Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10, 2021 – Mark 10: 17-27

At Thanksgiving, we acknowledge that God is the source of life, the earth and all living beings. At Thanksgiving, we open ourselves to others with God’s own generosity. It may seem strange to have the gospel lesson about Jesus and a rich man seeking eternal life as our Thanksgiving scripture reading.  If truth be told, it’s the gospel reading for the Sunday between October 9th and October 15th , not specifically designated as a “Thanksgiving” reading at all; but to …

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creation time stole

Sermon: Every Child Matters Sunday – Sept 26, 2021 – Matt. 3: 13-17

Jesus was not the first person to be baptized.  And John the Baptist was not the first person to perform this sacred ritual.  But at the baptism of Jesus, some important things happened. Download PDF here: Sermon_26Sept2021 Jesus was roughly thirty years old when he came to the River Jordan, so he came with much experience.  Whether that was the experience of being a carpenter or stonemason like his father Joseph, or if he had already engaged in formal study …

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Sermon: September 19, 2021 – Mark 9: 30-37

Today’s gospel reading from the 9th chapter of Mark has three parts to it: Jesus delivers troubling news about his death, which his disciples fail to understand; those same disciples quarrel and jostle for position; and Jesus brings a child into their midst, to illustrate just how different his new conception of power is from their tired old views. View at https://youtu.be/escx5Jmmfso      Download PDF: Sermon_19September2021 Let’s look at these three portions, with an intention to experience the wisdom …

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Sermon: August 29, 2021 – James 1: 17-27

The book of James is one of those books you probably know a couple of quotes from, even if you couldn’t specifically place them.  James 2:20 says that “Faith without works is dead” and in today’s reading, James 1:22, working the same angle, urges the reader/listener to “Be Doers of the Word, and not Hearers only.” Watch at https://youtu.be/C6Pa_0VBiK8  Download PDF at Sermon_29August2021 Even for those who aren’t overtly religious, these quotes ring true.  The things that we say are …

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Sea of Galilee

Sermon: August 22, 2021 – John 6: 57-69

The focus scripture for today is John 6:67-68.  In these verses Jesus, watching many people walk away and choose other paths, asks the inner circle of twelve disciples if they, too were planning to leave, and Peter answered with these words: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Watch at https://youtu.be/Gs0fpaPRpyk     Download PDF: Sermon_22August2021 The words of eternal life. Clearly, in my occupation I like words.  Having the opportunity to preach each Sunday …

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Sermon: August 8, 2021 John 6: 35, 41-51

“I am the bread of life” says Jesus. “Whoever comes to me shall neither hunger nor thirst”  And the crowd says, “yes, Lord Jesus, fill us with your love.” Oh, that’s not how it goes?  I’m sure that’s what they would have said. Well how about, “I am the bread of life” says Jesus. “Whoever comes to me shall neither hunger nor thirst”  And the crowd says, “yes, Jesus, give us this sustenance, that we might share it with others.” …

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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 …

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Sermon: May 16, 2021 – Psalm 1

You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. (Psalm 1:3, The Voice translation) Watch: https://youtu.be/QHHf0GMZ5JU     Download PDF at Sermon_16May2021_final Today’s scripture reading, Psalm 1, presents us with this beautiful mental picture of a tree planted by flowing waters.  It contrasts those who choose to be nourished by God’s refreshing waters– those planted or, in some translations, “transplanted” so that …

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three Sunday Messages, May 2, 2021 – John 15: 1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener (v 1)” says Jesus to his gathered disciples in his farewell address to them, in the 15th chapter of John.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit (v 5); No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me”. (v 4) …

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Sermon: April 18, 2021 – Luke 24: 13-45

For the past couple of weeks, I have been going through old photos – sorting, culling, grouping by date.  In addition to noticing a broad-based family ability to take dull, badly lit, barely-in-focus photos, I’ve been caught off guard by the emotional impact of this task. Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wYlVe6WYHc   Download PDF: Sermon_18April2021 These captured-in-time glimpses into the people and places and events of my life and the lives of my closest relatives, cause me to revisit not just the extraordinary …

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