Sermons

Here are the texts of some of the sermons (or “reflections”) recently offered in our Sunday worship times. If they are part of a series on a theme, they are grouped by that theme. Otherwise, they are listed in order of date, starting with the most recent.

 

Psalms for the Summer

June 30  Why Do the Nations Rage?  Psalm 2  (for  a special evening service before Canada Day)

July 8  Amazed in the Midst  Psalm 8

July 15  Arising Against Lying  Psalm 12

July 22

July 29

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (on baptism)

June 10  Signed

June 17  Sealed

June 24  Delivered

 

Easter 2018 (including reflections from John 11)

April 1  The First Laugh

April 8  Waiting

April 15  no service (ice storm!)

April 22  If Only You Had Been Here

April 29  Greg away

May 6  The Weeping Resurrection

May 13  But on the Other Side of the Stone

May 20  Our Mother Tongues (Pentecost)

 

Lent 2018 (including reflections from John 10)

Feb 18  We’re All In This Together

Feb 25  Lying Down on the Job

Mar 4  The  Fight with the Wolf

Mar 11  Gripped

Mar 18   Rev. Dr. Donna Mann led worship

Mar 25  They Got Jesus

 

Winter 2018 (including reflections based on John 9)

Jan 7  Surely the Presence

Jan 14  Invading the Darkness

Jan 21  Interrogating the Light

Jan 28  All I Know

Feb 4  Brought Into Focus

Feb 11  Your Good News

 

Advent & Christmas 2017: Stepping into the Waves

Listening to the events around Jesus’ birth, we ask how God called people to “step into the waves.”

Dec 3  Stepping . . . When Things Haven’t Turned Out Right

Dec 10  Stepping . . . Into the Extraordinary Ordinary

Dec 17  Stepping . . . When You’re Already Doing the Right Thing

and for Christmas Eve:  Singing Adoration

 

Fall 2017

Oct 22 Called to Be a Temple (for our 182nd Anniversary)

Oct 29 Celebrating What Luther Celebrated (Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary)

Nov 5  Okay, But Not Okay, and That’s Okay 

Nov 12  Ready for the Long Wait

Nov 19  Risky Investments

 

Practicing God’s Presence (2017) Exploring how prayer and the Lord’s Supper help us know the presence of Jesus

September 10:  Praying in Jesus’ Presence (also the skit “Our Father“)

September 17:  Praying with Jesus Around Our Neighbourhoods

September 24:  They Were Not Strong Enough

October 1:  Formed for Jesus’  Presence by Broken Bread

October 8:  Jesus’ Thanksgiving Table

October 15:  Supper at Simon’s

 

A Ruler for God’s People (2017) More reflections on the times of King David

April 30: A Daring and Costly Choice

May 14: Escaping the Cave

May 21: Your Splendour Lies Slain

June 4: Dangerous and Delightful

June 11: Building the House

June 18: The Thing David Did

June 25: The Grace of Not Getting Away with It

July 2: A Wise Woman for a Broken King

July 9: The Agony of Victory

July 16: Why David?

July 16: Great David’s Greater Son

 

Easter Season 2017

April 16: They Knew

May 7: Showing Up Early

 

The Gospel of John (2017) Continuing our look at this early record of Jesus.

January 15: Following Jesus UnSuccessfully

January 22: Challenging Authority

January 29: Knowing the One Who was Sent

February 5: Come Thirsty and Drink

February 12: Divided, Dismissive and Dumbfounded

February 19: Rock of Mercy

March 5: Seeing the Light

March 12: The Light Across the Ice

March 26: Our Noxious Burden

April 9: The Last Enemy

 

February 26: Tending to the Time

(the Sunday of Elora UC’s annual finance & property meeting)

 

Advent & Christmas 2016: Getting Ready for Jesus by Worshiping with the Canticles

A canticle is a song found in the Bible. Canticles have often been given a
title that is their first word in Latin. Luke’s account of Jesus’ arrival includes some
well-known canticles. This Advent and Christmas, we’ll be listening as these canticles
draw us closer to the Saviour.

