Out of silence

Texts: “Making Peace” by Denise Levertov * Luke 1:18-25 (waiting in silence) “No justice, no peace!” This slogan has been a staple at protest marches for years. It also describes the type of peace heralded by angels at the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago in the Roman Empire of Caesar Augustus. Caesar had … [Read more…]

Finding hope in the darkness

Texts: “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver * Luke 1:1-17 (the birth of John the Baptist foretold) I have been experiencing a strange feeling of late. I think it might be . . . hope! Of course, hope is always available to us. We can let it flood into our hearts just by remembering our dependence … [Read more…]

Liliana’s story

Liliana Angel has been the Office Administrator of Mill Woods United Church since February 2018. Below is a reflection she gave on Nov. 24, 2019 about her experience as a refugee who arrived in Edmonton from Colombia in 2009. My name is Liliana Angel, and my daughter Daniela Cardona is here with me today to … [Read more…]

Welcoming strangers

My preamble to worship on November 17, 2019 — Ian What is required for one to feel welcomed to a new place – to a new country, a new job, or a new church? Also, what are the things that would best help us make people who are new to a country, workplace or church … [Read more…]

Back to the Garden: from war to rebellion

Texts: Revelation 22: 1-5 (the Tree of Life) and Matthew 5:43-44 (love your enemies) There are a thousand things about war that horrify or dismay us; and one of them is how popular it can be. World War One, which is what prompted King George V to call the first Remembrance Day in the British … [Read more…]

Seeking refuge

The following is the preamble to Worship on November 3, 2019 Today we begin a month focused on one of the most important subjects of our time – refugees and the task of welcoming newcomers. This morning is the first of thee Sundays that takes inspiration from a book published in 2018. “Homes: A Refugee … [Read more…]

Back to the Garden: for love or money

Text: Luke 4: 14-21 (good news for the poor) Budgets have been in the news a lot lately. Last Monday was federal election day, and deficits, debt, and taxes were hotly debated in the campaign. Should the federal government move to erase the annual deficits it has been running over the last years, or should … [Read more…]

Back to the Garden: “Bread and Roses”

Text: Luke 1: 46-55 (Mary’s song) How do you get 400,000 young people to gather on an ill-prepared dairy farm and happily spend three days in the rain and mud without adequate security, food, or bathrooms? The answer is obvious, I think — music! The Woodstock Festival of Peace and Music, which occurred 50 years … [Read more…]

Turning wounds into blessings

Text: Genesis 32: 21-31 (Jacob wrestles with an angel) The ancient biblical story about wounds and blessings we just heard strikes me as a strange and provocative one. I decided to focus on this snippet from the story of Jacob today because this passage was the subject of an hour-long CBC radio documentary broadcast on … [Read more…]

Inspiring one another

Text: John 15:5, 7-15 (vine and branches) Friends, today I have two questions for you. What first drew you to Mill Woods United Church? And what has kept you here? In a minute, we are going to re-arrange the chairs, which are in chains of six. You will be asked to form these chains into … [Read more…]