A Broken, Holy Hallelujah

My title for this sermon is drawn from Leonard Cohen’s wonderful song Hallelujah, in which he sings of a holy and a broken Hallelujah, a cold and a broken Hallelujah. He sings of how hallelujahs emerge from the ordinary aspects of human existence, from flawed and strained relationships. And yet they are still... Read More


Umbilical Living

Each of us carries with us every day of our lives a reminder of this state of grace in which we live. It is known as the bellybutton, the navel or the umbilicus. The navel is a scar that serves absolutely no purpose other than to remind us that once, we received all of our nourishment from the cord which was once... Read More

2018 worlds religion conference

Living a Meaningful Life

This is a presentation made as part of the World Religions Conference at Red Deer College on October 22, 2018. Presentations were also made by Humanist, Jewish and Muslim leaders. "A sense of the meaning of life is not like a possession that we can acquire and carry around in our back pocket; rather, it is more... Read More


Wondering Where I'm Bound

This is a presentation made as part of an Interfaith Dialogue, held as part of the Aging Well series at Sunnybrook United Church in October, 2018 There is a song we sing in the United Church that celebrates how God accompanies us in each stage of the life cycle: I was there to hear your borning cry; I was there in... Read More


Of Sheep and Goats

When we move past a simple charity response, to building relationships with impoverished people, one of the things we discover is that we also gain a great deal ourselves. We have a sense of having encountered something truly holy. We discover in our relationships of compassion and solidarity that we are not just... Read More


Overflowing Thanksgiving

Without the sense that things could be different, that we could easily be the person who fell among thieves, unless we learn not to take all the blessings in our lives for granted, we will never know either thanksgiving or kindness. And without the overflowing thanksgiving that splashes out kindness, without... Read More


What is Salvation?

What is salvation? There are some strange understandings of salvation that are widely held in Christian circles. But at its root, salvation is God's work of healing a broken creation. In both English and the languages of the Bible, salvation is related to the words for healing and wholeness. Our word salve, which... Read More


Open Hearts

The condition of a person’s heart is one of the chief concerns of Scripture. We may look on people’s appearance, “but God looks on the heart” and it is the condition of the heart that really matters to God. And it matters to God because it affects our relationships with one another. The heart can be open to God... Read More


Non-Violent Holy War

No war can truly be holy if it pursues holy ends by unholy means. Even if you believe a violent war is justified, it is always a compromise with evil. If we must have soldiers, as Reinhold Niebuhr once said, we should have sad soldiers. But a non-violent struggle against poverty, against pollution, against climate... Read More



Our faith is a grateful response to God’s faithfulness. God is faithful first. We live in God’s world, and God's loving grace is before and after, above and below, to our left and to our right, inside and out. Once we realize that, there is only one appropriate response, and that is to live with a similar grace in... Read More