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Selected Reflections by Reverend Hubert

God, A Moving Target

Sunday June 16, 2019 - Trinity Sunday — John 16: 1 - 4, 12 - 18
How many times have you heard people say “I’m spiritual, but not religious”? Or, "You go to church? I’m not that religious myself, but I am spiritual." Friends, acquaintances, total strangers, on TV and radio, Facebook – even bumper stickers! Spiritual-but-not-Religious is all around us now. Years ago I worked at a medium-sized film business, and after a few months I started to notice that the owner often came in late for work, by about 20 minutes or so. So one morning he explained to me that he'd often get a take-out coffee, then park his car at a point where he could overlook the frozen lake, and watch the sunrise. "Now I'm not religious", he quickly assured me, "but that's my spiritual moment, that's when I connect with something bigger than myself". Spiritual - but not religious. Read more

A “Fire-and-Brimstone” Sermon

Sunday June 2, 2019 — Romans 6:1-14
At a previous pastoral charge we had a lady join us for a while. She seemed to enjoy worshipping with us, came down for coffee and a chat after the service, and appeared to feel at home in our community of faith. Then one day she called me up because she wanted to talk to me. It was important, she said. So we met in my office for a conversation. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…
She said she enjoyed the being with us, she felt comfortable with the people. And then she said, “Now before I decide to become a member of this church I need to be sure of something, because after all, this is about the fate of my eternal soul.” Go ahead, shoot, I said. Read more

The E-Word

Sunday May 19, 2019 — Romans 1:1-17
It took my mom a serious life crisis, a nasty divorce in fact, to find her faith. Now mind you, she had been going to church all her life because, well, that’s what you did. She went through the motions, but I had never seen it make a real difference in her life. It’s probably safe to say that she was a “Sunday morning Christian” with the kind of faith that just wasn’t connected to what you did the other 6½ days of the week. That changed after her divorce. Suddenly, nothing was as it had been before. Read more

The Paradox Of Choice (or, when more is less)

Sunday April 7, 2019 — Matthew 25; 31 - 46
One of the things I like about Halifax is the coffee culture here. Seems like every other block has its own independent coffee shop serving amazing coffee, usually organic or FairTrade. Heck, we even have a coffee shop owner right here in our congregation – it doesn’t get any better than that! But the first time I ordered a coffee here, I was overwhelmed by the choices: drip coffee, French press, espresso, cappuccino, frappucino, Americano, latte? Large, medium or small? To go or for here? Caf or decaf? Dark roast, medium or light? With room for dairy, soy, or almond milk? With a shot of something? Single or double shots? With a sprinkling of cinnamon a twist of lemon? It felt like my brain was about to explode! Read more

The Good News About Bad News

Sunday February 24, 2019 — Matthew 14:13-33
Earlier this week I was at the Mosque next door to discuss the space we’ll be using there this Saturday, and I bumped into the Imam, Abdallah. I’d met with him before, he’s probably in his early thirties, not old, but the first thing I noticed was he seemed... older somehow. When I got home I heard of course the news of the horrific fire that claimed the lives of 7 beautiful children of a Syrian refugee family who had arrived here less than 2 years ago. They attended the Ummah Mosque next door. And then I understood why Abdallah looked older that day. He was still trying to come to grips with devastating news, while having to respond to requests for help, respond to offers to help, respond to the media, and to respond to questions that are impossible to answer. Read more

Wow. Help. Thanks.

Sunday February 3, 2019 — Matthew 6:7-21
Have you ever asked yourself what we’re all doing here on Sunday mornings? Seriously, why did you come here? For many of us it’s this community. And it is special to spend time with one another, to know that we’re included by a loving community like this one, isn’t it? The other week I overheard someone say during the passing of the peace: “Who else can I hug?!”, which I think summed up that part of church life perfectly. And I just love that this is part of that person’s church experience. Read more

Please Wait

Advent 1, December 2018 — Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19
I realize that the book of the prophet Habakkuk may not be high on your Bible-must-read list. So let me put in a little plug for him: - It won't take you very long to read the book. Not even 2½ pages in my Bible. - In those 2½ pages you'll encounter a sensitive and distraught person who is willing to challenge God, speaking to God on behalf of the people, which is very unusual; typically a prophet speaks to the people on behalf of God. - And, you will be in good company. To give you an example: in 1940, a church newspaper in Switzerland published an article with a lengthy quotation from Habakkuk. Read more

Start Flipping!

Sunday November 25, 2018 — Jeremiah 1:4-10 and 7:1-11
There’s this great meme that’s been going around for a while on Facebook. For those of you who are not into that kind of thing: a “meme” is a humorous image or a short fun video that someone posts on social media which strikes a chord with a lot of people for some reason and who then start to share it on their social media platforms. The one I’m talking about is a picture of Jesus turning over tables in the temple; you know the scene, right? Jesus makes a whip out of chords, goes into the temple and starts flipping over the tables of the money changers and the dealers who were notorious for swindling honest people of faith and pilgrims. Read more

Resist and Re-imagine

Sunday November 18, 2018 — Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7; 2:1-4
I don’t know about you, but to me this time of year is, well, awkward; it feels uncomfortable. We’re still two whole weeks away from Advent, but for the world around us and for the other god we worship, the economy, it’s different. This Friday is Black Friday, the start of the Christmas season in the world of retail, and the start of the rat race of finding the right gifts and lining up for the next sale and big discounts: Red Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day. Shop till you drop in a world that is preoccupied with getting the best deals and not so much with annoying stuff like the rise of fascism, fundamentalism, gun violence. Read more


September 30, 2018 — Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29
It’s May 26 of the year 1940. Over 400,000 British and French troops are trapped with their backs to the English Channel, surrounded by German panzer divisions and ground troops. Churchill calls the situation “a colossal military disaster,” saying the whole core and brain of the British Army is stranded at Dunkirk. A national day of prayer is declared throughout the United Kingdom for the deliverance of the troops. Churches all across the UK call out to God on behalf of the trapped soldiers. The next day, Churchill orders “Operation Dynamo” into effect. Read more

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