Retrofuture

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Retrofuture | September 8-29,2019

Retrofuturism (n.) /ˌrɛtrəʊˈfjuːtʃərɪz(ə)m/ An arts movement considering the influence of how the past imagined what the future would be.

Every generation imagines what the future will look like.  Some of those things come true, some don’t.  You’ll have noticed we don’t yet have flying cars (so Back to the Future was wrong), but we do have cell phones (so StarTrek underestimated us)! The same is true for us as a church.  We grow in the dreams and imagination of people that planted WKC 25 years ago.  Things have changed since then, for our church and our city.  New things have come, old things have gone, somethings have come and gone.  But we’re still here as a community committed to exploring the surprising grace of Jesus.  And despite all the change.  Our church, and our city, still really need grace.  So for us in this series the question is, how do we navigate the future while being honest to our past?


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For each series we want to offer a couple of optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Gospel in Life - Tim Keller

Scattered Servants - Alan Scott

The New Copernicans - David John Seel jr.

The Performance Artist

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The Performance Artist | October 6 - November 10,2019

Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God. But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know. This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops.

- Eugene Peterson

One of the Hebrew prophets we discover in the pages of the Bible is a man called Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a prophet, but he’s also an artist, a performance artist. The pages of his book are filled with symbol, metaphor, and signs. Artistic ideas and powerful images that interrupt us and draw us towards the God who has always been with us.

Throughout this series we want to reflect on how the ancient message of Jeremiah talks to us today as individuals, a church, and a city.


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For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Run with the Horses - Eugene Peterson

Jeremiah for Everyone - John Goldingay

The Prophetic Imagination - Walter Brueggemann

Walking the Ancient Paths - Walter C. Kaiser

The State of the Church

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The State of the Church | November 17 - 24, 2019

Belief is change in our secular age. There are still believers who believe the same things as their forebears 1,500 years ago; but how we believe has changed. Thus faith communities need to ask: How does this change in the “conditions” of belief impact the way we proclaim and teach the faith? How does this impact faith formation? How should this change the propagation of the faith for the next generation

- James K.A. Smith

We return to think again about the church, and the church we might become. Language of vision and mission can often sound pretentious and over-confident. We don’t want to be like that. But we do want to ask an important question. What would we like things to be like in 100 years? What type of world, city, church will our grand children grow old in?

To think about there, we need to think first about here. It’s our belief that when we all come together with our individual callings the effect multiplies. How might we all serve together and be excited about what God might do through us.


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Scattered Servants - Alan Scott

Surprise the World - Michael Frost

Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem

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Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem | December 1 to January 5, 2019

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

- St Paul, Philippians

Christmas means…well we probably know that by now. But what might it teach us? This incredible journey of descent of God to us…with us…amongst us…”in our neighbourhood” (John 1:14 MSG) is a story that increases in its selfless surprise the more selfish and narcissistic we become as humans.

So Christmas issues a surprise to us. That God would become like us, and yet be so unlike us. This Christmas we celebrate the incredible story of Jesus. The Jesus who became like us so that, amongst other things, we might become more like God.


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

The Road to Character - David Brooks

Everybody Always - Bob Goff

Advent - Fleming Rutledge

Ghosts: Season 4

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Ghosts: Season 4 | January 12 - 26, 2019

You want to find something, but you don’t know what to search for. In everyone there’s a continuous desire and expectation; deep inside, you still expects something better to happen. that is why you check your email many times a day.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

For the fourth time we begin the new calendar year with pause to consider our mental health. Over the years that we have taught this series we’ve noticed changes. The stigma of talking about mental health is diminishing, but the number of our friends and family who suffer is not.

So we return to talk about anxiety, depression, and the other things that leave us feeling haunted. But, of course, we talk about this in a very particular way - we talk about it without judgement, in safety, and constantly rooting ourselves in the biblical texts. Because in these texts, we believe, we will find comfort, direction, and hope.


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For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

The Noonday Demon - Andrew Solomon

How to Survive a Shipwreck - Jonathan Martin

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful - Sarah Wilson

Work, Rest, Play: Season 2

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Work, Rest, Play: Season 2 | February 9 - March 1, 2019

“It is perfectly clear that God’s good plan always included human beings working, or, more specifically, living in the constant cycle of work and rest.”

- Ben Witherington

“Seek the welfare of the city”

-Jeremiah

Although our lives revolve around issues of work, rest, play, how much time do we spend thinking about what we're doing when we do these things? In this second season of Work, Rest, Play, we will talk more about how we find rhythms and health in each of these areas, but we will also turn our attention to how these features of our lives are more than just “what we do”.

What does it look like to see our working and non-working through the lenses of God’s kingdom? What does Jeremiah mean when he counsels a people to “seek the welfare of the city”? Or perhaps we simply need to ask, how does Jesus show us a way to live that makes our work part of what we do for him?


