Previous Editions

Watershed Online has dealt with a variety of themes since 2000. We invite you to explore and respond to our previous editions below.

Summer 2017: Philippians: Joyful Protest

In 2016, Watershed studied the book of Philippians, and in the summer of 2017 we're excited to offer the fruits of our study in this newspaper-style blog; Philippians: Joyful Protest. If you are pondering the riddle of how to be joyful in troubling times, then we'd invite you to join our reflections of this rich and encouraging book.

Fall 2015: What Is Good News Anyways?

In these sermons we have tried to frame the gospel using Eugene Lowry's The Homiletical Plot. A Tale of Two Cities wonders whether Watershed community has used wisdom incorrectly and forgotten the wisdom of the cross? You Are Invited describes the centerpiece illustrating the lavish gifts God gives us. Who's The Life of the Party describes the party God invites us to. What's Your Prescription? wonders why Jesus seems to take so long in healing us. In Whom We Are One asks given the rifts of our time, is unity even possible? A Better Way wonders if everything wouldn't be a lot easier if Jesus were with us in the flesh? Now and Then explores the what confidence and correct judgment in Christ means. Who Do You Say I AM compares Jesus' identity to meeting an old friend whose name you can't remember. What Is A Covenant Community takes a look at the covenant we live by in community at Watershed. In our Story of God, Story of Us blog, we include a short summary of the each chapter of Sean Gladding's book and some of the questions and answers that came up in our weekly discussions. In the Rescuing Revelation blog, we take a 10-week look at the most misunderstood and misinterpreted book of the Bible.

Fall 2012: Our Storied Lives

Two book responses from our Personal Formation and the Bible course are Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book and John Barton's How The Bible Came To Be. Community reflections on different scriptures include: Word and Spirit in Transforming Narrative, The Dream Versus The Killers of The Dream , God's Unfading Word: Isaiah 40:1 -11, Ash Wednesday and Spiritual Vocation: A Thessalonian Perspective . A Response to Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife summarizes Lisa Miller's findings about society's search for the truth about the Great Unknown. Justification - Where We Stand reinterprets that loaded theological term - justification - from N.T. Wright's book on the topic. Reviewing Of Gods and Men decodes how people deal with suffering in the French film about Algerian Trappist monks. A Graced Trip recollects the blessings of visiting an ailing father a year before his death. What Was It Like? muses on how watercolour for this edition evolved. The Life Expressed section contains several poems: Watching the River at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Apricot Jars, On Science and Faith, Spirit Wind, and Birds of a Feather. What can Separate Us from God? attempts a paraphrase, in several voices, of the essence of Paul's Letter to the Romans 8: 31 - 39. Ikonography - What's In A Name? explains the new name of Watershed's photography group. A Tribute to a Father reflects on the changes in a father during the last leg of his earthly journey. An Empty Bowl explains the symbolism of a centerpiece on 'rich young ruler' Sunday service. Prayer for Syria is a prayer for hope and open eyes amidst a seemingly hopeless civil war in Syria. I Thirst - A Modern Parable narrates a desire for deeper roots in the story of God's people. The Last Year at Watershed outlines story elements in Watershed Community's year that was, 2011. Confessions of a Playful Agnostic responds to John Haught's theistic evolution vision put forward in God After Darwin.

Summer 2011: Welcoming The Stranger

A Reading Guide for After The Flood, explores the art of reading slowly with Shane Joseph's new dystopian novel of hope and The Stranger at the Door delves into Markus Barth's The Broken Wall. The Strange Power of God, explores worship in Shardik.A Stranger To Justice narrates a personal relationship to justice. The Stranger at the Fringe chronicles the 2010 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.The Hidden Gem of Naboth's Vineyard, explores a little-known story from the Old Testament. The modern parableThe Stranger's Gospel: The Modern Magi, tells the story of strangers offering unexpected gifts. Response to Oryx and Crake, finds redemption and hope within dystopia. Giving the Gift of Expression encounters a newcomer to Canada. The Shining: Lydia's 50th Birthday shares the spiritual meaning of entering middle age. Welcoming The Stranger answers the awkward question of "why do you live in this neighbourhood?" The Broken Stranger: A Review of Mary and Max finds evidence for God's friendship within human relationships.No Longer A Stranger, reflects on the watercolour for this website edition. Blogs: Seeds That Are Sprouting follows God's presence in TV storytelling, in the mundane everyday, in photography and reading the bible seriously but not literally.Icons For Our Timewelcomes the stranger in poetry.

