"It's easy to get Lent backwards." Reverend Canon Douglas Williams explains.
How do we open ourselves to the Grace of God? Mother Joyce Locht seeks answers from Nicodemus.
Mother Alexis Saunders discusses work, food, and the Garden of Eden.
Father Matthew Johnson discusses the Sermon on the Mount.
Reverend Canon Douglas Williams muses on rules and regulations set out by the Bible, and how to recast them as "descriptions" rather than "dos" and "don'ts."
Mother Joyce Locht explores suffering - "Feeling the depth of our own needs sharpens our understanding of others' suffering and pain."
Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins muses on the meeting of Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, and Christ in the Temple.
From a reading of Matthew 4:12-23, Jenny Scott, Pastoral Student, asks us to "have the courage to be followers . . . and through this may the dark places in our lives continue to be overtaken by Jesus' radiance."
Mother Joyce Locht discusses the Week of Prayer for International Unity.
Sister Mary Christian Cross re-imagines St. John the Baptist through contemporary eyes, which leads to new ways of practicing righteousness.
In a pulpit exchange from First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Pastor Lori-Ann speaks on the Epiphany.
Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins looks to the rich traditions of Orthodox Churches of the East, which take us to the heart of the mystery celebrated during Christmas season.
In this season of Advent, Father Matthew Johnson asks us to both anticipate and recall the presence of God through the birth of Jesus here on earth. And what, he ponders, if God were to come to us again two millennia later? Father Matthew presents a moving scenario of two low-income parents struggling on the edge, as was the story of Jesus.
In the season of Advent we are in a period of waiting. Mother Joyce Locht explores what it is we are really waiting for, and where we look for what we seek.
Advent, the season of joyful expectation, is given renewed depth and meaning if we pray and ponder The Advent Prose. Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins shares his thoughts on this distinctive compilation of verses from the prophet Isaiah.
Father Bill Crockett preaches about what it would mean for St. James’ Church to become a more mission-centered parish and how this relates to the review process in which St. James has been engaged.
What is the bottom line for Stewardship? Sister Mary Christian Cross discusses Stewardship in terms of the reasons why Dioceses, parishes, and churches exist.
Father Matthew Johnson explores Stewardship with an eye to the diversity of all who worship at St. James'. "We all contribute to the life of St. James' in different ways. All of them -- including financial gifts -- are precious to God."
Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins discusses stewardship in its fullest sense, as the responsibilities of our baptismal promises, and in a narrow sense, as the use of our resources of time, talent and money in the service of God. “So give as you have received.”
Mother Alexis Saunders discusses the prophet Joel and the concept of obedience. Obedience, she suggests, is about transforming our relationships to one of attentiveness, by listening and by being held accountable. This is something Jesus declared many times, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Thanksgiving can mean many things, and in this sermon Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins focuses on Thanksgiving as the practice of unceasing gratitude. He illustrates with key writings from Philippians, Philokalia, Book of Common Prayer, and shares a personal story of grief. “Give thanks for everything, even what seems grievous.”
Canon Douglas Williams reflects on a startling admission from Pope Francis — “I am a sinner.” Canon Williams suggests that “In those rare moments of clear perception and honesty, when we are able to say with Pope Francis, ‘I am a sinner,’ we know that God is always the solution; God is never part of the problem.”
How do we bear the words and images from flashpoints of violence and injustice? Father Matthew Johnson finds in the ancient Book of Habakkuk not only questions that echo our own today, but words that bring to us a measure of peace so longed for.
How close to God do you feel? Is your relationship with God as it should be? Have you been as transparent as possible before God? Are you prepared to seek change? For guidance in answering these questions Revd Dr. John Oakes points to Psalm 139, a text which offers strength, balance and renewal through a timeless picture of God.
Mother Alexis Saunders explores a radical tradition of hospitality that centers around the concept of “ghos-ti,” an ancient Indo-European word which means at once guest, host, stranger and enemy. She explains that if we welcome all who show up at our door with a cordial reception – stranger, friend or enemy – and listen to their story and hear their humanity, we are meeting our obligation of radical hospitality. It is an obligation that may demand more from us than we ever expected to give.
