We Always Come Back

As we launch Watershed Community's latest web edition, a Paul McCartney lyric comes to mind from his 1997 album "Flaming Pie." He's remembering the 60s, when the Beatles would 'jaw through the night' talking about 'the cosmic solution,' and everything else under the sun. But no matter what was going on, in the refrain of the song he sings: "We always came back to the song we were singing at any particular time."

His lyric captures what often happens at our Watershed meetings. As our small group gathers, we may be caught up in concerns at work, dramas in relationships, or the uncertainties of health, but invariably something mysterious and healing happens as we reflect on scripture together. Whether it's studying the gospel of John or reflecting on a lectionary passage in a Sunday homily, God's word helps us rest in our identity in Christ. And in our fractured and frantic world, isn't real rest what we all yearn for?

To use another metaphor, we've often compared our meetings to a scrum. A scrum in rugby has players start in formation, arms interlocked and heads down, pushing forward to gain possession of the ball. Symbolically, our lively discussions become a sort of theological or spiritual scrum, team players passing the 'ball' of the Word back and forth, moving the game forward towards the ultimate goal of claiming our inheritance as sons and daughters of God.

Whether it's a song or scrum, we have 14 pieces for you. They aren't really bound by theme. There are homilies that reflect on passages both familiar and obscure, articles about the struggles of deconstructing faith in our post-modern era, or about the bubbling up of faith reconstructed. As we were choosing what to share, we jokingly gave it the working title, "We found these helpful, maybe you will too."

We invite you to grab a cup of coffee and join us. Our hope is that each homily, article, short story, movie/book response and poem can be windows into Watershed, providing you with at least some of the same hope and meaning they gave us.

In This Edition  

Last Updated March, 2018

* In The Pram in the Hall, Penny Kovacs reflects on the gospel story of the widow of Nain. When, like the widow, we can't find a way forward, everything changes when Jesus sees us and says, "Don't cry."

* In The Passionate Life, Paul Patterson contrasts our status hungry world with the way modeled by Christ, where the way up first goes down. In the kingdom, those who serve have the most status.

* In The Prophetic Protocol, Paul Patterson reflects on the story of Naaman, a general with a skin disease. How does his healing address our deepest alienation from ourselves, others and God?

* In The Heart of Deafness, Eldon Heinrichs reflects on one of Jesus' strangest parables, the Rich Man and Lazarus. Are we just as deaf as the rich man? This cautionary tale invites us to open our ears.

* In Going High! Going Low!, Bev Patterson wonders what kind of strange God this is, who asks us to emulate the unscrupulous tax collector and reject the "honorable" Pharisee. What standard is Jesus using anyway?

* In Experience of a Church Misfit, guest Phil Hay writes about what many today experience — feeling at odds with the faith community he grew up with.

* In Open Mic, Linda Tiessen Wiebe wonders whether the Kingdom of God looks like Open Mic night, a place where everyone belongs and are freed to express their deeper selves.

* In It's a New Day!, Bev Patterson ponders Jesus' "Great Commission". When it's been so misunderstood and misapplied throughout history, what are we make of it?

* In Shaking the Family Tree, Penny Kovacs contemplates Jacob's dream of a ladder between heaven and earth, given by God when Jacob was at rock bottom. What hope does this ancient story hold for us today?

* In Thoughts on a Covenant Sunday, Paul Patterson reflects on what binds us together in our Watershed community. What's the purpose of having a covenant?

* In Like a Refugee, Linda Tiessen Wiebe responds to the movie Blue Like Jazz. It's anything but a typical Christian movie. Losing your religion can be terrifying. How do you find faith on the other side?

* In Watershed at the Brink of a New Year, Lydia Penner offers a poem of gratitude for Watershed.

* In What Are Visual Homilies?, Eldon Heinrichs describes a centerpiece he created for Covenant Sunday in 2016. These 'visual homilies' at Watershed meetings evoke our hearts and focus our thoughts.

* In Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me, Lydia Penner reviews Ian Cron's story which he subtitled "A Memoir…Of Sorts". His journey is a parable for all our journeys.

* In Index of Scripture Used in Homilies, we've compiled a list of Watershed Online resources (and related scriptures) from over the years. These may come in handy for study or reflection in your own contexts.

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