Summer 2010: Are You Happy?

The Beatitudes offer an upside-down happiness; joy in the midst of both suffering as and celebration. Joyful Happiness: A Spiritual Memoir and Watershed at the Brink of a New Decade explore how suffering and gratitude aid happiness. Haiku Beatitudes and Tis The Season To Be Happy explore happiness through poetry and painting. Writing On The Wall and Eyes: The Lamp of the Body explore implications of the Beatitudes. Book reviews A Review of Introduction To The Psalms and Something That the Heart Carriesexamine happiness in scripture and history. Other book reviews include Wolf: Lives of Jack London, Review of Faceless Killers, Review of The Return of the Dancing Master, Review of The Truth of These Strange Times, A Review of The Last Dickens, and A Review of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Thoughts on Happy Go Lucky, Keep Your Ear to the Ground and How do you Imagine Happiness? explore the meaning of happiness in film, audio clips and images.

Summer 2009: Passionate Discipleship

Discipleship in our community approaches passionate when our anxious minds and disturbed spirits have been calmed by a clarity of the applied Word to our lives. In The First Call is to Listen and Blind Spots guest writers share their discipleship. Discussing the Role of Christian Experience responds to a lecture by Luke Timothy Johnson. Art and discipleship are explored in Towards a Theology of Watching Movies and Every Turn the Centre as well as through book reviews Response to The Shadow Year and Emotional Integrity: A Response to The Passions. Book reviews Love Each Other More: Summary of Paul and The Thessalonians and Review of God's Beloved explore two well-known disciples. Vancouver Journey, Life's Labyrinth and It's Not About Me share pilgrim's perspectives on travelling. What Calls You To Watershed? and Perceptual Metamorphoses reveal personal discipleship journeys. Every Turn The Centre

explores discipleship in watercolour.

Spring/Summer 2008:
Learning to Live the Spiritual Life

We want to learn to be open to the Spirit’s presence, listen for God’s guidance and deepen our relationship with Christ so that our life together can reflect the beauty of dwelling in God’s love.Following Christ in the Frigid Water and Stepping into God's Love explores new-faith experiences. Letter to a Young Man gives advice to a high school graduate. Deconstructing Mission and State of the Union explore how we engage with our world. In Weakness Made Strong and Lessons in Leadership we overhear ancient ideas. Michelangelo: the Ephemeral and the Eternal, unveils the inspirational art of Michelangelo.We review several books: Finding the New in the Old: A Review of Simply Christian, I Believe in Dialogue, A Response of Heroes of History andThe Truth Can Set You Free. Unplugged and Awake, explores the movie The Matrix.

Summer 2007: Listen: God is Here

Just as in the Gospels, the Kingdom breaks in here in the poverty of the inner city and in the poverty of our lives. We reflect on the Abba prayer in For All Time, For All People, The Postmodern Man's Prayer, Behind the Wheel. and Teach Us to Pray. Through the medium of film and watercolour we extend these reflections in The Lord's Prayer and Painting the Lord's Prayer. We see through a tax collector's eyes in John the Baptizer. Let Down Your Nets, reflects on Peter's longing for a new vocation. Pearl of Great Price and L.A. Confidential explore questions of identity and vocation through movies and we seek to share our vision of movie discipleship in A Movie Group Proposal. There are new entries in the Study Nights, Classic Cards: and Musings: Poems of the Everyday

Summer 2006: Engaging The World

Listening for our call to serve God authentically, and seeking to learn from others, we have looked to both modern and historical stories of vocation. We explore listening vocationally to movies in the reviews of Ponette, Koyaanisqatsi, The Bay of Love and Sorrows, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Chumscrubber. The Luther Diaries invites us to reflect on the historically significant vocation of Martin Luther. Reflections on experimenting with vocation are included in Journey of Service and Poems of the Everyday. Also Joel Penner reviews Dicken's Oliver Twist, and our Literature Section is redesigned.

Winter 2006: On Earth As In Heaven

Focusing on the Lord's Prayer, this edition invites us to deepen our trust in God and to pray with the disciples, On Earth as in Heaven. We explore Richard Niebuhr's theology in An Introduction to Niebuhr and Journey Into Culture. On Kindness invites us to trust this kindred virtue. A Storm of a Different Sort considers the trust inspired by Luke 8. The Basement takes a second look at plans for cleaning up our lives. The Crook in the Lot helps us to see that all is well, just as it is. We Meant It For Evil reviews Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow. Also Lydia Penner responds to Karen Armstrong's The Spiral Staircase, Linda Tiessen Wiebe reviews the movie Crash, we introduce a new section, Study Nights, and Joel Penner and Erik Berg introduce Musings of the Living, their new podcast site.