Is faith a vision? Is it fidelity? Is faith a higher faculty than reason? Mother Alexis Saunders gives an inspiring sermon, and explains how “faith is a way of the heart.”
What is the meaning of Orthodoxy and why does it matter? Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins tackles some intriguing questions.
When we admit to our own failings, we open ourselves up to the transformative power of God’s grace. Archdeacon Ellen Clark-King recounts St. James’ journey from egoism to divine humility, and urges us to follow in the path of St. James, the truly Great.
Father Matthew Johnson relates the story of Abraham's hospitality to travellers.
If we look at ourselves with clear eyes, into the darkness that we so often are, then we realize the unending love and mercy of God. Canon Douglas Williams explains.
What did Jesus mean when he said, 'My peace I give to you.' Sister Mary Christian Cross explains.
Why does the story of Elijah have more intrigue than any modern novel or movie? Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins explains.
Canon Douglas Williams gives an inspiring sermon about what amazing creatures we are.
Week Eight of the Beatitudes Series. Persecution was part of the life of the early church. Mother Alexis Saunders explains why the last Beatitude of the series can be troubling.
Week Seven of the Beatitudes Series. At the Last Supper, what did Jesus mean when he said 'my peace I give to you'? Sister Mary Christian Cross explains.
How do we bear the words and images from flashpoints of violence and injustice? Father Matthew Johnson finds in the ancient Book of Habakkuk not only questions that echo our own today, but words that bring to us a measure of peace so longed for.
What is it that sustains you in your faith journey? Why does it matter if we connect, locally and globally? Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins shares his thoughts on why the very nature of God is community.
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Week Six of the Beatitudes Series. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Mt 5.8 How do we find that purity of heart which leads us to the vision of God? Read here Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins sermon.
Week Five of the Beatitudes Series. Mother Jessica Schaap gives her thoughts on how being compassionate towards others will bring you happiness.
Week Four of the Beatitudes Series. Father Matthew Johnson explains how those who hunger and thirst are not longing for righteousness or spirituality.They are righteous already, yet hungry and thirsty, simply because they are poor.
Week Three of the Beatitudes Series. What is meekness? How is it a positive quality? Canon Douglas Williams shares his thoughts about how meekness is essentially the same as humility; being honest with yourself about who you really are.
Week Two of the Beatitudes Series. Sister Mary Christian Cross explains how the power of the Holy Spirit gives us strength.
Week One of the Beatitudes Series. Mother Alexis Saunders explains how to become poor in spirit is a hard and painful lesson to learn in this life. But the promises are great.
From the gospel reading for Easter Day (John 20:1-18), Mother Jessica suggests that there are four things that are of absolute importance to the event of the resurrection. These four things were crucial to the first disciples of Jesus and they are crucial for us now. They throw us a challenge and an opportunity. With these four things we can truly celebrate Easter and know the power of the resurrection to change lives.
Great Vigil of Easter: 'Anointed Risen Christ is the Morning Messiah'
Read here Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins sermon about the Promises of God.
Good Friday: 'He was Nailed to the Cross for Me'
Read here Bishop John Hannen's Good Friday sermon.
After the Last Supper had finished, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. What happened there? Bishop John Hannen explains why is it so important to ‘Watch at the Altar of Repose.’
Wednesday in Holy Week: Redemption and Salvation
Read here Bishop John Hannen's inspirational Holy Wednesday sermon.
The invitation of this Tuesday is not only to recognize how much our Lord loves us, but the invitation is to love Him back in the very same way.
Monday in Holy Week: Our Love of God Must Come First
Read here Bishop John Hannen's first sermon for Holy Week.
Father Douglas Williams explains the importance of simple acts of spontaneous human decency and kindness.
Why do we come to church? Sister Mary Christian Cross explains.
Third Sunday of Lent: 'What is Your Soul Thirsting For?"
Read here the text from Mother Jessica's addess.
How can humility lead the soul back to God? Mother Alexis Saunders explains how humility is the force that gives us the strength to deal with the challenges in our lives.
How can the temptation of Jesus serve as a model for us? We can expect to be tempted every day of our lives. Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins explains some of the many ways in which we are tempted, and how we can learn from Jesus to make better choices in our lives.
