Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

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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Sermon: Sunday, March 27 – Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 – Lent IV

This parable: the story of the prodigal.   This parable has within it such depth of connection with the human condition, and with the deep grace of the Divine. The elements of the parable are well-known: two siblings, one parent.  Although Dad is still very much alive, the younger son cashes in his inheritance early, goes far away and wastes it all on the high life.  Things go sour for him, and he drags himself home, hoping to catch on as …

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Sermon: March 20, 2022 – Luke 13: 1-9 – Lent III

Our hearts break each time we see or read or hear about cruel, heartless, targeted violence, wherever and whenever the circumstances.  Most recently, the newsfeeds have been mostly from Ukraine, and the world continues to reach out to those who are targeted while also denouncing the Russian power-mongers who are unleashing the violence. Our hearts break for the ongoing story of missing and murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit persons, their families and communities, and the individuals and systems that …

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Sermon: Sunday, March 13, 2022 – Lent II – Luke 9: 28-43a

A reading from the gospel of Luke, chapter 9 (NRSV): 9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 9:29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 9:30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 9:31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about …

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Sermon: March 6, 2022 – Luke 4: 1-13 – Lent I

As many of you will recall, three years ago – at this time of year – I was on sabbatical.  There are lots of “how to” guides on planning a ministry sabbatical, which I found somewhat helpful about 18 months prior to the time, but once it got closer I needed different, more personal guidance. Melissa Bane Sevier is a Christian Minister, photographer and blogger, whose “contemplative viewfinder” commentary on the Sunday lectionary I have enjoyed for many years.   Just …

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