Spring 2005: For Love of Wisdom

This edition of Watershed Online describes our transforming vision, and highlights our study of themes in wisdom literature, including attentiveness, discipline, fear of the Lord, gratitude, honesty, humility, limits of knowledge, mentorship, poetry, silence, and work. Arthur Paul Patterson reviews Mr. Timothy. Lydia Penner responds to Songs of the Gorilla Nation. Bev Patterson reviews Arthur Miller's Timebends and describes her painting Fisher Folk.

Summer/Fall 2004: Musings

We join countless others in a plea for aid for victims of the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia. Bev Patterson and Verda Heinrichs share their new photo blogs in From My Eyes to Yours and A View of Our World. Linda Tiessen Wiebe responds to the movie Pieces of April. Arthur Paul Patterson reflects on resurrection in Beyond Ghosts and Ghouls. Lydia Penner shares some recent poems in Poems of the Everyday. Linda Tiessen Wiebe reviews Empire Falls and Arthur Paul Patterson reviews Bag of Bones and Curious Incident of the Dog At Midnight. The Watershed community shares their 2004 Reading List.

Spring 2004: A Storied Universe

Arthur Paul Patterson clarifies the importance of all of the stories that inform our lives in Getting the Cosmic Story Straight. Cal Wiebe in A World Shaped by Promise explores John Haught’s God After Darwin. John Mabry discusses the prophetic insight of a great mystic and scientist in Cyberspace and the Dream of Teilhard de Chardin. In Listening for Future’s Call, Lorna Derksen responds to Greg Bear’s novels, Darwin’s Radio and Darwin’s Children. Linda Tiessen Wiebe explores Rudolph Steiner’s Mystics After Modernism in Searching It Out: Mystic Modernism. Bev Patterson and Linda Tiessen Wiebe describe their love of nature in A Jungle Party and An Elephant Birthday. In Stargazing: Inspiration for Reconnecting with the Spirit, Lyle Penner recounts the evocative experience of gazing heavenward. Dave and Erik Berg and Lorna Derksen adapted Jennifer Morgan's Born With A Bang and Lyle, Lydia and Joel Penner adapted Jennifer Morgan's From Lava To Life as slideshows for our Fall, 2003 retreat. Lydia Penner reviews In His Own Words, by Morrie Schwartz.

Winter 2004: Wondrous Strange

Arthur Paul Patterson reflects on the importance of memories in Keep My Memory Green and on the virtue of courage in the aftermath of 9/11 in Meditation on Courage. Sponging the Stone by Arthur Paul Patterson brings the transformative power of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to life. Arthur Paul Patterson responds to Joe Cusumano’s Transforming Scrooge. Deconstructing Scrooge by Lorna Derksen reviews Bruce Bueno Mesquita’s post-modern novel The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge. Linda Tiessen Wiebe reviews the movie No Such Thing. Karma Jampa Lhundup-Zebo shares his spiritual transformation in My Peter Pan Adventures. In Traintalk, Arthur Paul Patterson contrasts tourism with pilgrimage. Erik Berg writes a poem on Dickens in It Came Upon a Christmas Day. Erik Berg and his mom Bev Patterson exchange thoughts on the important role of reading in their lives. Arthur Paul Patterson recommends Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs, a novel based on Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Spring 2003: Spirit in the Everyday

The Price of Pretension, an excerpt from Arthur Paul Patterson's work-in-progress Beauty of the Beast; Walking Through my Life follows Cal Wiebe on his weekly walk as he reflects on nature; Faith and Conservation, a guest opinion piece that points to the sacramentality of nature; adventures with randomly giving away books in Sharing my Book Friends with Strangers and My BookCrossing Adventure; Linda Tiessen Wiebe reviews Blackberry Wine; in Birds and Being Graham Warne describes the wonder and yearning for freedom evoked through bird watching; William R. Stimson finds a gateway to joy in About a Garlic Clove on a Thursday Morning; Lyle Penner presents a book proposal for A Vision Runs Through It, a historical reflection on Watershed Community’s spiritual journey; the domestic arts are explored in Cooking with Spirit and Household Prisoner or Domestic Artist; readers from Watershed Community share their top book picks from 2002 in A Reading List.

