High River United Church of High River, Alberta
     

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  Date: Sunday, January 19, 2020       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 20 mins 9 secs    
  Description: Today I am introducing the Apostle Peter to you. You might know him as Simon, Simon Peter and also Cephas and Petros both which mean Rock, depending on Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek. Jesus may have called him Rocky. Peter was a regular guy. He could not read or write, was not likely conversant with the Law of Moses and couldn’t speak Greek. He was a husband. He fished. He lived in Capernaum on the northwest shore of the sea of Galilee—an idyllic spot. To this day you can still visit the foundation of Peter’s house which is across the street from the synagogue where Jesus preached and a stone’s throw from the lakeshore. As one writer says, “He could also be resolute (Acts of the Apostles 4:10; 5:1–10). Occasionally he is depicted as rash and hasty (Luke 22:33, etc.) or irritable and capable of great anger (John 18:10). Often he is pictured as gentle but firm and, as in his professions of love to Jesus, capable of great loyalty and love (John 21:15–17).” Tradition points to Peter as the first Apostle leading a movement of followers who believed that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead, healing for the sick, and salvation for all—many believed, and they numbered about 5000. He was quite an impassioned speaker and “when filled with the Holy Spirit” move the hearts of many. The message? Jesus Christ crucified and risen. Acts tells of Peter and John arrested because the Jesus movement was threatening the stability of religious life in Palestine. Despite being a regular guy with all manner of capacities both and abundant and lacking, Peter was able to speak boldly before those who arrested him, and refused to be silenced. The authorities could not pin him down. They had to let him go. And so… Peter’s work in Jerusalem continued, a movement following the crucifixion, resurrection and teachings of Jesus was begun and set to spread around the Mediterranean basin.
  Date: Sunday, January 12, 2020       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 18 mins 19 secs    
  Description: We are familiar with the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke & John – and we understand that there are many letters, mostly from the apostle Paul, in the New Testament, but tucked between the gospels and letters is a book that we only occasionally refer to and which often, I believe, is forgotten – The Book of Acts. At the Worship Team meeting this fall, it was suggested that we learn more of about the early church – what really was going on and what can we learn from it. And that leads us to the Book of Acts. So today we begin an adventure together, an adventure in faith, following the early church as described in the book of Acts. Between now and Easter we are going to journey through the whole book. In your announcements and in the booklet I’ve put together, you’ll see that I’ve outlined chapters to read each week, and I invite you to do just that. Read the two to three chapters indicated for each week. In the service, we’ll highlight some portions of those two to three chapters. And then, every other week, on Tuesday mornings, we’ll have a Bible Study (a Scripture in the Sandbox session) that will give you a chance to ask questions about what you are reading and discuss what you are noticing in the passages. This journey through the Book of Acts is an opportunity for all of us to grow in our faith life and to deepen our relationship with Living, Loving God. I think there is so much that the Book of Acts has to offer us right now in the year 2020. You may ask: How could a book written in the 1st century have something to say to those of us living 2,000 years later in a very different context? What can we, who live in a technological world, learn from those who lived in the Classical Greek era? What do those living under the rule of the Roman Empire, who relied on runners and travellers to deliver messages have to teach us who live in a democracy and have instant access to messages from around the world? Well, I think there is more that we have in common that we might imagine.
  Date: Sunday, December 22, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 10 mins 16 secs    
Passage: Luke 1:47-55    
  Description: Maybe I’m nostalgic. Maybe I’m a little bit melancholy. Maybe that’s part and parcel of this season of Advent and Christmas when we find ourselves perhaps a little more attentive to the wider mysteries and promises of the Biblical texts. In fact, I think the nostalgia and melancholy are rooted in the reflective questions that surface during this season. For me this week, I have been thinking about what are God’s intentions for God’s people? And by extension, what does it mean for me and us to be a people of God? I believe that Advent and Christmas are remarkable times in the Christian year that like the winter sun are intentionally in our eyes, seeking our attention, yearning to stir us deeply and place us in touch with the incarnate love of God in Jesus Christ so that we arrive at a deeper understanding of who we are as a people of faith. I think that in the midst of our grief, the stresses we face, the disturbing and disrupting nature of our political world, and the prevailing weakening of a social matrix where care of neighbour is disappearing, it can all feel disconcerting and even overwhelming. Sometimes I feel God is dismissed outrightly as something quaint or even irrelevant. The net result is a fundamental slippage in accountability to something greater than ourselves. This is a problem. And yet, the winter sun gets in our eyes. The Biblical texts spark us to yearn for lasting wisdom and once again our faces are turned into the mystery of our faith at Christmas. We have a renewed awareness of God’s power at work that can do more than we can ask or ever imagine.
