Sermons from 2018

December 30, 2018After Christmas Eve — On the First Sunday After Christmas, we heard a story about what happened immediately after the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:21-40), and we shared stories about our own Christmases – Ian

December 24, 2018The stories of Christmas Eve — Two Christmas Eve services were filled with carols, candlelight, and mystery

December 23, 2018The activists of Advent — On December 23, Advent Four: Love, we heard Mary’s song, which she sings in anticipation of the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:39-56). The Church School led us in a Christmas pageant and the choir sang “Carol of Hope” – Ian

December 16, 2018Surprised by joy — On Advent Three: Joy we heard a story about the birth of John the Baptist and the hymn of joy sung by his father Zechariah (Luke 1:57-80). The choir sang “Rise Up Shepherd.”

December 09, 2018Think globally, act locally — On Advent Two: Peace, we focused on reconciliation between Canada’s First Peoples and other Canadians; and we heard a story in which the birth of Jesus is foretold (Luke 1:26-38). The choir sang “Peace.” This was the second of two “Giving” or “White Gift” Sundays – Ian

December 02, 2018The gestation of hope — Over the four Sundays of Advent, we are reading the entire first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. On December 2, we began with Advent One: Hope and the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:1-25). The choir sang “Our Hope Is in This Child” This was also the first of two “Giving” or “White Gift” Sundays – Ian

November 25, 2018Judgement and truth — We heard the Roman ruler Pilate ask Jesus “What is truth?” (John 18:33-37). My reflection was about upholding the virtues of truth-telling and honest inquiry in the face of fear and prejudice. The choir sang “You Are My God and King” – Ian

November 18, 2018Poetry and history — We heard a story in which Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-8). My reflection was about how to keep faith in times of radical social change. The choir sang “My Heart Is In Your Keeping” — Ian

November 11, 2018Remembering forward — We marked the centennial of the armistice that ended World War One with a reflection on “the greatest commandment” (Mark 12:28-34). I discussed what we have remembered and what we have forgotten since 1918. The choir sang “Remember” by Christina Rossetti and Stephen Chapman – Ian

November 4, 2018Wealth management — We heard a story about the offering of a poor widow (Mark 12:38-44). My reflection was about the abundance to be found in poverty. The service included a celebration of Communion – Ian

October 28, 2018Enlightenment: what is it good for? — we heard a story in which a blind beggar was given sight (Mark 10:46-52). My reflection asked if there is any downside to enlightenment — Ian

October 21, 2018The refiner’s fire — We heard a passage in which Jesus talks about a second baptism (Mark 10:35-45). My reflection was about some of life’s “trials by fire.” The choir sang “Thankful”– Ian

October 14, 2018Worry and toil –This was the last of three stewardship Sundays. We heard Jesus tell his friends that they need not worry (Matthew 6:25-33 – “the birds of the air”). Our friends from the Zimbabwean United Methodist congregation joined us – Ian

October 07, 2018Harvests of justice — On Thanksgiving Sunday, we heard some joyous words Paul (2 Corinthians 9:10-15). We also celebrated communion and expressed our gratitude for the path of faith, hope and love that we follow. The choir sang “What Will We Give?” by Don Besig – Ian

September 30, 2018 Breathing love — We kicked off a three-week stewardship campaign with a Celebration Fair that displayed all the ways we express love at Mill Woods United. The choir sang “Join Hand in Hand” – Ian

September 23, 2018 — Merlin Rosser lead worship and the choir sang “Seems Like a Miracle.”

September 16, 2018 — Both sides now — We heard well-known words from Paul – 1 Corinthians 13; and I reflected on the third and greatest of his spiritual virtues, love – Ian

September 09, 2018Hope against hope — On “Welcome Back Sunday,” I reflected on a reading from Paul on hope, which is the second of Paul’s spiritual virtues (Romans 8:18-39). Georgia Englot was on hand to help us begin a new season of programming for children – Ian

September 02, 2018Climate of fear — On the holiday weekend, I reflected on our journeys to the “wilderness” this summer and the treasures we found there that will enrich our lives and ministry – Ian

June 24, 2018The wilds of our hearts — On the first Sunday of summer, we heard a story about Jesus retreating to the wilderness to rest (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56). My reflection was about our summer journeys to deserted places. I sang Gershwin’s “Summertime” – Ian

June 17, 2018Honouring our fathers and mothers — We heard Paul’s thoughts on “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-13) and a story in which Jesus calms a storm (Mark 4:35-41). My Father’s Day reflection was about judgement and healing. Len Penner sang Bruce Cockburn’s “All the Diamonds in the World” — Ian

June 10, 2018 — In the lead up to National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, Evelyn Day, Dave Elliot, and Nancy Siever led us in a service on reconciliation. Bryan LeGrow sang “The Book of Love.”

June 03, 2018First (and last?) communion — We heard a reading in which Jesus describes himself as the Bread of Life (John 6). This led both to a reflection on “hard teachings” and a celebration of Communion — Ian

May 27, 2018 — “One for all, and all for One” — On “Trinity Sunday” we heard a well-known Gospel passage (John 3:1-17, being born again). My reflection discussed some of the ways in which we imagine the Divine today. The choir sang “Hamba Nathi — Ian

May 20, 2018Jerusalem then and now — On Pentecost, we marked the coming of the Spirit to the church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-12, the Day of Pentecost; and John 15 and 16, the Spirit foretold). My reflection focused on Jerusalem today. The choir sang “Peace Like a River” — Ian

May 13, 2018 — On the seventh Sunday of Easter, Merlin Rosser delivered a reflection on how leadership in the church continues from the Disciples to us today (Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 — Matthias chosen to replace Judas).  To see a video of Merlin’s sermon, click here.

