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.

A Grain of Wheat (Homily for Lent 5)

Homily March 18, 2018

by Jo Connelly

Fifth Sunday in Lent

“The days are surely coming, says the Holy One, when I will make a new covenant” says Jeremiah.

As Ian Sowton wrote:

“We wait on you.  Do not press REWIND,
returning things to the good old days
that never were.  Plant something new
in us,”

And Jesus proclaimed in John’s gospel:

“The truth of the matter is unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.”

I am here before you to declare that we, the Holy Trinity community are embarking on a new covenant.  Together we are going to forge a new way forward using our Strategic Planning consultations as a guide.  This won’t be easy. For each of us it will entail parts of what we dreamed about as the “ideal community” coming to light but other parts we hoped for will need to die as a grain of wheat falling on the ground.  For some, there will be excitement as parts we hoped for will be reflected in what we see, for others we won’t see enough of what we hoped for. We are on a journey, and none of us will see everything we wanted. Continue reading A Grain of Wheat (Homily for Lent 5)

We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

Readings:   Genesis 9:8-17     Psalm 25:1-10    Mark1:9-15

Starting over. 

Beginning a new chapter. 

Turning over a new leaf. 

Under new management. 




We have so many different ways of talking about making a fresh start, and as many reasons for wanting or needing to. Disruptive technology puts someone out of a job. Manufacturing moves to a different continent. The market crashes. A Marriage ends. You win the lottery. Continue reading We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

“echoes of cosmic events”

Epiphany Sermon 2018

by Joanna Manning

Today’s celebration of the Epiphany has always been one of my
favourites. I find it’s full of mystery, and it speaks to the
imagination and the poetic.

The word ‘Epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ or ‘revelation.’ In
today’s feast there are traditionally have been three levels of
revelation that have been celebrated. First, the Magi are led to
the manger and the light of Christ is manifested to the gentiles.
Then Epiphany is often linked with the Baptism of Christ by
John, and the launch of Jesus’ public ministry, with the
testimony of the voice from heaven confirming that ‘This is my
Beloved Son’ followed by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in
the form of a dove. Epiphany is also linked with John’s account
of the Marriage Feast of Cana, where Jesus first manifests his
power to the disciples by turning water into wine, a symbol of
the wedding feast that joins heaven and earth, God and
humankind, into a new and joyous union. Continue reading “echoes of cosmic events”

Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

By Susie Henderson


  • Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11
  • The Sweetness that Remains: Orange Blossom Honey Blessing in The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief by Jan Richardson
  • John 1 :6-8, 19-28


They say that grief is the tax on love — if you love you grieve, no getting around it. I brought rosemary today to honour the losses that we all carry and may be particularly mindful of at this time of year.

Rosemary — has a long history and there are many stories tied to this fragrant herb. Historically it has been thought to strengthen memory and that tie to remembrance and it has been included in both the wedding bouquet and the funeral garland.

Medicinally the camphor in rosemary has helped to clear congestion. In our house it mostly comes out with a little lemon to season Jennifer’s favorite roast chicken.

Today I offer it as a sign of remembrance, a scent that lingers, a way to witness that death is not the end of love. Death is not the end of love.

During this reflection, I invite you, if you’d like, to come forward and make yourself a mini wreath of remembrance that you can take home for a christmas tree or to place somewhere in your line of sight, a sign of the presence of those who have gone before us, still present, still missed, still remembered in our holiday times. You can make it during the service or just pick up the pieces to put it together when you get home. Continue reading Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-37

Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?

Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1