Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: March 29, 2020 – John 11: 1-45 (Lent V)

Two words that emerge from today’s passage from John are presence, and absence. <no PDF available> When my Mom was growing up, her Sunday School teacher liked to have Bible “memory verse” quizzes.  When the teacher quoted chapter and verse, Mom said she struggled a bit, but when the students were able to name the chapter and verse themselves and then recite it, Mom had a go-to verse that was a sure winner, and it was in today’s reading.  John …

Read moreSermon: March 29, 2020 – John 11: 1-45 (Lent V)

Sermon: March 22, 2020 – John 9:1-41 (Lent IV)

Please note: a live version of this message is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt3edcbl3kY and a PDF may be downloaded at http://ralphconnor.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Sermon_22March2020_LentIV-online.pdf Sermon: March 20, 2020 – John 9: 1-41 (Lent IV) – virtual worship, online Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley We live in a time of questions and answers. Most of the questions we have right now, revolve around the global pandemic, and the most effective responses to it: how socially isolated do I need to …

Read moreSermon: March 22, 2020 – John 9:1-41 (Lent IV)

Sermon: March 15, 2020 (Lent 3) – John 4: 5-42

A week after our final grade 12 exams, my best friend and I took a trip from Regina to the big city of Vancouver. We were sent with very specific instructions on how to explore the east end of downtown on foot.  Along the south part of this zone is lively Chinatown, at the north edge is gentrified, touristy Gastown, but in order to walk from one to the other you had to go through about 3 blocks that were …

Read moreSermon: March 15, 2020 (Lent 3) – John 4: 5-42

Sermon: March 8, 2020 – John 3: 1-17 (Lent II)

When we were in the Holy Land two years ago, we learned that when a Bible story tells you where it happened, it is worth paying attention, as the topography or history of a place makes all the difference to the stories told there. In today’s reading about Jesus and Nicodemus, it’s not so much about where it happened, as when it happened. And when it happened, was at night. click here for a PDF of this sermon Nicodemus, one …

Read moreSermon: March 8, 2020 – John 3: 1-17 (Lent II)

desolate lands

Sermon: Lent I, March 1 2020 – Matthew 4: 1-11

The 3rd chapter of Matthew, immediately prior to today’s reading, ends with these words: “when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” click here for PDF Knowing the ministry ahead of Jesus,  we current-day readers may …

Read moreSermon: Lent I, March 1 2020 – Matthew 4: 1-11

Sea of Galilee

Sermon: February 2, 2020 – Matthew 5: 1-12 – the Beatitudes

We all like stories of people who rise from humble beginnings to do great things.  Gordie Howe using rolled up Eaton’s catalogues for shin pads and becoming one of the top three hockey players ever.  Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Oprah Winfrey, rising from poverty and challenging family circumstances to international stardom. Peace by Chocolate, founded by the Hadhad family, Syrian refugees sponsored by a community group in Antigonish, NS.  Jesus Christ, born of a teenage mom and raised in …

Read moreSermon: February 2, 2020 – Matthew 5: 1-12 – the Beatitudes

Sermon: January 12, 2020 – Acts 10: 34-43

Cozy, predictable circles of care, are a good thing. click here for a PDF of this sermon Our twins developed a circle of best friends when they were in grade 3.  Twenty three years later, that group still stays in regular contact, and when they get together at Christmas when everyone’s back in the city, it’s like they were never apart.  Their shared history and acceptance of one another’s transitions through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood is a beautiful, important …

Read moreSermon: January 12, 2020 – Acts 10: 34-43

Sermon: December 22, 2019 – Matthew 1: 18-25 – Advent IV

A word study isn’t generally the snappiest way to begin a sermon, but there’s a word in the story of Joseph that’s worth unpacking, in this Sunday when we look at the “earthy” story of Joseph and Mary and Jesus and God.  It’s the Greek word, Tekton. Click here for PDF In the lands around Lake Galilee, near where Jesus grew up, there’s an abundance of buildings that look just the same: greyish-black brick.  If you didn’t know better, you’d …

Read moreSermon: December 22, 2019 – Matthew 1: 18-25 – Advent IV

Sermon: December 8, 2019 – Advent 2 – Matthew 3: 1-12

Sermon: December 8, 2019 – Advent 2, the Sunday of Fire – Matthew 3: 1-12 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley This was a hard sermon, to even get the first word onto the page. On Saturdays and Sundays, I am a creature of habit. Unless I have a wedding or funeral or some other immovable commitment, sermons get written at home on the first half of Saturday.  I get up the same time, I …

Read moreSermon: December 8, 2019 – Advent 2 – Matthew 3: 1-12

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