Retired educator Terry Dance-Bennink took a huge step of courage that changed her life. Last September she went on a pilgrimage from Victoria into the dark heart of the tar-sands, to witness one of the largest oil development projects in the world devastating the land and the people of northern Alberta. She came back to … Continue reading Tar-Sands Healing Walk
It’s Halloween again and I will be at the front door passing out candies to wide eyed ghouls, goblins and ghosts in this annual ritual of courting the dark and dangerous. The front door is decorated with eerie figures, carved pumpkin and flickering candles and children will walk up the steps, parents not far behind, … Continue reading Halloween
Gardening is a spiritual practice for me. It attunes me to the grand energy for life that permeates this beautiful earth. It gets me in touch with the cycles of existence and the rhythms of the seasons. Mucking around in the soil opens me to the wonders of this verdant creativity that is evident all … Continue reading The Spirituality of Gardening
Earlier this year the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. This is an alarming development for it represents the highest levels found on earth in millions of years. I mentioned this at one of our regular UVic meditation meetings and one of the students groaned and said: “We’re … Continue reading Making the Climate Connection
There is a noisy restlessness to our culture. We experience a constant push to create, perform, and make things happen. Even our recreation times need to be filled with activity and we constantly seek entertainment to keep a sense of emptiness at bay. We fill our lives with noise and with things to be excited … Continue reading Becoming Silence: Labyrinth Offers Peace Admid Bustle
December 6th in the Christian Calendar marks the Feast of Saint Nicholas, a 4th century saint and bishop of Myra in Asia Minor. The modern legend of Santa Claus traces its lineage back to this obscure saint who had a reputation for gift-giving, leaving coins in the shoes of the poor and destitute. He also … Continue reading It’s Saint Nicholas Day Again!
It is crunch time again for students at the University of Victoria. Like gladiators going into the ring, students will stream into lecture halls and gymnasia to confront final exams. In a few hours of focused effort, they will either succeed or fail. Much time, money and effort hangs on these few hours, and a … Continue reading Of Gladiators and Labyrinths
It is sometimes easy to forget that many of the Christian congregations in Victoria have roots that go back to the earliest days of the European settlement of southern Vancouver Island. One such congregation is Shady Creek United Church, which last Sunday celebrated 150 years on the Saanich Peninsula. Originally appeared in the Times Colonist … Continue reading Shady Creek United Church is as Old as Victoria
This week, just as we as a nation are considering opening our coast to huge supertankers off the coast of Kitimat, BC, we are also remembering the oil spill when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska this month, 23 years ago. The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline will bring raw bitumen from the Alberta … Continue reading Does Religion Have Anything to Say About Oil Tankers Off the Coast of BC?
As chaplain at the University of Victoria, I regularly come across students who quietly admit that they are fasting. A young Buddhist simply said that he could not share in a meal because he was on a three-day fast. Another student, a Baha'i, was participating in the 19-day fast prescribed by his community. A Christian … Continue reading Fasting Shifts Attention Beyond Material World