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Current Offerings

Five Tuesdays in Lent 2015
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women:  A Conversation
Redeemer Readers 2014-15

Five Tuesdays in Lent 2015

Join us for five Tuesdays beginning on February 24 to delve deeper into faith during Lent. 

February 24 Prayer I Jeff Stone
March 3 Prayer II Jeff Stone
March 10 Almsgiving Andrew Asbil
March 17 Fasting Mary Cate Garden
March 24 Penitence/Repentence TBA

We will begin at 6 PM with a light meal for a suggested donation of $10.

Please register online or by calling the church office at 416-922-4948.

Font and Redeemer Well during Lent

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women:  A Conversation

"Who Cares" is a beaded vamp by teresa burrows for the "Walking with our Sisters" exhibition.

The Aboriginal Issues Working Group is hosting a conversation to follow up on the national roundtable on this topic held on February 27.  Please join leaders Audrey Huntley, Carolyn Bennett, Mary Eberts and others on Saturday, March 21 from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM.  Lunch will be provided. 

Registration begins at 11 AM.  There is no cost for any part of the day.

Please sign up online, or by calling the church office at 416-922-4948. 

Redeemer Readers 2014-15
Christianity and the Arts

This year, we will look at five books that deal with Christianity and the Arts and the impact of the arts on history, religion and society.  We will start with a book that deals in part with the biblical prohibition about making art (especially graven or sculptured images).  The second book deals with painting and the profound influence that the artist Lucas Cranach had on Luther and the Reformation.  Next, we will move on to music, and the interface between Bach and Frederick the Great, as one era gave way to another.  Our Lent book is a reflection on Rembrandt’s great painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son (in the Hermitage, St Petersburg) and will be complemented by a selection of poetry.  And last, we will read a novel which deals with the prodigal son theme in an American mid-west Presbyterian setting.  Some of these selections will help prepare for a projected theme for next year, that of Christianity and Non-violence.

New members are always welcome, even those who can’t make all five meetings.  If new members are interested in attending any or all of the discussions, or want more information, please contact Pauline Thompson at pauline.thompson@utoronto.ca.

Book Jacket - The Ten Commandments:  A Short History of an Ancient Text (Michael Coogan)

October 23, 2014

Michael Coogan.  The Ten Commandments:  A Short History of an Ancient Text. New Haven and London:  Yale University Press, 2014, 141 pp.  Ca $17.

This may seem like a strange place to start in a discussion of Christianity and the Arts, but Coogan has quite a bit to say about the second (or, in some ways of counting, part of the first) commandment about not making “graven images.”  This is a clearly written and quite provocative discussion of the history of the Decalogue versions, their status in ancient and modern times, and the controversies surrounding some of the specific commandments.  Coogan’s translations and interpretations are themselves somewhat controversial.

Questions for the October 23 Discussion
Notes from the October 23 Discussion

Steven Ozment.  The Serpent and the Lamb:  Cranach, Luther and the Making of the Reformation.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2013, 344 pp.  Ca $15 pb. 

Ozment offers a tour through the works of Lucas Cranach, the preeminent court painter to the Elector of Saxony, both secular and sacred.  What most interests Ozment is the influence of the Reformation on Cranach’s art and, in turn, the role of that art in promoting Protestantism.  Also of interest is his friendship with Martin Luther, and his convincing of Luther that there was a role for art in Christianity.  This book is rich in social, political and theological detail, things often treated too cursorily by art critics (TLS, 04/06/2013).  The book will also make a nice link with the Luther biography that Redeemer Readers read earlier in 2014.

Questions for the December 11 Discussion
Notes from the December 11 Discussion

Book Jacket - The Serpent and the Lamb (Steven Ozment)

December 11, 2014

Book Jacket - Evening in the Palace of Reason:  Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment (James R. Gaines)

February 12, 2015

James R. Gaines.  Evening in the Palace of Reason:  Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment.  New York, Toronto, et al:  Harper Perennial, 2005, 273 pp.  Ca $13.

Johann Sebastian Bach created what may be the most celestial and profound body of music in history; Frederick the Great built the colossus we now know as Germany, and along with it a template for modern warfare.  Their fleeting encounter in 1747 signals a unique moment in history where belief collided with the cold certainty of reason.  Set at the tipping point between the ancient and modern world, Evening in the Palace of Reason captures the tumult of the eighteenth century, the legacy of the Reformation, and the birth of the Enlightenment in this extraordinary tale of two men (publisher).

Questions for the February 12 Discussion
Notes from the February 12 Discussion

Henri J.M. Nouwen.  The Return of the Prodigal Son:  A Story of Homecoming.  Image Books, 1994, 160 pp.  Ca $14, $24 as an audio book.

A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure.  In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt's depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable:  the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's vengefulness, and the father's compassion.  In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes a powerful drama of the parable ….  The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable … and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times (publisher).   "The Return of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us." --New Oxford Review

Our reflection on Henri Nouwen's book will be complemented by a selection of poems, a personal anthology, to be provided later. Together, these will be our Lent books for 2015.

Book Jacket - The Return of the Prodigal Son:  A Story of Homecoming (Henri J. M. Nouwen)

March 26, 2015

Book Jacket - Home (Marilynne Robinson)

May 14, 2015

Marilynne Robinson.  Home.  Toronto:  Harper Perennial, 2008, 325 pp.  Ca $14.

This is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith.  It is also another “prodigal son” story, of Jack, who returns home after an absence of twenty years, looking for refuge and resolution.  This novel won for Robinson the Orange Prize for Fiction.

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