December 7, 2003

Annabelle phoned me on Saturday morning this week to let me know that she was well enough that she was planning to be here for worship this morning. In the course of our conversation about the service, she asked me, “How’s the sermon going?” And I responded with something like, “It’s a work in progress.” It had begun more than a week before when I’d sat down in my new study here at the church, and opened up my bible to the lectionary readings for Advent II, Year C, and read the scripture texts for my first Sunday here at St. Andrew’s. That day I had jotted down some notes about the readings – things that struck me right off… the music of Handel’s Messiah that came to mind as I heard the words from the prophet Malachi … the hopeful sound of Zechariah’s song for the life of his son John, and for the Saviour whose way his son would prepare. And then there was the image of the apostle Paul, sitting in a dark jail cell, tired and lonely, and almost losing hope for his own future… but praying fervently for the churches that he had started, remembering the faithful Christians in Philippi. How they had grown in faith and numbers during his time with them! Despite his own desperate circumstances, Paul must have just glowed at the thought of the Philippians. And then he might have knelt and prayed… prayed that their faith would grow even stronger, … Read more »

September 21, 2008

Exodus 16:2-15Philippians 1:21-30 I go back and forth in my feelings about the ministry that I am called to be involved in within the church. Some days I am hopeful and excited and optimistic. Some days I am discouraged and disillusioned. Some days I have the sense that my work is making a real difference in people’s lives. And other days I feel like the world is so lost and misguided that we don’t have a chance of making any significant difference to anyone. In fact, I would say that most of my days in ministry are filled with a mixture of hopefulness because I am engaged in meaningful and important work, and discouragement because the needs I see around me are so great and I can’t imagine being able to respond to them all. Let me give you a few examples from my week. On Sunday evening, I made sandwiches with the youth group for Saskatoon Native Circle Ministry. I thought it was a worthwhile way to spend part of our evening for a couple of reasons… our young people would be learning to give their time and effort for others, and people who were hungry would get some good food to eat the next day. But I also wondered how we can possibly make it to a time when there won’t be any more hungry people. And I thought about the fact that a few sandwiches will do little to change the lives of our Aboriginal sisters and … Read more »

December 6, 2009

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6 I haven’t been experiencing a great deal of peace lately. I don’t mean that I’ve been literally participating in conflict, and I don’t mean that I’ve been troubled about my own relationship with God. But I haven’t been experiencing much peace because there has been some stress and anxiety in my work as a minister among you and within this presbytery. I’ve been a minister for six years now, and before I became one, I never imagined that part of my work would include the job of closing churches. I thought of ministry as preaching and leading worship, as teaching and praying and providing pastoral care. I thought of ministry as reaching out and trying new things, imagining new ways of sharing the gospel in word and action with a world that is lost and confused and in need of God’s help. The image of John the Baptist is very appealing. I can imagine myself (or the church as a whole) as the one crying out in the wilderness of our world. We cry out both warning and welcome. We warn that things must change — people must turn their hearts and their lives to God and God’s loving ways. And we welcome all people to come and be forgiven by God — to be baptized, to be cleansed, to begin again in relationship with the God who loves them. But while the people of John’s … Read more »

December 9, 2012

Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6 Today is December 9th, just sixteen days until Christmas. How are your preparations going? Do you have a “to do” list, and if so, are you getting things checked off on your “to do” list? I am the kind of person that likes to make “to do” lists. I make one almost every week for work, noting the various tasks and projects, calls and visits that I hope to do that week. It’s a good way to get a handle on things, to set priorities, and to lessen the likelihood of forgetting something important. If you were to make a “to do” list for yourself between today and Christmas, how many sheets of paper would you need? Maybe you have gifts to buy or make – you might need a whole list just for gifts! Maybe you have cards to send, or far-away friends or family members that you want to call. Maybe you have baking to do, special meals to plan, decorations to put up, a house to clean, get-togethers to attend, Christmas plays or concerts to watch. Oh, and some of you might have to go to work too, or have some exams to write for school in the meantime. I still have quite a few things on my list, and I’m not even planning for a big family Christmas gathering, nor do I have any kids to buy gifts for as many of you do. On this second Sunday in Advent, I want … Read more »

December 6, 2015

Malachi 3:1-4 Philippians 1:3-11 “Changing Direction” Last Sunday, following worship and fellowship here at St. Andrew’s, I went over to the park across the street and joined a crowd of maybe 300 residents of Saskatoon for a march to raise awareness about climate change. Besides the usual signs and placards of a protest or demonstration, the organizers had constructed a huge model of the planet Earth, which was held high as we marched up the Broadway Bridge to Oskayak High School where the speeches took place. I enjoyed the walk on a sunny, Sunday afternoon, and connected with a number of friends and colleagues along the way. But it was the moving and insightful speakers that made it especially worth attending. They all came from different perspectives, and framed their messages in different language, but the main point was the same. It was a dire warning – that we and the world need to change our practices before we ruin the good Earth that God gave us. “If we don’t change direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re heading,” is one line I’ll remember. Another striking comment came from a young woman who spoke passionately about the need for us to protect the environment for the sake of our children and grandchildren. She pointed out, “We are living like we are the very last ones who will enjoy the planet,” and she called us to become instead a “transition generation” who will begin to live in a new and … Read more »