Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Worry is a difficult and unpleasant companion. Download PDF: Sermon_08November2020 (1)  View at https://youtu.be/ZYLzMMYiMoU Sometimes, worry originates when our brain chemistry gets off-kilter, anxiety, fretting and insomnia take on a life of their own, and therapeutic intervention is required.  But often, worry has an origin you can identify, arising in a time of uncertainty, when we have just enough information to stimulate the fight, flight or freeze instincts and with worry. Sometimes we worry about ourselves – a lingering cough, …

Read moreSermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

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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Sermon: September 13, 2020 – Psalm 95: 1-7

note: this was preached at our first in-person Worship service since mid-March 2020, at the Ball Diamond at Millennium Park, Canmore AB.   Two very different things happening in coming weeks will converge to shape today’s message, and our worship services from now ‘til Thanksgiving. watch at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD6VvULF-00 or download PDF at Sermon_13September2020-Outdoors First, it’s the season of Creation, a time when we look at our role as stewards of the earth, and the connection between God, and the earth, and …

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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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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 …

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Sunday Worship online – August 2, 2020

Join us at https://youtu.be/sCxVe7L6qtY for our online Sunday worship, honouring a colleague in Ministry who died of COVID in July: Rev Vickey Gibbs of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in Houston.    Her message of being “a follower, not a fan” of Jesus is a powerful statement of Christian discipleship. Click here for a sermon from 2016, recounting the impact of Rev Vickey and RMCC Houston: Sermon_21August2016

Sermon: June 28, 2020 – Psalm 145: 8-14

This coming Wednesday, Canada marks another birthday – 153, this time – and that, for me, is always a time for reflection.  I love many aspects of our national identity – the diversity of landscapes, the prevalence of wildlife, the can-do attitude coupled with a politeness that other nations tease us about.  I also acknowledge the challenges we face: our ongoing need for reconciliation with the peoples who were here long before my ancestors showed up; the warning signs we …

Read moreSermon: June 28, 2020 – Psalm 145: 8-14