Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: August 1, 2021 – 2 Samuel 11

For decades, I have been both impressed and troubled by the way the Bible approaches the story and legacy of King David. Watch at https://youtu.be/CUA-kadR1DY   Download PDF: Sermon_01August2021 We will all, I think, be familiar with David, the slingshot boy, the harpist and Psalmist, the military tactician.  But that is far from the full story. As described by Jonathan Kirsch, “David, as depicted in the Hebrew Bible is, above all, a man of profound contradictions. He is described as “a …

Read more

Sermon: June 13, 2021 – 2 Corinthians 5: 6-17

Occasionally, a Sunday Scripture from the Lectionary will sort of stand there, defiantly, as if to dare the preacher to say something about it. And occasionally I will look back at it with my shoulders in full shrug and reply, “like what?” This week’s reading from Paul’s second letter to the Church at Corinth was like that – talking about faith and courage, life in the body vs. eternal life, seeking God’s favour without becoming boastful, and the newness of …

Read more

Sermon: May 30, 2021 – Isaiah 6: 1-8

Sermon: Sunday, May 30, 2021 – Isaiah 6: 1-8 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley Introduction As we begin this service, I invite you to review with me the first half of the Christian year.  We have moved from Advent and the birth of Jesus (Christmas), to the season of Epiphany, a time of revelation and light.  The season of Lent gave time for reflection and self-assessment, Holy Week takes us to Good Friday, the …

Read more

Sermon: 28 Feb 2021, Lent II – Mark 8: 31-38

At the end of a particularly testy exchange with his disciple Peter, in which they argued about the path to crucifixion and what it meant to proclaim Jesus as the Christ or Messiah, the gospel of Mark has Jesus say these words (pronouns adjusted):  “If anyone wants to come with me… they must forget self, carry their cross, and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their own life will lose it; but whoever loses their life for me and …

Read more

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” …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Sermon: 30 August 2020, Romans 12: 9-18

A few years ago, a popular thing in home décor stores was “house rules” posters to put up in your kitchen or as needed, to assist in the harmonious running of a household.  Typically, they started with things like, “if you make a mess, clean it up”… “if you take it out, put it back”… often ending with “if it cries, love it.”  Handy, helpful advice for people living together. watch at https://youtu.be/QhSLfk3WFOY– download PDF at Sermon_30August2020 The Bible, in …

Read more

Sermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 10, 2019 – Romans 12: 1-3, 9-18

The place where Remembrance Day really found a home deep within me, was at the first United Church pastoral charge I served after ordination. Our “settlement charge” as we called it in those days, was Wadena, Rose Valley and Archerwill in eastern Saskatchewan.  In those communities, particularly Wadena, there was a huge overlap between the Legion and the United Church.  Local merchants, teachers and farmers, first generation Canadians and those with much longer histories on that land, had gone to …

Read more