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May 21 - What does a Christian look like?

Podcast-May21

In a sermon reflecting on Paul's Letter to the Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21 Laurence asks "What does a Christian look like?" Surrounded by people who wear outward signs of their religion and way of life, how do Christians stand out? As Paul argues so forcefully, outward observance of rule and ritual doesn't guarantee our salvation. But what we do, how we demonstrate our faith is still important. He begins by talking about the Maritime Bhangra Group, Sikh men from Halifax who perform for charity. He also mentions CBC journalist Brian Stewart.

 

The Maritime Bhangra Group on the Halifax Waterfront

The Maritime Bhangra Group on the Halifax Waterfront

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May 14 - The Church Decides - Reaction or Response?

Podcast-May 14

In a sermon based on the story of the first big decision made by the First Church of Jerusalem, Laurence draws our attention to the deeply-held beliefs we all have, and how they can direct our actions in ways we may not recognize. He identifies the difference between reaction and response. The text is Acts 15:1-18. Laurence also quotes from this article by psychologist Matt James.

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April 30 - Muscle Memory and Fishing from the Other side

Podcast-April 30

In a sermon on John 21:1-14, Laurence reflects on the story of the risen Jesus' appearance on a beach in Galilee. Seven of his friends are offshore, in a fishing boat. Jesus directs them toward a miraculous catch of fish. In order to catch the fist, the disciples have to change positions and move to the side of the boat they've never fished from. They have to learn a new way to be, move, and fish. Laurence quotes from two books by Brian McLaren, the church on the other side (now out of print) and The Great Spiritual Migration.

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April 23 - The Road to Emmaus

Podcast-April 23

In a sermon for The Second Sunday of Easter, Laurence reflects on the beautiful story of two disciples who met Jesus on their journey home. This story is told so we can find ourselves in it, as disciples far removed from the time and place of Jesus' resurrection. Gospel is Luke 24:13-35.

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Good Friday - Life Affirming Death Awareness

Podcast - April 9

In a sermon for Good Friday Laurence invites us to reflect on the presence of the cross, an instrument of death, in our worship. He says the cross and the death of Jesus call us to healthy Death Awareness.

Laurence quotes this article and refers to the work of Dr. Robert Firestone. He also points to the Celtic cross on Glenview's Communion Table and this window, in the west transept of the church. (Photo credits: Paul McDonald)

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April 2 - Jesus in Jericho, Looking for the Lost

Podcast-April 2, 2017

In a sermon based on two stories of Jesus in Jericho, from Luke 18:35 - 19:10 Laurence invites us to hear the tales of the blind beggar at the city gate and the tax collector up the tree in the town square. Did the beggar already have saving faith when he met Jesus? Was Zacchaeus already a good and generous man when Jesus saw him out on a branch and went home with him?

Laurence begins the sermon telling part of the story of Fiona Stewart-Darling, a Church of England priest who is a Chaplain to the business and financial community at Canary Wharf in London. You can read an interview with Fiona here.

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March 26 - Filling Gaps and Closing Chasms

Podcast-March 26, 2017

Laurence's sermon reflects on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It's sometimes called "Dives and Lazarus". "Dives" means "rich man". He doesn't have a name in the story. In fact Lazarus, a poor man whose ironic name means "God helps", is the only character in any of the parables who has a name. He isn't the Lazarus we meet in John's Gospel when Jesus calls him out of his grave. This Lazarus dies and stays where he's planted, with Father Abraham in Heaven. "Dives" also dies and he's surprised to discover where he's planted for eternity. This story gives the gap between rich and poor an unexpected twist. Reading is Luke 16:19-31

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March 19 - Prodigal Lovers

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March 19 - Prodigal Lovers

In a sermon on the familiar Parable of the Prodigal Son, Laurence reflects on God's call to us to be Prodigal Lovers. A prodigal spends something of great value extravagantly, until there is no more. But there's no limit on God's love. Reading is Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

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February 26 - On The Edge of Glory

In a sermon for Transfiguration Sunday Laurence reflects on the purpose of mountaintop experiences in our lives. He begins with Lady Gaga's song, "The Edge of Glory" to describe the experience of Jesus' first disciples. Jesus took three of them up on a mountain, where they got to look beyond the edge of glory and see more of who Jesus was than they had ever seen before. Laurence quotes from Col. Chris Hadfield's book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth to illustrate the power of a mountaintop experience to change us, and send us back down to live everyday life in a way that changes the world. Gospel for the day is Luke 9:28-45.

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February 5 - Far From La La Land

Podcast - February 5Insert text then audio fileInsert text then audio file

Laurence responds to current events, including the shootings at the mosque in Quebec on January 29 in a sermon on Luke 6:1-10. In that Gospel story a Roman Centurion reaches across the divide between the conquerors and the conquered. Jesus reaches back, heaving the slave of an enemy of his people. This enemy turns out to be compassionate, and respectful of the community among whom he serves the Empire.

These were the Words for Meditation offered to the congregation before worship on Sunday:

To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege. It is a kind of blasphemy. Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love and practised cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still, small voice almost inaudible beneath the clamour of those claiming to speak on his behalf. What God says at such times is: “Not in My Name.” ~ Rabbi Jonathan Sachs

Laurence quotes the Imam of the Imdadul Mosque in North York. These are the Imam's words as he preached to his congregation last Friday morning:

For, though we are grieving and many in our communities are afraid and feeling victimized, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not come to teach us to be paralyzed by our fears or to wallow in self-pity, or to be mouthpieces for grievances. He came to teach us how to heal and how to be healers, how to respond to ugliness with beauty, how to be fully human in times of ease and in hardship.

 

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January 29 - Anniversary Sunday

Podcast - January 29

Podcast - January 29

To celebrate Glenview's 92nd Anniversary Guest Preacher Rev. Helen Smith talked about carrying the things we value from the past forward, without being afraid to change or adapt to meet new challenges. Glenview was born in a time of controversy and struggle, but grew to be a vibrant congregation. Text was Luke 6:1-16.

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January 22 - Fishing in Deep Water

Podcast - January 22

In a sermon for the Third Sunday After Epiphany Laurence reflects on the story of Jesus calling his first three disciples, as told in Luke 5:1-11. Before the three fishermen leave everything behind to follow Jesus, he challenges them to dare to fish in deep water. Secondary reading was Ezekiel 47:6-10. The service included the Sacrament of Baptism.

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January 15 - Jesus Goes Home to Preach

Podcast - January 15

In a sermon based on Luke 4:14-30 Laurence talks about Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, and what it was like for Jesus to go home for the weekend and worship in his home synagogue. The congregation were proud of him, until he started talking about the purpose of his ministry.

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January 8, 2017 - A Saviour With Dirty Feet

Podcast Graphic - January 8, 2017

In a sermon for the observance of the Baptism of Jesus Laurence talks about Jesus' immersion in the history and life of his people, Israel, and in our life today. At Jesus' baptism God called Jesus "my son" and the Spirit descended on him. God calls us beloved children in our baptism, and ordains us for service in this world. Reading was Luke 3:15-22.

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