Tag Archives: Mark Buchanan

The beauty of church

There are a hundred reasons to dislike church. A thousand reasons to suspend your participation in one church, or swap it for attendance at another. I attend church every Sunday and I haven’t church shopped, swapped or dropped since I was in my early 20s (and that was a while ago). I’m married to an Anglican priest, so his church is my church, our family goes every week, and yes, there is bickering and badgering and we are often late.

Read Rod Wilson’s article on the circulation of the saints in the Jan/Feb Faith Today, available now.

As I’ve seen people in various churches over the years drop out for a time or for good, or switch churches (usually for a bigger or newer option, and yes, I totally get that there are lots of good reasons to leave a church), I’ve wondered what I would do if I had that freedom. Would I become a circulating saint, as Rod Wilson puts it in his recent Faith Today article? Would I regularly try out other churches to sample the offerings? Would I choose my couch and a good book on Sunday morning instead, and often? Would I let my kids throw in the worship towel because I just can’t stand the arguing? I can’t honestly answer “no” to those questions, because I just don’t know. I hope not, but it is possible that without my built-in church attendance motivation,  I might go to bedside Baptist, and poolside Presbyterian and be Lutheran at the lake, and all those other silly names.
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Our favourite Faith Today stories in 2016

As a fun end-of-year exercise, we editors put our heads together and chose some of our favourite Faith Today stories from 2016. “Favourite” meaning they resonated with readers for some reason. Or favourite could mean that we just simply loved the end results of the writer’s hard work, or thought an interview subject said some really important things we all need to hear.

We started out the year with a love letter to the Church. See you in 2017!

So, here’s our list (in no particular order, and just for fun).

Artful Discipleship: how the arts can help in spiritual formation. We love this Carolyn Arends piece with the honour it gives to the arts, and of course, with its connection to our first ever, wildly popular colour it yourself Faith Today cover. This was so much fun to pull together and it was awesome to see readers respond and send in coloured covers from all across Canada.
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“Dear Church” and other bits of awesomeness from the latest Faith Today

by Karen Stiller

If you were going to write a letter to the Church, what would you say?

I know I’d have a few complaints and suggestions. Hopefully I would be polite and loving.

The Jan/Feb Faith Today will arrive in mailboxes soon.
The Jan/Feb Faith Today will arrive in mailboxes soon.

I know I would say thank you for all the Church has given me. For how it catapults me into community whether I feel like it or not, for how it comforts and challenges me, for how it forces me to grow by holding a mirror up to my unpleasantness.

I would say thank you for the small groups, for the good friends, for the egg salad and the white bread that is so hard to find anywhere else these days.

The cover story of the Jan/Feb Faith Today is exactly that: a letter to the Church from someone who loves it. Mark Buchanan, well-known and respected Canadian author, past-pastor and now professor of pastoral theology at Ambrose University, took the task very seriously. He says thanks, and then he makes some very solid suggestions to the Church he loves, and also challenges himself (and us!) to higher ground. On a purely superficial level, the spirit of the piece inspired one of our coolest covers ever, in my opinion.
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Why the Bible Sometimes Turns People Nasty

– By Mark Buchanan

2080656MidResI teach a class at Ambrose University on spiritual formation. It’s my favourite class, except for my other classes.

I opened my first session last week by reading some of the story of Stephen from Acts. Here are the sections:

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue… who began to argue with Stephen….

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Love Dispels Fear

Click the cover image to read the Nov/Dec 2013 issue.

Our stories this issue challenge us to think Christianly.

We really did go behind the scenes for this issue, to the streets of Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Our writers were assigned to get a glimpse of what life on the street is like for prostituted women and the Christians who try to serve them.

Senior editor Karen Stiller handled the Toronto segment only three nights prior to her departure for another story in Senegal (see “Operation Christmas Child” on p.12).

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