High River United Church of High River, Alberta
     

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  Date: Sunday, October 13, 2019       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 9 mins 25 secs    
  Description: Rev. Susan & Rev. David have a conversation about gratitude. As followers of Jesus, we are called to practice gratitude - which goes far beyond feeling thankful. It is a choice of a way of life that involves looking for what we have to be grateful for in all circumstances. In a society where there is so much hate-filled speech, so many death threats and sexual assault threats leveled at those in any sort of leadership position, it is more important than ever that we practice gratitude to counter this.
  Date: Sunday, October 06, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 11 mins 24 secs    
  Description: Now there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for we are one in Christ! I think it is hard for us, in the 21st century to understand just how radical those words would have been in the 1st century, when Paul was writing to the church at Galatia. These are transformative words also meant to challenge us as we follow the Way. Today we are coming to the communion table to share the bread and the cup. Imagine what this would have been like for the followers of Jesus, 2,000 years ago. First of all, they shared this meal every time they gathered. And they actually sat down together at a big table. Everyone brought some bread (flat bread) from home and some wine, and it was all put on the table –like a potluck. All the wine was poured into a large bowl-like container – good and bad wine mixed together. All the bread heaped on one platter. Once the words, “This is my body; this is my blood; do this in remembrance of me,” were declared by the presider, everyone ate their fill. It wasn’t the little sip of juice and little piece of bread that we share. It was much more like our Soup & Bun or Simple Suppers. Everyone ate their fill. No one went home hungry. Those who had more, brought more, but everyone brought something. The commitment that followers of Jesus made to each other was that they would share everything in common so that no one was in need. They took care of each other! They committed their resources to one another. Now I want you to picture who was at that table. Jew and Gentile, Roman citizens and their slaves, men and women – all sitting together. This is the absolutely radical thing about the church of Jesus at its beginnings. At other tables in the Roman Empire at the time, these people would not sit together. Men and women, especially at Roman banquet tables normally would not be seated together. Men would have their own tables, and women would be set apart or doing the serving. Within Jewish households, the family would eat together, but out in public, men did not speak to or associate with women who they were not married to or related to. Similarly, slaves had their place in society, and did not share a meal with their masters. Jewish people and Gentile people would not interact, except for limited required transactions, such as paying taxes. Paul is writing to a church in the middle of Roman territory – the church in Galatia, in what is present day Turkey. Paul is telling them that once they are committed to following the Way of Jesus, like us, then all of those traditional cultural and religious boundaries are wiped away. Everyone sits at the same table together.
  Date: Sunday, September 29, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 18 mins 45 secs    
  Description: I was too young to remember, but there’s a story told about me when I was 2-3 years old. One can be pretty convincing at that age and apparently, my mom had to sew patches on the knees of my perfectly good pants so that I could look like my dad. Sameness. It’s the instinctual desire to be like and a primary point of connection that helps us form relationships. If you ever watch two people meet for the first time, you will hear their conversation search for something in common. “Oh, I saw Downton Abbey, too!” “Oh yes, Maggie Smith is my favourite actor, too”. “I can’t believe we both grew up in Inglewood! My goodness isn’t that amazing”. Now… As a pre-schooler I could look like my dad and go to work just like him. Sameness. I watch sameness work its magic after church, as we seek to establish relationship with one another. We talk about hobbies we have in common. We find common connections around where we’re from… “Hey, I grew up in Saskatchewan, too. What’s the name of your hometown?” I hear conversations around favourite kinds of tea, favourite gardening tips, and least favourite books of the Bible. We find sameness with people in our generation—any Carpenters fans here? Theologically, we find sameness as people of God. We are created in the image and likeness of God. Even though we have different abilities and skills, we find sameness in the body of Christ. There is oneness in our sameness. As ones created in the image of God and linked together as members of the body of Christ, we find comfort. We find a welcome. We feel connection. We honour the human need to be together. Sameness is the primary glue that bonds relationships generally, and for Christians in particular it helps form community. We celebrate sameness through our love of eating together, praying together, studying together, and holding a set of values together such as practicing compassion and unconditional love, growing community and extending the table of hospitality, as well as seeking a just, sensitive and inclusive community that chooses to embrace diversity despite differences. Theologically, these are principles and practices that we hold in common that help us settle into relationships where these values are generally the same. We gather around each other knowing that our expression of sameness is grounded in our image and likeness of God and our life together as members of the Body of Christ. Sameness. Sameness helps us begin relationships. And that’s a key understanding where the operative words are: “helps us begin”. Sameness is a rather shallow expression of relationship. Its roots are not very deep. And while it works to help us enter into relationship, by itself it doesn’t lead us very far. There’s an inherent murkiness to sameness if we remain stuck there. It is a point of connection, an entry point that provides opportunity for relationship but, it’s shallow and has a shadow side.
  Date: Sunday, September 22, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 19 mins 40 secs    
