Glimpses of the Kingdom

Angie Hocking

Numbers 11:4-29

Mark 9:38-50

My name is Angie, and I oversee the drop-in meal program in the basement here at Church of the Redeemer, an Anglican parish in Toronto, Ontario. Our program runs 5 days a week, 9am to noon, catering to anyone in need of a meal, specifically those who live on the streets and on the margins of our society in downtown Toronto. We see about 100-120 people per day, and offer breakfast and lunch, as well as important services like our medical clinic, counseling, legal services, art studio, discussion groups, and more. I have been with the program since April of this year.

When Jesus was asked questions, he often responded with a story. So allow me to share some stories as we explore this weeks’ texts. Continue reading

How Two and Two Made Four

Magda Trocmé and the Conditions and Phronesis of Hospitality

Jeffrey Metcalfe

In reality, it was no great merit on the part of those who dedicated themselves to the health teams, because they knew that it was the only thing to be done and not doing it would have been incredible at the time. […] Moreover, the narrator is well aware of the objection that you might make to him, namely that those men were risking their lives. But there always comes a time in history when the person who dares say that two and two make four is punished by death. […] And the question is not what reward or punishment awaits the demonstration; it is knowing whether or not two and two do make four. For those of the townspeople who risked their lives, they had to decide whether or not they were in a state of plague and whether or not they should try to overcome it. […] There was only one way to do this, which was to fight the plague. There was nothing admirable about this truth, it simply followed as a logical consequence.

–                Albert Camus, The Plague[1]

How does helping the other, especially at great personal risk to oneself, become simply a logical consequence of a non-admirable truth? Said differently, how can we affirm that two and two make four? Continue reading

Making Thought Visual

A Review of Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt

Sherry Coman

Margarethe von Trotta has dedicated her life to illuminating the stories of women, both fictional and real. Her films about Rosa Luxemburg (Rosa Luxemburg) and Hildegarde von Bingen (Vision) are at opposite ends of my TIFF 30 year range of experience: I think it was Rosa Luxembourg that first introduced me to von Trotta in the mid-80s and I have followed her ever since. This year von Trotta is back with a biopic of the great German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt, in the film with that title. Continue reading

A Sermon Preached on the Fall of Empire

Jeffrey Metcalfe

(Click here to listen)

James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a

Mark 9:30-37

Nobody knew how the invading army penetrated the city gates.

The idealists, still believing in the invincibility of the eternal city, thought it must have been treachery: some renegades, probably slaves, had let them in.

The realists, decrying recent municipal and national cut backs in infrastructure, were not surprised in the least. After all, hadn’t they been complaining to the magistrate about concrete falling from the gate?

The moralists, denouncing the loss of traditional values, blamed the church. To them it was obvious the country was being divinely punished.

Regardless as to how the gate was taken, no one disputed what happened next: houses burned, storehouses pillaged, captives taken, graves desecrated.

It could not be disputed.

Rome – the centre of the western world – had fallen, and with it, the hopes and dreams of an Empire.

It was at this moment that Augustine, a bishop and theologian of the church, did what bishops and theologians tend to do in troubled times. He wrote a book. Continue reading

The Ones Who Didn’t Make It

A Review of Benedek Fliegauf’s Film, Just the Wind

Emily Loewen

When thinking of the refugees who come to Canada every year, Europe likely isn’t the point of origin you would picture. But in 2011 the largest number of refugee applicants came from Hungary, and almost all of them are Roma.[1] Immigrating and building a life in Canada is not easy, and likely will get harder as Bill C-31 is implemented. But for many Roma, going back to the alternative in Hungary in unimaginable.

A new film, Just the Wind, which had it’s North American premiere at TIFF, follows the life of a fictional Roma family living in Hungary, waiting to join their husband and father in Toronto. Continue reading