Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dare to Dream...and trust in God.

Photo by Albert de Vos

 Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph's Dream
 It is no secret that “God’s work often upsets comfortable social expectations and conventions.” (Aaron Klink) Dreams can come true, but they aren’t free. In Joseph’s case, his dream is one given to him by God and it required great strength and courage as he lives out a promise given to him by God in the face of cultural scorn and derision. Love compels us, love empowers us, love never ends.
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Standing matter the cost

Picture painted by Laura Foster and photo taken and adapted by Albert deVos

Esther 4: 1-17 Esther agrees to help the Jewish people

We hear the story of Esther and her decision to stand with her people even though it goes against her husband. She will not stand idly by and let her people be destroyed. Instead she protests and stands up for what is right. Difficult choices require courage and strength and this comes when we do it together.
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Be intentional...and light the way to transformation

This picture was composed by Jim Triscott Nov 2016

Isaiah 42: 1-9 A Light to the Nations

We are called to be servants of God and be a light of healing in this world. God has chosen us and poured the Holy Spirit upon us. We are called to bring forth justice and peace. God has taken our hand and is leading us to something new, and together we will envision a new way. To be a light of God in this world means that our actions have purpose and intention. How will we be a witness, and let our light shine?
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lament...and make it awkward

This picture was composed by Jim Triscott Nov 2016.

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19

 A prophet’s prayer First off, the prophet Habakkuk confronts God. He cries out, and he laments. Then he stands watch, waiting for a reply. It is through Habakkuk’s patient waiting that a vision appears. God is listening! Justice will come! As we begin a new liturgical year it is time to find the courage to stand together amidst conflict, injustice, and violence trusting that with faith comes hope. It is time to imagine the possibilities. listen view

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Wisdom of Children

Jeremiah 1:4-10; 7:1-11 . Jeremiah’s Call and Commission The children and youth of Robertson-Wesley will be leading the service today. Today is Children’s Day and so we celebrate by listening to the words of our children. So often the prophets and the chosen messengers of God were called at a young age. Let us honour the children in our midst and listen with open hearts and minds to the message that God has for us through the voices and words of the children. This was a Whole Family Worship and so there was no formal sermon.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reconcile, Remember, Return

Micah 5:2-4; 6:6-8 . What God Requires

 We are called to remember. The prophet Micah proclaims that all that God requires of us, is to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. As we remember those who fought for our freedom, as we remember the gift that Jesus gave us through the act of communion, we come today to reconcile our relationship with God and others so that justice is served, God is honoured and we return to the roots of our faith as we live in hope. listen view

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Easier than We Expect; Harder than It Seems

  • 2 Kings 5:1-14 The Healing of Naaman

Photo by Rev. Karen Bridges.

We often make life harder than it needs to be. We yearn for drama and excitement. But sometimes restoration and healing comes in the quiet acts of kindness and simplicity. Life is hard enough without our complicating it further. Are we humble enough to allow grace to flow through us in the ordinary, everyday pieces in our lives?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Meeting God in the Dark

1 Kings 3: 5-12 Solomon
Solomon is a newly crowned king, glorious and triumphant! However, we find him in the night, vulnerable and humble before God, asking for "a discerning heart" instead of riches or power. In facing and naming his deepest need, Solomon gains his true power in God's gift of wisdom. Meeting God in the dark - in the scary places we'd rather not go - is where the gift is found. listen view

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Open your hearts to God

Photo by Jim Triscott. 
2 Samuel 12: 1-9 David and Nathan

It is time to offer our true selves to God, to be honest about who we are and what we have done or left undone. We lament, we ask for compassion, we ask for healing and we offer ourselves to God who continues to open a window even when a door is shut. God has filled our lives and aches for us to share what we have with others. God sends Nathan to remind David of this, to provide David with a reality check. Let us open our hearts to God and see the truth and respond in hope and generosity. listen view

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Challenge: Choose whom you will serve!

