Ralph Connor Memorial United Church

The Little White Church on Main Street, Canmore, Alberta

Edith Cavell Memorial and Cenotaph, Norwich UK

Sermon: Remembrance Sunday, November 13, 2022 – Luke 7: 1-10

As we read through the New Testament, the LOVE that Jesus calls us to is truly astonishing. Download PDF: Sermon_13November 2022 In the 13th chapter of John, (vv 34-35) Jesus says love is the identifier of a true disciple: “As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another”. The apostle Paul, in the letter to the Romans (8:35-39), described a loving God’s desire …

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Sermon: All Saints Sunday in Banff, November 6, 2022 – Matthew 5: 1-12

Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are those who mourn, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, Blessed are the merciful, Blessed are the pure in heart, Blessed are the peacemakers, Blessed are those who are persecuted, Blessed are you when people revile you.   Watch at  https://youtu.be/rB7QiPt3eI4 Download Sermon PDF Sermon_06November2022_AllSaints If I were coming from outside the Christian faith, and this was the first thing I heard about Jesus and the concept …

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Sermon: Sunday, October 23, 2022 – Joel 2: 23-32

What do you do, after a wide-sweeping catastrophe has made life difficult for just about everyone in your nation?  How do you encourage the young and old alike to not lose hope, or to build their hopes on fantasies of past days returning? No, I’m not reading from the playbook of the past two and a half years, I’m referring to the challenge facing the prophet, Joel. Download PDF: Sermon_23October2022 The book of Joel – a little three-chapter book toward …

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Sermon: Orange Shirt Sunday, September 25, 2022 – Luke 15: 1-10

Storytellers over the ages have understood that stories told in threes can have great power.  This morning’s scripture lesson gave us two-thirds of a group of three parables about being lost and being found.  Jesus tells of a shepherd who leaves a flock of 99 to find one missing sheep, and of a woman who notices that a coin is missing – one coin out of ten that separate her from poverty, or from shame, or from both – and …

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desolate lands

Sermon: July 10, 2022 – Luke 10: 25-37

Just out of curiosity, I asked Professor Google a question this week: “which are the most popular parables of Jesus?” A review of a half dozen totally non-scientific articles shows that two parables seem to make everyone’s top five list: the parable of The Prodigal Son, and today’s gospel reading, the parable of The Good Samaritan. And no wonder. If we take it as presented in the gospel of Luke, it is a towering story of unexpected and even unreasonable …

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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 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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