tuesday, April 30th at 7:00 at the Unitarian Universalist Church (To be confirmed)

Social Isolation and Divisions Team: Thursday, May 2nd at 7:00 pm at Christ Church Anglican 3602- 8 St SW

Reconciliation Team: Tuesday, May 14th at the Central Library Room 3-17B

CACG Board: Thursday, April 18th at 9:00 a.m. at Beth Tzedec Synagogue 1325 Glenmore Trail SW

Leadership Team: Thursday, April 18th at 10:15 a.m. at Beth Tzedec Synagogue 1325 Glenmore Trail SW

NOTE: The worksheet from Session #10 - "Christians on Spiritual Migration" - has been replaced with a copy that can be printed properly. Thanks, Sally, for pointing out that the existing copy did something really strange. IF you require more background information to support the possibilities, please visit http://www.edge-ucc.ca

APRIL 14, 2019

The Spiritual Travelers had a special moment on Sunday morning when Rev. Peggy offered a prayer for their safe travel and return. Many of the Travelers stood to be recognized. They leave on April 25th for a pilgrimage to Eastern Europe and Russia. Bon Voyage, dear friends. Here is the prayer Rev. Peggy offered:

"God, you created feet to move, and minds to imagine new things and places and people. We are made to travel and explore this amazing and dynamic world. Still, this world in which we move is wrought with dangers and threats and travelers are vulnerable. For those leaving on tour may their steps be protected as they travel on the road and in the air. May Divine protection accompany them. Keep them healthy and guard them against sickness, injury, accident and violence. May they be greeted and blessed with moderate weather on their travels. Give wisdom to those flying the airplane and driving the vehicles and keep the machinery working properly. And, even now, begin to prepare them and the places they will visit, so that they can meet your Divine inspiration and esssence in each other and in all that is experienced. And while they are gone, protect those left behind. Keep the peace and secure the boundaries of their homes and guard over their property and their love ones, children, grandchildren, family and frends. May these words inspire: 'May the road rise to meet them. May the wind be always at their back. May the sun shine warm upon their faces and until we meet again, may God be their companion and guide, protector and provider and hold them in the palm of Divine love. Amen.' "

APRIL 9, 2019

You may have noticed that our library is in a state of change with the new room arrangement in the foyer. Watch for future developments. You also might like to visit Wayne's current posting of his Colleagues blogspot. http://tinyurl.com/y3bnrhck

MARCH 25, 2019

ACTS Spiritual Travelers gathered together on this first Book End Session on Monday Night. Wayne's message follows:

24 persons attended our gathering last evening and because she underspent her Monday Study budget. Those who could not attend are receiving their gifts, travel packs and booklets by mail. (7 live outside our province but we are keeping them in the loop).

Lisa Dare and her husband (two of the new co-owners of Rostad Tours) were present and she gave us all an excellent presentation on the nature of the new fiscal structure of the company. This did a lot to influence minds on the financial stability of the Rostad
organization.

She really likes our philosophy for travel and this was reflected in the beautiful and personalized passenger tour booklet that all 30 travelers are now receiving. She was also impressed with the reflection pages created by Jock and I to accompany the daily itinerary.
They may encourage other tours to do the same.

Jock was able to share his South African picture and video collection on a special stick he has created and which is now going to all 25 SA travelers. This formally concludes our 2017 travel project.

We seem to be in pretty good shape exactly one month before our departure. I am talking with Peggy about a send-off blessing at worship, April 21st and a possible Report to the Congregation in early June. These have become traditions around our spiritual travel events.

Wayne

"The Great Spiritual Migration." 

MARCH 18, 2019

We had a full house on Monday Night for the 10th and final Session of our book study for this winter. It was a full agenda, as well. Bob Clare opened for us, indicating his major conclusions from our study. Ryan Anderson, Director of Calgary Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) then presented a very inspiring talk, combining his understanding of Bruce McLaren's thesis with the organizational genius of the CACG and the particular needs of St. David's. His slides are incorporated into the 42-10 Session #10 attached below. 

After hospitality break, Colin Outtrim presented the March update to St. David's Edge report, indicating some of future directions that seem right for St. David's. Brenda's segment - 16 Possibilities for the 21st Century - is included as an attachment entitled "Christian in Spiritual Migration", as well so if you missed tonight, you are welcome to copy and hand in your questionnaire to Wayne, Brenda or Jock. Brenda attempted to pull together the information gleaned from McLaren's book along with the UCC Edge visionaries and Wesley Granberg-Michaelson's "Future Faith." 

Long time faithful member of Monday Night Book Study, Ken Kittridge, gave his summary of our study for which we are most apprectiative and our leader, Wayne Holst, closed with prayer. 

The website below is a map of Canada with all of the grants awarded to individual United Church Communities of Faith. Very interesting. While on this websight, peruse all the ways that United Church are a part of "The Great Spiritual Migration." As well, be sure to follow the March update to the Edge program that Colin presented Monday night. 

https://edgeucc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StoryMapBasic/index.html?appid=51729f2564524cf489e7bc9dde2f47f3&extent=-157.6815,22.7962,-31.4705,65.7486

MARCH 11, 2019

Our book study is drawing to the its end. Tonight we worked through Appendix i and ii and, judging from the animated conversation in the room during smaller group sessions and large group dialogue, lots of ideas have arisen from our reading and study. Frans opened with the Carl Sagan video, "Blue Dot", a lesson in our place in the universe and Brenda closed with the "Prayer of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin."

