Special Events and Sermons
This Sunday May 10, we continue our series exploring faith questions and conundrums, with reflections from retired UCC ministers Rev. Roy Huntly and Rev. Mark Fleming who are both regular attendees at SSUC. The focus is on prayer and inspired by the questions and comments by congregational participants last fall. These included: (i) I have difficulty with intercessory prayer (i.e. a God who manages everything); (ii) Why and how and to whom do we pray? (e.g. Do we pray to Jesus?) (iii) I am the Way, the Truth, the Life ... What to pray for? and (iv) Please talk to us about prayer – about the silencing of the mind – so the light, the other, the way forward have a chance to find us in the too busy life.
This is the sixth and final event in what has turned out to be a remarkable series. The relevance and profundity of the questions has generated conversation and interest both within and beyond our own congregation. Engaging the Spirit is looking at new programming stimulated by this success. With the generous leadership of Mark Fleming, Engaging the Spirit will be looking to establish a prayer group in the fall. We will also be looking at how this model can be adapted,
perhaps with a new theme, for worship beginning in next fall. Your suggestions and comments on this year's "Faith Conundrums" and future offerings are most welcome by Nancy Young and Lynn Freeman, Engaging the Spirit Co-chairs (2014-15).
Conundrums 4 "Reflections on Prayer" Audio & Print (PDF)
On Sunday, April 12th, we will continue this series with Professor John Young, Chair of Theology, at Queen's School of Religion . John will speak to the role of scripture as inspiration and whether it is fading from our faith and practice. Please join us.
Conundrums 3 "Some Reflections on Scripture" Audio Print (PDF)
Our exploration into Conundrums of Faith will resume on Sunday, March 22nd with retired United Church ministers George Lavery and Norm Esdon who will share their reflections on the question: "What does it mean for our relationships with individuals of other faiths, if we accept that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life?" This theme was inspired some questions from congregation members that related to “The Exclusion of non-Christians from valid belief—why dismiss non-Christians?" "Is there any other way we can interpret this scripture, consistent with everything else we know of Jesus’ life and teaching, that would not require us to say that the Bible tells us ours is “the only true religion?” "Why is it that there are so many religious groups in the name of God that are bent on destruction?"
Conundrums 2 audio and print copy
On Sunday, February 8th, we continue our monthly series Conundrums of Faith with Rev. James Graham and Rev. Ruth Wood offering reflections on "Life After Death." Rev. James Graham is Chaplain at Kingston General Hospital and Chaplain, Coordinator for Spiritual and Religious Care, Rideaucrest Home. Rev. Ruth Wood is the former minister at Calvary United Church, and Past Chair of Four Winds Presbytery to which Sydenham Street United Church belongs. Their reflections respond to several congregational questions, such as "Life After Death – Is there a Hell?" "Does Heaven and Hell exist?"
"Does the United Church believe in the Devil and Hell? Because I don’t believe in either." "If we do not believe literally, can we call ourselves Christian? "Can we pick and choose among traditional pillars of our faith?" "How do we know there is an afterlife if all the people who have possibly seen it are dead?"
Following worship, James Graham, Ruth Wood and Elizabeth Macdonald will facilitate an hour-long
discussion in the Chapel. Light refreshments will be available, as we explore further together what it
means to be faithful in thought, word and deed in our time in association with the United Church of
Canada. All are welcome.
Is there life after Death? (sermon - audio version)