Sermon by Rev. Nancy Wetselaar for Parkview United Church July 27, 2014. Sermon Topic: “Is Anything Too Wonderful for the Lord”


Sermon by Rev. Nancy Wetselaar  July 27, 2014.   Sermon Topic:   “Is Anything Too Wonderful for the Lord”

Let’s begin with a story:

One dark night outside a small town, a fire started inside the local chemical plant
and before you could snap your fingers it exploded into flames and the alarm went out
to the volunteer fire departments from miles around.

When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president
rushed to the fire chief and said, “All of our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant.
They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the engine company that brings them out intact.”

The fire chief ordered his men to strengthen their attack on the blaze.

After two hours of fighting the fire another fire department was called in
and the president of the chemical company offered $100,000 to the
firefighters who could bring out the company’s secret files.

From a distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight.
It was the local volunteer fire company composed entirely of men over the age of 65.

To everyone’s amazement, the little fire engine raced passed everyone and drove straight
into the middle of the inferno.

Outside, the other firemen watched as the old timers jumped off their rig and began to fight the fire
with a performance and effort never seen before.

Within a short time, the old timers had extinguished the fire and saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president joyfully announced that for such a superhuman feat
he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave,
though elderly, fire fighters.

The local TV news reporters rushed in after capturing the whole event on film asking,
“What are you going to do with all that money?””

Well,” said the 70-year-old fire chief, “the first thing we are going to do is fix the brakes on the truck!”

Wonderful things continue to happen all around us, even when there is no reason to think they will.

Abraham and Sarah were old timers too. When Sarah laughed at the idea of bearing a child
in her old age God asked Abraham, “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord”?

We see that God must have a sense of humour. It seems miraculous that Sarah could have a baby
but she does. God used the normal, tried and true method to achieve pregnancy.
Yes, God performs miracles but seems to use people to make them happen.

There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief,
she went to the holy man and said, “What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring
my son back to life?” Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her,
“Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow.
We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.”

The woman set off at once in search of that magical mustard seed. She came first to a splendid
mansion, knocked at the door and said, “I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow.
Is this such a place? It is very important to me.”

They told her, “you have certainly come to the wrong place,” and began to describe all the tragic
things that had recently befallen them. The woman said to herself, “who is better able to help these
unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own?”

She stayed to comfort them, then went on in her search for a home that had never known sorrow.
But wherever she turned, in hovels and in palaces, she found one tale after another of sadness
and misfortune. Ultimately she became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that she
forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had in fact driven the
sorrow out of her life.

God uses us to do amazing things through us and for us.

Look at what Jesus did in our reading today. He must have known what he was doing when he
selected the crew he did. To be sure, some were from good Jewish families although none were
from the upper crust. But he also chose Matthew, a tax collector and therefore something of a
Roman collaborator, sure to be disliked by the Jews. Then there was Simon the Zealot, who was
far to the left on the political scale and who hated the Romans with passion. And do I even have to
mention Judas? Overall, not a good mix if what you want is harmonious working relationships!

Yet they went out and made the world a better place and brought the good news of Jesus to others.
Sort of sounds like any normal congregation, doesn’t it. We’re quite a mixture of folks yet our
commitment to Christ unites us and we accomplish more when we work together.

Sometimes it seems that awful things have to happen before miracles take place.
I want you to know that I don’t believe for a minute that God does these bad things to us
so that we can learn something.

Our loving, life-giving God has too many other resources at God’s disposal to help us grow.
Having said this, I do believe that as we weather the storms of life seeking God’s help, we
come out stronger.

Physical and emotional pain and abuse is never acceptable. And pain itself is not redemptive.
Yet suffering can be. I do believe that God continues to work in the midst of chaos
to create good. God can create beautiful things from the junk piles of our lives.

Paul wrote that when we learn to persevere through suffering, it builds character. We can, through
the grace of God, grow tremendously through suffering. Look at the recovered alcoholics who
witness to finding God only after they had hit bottom. That experience changed them and saved
them and they often spend the rest of their lives helping others to put their lives back together
with God.

The story is told of a man who found a cocoon of the emperor moth. He took it home to watch it
emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but
couldn’t seem to force its body past a certain point.

Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon.
The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.

He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did
not. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around  a
swollen body and shriveled wings.

You see, the constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening
force fluid from the body into the wings. The ‘merciful’ snip of the scissors was in reality, cruel.
The struggle was needed to bring fullness of life.

Is this not true for us too? With God in our lives we find joy and struggle, laughter and pain.
We also discover that God can use us to do amazing things when we reach out in love to one another
and to the world.

Our God is amazing, capable of bringing life from death, hope from despair and singing from tears.
God needs us to accomplish these things. How wonderful to know that we are needed.
Let us echo Sarah’s laughter and delight as we give all the thanks and praise to Almighty God,
who in Christ assures us of abundant life in him.

Sermon by Neil Anderson for Parkview United Church, July 20th, 2014. Sermon Topic: ‘Believe Like a Child. It’s so Simple’


Sermon by Neil Anderson, July 20th, 2014.  Sermon Topic: ‘Believe Like a Child.  It’s so Simple’


I heard recently of a church which involves young children in its Sunday Worship. Once-a-month a child is asked to take up the offering. In this story the little girl was 3 or 4 and Gramma bustled down the aisle behind her to make sure everything went OK. The offering plate was filling up with coins and envelopes when the little girl noticed that someone had put a bill on the pile. She was so delighted, she turned around to her Gramma, and in that hushed moment, whispered excitedly, “Gramma! We finally got some money!”


So, why do we, adults, make faith so complicated and hard to believe? Maybe it’s because we think as adults. We try to analyze and prove the things we believe. It has to add up, make sense, or be logical.

But in Hebrews 11:1 the Bible says: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Let me tell you what happened to Robbie and I and our friend, Jimmy………

Robbie and I had spent 3 years working in a very rural area of Korea. Our mission focus was as teachers in high schools but we got involved with many other projects as well. One was a building project, involving American GI’s as the labourers, supervised by Korean professionals. It was well publicized in Korean and American Army newspapers because, up to then, funding and expertise were usually supplied by Westerners and local Koreans provided the labour.

Several years later, after we had returned to Canada and were working in Canada jobs, we received a letter from the Director of Hillside House Christian Servicemen’s Centre in Korea, explaining that he would be retiring soon and would like us to take over his position. He explained that he had seen our earlier work with the GI’s firsthand and had followed its progress. He was convinced that we were the right people for the job. We, on the other hand, had our doubts. For one thing we didn’t meet the qualifications –American citizens with military experience and a chaplaincy or ministerial background.

He asked us to apply to the National Council of Churches, known as NCC, in New York City. With his encouragement, we did and, to our surprise, were hired within a matter of weeks. They wanted us to attend orientation and then fly to Korea right afterward.

The following weeks were hectic. We gave notice at our jobs, sublet our apartment, updated visas, passports, and shots and received our flight tickets. But just 2 weeks before we were to leave, an urgent call came from NCC-HQ to tell us the position had been cancelled. They told us to keep the tickets in exchange for the inconvenience.

What a surprise! No new jobs! No old jobs! No house! No Nothing! What were we to do? So we prayed. We asked God to tell us what to do. And He did! After a day or so, we felt that we should take the plane tickets and go anyway. There was nothing to hold us in Canada and with savings from the things we had sold, we knew we’d be OK while visiting friends in Korea.

What we didn’t know was that God still had another plan of His own!

Our first stop after landing in Korea was Hillside House. The Director and soldiers were ecstatic because they had been praying that we would somehow still come. We were an answer to their prayers. We learned that the problem with this mission to servicemen was that it had run out of money to keep the 2 Servicemen’s Centres open. It was decided at NCC HQ in New York, therefore, to close the Centre furthest north called Frontier House.

But, the local group in Seoul didn’t like that idea. They wanted to keep both Centres open. To do that they were willing to sell off some of their property if we would agree to move to Frontier House and keep it running on faith until the money ran out.

We jumped at the chance and ended up running the Frontier House for another 2 ½ years, until an American army chaplain was recruited to take over. (By the way the Centre is still actively operating today.)