May 6, 2018 — “Getting out of your own way” — On the sixth Sunday of Easter, we heard a reading about the conversion of Saul (Acts 9:1-31). My reflection discussed the strangeness of “servant leadership.” Communion was celebrated and the choir sang “Jesu Waya” — Ian

April 29, 2018 — “All are welcome” — On the fifth Sunday of Easter, we heard a story about an Ethiopian eunuch baptized by Philip (Acts 8:26-40). My reflection asked how our goal to embrace diversity and be welcoming is both helped and hindered by readings from the Bible. The choir sang “Members, One of Another” by Hank Beebe — Ian

April 22, 2018 — “The perils of preaching — On the fourth Sunday of Easter, we heard a sermon of Peter’s from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41). My reflection was about the difficulties we have in spreading the Good News at a time when the word “evangelism” is seen by some as a dirty word. The choir sang “I Shall Not Be Moved” arr. by Alice Parker — Ian

April 15, 2018 — “Imagine” — On the third Sunday of Easter, we heard two accounts from Acts about how the followers of Jesus lived after the first Easter (Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37). My reflection imagined what an ideal community might look like — Ian

April 08, 2018 — “Our purpose” — On the second Sunday of Easter, we heard a story about Paul in Athens (Acts 17: 16-33). My reflection was about the idols we sometimes worship versus the God who is Love. The choir sang “Patience” by Linnea Good – Ian

April 01, 2018 — “Into the mystic” — On Easter Sunday, we heard Mark’s account of the first Easter morning (Mark 16:1-8) and celebratde the mystery and joy of resurrection with song and ritual. The choir sang “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah — Ian

March 30, 2018 — “Holding space for grief” — On Good Friday, we heard the story of Jesus’ trials and crucifixion from Mark (Mark 14 and 15) — Ian

March 25, 2018 — “March for Our Lives” — On Palm Sunday, we remembered Holy Week, from Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem (Mark 11) to his arrest and crucifixion (Mark 14 and 15). Readings and songs that tell this story were woven into a celebration of communion – Ian

March 18, 2018 — “Life saving tips” — On the fifth Sunday in Lent, we heard a story about Jesus’ arrest and Peter’s denials of his connection to Jesus (Mark 14: 43-53; 66-72). My reflection was about what we are called to give up during Lent. The choir sang “Lonesome Valley” by Roger C. Wilson — Ian

March 11, 2018 — “Do I wake or sleep?” — On the fourth Sunday in Lent, we heard a story about wakefulness and sleep on the evening of Jesus’ betrayal (Mark 14:26-42 — Jesus prays in Gethsemane). My reflection was on the difficulties and rewards of staying awake. The choir sang “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris and Lloyd Larson.  — Ian

March 4, 2018 — “Narrow paths” — On the third Sunday in Lent, we heard a story in which Jesus is anointed for burial while yet living (Mark 14:1-9). My reflection suggested how facing our fears can light up our lives with hope and joy. The choir sang“God So Loved the World” by John Stainer — Ian

February 25, 2018 – “The Drum Major Instinct” –  On the second Sunday in Lent, as the Winter Olympics closed in South Korea, we heard Jesus say that true greatness comes from being a servant of all (Mark 10:32-45). The choir sang “The Life of Praise” — Ian

February 18, 2018“You can’t always get what you want” – On the first Sunday in Lent, we reflected on words of Jesus that startle his friends as they begin their journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (Mark 8:27-38). There was also be a baptism, and the choir sang a world premiere of an anthem by our own Bryan LeGrow, “Take Up Your Cross” — Ian

February 11, 2018 – On February 11, Rev. Dr. Bruce Miller led us in a celebration of “Transfiguration Sunday,” (Mark 9:2-9).

February 4, 2018Signs of confusion – On Sunday, we heard a story about a dispute between religious leaders and Jesus over rules and authority (Mark 2:1-28). My reflection was about how rules can both help and hinder our ministry. The choir sang “Stay With Us Through the Night” — Ian

January 28, 2018Healing pathways – On Sunday, we heard three stories where Jesus heals (Mark 1:21-45). My reflection asked how walking a spiritual path can heal us — Ian

January 21, 2018Time to choose a new king -We heard the beginning of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:1-20 — the baptism of Jesus and the call Peter, Andrew, James, and John). My reflection was about Jesus’ statement, “the realm of God has come near” — Ian

January 14, 2018— Rob McPhee led us in a reflection of “the call” based on a reading of Jesus calling his first disciples (John 1:43-51). The service was followed by a congregational information session on a 2018/19 Staffing Plan, presented by the Ministry and Personnel Committee

January 7, 2018 – “I’m An Adult Now” –  On Sunday, we celebrated the New Year and Epiphany based upon a reading from Isaiah (“Arise, shine, for your light has come” Isaiah 60:1-5) — Ian

Service information from 2021

Service information from 2020

Service information from 2019

Service information from 2017

Service information from 2016