You are not alone. Come share the journey.

Sermons by Rev. Joe Gaspar

Insistent Love

Insistent Love—Matthew 21: 1-11  (April 5, 2020—Palm Sunday) We’re all scared, by things we never imagined could make us fearful; touching the bananas in the grocery store, the neighbour coming your way on the narrow sidewalk you share, the mail, a trip to the drug store.  For some of us, the fear is entwined with livelihoods.  For some of us simply going…

The Upside Down

The Upside Down[1]—Matthew 5: 1-12  (March 29, 2020—5th Sunday in Lent) If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, “Stranger Things”, you know about a place called “the upside down”, the alternate reality where the rules of daily living no longer apply, where fear and confusion dominate and danger lurks, I was going to say “around every corner” but there are no…

Persistent Friend – 3rd Sunday in Lent

Persistent Friend—John 4: 5-42  March 15, 2020- 3rd  Sunday in Lent I am a lover of words.  I love to play with words.  I love the power that words have to to change our way of thinking about something ordinary or mundane.  One of my favourite examples of this occured in the relationship between between the former Waterloo Presbytery and former Hamilton…

Haunted by Eden

Haunted by Eden[1]—Genesis 2: 15-17, 3: 1-8  March 1, 2020- 1st Sunday in Lent Adam, Eve, the serpent and the apple—it is one of the seminal and best known stories in the bible.  Ask someone that’s never set foot in a church to name a story from scripture it’s likely they’ll name this one.  I think it’s been given too much importance. …

God’s Beloved Community

God’s Beloved Community—John 17: 20-26 February 16, 2020-Black History Month Service There was a time when I struggled with the need for things like Black History Month, with displays of rainbow flags, with days set aside for women.  I come across a fair number of well-meaning people who struggle with this as well.  It can feel like the cohesion we used to…

Community and Change – Letting Go

Community and Change-Letting Go-Jeremiah 1: 14-16 & Mark 2: 18-22  (February 2, 2020) Here is another light bulb joke for you, how many Anglicans does it take to change a light bulb?  The answer—ten, one to change the light bulb and nine to say how much they liked the old one.  It can be hard to let go of the old, even…

Bread for the Journey

Community and Change-Bread for the Journey-Exodus 16: 1-6, 13-15 (January 26, 2020) Last week I started this sermon series on community and change with a light bulb joke. What makes light bulb jokes so great for this topic is that they point our particular quirks or approaches to change. Here is another one, having picked on the United Church last week we’ll…

Wandering in the Wilderness

Community and Change-Wandering in the Wilderness Exodus 13: 17-22 (January 19, 2020-2nd Sunday after Epiphany) I hope you like self-deprecating humour.  How many church members does it take to change a light bulb?  The answer—“Change!?  We don’t change!”  Individual change is hard enough but institutional change that involves so many people with different personalities, values and agendas can be daunting, rife with…

Nothing to Prove

Nothing to Prove—Matthew 3: 13-17 (January 12, 2020-Baptism of Jesus) I can’t imagine anything more frustrating than having my identity stolen. Frank Norman, from St. John’s, Newfoundland had this happen to him after his wallet was taken. It was one nightmare after another for him. He was arrested for stealing from a Wal-Mart even though he’d never been to the town in…

Christmas – The Next Day

Christmas—The Next Day—Matthew 2: 13-23 (December 29, 2019—1st Sunday after Christmas) (This reflection relies extensively on the work of Nadia Bolz-Weber.  It is an adaption of her sermon, “Fear vs Love: a Sermon about 2 Different Kinds of Men.”  It can be found at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber?s=matthew+2) To coin a common phrase these days, “Well, that escalated quickly”.  It was just five days ago…