Nov 27  Singing after the Silent Treatment (Zecharias’ Benedictus)

Dec 4  Singing after the Quickening (Elizabeth’s Ave Maria)

Dec 11  Singing after the Blessing (Mary’s Magnificat)

Dec 18  Singing after the Consolation (Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis)

Christmas Eve Celebration   Excelsis (The Angels’ Gloria)

Christmas Eve Communion  Singing after God’s Pleasure (The Angels’ Gloria)

 

Called to Be EloraUC stewardship-themed reflections (a special section)

 

Oct 30  Yet I Will Wait (Annual Memorial Service)

Oct 27 Refugees’ Rage (St. John’s Anglican Church Evensong service)

Oct 23 Jesus’ Family (for our 181st Anniversary)

Sept 25 Calling and Celebrating Together (Touchstones)

Oct 2 Really, Really Big Meal (World Communion)

 

A Ruler for God’s People (2016) Reflections on the times of King David

June 19 What’s It All About?

June 26 Can We Sing with Hannah?

July 3 Ichabod: God’s Glory, Gone!

July 10 Ichabod: Glory in the Dark

July 17 Ichabod: Glory on a Cow-Cart

Aug 14 Your Servant is Listening

Aug 21 Everyone Else

Aug 28 The Broken King

Sep 4 The Lord Sees

Sep 11 The Loving God! . . . Remember?

Sep 18 Washing Away the Dust of the Soul

 

Various reflections (2016)

May 8 (Ascension Sunday):  What do we mean when we . . . Pray in Jesus’ Name?

May 15  (Pentecost):  We took part in a pulpit exchange.

May 22 (Trinity):  The Audacity of Experiencing God

May 29:  What do we mean when . . . We Call the Bible ‘God’s Word’

June 5: Deep Roots of Happiness

 

The Gospel of John (2016) Continuing our look at this early record of Jesus. (Earlier reflections are further down this page)

February 21: More That We Can Handle

February 28: Taking Him Into the Boat

March 6: Held in Trust

March 13  Greg was away.

March 20: Hard to Take

March 27:  Rushin’ To-and-Fro and His Suggestive Absence

April 3: Magdalenic Faithfulness

April 10: People Breathing Peace

April 17: Praising Thomas

April 24   Greg Smith-Young was away.

May 1: Reading for Life

 

February 14 (First Sunday of Lent):  What do we mean when we . . . Confess our Sins?

 

February 10: Church People Need AshesRev. Greg preached during the Ash Wednesday service held at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Elora

 

January 2016: The Story of Esther

An  orphan  in  exile  becomes  the   most  powerful   woman  in  the  empire.  A
condemned  man  becomes  prime  minister.  A  hateful  fool  does  himself
in.  A humiliated and endangered minority comes to be saved and respected. It’s all in
the Book of Esther!

January 17: Who Knows?

January 24: Pop Goes the Weasel

January 17: Saved to Stay

February 7: We celebrated the festival of Purim. No sermon this week. Just lots of silliness!

 

Christmas Eve Communion  Keeping Company with Shepherds (Angels We Have Heard on High)

 

Advent 2015: When We Centre on Christ . . . 

What difference does it make when we find Jesus at the centre of
our lives? This Advent, we explore how the Baby in a manger changes how we see everything.

November 29  . . . We See God Differently

December 6 . . . We See the World Differently

December 13 . . . We See Humanity Differently

December 20 . . . We See Love Differently

 

Fall 2015

September 6  New and Renewing  The Work of the United Church’s 42nd General Council

September 13  We Still Believe!

September 20  I Still Believe! My Un-Apologetic Apology

September 27   We had a congregation meeting during worship.

October 4  Reconciliation Journey: Legacy of the Indian Residential Schools

October 11  Carole Kennedy reflected on her recent pilgrimmage along El Camino de Santiago in Spain

October 25   Guest preacher: Debbie McMillan

November 1  The Gospel in Miniature  (guest preacher: Paul Miller)

Called to be the Church . . . An Embassy (different versions on different occasions)

October 18   Elora United Church’s 180th anniversary

November 1   United United Church’s 7th anniversary (near Midland, Ontario)

November 8   Bethany United Church’s 172nd anniversary

November 8  Walking with My Black Dog (a personal reflection about depression) 

November 15  Stay With Us (for our annual memorial service)

November 22  Guest preacher: Rabbi Cory Weiss

 

The Gospel of John (2014-2015)

The earliest Christian records include 4 different accounts of Jesus. One of these is called “The Gospel of John.” “Gospel” means good news. The word’s roots are in public celebrations of great events. John, who was perhaps one of the first followers of Jesus, tells us about his experience of the Lord. This is Good News, for us all!

