Saturday, May 13, 2017

Next Beyond the Walls: June 22

We'll have our second Beyond the Walls service Thursday evening June 22 as a kick-off for the congregation's Pride Toronto events. The theme will be "All Are Called."

Beyond the Walls (May 11, 2017) Video

If you missed participating in our first online service, you can watch the recording online on YouTube.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beyond the Walls (May 11, 2017)

Toronto Congregation is launching our first online service tonight (Thursday May 11) at 8:00 PM Eastern. It should about an hour long and will make use of Zoom (free teleconferencing software you can download on your computer or smart phone). Feel free to join us via this link:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

May and June Lecture Topics

Our History, Philosophy, & Theology Group will continue to meet on selected Tuesday evenings this May and June.

May 16, Tues (7 pm): The History of the End of the World. We'll look at the long history of failed predictions that the Apocalypse was imminent, from the many precursors to the Book of Revelation to its readers who continue to misinterpret the text to the present day.

May 23, Tues (7 pm): Wheel of Fortune: Philosophy after Rome Fell. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the great Latin politician and scholar Boethius was sentenced to be executed by the king of the Ostrogoths.  We'll take a look his outstanding work, "The Consolation of Philosophy," and see how one the great Western thinkers reconciled himself to the downturn of Fortune's Wheel.

May 30, Tues (7 pm): The History of Mormon Polygamy. Why did Mormons redefine the Western idea of the family in the 19th century? We'll look at the origin of the practice, why and when the mainline LDS Church abandoned polygamy, and where and how it continues among fundamentalist Mormons.

June 6, Tues (7 pm): Myths of David and Solomon. The Bible insists that David and his son Solomon ruled a unified kingdom of Israel from their capital Jerusalem, which only afterwards split into a northern kingdom (Israel) and a southern kingdom (Judah).  This was taken to be accurate history until it was disproved in recent decades by archaeologists.  We'll explore the what we can know about the actual history of ancient Israel and the historic David.

June 13, Tues (7 pm): Revisiting the Galileo Myth. The story of Galileo's trial and the banning of his work by the Pope has become a staple of the "History of Science" narrative.  We'll look at the actual history and trace the way a Protestant polemic against Catholicism came to be repurposed as a secular myth.

June 27, Tues (7 pm): Was the Apostle Paul Gay? In honour of Toronto Pride week, we'll consider evidence concerning the sexual orientation of the Apostle Paul, the second founder of Christianity.  We'll also look at what Paul has to say about the subject and how this has been misread by some Christian fundamentalists..

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sunstone Toronto (Saturday April 8)

Plan to attend the first Sunstone Symposium in Canada, Sunstone Toronto, this April 8th.  Learn more about the program and register at the Sunstone Toronto website.  Our congregation will also be having a special service on Sunday morning, April 9, (10 am class, 11 am service, noon snacks) for any Sunstone attendees who want to experience what our congregation is like.  All are welcome!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

March and April Lecture Topics

Our History, Philosophy, & Theology Group will continue to meet on selected Tuesday evenings this March and April.

Mar 14, Tues (7 pm): Maps of the Medieval Mind. “Here there be dragons” fills the void of the world unknown to Europeans in the so-called Dark Ages.  We’ll explore and translate dozens of historic maps to chart the Medieval worldview.

Mar 21, Tues (7 pm): Pagan Vikings vs. the Christians. Beginning in the 8th century AD, pagan Norsemen plundered the monasteries of the Frankish and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. How could Thor and Odin lose out to Jesus?

Mar 28, Tues (7 pm): The Bible’s Powerful Matriarchs. In the Age of the Patriarchs, it turns out that most of the Bible’s most powerful figures were women. How and why did these matriarchal narratives challenge the patriarchy?

Apr 11, Tues (7 pm): Easter: Comparing Resurrection Myths.  Jesus Christ is hardly the only god in Antiquity who was said to return to the world of the living after death.  We’ll compare these many ancient resurrection myths. 

Apr 18, Tues (7 pm): The Crusades and Jihad.  We’ll look at the original holy wars fought between Medieval Christianity and Islam.  Can we draw lessons from these past conflicts for the 21st century world?

Apr 25, Tues (7 pm): Why Job Fails to Solve Evil.  The authors of the Book of Job were troubled by the question: Why do the righteous suffer when the wicked prosper?  We’ll consider and evaluate their proposed answers.