Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

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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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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Outdoor Worship – this Sunday!

Sunday, September 13 at 10:00 AM, Worship will be at the Millennium Park Ball Diamond.  Join us!!  This is our first in-person service since mid-March.  Bring a lawn chair and your face mask.  What a joy to gather together in person!  Your video invitation is here.  See you at the ballpark!

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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Sermon: August 16, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26

When we are at our best, Christians embody their faith.  We look to Jesus Christ as an embodiment, or incarnation, of the Divine, referred to in the gospel of John as “the Word made Flesh.”  God’s presence in the person of Jesus, expresses that this physical world and these physical bodies are places where we experience holiness, sacredness, Divine acceptance, and love.  Theologians like Marcus Borg (pp.39-54) encourage us to view salvation, not as some deferred exit plan from life, …

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Sermon: August 9, 2020 – 1 Kings 19: 3-15

A few Sundays ago, on July 5th, I put the question out there, about the impact that the Bible had made on your life – what principles life that you would consider to be explicitly “Biblical,” or scriptures that had walked with you through the highs and lows of life. Similar wonderings travelled with me this week as I prepared to preach on 1st Kings 19, except this time the question is about hymns – or phrases from hymns – …

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Sermon: June 28, 2020 – Psalm 145: 8-14

This coming Wednesday, Canada marks another birthday – 153, this time – and that, for me, is always a time for reflection.  I love many aspects of our national identity – the diversity of landscapes, the prevalence of wildlife, the can-do attitude coupled with a politeness that other nations tease us about.  I also acknowledge the challenges we face: our ongoing need for reconciliation with the peoples who were here long before my ancestors showed up; the warning signs we …

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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: 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 …

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