Frontier House itself was regarded as a home-away-from-home for the GI’s of the 2nd Infantry Division of the American Army which was attached to the UN Peacekeeping Forces. It was located in TongDuChon near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. In the city, it was common to have tanks in the streets, helicopters overhead, and alerts which caused lockdowns on the base and panic in the streets. If you have ever watched the TV show “MASH”, well that’s where we lived. Our town of TongDuChon was right beside UiJongBu where the Medical And Surgical Hospital or MASH was located.”

Our facilities and programs reflected what the fellows would have at home because that’s how they thought of the Centre, their home-away-from-home and their retreat. We had kitchen facilities and staff who made great meals, bunkrooms for overnight passes, TV room and chapel, a games room with ping pong and pool tables, and a large living room for hanging out, parties, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and discussions about life and faith. The atmosphere was friendly, and supportive and everyone had a wonderful time.

Robbie and I loved to get the GI’s and their wives out into normal Korean society so we planned trips around the countryside, taking them to points of interest and visiting our Korean and missionary friends.

We were really excited, therefore, when the Director of Hillside House in Seoul asked us if Frontier House would take over a prison ministry that he ran, visiting foreigners who were prisoners in the Suwon Penitentiary, because he was going home to the USA.. When we ran the idea past our guys, they were unanimous. And that started a whole new ministry from Frontier House to the prison.

Every Saturday, Robbie and I, with several servicemen and their wives, would take our guitars, and lots of home-baking, pile into our truck and head out on the 3-hour trip to Suwon. Once there, the 12 inmates (10 American and 2 chinese) joined together sharing, praying, and singing songs like our Praise Team does here at Parkview. We listened to their problems and we talked a lot about our faith And We Laughed!

Some of the prisoners were Christians already, but everyone joined in the discussions.

That is, everybody except Jimmy.

Jimmy was the only black soldier in the group. He was also the groups’ cook. So he was very important. Jimmy was a very sharp, scientific thinker, which made him really skeptical of Christianity. He always came back to the idea that You couldn’t see God; so He wasn’t provable; so He didn’t exist. Jimmy wanted something tangible, something he could touch and feel. This attitude went on for months and then one day at the end of our visit, Jimmy grabbed my arm and pulled me aside from the group. Immediately, the Korean prison guard became nervous and advanced toward us.

  • Mu Hagasaeo?” he called out gruffly. “What are you doing?”
  • I said: “This man wants to talk to me about his faith!”
  • The guard replied: “Well make it quick!”
  • Then Jimmy said: “Neil, do you remember that verse we read last week, the one about believing as a little child? Well, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind all week. Then suddenly Thursday night it hit me. That’s my problem! I’ve been trying to understand God on my terms, and as an adult. But He’s been telling me that I have to accept Him as a child would, innocently, without hesitation, without proof, but with love and acceptance as a child would accept the love of a father. So Neil, what do I do now? I want to become a Christian.
  • I said: ”Well Jimmy you just did it! Now why don’t you tell God what you just told me. Let’s get down and pray. You tell God what you feel.”
  • Again the guard was nervous and said, “What are you doing now?”
  • I told him we were going to pray. Amazingly, he stepped back again and let us pray.
  • After we finished, Jimmy said: ”Now what do I do? Can I be baptized?”
  • Absolutely.” I said, thinking immediately of just the man for this event, Reverend Russell Young, a UCC minister and missionary who was introducing pig co-ops to farmers down country.

Two weeks later our group gathered around the water pump in the middle of the huge exercise grounds of the prison. With Russell performing the Sacrament and me pumping up lots of water out of the well, and with all the Korean prisoners and guards looking on, Jimmy was baptized!

Robbie and I are still amazed when we look back, at how our life all came together. You see

  • we never expected to return to Korea after the mission was cancelled,
  • we also never expected to be running Frontier House, and really
  • we never expected to be visiting Suwon Prison.

But God had His Plan and performed His miracles to make it, as the Bible says “all come together for good for those who love God”

And just as Jimmy found out, when we have faith as a child,God does perform miracles.

The amazing thing about faith is that “It’s So Simple” Just open your heart and mind, and let God lead the way.

