Category Archives: Sermons

Reflections given as sermons or homilies at a public service. Members of our community take it in turns to preach to the whole community.

Last Words

Final homily by Sherman Hesselgrave, Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020

Readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-4     Psalm 8      2 Corinthians 13:11-13     Matthew 28:16-20

At the other end of my ministry, when I was a curate at a parish in Portland, Oregon, I preached a sermon entitled, “Famous Last Words.” I don’t remember what the scriptural text was that day, but it might well have been Jesus telling his flock that he was leaving, but not to worry, because the Holy Spirit would be sent to accompany them on their journey ahead and lead them into all truth. What I do remember is a parishioner telling me afterwards that she would always remember her 18-year-old son’s last words to her as he headed out for a Friday evening with his friends: “See you later, Mom!” That night, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. 

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Pandemic Sunday 3 (Lent 5)

A huge thank you to Susie and Jennifer for hosting the service this week from their home and to Moon for providing the music from New Brunswick. We were up to 39 households this week from 27 last week. It was so good to see everyone.

A recording of the service (minus all the visiting before and after) has now been uploaded to Youtube in our channel (links at right) or you can click to view it at the bottom of this page. Jennifer’s excellent homily (preceded by the readings for context) is also available separately in our Youtube channel or immediately below this text.

Jennifer’s sermon for this morning (preceded by the readings)
This week’s service minus our socializing before and after

Pandemic Sunday 2

Thank you to everyone who joined us and a special thankjs to everyone who was able to contribute to making it happen: Suzanne Rumsey, Bill Whitla and Jean Robinson for reading; Ian Sowton for his homily; Jo Connolly, Joanna Manning and John Gardham for being part of the Nave team with me at HT; Susie Henderson for putting so much time into getting Ian and many others connected this morning, this could have been a train-wreck without Susie’s support.

Pandemic Sunday 2 at HT
Ian’s Sermon

The recording (without our socializing) is available on Youtube, the bulletin is here, and Ian’s sermon is available on its own. As we tried a bunch of new things, including shared leadership, things got a bit ragged at points, but mostly in a wonderful way. This is not a polished product, it is a joyful one!

See you all next week. xo. Keith

Exiting the Fortress – Oliver Roberts

I feel an immense amount of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to hang some of these artworks in a space like this, in a place like this. If the artworks speak at all, if they have a meaning or convey a sense of place and time, places and times shared and learned, then it is befitting that they get to sit among all of these wonderful sisters and brothers and sons and daughters, in a place where acts of radical hospitality and Love are performed, daily and incessantly. What an interesting place we find ourselves in, our friends sleeping outside, citizens bustling in and out of the Eaton Centre, all of us in here communing with each other. What an ebb and flow of paradox and of resilience.

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Justice is the Fast that God Requires: Isaiah 58:1-14

This morning we have hearty Hebrew scripture text and I am going to invite us to dig into it.   I suggest that you have it in your hands.  This is a text from which I suggest we can make a dynamic analogy.   We can recognize some elements in the context of that biblical time that resemble our own.  And therefore, we can harvest some insights forward to our own day.

What is the context?

This is part of the book of Isaiah referred to as Third Isaiah—potentially the third writer voice.  The period is “post-exilic,” meaning the time that the Israelite people were returning after their exile in Babylon (following the Fall of Jerusalem).  What we have come to understand is that it wasn’t all the people that were exiled.  The exiled ones were essentially the religious and political elites—scribes, managers, political leaders, religious leaders.  The peasants–they actually remained in the land, scraping out a living. 

So—those on the right, you are the religious and political elites.  You on the left, you are the peasants who stayed and tried to survive. 

The elites then return.  They have big dreams of what Isaiah often refers to as the “new thing,” but they also come back with anxieties.  Was exile a punishment for their sins? In their return, the elites are intending to establish their claims to land, and social, political and religious status.

Continue reading Justice is the Fast that God Requires: Isaiah 58:1-14