Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: Ascension Sunday May 24, 2020 – Acts 1: 1-11

One of the ways to tease out a Christian denomination’s priorities and theology, is to look at how they name their Churches.   If a denomination tends to use phrases like “Crown of Glory Christian Fellowship” that suggests a very different approach than “Historic Holy Trinity Parish” and that suggests a very different approach than “your subdivision named here, Church”. Video link: https://youtu.be/ysU15cRvzrU PDF link: Sermon_24May2020 So on this Sunday when we mark the going up, or “Ascension” of Christ into …

Read moreSermon: Ascension Sunday May 24, 2020 – Acts 1: 1-11

Sermon: May 17, 2020 – John 14: 1-21

“Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten, the start of a new job, puberty, or retirement, change – even when it is welcomed – tends to be challenging to cope with…. The notion of liminality offers an interesting perspective on the human experience of [organizational] change. View at https://youtu.be/9JDKrLkWwq8 Download a PDF of this sermon here. “Anthropologists use the term ‘liminality’ to describe the sense of chaos and ambiguity that a social group endures during a time of transition. Coined …

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Sermon: May 10, 2020 – Colossians 1: 3-14

We are now in our eighth week of providing Worship through virtual means rather than in-person. While I wouldn’t say there’s a good time for a pandemic to be declared, it was interesting from a preaching standpoint to see how the time of year – the end of the season of Lent, followed by Holy Week and Easter, when we go through very shadowy times before emerging into the light once more– helped us examine how God is present to …

Read moreSermon: May 10, 2020 – Colossians 1: 3-14

Sermon: April 26, 2020 – Acts 2: 14, 32-33, 36-47

What an amazing time it must have been. click here for a PDF of this Sermon or view at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi8loA1BP8lNAppSRR9_aQQ As described in the book of Acts (2: 42-47), life in the earliest community of Christian believers was just about perfect. “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying …

Read moreSermon: April 26, 2020 – Acts 2: 14, 32-33, 36-47

Sermon: April 19, 2020 – John 20: 19-31

One assumption that I bring to sacred texts, is that these ancient words can always speak into our present situation. Take, for example, today’s reading from John, with the disciples gathered behind closed doors, and Christ suddenly appearing in their midst. click here for PDF In a typical year, I might focus on their being “gathered together” because in a typical year, we would be gathered together, singing together, praying together, seeking grounding and guidance for the days and weeks …

Read moreSermon: April 19, 2020 – John 20: 19-31

Sermon: Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 – John 20: 1-18

The calendar indicates that April 12, 2020, is Easter Sunday.  And here it is!  The Church building is not open, a public gathering at Riverside wasn’t allowable, a few of you are still providing essential services and we thank you profusely for that, but most of us are pretty much spending our days at home. Yet even with the strangeness of these necessary restrictions, Easter Sunday is here and the message and power of Easter are not diminished, regardless of …

Read moreSermon: Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 – John 20: 1-18

Sermon: April 5, 2020 – Palm Sunday/Maundy Thursday – John 12 and 13

One prediction I have about life after Covid-19, is that hand-washing will never be viewed the same way again. click here for a PDF of this Sermon I have to admit that over the years, I’ve been pretty cavalier about handwashing.  I can proudly proclaim that from childhood, my hands have always been washed after trips to the biffy, and I’m sure that’s reassuring to the congregations I have served … but, have I always washed my hands after handling …

Read moreSermon: April 5, 2020 – Palm Sunday/Maundy Thursday – John 12 and 13

Sermon: March 29, 2020 – John 11: 1-45 (Lent V)

Two words that emerge from today’s passage from John are presence, and absence. click here for a PDF of this Sermon When my Mom was growing up, her Sunday School teacher liked to have Bible “memory verse” quizzes.  When the teacher quoted chapter and verse, Mom said she struggled a bit, but when the students were able to name the chapter and verse themselves and then recite it, Mom had a go-to verse that was a sure winner, and it …

Read moreSermon: March 29, 2020 – John 11: 1-45 (Lent V)

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)