These Are The People In Our Neighbourhood

September 30th, 2022

Who are the people in your neighbourhood? For some this might be geographical, your literal neighbours, for others it might include the more expansive community in which you find care and support, or perhaps an online neighbourhood where you connect with others.

 

As we begin season 4, we take some time to consider those in our neighbourhood. For Rector’s Cupboard, this includes people we have spoken to in previous episodes and season, guests we’re anticipating, as well as you, our listeners. We feel blessed to have learned from and with those in our neighbourhood. As we look forward to future conversations, we’re delighted to have our neighbourhood grow.

Articles referenced in this episode:

A boy with cancer hoped to see monsters. Hundreds of strangers showed up in costume.” – The Washington Post, September 22, 2022

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The Growing Season with Nelson Boschman

September 16th, 2022

For the first episode of season 4, the Cupboard is pleased to welcome Nelson Boschman to speak with us about his book, The Growing Season, and to lead us in an informative wine tasting. A pastor, teacher, and musician, Nelson considers himself a wine enthusiast rather than an expert. He sees in the vineyard and wine-making the stuff of life and spirit.

 

We hear some of Nelson’s story, about concepts of identity and challenge and change that are present in wine-making and in the spiritual life. We see, in Nelson’s love of the vineyard and the process, that often the most enduring spiritual lessons come in paying close attention to the things that we love.

 

Tasting Notes:

We learned a great deal from Nelson about the ways we can experience and enjoy wine.

“80% of the wine experience is olfactory, it happens through the sense of smell. To look, swirl, sniff are the first three steps to taste.”

The wines we tasted on today’s episode are both available at BC Liquor Stores. The first was the 2018 Cairanne from Boutinot and the 2020 Gigondas from Dom Brusset, both from the Rhone region in France.

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Not in Spite of, but Because of Faith with Rev. Michael Coren

August 5th, 2022

The Cupboard had intended to take a break over the summer to plan and prepare for season 4 in the fall, but some topics and stories are too timely to ignore. The recent decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade by the United States Supreme Court compelled us pause and discuss what it means to us. For this bonus summer episode, we’re pleased to welcome Rev. Michael Coren, an Anglican priest, author and columnist for numerous publications.

 

Once a prominent voice for conservative media and a strong opponent of marriage equality, Michael now advocates for abortion rights, marriage equality and LGBTQIA+ rights.

 

As we discussed with Michael in this episode, his change in stance did not happen in spite of his faith but because of his faith. In his most recent books and our conversation with him, he describes his journey, thought processes and scriptural study that moved him to where he is today.

 

Article we discussed in this episode:

"Does Christianity condemn abortion? That's not what the Bible says" - The Globe and Mail - June 29, 2022

 

Michael’s most recent books:
The Rebel Christ
Epiphany: A Christians Change in Heart & Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage

 

Tasting Notes:
We enjoyed some delicious blackcurrant cider from Naramata Cider Co. situated on the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan.

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Replay: The Power Worshippers with Katherine Stewart

July 8th, 2022

Two years ago Rector's Cupboard interviewed Katherine Stewart, an author and leading voice on the “Christian Nationalist” movement in the United States. At the time, we spoke about her book "The Power Worshippers".

 

This week, Stewart had an article in the New York Times that discussed the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. This week we're re-releasing that episode, as the conversation is as relevant now as it was then.

 

Christians should be speaking against Christian Nationalism. It is not speaking against Christianity. It is not speaking against Jesus. It is speaking against a political movement that has become idolatry. 

 

Books and articles referenced in this episode:

The Power Worshippers
The Good News Club
How a Data-backed Christian Nationalist Machine Helped Trump to Power - The Guardian, March 2020
Bill Barr Thinks America is Going to Hell - The New York Times, December 2019
Why Trump Reigns as King Cyrus - The New York Times, December 2018   

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A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies with Dr. James K. A. Smith

June 24th, 2022

Our final episode of season 3 of Rector’s Cupboard.