Jesus brings Peter, James and John on a trip up the mountain. Jesus' face and clothing start to sparkle. Perhaps we, like Jesus, will be transfigured? What is the meaning of this for us today? Father Matthew Johnson explains.
Do we need to be baptised? How do we renew our vows of baptism? Sister Mary Christian Cross explains how we all need to go out in the world and shine light into the darkness.
When we reject someone, does it say more about us than it does about the person we are rejecting? Mother Jessica offers some insightful comments about rejection and anger.
Bishop Remi De Roo explains how Jesus came to be in solidarity with all of us through baptism.
"Let us give thanks for baptism. Let us live each day giving loving service to one another."
"What can I give him, poor as I am?"
"Give him your heart, so his light can shine in your life."
Sister Mary Christian Cross offers an inspiring sermon for Epiphany.
In this season of the Holy Family, Father Matthew Johnson encourages us all to draw inspiration from Mary and Joseph as we seek to shape the life of our own families. Christian families must be a place of safety, respect, love, personal growth, service, and shared prayer.
Read here the text from Mother Jessica's address.
Read here the text from Father Mark’s address.
Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins explains how, as Christians, "we live in the world in safety and in danger – this is the condition and paradox of discipleship. It is a dangerous thing to gaze upon the Christ-child and believe."
Father Douglas explains how perfect love casts out fear - and God's love is perfect. "God waits for us with love and forgiveness."
Bishop Michael Ingham shares with us a summary of the beautiful season of Advent.
“Live radically in the present, because you don’t know what time you have left.”
The Book of Jeremiah: Seeing the hope of God amidst the destruction in our lives.
What message does this remarkably introspective individual have for us today? Mother Alexis shares with us stories about this intriguing and dynamic prophet.
Pentecost 26: Reign of Christ the King
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's sermon: Part three of the Stewardship Series.
What is it that you are thankful for?
For part two of the Stewardship Series, Father Matthew Johnson shares his thoughts about why we should contribute in any way we can, out of thankfulness for the very gift of our lives.
Read here the text from Father Mark's address: Part one of the Stewardship Series Remembrance
Run the race! Sister Mary Christian Cross explains why we must run towards our goals in the journey of life.
How would you like to lead your life? Are you encouraging of others? Mother Jessica reflects on Mark 10: 46-52.
How do we feel peace with God amidst our suffering? And in the midst of the suffering of others? What does suffering mean in our lives? Mother Alexis shares the wisdom from the Book of Job.
The Liturgy of the Mass: Part 4
The Eucharistic Prayer: Father Matthew explains how the gifts of bread and wine offered at mass transform into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The Liturgy of the Mass: Part 3
Sister Mary Christian Cross explains the parts of the mass that come after the readings. She shares with us stories behind these ancient traditions, some reaching back to the third century. She also shares her thoughts about Saints Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and All Angels.
The Liturgy of the Mass: Part 2
Read here the text from Mother Jessica's address: The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Mass: Part 1
Father Douglas explains the history and meaning of the elements that make up the introduction of the mass.
The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. Song of Solomon 2:8 Father Mark explains how Christ calls us and draws us closer into the mystery and fires of love.
Father Mark reflects on a letter from Paul, written from prison. How does each piece of armour worn by the guards symbolize the gifts we receive from God?
Mother Alexis describles the writing in the bible know as 'Wisdom Literature.' What is the character of this wisdom? How can this wisdom help us today?
Bringing together the bread and wine - how can this lead to eternal life? Sister Mary Christian Cross explains.
The well known story of David's wrongdoing to Uriah and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:1-15 is a powerful text about discovering moral accountability. Mother Alexis Saunders reflects that moral autonomy is a behavioural and practical atheism.
How might those of us who feel caught in the middle of conservative and liberal wings of the church live faithfully the call of the gospel? Fr. Mark shares some reflections of his own as well as those of a young Episcopalian blogger.
Sister Mary Christian Cross reflects on 'the purpose of God: to bring all things into unity in Him.'
It may surprise you to hear Father Michael’s parting words.
What makes us well and whole?
If we flee to our Lord we shall be comforted. If we touch him we shall be made pure.
