R-W Sermons



Portraits of the beauty of life presented from the pulpit of historic Robertson-Wesley United Church.


  • God started it!


    Scriptures: Joshua 24: 1-2a, 14-18 - We will serve our God John 6: 56- 69 - Lord, to whom shall we go? Struggling to be loving in the midst of the fear in the world? Struggling to be mindful in the midst of the distractions in the world? Struggling to be just in the midst of the injustices in the world? Great news: you do not have to start from scratch! God started by way of community, creation and covenant so let us learn to love in community, be mindful through the gift of creation and be guided by our Covenant with God. listen view

  • Communion - a gift to the church!


    This photo was taken by Rev. Karen Bridges at Policeman's creek in Canmore, AB.John 6: 35, 41-58 - Whoever eats my bread has eternal lifeWhat does an abundant life look like? Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” How does this get lived out in our faith?listen view

  • An expression of profound faith!


    Picture taken by Rev. Karen Bridges in Botswana 2017Ephesians 4:25-5:2 - Do not let the sun go down on your anger.Psalm 130 - Out of the depths I cry to GodFrom what depths do you cry and to whom? The readings today are filled with hope, even though they begin from a place of longing and pain. All too often, when we are in pain and suffering, we isolate ourselves from our church family, yet like the psalmist when we cry out to God we will find a way to wait in hope.listen view

  • Solomon - the wise!


    Photo taken by Rev. Karen Bridges1 Kings 3: 16-28; 6:1-14Solomon ruled in a time of relative peace which was good for him, because unlike David, he was not a warrior. Solomon was humbled that God chose him to rule, and in his early reign he prayed to God for wisdom and a heart to serve. He also asked God for strength to walk in God’s ways. God granted Solomon many things including a discerning mind and a loving heart. What would he do with these great gifts once he had the power of a King? How will we use these gifts that God gave us wisely?listen view

  • Action beats "Bling"...every time!


    2 Samuel 5: 1-5, 9-10Mark 6: 1-13How we can love the shiny, the new, the expensive, the'over the top'! In slang this is called "bling" and some people have it in the form of jewelry or hats, others in their home or church decor, others in their car or camping gear! But no matter how your "bling" shouts - it is your actions that speak the loudest and it is your active response to God's call that tells the world about your faith!listen view

  • David, the political strategist and mastermind


    Picture taken by Rev. Karen Bridges at The Banksy Exhibit in Toronto June 2018.2 Samuel 5: 1-6; 7:11-17Though David may not at first have seemed destined for Kingship, he was the man! He has been described as faithful, courageous, smart, sincere and competent. He was a good warrior and he had a presence that was infectious. He had it all and people loved him. But like all humans, he made some questionable choices. The question is, did he operate out of self-interest or did he work for the common good? What can we learn from his leadership?listen view

  • Saul, the King who did not want to lead a nation


    Talk about a set up! Imagine being offered a job you have not trained for, no one has held before in a time and land never having experienced this type of leadership! Oh, did I say offered? Saul was not given a choice but rather an anointing and a throne. Then people seem surprised when he could not fulfill the job as invented by his supposed mentor (who keeps showing up late for meetings!) How did Saul try to succeed in this new job and how did he spectacularly fail at being King? listen view

  • Samuel, the cleric who wanted to lead a nation


    Francis Cleyn’s Samuel’s Reproach to Saul, c. 1630-1635.  Copyright and used with permission from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/cleyn-samuels-reproach-to-saul-t05745. CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported1 Samuel 12:1-25When one is set aside to lead others it is both a frightening and empowering thing. When people seek our guidance, our hearts can swell and we can be humbled. However, if we do not continually connect with community, service and worship opportunities, our heads can swell. Samuel’s life was deeply rooted in prayer and his leadership respected by most. However, his parenting and his role as King’s advisor were weakened by his self-reliance. How can we humbly listen and act while always keeping our feet grounded in our community and human limitations?listen view

  • Let us not be a hindrance or stumbling block!


    Romans 14: 1-23 Do not judge anotherPsalm 15Paul spent a lot of his ministry reminding people of the new commandment that we are to love one another as I would love you. Jesus served God and not himself. In this passage from Romans, Paul reminds the people who are weak in faith that they are welcome, but not so that they can place their agenda on others. Jesus calls us to advocate and care for those who are oppressed in our midst. We are called to stand with the oppressed, to be their allies, but not in the way that suits our purposes. What does it mean to be an ally?listen view

  • Evangelism: what does that even mean?


    Acts 8: 26-40 and Psalm 145 Evangelism: what does that even mean? (and celebrating 93 years of the United Church of Canada) How can we share our experience of God’s love without negating others’ experiences? The debate about how to “do” evangelism is almost as fiery as what the word even means! Let us explore and ponder how Jesus and Paul shared their experiences of God with others. listen view

  • In Christ, there is no East or West…or is there?


