Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries with Daniel Whitehead and Dr. John Swinton

May 13th, 2022

What sort of conversations should the church be having around mental health? What is it’s role in supporting those in congregations who are experiencing mental health challenges or know someone who is?

 

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, a Vancouver based organization is doing some amazing work in regard to conversations about mental health in the church. We had the honour of welcoming Daniel Whitehead, Sanctuary CEO, and Dr. John Swinton, Sanctuary Ambassador, Practical Theologian, and newly appointed Chaplain to the Queen, to talk with us. We spoke with Daniel and John about the role of the church in mental health, ways to reframe our understandings about mental health challenges, and some helpful resources for those wanting to learn more about mental health and faith.

 

Sanctuary has just released a free course for churches to work through how to have these kinds of conversations and to have better understandings about mental health issues.

 

Tasting Notes

 

We enjoyed two Amaro based drinks, a Negroni and an Amaro Spritz, made with Amaro from The Woods Spirit Co. based in North Vancouver. If you’d like to mix your own drinks here are the recipes:

 

Negroni

1.25 oz Gin (we used gin from The Woods)
1 oz Amaro
.75 oz Red Vermouth
Garnished with a slice of orange peel

 

Amaro Spritz

2 oz Amaro
3 oz Prosecco
Topped with soda water and garnished with an orange wedge

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Host Only: Arts and Culture Panel

April 29th, 2022

Our first ever Rector’s Cupboard Arts and Culture (and Entertainment) panel.

Amanda, Allison and Todd speak about some television shows, books and movies that you may find interesting, engaging, thoughtful and offensive.

In case you didn’t take notes during the episode here is a list of the shows, movies, and books we talked about.

TV Shows:

Righteous Gemstones
Shameless
Derry Girls
Only Murders In the Building
Somebody Somewhere
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed

Movies:

Everything Everywhere All At Once
Turning Red
Encanto

Books:

The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan
We Don’t Know Ourselves – Fintan O’Toole
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweet – Peter Cossins
This Here Flesh – Cole Arthur Riley
Run Towards the Danger – Sarah Polley
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi

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”What is a Woman?”: Christianity, Motherhood and Gender Roles with Brenda-Lee Sasaki

April 14th, 2022

The question “What is a woman?” has upset people on the left and on the right.

 

We speak with our guest, Brenda-Lee Sasaki, about her writing on Christian faith and motherhood. How are expectations and gender roles perceived in evangelicalism? Our conversation with Brenda-Lee focuses largely on her recently published essay, “I Am More Than a Mother: Dismantling the Madness of the Motherhood Myth".

 

Cupboard Master Ken Bell pours a special cocktail as we speak about gender conversations in the news.

Tasting Notes:

Ken's unnamed cocktail:

1.5 oz gin
1 - 1.5 oz peach schnapps
1 oz mango or peach nectar

Shake with ice and serve in a hi-ball or martini glass. Or, alternatively, serve with the ice in a collins glass and top with sparkling water or flavoured soda water.

Article referenced in this episode:

Republicans thought defining a ‘woman’ is easy. Then they tried.”, Washington Post, April 6, 2022

 

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Land-Based Healing and Wellness with Lauren Aldred

April 1st, 2022

Have we become disconnected from creation? What should our relationship and engagement with nature look like?

 

This week, the Cupboard was honoured to speak with Lauren Aldred, a counsellor at the College of New Caledonia. Lauren teaches workshops on Land-Based Healing and Wellness and shared with us stories and reflections from these courses. Much of what Lauren teaches appears to be common sense. However, responses to her work and interest in her classes, demonstrate the need to be reminded that we are in a living and dynamic relationship with all other creation and with the Creator.

 

We spoke with Lauren about how connection with creation can heal and restore us. We spoke about generosity and reciprocity. We spoke about relationship with land, and about the benefit of noticing even a dandelion growing in a sidewalk crack.