The greatest opportunity for our faith and the growth of the church: authenticity.
St. John the Baptist - a remarkable model of authentic faith and confident, selfless humility.
Third Sunday After Pentecost
Read here the text from Mother Jessica's address: Reflections in anticipation of National Aboriginal Day.
Our human family is all related. Despite our disagreements, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus is our brother. We are all one, and no one is left out.
The Holy Spirit gives us patience, gentleness, kindness, and other gifts from God.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
Come Holy Spirit - Fill the hearts of your people and kindle in us the fire of your love.
We wait, like the disciples did two thousand years ago. But if you believe in the Son of God, you don't have to wait any longer. You know you have eternal life.
We all experience suffering one way or another. It is part of the human condition. When we receive the bread and wine, we touch it. We experience the risen life of Christ. Think about the hospitality in your home, and think about how it reflects the love of Christ - beyond the suffering, and into the joy of Easter.
Let us pray that we may have the courage to weave new cloth according to the path that God will provide.
I am Jesus, the victim. Come out, if you are entombed by your experience of abandonment and alienation. Come out! If you are imprisoned through suffering and injustice, come out. Come out if you are constrained by self-doubt and self-rejection. Come out! Live into your new humanity which has been accomplished through the cross - the abyss of wonders. Come out of your tomb!
When forgiveness happens, it is always a miracle of grace. Christ died for all, and all have died and been raised in Christ.
Read here the text of Father Mark's sermon: Come Out!
Read here the sermon notes of Mother Jessica's address: Jesus our Redeemer
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's address: Jesus our Reconciler and Forgiver
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's address: Jesus our Lover and Teacher
Wednesday in Holy Week
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's address: Jesus our High Priest
Tuesday in Holy Week
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's address: Jesus the Saving Victim.
Monday in Holy Week
Read here the text of Mother Jessica's address: The Cross - The Abyss of Wonders.
Contemplating our Lord on the cross draws us all from the darkness of self-centeredness, to the light of serving Jesus, and living in His name.
Sin is a loaded word, and very much misunderstood.
We all, in some way, share responsibility for one or more collective sin. But God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy.
How does following the Ten Commandments help us with our relationship with God? How do they help keep the fire lit within our hearts?
The stories we hear in the Gospel readings during Lent are all related to baptism, since in the early church Lent was above all the season of preparation for baptism at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. The theme of this morning's Gospel reading is Jesus' approaching death, and his call to follow him in the way of the cross.
The Stations of the Cross is a liturgical way to reenact the last days of our Lord's life. In remembering this event, we learn more about making our own journies in life, enabling us to find out who we really are as human beings.
Like the seeds that go into the ground, transform and bring new growth, we can enter Lent and prepare ourselves for death and new life in the Easter season.
Mother Alexis reflects on the processes of nature to help us understand better the promises of God.
The story of Naaman, the leprous warrior of II Kings, offers a vivid picture of the journey to humility. Many of the characters demonstrate paths to and types of humility. What is true humility? How might we see our own journey in this story? (II Kings 5:1-15)
Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins explores the concept of Christian obligation. Taking Queen Elizabeth II as a model of one who understands and undertakes her obligation and vocation, he asks how we might understand our obligations as baptised Christians as our duty and our joy.
The Reverend Ric Matthews joins us a guest preacher on the Feast of Candlemas: The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple. Jesus opens his arms to the outcast. How might we know this Jesus?
Fr. Matthew Johnson looks at Mark 1:21-28. In this gospel, a man with 'an unclean spirit' cries out to Jesus in the synagogue. What is the nature of evil and what is Jesus' response?
What are your experiences of silence and how can you hear God through them? Drawing on the wisdom of the Philokalia, an ancient text of the Orthodox Church, Mother Jessica shares insight into the nature of silence and how stillness in God can be known in our lives and communities.
Br. John Blyth tells the story of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. In baptism, we are united to Christ and called to bring God's love, joy, and peace.
What was a magi with a camel doing on the road in Surrey, BC? Listen to Mother Alexis' sermon to find out. The visit of the Magi and the revelation of who Jesus is can come at unexpected times and in an unexpected place, but the promise is the same. Jesus is Emmanuel - God with us.