Next week we will be sharing the "epiphanies" that we have had during the course. McLaren has definitely challenged us to be part of the Spiritual migration. Maybe we are well on our way. Bob Clare will open and Ken Kittridge will do his customary summary of the course. Have a great week and we will see you on March 18, 2019. 

Note that we have Mike Grammer's input along with the pdf of Session #9. 

MARCH 4, 2019

The weather is moderating and the T.M. room was full of enthusiastic members of our Book Study. Sheryl opened with readings from two of her favourite authors, stressing love and hope in our lives. Deb. C's closing is included in the pdf for Session #8 below. Having dealt with a very honest and stark description of our modern culture, McLaren, chapter 10, offers his vision for the future. Wayne, supplemented by Jock's video selections, led us through the process of being open-hearted. 

McLaren's "Afterward" advises us to "Get going! Go farther! Go forward! Jock showed us a video that illustrates the daring required by the Hebrew people as they set off across the Red Sea in their escape from the Egyptians. The conversation with Richard Rohr relates well with McLaren's "Afterward."

Our readings for next week are to complete the book. Frans is opening and Brenda will be closing. 

FEBRUARY 25, 2019

Chapters Eight and Nine, covered first by Jock (who has studied extensively the challenges of our time as outlined by McLaren) and then by Wayne after our break (and snacks - thank you, Marlene) during which explored McLaren's and others' visions for the future of faith. Thoughts of theologians like Thomas Berry, Vincent Donavon and Pope Francis were added to the mix. Sally Hodges' opening lent insight into the future vision of the peace movement in which she and Bob have been immersed during the past many years. 

Colin Outtrim, Edge Committee Chair, added information regarding St. David's and its take on the future as a mainline Protestant church. For closing, Brenda read a portion of McLaren's Chapter 9 which invited us to consider the goodness that surrounds us as a church and as citizens of the world and followers of Jesus. 

READINGS for next week are Chapter 10 and the Afterword. Opening for Session Eight will be Sheryl S. and Closing is Deb C. See you next week. 

FEBRUARY 18, 2019

Our numbers were down last night, this being Family Day here in Alberta, however those who were able to attend were led through a heartfelt review of the history and evolution of the United Church of Canada since its inception in 1925. Rev. Peggy incorporated the vision of McLaren for the future of the church with that of the UCC and its reorganization presently underway. In her preparation for the evening, she determined three migrations throughout our history: the first beginning in 1925 was focussed on social justice  and outreach (Progressive Presence) during which we were looked to as an intricate part of the Canadian decision making process, the second was focussed on internal matters and governance (Inward Protection)where our role in Canadian life diminished over time and, now the third migration which is returning decision making to the communities of faith and to local congregations (Migration of Hope). St. David's is part of Regional #3 --Chinook Winds--, along with 90 other congregations, headquartered in Okotoks United Church. Rev. Peggy concluded with her journey in the UCC and the excitement in her voice was contagious. 

Following our break (thanks, Marlene) yours truly led the group through an examination of McLaren's "Appendix III-- More on Beliefs." I read a statement on beliefs by Marcus Borg: "It is trust and loyalty that transforms us. Beliefs may preced them or follow them or remain quite unconnected to them. But beliefs do no save us, do not transform us. Trust and loyalty do. This comination is the centering in God that is the primary meaning of faith. This centerings is the purpose of the Christian life. This is the vision at the heart of a tranformation, centered Christianity." McLaren's analysis of beliefs (conceptual and relational) along with those of Clayton and Knapp in "The Predicament of Belief" tie in quite nicely with Borg. McLaren's "Convening Table" with its four legs: The Story, The Saints (and Living Elders), the Practice and the Vision of the Future gave us a very concrete image from which to determine our own beliefs and values -- which will really determine the future of our church. 

Opening tonight was by June Marten and Wayne closed. Next week, Session #7, will have Opening by Sally Hodges and Closing is as of now, undetermined. Readings for Session #7 are Chapter 8 and 9 - pages 331- 408. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find Session #6 - pdf.

You are invited to read the 2006 Statement of Belief of the UCC attached as a file below.

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Love these Monday nights. Yes, it was cold outside but the feelings expressed in the T.M. room were very warm and enthusiastic as the "Spiritual Migrators" gathered. Opening and Closing were provided by Mike Grammer through Deb Charnuski. Mike's thoughtful analyses have been part of our Book Study for several sessions. Thank you, Mike (and Deb). Last night we focussed on chapters 6 and 7 with input by Wayne and video support by Jock. Thank you for your continued efforts that keep bringing us out on Monday evenings. Scroll to the bottom of this page to review the powerpoint that will include video selections that we didn't have time to view last night or click on the book title found at the top  left of our ACTS ministry page. See the article from the Observer for next week's reading as a file attachment below along with Appendix III from our book. 

