Some of us were at the Jazz Vespers last Sunday and others of us were able to attend the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr Social Justice Brunch. Some got to both, and that includes me.
I am sorry to share the news that Darcy Dee passed away early Sunday morning. Darcy was a brave and wonderful spirit that downtown Hamilton was vastly richer for. Many of us remember her on her scooter through the streets and through Jackson Square. Here is something she wrote in her book Smile Through It All: “(Sept 19, 2010) Today was a pretty nice day outside. I went to two church services. One at Centenary, and one in Gore Park. I had to leave both in a hurry because the lady was waiting for me at home. I got to change that. It’s nice to listen about God. It is also nice to chat with others about God. Boy, oh, boy, what a life. I am so lonely as I go through the busy streets, through the mall, and anywhere really. Life is a chore for me.”
Join Darcy’s family in the MacNab Room in the Sheraton Hotel at 116 King St (upper level) on Saturday, January 26 from 1 pm to 5 pm for an open house celebrating Darcy’s life. There will be a formal time around 3 pm, and I will offer a word of thanks for Darcy as part of that.
If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you Sunday ~
We’ve had web-host server problems for the last few weeks that are finally sorted out. Happy New Year to you!
New Vision folks can be involved in a couple of events this Sunday in addition to our usual Sunday morning worship at 10:30 am.
The Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association is hosting its second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Brunch at 1:30 pm at 754 Barton St. E. They’ve asked New Vision to come and asked me to be part of a panel on “Keeping the Dream Alive” — how we can bring the dream of beloved community to life in Hamilton. Tickets ($30 ea) can be purchased by phoning 905 385 0925. Other panelists are Kayonne Christy, co-founder of McMaster Womanist, Max Lightstone, founder of McMaster Interfaith Council and Nrinder Nann, City Councilor for Ward 3. Join me if you can in this vital and never-ending work (and celebration).
At 4:30 pm on Sunday, New Vision is hosting its January Jazz Vespers in the Music Hall featuring Mike Malone on the trumpet and the poems of Emily Dickinson. Mike will be backed up by pianist Nancy Walker subbing for Adrean Farrugia, and bassist Clark Johnston and drummer Chris Wallace. Hamilton Spectator music beat reporter Leonard Turnevicius featured this month’s vespers in a great article today “These are not your traditional vespers.”
I’ll be at all three events on Sunday, so I hope to see you Sunday ~
Happy New Year to you.
On Sunday, the New Vision congregation of Threshold Partners (that’s all of us) are gathering after worship for a potluck and then a working session on developing key concepts for a New Vision Social Enterprise non-profit. The working session will be led by our social enterprise consultant Jeremy Frieburger. He will be using the results of our efforts Sunday to draft a model business plan for us to develop the concept further toward implementation as part of our emerging social enterprise ministry.
The meeting will begin with a brief update on the social enterprise ministry initiative from the Social Enterprise Development Team.
It’s the Baptism of Jesus Sunday this Sunday too. It doesn’t take long in the church calendar for Jesus to get from being born to being baptized. It is an opportunity once again to affirm our commitment to and resolution to develop beloved community at New Vision.
On Sunday January 20 a couple of things beyond our Sunday morning worship are happening. I’ve been invited by the Afro Canadian Carribbean Association to be a panelist in their Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Brunch at 754 Barton. The panel discussion begins at 1:30 pm.
At 4:30 pm on Jan 20 come join me for Jazz Vespers in January at The Music Hall with Mike Malone, trumpet and the Adrean Farrugia Trio. We’ll be listening to poems of Emily Dickinson as well as enjoying contemplative jazz in a beautiful space in the midst of the city. For more on New Vision’s jazz vespers, visit our jazz vespers page on New Vision’s website.
See you Sunday ~
It is a sign of the busyness of the season that I find myself putting this note together on Saturday afternoon of the week, rather than the customary Thursday (and sometime Friday).
Our preparations for the celebration of Christmas are almost complete. Last Sunday we threw the New Vision Christmas party in the Music Hall for the first time. The Jazz Vespers that preceded had the musicians improvising on some seasonal tunes and on the carol “Hark the Herald Angels.” Mary Oliver’s poems resonated with and deepened our awareness of the season’s beauty and transitoriness.
Tomorrow is the Fourth Sunday of Advent; the theme, divine love.
Tomorrow evening JR DiGS throws his 10th annual Acoustic Christmas Party in the Music Hall. In some parts of the Christian world there is a tradition of a funky party the evening before Christmas Eve. This concert may be it in Hamilton. There are probably tickets still available – check out Bruha ticketing. Proceeds from the concert are going to Indwell and YWCA efforts to end homelessness.
Monday evening we join together in early evening worship to focus in wonder once again on the gift of a vulnerable new-born in a vulnerable place with vulnerable parents. We will meet for worship in the Lower Hall at 7 pm for Christmas Eve worship.
Blessings at Christmas.
See you Sunday ~
This Sunday coming is the Third Sunday of Advent – only two more Sundays to Christmas!
This Sunday, we are holding the first of our Jazz Vespers series at 4:30 pm in the Music Hall. Graham Rockingham wrote a great story about jazz vespers, and about ours, in the Hamilton Spectator yesterday. Rockingham’s story complements the opinion piece I wrote about jazz as an aspect of New Vision’s Affirming ministry that the Spec published last week.
After the Vespers on Sunday, we have our annual New Vision Christmas Party. Santa will not be appearing! There will be a pay as you may meal, some carols to sing, and a little entertainment to send you off cheerfully into the night. It too will take place in the Music Hall, immediately after the Vespers..
