Archive for the ‘Pilgrimage E-Book’ Category

It is a season in the church calendar, noted by the colour green for new life.  I know totally awesome explanation, it happens between the end of the 12 days of Christmas festival and the beginning of Lent. But truly what is Epiphany about?

Each year I sit in church and ponder what is the discovery of new life. The revelation of the divinity of Christ which is given to us through the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a time not only to reflect on the visit of the Magi to the Holy Family, but also to reflect on the living faith in ourselves and others. Whether your tradition terms them Saints, Martyrs, or Heroes of the Faith their story (or testimony) is what reflects how Christ manifested (Epiphany) within their souls, and lives.

This struck home this Sunday for me, as my new home church (Crossroads Community Church) brought in the Acting up Drama Presentation on the life of Corrie Ten Boom…a powerful story of the ordinary people God call’s to do extraordinary things.

Over the years on Epiphany I have spent time reflecting on the Magi visitation, but what if a better tradition for the church now is experiencing those of history, recent church history, that have had the miracles of God (miracles that we say do not happen anymore) manifested in their own lives? And use this season of Epiphany to disciple followers to bear witness to the miralces in their own lives and how to share their stories in impactful ways (possibly the use of social media like blogs, vlogs, twitter, facebook, etc)…a new way to share the story of God with his children, and God’s children with her?

How appropriate that this season sees my church family offering their community meal this week…living life through the ordinary into the extraordinary…crafting our story for the now.


Discover your Calling~!

Posted: June 11, 2011 by Ty in Pilgrimage E-Book


I have been exploring other expressions and understandings of God my whole life.  Recently I have come across the Unity gatherings, and their understanding of new thought which has led me to read a writer, Eric Butterworth.

For the more “orthodox” reader, we will move away from the Gnostic style understandings of faith, but will point out New Thought tends to lean more towards a Hindu/Buddhist synchronicity with traditional Christianity.

This is shown, in a rather unique reading of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), and one that bears contemplation, perhaps even taking these three questions while doing a Lectio Divina on it (3 hearings of the story, with meditation to follow):

1) Who am I as the Son?

2) Who am I as the Father?

3) Who am I as the elder son?

Why these three questions? Simple, Butterworth spends a chapter in his book, Discover the Power Within You on this parable.¬† The essence being a next step after Henri Nouwen‘s understanding that at any moment in our faith journey we play each of these roles for others, to Butterworth saying that all three of these roles exist in cognitive dissonance within us, and it is through coming to our “father” within that we are granted healing, release, and unity within and without.¬† Within ourselves, to our neighbour, and with our creator.

Essentially you can relay any psychological understanding to the 3 roles: Anima/Animus/Shadow; Super ego/ego/ID; Body, Mind, Spirit; etc. The goal is knowing the parts of you that are transcendent, eminent, and the darkness that is your weakness and how to work through and heal that.

So spend time during this Lenten season with the Prodigal Son and reflect on you.

There is a huge kaffufle (and pretty cool movie by the same name) about the world ending in 2012, because of the Mayan Calendar.  It is actually quite an interesting area of study, and was touched on in my shamanic formation.

2012/13 is not the typical end of the world scenario we understand from the Christian book of Revelation perspective.  What the prophecies speak of is a major shift in the way the world functions, with political and economic upheavals.

Yes we have some wonky and tragic environmental challenges, but out of that comes the quesitoning of whether or not we should allow for the existence of nuclear power (and a logical outcome of this debate is whether or not we should allow for nuclear weaponry).

The political struggles within the Middle East and the changes coming there.  In the west, a general sense of Hope arising, and engagement within the process to aid others.  The ability to begin to realize that we are not an independent species, but rather an interdependent species that needs one another and a healthy eco-system.  We are not only responsible for ourselves, but for one another.

As well, stepping outside set ideologies, to being able to find the common ground of humanity being created good, and has inherent worth as the beginning of dialogue and the need for community.

The kernels have been planted, we await the change to come, for a better world is being created through intentional leadership and community from all corners of the world.

Almost before I finished typing that title, I hear the two classic refrains in my ear: it’s the building, it’s the people.¬† But truly, what if it is actually the word Church that is keeping individuals away from connecting with the Holy Mystery?

I was mulling over ideas of what a “church” plant could look like in the Properties Communities of Calgary, which is diverse culturally, ethnically, religiously, and economically.¬† What came to mind is that the biggest stumbling block is the term church, and the second biggest is the building.¬† Simply, but the building becomes an albatross that stops the ability to dream in the Holy for what is possible, and the term church keeps people away due to the human baggage of pain and abuse attached to it.

