Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Worry is a difficult and unpleasant companion. Download PDF: Sermon_08November2020 (1)  View at https://youtu.be/ZYLzMMYiMoU Sometimes, worry originates when our brain chemistry gets off-kilter, anxiety, fretting and insomnia take on a life of their own, and therapeutic intervention is required.  But often, worry has an origin you can identify, arising in a time of uncertainty, when we have just enough information to stimulate the fight, flight or freeze instincts and with worry. Sometimes we worry about ourselves – a lingering cough, …

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Sermon: November 1, 2020 – Matthew 23: 1-12

Sometimes, when I read a scripture lesson in which Jesus says something really, really pointed, I wonder if I am on the giving side or the receiving side of what is being said.  Today’s scripture lesson, in which Jesus denounces hypocrisy with a version of the classic-and-catchy phrase, “practice what you preach,” leaves no such ambiguity.  As someone who first stepped up to a pulpit in 1981 and has had the audacity to do in the years since then, “preach” …

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Sermon: October 25, 2020 – Matthew 22: 34-40

LOVE is at the core of today’s gospel lesson. The first three gospels all recount the same story, of Jesus being asked which commandment is greatest, and in the fourth gospel Jesus volunteers some thoughts expressing the same sentiment. View at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQoyXyzgGug  Download PDF at Sermon_25October2020 In today’s reading from Matthew, and in the 12th chapter of Mark, the setting is the same as it was in last week’s gospel reading:  Jesus, recently and not-too-quietly arrived in Jerusalem, is asked …

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Sea of Galilee

Sermon: October 18, 2020 – Matthew 22: 15-22

An argument could be made, that even before he spoke his first parable, even before he gained his first disciple, even before the first person came to him for healing, Jesus was the kind of person the authorities would watch with suspicion.  The reason?  He was from Galilee. View at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNRuCVCrm_Y  PDF at Sermon_18October2020 What do we know about the Galileans?  For years, I have heard that mostly-rural Galilee would have been regarded as somewhat of a “backwater” in the …

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Sermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, Oct 11,2020 – 2 Cor.9: 6-10

Thanksgiving Sunday is a day for returning thanks, for expressing our gratitude.  What I’d like to do today, is to go one step beyond that… from gratitude, to generosity. Listen at Ralph Connor Canmore YouTube Channel,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGwCVmy7pIs PDF download here: Sermon_11October2020_Thanksgiving Today’s scripture reading from 2nd Corinthians uses an agricultural analogy that is easily relatable: “the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty.”  Anyone who has put seed in the ground, will know …

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Sermon: October 4, 2020 – Jonah 3: 1-10

This week, illumination has come from a few different angles… and if all goes well, they will converge at something resembling a sermon! watch at https://youtu.be/EkyucrRnq1w  download PDF at Sermon_04October2020 The first angle, is from the spiritual practice we have been following all month: the Examen.  The first three steps of the Examen are all pretty agreeable: Asking God for light, Giving thanks, and Reviewing the Day. Step four, which we take today, requires some heavier lifting:  “Face your shortcomings …

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Orange Shirt Day

Sermon: September 27, 2020 – Orange Shirt Sunday

In honour of our Wednesday night Evensong contemplative services beginning their 20th year, we have been using the Examen, a daily contemplative spiritual practice, to guide us through these Sundays of September and early October.  Today we are at step 3 of the process, which is to “Review the Day – carefully looking back at the day just completed, being guided by the Holy Spirit.” watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygs6sjCWAR4 download PDF at Sermon_27September2020 When we think of “looking back at the …

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Sermon: September 20, 2020 – Exodus 16: 1-15

“What is this stuff”? Loosely translated, that’s what the word MANNA means in Hebrew: what is it? Described by the 16th chapter of Exodus as thin, frost-like, nourishing, with the appearance of coriander seed and the taste of a sweet crispbread, heaven-sent Manna plays an important role in the story of the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites. Watch at https://youtu.be/saZN_RbD0js Download PDF at Sermon_20September2020 At this point of the narrative, the people had passed through the Sea of Reeds and …

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Sermon: September 13, 2020 – Psalm 95: 1-7

note: this was preached at our first in-person Worship service since mid-March 2020, at the Ball Diamond at Millennium Park, Canmore AB.   Two very different things happening in coming weeks will converge to shape today’s message, and our worship services from now ‘til Thanksgiving. watch at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD6VvULF-00 or download PDF at Sermon_13September2020-Outdoors First, it’s the season of Creation, a time when we look at our role as stewards of the earth, and the connection between God, and the earth, and …

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rushing waters

Sermon: September 6, 2020 – Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging”. (Psalm 46: 1-3)   What a dramatic beginning to our Psalm today, and to our month-long journey in the season of creation. Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dC3Dk4Q4E0 Download PDF at Sermon_06September 2020 The Psalmist draws these terrifying pictures from …

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