FINDING GOD IN THE FAITH OF OTHERS
During the study of "Holy Envy" we have tried to incorporate Barbara Brown Taylor's example of visiting with other faith traditions in the growing understanding of our own Christian roots. In so doing, we have visited the Baitan Nur Mosque in East Calgary, have made visits to the AVATAMSAKA Monastery downtown on their open Meditation evenings on Wednesdays and have hosted as our special guest, Usha Sharma, Hindu Chaplain at the U of C and of the Hindu Society of Calgary. As we wind down in our course, it is certain that we have increased our understanding both of the unity and diversity in which we live. In answering Mary Jo Leddy's question, "Why are we here?" maybe we are a little closer to understanding our role as Christians and Canadians.
ARCHIVAL NOTES FROM OUR SESSIONS
November 26, 2019
We have reached a milestone in our spiritual journey - the last session of our study of Holy Envy brought us together last night. As has become our usual protocol, Ken Kittridge provided us with his summary of our study as an opening and Mike Grammer's (our Toronto member) thoughts, as read by Deb, closed this final session. His wisdom, like that of all our members, is much appreciated. Last night, we broke into small groups to share our thoughts on two questions:
"What has inspired holy envy in me this term?"
"What new discoveries have I made about my own faith?”
The sharing session that followed was most rewarding.
ACTS met after the TM room had been returned to normal to discuss their choice of book for the winter session, among other things. The choice seems to be Future Faith by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, one of the books that was on sale at the ACTS Christmas Book Sale. We hope to have the books available for sale by during December. The pdf of Session #10 is attached below.
November 19, 2019
We were privileged to have Usha Sharma visit with us last night as we worked on Session #9 of our book study. It is hard to believe that we only have one session left. Next week we will be looking at Chapter Twelve and the Epilog with Ken Kittridge opening and closing for us.
Last night we explored Chapters 10 and 11 during the first half with our special guest, Usha, Hindu Chaplain at U of C and from the Hindu Society of Calgary, offering her wisdom regarding the Hindu faith after our break time. She often speaks to groups such as ours and last night was no exception to the bounty of what she has to offer. Prior to the evening, she had read pertinent chapters of "Holy Envy" and, referring to what she had read, she filled out the picture for our understanding of her faith traditions. In Chapter 11, Taylor talks about the 'God that she didn't make up.' Usha led us through an understanding of 'God' in her faith and the commonalities united our diverse life experiences. Thank you so much, Usha.
November 11, 2019
Remembrance Day brought us together for Session #8 in our study of Holy Envy. Twenty-four of us gathered in the TM room to learn, share, eat, visit - even sing "Happy Birthday." (p.s. thank you!) Colin Outtrim opened with a blend of thinking by Taylor, Leddy and himself regarding the current state of affairs in which we find ourselves. As always, the discussion was lively and enlightening. What an awesome group!!!
Wayne focussed on the two chapters relating to Christianity: Chapter 8 - "Failing Christianity" and Chapter 9 - "Born Again." Jock's presentation, as usual, guided our learning and the video showed after break featured a rabbi, imam and priest in conversation. We ran short of time so be sure to view the other videos that Jock has placed on our pdf found below as an attachment or on the short cut on the upper left of this page. You will also find the closing document.
Next week, read chapters 10 and 11. Our guest will be Usha Sharma, Hindu Society of Calgary and U of C Hindu Chaplain. Opening will be by proxy with Mike Grammer (thank you, Mike) and closing by Deb Charnuski. See you then. P.S. we will be making a second visit to Avatamsaka Monastery on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The larger group will be making the trek on November 20, 2019. (PS - Rides are available. Just let us know.)
November 4, 2019
Monday Night Book Study participants met tonight to continue their increasing understanding of major world religions. Bonnae McTavish opened tonight as she walked us through a brief history of CBC and its role in her life. Our focus in the first half of the evening was on Islam during which time we watched a series of videos that examined the major sects within the faith that finds practitioners throughout the world.
Following break we moved on to the Buddhist traditions and made plans to visit the AVATAMSAKA Monastery (1009 4 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0K8) on Wednesday evening as part of our study. There will be a ride available, leaving from St. David's at 6:30. Those of you who can't make it tonight are welcome to join us on Novembler 20, 2019 when we will again visit the monastery. There is lots of information online about the AVATAMSAKA MONASTERY. Here is a link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5fdmXq8Ryg
Brenda closed with a visit with Mary Jo Leddy (see file attachment below) whose book we are following during this study. "Why are we here?" Mary Jo has had a close relationship with the Buddhist traditions over her lifetime. In her book, "The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home" which we studied in 2012, she discussed the importance of her study of other faiths and the strengthening of her own Christian understandings. "In the long history of Christian spirituality, the wise ones have taught us several ways to find the living God.... There are certain conditions for this tye of spirituality: deep silence, a withdrawal from busyness and clutter, the disciplines of a centered life ..and discovering Christ in the world around us." She concludes that the discovery of Christ occurs when our spirits are awakened by something or someone entirely other than ourselves.
Next week we will be highlighting chapters 8 and 9 of our study. Although it is Remembrance Day, we will still be meeting. Colin Outtrim will be opening next week.
