High River United Church of High River, Alberta

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  Date: Sunday, September 17, 2017       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 22 mins 26 secs    
Passage: Genesis 1:1-2:3    
  Description: What do you think about rules? Are you a “by the rules” person who is dedicated to doing things according to the standards and practices set out by society? Or do you resist the rules, find ways to creatively or quietly work around them, or at least protest loudly (even if it is just in your mind)? What is your relationship with rules? And how are you at making rules for others? As a teacher, parent or grandparent, do you set rules and boundaries and stick to them? Or do you make the rules but then bend them a little here or a lot there when protests or tears come from the children? Then there are the rules & policies set by our elected government. In Alberta, we have an interesting relationship with government. It is often said in Alberta that we want less government and more freedom for individual choice. At the same time, we all realize that well-functioning government rules mean that we have safe drinking water, stable communities and quickly accessible health-care. Now, I’m not here today to tell you whether you should be a rule follower or a rule breaker, whether you should love government rules or resist them. What I do want to do today, based on faith tradition and scripture, is to talk about the paradox of rules and freedom. Here is what scripture says: Rules set you free! Rules set you free! As a young child in the 60’s, that is not what I remember being said in society about rules. The 60’s were a time of protests, challenges to rules and traditions, and experimentation with drugs, lifestyle, and music. Institutions were no longer valued for what they had meant in society. Individual needs and wants now took precedence over the good of the community. Rules, rituals, traditions, boundaries – all those were seen as bad. Creativity, individualism, uniqueness were named good! Each and every one of us – whether we love rules or resist rules – have been affected by the 60’s. We have embraced individual choice in everything from cell phones to dairy products. Some of you will remember the day when you walked into a store and had 2 or 3 choices at the most, not 50 kinds of yogurt and 40 kinds of cell phones. Now, most of us would feel quite disturbed if we suddenly were reduced to 2 kinds of yogurt or only 1 kind of bread on the shelf. We have fully incorporated and welcomed having a multitude of choices so that we can meet individual needs. And some of that is very good – for example, it means that people with particular food needs or allergies can buy nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and more – to stay healthy and be well. But the shadow side of all those choices is how much time they take in our lives.
  Date: Sunday, September 10, 2017       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 14 mins 1 sec    
Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 & Acts 17:28    
  Description: A conversation between Susan & David about how we understand time from a faith perspective.
  Date: Sunday, September 03, 2017       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 23 mins 53 secs    
Passage: Galatians 5:16-26 & Ephesians 3:14-21    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: I was scrolling through my Linked In news feed earlier in the week and noticed a post by an acquaintance of mine, Tim Neubauer, who worked with Samaritan’s Purse as part of the recovery efforts here in High River. His post, asked the simple question, “How then, shall we live?” Which is a very significant question for us who choose to follow in the Way of Jesus. In fact, it’s the same question that rests at the very root of today’s passage from Paul’s letter to the Galatians. A close read of Paul’s letters to the early churches always starts with words of introduction like: I Paul an apostle… to the church at Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, Galatia. Then words of greetings, blessing, thanksgiving. Paul uses the same formula every time. His opening words are always gracious and polite—every time in every letter… except to the Galatians where he skips the customary words of blessing and thanksgiving and instead expresses astonishment and amazement at their foolishness. Paul is highly frustrated with them. His letter to the Galatians is one of the clearest expressions of his theology and answers the question, “how then, shall we live”, perhaps better than any of his other letters. Why? Paul’s frustration is caused by some zealous agitators in the Galatian community who are arguing very convincingly that to be a good Christian, the Galatian men need to be circumcised. They need to make the same form of physical and outward commitment to the faith following the Jewish custom. This infuriates Paul, because on the one hand, the Galatians are not Jewish and don’t need to be, and on the other hand the agitators are saying essentially, “it’s up to us to prove we are worthy of God’s love as something to be earned by our doing.” Paul disagrees in the strongest possible language and argues that the agitators are operating from the wrong end of the relationship. It’s not about joining an ethnic group, or custom based on one’s capacity to produce merit. Instead, it’s all about God’s relationship with us as the provider of love that is unconditional and not something to be earned. In God’s love, as Paul argues, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). Therefore, no need for circumcision. Period. Paul seems to calm down as the letter continues, but his passion does not abate. The answer to the question, how then shall we live? is to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. It’s another way Paul goes after the bad theology surrounding circumcision. To understand the essence of Paul’s argument, we need to think like a 1st century Greek Christian mystic. Because, that is who Paul was.
  Date: Sunday, August 27, 2017       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 11 mins 6 secs    
