Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: June 26, 2022 – Galatians 3: 23-29

When bad news & good news are intertwined, what do we hear? Download PDF:  Sermon_26June2022  Watch: https://youtu.be/nQXKlcqedLI Seventeen years ago, when I was coaching my son’s Little League baseball team, one of his teammates was a really athletic boy who was fairly new to baseball, and whose self-image was, shall we say, “a work in progress”.  As coaches, we were encouraged to help each child develop confidence at a number of different positions, including pitcher if they were so inclined, …

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Sermon: Sunday, June 19, 2022 – Psalms 42 and 43

A good story – whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, an oral tradition that has been kept alive for generations or an off-the-cuff recounting of what happened to you five minutes ago – is one that has a point of contact with the listener/reader.  It may touch on shared experiences that the recipient has also had, or it may just be told in a relatable way. Today’s reading from Psalm 42 and 43 – considered by most Bible scholars to actually …

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Sermon: June 12, 2022 – 1 Kings 17: 8-16

Today’s reading from 1st Kings, the encounter of the prophet Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath, is a story that invites us to see the big picture, and to come right up close as well. At first glance, there’s just the three characters, a crucial need, and a moral to the story.  There’s the prophet Elijah, a widow and her son, and the desperate need for food.  When a perpetual supply of ingredients is provided by God so that there …

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Sermon: May 29, 2022 – Acts 16: 16-34

“The true measure of your character is what you do when nobody’s watching.” First attributed to Charles Caleb Colton nearly 200 years ago, there have been versions of this quote repeated far and wide since then, most notably by legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden, who wanted his players to understand that integrity matters off the court and on the court.   As an aside, I think of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Don’t believe everything you read on the …

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Sermon: May 15, 2022 – John 21: 12-19

Just before I start, I want to set the stage a bit.  Today’s sermon is not set in a general “somewhere”; this one is situated in a particular place.  So imagine with me the risen Christ, and some of his disciples, sharing breakfast on the rocky beach at Tabgha, in Galilee.  In this place, Jesus had walked and talked with the disciples and now the risen Christ and Simon Peter have some one-on-one time, talking about Peter’s role in the …

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Sermon: May 1, 2022 – Acts 9: 1-19

There are few things more inspiring to me, than stories of radical transformation.  You know, the stories of a person whose prior choices were destructive to themselves and those around them, whose life turned around into one that was life-giving and admirable.   Or, on a group level, stories of feisty resilience and grass-roots changes that have transformed the life of a troubled neighbourhood, institution, or nation.  Perhaps it’s just because I enjoy “underdog” stories, but I think it’s more than …

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Sermon: April 24, 2022 – John 20: 19-31

Occasionally, something happens in one’s life, or in the shared experience of a community, that forever changes how a scripture lesson will be read. Watch at https://youtu.be/7MEmgCLkpXM  Download PDF: Sermon_24April2022 For me, a scripture whose interpretation was changed by an event is today’s gospel reading about Jesus entering a closed gathering of disciples one week, and revisiting them a week later when Thomas was with them.  And the event that changed how I read these words, was the early days …

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Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022 – John 20: 1-18 and Isaiah 65: 17-25

This is the day of resurrection. The gloom of Good Friday is replaced by a glorious new day, the body laid in the tomb after the crucifixion is replaced, miraculously, by Christ arisen.  And so this morning we celebrate with the Easter response, Alleluia, Christ is Risen!  Christ is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! Watch at https://youtu.be/Yw1kuMIHsMM   Download PDF: Sermon_17April2022_EasterRundle Those of you who were at our Palm Sunday service one week ago – or saw it online – will recall …

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Sea of Galilee

Sermon: Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022 – Luke 19 and John 12

Palm Sunday, positioned at the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week, is generally seen as a joyous, upbeat celebration that sets the stage for an even more joyous, upbeat celebration – the glorious proclamation of Easter – but in-between these two high points, we need to go through such a deep valley: the bittersweet sacred meal in the Upper Room, the betrayal of Jesus by one friend and his abandonment by others, the trial/s, and the sadistic …

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Sermon: April 3, 2022 – John 12: 1-8 – Lent V

This is not the first time that we have been inside the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. You may recall from previous years in the season of Lent, hearing of the raising of Lazarus in the 11th chapter of John, and at that time we came to this same household and were introduced to the sisters of Lazarus: Mary and Martha. We met Martha, the busy one, attending to the practical needs of all around her, and the gospel …

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