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The Church: What is it Good For?

It seems that anniversaries put one into reflective mode. And with this Sunday falling on the day of Church Union, June 10, and coming but a week after my own 20 year milestone as an Ordained Minister in this United Church of Canada, it seemed “right and proper” to reflect with you, on a question that has shaped this denomination, my own ministry within it, and that of this congregation, then and now.

Treasure in a Tupperware

Reading Paul’s letter, aware that it was written to a beloved community of rag-tag hoi polloi, pawns in an indifferent, even hostile Empire, turns the text in a whole new way for me, and I hope for you.

Resurrection Retrospective

The following is not a ‘sermon’ but rather the outline for our all-ages exploration of the Markan Gospel reading for Easter Sunday, and the Resurrection Project we have been engaged in for the 50 Great Days between Easter and Pentecost.

Love in a New Key

Sing “All you need is love. All you need is love…Love is all you need.” (I share a home with a guy who grew up to the Beatles!)

Until the Children of God…

“All creation is waiting with eager longing until the children of God are revealed,” or as an old English translation from the 15th century puts it, “to come into their own.”

You Are Witnesses to These Things

Sometimes a biblical text that has perplexed, mystified me for years suddenly becomes clear as day. How is that?

Fools for the Risen Christ

April Fool’s day, right?! Perfect, if you ask me, for this year when Mark is our Gospeller, for he pulls the most disturbing prank on all of us!

Heart of the Wilderness.

I start out thinking most of us here in CPU get to choose at least physical wilderness;

Snakes in the Sand, and what to do with them

So the question: did it happen? Did the Israelites cross a wild sea?

Will you step out of the water?

Luke is God’s beloved, the delight of God’s life! We have all been sprinkled with that same baptismal water reminding us we are all God’s beloved,

Grasshoppers and Eagles Wings

What we’ve just done with the children is a midrash on the text. We’ve taken ancient words, with humility and respect, locating them in their original context,

Fear, Focus, and Wisdom:
(or: When “Fear” doesn’t mean what you think it means!)

Thank you for helping to populate an ancient psalm with our own words of praise for the awesome manifestations of God’s god-ness in your lives and experiences.

Who Is Wise?

Who is wise in this story? Who is wise? Have you noticed this tendency in yourself,

What Wisdom Are You Seeking?

There’s a joke in the North of England, “Where do you come from?

Cross-Roads: Called to be Church in the World

This is a defining moment. A cross roads, this Caesarea Philippi moment.

What shall we do with the Weeds?

How many of you like to read mystery novels, Or binge-watch Netflix Fr. Brown mysteries? Guilty.. me too. Many of us love a mystery….

Riddle Me This!
Jesus’ Way with the Word.

When you hear the name ‘Jesus’, what does that signify for you? Who is he?

Faith Fiesta 2017

For this All-Ages worship, we midrashed the story of creation together with a short passage from the Gospel of Mark. This formed the basis for our continued “Sabbath Time” reflection at the Faith Fiesta which followed the service.

Jacob the ….(fill in the Blank)

So I have at least one burning question about this Jacobean drama! It’s in the Bible, right? He’s the one after which God’s people are named, for Pete’s sake! Isn’t he supposed to be one of the good ones?

We are not alone.

For this year’s Summer Worship Series, we will be using the United Church’s “New Creed” in conversation with some lively Bible stories, so that we can experience together the good news that “God is with us, we are not alone!”

Proclaiming the God we (think we) know.

I began the introduction this morning asking you to imagine, (though you don’t really need to, you’ve seen it,) a town where new people have arrived ‘from away.’

Plan B. Of Seeds and Sowers and the Dream of God.

While I love the way that Matthew shares Jesus the Parable storyteller with us, there’s this tendency he has, an incapacity to leave well alone.

Proclaiming Life Anyway

We are a community of faith known to be on the progressive, questioning end of the Christian spectrum

We Walk this Road Together: Stranger Wisdom

Both Jesus and Muhammad encounter wisdom in unexpected situations: A sermon conversation between Rev Elisabeth and Afra Jalabi.

Nicodemus. Night.

I came to him in the night. I didn’t want to draw attention to him, after all, he’d done that for himself already with his behaviour.

We Walk This Road Together: Jesus with Satan

I am suffering from abundance! Midrashing this text with 19 people this past week has filled my imagination with all sorts of possibilities for preaching this incredibly potent text,

The Perfect Invitation.

Is this not all, de trop, too much? Turning the other cheek? Going the extra mile?

An Invitation to Go Deep.

What happened?! After three weeks of free-pass invitation, grounded in grace, to “Come, see! Be blessed! Be counted as salt and light…” Jesus seems to have shifted in his seat,

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