Winter 2003: Spirit in Community

Standing Alone Together, an exploration of the meeting of Spirit in the mystery of Watershed community; Consider the Rabbits, a closer look at Richard Adams’ Watership Down; Shedding the Husks of Dogma, a comparison of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s brand of transcendentalism and an evolving Watershed spirituality; an internally produced video retrospective of the Watershed community’s history; Forgiveness in Community, a personal reflection; Wilber and Watershed: Criteria for Religious Legitimacy and Authenticity, an application of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber to Watershed spirituality; Watermark Gallery, watercolours by Bev Patterson; Courage on the Mountain: A Review of Lord Brocktree.

Spring/Summer 2002: Reading for Life

A book proposal entitled Beauty of the Beast by Arthur Paul Patterson; Joseph Gold reflects on how reading can restore us to ourselves in his excerpt, On Bibliotherapy; Linda Tiessen Wiebe tells how reading can develop an inner voice in Chew It Slowly; Arthur Paul Patterson examines the balance between the constrictive and expansive effects of horror in Encountering the Horror and the Holy; Bev Patterson untangles the mystery behind the Winnipeg mystery bookstore, Whodunit; Glenn Morison shares insights into spirituality revealed in the movie Smoke Signals; Lydia Penner reflects on her relationship to reading in Book Reflections; Cal Wiebe shares his encounter with books in For the Love of Reading; Lyle Penner offers his musings on Relating to Reading; the following books are reviewed: Speaking From the Heart, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, Forgotten Realms: Homeland.

Winter 2002: Humanity's Template

An application of Ken Wilber's Integral philosophy to the study of the life of Jesus; a chronicle of various cinematic depictions of the life of Jesus; a response to Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ; a response to Jim Crace's Quarantine; Watershed Book Picks for 2001.

Fall 2001: Anatomy of Monsters

Arthur Paul Patterson's article Monsters at the Margin analyzing the ambiguity of Frankenstein's Monster; an excerpt from Dracula and Frankenstein contributed by world renowned Dracula expert Elizabeth Miller; a review of Readings on Frankenstein; Passions of Prometheus which unearths the linkage between men and monsters; a response to Beowolf, the first English epic. Other reviews include: Father of Frankenstein (a novel about James Whale, the director of the 1931 Frankenstein); The Strange Trial of Mr. Hyde (a Jungian analysis of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel); The BFG (a children's story about deceptive appearances).

Summer 2001: The Science of Soul

Contemplative Spiritual Formation an article by Gerald May of Shalem Institute, Bill Stimson describes our Source as being both external and internal to us in his essay, The Splendor of Worship, the anonymous 13th century author of The Cloud of Unknowing encounters Linda Tiessen Wiebe, As a Driven Leaf reviewed by Linda Tiessen Wiebe, The Cloister Walk reviewed by Lorna Derksen, Dave Berg shares how Gerald May’s book The Awakened Heart has provided practical advice on how to practice contemplative spirituality, Yoga More Than a Good Stretch by Lydia Penner, Jim Pender’s introduction to his doctoral thesis, Restless Hearts, places his spiritual journey under the microscope of academic processes, in Facets of Fat, Arthur Paul Patterson applies Ken Wilber’s research model to struggling with the social, emotional and spiritual problems of eating disorders and their interpretations.

Spring 2001: Ripping the Roof Off

Ripping the Roof Off, an essay on re-examining faith structure, John Emslie's essay Understanding Blake's Zoas, a retelling of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum entitled The Light Side of Darkness, Arthur Paul Patterson explores Thomas Merton's struggle with ambiguity in A Poem to Mount Merton and curator of The Provincial Museum of Alberta David Goa reflects on the museum's Jesus Through the Centuries exhibition.

Winter 2001: Bursting the Wineskins

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Harvard Divinity Address, a book response to Gerald May's Will and Spirit, an interview with Richard Geldard, a report on Provincial Museum of Alberta's Anno Domini exhibition, and several book reviews from the Watershed's Book Cafe.

Fall 2000: Work and Spiritual Vocation

Tools of Character in our Dante section, Ask the Popcorn Man... stresses the importance of distinguishing between job and personal calling, Bringing Yourself to Work is a case study in doing exactly that, and a review of Dorothy Soelle's and Matthew Fox's books on Spirituality and Work.

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