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.

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. 

Re-boot. 

Reset. 

Repent.

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.Read More »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.Read More »“echoes of cosmic events”

Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

By Susie Henderson

Readings:

  • 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

ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE

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. Read More »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.Read More »Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

bicycle and cyclist in storm

What do we do with the King of Kings?

Keith Nunn, Nov 26, 2017.
In case the lectionary readings today didn’t tip you off, this Sunday is called the Reign of Christ. This is the last stop before we start the cycle over with Mary’s story and the infant Jesus.

Co-incidentally, the first sermon I delivered after entering theological education was on the reign of Christ. At that time, I felt a need and pressure to justify my position through scripture. Not so much anymore. However, I do feel a need to maintain the conversation with scripture in general and with the person of Jesus Christ in particular.

Today, in spite of my infamous reputation for jettisoning the lectionary, I have kept all the appointed readings, albeit in abridged form. The straightforward interpretation of these texts probably makes most of us somewhat uncomfortable—I know it does me. I’ll return to them shortly, however.Read More »What do we do with the King of Kings?

Homily: November 18 2017

Isaiah 58: 1 to 12
Psalm: 72: 1 to 15a
Revelation 21: 1 to 4
Luke 10: 25-37

Good morning.

None of our lessons, not even the Psalm, were appointed for reading today. So, I’ll start by revealing the hidden agenda behind today’s worship: Driving our hearts and minds towards the third of our strategic planning sessions for Holy Trinity. That session begins just after today’s worship service ends. Read More »Homily: November 18 2017

Ordinary Saints

by Jo Connelly
Nov. 5, 2017

A couple of years ago I would be standing here talking about my heroes- Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi. But I’m not going to talk about these amazing people. I could have talked about some of the saintliness of some of the homeless men and women I have known, particularly those I know now who live at Seaton House men’s shelter. But even these heroes I am not going to talk about today. These people have inspired many of my life choices, and are understandably held up as persons to emulate. But I don’t know about you, but most days I don’t feel much like a Dorothy Day when I don’t even look at a homeless person pan- handling for spare change, let alone ask them if they need a place to stay and take them home to sleep on my couch. Read More »Ordinary Saints

Sour Grapes

By James Harbeck

Sermon, Holy Trinity, October 1, 2017

Readings: Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32; Psalm 25:1–10; Philippians 2:1–13; Matthew 21: 23–32

I’m going to tell a little story today. I don’t know whether I’d call it a parable. It’s not quite a literal history. But it’s close enough.

There was, once, a place that was very nice. Lush. Great for growing grapes and things like that. There was a family living there, and they were pretty happy with it. We’ll call them the Ones. Nothing’s perfect, but, you know, the Ones had food, family, all the things that people do with their time when nothing and no one is forcing them to do something else. Life was good enough.

And then another family showed up from another place. We’ll call them the Twos. They liked where the Ones were living. They wanted to live there. They didn’t say, “Hey, do you mind if we fit in here somehow?” or “What can we give you in exchange for some of what you have so we can live here?” They said, “Hi. We’re the Twos. These are guns. Look what they can do: [BANG BANG BANG]. Get the idea? We want this land. Oh, you? You can get out and live somewhere else, or you can stay and work for us.” Some of the Ones left. Some were killed. Some decided to stay and work for the Twos, because at least they’d still be in this nice place getting the benefit of the land.Read More »Sour Grapes