Photo by Jim Triscott. 
 Joshua 24: 1-15 . Joshua Renews the Covenant

After the Israelite people enter into the Land of Promise, Joshua who has been leading and protecting them calls on them to make an important decision concerning where their allegiance lies and who they are now that they have arrived. The people are no longer slaves, now they must choose whom they will serve and seek their purpose in the kindom of God.
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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Knock and the door will be opened

Photo by Jim Triscott.
Exodus 19:3-7; 20: 1-17 . Covenant and Commandments

Through Moses we hear directly from God. According to Walter Brueggemann, the commandments could be seen as "a proclamation in God's own mouth of who God is and how God shall be 'practiced' by this community of liberated slaves." We are given a set of teachings which describe how we are to live, what we must do is believe and trust that when we knock on the door God is waiting on the other side. listen view

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Faith from fear to freedom

Photo by Albert deVos in New York City, 44 St and 4th Ave.
The words are the theme for Stewardship this program year.

 Exodus 14:10-14, 21-29 . Rescue at the Sea

The Israelites cried out to God, "What have you done to us?" Someone once asked me if I truly believed I could get a congregation to change. My answer was simple, "No, probably not, but God can!" Moses was a man of great faith and devoted to God. How will this story of fear, to faith lead us to freedom? Why is church important anyway listenview

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Loyalty, Integrity, Strength and Honour

Genesis 39: 1-23 . Joseph in Prison

 With God by our side, we can find the strength to keep our promises and to live with integrity and honour. It is clear in the scripture that God is with Joseph and because of this Joseph is given opportunities and responsibility. Joseph did not give into human desires, even when he was falsely accused and put into jail. Joseph was loyal to God and kept his promises. When we find our purpose, our vocation, our calling, we need to trust in this and stick to the path that God has laid out for us. God will protect us even if it isn't in a way that we expect.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

(Insert Name) made me do it!

Genesis 12:1-9 . The blessing of Abram

 God tells Abram to go, to journey with God toward Negeb. God told Abram that this journey was about going to a place that God would give to Abram, and when he did this God would bless him, and in turn he would then be a blessing for others. When have you been made to do something you didn't want to do and then upon reflection, you realize that it transformed your life, and you are so glad you did it? listen view

Sunday, September 4, 2016

With Bold New Decisions

Joel 2:12-14, 28-29 Return to me with all your heart
Philippians 4: 4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always

The turning of the season is a reminder of the cyclical nature of life and all that life offers. Our roles shift, our priorities shift. It is said in Ecclesiastes that for everything there is a season and a time under heaven. Today is a time to celebrate the past and rejoice in the future and ultimately to ground ourselves in the present. It is time to return to God and feel the spirit being poured out on us as a congregation. In this action, in this re-covenanting, we can move forward with bold new decisions and behold what will arise. listen view

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Perfectly One

Image license: CC0. Text: John 17:23

John 17:10–24 • Jesus prays

The last time Jesus was together with his disciples, the conversation ends with a prayer. We hear the words of Jesus’ prayer and we hear the passion. Jesus is ready to leave his disciples—but he will never leave them. They might scatter, yet they will always be one: completely one, perfectly one. And it is in their unity that the world discerns the present of the Sacred, and comes to know the One who has sent him. It is by their discernment that we are able, these centuries later, to discern the Spirit moving in our midst, in our time, and in our world.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Good Wine

Image license: CC0. Text: John 2:10

John 2:1–11 • Wedding at Cana

"The best is yet to come." Perhaps this is the true expression of hope. At the wedding banquet, Jesus tells his mother, "my time has not come." Yet, the wine was replenished, replacing the water for ritual purification. And not just more wine, but the best. "You have kept the good wine until now!" A miraculous moment of intoxicating Spirit after which we are never the same again.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

God give us strength

Image taken by Karen Bridges with words from Keri Wehlander 

 Habakkuk 1: 1-11 Why does God allow this to happen?
Habakkuk 3: 1-19 Habakkuk's prayer

 The prophet Habakkuk lived in troubled times. Like many of us today Habakkuk witnessed violence, conflict, suffering and injustice. Habakkuk had two questions for God: Why does God allow these things to happen, and how is this justice? The book of Habakkuk is a dialogue between God and humanity. Habakkuk argues with God and tries to understand God's actions which seem meaningless and mysterious. God's reply is transformative. How will we be transformed when we ask God these questions? listen view

