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Repairing the Entranceway

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Repairing the Entranceway

March 18, 2018 Sermons by Mervin Gallant Edit

How does someone find their way into the church? Or maybe more to the point, how does someone find their way into a relationship with God? At some points in history the church seemed to focus on an accusation of our human sinfullness and the need for some kind of sacrifice to God so in return we might receive God's forgiveness and a place in the realm of God. From the animal sacrifice of our Hebrew forebearers our Christian ancestors developed various theologies of Jesus being the sacrafice that brought us into relationship with God. Yet there is also an ancient tradition in both our Jewish and Christian teachings that hold up the free gift of God's love offered through a "new covenant written on our hearts" and Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension as a seed that dies to enable the flourishing of new life in relationship with God and one another - not as sacrifice but as example for how we all should live in the world. To hear more about how these thoughts were developed in worship this morning, please click on the following link: sermon 2018 03 18.mp3. To ask a question or make a comment, please click on the "Title" box above.

Restoring the Original

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Restoring the Original

March 04, 2018 Sermons by Mervin Gallant Edit

Many years ago my wife refinished a buffet that had been in the family. It was stained a dark colour that had been worn and stained still further with spills of various kinds. No one was interested in having it, so she decided to try to strip the old stains and paints off and refinish it with a light stain that allowed the original grains of the wood to display themselves in all their finery. Suddenly everyone thought it was beautiful. Like the buffet our faith, or at least our faith practices, have been layered with stains that often seem to hide the beauty that was originally at its core. Today's readings encourage us to strip away those layers of tradition and practice that have separated us from God's divine intention and our relationships with God and one another. In their place will shine forth the grain of who we truly are as children of God filled with a love for all those who are in need in the world. To hear more about how this message was developed this morning, please click on the following link: sermon 2018 03 04.mp3.  If you would like to ask a question or make a comment, please click on the "Title" bar above.

Repainting With Hope

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Repainting With Hope

February 18, 2018 Sermons by Mervin Gallant Edit

What does God's offer of renewed relationship with humanity and all creation after the flood of Noah's time have to do with a movement from a judgemental God to promise of comfort and hope? What does the flood of Noah's time have to do with the waters of baptism and our commitment to good conscience, intention and pledge? And waht do any of these things have to do with Black History Month; a school shooting in Flordia; the firing of a pastoral associate in a Roman Catholic church; and a verdict in a shooting of an indigenous man case in Saskatchewan? I suggest the link is that as a baptized people we are committed to finding more just solutions to the devastations in our time so that hope can flourish for all peoples and places. To hear how these thoughts were fleshed out in this week's sermon, please click on the following link: sermon 2018 02 18.mp3 To ask a question or make a comment please click on the "Title" bar above.

Heeding the Call

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Heeding the Call

January 21, 2018 Sermons by Mervin Gallant Edit

Hearing the call of God is one thing but how we respond is another. Jonah's response is one of reluctance at best and, more accurately, resentfulness as he srtuggles with letting go of his old prejudices and half-heartedly shares God's message with the people of Nineveh. The Ninevites, on the other hand, are open to go beyond hearing God's word to asking for forgiveness for past actions and moving to change their ways. Then in the gospel lesson the disciples respond whole-heartedly -- ready to offer their entire lives to sharing Jesus' good news -- even leaving behind their careers and family to do so. What do these various examples mean in a 21st century context? If you would like to hear how this question was addressed in worship this morning, please click on the following link: sermon 2018 01 21.mp3  If you have any comments or questions, please click on the "Title" bar above.

Hearing the Call

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Hearing the Call

January 14, 2018 Sermons by Mervin Gallant Edit

Our reading from the Hebrew Scriptures this week spoke of a time when the word of God was rare. Many of us probably feel that way about our own time in the midst of all the racist, violent and sexist bluster and accusations that inondate media and especially social media. Yet like Samuel in our biblical story, there are times when God is present and speaking but we do not discern that it is God's voice. It is also true that often we do not hear God's voice even when another person shares with us their experience. That was the case for Nathanael in our gospel lesson. However, in both cases, it was when our protagonists had their own experience of the divine that they began to grow in their understanding. So the invitation is "come and see," come and see for yourself.  If you would like to see where our reflection on this topic went on Sunday, please click on the following link: sermon 2018 01 14.mp3. If you would like to ask a question or make a comment, please click the "Title" bar above.