The season of Lent is traditionally a season of penitence, introspection and journeying together with Jesus to the cross.
This year at Crossroads, we will be tasting worship in the flavours of the Theological Banquet: five streams of operative theology in the United Church of Canada. Each of the five Sundays in Lent before Palm Sunday will be an immersion into one of the five streams… which are five distinct ways in which what we believe shapes the choices we make with our lives, in response to God’s grace and call. As the Rev. Janet Gear (creator of the Theological Banquet) says, “These are expressions of the way faith is lived, brought to life in the aspirations, attitudes and actions of those who inhabit this expression of Christian life. Faith leads; operative theologies follow.”
On each Sunday, our music, the language of prayer, the substance of the sermon, and the “feel” in our worship space will reflect as accurately as possible the five streams of operative theology in the United Church of Canada:
- The Evangelical stream
dedicated to making Christ’s saving work known
- The Ecclesial stream
devoted to the “beloved community” of the church, and its life and service
- The Missional stream
where the church doesn’t invite others to “come and see” but to “go and be” among neighbours
- The Ecumenical stream
committed to the flourishing of the whole inhabited earth through seeking justice, peace, reconciliation and the integrity of creation
- The Spiritual stream
recovering spiritual practice, ancient and new
As we worship together, the congregation will be invited to approach faith from these many different “expressions” and to recognize what feels more and less familiar to them. We will also be able to see how the conversations we have and the ways we approach ministry are rooted in these various streams.
Each Sunday Rev. Cari will open a different Lenten Scripture text during the sermon, using the lens of the theological stream for the day. The dates and streams are listed below.
March 1, 2020The Spiritual Stream
Today’s text: Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness as found in Matthew 4:1-11.
This text is central to “spirituals” who follow Jesus into the desert of prayer to wrestle with personal demons. The link in the text between the examined life (transformation) and the reign of God is important.
March 8, 2020The Missional Stream
Today’s text: Mark 8:31-38, in which Jesus predicts his passion and resurrection and invites the crowd and disciples to discipleship.
“Missionals” relate closely to proximity and participation in selfless suffering as imitation of, or following in, Jesus’ way. Many understand “denying themselves” as having fewer comforts and privileges in order to put others before themselves and to live in proximity to those who are suffering.
March 15, 2020The Ecumenical Stream
Today’s text: John 2:13-22 when Jesus overturns the tables in the temple.
“Ecumenicals” will use some readings of this text to challenge injustices in the economies of our societies, if not our temples. “Where are people vulnerable to money-changers, or to being unjustly treated by those with the power to do so? What tables would Jesus overturn today?” are some of their questions.
March 22, 2020The Evangelical Stream
Today’s text: John 3:14-21, contains some of the most beloved words of Scripture: “For God so loved the world…”
This text expresses the “evangelical’s” faith that those who believe in God’s only son are saved. It becomes important, then, for the message of the Son to be shared so that all be saved and none lost.
March 29, 2020The Ecclesial Stream
Today’s textT: Jeremiah 31:31-34
The “ecclesial’s” faith is firmly rooted in the sense of having been divinely formed from the inside-out as a child of God, individually, and as a covenanted people, communally.