September 7, 2014  Someone You Do Not Know

September 21, 2014   The Lamb Soaking Wet

September 28, 2014   Seeking, Staying, Seeing

October 5, 2014   The Ladder

November 30, 2014   Advent 1  The Beginning Word

December 7, 2014   Advent 2  Rejected and Received

December 14, 2014   Advent 3  Down and Dirty

January 25   A Wedding Saved

February 1  Contemplating Cana

February 8  Crashing the Temple

February 22  God Loves Making Babies

March 1  Snake on a Stick

March 8  Out of Darkness

March 15  Popularity Contest(ed)

May 3  Come Thirsty

May 17  Worship for Wounds

May 24  Being the Well

July 5  Hearing is Believing

July 12  Do You Want to be Well?

July 19  Like Father, Like Son

July 26  Jesus’ Witnesses

 

Loving God Many Ways (2014-2015)

We are all made to love God. A relationship with God is at the core of our spiritual DNA. However, just as our genetic DNA is different from person to person, so too is our spiritual DNA. We have different ways of living and expressing our love for God. Through the year, we’ll be looking at the different “spiritual pathways” we can follow as we love God. Which ones fit you?

September 14, 2014  Loving God Many Ways

October 12, 2014  Care Givers: Loving God by Loving Others

November 16, 2014   Traditionalists: Loving God with Our Ancestors

January 18   Activists: Loving God through Seeking Justice

February 15  Contemplatives: Loving God through Adoration

March 22  Ascetics: Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity

April 19  Enthusiasts: Loving God Emotionally, Creatively and Expectantly

June 14  Naturalists: Loving God Outside

June 21  Intellectuals: Loving God with our Minds

June 28  Sensates: Loving God by Engaging Our Senses

 

United Church’s 90th Anniversary 

We were part of a shared worship service with 7 other congregations. My reflection was the middle of 3.

June 7  Flowing Life

 

Palm Sunday and Easter

Palm Sunday  March 29  Singing at Both Ends of the Week

Easter Sunday  April 5  Catching Up to Resurrection

April 12  Breathing Out Resurrection

 

Christmas Season 2014

December 21, 2014  Waiting for God (reflections on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)

December 24, 2014  Christmas Eve Communion:  Iesus Ahatonnia (reflections on “The Huron Carol”)

December 28, 2014  ‘Tis the Season

 

What Can I Say? (Fall 2014)

We’ve all had the experience of being with someone who is grieving. We wonder what we can say to help. And we don’t want to say something that hurts. 

November 2, 2014   Okay, But Not Okay, and That’s Okay

November 9, 2014   Sitting by the Sandcastle

November 23, 2014  Sitting with the Unanswered Question

 

Other Fall 2014 Sermons

August 31, 2014  God’s People at Work — for Labour Day Weekend (Bethany only)

October 19, 2014  The Heavenly Choir — for the final service with our music director, Louise Elder

November 2, 2014  Rock Solid — for Bethany United Church’s anniversary service

 

 

From May to August, Greg Smith-Young was away on a sabbatical, and also some vacation time. We hosted various guest preachers, and also worshiped at Knox Presbyterian Church.

 

Holy Week  (Spring 2014)

April 13, 2014  Wales Window (Palm & Passion Sunday)

April 20, 2014  Seeing Things (Easter Sunday)

 

Learning to See: The Letter to the Ephesians  (Winter-Spring 2014)
Even on the darkest night, we can see . . . if we have something to help us. We are using the Letter to the Ephesians to help us see better. Who is God? Who are we? What sort of world are we living in? How is Jesus changing things? What does all this mean for our daily lives? . . . all questions this letter wrestles with.

January 12, 2014  Flares in Our Dark Sky

January 19, 2014  Power Shift

January 26, 2014  A Most Unlikely Turn of Events

February 2, 2014  Walls Broken Down

February 9, 2014  A Most Blessed Failure

February 16, 2014  Walking in Balance

February 23, 2014  Walking in Step

March 2, 2014  Walking Well

March 9, 2014  Walking in Love

March 16, 2014  Walking in Marriage

March 23, 2014  Jesus Gets Married

April 6, 2014  Slaves and Masters: Rewriting the Code

April 27, 2014  Gearing Up

 

Sermon Scripts from 2013