  Date: Sunday, December 15, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 16 mins 14 secs    
Passage: 2 Peter 1:12-19    
  Description: Who is Jesus for you? Who is Jesus in our faith? These may seem like obvious questions, but the answers, when we pause to reflect, take us deeper into our Christian faith and into the practice of that faith. In this Advent season of waiting once again to celebrate the arrival of God’s beloved son, we prepare our hearts by asking the question of ourselves and of each other – Who is Jesus? The image we are offered this week in scripture and through the Advent candle lighting ceremony is that of Jesus as the Morning Star. But what exactly does that mean? The image of Jesus as the morning star comes from the 2nd Letter of Peter. It is also used in the book of Revelation. Jesus is our morning star. In 2nd Peter, we are invited to anticipate the dawning of a new day when the morning star rises in our hearts. We know that moment, don’t we? As prairie people, with the wonderfully broad eastern sky, we have watched and waited for the sunrise, ready to welcome a new day. It is those moments just before the sunrise which are so magical and mystical. The sky has that special colour – more blue than black – as the light of the sun begins to warm the sky long before it breaks the horizon. The stars shimmer – and there is that one star, the morning star, that is especially bright. Actually, the morning star is the planet Venus – a mere 330 million kilometres from us, much closer than any of the nearest stars. It is Venus that announces the dawn and welcomes the sun, sparkling brightly as we watch and wait for the sun to return to us in its orbit, warming the earth and brightening our homes. It is such a powerful image - the morning star. We all have those times in our lives when we wait for the dawn, times when life is shadowed, depressing and filled with gloom. Grief, depression, tragedy, loss of a job, divorce, the economy, loss of good health or mobility – there are many circumstances that leave us unable to see what is good in life, what is joyful. It can feel as if a shadow has descended over us, and it is hard to believe that there will be hope and love and joy ever again in our lives.
  Date: Sunday, December 01, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 12 mins 33 secs    
  Description: Who do you say Jesus is? What names and words to describe Jesus come immediately to mind? Once, Jesus confronted his disciples with that question, “Who do you say that I am?” If he were to stand before you today, and ask that question, what would be your response? Many names have been used to describe and name Jesus through the last two thousand years since his birth. Some of these may have been the words that came into your mind when I asked the question. Lord, Saviour, Messiah, Christ, Healer, Teacher, Rabbi, Friend, Shepherd, Light of the World, Son of God, Word of God, Emmanuel. For some of us, Jesus may be very real as a spiritual presence, a loving presence we have felt near to us, encouraging, challenging and caring. For others of us, Jesus may be more of a historical figure, a wise rabbi who lived two thousand years ago, whose words and actions stirred people to live compassionate and courageous lives. Some of us have the gift of feeling Jesus’ presence; some of us have the gift of being Jesus’ presence for others. We all have different perspectives, understandings and experiences of the one called Jesus – Yeshua, in his own language. We each will have our own response to “Who do you say Jesus is?”
  Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 14 mins 16 secs    
  Description: In the Christian Church Calendar, this is really like New Year’s Eve. It’s the last Sunday in the Church year, which means next Sunday is Advent and we begin the new year anticipating the Birth of Jesus. But that would mean getting ahead of ourselves. For today, let’s stay with the Christian Church’s equivalent of New Year’s Eve, called the Reign of Christ Sunday. I usually find New Year’s Eve a little bewildering. It seems to be a lot of out with the old and in with the new. Or, a listing of all the things we’re going to do differently with our best intentions attached. Or maybe some reflection and introspection on the year that has passed. And of course, there’s noise makers, confetti, food, libations, and most importantly the traditions of bringing in the new year with our loved ones and friends. It’s that last part about being with loved ones and friends that I think really connects with Paul’s reflections from today’s reading according to his letter to the Philippians. He had in mind, the Philippian church as a gathering of loved ones and friends—journeying together to the heart of God. Paul deeply loved his Christian communities. His letters were always encouraging and loving (except the Galatians who were nothing but a source of frustration for him—they were Celts, what can you do). But that being the distraction that it is, and hopefully a spark of humour, Paul always found ways to encourage, support, and love even in the face of other distractions, challenges or disruptions. Always. And yes, even the Galatians. Paul writes, “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, and consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, and compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind…. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interest of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.2: 1-2, 4-5) It’s a great New Year’s Eve letter. It offers a reset as we move into the New Year and the coming weeks of Advent. What a beautiful intention that we set ourselves about the practices of encouragement, love, compassion, sympathy and joy—that we not hunker down into our own self-interests but look upon the interests of others—that we be of one mind, and have the mind of Christ in us—which really is about journeying together to the heart of God. We are on the cusp of the New Christian Year and Paul reminds us about the kind of headspace and heart-space we need to be in as we contemplate the reign of Christ. This takes practice… of course. But I am convinced that it is more relevant and necessary than ever.