  Description: And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 This statement, found in the Genesis story just before Adam and Eve must leave the Garden of Eden, is one that I find fascinating. It’s a little detail that often gets lost in the bigger story of creation and Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge, but it is a detail that tells us so much about God’s relationship with humankind. This fall, we are talking about relationship, about God’s relationship with us, our relationship with each other and how those relationships are formed and nurtured. That one sentence, God made garments for Adam and Eve and clothed them, tells us so much about what God intends in a relationship with us. Adam and Eve have messed up. They ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge when they were told not to. Now their innocence is gone, and their time living in the Garden of Eden is ended. However, they are not being punished. God is not mad; sad yes, but not mad. This scene of God sewing clothes for the couple and then helping them get dressed is such a tender scene, filled with loving compassion. Perhaps I love it because I love sewing. I can just imagine God creating the clothing. It is a scene filled with the physical senses – the loving touch of God in creating the clothing, one last view of the garden, one last smell of the flowers growing there, and then God, leaving the garden with the pair. There was a time in Christian history, with influence from Greek culture, that anything to do with the body was considered not spiritual and even evil. Yet, the truth is that the expression of our faith is a very physical one. Over and over again, God is described in human form, in ways that engage all of our senses. As people of God, followers of Jesus, we are not disembodied.
  Date: Sunday, September 15, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 14 mins 1 sec    
  Description: I think that’s absolutely key to understanding the deeper aspects of John’s words in Revelation 21. This is a passage about relationship. It’s a text about how God seeks relationship and goes to great extents to remove any barriers that serve to separate people from God and each other as God’s people. The watery and chaotic deep that serves to separate us from love and disturb creation is no more; the pang of separation due to pain and death is eased as God so compassionately wipes away our tears—how intimate is the love of God that approaches us in these deep moments of loss and separation. In John’s words, we hear echoes of the apostle Paul who proclaims that, there is nothing that a can separate us from the love of God—neither death, nor life…. nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom.8:38-39)
  Date: Sunday, September 08, 2019       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 14 mins 58 secs    
  Description: Rev. Susan & Rev. David chat about the important of being together as a congregation. We have created, to borrow Brian McLaren's words, "a studio of love", where together we study and explore the teachings of Jesus, where we allow our lives to be shaped by God's love, and where we learn to express that love in many ways, becoming more loving versions of ourselves. We need each other. We don't have to do it alone. We need to be hope, love, care, challenge & comfort for each other.
  Date: Sunday, September 01, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 14 mins 23 secs    
Passage: Matthew 20:1-16    
  Description: Labour Day in Canada has its roots in a social movement that successfully managed to stop slave-like labour practices and begin the process of providing reasonable, just and safe work environments including the practice of 8-hour workdays. For our reflections here, we have a story from our tradition that infuses employee relations with compassion and generosity. At the end of the day in the vineyard, everyone has a living wage—not based on seniority or merit but based on compassion and generosity. The invitation of today’s gospel is clear: we who follow in the Way of Jesus are to practice God’s generosity, not begrudge it. That’s how life in Christian community functions. It’s not a merit-based system based on how long we serve. Instead it’s a compassion and generosity-based way of living a life of love and service one for the other. The owner of the vineyard acts with love towards those who lack income and purpose. His love is made real through acts of compassion and generosity. While the question of “what’s in it for us, dear Jesus?” is real and very human, the answer is surprising. As one’s who follow in the Way of Jesus, no matter one’s tenure, all are the recipients of God’s compassion, generosity and everlasting love. These gifts are ever eternal and ever present. And they are ours to embody, imitate and proclaim. When we practice and imitate divine compassion and generosity, we root our lives more deeply in God’s abundance and love. And that’s way more profound than living according to whatever merit we think we deserve or might be entitled to receive.
  Date: Sunday, August 25, 2019       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 19 mins 50 secs    
Passage: Genesis 2:2-3 & Psalms 23:1-6    
  Description: Rest is essential - a time away so that we can come back with refreshed minds and spirits and see things in new ways. That is what sabbatical is about. Rev. David and Rev. Susan shared some photos as well as a description of what they did and learned on their sabbatical. The photos can be found under the Worship Tab - Sermons in Print - if you want to see what they were talking about. However, listening to this recording should give you the full picture as well.
  Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019       Teacher: Linda Ormson     Duration: 16 mins 39 secs    
Passage: Acts 4:32-37 & Acts 5:1-11    
  Description: Sunday worship with Linda Ormson
  Date: Sunday, August 11, 2019       Teacher: Rev.Henry Friesen     Duration: 21 mins 19 secs    
Passage: Hebrews 9:24-28 & Mark 12:38-44    
  Description: Giving Our ALL; with sincerity, and from a deep sense of gratitude.

 

 


Spiritual Meditation - a Chance to Focus & Reflect
Created On Wednesday, 09 October 2019
on Sunday, October 27th you are invited to join the group at High River United Church for...
Update - Sexual Health for Parents (& other Adults) of Adolescents Workshop
Created On Wednesday, 09 October 2019
Saturday, November 2, 2019 10:00 am to 12:30 pm High River United Church Suggested registration...
Highwood United Calligraphers & Artists
Created On Friday, 27 September 2019
We have TWO Super Saturdays planned for October & November 2019 #1 Playful Versals Saturday,...
Friends & Family GAMES NIGHT
Created On Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Get ready for the return of Freinds & Family Game Nights! FRIDAYS, October 18 & November 22 6:00...

 

SUNDAY MORNINGS @ 10AM

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

(403) 652-3168

office@highriverunitedchurch.org

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