Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF)

Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF)
CRC Chaplain’s office, Wycliffe College basement

Film Night: “Genèse”

An evening of eating, watching, reflecting and talking with the GCF community

Thursday, September 30,  2010
Chaplain’s office, Wycliffe College (basement)

6:00 – Dinner
7:00 (or so) – Something After Dinner – film, discussion etc.


(Mali, 1999)

Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Screenplay by Jean-Louis Sagot-Duvauroux

The ancient tale of tribal conflict between Jacob and Esau serves as the basis for this powerful allegory about the ethnic and religious warfare which continues to rage in so much of Africa (and the rest of the world) today. This visually stunning work deftly attempts to return a text fundamental to the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions back to its tribal origins. You’ve never seen the stories from Genesis 23-37 told like this before, and after seeing this movie, you may never be able to hear them the same again.

And if we’re really fortunate the legendary, but elusive, homemade caramel popcorn might make a reappearance.


Start Time: 6:00pm
Date: 2010-09-30

Wine Before Breakfast

Wine Before Breakfast
Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave.

“A city set on a hill”

Having lived during the eight years of a George W. Bush presidency I have come to have an almost allergic reaction to that deeply biblical phrase, “A city set on a hill.”

America is a city set on a hill!
That has been part of the religious rhetoric of America from its beginning, but I’m not sure that any president employed the phrase more often than Bush.

Of course, it wasn’t just the pretentiousness of it all that got under my skin.
Empires are always pretentious, and they always make exaggerated world historical claims for themselves.
That’s just the way empires are.

No, it was that this bit of pretension was also blasphemous.
Jesus said, “you are the light of the world,
a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
President Bush appropriated that language for America.
America is the light of the world,
America is a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.

And all of this justified,
provided deep sacred legitimation
for Bush’s foreign policy,
based as it was in deceit.

I know, I know, maybe this weekly Wine Before Breakfast meditation is degenerating into a bit of a political rant.
And I know that it can be pretty cheap and easy for Canadians to poke fun of American rhetorical excess.

But what are we to do when we hear Jesus talking about a city set on a hill and the voice of George W. Bush insinuates itself into our consciousness?

Maybe we need to hear how audacious this language was coming from the mouth of Jesus in the first place.
Read more Wine Before Breakfast

Wine Before Breakfast

Title: Wine Before Breakfast
Location: Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave.

Lewis, Cockburn and a Jesus Way of Seeing

Do you remember Uncle Andrew in C.S. Lewis ‘s The Magician’s Nephew? While Aslan is singing Narnia into being and talking animals are springing to life, the children can see and hear what’s going on and rejoice in it. Uncle Andrew, however, only sees ferocious animals (Aslan being the worst of the lot as far as he is concerned) and hears the most bestial and frightening of sounds.

Lewis explains in his narration that “what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”

In his song, “Child of the Wind,” Bruce Cockburn gets at the same thing:

Little round planet
In a big universe
Sometimes it looks blessed
Sometimes it looks cursed
Depends on what you look at obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see

What you see depends on where you are standing and what you look at.  In the Sermon on the Mount we have already seen that, for Jesus, standing with the poor, with those who mourn, with the meek and those who hunger and thirst for justice is the only standpoint from which you will see the Kingdom of God. Standing anywhere else will render you blind.

And now as we continue our meditation on the Beatitudes we learn that what you see depends also on “what sort of person you are,” “on the way that you see.” Read more Wine Before Breakfast

First Graduate Christian Fellowship of the Year

Title: First Graduate Christian Fellowship of the Year
Location: CRC Chaplain’s office, Wycliffe College basement (for directions, email Sara)

It’s that time of year again.  The days are getting a bit shorter, children have returned to school, Torontonians continue to lament the weather of the waning summer… And Graduate Christian Fellowship officially begins another year!

This Thursday, September 16 at 6:00 pm is the first of our regular Thursday evening gatherings.  We will eat soup and bread together at 6:00pm, prepared by returning members of the community. At about 7:30 or so, we’ll retire to the comfy chairs for dessert and tea, to get to know each other (the return of the introduction question!), to share about what GCF is about, and to pray together for the upcoming year.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you again, and perhaps some of you for the first time that evening.

To sum up:
6:00 – Dinner
7:30 – Introduction to the community; prayer
9:00 – Dishes (“The best conversations happen over dishes!”)

See you then! Read more First Graduate Christian Fellowship of the Year

Wine Before Breakfast is for Hungry People

Wine Before Breakfast is for hungry people.

If you are full,
if you are satisfied with yourself,
if the world is as it should be,
if you’ve got it all together,
then why get up early to go to church?
On a Tuesday of all things!
At 7.22!

No, you’ve  got to be hungry to come to WBB.
You’ve got to have that gnawing hunger in your soul,
in your heart.

And you’ve got to be thirsty.
You need to have a sense of parched lips,
in a parched land.

Read more Wine Before Breakfast is for Hungry People

Wine Before Breakfast Returns

Title: Wine Before Breakfast Returns
Location: Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave.

Dear friends:

When a first century Jewish prophet climbs up the side of a mountain and delivers a long discourse about the nature of faithful life in the Kingdom of God, you know that this is serious stuff.

It isn’t just the length of the discourse that tips you off that something significant is going on.

Some folks can be long-winded. Read more Wine Before Breakfast Returns