  Date: Sunday, November 17, 2019       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 8 mins 45 secs    
  Description: Rev. David and Rev. Susan have a conversation about what it means to be church. When we choose to belong to a congregation, we find a place to make sense of our lives and grow meaning in our relationship with God, we find a sense of belonging and significance, and we deepen and share the values that are important to us, values that come from the teachings of Jesus.
  Date: Sunday, November 10, 2019       Teacher: Linnea Good     Duration: 26 mins 22 secs    
  Description: Linnea Good, musician and storyteller, shares a story about the healing of Bartimaeus and also talks about how God is in the story. A wonderful listen.
  Date: Sunday, November 03, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 18 mins 7 secs    
  Description: The story of the Bible is a story of relationship. It is a story of God’s relationship with humanity and with all of creation. It is a love story. The Bible is filled with stories, chosen by faithful people, to share their understandings and experiences of God. It is offered in many different voices, in many different genres of literature. The stories each come out of a particular context, in a particular time in history, and the portrayal of God offered is shaped by that time and context. It is not something dictated by God for us, but rather it is a human document, made sacred by its use, that reveals to us how people have understood and experienced God through the ages. As we study scripture and explore the stories, as we discuss scripture together, we receive God’s voice, God’s message. What is at the core of scripture, throughout both testaments is this: God is love and God chooses to be in relationship with humankind. God chooses to be in relationship with us and we choose to be in relationship with each other in this congregation. Faith is rooted in relationship – and that has been our theme this fall.
  Date: Sunday, October 27, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 26 mins 3 secs    
  Description: God is Love… these words glowed in the dark from a little wooden plaque that hung on the wall next to my bed when I was about 9 years old. My church gave me this plaque as a gift from our Sunday School. Next to the words were two little blue birds framed by a heart. So simple. Since then, and all these years later, I’ve pondered that little plaque, it’s words and especially how they glowed after I turned out the light. God is Love, even through the night. Following our walk around the 6 roots of attachment as outlined by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, the fifth root of attachment is love. At or around 4 years old, our hearts become awakened to love. Four-year-old’s give their heart away to their caring adults. It’s why four-year-old’s want to marry their mom or dad. They want to marry their sister or brother. They want to marry their teacher. Four-year-old’s draw hearts and colour them and give them away. Four-year-old’s love valentines’ day! At the tender age of around 4 we learn about love for the first time and what it means to give our love to someone else. We take this first experience of love into the rest of our lives. A four-year-old’s love is innocent. It is unconditional. It is child-like of course. On the one hand it emerges on its own as part of our human development. On the other hand, it is evoked because the child is in the care of loving adults. It is a deep root and when the conditions are right, there is room for the child to learn about, feel, and express love. Hearts everywhere! That’s why my bedroom plaque was so comforting. God is love, glowing in the dark reminded me that I could exist in the presence of God and experience unconditional love. I knew that God loved me first. And in return, I gave my heart to God. As we reflect on the words about God’s love in 1 John today, we hear the mystery that, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (1 Jn 4:16b) These words are written specifically for the Christian Community. John’s understanding of love is grounded in the mystery of God’s love at work in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

 


Monday Morning Yoga - NEW!
Created On Thursday, 19 December 2019
Drop-in Yoga Starting Monday, January 6th 10:00 am Only a toonie per week! Yes, there will still...
Games Nights - 2020
Created On Thursday, 19 December 2019
FRIDAYS 6:00 – 9:00 pm Bring your friends, family, neighbours. Feel free to bring a snack for...
Looking for Space to Rent for a Meeting, Gathering, or Ongoing Group!
Created On Tuesday, 10 September 2019
We have space available! Monday daytime and evening, as well as other times during the week....
Drop-In Yoga
Created On Thursday, 17 January 2019
Thursdays 7:00 – 8:30 pm High River United Church Drop In Fee: $2 Hosted by Paula & Angela

 

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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

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