What's in a name? Fr. Michael Forshaw offers some reflection on the name of Jesus and the man behind the name.
Mother Jessica calls us to remember our fundamental dignity grounded in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. By God's sharing in human nature, we are invited and made able to share in the divine nature.
Guest preacher, Bishop John Hannen, shares his reflections on the Incarnation. How does God come to us? Not in ways we might expect.
Sermons in Advent - The 'Second Coming' of Christ
Fr. Mark shares ways to grow in trust of God. Mary's response to the angel in Luke 1:26-38 is a central model for us and one of the ways to grow in trust is to pray that great prayer of the Incarnation - the Angelus. Listen to the sermon to hear the others.
The image is of the painting "The Annunciation" (1898) by Henry Ossawa Tanner.
On Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, we rejoice and anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Fr. Michael Forshaw describes how John the Baptist might be a model of anticipation and joy for us.
Beginning with a humorous and also serious scene from Woody Allen's Annie Hall, Rev.Dr. Harry Maier explores the nature of Advent and Christian hope. What does this hope call us to believe and to do?
The final coming of Jesus Christ we can await in joyful expectation rather than terror. The final coming of Jesus means the transformation and renewal of all creation. It calls us to pursue a just and life-giving ethic. Fr. Bill Crockett begins our Advent series on the Second Coming.
Sermons in Pentecost
God entrusts us at St. James' with a place and a neighbourhood. We are invited to care for and be stewards of this parish so that God's loving purposes may be fulfilled. Archbishop Douglas Hambidge offers the last in our sermon series on stewardship.
We are invited to consider tithing as a spiritual discipline to incorporate into our rule of life. Which reason is most compelling to you? Talking about money can be a vulnerable thing. How can money become a joyfully integrated part of our life with God?
The underlying theological reality of stewardship is simply this: We do not own anything in the absolute sense. 'The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it.' Explore how this reality can inspire a generous life and provide a different foundation for our security.
Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins addresses head on four common questions about stewardship. Drawing on the wisdom of Henri Nouwen, beloved author on the spiritual life, this sermon delves into the spirituality of money and fundraising.
Download the full-text version of Fr. Mark's Stewardship sermon - October 30, 2011
What is servant leadership and what does it look like? Drawing on Jesus' encounter with the political and religious authorities who try to trip him up in Matthew 22:15-22, the nature of Jesus' servant leadership may suggest a surprising answer and encourage us to become servant leaders.
Dig deep into one of the greatest and oldest hymns of the church. In this hymn the nature and scope of Christ's gracious and selfless action is expressed. Follow along with the text of the hymn above and journey with Fr. Mark's exploration of it.
What might prompt us to give true thanks? Fr. Michael offers some startling statistics to stir us from complacency, offer a sincere prayer of thanksgiving and unite that thanks to acts of service for the world.
In early Christian tradition, the giving of manna in Exodus was a helpful way to understand the gift of God in the Eucharist. What do manna and the Eucharist have in common? How can they continue to remind us of God's covenant with us?
What are your common religious attitudes and practices? Are they helpful or harmful? Fr. Michael offers a pithy list of healthy and unhealthy signs in religious thought and practice for your discernment.
Do you remember the last time you read the Ten Commandments? Are they still helpful to us today? Join in with Fr. Mark's exploration of the Ten Commandments and discover how they might renew and strengthen our life together.
How do we understand within our diversity that we are one body in Christ? What is our relationship to one another and how can we be encouraged by St. Paul's central message - that we are members of one another.
The story of Joseph and his brothers is one of arrogance, betrayal, sorrow, and remorse, but more importantly, it is also one of new life, reconciliation, and hope. How does this story from Genesis reveal how God works in the midst of human choice?
Pentecost is the beginning of "Ordinary Time" but how can this time be "Extraordinary Time"? How can we experience the explosion of the Holy Spirit within us?
For sermons from Holy Week, click here.
The Feast of St. James: A Sermon from Bishop Michael Ingham
Bishop Michael offers a new reflection on the mother of the sons of Zebedee in Matthew 20:20-28. How does her example teach us about caring for the well being of others? How does Jesus offer a profound teaching on where true greatness lies? Listen and discover the surprising answers.