Romans Conversation with Doug Harink!

As we, at The King’s University, begin our journey through Romans, we thought our study could be enriched with a little background wisdom regarding the context of Rome at the time of Paul, so I sat down with theologian Dr. Doug Harink.  We hope, and believe, that this conversation will enliven your reading of this beautiful letter. Enjoy!

Doug’s book on Romans, Resurrecting Justice, is great, and will be released at the end of September 2020. We used this book to produce a small journaling resource for our King’s community to facilitate our reading of the letter. If you are a local King’s person and would like a hard copy of this resource, email me at tim.wood@kingsu.ca

Stream conversation here

Download Episode here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/943228/5400697-romans-conversation-with-dr-doug-harink.mp3?blob_id=21912505&download=true

Or find this episode in iTunes podcasts under Community in Quarantine: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/community-in-quarantine/id1503695503

Emma reflects on stepping into a new year

Enjoy this reflection from 2nd year student, and Ministry Assistant, Emma Hutchinson. Also, Emma is leading a small group on Mondays at 2:00. This group will be taking a deeper look at Romans and wondering about its message for our time. If you are a King’s student, email Tim Wood @ tim.wood@kingsu.ca, to join Emma’s group!

Emma Hutchinson

It’s the first day of classes and it’s so wonderful to be back! It may look a little (or a lot) different, but once again we have the opportunity to be on campus or online, taking courses and seeing our friends and professors. Since March, I have been realizing more and more what a blessing it is to be here, and how much I took that for granted last year. Throughout my education I have often been reminded of how blessed I am to be able to devote leisure to learning—that I have the free time to devote to studying something that interests me—but being deprived of the opportunity to go to in-person classes at the end of last semester made me realize just what a gift it is to be here. After all, at what other point in my life will I be able to devote so much time to studying the things I love in the company of so many like-minded people? Chances are I won’t have a season like this again in my life. It is making me realize just how valuable this time is.

            As a university student, I sometimes struggle to be intentional with my time and have balance in my life. It is so easy to spend so much time studying that I ignore my friends—or to spend so much time with my friends that I ignore my homework. Even if I get the balance between those right, it can be a challenge to keep up with spiritual disciplines. After all, my schedule changes every semester, I’m extremely busy, and sometimes I just forget to sit down and spend time in prayer. I struggle to be just as intentional about having my daily quiet time with God as I am about finishing my homework on time—but also to make sure that my relationship with God isn’t reduced to an item on a to-do list.

            That is one reason why I’m excited to be joining the ministry assistant team this year. While I see my role as a servant leader, serving others and pointing them toward Christ, I also see this as a great opportunity for me to learn and grow in my own faith, becoming more intentional in growing in my relationship with God. The beginning of a new school year is a great time to renew commitments, and make a habit out of walking with Christ. I’m especially excited to go through the book of Romans as a community this year, because the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but walked in community. I’m hoping to learn from the insights of students, staff, and faculty as we meet on Wednesdays for our larger gatherings, and in smaller groups throughout the week. My hope is that this greater focus on Scripture will be inspiring for the King’s community, and will foster discussions all week and all semester long.

            I will admit that as a new MA I’m a little nervous. This is the first time I’ve done anything quite like this, and all the unknowns can be very nerve-wracking. I’m grateful to be supported by such a great team, but also somewhat fearful of following this new calling that God has given me.

            I do know that I’m not the only one trying something new this year. Many of you are new students, adjusting to your first year of university classes. Many of you have just moved into residence, or are trying online classes for the first time. Staff and faculty are adapting to new ways of working and teaching. Many of you are facing other challenges or opportunities that are bringing change, possibly unwanted, into your lives. This is a time when it’s going to be really important to give each other grace and be patient with each other, and I’m confident that the King’s community is up to the challenge. My first year at King’s, only last year, was amazing, mainly because I was surrounded by such a great and supportive community. I found great friends in residence, through campus ministries, and other places. My hope for new students this year is that they will be able to experience the great community that makes King’s unique, despite the strange times we are experiencing. That is something that makes me really excited to be an MA, because I get to be a small part of making that happen.

