Christmas Eve Gathering

Triangle Advent Poster copyYou are invited to attend The Commons’ Candle Light Christmas Eve Gathering. Wednesday December 24, at 6pm (26 Wilson St, on the upper floor of the Rock).

There will be hot apple cider, lots of carol singing (bring along your acoustic instrument if you want to play along), candle lighting and reflection on Jesus’ arrival to our little planet.

Commons Holiday Gathering Schedule:

  • Sun Dec 21st, 6pm Advent Gathering
  • Wed Ded 25th, 6pm Christmas Eve Gathering
  • Sun Dec 28th, 6pm Movie Night Gathering
  • Sun Jan 4th, No Gathering – Instead we will be having a potluck supper at Matt & Jeanette’s place. Email thompsmr[at]gmail.com if you need direction
  • Sun Jan 11th, 6pm Worship Gathering

Prayer of Examine – Supper Club Recap

The Supper Club 2014-2015Sorry for the delay on posting the recap for our Dec 1st Supper Club. Better late than never….

Andy Groen from GOHOP joined us and talked about the spiritual discipline of “Prayer of Examine.” He also talked combining this with “Confession.”

We were told that a Prayer of Examine is a series of questions you ask yourself so you can take note of where God has been active. Like any discipline, it needs practice and can feel contrived at the beginning, but as the discipline is learned and internalized a person might find that they can see where God is active more intuitively with out the formal period of examine.

Here are the questions Andy had us ask ourselves:

  1. What are you thankful for in this day?
  2. How and when did you experience God’s presence today?
    Lord, where were you present today?
    Lord, show me where you were and I didn’t Notice?
  3. Name one time today where it was difficult experiencing God’s presence?
  4. Is there anything the Lord is inviting you to confess?
    Is there anyone safe you can confess this to?

We were then encouraged to go home and Google some info about “Prayer of Examine” and to try to practice this discipline at least once a week for the next month.

As I did some Google searching, here is the first couple things I found written about the Prayer of Examine:

From CreativePrayer.com:

Make yourself comfortable, making sure your posture is relaxed and your breathing calm. Take a moment to be still and quiet. Ask God to be with you through this activity.

Spend several minutes thinking about your day. Go through each thing you did, the people you interacted with, how you spent your free time, where you went. Beginning to end.

Now, go through your day again and ask your-self; what was my attitude, how did I act or react?  Get specific.

Spend several more minutes going through your day once again, but this time look for where God may have been working: maybe in something natural, through you or another person. Ask yourself; did I join God, hinder God, or just observe? Did I notice at the time or only just now?

Spend a moment longer on this and ask God to show you anything you may have missed during the day.

There is a lot of info posted on IgnatianSpirituality.com. Here are the steps they suggest:

1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow

1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow. – See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/#sthash.x1P9Lxtq.dpuf

2014 Advent Kick-Off

fort elgin xmas bbq 2014The Advent season is upon us already. We are kicking things off with a community Potluck & BBQ are Fort Elgin on Sat Nov 29th at 5pm. For more info or directions contact Matt “thompsmr[at]gmail.com”

On Sunday Nov 30th, at 6pm we will be starting our Gathering series entitled Advent: Past / Present / Future.

Triangle Advent Poster copy

True City Covenant Gathering

TRUE City + Commons = AwesomeThe Commons’ True City Covenant Gathering – Sun Nov 23rd, 6pm
Upper Floor of 30 Wilson Street

This Sunday we will be celebrating The Commons officially joining the True City Church Network in Hamilton.

What we now call TrueCity grew out of a shared conviction and a shared dream—a conviction that churches have a unique role to play in seeing transformation come to their neighbourhoods and this city.  A dream of churches connecting in ways that allow them to learn from each other and collaborate so that they grow stronger as local congregations even as they bless their neighbourhoods and this city.  It is a dream of partnership in the gospel. http://truecityhamilton.ca/about/history/

Come on out to hear stories about how The Commons & True City have intersected in the past and to see people from churches across the city join together to show that no matter how different all our unique little communities are, we are all still part of the same kingdom of God.