Sermon by Sarah Greensides for Parkview United Church, July 13, 2014. Sermon Topic: Super-Heroes United


Sermon by Sarah Greensides, July 13, 2014.   Sermon Topic: ‘Super-Heroes United’

“Super-Heroes United”

For those of you who don’t know much about me, I am a teacher. I teach high school English. One of my favorite units of study to teach is in my grade ten class. It is our unit on heroes. I actually begin this unit using the exact same activity completed this morning during children’s time. Together we read short stories, poems, articles, and personal stories illustrating various kinds of heroes. The heroes described in these texts range from superhero types to the realistic heroes whom we all can relate and make a connection to. We read a non-fiction article about vigilantes who chased a drug dealer out of their hometown; a short story about a young woman battling cancer who relies on the people around her to keep her positive; a personal essay about a young woman who learned first hand about the lasting effects of simple acts of kindness; and an essay about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. The unit ends with an inquiry project where the students research a hero of their choice. Ultimately, the students discover that heroes come in various shapes and sizes, wear an assortment of masks, and fight to overcome some sort of obstacle to make the world a better place for one or more people.

We are living in a world of increasing unrest. We are living in a world where we often wish for heroes to swoop in and save the day. We have witnessed horrendous events such as the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City and the increasing escalation of conflict in the Middle East. There are wars and rumors of war swirling around us. Each time we turn on the television or surf the internet we are bombarded with more tragedies: killings of school children by school children, illness, animal abuse, the homeless – hurting, hungry and disconnected in our own or neighboring communities. How are we as faithful people supposed to respond? Sometimes it is so difficult to whisper a prayer for encouragement, healing, or hope. Sometimes it is easy to lose or bury the “seed” that is within us.

This morning’s New Testament reading from Matthew was the parable of the sower and the seed. We learn that a farmer scattered his seed on various terrain. Some of his seed fell on a path where birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky places and sprang up quickly but later withered and died due to the sun’s scorching rays without ever having taken root. Some seeds grew among the thorns which eventually choked them out, BUT other seed fell on good soil and produced a most impressive crop.

There are two kinds of soil described in this parable: there is the bad soil and there is the good soil. At this point, I’m sure you are expecting me to ask you all, “What kind of soil are you?” The truth is, I believe that the two kinds of soil exist within all of us.

Bad soil is unreceptive and incapable of being overwhelmed by extravagant kindness. Bad soil is closed off from all the goodness around them. It is the part of you and me that doesn’t want to hear how much we are loved. It is the part of us that prefers to dwell on the satisfaction we get from lust or hoarding or success. Bad soil is incapable of producing seed because it is closed to the daily graces, which can transform us and help us grow.

Good soil on the other hand, simply produces. It produces because it is that part of us that is receptive to seed; it is open to considering the princely character of grace and the pure love of God. We know that bad soil can lead to dead ends but we also know that receptive minds and spirits can prepare us for new possibilities. Good soil is that part of us that seeks to let God do his thing with us – affirm us and stimulate us to produce the kind of caring and generous spirits which heroically can change the world.

The way that the farmer sowed his seeds is similar to the way Jesus went about his ministry. Jesus wasn’t doing anything as predictable as sowing grass. He was trying to sow the Word of God on the unpredictable soil of the human heart. Not only is it unpredictable, it is invisible, which means that you can’t tell, just by looking, what kind of heart someone has. So you begin to sow seed everywhere and in every way imaginable. Some people talk to their friends and neighbors quite openly about their faith in God. Others try to show their Christian faith by example. Some leave gospel tracts in public places and others perform random acts of kindness. All of these can be ways of sowing seed. A lot of it will fall in places where it never takes root. Some of it will fall in places where it gets a good start but doesn’t last. Some of it will fall in places where it gets choked out by competing interests. That’s just how it is. Jesus himself could have told you that. But he could have also told you this – that sometimes the scattered seed of the Word finds good soil and grows and produces a bountiful crop. You can’t predict just how or where the seed is going to fall, or when or if it is going to produce, you just scatter it wherever you can and hope for the best.

