Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

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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Sermon: January 9, 2022 – Isaiah 43: 1-7

I have to admit that politically, emotionally and theologically the past two years have been a grind.  With COVID setting the context, we have watched as the inequalities of our world have presented themselves, one at a time and all at once.  The shocking murders in the United States of people of colour, Residential School burial site discoveries here in Canada, the embarrassing inequality of global vaccine distribution, and the political divisiveness in this province and around the world, have …

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Sermon: January 2, 2022 – Epiphany Sunday – Matthew 2: 1-23

One of my favourite aspects of the narrative of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany is how, at each turn, we are shown God’s commitment to those who hold neither status or power.  The circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy is outside what genteel society would approve of, and Jesus’ birth happens amidst the livestock. The family that raises Jesus is neither from Jerusalem nor from a priestly family: they are Galileans, from the high country of Nazareth, the household of a builder.  The …

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Sermon: December 12, 2021 – Advent 3 – Luke 1: 26-45

The annunciation to Mary, followed by the visitation of Mary and Elizabeth. These are our back-to-back gospel readings from Luke for this third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of JOY. Watch at https://youtu.be/BZBuymsiMec  Download PDF: Sermon_12December2021-Advent3C The second scene, of young Mary and her much older kinswoman Elizabeth, is a scene particularly bathed in joy, yet it is with some trepidation that I attempt to unpack what is going on here; for I am hindered both by cultural practices that …

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desolate lands

Sermon: December 5, 2021 – Advent II – Luke 3: 2-18

Watch at https://youtu.be/aPOvM021kKw Pause a while with me, in the presence of a sacred moment between parent and child, as we hear the final verses of the “Song of Zechariah” from the first chapter of Luke, which we heard last Sunday: “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their …

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Sermon: August 1, 2021 – 2 Samuel 11

For decades, I have been both impressed and troubled by the way the Bible approaches the story and legacy of King David. Watch at https://youtu.be/CUA-kadR1DY   Download PDF: Sermon_01August2021 We will all, I think, be familiar with David, the slingshot boy, the harpist and Psalmist, the military tactician.  But that is far from the full story. As described by Jonathan Kirsch, “David, as depicted in the Hebrew Bible is, above all, a man of profound contradictions. He is described as “a …

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Sermon: June 27, 2021 – 2 Corinthians 8: 7-15

As I approach this reading from 2nd Corinthians, chapter 8, it strikes me that the ministry of the Apostle Paul has similarities to the online ministry that we and many Churches have exerted during these past fifteen months. In his own day and in his own way, rather than being entirely reliant on in-person gatherings, Paul’s ministry utilized the technologies available to him. Watch at https://youtu.be/uPbQkjcadEw    download PDF: Sermon_27June2021 Any of us who had Bibles with colour plates, can …

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Sermon: May 30, 2021 – Isaiah 6: 1-8

Sermon: Sunday, May 30, 2021 – Isaiah 6: 1-8 Ralph Connor Memorial United Church, Canmore AB – Rev Greg Wooley Introduction As we begin this service, I invite you to review with me the first half of the Christian year.  We have moved from Advent and the birth of Jesus (Christmas), to the season of Epiphany, a time of revelation and light.  The season of Lent gave time for reflection and self-assessment, Holy Week takes us to Good Friday, the …

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three Sunday Messages, May 2, 2021 – John 15: 1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener (v 1)” says Jesus to his gathered disciples in his farewell address to them, in the 15th chapter of John.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit (v 5); No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me”. (v 4) …

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