Please note that there will be no official children’s program for this gathering, but kids are welcome to come (we don’t mind if they make noise), if they need to stretch their legs we will have a play area set up.

Sabbath – Supper Club Recap

The Supper Club 2014-2015On Monday October 3rd we had our 2nd Supper Club. We ate delicious Sweet Potato Soup, Veggies with Hummus, Spanish Rice, Salad and Apple Crisp (mmm, mmm, good!). Followed by Jill Weber from GOHOP talking to us about Sabbath.

Sabbath is the practice of taking one day a week as a time of rest. Jill shared her notes with me so I could post the quotes she used and to reiterate some of her thoughts.

Sabbath Quotes:

“If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath— our pneumonia, our cancer, our heart attack, our accidents create Sabbath for us.” - from Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath

The-Sacred-Year“No wonder so many of us live such frenetic, stressed- out lives— it’s hard to ever stop and rest, ever to be at peace when we think failure is constantly threatening, with the weight of nonbeing always clutching us about our legs and dragging us down. We must constantly toil. Toil or drown. There’s always something more we should be doing, something someone else is doing if we aren’t.” – Michael Yankoski – The Sacred Year

“One thing this Sacred Year is beginning to show me is how each of these spiritual practices can work like an antidote to some of the more poisonous aspects of our culture today. They are refreshing and life giving, whereas so often the habits and methods I’ve developed in my frenzied, stressed- out life are deadly poisons.”  Michael Yankoski – The Sacred Year

“What an amazing thing it would be to have the rhythms of your life regularly usher you into such deep trust that you could actually rest from it all.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“The day itself is set apart, devoted completely to rest, worship and delighting in God, but the rest of the week must be lived in such a way as to make sabbath possible. Paid work needs to be contained to five days of the week. Household chores, shopping and errand- running need to be complete before the sabbath comes, or they must wait.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“The point of the sabbath is to honor our need for a sane rhythm of work and rest. It is to honor the body’s need for rest, the spirit’s need for replenishment and the soul’s need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake. It begins with a willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and take steps to live more graciously within the order of things.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“I live within physical limits of time and space and bodily limits of strength and energy. There are limits to my capacities relationally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“If we dig down a little deeper, we may see that our unwillingness to practice sabbath is really an unwillingness to live within the limits of our humanity, to honor our finiteness. We cling to some sense that we are indispensable and that the world cannot go on without us even for a day. Or we feel that certain tasks and activities are more significant than the delights that God is wanting to share with us. This is a grandiosity that we indulge to our own peril.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

How to Begin:

“First, the heart of sabbath is that we cease our work so that we can rest and delight in God and God’s good gifts. Everything we might choose to do or not to do needs to somehow fit into these purposes. Second, it is important to establish a regular rhythm if at all possible.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“I am different on the sabbath. We all are. We move more slowly. We are more available to each other in terms of our time and also in terms of our attention and spirit. We are much more in touch with the softer, more vulnerable part of ourselves, because we’re not pushing so hard.” Ruth Haley Barton -  Sacred Rhythms

“All these things— wristwatches, smartphones, credit cards, cash— go into our “Sabbath box,” a simple mash- up I made not long ago out of scrap pieces of pallet wood. They won’t be allowed out until Sabbath is over”- Michael Yankoski – The Sacred Year

Jill WeberJill suggest some things to exclude from our Sabbath Day:

  • Work
  • Commerce
  • Worry

She also said that our Sabbath Day should Include

  • Whatever delights and replenishes you
  • Resting the body
  • Replenishing the spirit
  • Restoring the soul
  • True Re-Creation vs Entertainment

One of the rules Jill suggested for sorting out between Sabbath activities vs the rest of the week was “Is it a Get To or a Half To?” If it is a “Get To” it sounds like it is in the spirit of the Sabbath.

Jill challenged us to each make a list of 10 Re-Creational sabbath activities, and to try and take one day over the next month to practice a sabbath.

Good luck everyone with your Oct Supper Club Assignment. Feel free to share your Sabbath lists on the Supper Club Facebook Group.