Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: March 22, 2020 – John 9:1-41 (Lent IV)

Please note: a live version of this message is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt3edcbl3kY and a PDF may be downloaded at http://ralphconnor.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Sermon_22March2020_LentIV-online.pdf Sermon: March 20, 2020 – John 9: 1-41 (Lent IV) – virtual worship, online Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley We live in a time of questions and answers. Most of the questions we have right now, revolve around the global pandemic, and the most effective responses to it: how socially isolated do I need to …

Read moreSermon: March 22, 2020 – John 9:1-41 (Lent IV)

Sermon: March 15, 2020 (Lent 3) – John 4: 5-42

A week after our final grade 12 exams, my best friend and I took a trip from Regina to the big city of Vancouver. We were sent with very specific instructions on how to explore the east end of downtown on foot.  Along the south part of this zone is lively Chinatown, at the north edge is gentrified, touristy Gastown, but in order to walk from one to the other you had to go through about 3 blocks that were …

Read moreSermon: March 15, 2020 (Lent 3) – John 4: 5-42

Sermon: March 8, 2020 – John 3: 1-17 (Lent II)

When we were in the Holy Land two years ago, we learned that when a Bible story tells you where it happened, it is worth paying attention, as the topography or history of a place makes all the difference to the stories told there. In today’s reading about Jesus and Nicodemus, it’s not so much about where it happened, as when it happened. And when it happened, was at night. click here for a PDF of this sermon Nicodemus, one …

Read moreSermon: March 8, 2020 – John 3: 1-17 (Lent II)

desolate lands

Sermon: Lent I, March 1 2020 – Matthew 4: 1-11

The 3rd chapter of Matthew, immediately prior to today’s reading, ends with these words: “when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” click here for PDF Knowing the ministry ahead of Jesus,  we current-day readers may …

Read moreSermon: Lent I, March 1 2020 – Matthew 4: 1-11

Sermon: Feb 23, 2020 – Exodus 24: 12-18 – Deuteronomy 34: 1-5 – Matthew 17: 1-8

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY: The term, “mountaintop experience”, is a great descriptor for those moments in life that are indescribably grand.   After great effort or a long, arduous journey, experiencing the strived-for moment is indeed a “peak” moment.  An academic career culminates in an award, a scholarship established in one’s name, or some other great honour.  A team’s season culminates in winning the championship, or a veteran player finally wins a championship after many seasons.  Nine months of morning sickness and backaches …

Read moreSermon: Feb 23, 2020 – Exodus 24: 12-18 – Deuteronomy 34: 1-5 – Matthew 17: 1-8

Sermon: February 16, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9

Last Sunday night was the annual broadcast of the Academy Awards.  As usual, we tuned in to about half of it and as usual, we’ve seen perhaps two of the films that generated nominees, but that doesn’t lessen our enjoyment of the evening.  It is frustrating that the Academy just can’t bring itself to nominate female directors or non-white actors, which points to bigger issues in the industry and society  around whose stories get told, and by whom, but that …

Read moreSermon: February 16, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9

Sermon: February 9, 2020 – Matthew 5: 13-16

You are the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world.  There is so much empowerment in today’s reading, the second preaching segment of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This morning, though, it’s the next part of what Jesus said that insisted I keep coming back to them: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets” said Jesus to the crowd, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For …

Read moreSermon: February 9, 2020 – Matthew 5: 13-16

Sea of Galilee

Sermon: February 2, 2020 – Matthew 5: 1-12 – the Beatitudes

We all like stories of people who rise from humble beginnings to do great things.  Gordie Howe using rolled up Eaton’s catalogues for shin pads and becoming one of the top three hockey players ever.  Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Oprah Winfrey, rising from poverty and challenging family circumstances to international stardom. Peace by Chocolate, founded by the Hadhad family, Syrian refugees sponsored by a community group in Antigonish, NS.  Jesus Christ, born of a teenage mom and raised in …

Read moreSermon: February 2, 2020 – Matthew 5: 1-12 – the Beatitudes

Sermon – AGM Sunday, January 26, 2020 – Matthew 4: 12-23

Fritz Wendt, a German Lutheran pastor now working in the USA as a trained therapist, offers this assessment of today’s reading from the 4th chapter of Matthew: “[the ministry of Jesus] has begun, and he immediately begins recruiting staff for his work; he breaks into the ordered lives of Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and calls them into service. His simple words hit the mark: ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ click here for PDF …

Read moreSermon – AGM Sunday, January 26, 2020 – Matthew 4: 12-23

Sea of Galilee

Sermon: January 19, 2020 – John 1: 29-42

Two weeks ago, we marked the festival of the Epiphany, based around Matthew’s recollections of the Magi coming to adore the Christ child.  Today, our gospel lesson fast forwards thirty years, and switches authors from Matthew to John, but many of the same story elements remain. Click here for a PDF of this sermon The Magi were well trained in matters of the Spirit.  Either they were Zoroastrian priests or trained in what we would call astronomy and astrology, combining a …

Read moreSermon: January 19, 2020 – John 1: 29-42