 

Some Further Resources from Lauren:

Safe & Ethical Guideline for Wildcrafting 

Good Medicine: Ideas for Supporting Land-based Healing and Wellness During the Pandemic, First Nations Health Authority 

If the Land is Sick You Are Sick: An Aboriginal Approach to Mental Health in Times of Drought, Scroll

 

Materials referenced in this episode:

Breaking Brethren, City News

Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, Discovery Plus

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Bipolar Faith with Dr. Monica A. Coleman

March 18th, 2022

Is God with us? If so, how?

 

Is God omnipresent and all-powerful? If you have thought about faith at all, then you have considered the tension present in believing in an all-powerful God, present with you, and the difficult, sometimes terrible realities of life. Dr. Monica Coleman is a writer, theologian, and educator who outlines a particular way of addressing the question of God’s presence. In her book, Bipolar Faith, she tells her story of growing up, her story of faith, and her story of trauma and mental health. She does this within the frame of a larger consideration of what it means that God is present in this world, that God is with us.

 

We won’t give away just what she has to say, we’ll simply say that we hear from Dr. Coleman a spiritual theology that speaks about God’s constant presence in change. Such understanding can be consoling, realistic, and even hopeful.

 

If you're interested in learning more about process theology, Dr. Coleman offers a course, Process Theology 101.

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Church Fights: King vs. Liquorish

March 4th, 2022

As we move past the halfway point of the third season of Rector’s Cupboard, we take the opportunity to discuss the origins of the podcast. We go through the story of one particular church fight and what that long ago battle has to do with what Rector’s Cupboard is aiming to do.

 

The church fight which we speak about is legendary. One small manifestation was demonstrated by a group of people opposed to changes in a particular church. The dissenters would loudly sing alternate songs when hymns that they did not like were being sung in church. That could be fun. Whenever someone has the audacity to begin singing “Majesty” a crew of agitated protestors in the congregation can belt out, “Shine, Jesus Shine” or maybe, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”.

 

In this episode we outline some parts of what we have called “Hopeful Theology”. We present the idea that the renewal needed in the evangelical (and beyond) church is primarily theological. That is, perhaps concepts that have led to polarization and division, and practices based in fear, ought to be reconsidered. There is a deep history of Christian theology that is not fearful and divisive, and renewal from that tradition could make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and in the future of the church.

 

Articles Referenced in this episode:

 

Ritualism Riots – The detailed history of St. George-in-the-East St 

 

All Year Round – The Charles Dickens story about the riots 

 

The marking of the 150th Anniversary of the riots and Archbishop Rowan Williams’ sermon that day 

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Sacred Sayings with Rod Wilson

February 18th, 2022

We speak with Rod Wilson about his just released book, “Thank You, I’m Sorry, Tell Me More: How to Change the World with 3 Sacred Sayings”.

 

Rod Wilson has worked as a psychologist, served as a pastor in three churches, and held multiple roles in theological education, including President of Regent College in Vancouver from 2000-2015. Rod currently works with Lumara Grief and Bereavement Care Society, A Rocha, The Society of Christian Schools in BC, and In Trust Center for Theological Schools, and maintains an international teaching and mentoring ministry.

 

Rod’s book outlines each of these sayings and then presents very many vignettes of how they function in our lives and relationships. We can’t be human with the other. In Hopeful Christian theology we can’t be healed (or “saved”) without the other. This book reminds us that the way of humility and love is what allows us to most know our humanity and the humanity of every person whose life meets ours. The sacred sayings are most brought to life with those who are closest to us and those most known over years, friends and family. The sacred sayings are hospitable and healing with those who we barely know and with those who are distant from us or different than us.

 

Rod has a wealth of insight and experience that he brings to this book. He brings also much of the personal and human from his own relationships.

