April 19, 2015

1 John 3:1-7 “Voices of our Sisters” What a beautiful text from the first letter of John! It is a joy to proclaim those words every time we conduct a baptism: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” We are reminded each time that those words apply both to the child who has just been baptized and joined the family of the church, but they also apply to each and every one of us. At whatever age or stage of life or faith, we are God’s children because God loves us. We may act like the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable sometimes, going off in our own directions, doing our own things, and ignoring that most important relationship with our heavenly parent. But that doesn’t stop God from loving us, from longing for us to come home, and from welcoming us with open arms when we do. Our identity as God’s children does not depend on our being perfect, or even being good. But there is a sense that when we abide in God, when we stay close to God and engage in that relationship, that we will be transformed by it. The author of 1st John tells us that we are God’s children now. He speaks of a future time when Christ will be revealed and we will be like him and see him as he is. But in the meantime, we are slowly … Read more »

April 22, 2018

Psalm 23 1 John 3:16-24 John 10:11-18 “One Flock, One Shepherd” We are glad to welcome the Sons (& daughters) of Scotland to our worship today to participate in a special Kirkin’ of the Tartans, and to share food, and fellowship, and Scottish country dancing after the service. I have never led a Kirkin’ before, but I remember my home congregation in Ottawa hosting this service when I was a teenager. St. Giles Presbyterian Church (where I grew up) was a very Scottish congregation. Actually, by the time I was there, it was becoming more culturally diverse, but in the 1950’s and 1960’s, my understanding is that the church was an important place for Scottish folk to gather. Almost everyone was Scottish, and going to the Presbyterian Church was a great way to connect. In the 1980’s and 90’s there was still a remnant of the Scottish crowd, and I remember lots of Scottish accents among the older members of our church. And I was Scottish too (kinda)… a bit Scottish, a bit Irish, a bit Welsh, and a bit English. But I had a Scottish name, at least. When we did the Kirkin’ of the Tartans, I remember my parents being a bit critical of it. “We’re not a Scottish club!” they complained. “We’re a church! And many of us aren’t Scottish anymore. We have people from many different countries, cultures, and backgrounds.” But even if the Kirkin’ of the Tartans is clearly a Scottish tradition, I think it’s … Read more »