Convergence in Worship

Briarwood friends:  Here is a thoughtful article on something called convergence.  We currently have a 10 a.m. service with choir/organ and an 11:30 a.m. service with worship bands.  This is arrangement is not uncommon.  On March 7 your Session meets to prayerfully discuss worship at Briarwood.  Pray with them.

We will be studying, among other things, this article linked to below.

The writer is a Music Director at an Anglican Church in the U.S.  “Jamie Brown has served as the Associate Director of Worship and Music at The Falls Church Anglican for the last ten years. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from George Mason University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary.”

2015 Annual Letter

Dear Friends at Briarwood

Over 6 years ago we discerned as a congregation to make reaching out to our community in new ways a main priority.   This last year has felt like a consolidation of that vision.  We are now established with two worship services.  We have had over a full year of full-time ministry to youth and children with our CYD.  There continue to be new households to the congregation, at least one a month.  Our giving to mission is strong.

One thing I’ve noticed in particular this year is how leadership is beginning to be shared by people who attend the 10 a.m. and the 11:30 a.m. services.  On the Session, the Board, the Children’s Faith program team, the Space Committee, in music leadership, in hospitality and congregational lunches leadership, there is a cross section of the whole congregation now.

And this is ongoing, and particularly healthy and natural.  I would welcome everyone to continue in this.  If you attend the 10 a.m. service, why not invite a family from the 11:30 a.m. for lunch  at 12:30 p.m.?  They would love that.  If you attend, the 11:30 a.m. service, why not have someone from the 10 a.m. service over for dinner?  Would be a ball.

Briarwood is an incredibly diverse congregation in ages, backgrounds, and worship styles.  As we come to the end of a calendar year, we can ask how God is calling us to use our range of age, background and modes of worship to glorify God now, today, and in the year ahead.

Everything is changing.  All the time.  And Briarwood is part of that, as we seek to connect to our post-Christian, post-Christendom slice of Canada.  As we seek to be faithful together in growing God’s Kingdom here, remember Paul’s words to the church:

“So…whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

And I say it again,

“So…whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31



The Rev. Dr. Gregory Davidson

On Doctor Assisted Death

So the PCC has spoken out on this.  Here is a follow up thought from the Rev. Karla Wubbenhorst that you might find helpful, thinking about the Supreme Court’s recent decision.


Random Pensee #14:
This is what happens when you have sheer individual voluntarism rather than a common notion of “the good” (ie. specific content, certain theses worth protecting) enshrined as the core value of your country’s charter. In my theistic perspective, Life is good. Life is given. Life is given with a purpose. This goodness/givenness/purposefulness is not negated by subjective doubt as to purpose, nor by degrees of suffering that are subjectively held to be “intolerable.” Admittedly this theistic perspective is itself subjective (it is mine, it may not be yours), but without it (or something content-specific) at the centre, we have no grounds on which to stem the descent into nihilism and human degradation; we have no grounds on which to protect people from the forms of harm they “freely” embrace, or at the societal level, to choose positive values rather than corrupt and corrupting ones. (The Supreme Court’s striking down of the anti-prostitution laws (Dec. 2013) pique exactly the same issues). Consider that in Kubler Ross’ typology of grief, depression (stage 4) is the stage which precedes acceptance (stage 5). If we offer access to assisted suicide, a multitude of people will make a terminal decision in stage 4 and never have the chance to arrive at stage 5. But we have a greater aversion now as a society toward the kind of “paternalism” which says “you may not at all times be the best judge of your own good,” than to the tragedies which will ensue on a vast scale, if our laws cease to take a substantive position on what is right and wrong (the normative role of law). Law needs to be based on more than protected space for the freedom of the individual. With at least three of its recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has signaled a co-ordinated programme of dismantling, piece by piece, the bulwark of common grace in our society, as it pursues relentlessly the working through of the individual take of freedom expressed on our misbegotten charter. We need not be surprised, when 20 or 50 years from now we stand overwhelmed by the floodwaters. Where is the prophetic voice of thoughtful, strategically placed Christians, at times like these (viz. Ezekiel 33)?