ARTICLE REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE:

For many inside the Freedom Convoy, faith fuels the resistance” CBC, February 15, 2022

TASTING NOTES:

This episode we tasted the Bitter Orange Rosemary Cider and Plum Cider from Salt Spring Wild Cider.

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When Theology Hurts with Heidi Groot

February 4th, 2022

The Cupboard hosts speak with Heidi Groot, who grew up in a loving, evangelical family. The loving part is all good and continues to have positive impact for personal, mental, and emotional health. The same might not be said for the evangelical part.

 

Do you carry some terrible and damaging ideas of God and self that were handed to you in evangelical culture? Heidi speaks with us about her experience, but very many people are able to identify with many aspects of her story. Heidi grew up in the church, left church, went back again and then left again.

 

This episode demonstrates again that “most people are better than their theology”. Some of the most loving people in Heidi’s life passed on some horrendous views of God and the future. Thankfully, many of those same people have come to find greater alignment between their compassionate character and their religious belief.

 

Article referenced in this episode:

The Language Rules We Know But Don't Know - BBC, September 2016

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”I Can’t Touch My Friends”: A COVID Time Capsule

January 21st, 2022

On this first episode of Rector’s Cupboard for 2022, we present a COVID time capsule. Yet again, we feel like we maybe, perhaps, just might be emerging from the pandemic that has defined much of life in most of the world for two years.

 

As we listen to people reflect upon their lives during a pandemic, we consider what healing from this time might look like.

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with David Goa

January 8th, 2022

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this last episode of our special series Cupboard hosts Todd and Allison speak with David Goa about the church. This conversation offers some hopeful considerations about what the church is/should be/might hope to be. There are some positive, life-giving ways in which to think about the place of the church in the world.  

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Ken Bell

January 6th, 2022

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this sixth episode of our special series we speak with Ken Bell, Chaplain at Broadway Lodge and former Minister at St. Simon’s Anglican Church. Ken shares a thoughtful and hopeful reflection on his own story in becoming a minister. How does the church inspire people to meaningful vocation? 

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Martin Baxter

January 4th, 2022

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this fifth episode of our special series we speak with Martin Baxter, Senior Pastor at St. Andrew’s and St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in North Vancouver. Should we expect the community of the church to actually make a difference in people’s lives. What does it mean to be part of a local church? 

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Rebecca Simpson

January 2nd, 2022

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this fourth episode of our special series we speak with Rebecca Simpson, Presbyterian Minister and Director of Spiritual Formation for the Presbyterian Church at the Vancouver School of Theology. Rebecca’s reflections on the church moved towards the place of the minister, particularly for women in ordained ministry. 

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Ross Lockhart

December 31st, 2021

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this third episode of our special series we speak with Ross Lockhart, Dean at St. Andrew’s Hall in Vancouver. In conversation with Ross we reflect upon the idea of the decline of the church and Christendom and how these may be positive things for Christian faith. 

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Nate Collins

December 29th, 2021

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this second episode of our special series we speak with Nate Collins,  Pastor at Hillside Baptist Church, North Vancouver. Nathan’s reflections on the church moved towards considerations of some of the common struggles and questions of vocation for pastors and towards the role of the church in the spiritual growth of its adherents.  

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The Church In-Between Times: A Conversation with Tim Dickau

December 27th, 2021

Is it possible that conversations about the church might be interesting or even fascinating?

 

Rector’s Cupboard was invited to partner with David Goa, a friend of the podcast (Sunny Boy, December 2020 and Most People are Better Than Their Theology, January 2020) to speak with others about the state and future of the church as we move from 2021 to 2022.

 

What is the church? 
Who is the church?  
Does the church play any important role in larger culture? 
These conversations have an “on the ground” aspect to them and they seek to address larger questions of the place and identity of the Christian church in our society.

 

In this first episode of our special series we speak with Tim Dickau of the Centre of Missional Leadership at St. Andrew’s Hall. Tim was previously Senior Pastor of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in Vancouver. Tim highlighted for us a consideration of the place of the church in the larger world, through its presence in particular communities. 