Regular Sunday worship this Sunday (Dec 16) is the last opportunity to bring white gifts in for the Wesley Christmas store. We’ll gather everything that has been brought in and take it to the Christmas Store next week.
Our Blue Christmas Service of Remembrance and Hope takes place next Wednesday evening (Dec 19) at 7 pm, in the Lower Hall. As we prepare once again for the celebration of the birth of our Redeemer and Saviour, such a service helps us to remember those whom we have lost.
See you Sunday ~
We are in the entirety of December now. Longer nights, and colder ones. The challenges of compassion come clearer as we remember what it is like to have a place, and people with us in it.
In such a spirit I wrote a piece for The Hamilton Spectator published in today’s paper on jazz, Affirming ministry, our Music Hall and New Vision. I hope you might take a few minutes to read it.
This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent. We are continuing to gather gifts together for Wesley’s Christmas Store. Bring gifts to the church and place them under our Christmas tree. We’ll take them over to the store on Dec 16.
A week Sunday (Dec 16) is our Threshold Partner Christmas Party in The Music Hall. Bring anyone you like, and invite as many as you come across. The party begins with our Jazz Vespers at Christmas with Darcy Hepner and the Adrean Farrugia Trio at 4:30 pm. It continues with a pay as you may meal. There will be a collection for music and the meal. Hope you can make it.
On Wednesday evening of that week, Dec 19, we will hold our annual Blue Christmas Service of Remembrance and Hope at 7 pm in the lower hall.
See you Sunday ~
It is getting difficult to avoid Christmas in the air. This is not a bad thing. If you are following the Christian year you are also aware that apocalypse is in the air. The revelation here is not to be found in some bad zombie flic, but in the reign of the One so totally marginalized that really the question comes to mind, “who’d have thought?”
So, it is Reign of Christ Sunday this Sunday, the last Sunday of the year. We begin Advent on Dec 2. After worship and a light lunch this Sunday we will formally begin the capacity building work we have been setting ourselves up to do with redeveloping 24 Main W as a New Vision social enterprise. Jeremy Frieburger of Cobalt Connects will join us to lead this introductory workshop.
We’re sharing our Music Hall with the Park Street Gasworks while they renovate. One of their programs is the monthly Family Jam run by An Instrument for Every Child. Family Jam was noticed this week in the Hamilton Magazine, with a great shot in the Music Hall. The next Family Jam is this Saturday. Come on out if you like.
See you Sunday ~
Mexico’s Día de los Muertos celebration – the Day of the Dead — is a mash-up of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts. It takes place today and tomorrow—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar— in the time of the Mexican fall maize harvest. Day of the Dead festivities unfold over these two days in an explosion of colour and life-affirming joy. Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members.
I wonder, as Latin America flows north and gets met by soldiers and border walls at the Mexico/USA border, whether or not we are beginning to see the cultural influence of the Day of the Dead even as far north as Canada. Halloween is not what it used to be; who knows what it will become? An explosion of colour and life-affirming joy?
We left our sign on Main St. protesting the cancellation of the basic income pilot project up for almost two and a half months. The reason was to remind ourselves that this decision affects a lot of people, every day, and not just during the news cycle in which it was featured prominently. In the meantime the provincial government has gone on to other things worthy of a protest sign. We are not going to allow ourselves to be exhausted by such outrages. A new sign has gone up, one that I hope helps us keep balance and offer balance to those caught in the current political tempests.
See you Sunday ~
The next New Vision note you will receive will come on All Saints Day, if I manage it.
The week ahead includes the first Jazz Vespers of the 2018/19 series. Enjoy a late afternoon offering this coming Sunday of the poetry of late 20thcentury/21st century Irish poet Seamus Heaney and cool jazz from the Adrean Farrugia Trio with guest vocalist Juno award winning Sophia Perlman. We gather at 4:30 pm in The Music Hall.
Heaney had a gift for word portraits of Irish life. We’ll be hearing mostly from that element of his work rather than the more painful parts that speak from the darkness of the Irish troubles. As sharp and tough as Irish life and landscape can be, and aching in their truth-telling.
We gather at our usual time on Sunday morning for worship at 10:30 am. It’s a season where it feels like there is only a thin membrane between this life and that beyond. We’ll be reflecting on the miracle of blind Bartemaeus seeing what he had never seen before.
See you Sunday ~
We are blessing pets and such other animals as any one of us may find important in our lives this Sunday at our 10:30 am worship. This is the last Sunday of our Season of Creation celebrations.
In the afternoon this Sunday at 3 pm New Vision celebrates the ministry of the former St. Giles congregation in worship under a tent in the 85 Holton Ave. S. parking lot. We’ll have a reception afterwards at the HARRRP Centre at St. Clair Blvd and Main St. E., a couple of blocks over. The former St. Giles is not available to us on any account because the water has been shut off and much of it is a construction site. We are blessed however that the carillon continues to be operable. It will be played as part of our celebration on Sunday.
This evening New Vision is joining a fun rally to promote positive LGBTQ+2S identities at the forecourt of City Hall from 6-8 pm. At the same time across the street a group of local churches and Redeemer University College are putting on an event at First Ontario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) in which negative and inadequate conceptions of gender identity and expression and minority sexual orientation will be offered to Christians as a scripturally sound understanding. Please come and enjoy the rally. New Vision is bringing the popcorn and a popcorn maker!
See you Sunday ~