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Integrity Under Pressure

Image by Marcus Obal via Wikimedia Commons. Text added. Source 

Daniel 3: 1-30 The fiery furnace

Like Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we live in a time where the recognition of God's presence and power are not acknowledged, nor revered. The three friends are faced with uncertain death, but even in the midst of this crisis, they find courage to not be conformed by the world around them, and instead they stay true to what they believe and find the courage to face the fiery furnace. Where do we find courage to speak the truth, to do what is right, and to stand strong in the face of danger? listen view

Sunday, July 31, 2016

World Reborn

Image Licence: CC0. Text: John 3:4

John 3:1–21 • Nicodemus

Jesus is in conversation with Nicodemus, a ruler and teacher of Israel who is struggling to recognize the power of the Spirit to bring us to a new birth. With that birth comes the possibility to see the Spirit at work in the world—the kingdom of God coming to birth in our midst and the Light that shines out of the darkness. What do you see coming to new birth in your life? How do you see the world turning from darkness to Light?

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sometimes you have to walk away.

Mark 8: 1-21 Feeding of the 4000

 Joyce Rupp in her book "God's Enduring Presence; strength for the spiritual journey" wrote a reflection entitled 'Leaving the scene of frustration'. In this story, Jesus finds himself frustrated with some of the people gathered and he in fact gets on a boat and leaves the scene. How does his actions challenge us, or affirm us in our own frustrating situations? Is there a right time to walk away from a situation or not? How do we balance not giving in to abusive behaviour while still living out the gospel of unconditional love?

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Living Water

Image: license CC0
Text added: John 4:1-11

John 4:1-15 • Samaritan woman at the well

Jesus met a woman at Jacob's well in Samaria. The well was so important to the people of that country; and everyone knows what it like to be really thirsty. That well was deep, so it was a lot of work to draw water. Then Jesus talks about "living water," a source of vitality that he offers, that wells up from the heart of life, everlasting and mysterious.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Nourishment for the Soul

Photo: licence: CC0.
Text added: John 6:52

John 6:25–59 • Bread of Life

This is about spiritual nourishment. We all know what it is to feel well nourished spiritually: full and strong. And we know what it is to be spiritually starved, under-nourished or malnourished. Jesus presents himself as the "bread of life that comes down from heaven" -- nourishment offered by God. And the ensuing argument illustrates the ways of resistance. How do we resist the nourishment God offers? And how is life transformed when we take the bread of eternal life into our hearts?

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Sunday, July 3, 2016


Jeremiah 18:1-11 The potter

This scripture demonstrates the reality that things crack, things get worn out, structures and systems begin to crumble when they are well used. Sometimes as we try to create something new out of something old our first attempt isn't quite right. God calls us to try again. In a New Creed, we proclaim: "We believe in God who has created and is creating" How will we allow God to mold us, move us and recreate us in this world? Will we allow ourselves to fail and try again and again?

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

A New Silence

"The Path" Art work and calligraphy
by Laura Foster
Text: from a traditional poem attributed to St Columba

1 Kings 19:1-13 • Journey to Horeb

Elijah’s journey into the wilderness took him from anguish and despair to an encounter with the Sacred that redirected his life. There is a way for all of us to travel that becomes a journey of the heart, marked by openess to the Sacred that would encounter us on the way. As a part of Celtic Spiritualtiy, this holy way of travelling makes all of life a spiritual journey. Time away from home becomes in itself a new home from which one eventually cannot bear to be away for long. “When you travel, a new silence goes with you, / and if you listen – you will hear what your heart would love to say…” –John O’Donohue

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Celtic Cross

Art work and calligraphy
by Laura Foster
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18

1 Corinthians 1:18–31 • Christ the power and wisdom of God

The cross is central to our Christian symbolism—crucial as it were. There are many forms in which cross has been represented, but beyond them all, including the crucifix and the empty cross, lies the Celtic Cross. It is a cross with a circle. There is no simple explanation for the symbol; and there are many explanations, as it often is with symbols that capture our imagination. What is it about the Celtic Cross that touches us? What is the truth about us, and about life itself, that we see reflected in the beauty of the Celtic Cross?