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Christmas Special 2021 Not Quite the Stable

December 17th, 2021

Maybe the real world is just too upsetting right now. Perhaps we need a pretend world in which to live.  
Hallmark to the rescue! 
Cupboard hosts and friends discuss the continuing takeover of Christmas by the advance of movies in which the imperfect exists only to make way for the somewhat sickeningly perfect. Are carefully crafted false worlds another bleak take on humanity, or are they hopeful? There is probably nuance required in answer to such a question, but either way, these movies are POPULAR.  
Merry Christmas from all of us at Rector’s Cupboard! 

Movies we watched on this episode: 

The Knight Before Christmas 

Christmas Inheritance 

Articles referenced: 

Here's why it feels so good to watch those Hallmark holiday movies – NBC News, November 2019 

Horrible Hallmark movies have been torturing viewers for 20 years – New York Post, December 2020 

How Hallmark Took Over Cable Television – The New Yorker, December 2019 

Tasting Notes: 

This episode we enjoyed two very festive drinks, Cabot Trail Maple Cream and Krupnik Spiced Honey Liqueur from Wayward Distillery, Courtenay, BC. 

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Art + Faith with Makoto Fujimura

December 3rd, 2021

The existence of the division and hatred in our world is undeniable. Religion is often enlisted to fuel this division and to fuel dehumanization. Many of us have longed for more beautiful, hopeful ways to envision the world, to relate to those with whom we disagree. This episode of Rector’s Cupboard invites us to consider the words and work of one person who is demonstrating a vision of hope and love.

 

Theology and art and spirituality and philosophy and ethics are often thought of as separate disciplines. In our actual lives, our spirituality, our beholding of beauty, and our desire to live well are experienced together. Artist (and theologian) Makoto Fujimura shows us in visual art, in writing, and in conversation some of what matters most in life. He places before us the call to reflect the image of God in living out a “theology of making”.

 

Is it possible that Christian faith might be considered beautiful? While so much ugliness has existed in bad religion or distorted theology, the call of goodness and beauty and truth remains. People like Makoto Fujimura help us to hear that call.

 

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Becoming Church with Luke Edwards

November 19th, 2021

Do you attend church? Is church something that you used to attend?

 

Luke Edwards is Associate Director of Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Luke has written a book called “Becoming Church: A Trail Guide for Starting Fresh Expressions”. Luke’s work and writing address the reality that church is changing. The default model of a bunch of people in a big room facing the front which has become a stage is not the only way of gathering. Fresh Expressions helps people who are interested in gathering, but may not be interested in church as we have known it.

 

We had a great time speaking with Luke and we are grateful for people who have gone up ahead on the trail.

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Fear and Abuse, Hope and Compassion within Religious Culture with Jessica Leslie

November 5th, 2021

Just a note, this episode discusses domestic violence and spiritual abuse. It might be difficult for some listeners.

If you’d like more resources on domestic violence check out WhenLoveHurts.ca. There are informative articles and services available if you or someone you know needs help.

 

The Cupboard welcomes Jessica Leslie to tell her story of growing up within a form of the church that could be described as cult-like. Jessica grew up in an expression of religion that was often dominated by fear. She experienced abuse within her own family and then found healing and compassion within a different church. When she became an adult Jessica spent years with YWAM, a Christian missionary group working with young people. She now describes her experience of YWAM as, again, being part of a cult. Jessica has faced more than her fair share of pain and struggle, but she demonstrates strength, compassion, and a sense of joy and life as she tells her story.

Jessica's article referenced in this episode: 

I Escaped an Australian Cult - The Australian Woman’s Weekly, May 17, 2016

Tasting Notes:

This episode we enjoy some wonderful Barrel Aged Amaretto from Sons of Vancouver Distillery in North Vancouver. The Barrel Aged Amaretto is a limited release and is available now.

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