Passage: John 15:1-5 & John 15:12-17    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: This is what happens when you don’t water a plant for several weeks. (Place dried plant on pulpit). This one still looks green in most places. But it is crisp, easily disintegrates when you touch a leaf, and it is done – not coming back, even if I water it now. As I read this week’s scripture from the gospel of John, I thought of this plant that I found upon return from my holidays (sitting in a place that no one would have thought of watering it – oops!). The image Jesus gives is just as clear as this dead plant. He says, “A branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it is connected to the vine – neither can you bear fruit unless you are connected to me.” Think of the grape vine – the vine carries nourishment and moisture from the roots and spreads it out to the branches that in turn deliver it to the grapes growing on the vine. Or imagine tomatoes growing on their stems and branches. I have huge tomatoes growing along my garage this summer – they have loved the heat. Sometimes, when I go to pick a tomato, I accidentally break off the branch that may have several green tomatoes along with the lovely ripe one I intended to pick. Once I have broken off that branch, there is nothing I can do. The green tomatoes are cut off from the roots, the vine, the stem. They may ripen if they are far enough along in their growth cycle, but if not, I have cut them off from their nourishment and moisture and that is it – they can not grow.
  Date: Sunday, August 27, 2017       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 20 mins 57 secs    
Passage: Psalms 148:1-14 & Jeremiah 4:23-28    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: When I read through today’s passage from Jeremiah, the image that came to mind was a pile of large ancient wisdom-filled books landing with a loud thud on my desk sending any dust around them into the air. Thud. The word of God lands and all around it shakes. No bird sings. We all wonder what life will be like when the dust settles. The book of Jeremiah is 52 chapters long. We need to know that there is no word of hope and reconciliation until chapter 30. From the description of Jeremiah’s call as a prophet in chapter One, the following 29 chapters are clear-shooting, poetic and poignant indictments against the people of Judah and their faithlessness. The consequences of their insincerity and disloyalty to God are prophesied to be catastrophic—politically, socially, theologically and environmentally. With a cosmic thud, Jeremiah’s prophetic prose lands in the midst of one the stormiest, most tumultuous times in the history of Israel.
  Date: Sunday, August 13, 2017       Teacher: Guest Worship Leaders     Duration: 21 mins 25 secs    
Passage: Genesis 37:1-28 & Matthew 14:22-33    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: Guest worship leaders: Marlene & Mark Podwysocki
  Date: Sunday, August 13, 2017       Teacher: Guest Worship Leaders    
Passage: Genesis 37:1-28 & Matthew 14:22-33    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: Guest worship leaders: Marlene & Mark Podwysocki
  Date: Sunday, August 06, 2017       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 14 mins 50 secs    
Passage: Matthew 5:13-16    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: Be salt! Be light! That’s the mission Jesus gives us. Be salt! Be light! for the world. In your communities. In your families. At work. At school. At play. In every decision. In every activity. In how you use your resources. In how you present yourself. Be salt! Be light! That’s what Jesus said was the Way for his followers. So what does it mean to be salt & light? ....... I’ve been pondering these ideas. We are to be salt and light – but too much salt and light aren’t a good thing. If the only food we had was salt, that would be bad for us and for the earth. If we had only light, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that would be bad for us and for the earth. What if, what if, Christianity isn’t meant to be the only faith in the world? What if there is meant to be a sprinkling of followers of the Way of Jesus throughout the world rather than a whole Christian empire ruling the world? What if we are here to bring out the hope, the healing, the welcoming, the joy in life – but not to be the whole show or the only show?
  Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017       Teacher: Bob Gibennus     Duration: 8 mins 20 secs    
Passage: Genesis 29:15-28 & Romans 8:26-39    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: There are no outsiders in God's family. We are welcome with our eccentricities, our gifts, our abilities, our challenges. No one has any special standing or any bragging rights. We are all brought together by the redeeming love of Jesus.
  Date: Sunday, July 23, 2017       Teacher: Bob Gibennus     Duration: 29 mins 25 secs    
Passage: Psalms 139:1-24 & Genesis 28:10-19    
  Series Summer 2017
  Description: On a bright summer morning, while the dew is still on the grass. God is there. In a noisy prairie thunder shower, while we scramble for shelter. God is there. On a warm summer evening, as we barbecue and visit with friends. God is there. In the companionship and love of High River United Church, God is here.



Winter Solstice 2018 Labyrinth Walk
Created On Thursday, 13 December 2018
For those who appreciate walking the labyrinth, as a way to focus your prayers, to calm your...
Experiencing Grief, Depression or Loneliness this Holiday Season
Created On Thursday, 13 December 2018
We know that this season is not Merry for everyone. Join us for our Longest Night Service on...
Thanks to the High River Downtown Businesses!
Created On Thursday, 06 December 2018
We love our downtown High River.....and its businesses! Thanks to these businesses who donated...
Don't Forget to join us for Games Night
Created On Thursday, 15 November 2018
Board games, card games, role-playing games and more. Bring your own or play one we have...



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

(403) 652-3168


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