The Rev. Tim Smart (graduate of MDTC, 1987) is the Director of Lay Education for the Diocese of Montreal. He develops and encourages programs of continuing education for adult learners. He divides his time between his parish of Grace Church in Sutton, Quebec; being a chaplain at Cowansville Federal Prison; and Montreal Diocesan Theological College. He is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston (BA, B.Ed) and McGill University, (M.Div).
Climate Change, Terrorism, and Corporate Greed. The Unholy Trinity. In the olden days, when I was at Diocesan College, these were not on the curriculum. Greek, Old and New Testament, and Church History occupied much of my time. But what I did pick up from the courses at McGill and the community of Dio was the urgent necessity of being steeped in the Christian tradition in order to speak and act with intelligence and compassion in the world around me. And I discovered that engagement is the key to faith. A faith that is engaged with the world is lively and life-giving. Whereas a faith that just wants to sit back and protect time-honored traditions and turn inwards is only of interest to the Undertaker of the world.
You cannot read the prophets of the Old Testament and hear the urgent call of Jesus without wanting to roll up your sleeves and get involved with the concerns of your age. So what attendance is down at Church, what are we going to do about Stephen Harper selling out our country to oil interests? Are you wondering where all the young people have got to – go out and join them on the Climate Change March! Worried about terrorism, how about combatting the hysteria that Western governments encourage in order to justify the military-industrial complex? It’s not that hard to connect the faith of our fathers and mothers to the issues of today, you just have to hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other (Google Karl Barth).
I’m tied to this world and I worry about my Pension Plan and whether this Anglican Church can keep me gainfully employed until the day of my retirement. But I also realize that the weight loss being experienced in the Anglican Church could just be the radical diet that was needed. So we’re not as big and prosperous as we used to be. Let’s get over it. Being smaller makes us nimbler and maybe also more healthy and faithful, having gotten rid of any pretense that our Church is in the business of merely producing good law-abiding citizens.
Time for the compost disturbers of the Church to rise up and cry out in the wilderness, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”. A kingdom which cares for Creation, a kingdom which puts people ahead of profits and a Savior who invites us to hope and work for justice and peace, instead of giving ourselves over to the spirits of fear and slavery – to those would-be-kings who want to bury us alive in flyers and false promises.