            So welcome, or welcome back! I’m so glad you’re a part of this community, and I hope you’ll dive in and join us in studying Romans this year. None of us knows what this year will bring, but we do know the God we serve, and that is something we can hold onto, in spite of our nervousness and fear. May we have a semester of hope!

Conversation with King’s grad Paul Batz!

In this episode Paul Batz describes navigating student life at King’s, including struggles with chemistry and a transition to being an English major.   He also reflects on the church and his move to the Orthodox Christian faith.  Most importantly, he picks three faculty members to be on his forthcoming interpretive dance team.  Paul is thoughtful, energetic and kind.  I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed sitting down with him to have it!

Download Episode here: Paul Batz Conversation

Stream Episode here:

 

Confined- a Blogpost by Dr. Mark Sandle

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Find linked here an incredibly thought-provoking (especially given our current circumstances) blogpost about forced confinement in a WW2 internment camp by King’s historian, Mark Sandle: Confined, Mark Sandle

Before you head over to read it, however, I invite you to read it devotionally.  Slow down.  Read the 1 Corinthians 11 passage below before you go to the blogpost.  This is a famous passage that is often misunderstood–what is Paul really concerned with?  Read the 1 Corinthians passage again when you have finished the blog post and engage in the questions below, if you’d like.  

 

In what ways do you “eat” with separation between you and your sisters and brothers?

Sit with the thought that Jesus not only waits to eat with you, but sets a place    specifically for you at his table.  Remember that you didn’t earn this place and therefore you don’t have to hide your brokenness in his presence!  How do you feel at his table?  Look around, who else is at the table?  What is the spirit of the feast?  How do you enjoy this spirit now?

How do Mark’s concluding thoughts/questions and Paul’s passage relate to the two viruses of Covid and racism infecting our world?  What would a faithful church or Christian University look like in this time?  What should we be concern with?

 

1 Corinthians 11 (Message Version)

17-19 Regarding this next item, I’m not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I’m reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it.

20-22 And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.

23-26 Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you.
Do this to remember me.

After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:

This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
Each time you drink this cup, remember me.

What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.

27-28 Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.

29-32 If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. If we get this straight now, we won’t have to be straightened out later on. Better to be confronted by the Master now than to face a fiery confrontation later.

33-34 So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord’s Table, be reverent and courteous with one another. If you’re so hungry that you can’t wait to be served, go home and get a sandwich. But by no means risk turning this Meal into an eating and drinking binge or a family squabble. It is a spiritual meal—a love feast.

The other things you asked about, I’ll respond to in person when I make my next visit.

Conversation with King’s Purchaser Cathy Jol!

Cathy Jol has been on staff at King’s since 2004.  She is a gentle, hard-working person of prayer who loves connecting with students.  In this episode Cathy is very open; she shares stories from her life where God challenged her and her family, in hopes that these stories might encourage others.  One of my favourite parts of our conversation is when she describes being a “blood cell.”  Enjoy getting to know Cathy better!

Download Episode here: Cathy Jol Conversation

Stream Episode here:

 

 

Conversation with Dr. Melanie Turgeon!

Enjoy this conversation with Dr. Melanie Turgeon!  Melanie has been conducting choirs from an incredibly young age.  She has been working with King’s choirs since 2002 and has been on a number of tours with them and the music department (including three European tours).  Melanie has a great sense of humour and is a favourite professor for many choir students. We have also included a couple beautiful pieces from King’s choirs in this episode, so enjoy!

Download episode here: Turgeon Conversation

Stream episode here:

 

Last Lecture with Dr. Dudiak!

