Round the Table

Sharing stories of life, faith, and ministry in the United Church and beyond.

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

About this week's story of the Prodigal Son, Rev. Stephen Fetter writes, "Loving skillfully is hard. It's not enough simply to be warm and fuzzy." 

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

How is your Lenten practice going? 
 
I am happy to report that I have not eaten any candy since Shrove Tuesday. Well that is almost true; I did accidentally forget that a marshmallow might be considered candy and helped myself to one in my hot chocolate a couple of weeks ago. Candy is such a small thing to give up, although given my habits and sweet tooth, I am reminded several times each day that this is Lent, and that there is something that I am foregoing during this time.
 
There have been a lot of things bigger than candy for us to think about

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Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

In this blog post for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Sara Stratton writes that it is a tremendous act of presumption and privilege to assume that we are “all the same inside.”

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

In the blog post Rev. David Sherwin writes that being a Christian isn’t something we are, it is something we aspire to be. When we practice our faith we set ourselves free. 

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

A reflection on Luke 13:31-35.

You’d think Jesus would be feeling at the top of his game.

Crowds are coming out to hear him every day of the week. The halt and the lame are waiting in line just for a chance to get near him. This chapter of Luke is peppered with parables and healings and teachings about the Kingdom of God. Every detail is breathlessly exciting.

And then some friends come — Pharisees, no less — with bad news. All the excitement is drawing the attention of the authorities. Herod, who already beheaded John the Baptist, has heard about...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

“Your English is so good!” she said politely as I sought to explain the nature of the transaction I would like to undertake. I couldn’t help but respond, “Well I am from a British colony.” I have never been assessed by the quality of my English before but I guess there is a first time for everything.

What would have given this friendly woman the idea that I was unlikely to speak English well? I shudder to think that she looked at me and, from my physical appearance, had some expectations — but when I was different from what she expected she was impressed. Yet in interaction after...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

A reflection on the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13).

I seldom imagine Jesus as vulnerable to temptation. For me, Jesus is confident, outspoken, insightful, inspiring – even unshakable in his conviction that the world can and must be better, and that love is the way. But Jesus vulnerable to temptation? Doubting his calling, or his strategy? Second-guessing himself? That adds a whole different level of complexity to his mission for me.
 
We only get a couple of glimpses of that in the gospels – one is in this week’s reading, at the very beginning of his...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

Lent is a time for contemplation, for going a bit deeper, for finding the places where pain and joy and fear and hope intersect.

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

The editor of Mandate magazine finds that in these times of change, there are no easy answers when it comes to talking about God with youth.

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

A reflection on "Transfiguration," (Luke 9:28-43a).

Peter, James and John follow Jesus up a mountain to pray this week, and to escape the crowds that were hounding them. Sadly the disciples just can't keep up; their prayers soon have them snoring. When they come to, they discover Jesus glowing like a candle and conversing with the two biggies of Israel's history — Moses the law-giver and Elijah, the greatest prophet.

It's one of the two moments of startling clarity that serve as bookends to the season of Epiphany that is ending this week. The Epiphany...

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