February 18, 2017 | For our first Sunday of Lent we once again face the wilderness. Wilderness, in the Bible, is a vast, empty space where life is harsh if not impossible. We may think of wilderness where Lewis and Clark trekked, across forest, river and mountains of space with little human contact. But the Sinai is more empty, bleak, with almost no visual changes to draw the eye. In this environment, with no other people, or faces, social contacts, law, or status, you have nothing but your “self” (whatever that is) and soon your demons come forth in this solitary place. This is why spiritual seekers go out to empty wilderness. It is to find out what is within. What temptations lurk in the shadows. The quiet voices in the daily background, unconscious yet powerful, become conscious and exposed. Wilderness brings us to a choice.
February 11, 2018 | This week our scriptures invite us to sail into the mystic. All the great religions of the world emerged out of encounters with God, that radically changed the lives of those who encountered the Holy. They were transfigured, and their experiences gave birth to the faith traditions we celebrate today. Transfiguration can come in many ways, both gradual and dramatic, which begs the question, “What is a transfigured life?"
February 4, 2018 | In our reading from Mark’s gospel we find Jesus after a long day of preaching in the synagogue, healing a man who had been possessed by an unclean spirit and who knows what else. As the day comes to a close Jesus, with the disciples, head over to Simon Peter’s house for a warm meal and some time of rest. When they arrive Jesus is quickly directed to Simon’s mother-in-law who is deathly ill with a fever. We read that Jesus, “came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her and she began to serve.”
He lifted her up. Who do we lift up?
Or to look at it another way, when do we need lifting up?
January 28, 2017 | In our reading this week from Mark’s gospel Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit. In ancient times, mental health issues were often identified with spiritual possession. Something was believed to “take over” a person’s psyche, imprisoning them by forces greater than themselves. While we cannot rule out spirit possession, we know that we are possessed by many things that need to be cast out. Virtually all of us have behaviours that we struggle with that are large and small. We know often what’s best for us, but often also succumb to temptation. Like the man in the story, we need assistance from an energy and wisdom greater than our own.
Jan 21, 2018 | This week we hear the call of the first four disciples from Mark’s gospel. After forty days in the wilderness, Jesus begins his ministry proclaiming the good news of God. Jesus goes to Simon and Andrew and then James and John and says, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they went and followed Jesus. There wasn’t a “well let me think about it” or a “let me get permission from this person or that person”, or “will you pay better than what I’m getting right now.” They just immediately follow Jesus.
January 7, 2018 | This week we hear about Jesus' baptism by John at the river Jordan. Jesus’ baptism invites him to embrace his calling as God’s messenger, teacher, and healer. It is unique to him, and sets him apart as God’s healer and saviour. Yet, is it also possible that it provides us with an opportunity to ponder our own unique vocations to be God’s companions in healing the world?
December 31, 2017 | May there be reasons to celebrate the closing of this past year. May there have been places that offered opportunities for growth. May there have been times for being with family and friends. May there have been joys to share.
If this past year had moments of grief, may comfort come in the new year. If this past year had times of challenge, may hope come in the new year. If this past year had times of difficulty, may peace come in the new year.
Join us on this last Sunday of 2017 as we look ahead to the coming year sharing together in worship and fellowship.
December 24, 2017 | “‘And so, this is Christmas,’” in the musical words of John Lennon. This is a story that we have heard told again and again each year. The mysterious pregnancy, the laboured journey to Bethlehem, the star, the stable, the multitude of angels in the blazing sky, the haste of the shepherds discovering the newborn baby, and the broad proclamation that from this moment everything in the whole world had changed. All because this event, ... more than any other event, has made a place for you and me. Despite the immensity of the universe of stars, galaxies and planets in their courses ... the birth of God with us has shown that God is— with us.
May your Christmas this year be filled to the brim with meaning, love and thankfulness ready to be spilled out in the lives of others.
Rev. Lorrie Daly-Price
December 10, 2017 | As Scrooge discovers in the ghostly visit to his past, over a lifetime, the things we remember or those things we refuse to allow ourselves to remember can have a significant impact on who we are and how we live in the here and now. In Scrooge’s case, it was the memories that he repressed, those ones he refused to face, that had the greatest impact on who he had become —a miserable, ruthless, lonely old man. Scrooge is asked to “look upon” the reality of the world and it cracks him open a bit and compassion grows. This Sunday is about our own “looking upon” the world and knowing that love is what we are made for.
December 3, 2017 | In the midst of this busy season, we look forward to slowing down, for even just one hour and sharing a musical presentation mixed with readings and reflections. This presentation has been adapted from Silent Was the Night by Lani Smith. Join us as we take some time to capture the calm, quiet celebration of Christmas.