FEBRUARY 4, 2019

Twenty-eight of us braved the frigid weather last night to attend the fourth session of our study of Brian McLaren's "The Great Spiritual Migration." Brenda opened with a reading of "Let Us Build a Home" - the first hymn sung Sunday morning at worship - and then read the poem, "Until", which was a printed reading.  (See Worship Folder Feb. 3, 2019 by scrolling to the bottom of the Worship Ministry page).

The first hour was devoted to Chapter 3, "Learning to Love," and, more specifically to the active ministry behind St. David's webpage, www.sduc.ca. Brenda is in her third year as acting webmaster for sduc.ca and spends several hours weekly - making sure that everything is up to date.

In Chapter 3 of McLaren's book, he describes the online ministry of EastLake Community Church which gave Brenda a renewed task of viewing our website as St. David's ministry to our congregation as well as to visitors who might come across our website. She referred to Deb. Stockdale's reflection on Feb.3, 2019 (recap of which can be found by clicking the Sermon icon on the Home Page) several times as she looked for the importance of "Love" as analyzed by McLaren at St. David's. She underscored the words emphasized in our Vision and Mission statements, then went on to examine four lessons of Love: Love of neighbour, Love of self, Love of the Earth and Love of God. Finally we reviewed the elements of worship as outlined by McLaren. Discussion played a major role as it does every session.

After a delicious (as usual) break, Wayne and Jock presented a study of Chapters 4 (Genocide Card) and 5 (God 5.0). When you scroll down on this page you will find that  Jock has added a list of websites you might explore that go beyond the ones included in the pdf for Session #4. Enjoy!

Your readings for the coming week are Chapters 6 and 7 to page 148. Mike Grammer, our fellow book-studier from Toronto, will be opening and closing. Be sure to check out Mike's study notes which are also uploaded as a file attachment below.  

JANUARY 28, 2019

Last night was awesome. There were 32 of us in attendance and the conversation/ discussion was so incredible that we just couldn't finish our planned program. Yahoo! Wayne took us on an historical venture through the migration (adaptations) of our protestant roots, concluding with the most recent decision of the UCC. Jock supported the data with enlightening video and you can review it on the file attachment below. Next week, I get my turn with Chapter two - Learning to Love. Readings for next week, session #4, are chapters 3 and 4. I'll be Opening and Colin will be Closing. 

JANUARY 21, 2019

Last night only one of our registered Book Studiers was absent and she was on holiday. Hi, Betty! Both Wayne and Jock worked especially hard preparing for Session #2. Special thanks to Colin and Eldon who brought along their laptops and adapters in case our system failed as it did for Session #1. Problem was that the adapter used to connect the projector and computer didn't work as it was supposed to, so it has been replaced with a shiny new (costly) adapter that should serve us well until the next style of adapter appears on the scene. 

All aside, Jock opened with a video that featured a duet by the Owens, singing "A Change is Gonna Come ". Wayne's task this week was to take advantage of the Jock's video preparation for Session #1 with the assigned readings for Session #2. We viewed a video about African-American migration from the south to the north to which Wayne added further detail. That historical migration shares some qualities with the migration that McLaren is envisioning with some of the same root causes. We went on to view Brian McLaren sharing his life and experiences with us - for many that was putting a face to print. (Incidentally, if you "google" Brian McLaren or the title of our book, you will find a wealth of material. I am receiving weekly blogs from his website.)

Thank you, Heather, for your closing. Our homework is to consider a quote from page 10 of our book, "...the spiritual conversion we need won't change the essence, heart or treasure of our Christian faith." The paragraph goes on to say that Christianity will always be rooted in Jesus and his good news. 

The readings for Session #3 are Chapters 2 and 3: A Deeper Loyalty and Learning How to Love. That will take you to page 70. As well, you might want to check out the three organizations he cites in his dedication at the beginning. 

Next week, January 28, 2019, opening is by Karen McKeown and closing by Joan Gray. Happy reading!!

JANUARY 14, 2019

We are off to a fine start in our study of "The Great Spiritual Migration" by Brian McLaren. We have 40 people registered in the study. Conversation is great, participation is amazing, snack time is nourishing. Where else would one want to be on Monday Nights until March 18, 2019? Check out the file attachment below to view 42-1b Session #1 Powerpoint. 

We had a technology problem last night. Jock's computer could not seem to communicate with the projector. Never fear; next week we will have a standby digital projector nearby. See you then. Our readings for next week are The Preface, Introduction and Crisis by the Palo Verde Tree - to page 33. Enjoy! Opening will be up to the leaders while Heather M. will be handling the closing. It is not too late to volunteer to offer a short (5 minute) opening or closing or both. Tonight, Wayne opened with a prayer and Brenda closed with a reading from Richard Rohr's webpage - a meditation for Jan. 3, 2019. The ending quote bears repeating:

"The way Jesus tried to change people was by loving and healing them, accusing only their accusers. Why did we not notice that? His harshest words were reserved for those who perpetuated systems of inequality and oppression and who, through religion itself, thought they were sinless and untouchable. Jesus did not so much love people once they changed, but he loved people so that they could change. - Richard Rohr