Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

desolate lands

Sermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, October 13, 2019 – Luke 17: 11-19

Borderlands. We live in a world where border crossings have an ominous tone.  We are familiar with the endless vehicle lineups at the US/Canada border, or queues at the airport, going through a mental checklist – do I have citrus fruit with me?  What’s the total value of purchases?   But in much of the world, border crossings evoke images of Walls being built and families separated… migrants rescued from sea… the Irish, concerned what their border might become again…Palestinian workers …

Read moreSermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, October 13, 2019 – Luke 17: 11-19

view from Mount of Olives

Sermon: July 28, 2019 – Luke 10: 37-42 (week two)

Today, our gospel reading is the same as last Sunday: the story of Mary and Martha. Mary, the contemplative, got her time last Sunday, through an exploration of the life and words of the English mystic, Julian of Norwich. This week, it’s Martha’s turn, and a different approach. click here for PDF Martha’s story is harder for me, because it strikes close to home and I may not be eager to hear all that Jesus has to say here.  I …

Read moreSermon: July 28, 2019 – Luke 10: 37-42 (week two)

Sermon: July 21, 2019 – Luke 10: 38-42, week one

My initial thought, knowing that this Sunday’s reading was the story of Mary and Martha and their differing relationships with Jesus, was to compare and contrast the gifts each of them brought to discipleship, in one sermon.  But as the week moved along I realized this was going to take two Sundays, not just one.  So today, honouring the tradition of Mary, the more mystical or contemplative of the sisters at Bethany, I’m going to share the work of one …

Read moreSermon: July 21, 2019 – Luke 10: 38-42, week one

road from Jerusalem to Jericho

Sermon: July 14, 2019 – Luke 10: 25-37

The gospel of Luke gives us a fine sequence this morning: A teacher of scriptural laws approaches Jesus, and queries him about what one does in order to have eternal life. Jesus engages the man in conversation, turns the question back on him and the lawyer says that the most important commandment in the Torah, is actually two side-by-side: love God, and love your neighbour. Jesus agrees. In response the lawyer asks, “well, who is my neighbour?” How far did …

Read moreSermon: July 14, 2019 – Luke 10: 25-37

Sermon: June 30, 2019 – Matthew 25: 31-40

Is the Kingdom of Heaven more like… An exclusive concert with your favourite musical artist, in a tiny, intimate little setting? Or, A great big event – at a stadium or open field – with that same artist, and a huge audience singing and swaying to tunes you all know by heart? click here for a PDF of this sermon Admittedly, both images are totally non-Biblical and they both have their limitations, especially if you don’t like music.  But in …

Read moreSermon: June 30, 2019 – Matthew 25: 31-40

Sermon: Pride Sunday, June 2, 2019 – John 17:20-26

When I was growing up, “proud” was a difficult word, at least in the circle of modesty I grew up in.  It was OK to tell someone you were proud of them,  and we could be proud of our war veterans, in the way we’ve been hearing this past week at the 75th anniversary of D-Day – but in the opinions of my family and my Church, to be “proud” of one’s self was to be a “prideful” person, and …

Read moreSermon: Pride Sunday, June 2, 2019 – John 17:20-26

Sermon: Sunday, December 9, 2018 (Advent 2) – Isaiah 40: 1-11

Sermon: December 9, 2018 – 2nd Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40: 1-11 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley click here for PDF In this year’s Advent journey, we are following the traditional themes for the four Sundays: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  Today, the 2nd of the 4 Sundays, our focus is on Peace. Peace is a yearning that is both personal and global. We seek to be “at peace” in ourselves, while also praying …

Read moreSermon: Sunday, December 9, 2018 (Advent 2) – Isaiah 40: 1-11

Sermon: November 4, 2018 – Luke 10: 25-37

Sermon: November 4, 2018 – Luke 10: 25-37 Ralph Connor Memorial Untied Church – Rev. Greg Wooley click here for PDF What a great scripture reading today.  Jesus, pushed to pick one of the 613 commandments of the Hebrew Scriptures to stand above all others, snags two and links them together: “love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-5), and “love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).  When his questioner asked Jesus a follow-up question, …

Read moreSermon: November 4, 2018 – Luke 10: 25-37

Sermon: October 14,2018 – Mark 10: 17-31

Sermon: October 14, 2018 – Mark 10: 17-31 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church – Rev Greg Wooley click here for PDF There’s not much that I remember from High School chemistry classes, but I do remember the way we were taught difficult concepts, which I thought at the time was very clever and still do. First time through, we would be given a set of examples in which everything worked out beautifully – all the math worked out, no complications. …

Read moreSermon: October 14,2018 – Mark 10: 17-31

Sermon: October 7, 2018 – Matthew 6: 25-34

Sermon: October 7, 2018 – Matthew 6: 25-34 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley click here for PDF Seven months ago, Shannon and I stood with roughly 40 other pilgrims at the top of a hill – the same hill,  according to tradition, where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount. We were ready to take a quiet downhill walk to the Sea of Galilee, and on the way, look and listen to what nature …

Read moreSermon: October 7, 2018 – Matthew 6: 25-34