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Settlers, Judgement and Sin – June 20

Blackbird – Jamie Hoffman Sunday School Activities We don’t like judgement and sin in the United Church. They are tainted words for us.  We associate them with a toxic kind of religion that puts up barriers to love and  inclusion, the tools of a Christianity rooted in moralism, literalism, and self-satisfied power used to bludgeon people on the margins of society—women, lgbtq2s…

June 13-The Sacred Expressions of Music

Psalm 57: 4, 6-10   Music Sunday  They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Neil Murray (Sax) Bob Hudgins (Piano) Earth Song – Voices United Choir You Do Not Walk Alone – Voices United Choir Come You Thankful People Come – Cast in Bronze Be a Light – The Band Sunday School Activities The Sacred Expressions of Music—Psalm 57: 4, 6-10June 13,…

May 30 – Fresh Expressions of God

2 Corinthians 13: 11-13  – Trinity Sunday  Sunday School Activities Prelude – Waltz #15 by Brahms – Bob and Neil Voices United Choir – The Plans I Have for You Such a short little scripture this morning, two little verses, a short farewell at the end of a  long letter. Why? Why this short, seemingly inconsequential excerpt on a Sunday the  church sets…

May 23 – Tending, Noticing, Harvesting

Acts 2: 1-12   Pentecost Sunday Sunday School Activities Sinfonia by Purcell(Neil) Domine Deus by Vivaldi(Joc This long weekend is the traditional kick off to gardening season.  I know we have many gardener’s at Parkminster.  Some of you have shared with me how gardening brings you closer to God.  The poet May Sarton says of gardening, “Everything that slows us down and forces…

May 16 – Han and Communal Suffering

Han and Communal Suffering-Asian Heritage Month Sunday School Activities   Celtic Blessing – Voices United Choir  When Heather and I approached the Worship and Music Committee about this Sunday  we joked today would be the equivalent of a teacher showing a film in class during a  particularly hectic week. It has been that, with the adjustment to Heather being away  and numerous hours…

May 2 – Carry On

Sunday School Activities Matthew 5:1-12 Asian Heritage Month Allegreto by John Stanley – Neil Murray Earlier last year, Raymond Chang went to Walmart. It was his first trip out of the house after he and many other Americans had started self-quarantining to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. Soon after he walked into the store, two women looked at him, and…

April 25 – Road Trips

1 John 3:16-24  New Member/Adherent Sunday Sunday School Activities Allegro in B Flat – Neil Murray For as long as I can remember I have loved roads. Roads are the circulatory system of our communities and the original information highway. Without roads, there would be no villages, cities, or towns.  They are the lifeblood of our connectedness, even in a cyber age.…

April 18 – Resurrection Witnesses

Luke 24: 36b-48 3rd Sunday after Easter (Earth Sunday) Sunday School Activities Today, in the gospel reading, we enter a room filled with Jesus’ disciples trying to understand strange rumours: the one they saw dead is alive! How can that be? And suddenly there he is, sitting with them eating fish. This Sunday is also Earth Sunday. And we can imagine or…

April 11-Laughter and Resistance

Laughter and Resistance—1 John 1: 1-8a 2nd Sunday after Easter Sunday School Activities Amid so much seriousness these days, you may wonder if there’s a place for joking around and laughing—a pandemic lockdown and all the stress that goes with it, racism in our lives, the news and social media feeds, economic anxiety and inequality and a great deal of unpredictability and…