Peter Rollins also spoke on death and decay and the importance of memory and mourning. While he was speaking I remember being at the funeral home at the first viewing of family embers and over the years I've often heard people say "doesn't she just look look like herself." The first time I heard it I was stuck by how strange it was. The person is dead so the most important parts of the self have already left us. Yet it seemed to bring comfort to the family to have one last look and memory before the process of telling stories, celebrating their lives and finally saying goodbye. It made me think about The United Church which is struggling in places all across Canada. There are parts of our tradition that no longer work for us a church but we hang I to them saying, "doesn't the church look like itself" even though it no longer has life in it. I wonder what parts of this church of ours we need to let go of, tell stories about, celebrate and say goodbye too. I'm not sure what the answer is.
The next talk was Steve Chaulk who talked about the importance of the church engaging on the community. His church has purchased community libraries, and runs schools. He talked about the importance of loving God and neighbour. I'm not sure we will go down the road of runIng schools and libraries but I do that we are called to. Engaged in the community outside the walls of our church buildings and finding ways to ensure the well being of our neighbour.
My next stop was Forest Church in a place called the Grove
The forest church mixes Druidic/ Celtic practices with Christian Faith. I attended the festival of the first fruits it was a new experience for me. I appreciated the time to consider the blessings if this year, what I needed to let go of, and what I am looking toward in the next year.
The next event was called Beer and Hymns. The name says it all. People had a beer and we sings ton of hymns. It was a crowded event you couldn't even get in the tent. Amazing to hear so many people singing hymns.
Then I went to hear Hip Hop Shakespeare. It was Shakespeare re-imagined. It was great. I love the diversity of the day. I closed the day by gathering with my fellow pilgrims and talking about the highlights of the event.