As I was preparing for today, I did some research online and found the following story by a retired pastor. The pastor tells about the time he got a phone call from a woman whose father had died. She had been a teenager in one of the churches he had served twenty years before, and he would have sworn that if there was ever a person who never heard a word he said, that teenage girl was it. She was always giggling with her friends in the balcony, passing notes to boys, drawing pictures on the bulletin. But when her father died, she looked up her old pastor and gave him a call. “I don’t know if you remember me,” she started. Oh, yes, he remembered. “When my daddy died, I thought I was going to come apart,” she continued. “I cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do. But then I remembered something you said in one of your sermons …” The pastor was stunned. She had remembered something he had said in one of his sermons? It was proof enough to him that you can never tell how the seed will fall or where it might take root.

I cannot help but connect this to the job of a teacher. I am continually throwing “seeds” or “knowledge” or “wisdom” in the direction of my students but I can rarely tell which seeds take root and which seeds are lost or choked out by other distractions. Often I see my students zoning out, looking out the window, or doodling in their notebook and I wonder if they are hearing anything that I am saying. But, once in a while a student will stop me in the hallway or visit me in my classroom and they will share how a particular “seed” affected them or how it had helped them in another class or a life situation.

So, how does all this relate to heroes? There are thorns and rocks all around us. We have the power to be our own heroes or a hero to someone else. We have to get our hands in the soil. We have to dig in that dirt. We have to pull up those rocks and we have to root out those thorns. It may hurt, but we have the power to turn bad soil into good, so that it will bear a plentiful crop. Heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and many others who have made a difference in our lives have labored and helped to prepare the soil. These heroes dug in deep into their lives, got their hands dirty, cut, nicked, pulled up roots and rocks and thorns, so that Jesus’ seed could take root and a harvest could follow.

We all can bloom. We all have the capacity to produce a good harvest. We all have the ability to give the gift of hope to others with God’s grace. We are capable of all these things but we must be willing to get our hands a little dirty and a little banged up and cut up for others and for Jesus.

Please pray with me today.

Sermon by Rev. Nancy Wetselaar for Parkview United Church, June 6, 2014. Sermon Topic: “Why We Keep Coming” (Job 23: 1 – 17)

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Sermon by Rev. Nancy Wetselaar, June 6, 2014.   Sermon Topic: “Why We Keep Coming” (Job 23: 1 – 17)

I Am Canadian! This past Tuesday our country celebrated with parades and fireworks and flags, with music and dancing and parties. We live in a great country.

It is my prayer that “God keep this land, glorious and free.”

In celebration of Canada Day I want to share a video with you. It’s a song we learned when our sons were young and we made our yearly visit to Eastern Ontario on our holidays. It was on a tape we played in the car for the kids that we all enjoyed. All the songs on the tape were about Canada, written and sung by Canadians. Our favorite is printed in your leaflet this morning and on the screen thanks to Paul and Teresa. Every time I hear this song I feel proud to be a Canadian. I hope you will be too!

Song Eh Canada!

I went to meet some brand new friends

and what do you suppose? They said,

O, you’re from Canada, that place where it always snows.

And policemen all ride horses, and they always get their man.

I’d love to visit Canada. Is that where they make cans?”

(not exactly, but…)

We’re the second largest country in the whole round world.

We have the smallest ocean. Way out east in Nova Scotia

the ocean makes the biggest motion.

We have a third of the world’s fresh water

and the planet’s largest lake. And if you want to speak

Canadian you better polish up you’re “eh”!

Cause I’m from C, eh, n, eh d, eh. That’s O Canada,

my home and native C, eh, n, eh d, eh.

That’s O Canada. Just north of the U S eh!

When I say that I’m from Canada, they tell me, “ O how nice.

You must be fond of hockey and live in a house of ice.

And when you folks get hungry, I’ll bet you’ll bag a moose.

Then fly south for the winter, on your own Canadian Goose.”

(not likely, eh)

But, we love our maple syrup. It’s the apple of our eye.

And you can come and spend our Loonies

on a piece of fungi pie. Our Thousand Island Dressing

is known the whole world through.

And once you’ve tasted Nanimo Bars,

you’ll want to be a Canadian too.

Cause I’m from C, eh, n, eh d, eh. That’s O Canada,

my home and native C, eh, n, eh d, eh.

That spells O Canada. Just north of the U S eh!

We gave the world the snow mobile,

inspired Winnie the Pooh. And instant mashed potatoes

are a Canadian invention too.

