Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Sermon: Thanksgiving Sunday, October 9, 2022 – Philippians 4: 4-9

If you’ve sent or received a text or email in recent years, you’ve likely become familiar with emojis.  You know, those cute little pictures that get added, either one at a time or in a string to convey things like “agreed!” or “that’s hilarious” or “hmmm – gotta think about that.” Download PDF: Sermon_09October2022    Watch at https://youtu.be/EagdFmvv9g4 Though my deep-dive five minutes of research on Google reveals that emojis were first developed in the late 1990s by Shigetaka Kurita, …

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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: November 28, 2021 – Advent I – Luke 1: 68-80

Note: Sunday, November 28, 2021, the congregations of Ralph Connor Memorial UC, Canmore and Rundle Memorial UC, Banff joined to worship, in Banff.  For the Ralph Connor congregation, this was the first time in 89 weeks that they had been able to worship in-person, indoors.  Each year in the season of Advent, the scriptures lead us to consider what it is to wait expectantly: our expectant waiting for the full emergence of the new realm of love and justice that …

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Sermon: September 19, 2021 – Mark 9: 30-37

Today’s gospel reading from the 9th chapter of Mark has three parts to it: Jesus delivers troubling news about his death, which his disciples fail to understand; those same disciples quarrel and jostle for position; and Jesus brings a child into their midst, to illustrate just how different his new conception of power is from their tired old views. View at https://youtu.be/escx5Jmmfso      Download PDF: Sermon_19September2021 Let’s look at these three portions, with an intention to experience the wisdom …

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Every Child Matters

Sermon: June 6, 2021 – Acts 15: 7-19

I am writing this sermon four days after hearing of the discovery at the Kamloops Residential School.  At this moment, I carry within me silent, sorrowful, helpless, culpable emptiness, and am seeking the words God wants to enter that silence. Watch at: https://youtu.be/EpDvYajNs5U    PDF download at Sermon_06June2021 So I humbly ask God, “where are you in this?”  For even if I could find no words at all, I know that God is not absent from this scene. We know …

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Sea of Galilee

Sermon: February 7, 2021 – Mark 2: 1-22

I know a bit about leather.  From years of coaching baseball, the difference between catching a ball in a new, stiff glove, or one that has been well broken-in and used for a few seasons, is like night and day.  The new glove may look pretty but is prone to having easily-caught balls pop out, whereas the weathered veteran glove is soft, supple, fits your hand just right, allows for a secure catch and easy transfer to your throwing hand. …

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Sermon: January 31, 2021 – Mark 1:14-20 and John 1: 35-39

A note of thanks before I begin: one of the great gifts of online worship, is that I get to experience other preachers, which we were rarely able to do when everyone was in their own building at the same time, many of us without an online presence.  Two sermons I have heard recently on the call stories of Jesus to the early disciples have greatly influenced my approach to today’s Bible texts, so I’d like to give a shout-out …

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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 …

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Sermon: May 10, 2020 – Colossians 1: 3-14

We are now in our eighth week of providing Worship through virtual means rather than in-person. While I wouldn’t say there’s a good time for a pandemic to be declared, it was interesting from a preaching standpoint to see how the time of year – the end of the season of Lent, followed by Holy Week and Easter, when we go through very shadowy times before emerging into the light once more– helped us examine how God is present to …

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