Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Celebrating 130 years – January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021 is the 130th Anniversary of Ralph Connor Memorial United Church.  Join us on YouTube for an anniversary service! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rMc226VIGY On January 24, 1891, the sanctuary of Canmore Presbyterian Church hosted its first Worship service – located on the same lot where it still stands.  The founding Minister was Rev. Charles Gordon, known to many as the famous author, Ralph Connor.  When the United Church of Canada came into being in 1925, Canmore Presbyterian Church  became Canmore United …

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St Julian Church Norwich UK

Sermon: January 10, 2021 – John 1: 1-18

Words are powerful.  Words can build up or break down, they can inspire us to see things in new ways and challenge us to new heights, or, as we saw last Wednesday in Washington DC, they can draw out humanity’s worst, most selfish instincts, with the catchphrases of derision, words of division and unfounded claims sowed by the hour for four long years, blossoming in violence. Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7AlkjaVsp0  Download PDF at Sermon_10January2021 In your experience, you have, no doubt, …

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Christmas Eve – is now on-line!

Our Christmas Eve service is now live!!   As always, it’s a community-oriented service and this year, features the Nativity story filmed at various locations around Canmore. service link: https://youtu.be/jm62zY0N258 or you can access it through the Ralph Connor Canmore YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi8loA1BP8lNAppSRR9_aQQ and see all our online services (including Monday’s “Longest Night” service) We are holding no in-person services this Christmastime, as we follow and support the Alberta coronavirus guidelines (and… we would need to decide which 12 of you could …

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Sermon: November 29, 2020 – Advent I – Luke 3: 1-6

Hope.  What an important word for us right now. We need hope. With widespread fatigue and discouragement as public health needs necessitate greater restrictions, and the kinds of emotional and spiritual hopelessness that many people are experiencing, we need things that help us find hope: short term hope, close-to-home hope, as well as bigger, more far-reaching hopes for the world.  So long as it brings no harm to self or others, this is a time when we need to be …

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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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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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