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General Council 43 REFLECTION # 5

General Council 43  A Window into the United Church of Canada As I write this reflection, General Council 43 is in its final hours, even minutes. The gathered Commissioners are working hard to discuss and pass remaining proposals that will help shape the entire United Church of Canada. I have yet to examine and... Read More

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General Council 43 REFLECTION #4

What Will Change? What Will Remain? - Rev Dirk The reason for beginning this series of blogs is to look ahead to substantial changes imminent in the structure of the United Church of Canada, something that hasn’t taken place since the church’s founding in 1925. In all likelihood, the structure of the United Church... Read More

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General Council 43 REFLECTION #3

Other Outsiders—Rev. Dirk Last week I wrote about how Tofield United Church provided a welcome and a church home for my immigrant parents. The more I think about that welcome, the more I realize the significance of this act of kindness. As I mentioned, being from Germany not long after World War 2, there was still... Read More

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General Council 43 REFLECTION #2

My Outsider Story—Rev. Dirk In 1960, my parents, Hans and Rosel Jessen emigrated from Germany to Canada, Tofield Alberta, to be precise. Once there, they were told by the owners of the ranch where my dad worked that there was a sizeable number of churches in the area where German was the language of worship.... Read More

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General Council 43 REFLECTION #1

The United Church of Canada: Radical Welcomeas a Starting Point Later this summer, the United Church of Canada will in all likelihood vote to significantly change its governing structure. I must admit that this impending change has me both excited and a bit worried. Over the next few weeks leading up to the... Read More

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Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

Love Your Neighbor, Part Two—Who is My Neighbor? Exactly who our “neighbor” is has been discussed for hundreds, even thousands of years by followers of many different religions. For most of us today, a neighbor is a person who lives adjacent to us in a nearby house, apartment, acreage, farm and so on. If we were... Read More

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Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

LOVE GOD, LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE OTHERS Loving Others - Part One “And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 39) In the above quote, Jesus is saying that it follows from the “first” commandment (that is to love God), that we also “love our neighbor.” The connection is that... Read More

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Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

LOVE GOD, LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE OTHERS Loving Yourself, Part Two—The Oxygen Mask “I praise you God, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made.” - Psalm 139: 14 On an airplane, when the oxygen masks come down—you are instructed to put your own mask on first, take care of yourself first, because without it you can’t... Read More

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Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

LOVE GOD, LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE OTHERS Loving Yourself—Part One “Loving Yourself—Not To Be Taken for Granted “I praise you God, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 The Bible verses about the human relationships we are called to protect and develop tend to read “love your neighbor as yourself.”... Read More

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Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

Loving God—Part Two “We love because God first loved us.” 1 John 4: 19 Last week I offered the idea that God loves us deeply and in fact is the source of love. In response, we are to love God with every part of our being, with all our “heart, soul, strength and mind”. How do we even begin to love God so totally?... Read More