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Expressions of Faith

  • Psalm 98 . O sing a new to God
  • Luke 18: 16 . Let the children come to me
  • Luke 10:38-42 . Mary sat at Jesus feet and listened
Art work and calligraphy by Laura Foster

Celtic Christianity is known for producing wonderful works of art collectively. The Celts believed that art, music, poetry and storytelling are the pathway to which one can experience and express our love of God with the whole of humanity. The Arts invite us to enter spirituality with our senses as well as our brain. The arts enliven our senses, sharpen our intuition, unleash our imagination and help us to feel and embody our faith. This is a Sunday where we celebrate our faith, and our history and tradition. Let us worship God with our hearts, our souls and our minds and share our love for one another.

This was a Whole Family Worship, so there was no formal sermon recorded. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Presence: The friend of the Soul

Art by Laura Foster 

Psalm 143 In you I put my trust
Sirach 6:5-17 Faithful friends
In the tradition of Celtic Spirituality there is a practice called Anam Cara - The friend of the Soul. A soul friend is someone who walks the spiritual journey with you as a source of wise advice and encouragement. This is a practice that is being reclaimed in our world today known as Spiritual Direction. One's soul friend or faithful friend is a person who listens and helps one access wisdom which is already present in ourselves. The simple act of being present is enough. In this monastic approach to spirituality which considers faith as the whole of one's life not just an hour on Sunday we are simply asked to place our trust in the Divine and in our soul friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Entertaining Angels

Art work and calligraphy
by Laura Foster
Text: Celtic rune

Hebrews 12:28–13:8 • Service well-pleasing to God

Imagine being a stranger -- and being welcomed. Others, opening their hearts to us. Affirming the gifts we have to offer. Then imagine "paying it forward" -- affirming the strangers' gifts, thus making the world more gracious for all of us. Then pray for open hearts everywhere -- open to the gift of the inner beauty of every soul. Open to the blessing, beyond measure.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mirror of the Soul

Artwork and calligraphy
by Laura Foster
Text: Psalm 19:1

Matthew 6:25–30 • Do not be anxious

Walk out your door. Walk the garden. Walk the forest. Walk the hills. Look—look deeply, and see—truly see. The Sacred all around you—numinous. Beyond the conceptual to pure experience—ineffable. Expansive: inviting the Soul to embrace the whole Creation—and in that embrace, to behold itself, in the Great Mirror of the Soul.

Celtic Spirituality Series, Part 1
Bibliography on Celtic Spirituality

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

For the Common Good

Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit descends on the people
1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Variety of gifts by the same Spirit

Paul continues to confront the variety of dissentions in the broader community life. He longs to counteract self-centeredness and teaches the people of Corinth that each person has been given gifts from God which are to be used for the common good. Each person is no greater and no less than the other. No one person's needs or wants are more or less important than another's. These gifts have not been given to us to yield power or control over others. These gifts are intended for public use, to be shared so that all aspects of life are cared for, fulfilled and fully realized. How will we realize our full potential as a church?
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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Called to Action

1 Corinthians 15:1-26 . Paul proclaims the resurrection of Christ

 Paul's writings today "call us all to action and to a new way of living in the present age, rooted in a hope for the age to come," as Jerry Irish, a theologian writes. The message in the scriptures today challenge us to look at death and resurrection of bodies not literally, but rather as spiritual bodies radically transformed. How will Paul's letters to the Corinthians and his teaching about unconditional love transform each one of us and the church as a whole?
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fully Known

Image by Francisco Antunes. Abstract Reflections. Text added: 1 Corinthians 13.12. via Wikimedia Commons Source

1 Corinthians 13:1–13 • Faith, Hope, and Love

There are limits to the study of human nature, because we cannot quantify or prove Faith, Hope, or Love. Nor will there ever be a reproduction of them by artificial intelligence. The essence of human nature includes, above all else, agape ("charity"), the self-giving love by which even human nature transcends itself. It is in relationship with the Sacred that we are fully known.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Creating Unity in Diversity

Acts 18: 1-4 Aquila and Priscilla
1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Appeal to unite

Paul's message to the people of Corinth is that we cannot let our diversity stop us from uniting in Christ. Paul believes that he was sent to proclaim the gospel and unite people in a common mission. He went out and created home churches across the lands. The word church comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which was the word used for a gathering of people at the call of a herald. To put it another way, churches are groups of people coming together in answer to the call of Christ. We too are a church, a gathering of diverse people called by Christ, how will we rebuild?
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Sunday, April 17, 2016

God's Mission...our Gifts

Acts 17: 1-9 Paul and Silas preach in Thessalonica
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Giving Thanks

