Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Norwich Cathedral

Sermon – Epiphany Sunday, January 5, 2020 – Matthew 2: 1-12

Have you ever been somewhere, but not exactly known why you were there? No, I’m not talking about going into a room to get something then forgetting what it was before getting there, an increasingly familiar experience for me as time marches on.  < Click here for PDF of this sermon > What I’m aiming at here, is feeling compelled to travel somewhere, or enroll in a seminar or workshop, or attend a public event, with only a vague and …

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Bow River and 3 Sisters GW

Sermon: December 15, 2019 – Luke 1:46-55 – Advent III

The third Sunday of Advent is typically the Sunday of Mary, mother of Jesus.  It is also, in this year’s Advent exploration of the classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, chosen to be the Sunday of Water.  These two, Mary and Water, do not come together by accident. click here for PDF Water plays such a key role in scripture: the first words of the Bible, the beginning of the first chapter of Genesis, are “When God began …

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Sea of Galilee

Sermon: November 17, 2019 – Isaiah 65: 17-25

What are our longings?  What do we yearn for? This is what that the writer of Isaiah 65 was wrestling with, as he searched for Divine hope for the next steps of his people’s journey. click here for PDF Isaiah is a tricky book to pin down.  Though named for “a” prophet, as it appears to have been written by a collection of prophetic authors – at least three, perhaps more – spanning several generations of the people of Judah.  …

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Sermon: September 15, 2019 – Luke 15: 1-10

The experience of lost-ness is one that resonates at so many levels in so many lives. Most of us can recall a hike that didn’t quite have the landmarks you’d expected, or missing your exit then getting turned around in an unfamiliar city. I hear stories from adults about their earliest or most striking memories from childhood, and becoming separated from their parents in a store or separated from friends exploring the woods, is a really common early memory, along …

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Sermon: September 8, 2019 – Jeremiah 18: 1-11

A potter, working at a wheel.  What a timeless, cross-cultural image that is.  The oldest known pottery, found in China, is 20,000 years old, and by 6,000 years ago or perhaps even 8,000, there is evidence of potters’ wheels in Mesopotamia. The recollection by Jeremiah, then, of visiting a potters’ house and seeing a visual metaphor for a hands-on God at work in the world, is one that resonates across the ages.  It certainly does in my life. click here …

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Sermon: May 19, 2019 – Revelation 21:1-6 and John 13: 31-35

This morning we have heard two readings, both speaking of something NEW: the new commandment of love that Jesus gives his disciples in the gospel of John, and the vision of a new heaven and a new earth, in the book of Revelation. click here for PDF of this sermon Occasionally in our lives, things emerge that are brand-new.  A new learning or a new opportunity comes out of nowhere and transforms the path we are on, or, conversely,  something …

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