    Galatians 3:23-29 and Psalm 148In Christ, there is no East or West…or is there?Paul’s teaching was focused on the amazing Grace of God to unite all – no matter what religious traditions they followed…or did not follow! After he died though his message was watered down or contradicted by others’ writing in his name. How can we live and proclaim the gift of Faith and Unity through the Holy Spirit when our tradition holds both that and other messages?listen view

  • Sharing visible signs of the grace of God


    Hebrews 11: 1-3 Faith is...Psalm 33The United Church of Canada has several statements of faith – the Twenty Articles of Faith (1925), the Statement of Faith (1940), A New Creed (1968), and the most current A Song of Faith (2006). Each statement has been written to reflect the times and how our faith is being expressed in that context and time. None replace the others, but add to the collective experience and understanding of our faith. On Trinity Sunday let’s express our faith anew.listen view

  • Pentecost: A Spirited Community Becomes the Church!


    Acts 2: 1-21 and Psalm 104:24-34, 35bPentecost: A Spirited Community Becomes the Church!What are the qualities of the earliest Christian communities of faith? What traditions did they begin that we continue which ones did they continue on from their own ancestors of faith and what practices have changed over the centuries that include or exclude more children of God from the experiences of worship and service? We will use this Pentecost Sunday to reflect so let us listen to the Holy Spirit’s work in the followers of Jesus to hear what She may say today!listen view

  • Look to the interests of others!


    The picture was taken by Tony Jansen while on tour in Jakarta Indonesia in 2018. Jim Triscott and Rev. Karen did some editing. The sculpture is called: Arjuna Wijaya Sculture produced in 2003. The plaque near the statue reads: "Sculpture relfects the radiance of inspiration for the spirit of cultural preservation. Philippians 2: 1-13 Imitating Christ’s HumilityOur statement of welcome and inclusion has been the guiding principle of how we long to work together. We continue to strive to ensure that all people are not only welcome in our space, but are empowered to participate fully as the spirit of God calls them. In the spirit of discernment and prayer we will explore how we live out our call to be loving, and take time to consider who’s not in present in our community.The recording of this sermons is only partial. The introduction did not record. The words will be included in the PDF copy once it has been transcribed. listen view

  • Integrity grounded in Christ


    Scripture: Philippians 1: 1-18a Paul’s prayer for the PhilippiansMovie: LadybirdThe movie Lady Bird follows the life of a high school senior who is struggling to find her way in a world that seems unfair. Her negativity, selfish ambition, envy and rivalry lead to hurtful acts, but like Paul through these times of suffering, a miraculous thing can happen when we stop fighting, and receive love and compassion. Being Christian isn’t about being seen by others as good and upstanding citizens in our community. Being Christian is about living our lives from a place of compassion and thankfulness. May our motives to live Christian lives come from a place of good intentions and unconditional love.listen view

  • How will they know we are Christian?


    Scripture: Acts 17: 16-31 Paul in Athens is distressed.Movie: 3 BillboardsPaul had a message for the people of Athens, a message he wanted them to hear. His message was “while God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” Like Paul, Mildred a mother in Ebbing Missouri, publically challenges the local authorities to stop ignoring the signs and seek justice for the death of her daughter. This is a story of repentance, compassion, suffering, human ignorance and reconciliation. How will we get the message of reconciliation and compassion out into the world as Jesus calls us to do?listen view

  • Stick to your convictions and see what arises!


    Acts 16: 16-34 Paul and Silas in PrisonA woman possessed, and a potential prison break are scenes worthy of the Oscars. However, we will instead use our imaginations and create our own story that demonstrates our commitment to stand up for our faith. May we be moved and inspired to dedicate our lives to God as the jail guard did, who asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” May we not succumb to a spirit of scarcity or greed, and instead live a faithful life of abundance.listen view

  • How Wide is Your Worldview?


    Oscar Movie Series Acts 9:1-19 Movies: "Get Out" and "Call Me By My Name" As Jesus' disciples came from more diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, his followers had to ask who is in...who is out? We also wonder too and we also can wonder if the invitation to follow this radical One includes us. These two movies (both about coming to realize who we are, where we come from and how to love courageously) explore this wondering in very different and compelling ways listen view

  • Love in all Shapes and Sizes


    Oscar Movie SeriesMovie: Shape of WaterJohn 20:  19-31Jesus' disciples had differing experiences of the Risen Christ. Thomas became famous for being the one to say "No Way!" However, we all have times in our journey of faith when we think God's love it too great to be true, Jesus' invitation is too big! Do you doubt Love comes in all shapes and sizes? This movie, written by the creator of many a monster, asks if we can enact this call to love all.listen view

  • Tell our stories boldly!


    Picture taken of butterflies made at the Art Studio at the Community DinnerJohn 20: 1-18 The Resurrection of JesusIn the end is our beginning. When Mary found the tomb empty and encountered Jesus after his death, her life was turned upside down! Through her tears she found healing in the light of Christ. Like Mary may we be awakened to a new way of living, a new perspective and the possibility of a new world. All is not lost but just beginning. Let us find ways to share our stories of faith and transformation with all who will listen.listen view

página 1 de 2