 David Armour is our special guest today. David holds two roles in support of the giving programs of the church; Director of Philanthropy, United Church of Canada President, United Church of Canada Foundation

Sunday, April 10, 2016

No Stopping Them

Abstract art from Pixaby. Text added: Acts 3:6. License Source

Acts 3:1–10 • Lame beggar healed

In the healing of one lame beggar, the people recognized the presence and power of God, working through these Apostles of the One who had been crucified. Some responded with amazement and rejoicing; others with fear and derision, struggling to find a way to stop the movement without pitting themselves against God. But as long as the Apostles continued to trust that it was God who was working through them, they were unstoppable. The true basis for the church's confidence today is nothing different.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Remembrance and Promise

Photo by Jason Royle, May 2012. Source. Text added: Acts 1:8.

Acts 1:1–14 • Ascension and promise of the Holy Spirit

The disciples now live between times: inspired by what has happened and longing for what is promised. Between Easter and Pentecost is a time of prayerful waiting. But, it is neither sentimental reminiscence, nor wistful longing. The focus is on the meaning these give to their present moment. What are the memories and hopes that shape our lives and give meaning, direction, and purpose to all our present moments?

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

A time of Terror and Amazement

Psalm 118:21-27
 Mark 16: 1-8 Women see angel at the tomb

When things are transformed before our eyes we stand in both terror and amazement just like Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome. These women in their time of grief and fear arrive at Jesus' tomb only to find it empty, and the person they mourn gone. And in the words, “He is not here” the resurrection of Jesus is revealed and the world as they know it is turned upside down. May this Easter move us to share our joys and sorrows, our fears and our thanksgiving as we discover what it means to live as faithful followers of Christ.

Unfortunately, the recording did not work this Sunday. There is no audio or script.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Such a Beautiful Thing

Photo by Russell Chris: 130324 Palm Sunday_0014_Prepare Ye the Way_gtr solo. Source. License. Text added: Mark 11:9.

Mark 14:1–11 • Annointing at Bethany

While Jesus' enemies plot to kill him a woman lavishly anoints him while he is gathered with others at the house of Simon the leper. To some it seemed wrong, but in Jesus' eyes, it was a beautiful thing. As the disciples learned, so we too can learn to recognize the beauty in this simple act. Even in the darkest moment, under gathering clouds of hatred, we too can be touched by the redeeming beauty of one loving action.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wait for it...wait for it...

Mark 13: 1-8, 24-37 Destruction of Temple and Lesson of Fig Tree In the scripture Jesus begins by predicting the destruction of the temple. Again Jesus calls us to pay attention, to beware and keep alert. We are to pay attention so that we are not lead astray. This does not mean that we are to stand still. This is about active waiting, it is about movement, it is time for a change and for new life to emerge. The time is coming so let's wait, readying to go, but only when it is time. As Jesus says in vs 8, "This is but the beginning of the birth pangs." When the foundations start to shake, do not be afraid, be ready and know that God's grace will be found.
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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Whole Love

By Atelier ŽITNIK (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (License)], via Wikimedia Commons. Text added. Source

Psalm 89:1–4 • I will establish your offspring for ever

Mark 12:28–44 • The great commandment

The commandment to love Yahweh your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength stands at the centre of Jesus’ faith. It really challenges us to love God with our whole self. And the next is to love your neighbour as yourself. Who is our neighbour? Today, the whole world is our neighbour. So we are enjoined to love the whole human family; and to love with our whole self. It may sound perfectionistic, but Jesus was more about wholeness than perfection. What is the next step for you as you grow ever and ever more fully into wholeness?

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rejected Stone

Robertson-Wesley cornerstone (photo: Jim Allan) and “Loaves and Fishes Window” (photo: Albert deVos). Psalm 118:22.