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Every Good Endeavour - Tim Keller

Seculosity - David Zahl

The Second Mountain - David Brooks

Age of Rage

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Age of Rage | March 8 - 29, 2019

Anger was buried far too early in a young heart, which perhaps contained much good.

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Outrage is motivated by a desire to punish or destroy rather than reconcile and refine. It is frequently accompanied by hubris and a confidence in its judgement, categorically rejecting any nuance. Outrage is fast and decisive rather than reflective, choosing to exhibit God’s retribution rather than reflect his persistent, steadfast love.

- Ed Stetzer

Let’s be honest with each other. The weapon of choice these days seems the be the pitchfork. Whether online or in person we seem to be angry. Really angry.

Last year a survey from around the world had 22% of people respond to say that they felt angry. Twenty. Two. Percent.

Admittedly there’s more than a little bit going on that is anger inducing. But how much of our anger is at those things? The windows into our souls that come in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram suggest that there might be more going on, and it might be that we’re just angrier. So in this teaching, we’re going to explore this a little bit more. Hopefully without making it worse ;-)


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Christians in the Age of Outrage - Ed Stetzer

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot - James Hogan and Grania Litwin

A Fellowship of Differents - Scott McKnight

Holy Week

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Holy Week | April 5 - 12, 2019

From beginning to end, the Holy Scriptures testify that the predicament of fallen humanity is so serious, so grave, so irremediable from within, that nothing short of divine intervention can rectify it - Fleming Rutledge

Some stories are worth telling every year. Other stories are so foundational to the world that we tell them all the time.

As we return again to Holy Week, we don’t take this time to simply tell the story, but to pause and reflect on the story, to be changed by the story, to slow ourselves down so that we might live and rehearse the story ourselves.

Palm Sunday

Stations of the Cross

Good Friday

Resurrection Sunday


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

The Undoing of Death - Fleming Rutledge

The Day the Revolution Began - NT Wright

Doubt: Season 2

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Doubt: Season 2 | April 19 - May 10, 2019

Even as faith endures in our secular age, believing doesn’t come easy. Faith is fraught; confession is haunted by an inescapable sense of its contestability. We don’t believe instead of doubting; we believe while doubting. We’re all Thomas now.

- James K.A. Smith

Doubt has rarely been a comfortable word amongst Christians in recent history. It’s not that it’s disliked, so much as opposed. This isn’t a biblical position though. Doubt is a necessary feature of being human. So a faith or religion that doesn’t have space for uncertainty won’t have space for humans. Fortunately for us, the central biblical story is that of a human called Jesus.

We return to this series as secular society increasingly redraws the maps of what it means to have a meaningful faith today. We want to explore what it looks like to have faith and why that might still make sense.


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

How (Not) to be Secular - James K.A. Smith

The New Copernicans - David John Seel, jr.

Irreligious: The History of a Dangerous Idea

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Irreligious: The History of a Dangerous Idea | May 24 - June 14, 2019

When God wants to sort out the world, as the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount make clear, he doesn't send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the broken, the justice hungry, the peacemakers, the pure-hearted and so on.

- N.T. Wright

Jesus. Holy Spirit. Church.

It’s interesting to note how quickly we as humans try to make things safe, normal and controllable. It sometimes seems we’ve done that with our faith. But sometimes it might be worth wondering about the radical aspects of following Jesus. And perhaps more specifically, what was radical about Jesus that might still be ignoring today.

While we may like the idea of a safe, comfortable Jesus, it may be worth occasionally remembering that he was crucified as a rebel and a troublemaker. In this series we might just ask how Jesus wants to cause trouble for us today.


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

The Challenge of Jesus - N.T. Wright

The Jesus I Never Knew - Philip Yancy

The Prophetic Imagination - Walter Brueggemann

Sex & Money: Season 6

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Sex & Money: Season 6 | June 21 - July 12, 2019

Romance, like much else these days, comes with the promise of infinite possibility - but what we think we want isn’t always what’s best Apparently, in the dating world, there’s now an epidemic of men specifying partners and relationships with “no drama”.

- Oliver Burkeman

This series was a staple at Westside King’s for many years. Now, after a short break, it’s back with more to say.

In the time that this series has taken a break the subjects of finance and sexuality haven’t gotten easier to navigate or speak about. But as is our creed, we will approach these subjects with grace and in a way that supports us as we navigate life as 21st century Jesus followers.


Explore more

For each series we want to offer a few optional resources that you might want to read and explore to deepen your understanding of the subjects covered in this series. Some of the reading will overlap with other series throughout the year and our house church program.

Sex God - Rob Bell

You are What You Love - James K.A. Smith