preaching ephesians

Those who are following the Revised Common Lectionary have an opportunity to preach from the Letter to the Ephesians on successive Sundays this month. Here are preacher's notes on the readings from Ephesians this July ...

                July 11 - Ephesians 1:3-14
                July 18 - Ephesians 2:11-22
                July 25 - Ephesians 3:14-21


post-diluvian treaty #1

Once again the people of University Hill Congregation are creating a Lenten devotion. Each day through the season of Lent a scripture reading from the Lenten journey through will be accompanied by the response of a member of the community. Here is my offering this year ...

I don’t often use the word “antediluvian”. I know it refers to something really old. But once you think about it this old word is really two words meaning “before flood”. Now that is old. Here, in Genesis chapter nine, we are in the very first post-diluvian days. The waters have begun to recede. The dove has returned with an olive branch. 


the journey continues ... pomalidomide and more

It has been a year and a half since I posted an update on life with myeloma. I am aware that others with myeloma are interested to know how things are going with my cancer journey. So here goes ...


holy saturday as the fulcrum between cross and resurrection

On this Holy Saturday we remember that this hidden day is the fulcrum between Good Friday and Easter Sunday - Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Here is Keith Howard's post for Holy Saturday 2020 - Holy Saturday Life in a Time of Disruptive Uncertainty


sin the virus cured by grace

Once again this year University Hill Congregation is hosting forty seven texts on its Lenten pilgrimage to Easter. You can find the daily reflections here. I was assigned Romans 5:12-19. This is my witness:

Here’s the problem. The original earthling - “adam” (literally “made of earth”) - was infected with the virus of sin. This virus then spread to all. It works like a gravitational force that draws humankind away from God with tragic consequences. Shakespeare’s tragedies - like many contemporary novels and movies - portray the ways in which all human actors are captive to this destructive force.


knocking on the door of grief

It was 1980. At the ripe age of twenty-six I had been settled on a seven-point pastoral charge in southern Manitoba. Forty years later I am accustomed to being “the Reverend”. Then it was all new. Looking back what I remember most vividly are the deaths and the funerals. I had presided at a couple of funerals on a summer field. But this was of a different magnitude. Now I was on call to respond to grief in all of its manifestations.

The first phone call from Hugh at the funeral parlour came soon after I arrived in town. Two men had been killed in an accident on the highway. The driver had a heart attack and his passenger could not pull him off the steering wheel before they swerved in front of a semi-trailer. I was to preside at both funerals. I don’t remember what I said. I do recall the bundle of nerves as I gathered up the courage to knock on the door of each grieving family. Then and there I learned to pray on the doorstep of grief for the presence of the Holy Spirit in such a wounded place.


the time we wrestled with forgiveness

These days I am privileged to be a mentor for a group of seven lay worship leaders who are students in the Lay Worship Leaders Training program of the United Church. We meet online - two are in Ontario, three in Manitoba and two are in British Columbia. It is a remarkable group. This semester is focussed on prayer and music in worship. Tonight we discussed confession and forgiveness. It was a rich conversation.

I was reminded of the time at University Hill Congregation when we wrestled with the call to forgive that lies at the heart of the New Testament. It was seven years ago. At the time I posted an outline of those conversations. Here are links to those posts ...

Forgiven, Forgiving (1)

Forgiven, Forgiving (2)

Forgiven, Forgiving (3)

Forgiven, Forgiving - a sample of biblical texts

Forgiven, Forgiving (4)

Forgiven, Forgiving (5)

Forgiven, Forgiving (6)