We were honoured to speak with James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin University and editor-in-chief of Image Journal.

The conversation is centred largely around a fantastic book that Jamie has written and that will be available in September. Jamie’s work demonstrates a hopeful view of faith. He skillfully and insightfully looks to the past for how it might positively shape and inform faith and life today. He does this with a strongly stated desire to move ahead. The conversation became one of great hope, that included inspiring reminders of the goodness, beauty and truth in our world.

We talk about modernism and post-modernism. We talk about philosophy and power and control and fear. We talk about these things because they (and misunderstandings around them) have been influential in many churches and ways of seeing faith, perhaps even in how you were taught to understand Christian faith.

 

Some extended episode notes:
The names Derrida, Foucault, Bentham, and Lyotard may not be familiar to all or most readers, but these are writers whose work has had impact on our culture and our faith. Michel Foucault was a French Philosopher whose work was key in what became known as “post-modernism”. We speak about Foucault’s ideas around discipline and control. Foucault argued that power and punishment were once exercised in harsh and physical ways, but as these means of control became less physically forceful, they actually became more powerful and more pervasive in society.

Jacques Derrida, another contributor to post-modernism, spoke about deconstruction. This term has largely been adopted to define what very many people with religious backgrounds are doing now. Smith says that both those who embrace “deconstruction” and those who warn against it often have a distorted view of what deconstruction is. For Derrida, virtually everything is interpreted. Whether it is a Biblical text or a summer sunrise, you as the reader or viewer are part of interpreting the meaning. Deconstruction aims to see these layers of interpretation.

In this episode we also mention Alain de Botton. He is a contemporary philosopher who though he frequently mentions that he is an atheist, has some tremendously helpful and appreciative things to say about faith and the church.

Finally we mention the new Arcade Fire album, “We”. Art such as the music on that album demonstrates a thoughtful consideration of some of these important religious, cultural and philosophical themes.

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Inquisitions and Hopeful Theology; A Conversation About Ivan Illich with David Goa

June 10th, 2022

In 2021, a book by Canadian writer and broadcaster David Cayley was published. The book was a biography of Ivan Illich who, in the 1970’s, became quite well known for his criticism of the church, and for institutions of education and medicine.

 

We find Ivan Illich compelling because he speaks about faith and society in ways that can shape and inform hopeful theology. If you have pushed away from rigid examples of religion, you will likely find many of Illich’s ideas helpful.

 

In this episode we talk about Cayley’s book and about Illich with our friend and Orthodox theologian David Goa.

 

Note – You may find some language in this episode offensive. Hopefully not much, but maybe a little.

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Listeners Dare with Rev. Dr. Will Willimon

May 27th, 2022

Have you heard a good sermon lately?

 

83% of people surveyed who attended a Christian church service said that the top reason for choosing and remaining in a church is the sermon.

 

In this episode we talk with Rev. Dr. Will Willimon about sermons and listening to sermons. He is a pastor, bishop in the United Methodist Church and the author of, in his approximation, about 100 books. We have had the pleasure of speaking with Will about his writing on several occasions and were very happy to speak with him again about his most recent book, “Listeners Dare. ” It is an engaging examination of the role of the listener in the sermon. Will points out that any true hearing of a sermon requires divine assistance.

 

Here are a few notes from the book;

 

To preachers:

“Beginning a sermon with a joke is nearly always a bad idea; including a sweet story about a child (particularly if the child is yours). It risks adulterating the gospel with maudlin sentimentality.”

“Don’t read your sermons; preaching is personal, bodily testimony to the gospel truth you have received, not a lecture about God.”

 

To listeners:
When told by a listener about a sermon, “I didn’t get anything out of it”, a reply should potentially be, “So how much did you put into it?”

“God’s word usually comes to us through others, those who dare to tell us truth we wouldn’t tell ourselves.”

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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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