Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sea of Galilee

Sermon: February 7, 2021 – Mark 2: 1-22

I know a bit about leather.  From years of coaching baseball, the difference between catching a ball in a new, stiff glove, or one that has been well broken-in and used for a few seasons, is like night and day.  The new glove may look pretty but is prone to having easily-caught balls pop out, whereas the weathered veteran glove is soft, supple, fits your hand just right, allows for a secure catch and easy transfer to your throwing hand. …

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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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Epiphany Sunday, January 3, 2021 – Matthew 2: 1-12

Journey with me, 12 months back, to the time that 2019 was ending and 2020 just beginning.  With the teens rolling into the twenties, there were a number of recaps, remembering back to 2010, and the things that had changed over a decade, and many we looked forward to a year of potential clarity, the year 2020 as a time of 20/20 vision.  Admittedly there was awareness of a recently reported, highly infectious form of coronavirus elsewhere in the world, …

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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, …

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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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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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