Sermon – Doug Norris

July 5, 2015         Based on Mark 2:13-17 , Isaiah 58 : 6-8

I have an interesting quandary, as part of a wedding ceremony scheduled for next winter.  So it is a quandary I have some time to mull over.  This is the best kind of quandary.  Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, slowly walking behind his ox and plough, pondering the quandary of his three daughters who are marrying, or hoping to marry, in ways that test his patience.  Unapproved engagements.  So as he walks along he has the time to mull, to say, “On the one hand, this is not our tradition!  I should say NO!  On the other hand, he’s a nice boy, she says she loves him…  On the other hand, I get to say who she will marry – I’m the poppa!…”  Read more ›

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Upcoming Sundays :

June 28 – Doug Norris preaching : ‘Ping’  A way of listening, and hearing the heartbeat of life.  Out of all the noise, what voice will we follow?  Based on John 10 : 1-10, the voice of the shepherd.

July 5  – Communion, Doug Norris preaching.


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Sermon : ‘Ping’

Doug Norris – June 28, 2015   Based on John 10:1-10

Recorded prayers :

Audio of sermon :


There was a contest going on in the early decades of the church.  Who owns Jesus?  is more or less how it went.  The movement carried on, because his ideas resonated and his spirit flew on, but now, instead of one group following him around, always one centre while he was alive, now the movement is found here and there, and it is being interpreted and developed, his ideas spun this way and that way.  Some want to sit and wait for the final judgement to come, and some want to go into the ends of the earth to gain converts and some want to teach about the beautiful ideas he taught them…

At best these different communities, these different leaders, are all part of the Jesus movement, but they are also now competitors.  So by the time the new testemant writings start to crystallize, we hear them commenting on one another, and warning their followers – don’t go after those false teachers !  They’ve got it wrong!  There is no life in what they are handing out! Read more ›

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Sermon : ‘Joy. On the House’.

You may recall that a few weeks ago the sermon of the day was in part about the story of Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to Jesus.

Without going into the convolutions of that particular story – let me suggest that Nicodemus was coming to Jesus with the nagging existential quandary we all come with :  OK, tell me how this needs to go.  What do I do to be whole, to be ‘in’ the realm of God?  You are apparently a teacher come from God, so, what’s the upshot?

The question, of course, is maddeningly elusive, different for each of us.  The question that bring us here.  What do I need to do, to be, to be a proper neighbour?  To be a good, honourable father?  to be a wise executive leader?  Take a moment, just now, to understand something of the version of this question that has brought you here today.  Or that draws you toward this community generally.  How does this go, Jesus?  We need to know. Read more ›

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We are a dynamic congregation of the United Church of Canada located in a quiet neighbourhood in the heart of Toronto. We currently share ministry with 430 households from both our immediate neighbourhood and across the City.  We have a tradition of wonderful music, strong preaching, and a welcoming environment. Whether you are a long-time member or considering a first visit, be at home among us.

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May 2015 - Joanna McFarland

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