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Celebrating Life-Affirming, Progressive Faith in Action

Today we celebrate the foundational biblical and theological convictions that have shaped the United Church for over 90 years, helping us to be an open, inclusive, justice-seeking and life-affirming church in the world.

Simple Instructions for Ordinary Saints
Sometimes a biblical text lands on the right soil. That was the case for one of our community of investigators/interpreters who meet with me each week to turn these preaching texts.

Grief? Guilt? Lament.
As I said at the beginning, there’s much about our first world, post-Victorian influenced culture that is so stiff in the upper lip that we have lost touch with the soul-saving, world-saving practice of lament.

Patchwork of Gratitude
Once again, in this second of our SNAIL mini-series (Spiritual practices that Nourish and Anchor our Intentional Living) we’ve laid aside the Revised Common Lectionary in favour of using texts that bring biblical insight into conversation with each of our spiritual practices.

Stone Centering
Centering prayer can take many forms, including the centering we do
to bring body, mind, and soul into focus for a time of worship.

Now What?
I begin with a confession
to you all, though some know it already,
I don’t like Paul much.

Where were you when the Spirit Blew Through?
If they say about real estate is all about location, location, location,
I would say about reading Scripture that it’s all about
context, context, context.

Let me begin with a question for you:
Which are you, one of those who sees the world, and likes to order your own part of life
in simple contrasts; right/wrong, good/bad, in/out, yes/no, highway or byway….?
Or, are you more likely to see the world, and your own living of it as “It’s complicated..”?

Scholarship has shown that the Magnificat is a song with a long history within and beyond the Scriptures of the Older Testament.

Grafted & Pruned
I know that for me, whenever I hear the opening verse of this text, “I AM the True Vine,
and God, my Father is the Vineyard Keeper” I am immediately transported sensually to the vineyards of Alsace!

That’s a bit like flicking through your TV channels, or a YouTube feed, and landing in the middle of something you’ve no idea what. What happened before, or what’s going to happen next?

Sensing Resurrection..

The trouble with taking the Sunday after Easter off, as I’ve done more often than not, is that I often feel like I’m playing catch up when I step back to the lectern, or in this year, hop back on the kitchen stool.

See! (Don’t) Touch! Tell!
I confess that I’ve been sitting on this lectionary conundrum for days now.

Welcome to this time of worship for Good Friday, called Good, for the goodness of love that silently conquers fear and hate, even at the ultimate price of life itself.

What’s with the Donkey?

Stripped of our regular pageantry,
the story’s oddnesses poke out like toes from a sock, don’t they?

Covenants of the Heart

Let’s take ourselves back in time, two and a half millennia to the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean, a crucial corridor between the Fertile Crescent and the Nile Delta and its access to the continent of Africa.

Snake on a Stick, and Other Strange Biblical Wisdom
I love maps, I love history,
I love strange mythic tales.

God’s Top Ten

This morning we reach the place
in the grand narrative of our covenant relationship as humans with God where the Ten Commandments are carved in stone!

Terms of Endearment: What’s in a Name?

This morning’s sermon is brought to you, courtesy of a persistent question
asked by those in your CPU Midrash group, who help me figure out how these ancient texts may “land” with you all.

What/Where’s the Bow Now?

Listening to the story sung as a sea shanty is actually a good way for us to connect again to this biblical story as just that, a darn good yarn

Lingering in the Light (While We Can).

Here we are again.
Transfiger-what? Sunday.

Mark, Mothers-in-Law, and Ministry

As some of you are aware, one of the ways I prepare to preach each week is to meet with a midweek midrash group, where we study the text, mind the gaps,
and follow various rabbit trails that the text throws at us.

Jonah Wading in Troubled Waters

On Wednesday the world looked on in awe as a yellow-coated prophet spoke words that reached into our souls and hopes, and called forth from us a resounding, prayerful “Amen.”

Creation’s First Light

Now, maybe some of you are racing ahead,
trying to remember the details of this
wondrous tale of creation..

Behold the Mystery

Behold the mystery that God,
the creator of the universe,
the One who spins entire galaxies
from the glint of God’s eye,
who loves this little blue dot
in a sidebar galaxy in a corner
of a universe so much,
you can see it in flesh!

Christmas Eve 2020 Carols, Candlelight, Communion

In their book “the First Christmas”
two New Testament scholars,
Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, imagine a pageant based on Luke’s telling of Christ’s nativity.
It’s not hard to imagine, really is it?,

The “Fear Not” Factor

“His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame.”

One reason for having Norman
share the text with me
was to show that the passage we just heard
has more than one speaker.

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