I started writing this on Monday, but for various reasons didn’t manage to finish it until today!
During the time with the children in worship this past Sunday, two of the girls were carrying with them gifts from their Secret Friends: one had “Rainbow Dash” and the other “Twilight Sparkle.” Both of them were small plush toys from the animated cartoon series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”
I think I raised a few eyebrows in that I not only instantly recognized them, but was able to explain that a little to the congregation.
Such is the realm of being a geek, but at the same time the weekend was particularly appropriate for it. This past weekend was the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, a yearly event that has now become the 5th largest event of its kind in North America. People come together in a cultural of a mutual interest in all things science-fiction, fantasy, and what is broadly termed “fandom.”
Former child star and Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton was once asked how he defined being a geek. He started by saying that he used “nerd” and “geek” interchangeably. He went on to say, “I’ve said that being a nerd is not about what you love, it’s about the way that you love it. So you can be a nerd for football, and obsessively follow stats and player trades and figure out things that give you an advantage in, like, sports betting and things like that. Or, you can love Battlestar Galactica and try to work out all of the complex mythologies and get into things like blueprints of the ships. And then you can love things like Agents of Shield and Winter Soldier, and love that so much that you end up going to a comic book shop and then reading all the way back through ten or twenty years of Captain America comics. Someone who I would describe as a “geek” or “nerd” is a person who loves something to its greatest extent, and then looks for other people who love it the same way, so they can celebrate loving it together.”
While I am firmly in this category with the usual suspects: Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, I also have a big overlap with how I approach my faith. As an example, I once compared the Book of Revelation as an ancient form of Science Fiction, and I had to quickly qualify my comments to say that it is perhaps the highest compliment I could pay the work. I am making references to Monty Python as part of leading the seminars on the Crusades in order to give it some much-needed perspective. I find this approach life-giving, and I would hope, healthy. Wherever we find new life, we get a glimpse of resurrection.
For whatever your interest is, may you take it on with the same passion and life-giving zeal that makes some of us proud to wear the label “geek.”
Yours in Christ,
- Service of Communion – Sunday, May 7th
- I’ve included a copy of Sunday’s Bulletin with this letter, and a reminder that we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion this Sunday as part of worship.
- Shakespeare at St. Matthew’s
- Wayne Valleau is leading our next foray into Shakespeare with an exploration of Anthony and Cleopatra. The seminar started Easter Monday, April 17th at 10:00am in the Conference Room, and continues on Mondays at 10:00am.
- The Crusades: A Dark History
- Continues with Session 3: The First Crusade Part 2 on Monday, May 9th at 7:15pm, John Crowdis will be leading his latest seminar, exploring the historical military campaigns known as the Crusades from the late 11th Century to the mid-13th Centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
- Spirituals Sunday!
- Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 25th for our annual service of African-American Spirituals. More details to come!
- Congregational Membership Classes
- If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am running personalized membership classes as a way of exploring faith. I am making use of a United Church resource called “Jesus 24/7” which explores our faith using the New Creed that we say every week as a jumping off point. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.