What came to my mind was a universalist community, started on a weekend day or a week evening, renting a space in one of the four community centres. Simply called, the Properties Gathering.¬† My dream would then be out of this meeting place, in people’s homes groups of all ages would gather for sacred practice around yoga,tai chi, belly dancing, martial arts, ¬†prayer, scripture study, movie groups, social justice action groups, social sports leagues, whatever connects the community and allows us to live life together in the love that is the Holy Mystery, and out of that Love into our broader community.

So what is church? It is more than one simple answer to the question of existence, it is more than the people, it is more than the building, the decorations, and the scriptures chosen.  The church, is simply, the gathering of the creation, to live into and out of the love that is the Creator, the Holy Mystery, and by doing this transform our world.

Might as well see if I can get hate mail lol.  Seriously though, this is a question anyone with a set of beliefs has had to answer in their journey.  What is Holy Scripture?  Simply, because some sacred practices revolve around reflective readings from these texts.  As one who identifies with the Christian Tradition this for me is about the Holy Bible.

The First question to realize is which bible we are speaking of? Is it the Hebrew Bible? The Coptic Bible? The Catholic? The Orthodox? The Protestant? The Gnostic? The apocryphal works? Are you getting the idea?

The Bible as it has come to us today, I begin realizing more and more in my reflection and study, is a collection of the story of our Loving Creator, and his/her’s creation told through the understanding of that creation.¬† The grand cosmic 14+ billion year story.¬† Yet we have a finite end in the story for additions, so does this mean “Holy Scripture” that allows us to understand and reflect the story ends with the Letters of Revelation written by the Apostle John?

I do not believe so, I actually believe that is the piece where the epic story continues on, sort of a one chapter ends, and now the question becomes, what pieces do we bring along the biblical ones, that adds to our canon of understanding and experiencing the journey?  What writers have continued to resonate throughout history? The Buddha? The Koran? Book of Mormon? Bahai writings? Zen? Confuscious? The Lamas and Yogis of the East? Philosophers? Psychologists?

Sacriligious? Depends on how we come to understand our journey with the Holy Mystery and disovery.¬† I for one am open to all experiences of God that are out there, and discovering new ways to discern the Creator’s love.

One ponders how I cannot settle completely in one political party.  I have worked leadership races in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada; wrote policy for them and the Alberta Liberals; protested the Alliance & PC Mergers; dabbled with the Green Party of Canada and the Alberta Greens; explored the Progressive Candian Party; worked to get Paul Martin elected Liberal Party of Canada leader.  Chatted with the Alberta Social Credit, new founders of the Reform Party of Canada.

Served on the NDP Calgary Metro Council, ran under their banner federally in Calgary Northeast; and was the editor of the Calgary Democrat for a season.

I have also debated the finer points of Marxism with the Communist Party of Canada (how religion and Marxism can exist together), and supported the Marxist Leninist Party and Alberta Communist Party respectively in the past few elections.

Currently I have put my two cents in on the Alberta Party Leadership Race (Vote Tammy Maloney); and that some political party needs to draft Paul Vargis to run in Calgary East.¬† I look back in awe and with reverance to politicians of the past, statesmen and women that grew up out of socialism and the social gospel movement focused on building a great nation, united in our grand diversity, individuals who cast dreams–true leaders.

And then I look at the current crop of managers striving to lead political monoliths that are more concerned with holding to power for personal perks, than for achieving the best for Canadians, and I wonder what would change in the political realm if people came first, if politics was about people, and caring for people, not power.

Where religion needs to move to collaboration for building a better world, so does politics, because political ideologies can be just as destructive and divisive as religious ones.

My pilgrimage has taken me through many ideologies and paths, I can firmly say I am a communist, with socialist tendencies, yet I can also say that I can work with authentic individuals attempting to serve the public good across the spectrum.

So let’s put aside the flash and bash sound bites, and get on with truly caring for Canada.

As one can note by my side bar I promote all the registered parties

The title says it all, exploring the actuality of community within the Holy Mystery through the metaphor of super hero.

street priezt

The Robin Hood legend has shaped my worldview almost as much as living in the heart of the Holy Mystery has, which I hope can be seen in this re-visioning.


Probably should take sometime and re-examine these, for I am sure my faith has changed overtime…yet still a striking starting point for conversation.