October 29, 2019
Session #6 for our book study took place Monday night without yours truly in attendance. Preparing our boat for winter upstaged discussing our recent field trip and chapters 6 and 7 in our study. Eldon and Carly Jean Godfrey opened and closed our session last night. I have added the presentation along with the Opening and Closing for your perusal as file attachments below and to the more quickly accessed page "HOLY ENVY" on the upper left of our Adult Spiritual Development Page.
October 22, 2019
Tonight we visited the Baitun Nur Mosque in northeast Calgary. We were the guests of the Anatolian Turkish Islamic Centre. Twenty-four of us made the trek across the city to learn more about our Islamic neighbours as a part of our study of Barbara Brown Taylor's book, "Holy Envy."
Chapters 8 and 9 will be our focus for November 4, 2019 - Session #7. Our guest next week will be Usha Sharma, Hindu Chaplain at U of C who will be offering our closing.
OCTOBER 15, 2019
Session #5 will be held next Monday night at Baitun Nur Mosque in NE Calgary - 4353 54 Avenue NE, beginning at 7 p.m.
Brenda's message to the group on our forum:
Next Monday at 7 p.m.Monday Night Book Studiers will be at Baitun Nur Mosque in Northeast Calgary 4353 54 Avenue NE. There is ample parking on site. Call/text me at 4035101993 if you need a ride. There is lots of info about this place of worship online and I hope to visit with our host, Malik, of the Anatolian Turkish Worship Centre at the Founding Assembly of Calgary Alliance of Common Good (CACG) on Thursday night. Oct. 17.
OCTOBER 8, 2019
We gathered last night to consider chapters 4 and 5 of "Holy Envy", focussing on the whole idea of Holy Envy during which the ideas of how to learn about another faith tradition were emphasized followed by a more intensive look at the Jewish Faith tradition with a viewing of Rabbi Jonathan Sac's TED talk.
Krister Stendahl, Harvard Divinity School, suggested the following three rules be followed to augment one's religious understanding:
- When trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
- Don't compare your best to their worse.
- Leave room for holy envy.
Joan Gray opened with Mary Jo Leddy's love for the spaciousness of Canada in her "Why Are We Here? A Meditation on Canada" as we visited Manitoulin Island on video. Brenda closed with an invitation to visit Baitun Nur Mosque on October 21, 2019 as guests of the Anatolian Turkish Islamic Worship tradition. The address is 4353 54 Avenue NE, Calgary. http://baitunnur.org
We will need to know if you are able to join us for this visit so we will be contacting you to make necessary plans for our evening visit to Baitun Nur Mosque.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
The almost record-breaking snowfall couldn't keep the Monday Night Book Studiers away from their weekly gathering as we focussed on chapters 2 and 3 (Hinduism and Buddhism) of our book, "Holy Envy." Opening prayer was followed by Frans Heynen's thoughtfully blended look at Mary Jo Leddy's Meditation on Canada: Why we are Here with the ideas put forth by Barbara Brown Taylor in our study book. Closing last night was provided by Joan Gray which concluded with a quote by Chief Dan George. Next week, Joan has volunteered to handle the opening while Brenda will close. Readings for next week are Chapters 4 and 5. Scroll down on the page to find the pdf for Session #3. (You can short cut by clicking on the book title on the left top of this page.)
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
Plan to join the Thursday Morning Bible Study at 9:30, Thursday mornings!! This fall the group will be examining Revelations. See the file attachment below for particulars.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
30 folks gathered tonight to share insight, questions, answers and great food during our Monday Night Book Study- Session #2. We had three guests that joined us - one drawn to the session by our Coffee News Ad!! Brenda provided the Opening and Closing, using Mary Jo Leddy's book, Why are we here? Meditations on being Canadian. As usual, Jock provided informative video material and Wayne offered his thoughts regarding the Introduction and Chapter one of our book, Holy Envy, by Barbara Brown Taylor. Click on the file attachment below to review the powerpoint of Session #2.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
Last night we gathered in the TM room, launching our 10 week study of Barbara Brown Taylor's book, "Holy Envy." We have 35 registered members in our Monday Night Book Study. You can follow along with us by clicking on the file attachment below. Wayne, Jock, Bonnae, Marlene and I are back at task doing something that we love -- which is meeting, discussing, eating, sharing along with so many wonderful people.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
It's time!! Monday Night Book Study starts tonight and will run until the last week of November with no class on Thanksgiving Monday. Exciting!! Thursday marks the first of the Thursday Morning Bible Study Sessions (running concurrently with Coffee and Muffin Ministry.) Delicious!!
Check out the update from Seniors' Corner for September and on. There are lots of learning opportunities available.
AUGUST 20, 2019
Plans are underway for our upcoming Monday Night Book Study, featuring a book written by Barbara Brown Taylor. "Holy Envy" looks at the major religions of the world from the perspective of Christianity and promises to be informing as well as challenging as she speaks from her experience as a teacher of World Religions at a college in Georgia and an ordained Episcopalian priest.
Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), one of our book study selections, earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.
Our first study night is September 16, 2019. Book sales and registrations began on August 25, 2019.