We’ve two official languages. We aim to s’il vous plait!

So to parlez-vous Canadian you better practice votre “eh”!

Cause I’m from C, eh, n, eh d, eh. That spells O Canada,

my home and native C, eh, n, eh d, eh.

O Canada. Just north of the U S

Eh can you C, eh, n, eh d, eh.

O Canada, my home and native land.

So, Happy Canada Day, everyone. May God keep our land glorious and free.


It’s good to be here with you today. Hank and I have appreciated the welcome and support you as a congregation have given us in my retirement. It’s good to have a church home. And it really does feel like home for us. Thank you.


We need to be here today because we have had a very difficult week. Hank’s brother-in-law had a major heart attack on Tuesday and it was pretty touch and go for a while. He still has a long way to go. He is stable and awaiting open heart surgery. It has been a scary time and I prayed to God that God would get us all through this somehow.

And God has and we are getting through it thanks to God’s presence in our lives at this difficult time.


Job – from our scripture reading today, was a decent human being living through a very difficult time in his life.

He asked for God’s help too but felt he didn’t get it. However he certainly discovered something about our living God. I suspect there are many here who, in our own way, are in the midst of making this discovery. Perhaps the best way to describe what Job is discovering is to say that, Job has come face to face with the wildness of God.


That may be an odd way for you to hear this—that God is wild. Theologians might use different language. They might say that God is sovereign, that God is inscrutable, or that God is free. But I am saying to you that God is wild because that is the only clear way to say that God is not domestic.


The Book of Job is all about God who has never been tamed, never been domesticated, not showing up when summoned, absent. It is all about, “Where is God when you need him?” It is about a good man who called God to his side in a time of trial and got no reply. It’s a terrible thing. And a lot of people who have known the absence have abandoned faith and turned out the lights inside, and locked the door, and walked out alone into the night because of it. They abandon the Bible and its wild stories. They say the Bible isn’t true.


The truth is the Bible knows all about the absence of God. The Bible knows that God cannot be captured and trained. It knows that God is not, in this sense, available.

God says, “You cannot see my face…”
God says, “Your ways are not my ways…”
God says, “I will be what I am up to…”


This is why we need the church. We need to hear the stories of God, especially the unlikely ones, the unmanageable ones, the untamed ones.


Remember, we don’t come to church because God is present here. We come to church because in most of our experience, most of the time, God is absent. Oh, there is the stunning moment of God’s appearing in the landscape of our life—here and there, now and then—but it is a brief and shining moment. Most of our time is spent in the absence.


People think we’re stupid to go to church. They say, “You’re not aflame with faith and free. You’re just going there out of habit.” Sunday morning, sun comes up, having no will and no freedom of your own, you say, “I’ll go to church just like always.”


Well, we’re not that stupid. We are in the church because the community is telling the unlikely stories and holding the faith. The community holds the faith and tells it and sings it when we cannot hold it and tell it and sing it for ourselves. The community remembers when we have forgotten. The community speaks the sacred name even when the sacred name has fallen silent on our lips. The community knows that it’s God’s world even when we’ve become convinced that the world is godforsaken, left alone to broken promises and abandoned dreams.


So, it is important to find your place in the church where the tales of the wild God are remembered and told for us.


We need to do this because life isn’t perfect. Even our beloved Canada isn’t perfect.

Canada may be a proud jurisdiction, but it has an intolerable rate of violence against gay and lesbian people, the casinos are full and the churches are empty, but spend your life on a First Nations reserve or in the Native neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Winnipeg, then go out and speak about Canada being the best country in the world.

As a church we try to do something about these intolerable situations.

As a church we can remind each other that God may not be available, but God is still God.


Martin Luther said that he’d plant young apple trees if he knew that today were his last day in the world—he’d be out planting life, planting young apple trees. That’s what the church is all about – nurturing life until God chooses the time of appearing.


And then my friends, then you will know why you kept the old stories, or more truthfully, why they kept you. Then on that day, you’ll remember why the anger kept burning in your belly with a flame that refused to die. Then you’ll realize why, day after day and year after year, you kept putting your feet on the floor on Sunday morning so you could go to church. Amen