Through the Waters – Forums

1. The Gift of Music and Song  – Agnes Henderson

There are several references in the Bible inviting us to sing and make music from our hearts to the Lord. No matter how we are feeling or where we are on our journey in this life, music can be a way for us to reach out to God, as well as a way for us to feel God reaching out to us.

Psalm 96 begins with the words “Sing a new song to the Lord.” At some point in time every song was a new song, from the oldest hymn to the newest song of praise. As new songs are continually written, many different styles develop, resulting in a vast repertoire of music to choose from, yet we all have our favourites.

As we cover a variety of music that hopefully includes something for everyone, join us for an opportunity to sit back and listen, or sing along as we share God’s love and faithfulness through the gift of music and song.

Agnes Henderson’s bio can be found in the Leadership Preview.

2. Loving Across Difference – Dr. Wendy VanderWal-Gritter

Loving Across Difference: In our pluralistic contexts, the invitation to love across difference offers an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and engagement in the work of justice. Loving the other can also be painful and costly. Together, we’ll reflect on spiritual postures and practices that will equip and sustain us in our commitment to love as Jesus did.

Dr. Wendy VanderWal-Gritter has served as Executive Director of Generous Space Ministries since 2002. Wendy is an internationally recognized contributor to the conversation at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality and is deeply committed to the work of justice and equity particularly in relationship with LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ.

3. Through the Waters with Naomi and Ruth – Dr. Marion Taylor 

What does it mean that God will be with us when we pass through the waters and walk through the fire (Isaiah 43:2)? In our time together, we will examine the lives of Naomi and Ruth—two Old Testament women who experience great loss and trauma and also experience God’s presence in their pain, suffering, and despair. These great foremothers of our faith have much to teach us about how to cope when we are faced with the challenges that come our way. 

Dr. Marion Taylor grew up in Toronto and began her academic studies at the University of Toronto. Her journey took her to Yale University, where her interest in the history of the interpretation of the Bible was solidified. Marion’s interests in the Old Testament are broad. Most recently she has focused on forgotten women interpreters of the Bible. Marion has written, edited, and published books, resources and articles. She is currently teaching at Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology. 

4. Why Are We Here? – Dr. Mary Jo Leddy

Why are we here? During our time together we will examine the moral challenges facing Canada in a time of social exclusion and environmental ruin. We will focus on three of the country’s national blind spots—relationship with Indigenous peoples, immigration, and its poor record of caring for the environment. 

Our future depends on a profound shift in our attitudes to this place on earth we inhabit. You are invited to explore themes of sin, gratitude and redemption, refusing, ultimately, to treat this place as some chunk of earth we own. 

Dr. Mary Jo Leddy is a Canadian writer, speaker, theologian, and social activist. She is the founder of Romero House Community for Refugees and currently serves as Director. She is also an adjunct professor at Regis College, University of Toronto.

Mary Jo is the author of several books, including, Why Are We Here? A Meditation on Canada, The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home, and Radical Gratitude.

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