 

In honour of what would have been graduation weekend for The King’s University class of 2020, we are reposting the “Last Lecture” given to this graduating class by Dr. Dudiak!  The “Last Lecture” is a tradition at King’s where the graduating class invites a professor to give them the final lecture of their King’s career.  Class of 2020 puts their wisdom on display by inviting Dudiak to do the honour.

This event was organized and hosted by the Alumni Office.  Enjoy Dudiak’s wisdom!

Download episode here: The Last Lecture

Stream episode here:

“The Next Right Thing” with Witty Sandle!

Thank you Witty Sandle for this great book review!  I am adding it to my list.  I especially appreciate your “final thought” at the end of the review.  

To any King’s people reading this review, please take this as an invitation to do what Witty has done for us and let us know what you think about what you are reading.

Respond to Witty in the comment section below if you are so moved.

Peace to you all today.

 

book review: “the next right thing” by emily p. freeman – shannan ...

 

 

Book Review

“The Next Right Thing. A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.”

By Emily Freeman.

 What decisions have you made today?

Did your alarm go off, kicking you out of bed?  Did you choose toast or cereal for breakfast or skip it altogether? Decisions, decisions, decisions. Big or small, they require a degree of effort in their execution. Clearly, choosing your morning meal is not the same as choosing your major, and starting or ending a relationship carries more weight than what to have for supper. Nevertheless, all these scenarios beg the question, how do we make decisions?

“What if the way we make decisions is equally as important as the decisions we make? What if choice is one of the primary avenues of our spiritual formation?”  (Freeman. 17).

Let me introduce you to a wonderful book by Emily Freeman called “The Next Right Thing. A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.” The title itself tells you that this is not your usual top-five-decision-making-tips list. There is plenty of helpful material of that ilk freely available and if you want some quick strategies, go ahead and google. This book gives us something different. I came across it when I was listening to Emily being interviewed on Suzanne Stabile’s “The Enneagram Journey Podcast.”[1] The two discuss Emily’s decision-making style through the lens of her personality type, (she is a 4 for those who know enneagram) and the wisdom found in the book is a focal point of their conversation.

What’s the central message? Let’s turn to Emily’s voice. “The magic is in the word “next” and not “right.”” This, she says, has proved to be a life-saving insight for her. Like Emily, we have all at some point, been overwhelmed with too much information, too many options and too many external or inner expectations, leading to paralysis. Like Emily, we have experienced that gut-level anxiety that comes with the fear of taking the wrong path, ushering in regrets upon regrets. And like Emily, we have all longed for lightening-in-the-sky signs that bring us clear direction. What Emily does in her book is provide gentle counsel that helps us to slow down, quieten the voices and step back so we can discern how to respond to whatever is before us. This book is part storytelling, captivating us with illustrations from Emily’s real-life examples and part contemplative guide with easy-to-follow practices at the end of every short chapter. You can read it cover to cover, starting with chapter 1, “Do The Next Right Thing,” and ending with chapter 24, “Wait With Hope.” Or you can scan the chapter titles and head right to the one that seems to chime with your situation.  Juggling with competing choices? Then chapter 8, “Know What You Want More” could help you out. Wondering how the wisdom of others can bring clarity? Try chapter 15, “Gather Co-Listeners.” You will find some excellent pointers. There is also an accompanying website and podcast[2] hosted by Emily which is worth checking out – a great resource for those of us suffering from decision-making burnout! This is a book to be savored and read meditatively. It’s a book to buy and keep on your shelf because you will want to return to it time and time again. It’s practical, it’s reassuring, and it’s dedicated to “anyone who’s ever made a pro/con list in the middle of the night,”[3] which is all of us.

A final thought. How might a book like this come to our aid in this covid-19 season? I return to the title. As we are bombarded with information and advice, sometimes conflicting, and as we grapple with our fears, past, present and/or future, let’s pause, plant our feet on the ground beneath us and taking a deep breath, do the next right thing.

[1] https://www.theenneagramjourney.org/podcast/2019/episode57

[2] https://emilypfreeman.com/

[3] Dedication page of Emily’s book.