Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: November 14, 2021 – 1 Samuel 3: 1-10

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.  (1 Samuel 3: 9, 10) There are many “call stories” in the Bible, and the one we heard today is ready for the stage. The characters in this scene are an aging priest named Eli, his young charge Samuel, and off stage, a voice which the audience understands to be the voice of God, though not immediately understood as such by young Samuel.  From previous scenes and scenes yet to come we have …

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Sermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 7, 2021 – Revelation 21: 1-6a

Few books in the Bible are as polarizing as the Book of Revelation. It’s the book of the antichrist, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the number 666, For some, its apocalyptic narrative provides a clear roadmap of the end times, each symbol and event aligned with doomsday. For others, Revelation is easily side-stepped and ignored because of its weirdness. At times, I must admit, I fall into this category. In these days, particularly in the northern hemisphere, the Church …

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Sermon: October 31, 2021 – Mark 12: 28-34

“Which commandment is the most important of all?”[asked the Scribe]. 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDEDiqesmEI   Download PDF at  Sermon_31October2021 According to both Matthew and Mark, this …

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Sunday Message: October 24, 2021 – Hope and Resilience – Romans 5: 1-5

What to say about hope and resilience? Well, first of all, I voice a big thank-you to Sandy McCaig, for outlining repeated instances in her life and the life of her family, when hope was elusive – and then hope was found again, and hope found a partner named resilience. I trust that Sandy’s exploration of her experience with hope and resilience might be an encouragement for us to set aside some time to recall how these qualities have worked …

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Sermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10, 2021 – Mark 10: 17-27

At Thanksgiving, we acknowledge that God is the source of life, the earth and all living beings. At Thanksgiving, we open ourselves to others with God’s own generosity. It may seem strange to have the gospel lesson about Jesus and a rich man seeking eternal life as our Thanksgiving scripture reading.  If truth be told, it’s the gospel reading for the Sunday between October 9th and October 15th , not specifically designated as a “Thanksgiving” reading at all; but to …

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Sermon: October 3, 2021 – Ephesians 2: 13-22

Such dividedness. Insiders and outsiders.  Ethnic and Religious splits. Positions strongly held, to the point of erecting walls of hostility between one another. Differences, even, in what is considered authoritative and true. Watch at https://youtu.be/C9XfrJ_u-7o     Download PDF here: Sermon_03October2021 No, I’m not talking about Alberta or Canada or the US in the year 2021, though I clearly could be.  This paragraph describes the situation addressed by the second chapter of Ephesians. Traditionally considered a letter of the apostle Paul, …

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creation time stole

Sermon: Every Child Matters Sunday – Sept 26, 2021 – Matt. 3: 13-17

Jesus was not the first person to be baptized.  And John the Baptist was not the first person to perform this sacred ritual.  But at the baptism of Jesus, some important things happened. Download PDF here: Sermon_26Sept2021 Jesus was roughly thirty years old when he came to the River Jordan, so he came with much experience.  Whether that was the experience of being a carpenter or stonemason like his father Joseph, or if he had already engaged in formal study …

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Sermon: September 19, 2021 – Mark 9: 30-37

Today’s gospel reading from the 9th chapter of Mark has three parts to it: Jesus delivers troubling news about his death, which his disciples fail to understand; those same disciples quarrel and jostle for position; and Jesus brings a child into their midst, to illustrate just how different his new conception of power is from their tired old views. View at https://youtu.be/escx5Jmmfso      Download PDF: Sermon_19September2021 Let’s look at these three portions, with an intention to experience the wisdom …

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Sermon: September 12, 2021 – Psalm 19

Figuring out one’s priorities is no easy feat. Do I focus on my own needs, the needs of those closest to me, the needs of communities that I am part of, or the needs of all living beings and the planet itself?  With so many needs, how do I best align my choices with God’s hopes – especially at a time when many of us feel that our capacity is at a low ebb? Watch at https://youtu.be/4j35tkU9vAI   Download PDF:  Sermon_12September2021 …

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Sermon: August 29, 2021 – James 1: 17-27

The book of James is one of those books you probably know a couple of quotes from, even if you couldn’t specifically place them.  James 2:20 says that “Faith without works is dead” and in today’s reading, James 1:22, working the same angle, urges the reader/listener to “Be Doers of the Word, and not Hearers only.” Watch at https://youtu.be/C6Pa_0VBiK8  Download PDF at Sermon_29August2021 Even for those who aren’t overtly religious, these quotes ring true.  The things that we say are …

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