Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

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

Sermon: June 14, 2020 – Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

“…and God saw that it was good.” What a beautiful, daily affirmation that even God sees goodness of this planet, perhaps even detecting a note of pride in it . Throughout the first creation narrative in Genesis, is this refrain, confirming the common goodness of all the earth and seas and sky, an interconnection through the Divine life force that dwells in all of it.  In this context, how can we fail to treat the natural world with love and …

Read moreSermon: June 14, 2020 – Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

Sermon: April 26, 2020 – Acts 2: 14, 32-33, 36-47

What an amazing time it must have been. click here for a PDF of this Sermon or view at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi8loA1BP8lNAppSRR9_aQQ As described in the book of Acts (2: 42-47), life in the earliest community of Christian believers was just about perfect. “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying …

Read moreSermon: April 26, 2020 – Acts 2: 14, 32-33, 36-47

Sermon: April 19, 2020 – John 20: 19-31

One assumption that I bring to sacred texts, is that these ancient words can always speak into our present situation. Take, for example, today’s reading from John, with the disciples gathered behind closed doors, and Christ suddenly appearing in their midst. click here for PDF In a typical year, I might focus on their being “gathered together” because in a typical year, we would be gathered together, singing together, praying together, seeking grounding and guidance for the days and weeks …

Read moreSermon: April 19, 2020 – John 20: 19-31

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

Seven Sacred Teachings and Lent – Tue Mar 10 7 pm

Tony Snow, Indigenous Lead for Chinook Winds Region,  on March 10th at RCMUC led a deep and meaningful time of discussion, inviting us to see how the Seven Sacred Teachings can interact with our observance of Lent.  The seven sacred teachings, broadly held within many Indigenous traditions, are  Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility, and Truth.  Tony will be presenting additional sessions online at 7 pm on Tuesdays, March 17, 24, 31 and April 7. To register for one of …

Read moreSeven Sacred Teachings and Lent – Tue Mar 10 7 pm

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 …

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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

Sermon: February 16, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9

Last Sunday night was the annual broadcast of the Academy Awards.  As usual, we tuned in to about half of it and as usual, we’ve seen perhaps two of the films that generated nominees, but that doesn’t lessen our enjoyment of the evening.  It is frustrating that the Academy just can’t bring itself to nominate female directors or non-white actors, which points to bigger issues in the industry and society  around whose stories get told, and by whom, but that …

Read moreSermon: February 16, 2020 – 1 Corinthians 3: 1-9

Sermon: February 9, 2020 – Matthew 5: 13-16

You are the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world.  There is so much empowerment in today’s reading, the second preaching segment of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This morning, though, it’s the next part of what Jesus said that insisted I keep coming back to them: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets” said Jesus to the crowd, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For …

Read moreSermon: February 9, 2020 – Matthew 5: 13-16