Sunday, December 22nd
Five O’clock in the Evening
“The Holy Nativity of a Human Jesus”
A few canonical and non-canonical gospels give us various “Christmas” stories, giving rise to the Christian doctrine of incarnation (God in human form); as if the birth of a human Jesus, with the teachings he gave us and the life he exemplified for us wasn’t sufficiently holy and something sacred to be joyfully welcomed into this sorry world of ours. Join us to explore what it means to welcome the rebirth of a very human Jesus into our lives this Christmas. It could be the most extraordinary gift of the season!
Always a free event, open to everyone. RSVP helpful: email@example.com
Newcomers always welcome. For our location for gatherings or more information contact Pathways here.
“Thanks for Nothing:
A Commentary for Thanksgiving in an Age of Anxiety”
Consider amber waves of grain as you would the lilies of the field.
American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first wintry Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.
And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent an age of anxiety hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years.
Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, the peculiar gift of nothingness, and the wild lilies of the fields.
You can read this latest Words & Ways commentary Here.
In the last thirty-five years, John Bennison has been a teacher, preacher, lecturer, trainer, carpenter, coffin builder, counselor, spiritual advisor, ethicist, writer and lyricist, musician and entertainer, assembly-line union worker, small business entrepreneur, residential real estate specialist, corporate cog and executive director of a faith-based non-profit organization.
He’s authored eight publications on faith and values, and as an ordained minister served as a parish pastor over 25 years. He earned his Doctorate from Claremont School of Theology, as well as his BA degree in philosophy and religion from Lake Forest College.
Throughout his career he has helped groups, as well as individuals, discover how to both express and embrace those values they hold most deeply in their own lives (www.wordsnwayscommunications.com).
John contributes his leadership experience as Executive Director and Lead Teacher at Pathways, as he writes the Words & Ways commentaries and blogs on The Christian Progressive, engaging others everywhere in meaningful dialogue.
Meanwhile, John also continues to provide professional client services to buyers and sellers of residential real estate in the Bay Area area market (www.imaginecominghome.com).
Having raised two daughters, he resides with his spouse and golden retriever in Walnut Creek, California.