Psalm 86:8–13 You have delivered my soul

Mark 12:1–17 Parable of the wicked tenants

This one who speaks with authority to the authorities: he is either a fool or just what we have been waiting for. The rejected stone becomes the cornerstone. It remains a mystery, how the world can reject the Christ. But not the whole world: even more wondrously, there are those who embrace the Christ, who become the Church, who live Divine wisdom and power—who marvel in the Lord’s doing!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Healing Spiritual Blindness

Picture created by the children of Robertson-Wesley, Jan 2016

Mark 10:32-52 . Bartimaeus Healed

The disciples are suffering from spiritual blindness. James and John dream of power and position and thus ask Jesus to grant them something that they want, which is not his to grant. These disciples have been blinded by their leadership like so many of us in the world. Jesus teaches us about servant leadership and teaches the disciples that he is not here to be served, but rather to serve. How will we embrace our call to servant leadership and be cured of our spiritual blindness and the lure of success?

This was a Whole Family Worship and therefore there was no formal sermon.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Check your attitude

  • Mark 10:17-31 Rich man is called to sell all he has and follow Jesus.
The season of Lent is about discernment. It is about moving into the desert or wilderness and testing ourselves. We need to ask ourselves: What is it that we seek and why? Sometimes we get a bit lost in the wilderness, we lose sight of the end game like the Rich man who asks Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Sometimes we need to check our attitude and reflect on whether we are doing things for the right reason or the wrong reason. Are we doing something to seek reward? We will explore Jesus's proclamation that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Reality Check

Mark 8:27- 9:8  Peter's confession, passion prediction, bearing the cross, transfiguration

It is very easy to glorify the power of God, and to place our own ideas and expectation on the Divine. Like most humans, Peter, is fearful and uneasy about Jesus' words proclaiming doom and gloom and goes so far as to rebuke Jesus. Jesus asks, "Who do you say that I am?" as a way of opening up discussion and helping followers to do a reality check. Jesus challenges us to become more self-aware, so that we can see the truth and prepare for the reality of the coming of the Messiah.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

In the Face of Sacred Power

By Jules Henri Lengrand [CC BY-SA 3.0 (License)], via Wikimedia Commons. Text added. Source

Psalm 122:1–9 • To the house of the Lord

Mark 6:1–29 • Death of John the Baptist

The Gospel movement begins to encounter its resistance, facing rejection and brutality. The manner of John’s death was an indictment against the reigning powers of the time—powers that were beginning to tremble in the face of Sacred Power. So even today, in the face of rampant evil in our world, we cultivate and deepen our trust in the power of God who is with us.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Living Hope

By Robert Basic from Germany (Sweden Sun) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (License)], via Wikimedia Commons. Text added. Source

Psalm 131:1–3 ∙ A quiet faith

Mark 5:21–43 ∙ Jesus healing

Today we hear stories of Hope "against hope." In the face of discouragement: "don't bother him”—don't get your hopes up. Maybe the primary message about Hope is how to get past all the discouragement. Perhaps even "eyes raised too high" is a source of discouragement—true hope is not arrogant; to “calm and quiet our soul” is foundational for living hope. There is hope, but sometimes we do not see it: what obstructs our view?

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Listen! God wants our attention!

Mark 4: 1-34 Parables of sower and mustard seed In the scriptures we learn from Jesus, as the disciples did, about parables. Jesus teaches in parable which requires us to listen AND pay attention. In the parables today, God is the sower and sows the Word. What we hear will depend on what landscape the Word falls on. Does the Word fall on deaf ears? Is there room in our lives for the Word to be nurtured and grown? What happens when we listen not for what we want to hear, or what we think will work best for us?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Be Bold

Mark 2: 1-22 Jesus heals a paralytic and eats with a tax collector

The scriptures remind us that there are some thing we shouldn't do like put new wine in old wine skins. Sometimes we have to make decisions that may not be popular or expected. Sometimes we are called to do things that others will not understand or will question. It seems that when Jesus arrived home, he surprised everyone and did the unexpected. Jesus was called to care for the people on the edges, the marginalized, people who were deemed unclean and sinful. What is God calling us to do as a church in the Oliver neighbourhood? What will our church an congregation look like in 10 years if we heed Jesus' warning and not put new wine in old wine skins?


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Authority to Heal

Northern Lights, Arts Collective, 2014 December

Mark 1:21–45 • Jesus ministry begins

When the people hear Jesus teaching with authority and see him dealing authoritatively with demons, his fame spreads. In Jesus' healing ministry the spiritual and the physical flow together. Today, we are rediscovering some of the ways to make those connections, rediscovering some of the wholeness that Jesus offered. In what part(s) of your life would you be open to healing from Jesus Christ?