This Sunday – 28 September

Good morning and Happy Friday!

It is going to be a lovely weekend; the weather we missed in July has finally come. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy being in God’s beautiful creation this weekend.

At MHP this week we are going to take a break from our Exodus journey and welcome the Rev Katherine McCloskey as our guest preacher. Katherine is the chaplain at Evangel Hall, a mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada that provides community and resources for people in downtown Toronto. Her sermon Christ at work within us will reflect on Philippians 2: 1 – 13. You can look forward to that as Katherine brings a unique perspective to Scripture and always opens us up to not just new ways of seeing our city and the world in which we live but to hearing God’s call as well.

Grace and Peace

Karen

This Sunday – 21 September

Good morning and Happy Friday!

This week we are continuing our reading of Exodus at Chapter 16: 2 – 15. The Israelites have left Egypt now. They are free but hungry and there is no end in sight to their journey…

Did you know that the trip out of Egypt to the Promised Land could likely have taken place in a matter of months, and yet it took forty years? Two generations! I wonder why? What was the purpose of all that time? Forty years in the wilderness! Forty years during which they learned a lot about who they were and who God is. Forty years in which their community was formed and reformed.

These are the things we will be talking about in the coming weeks.

The Israelites did not have to do anything (other than pack up their bags and start walking) to earn their freedom. As is always the case with salvation, their freedom was a free gift brought about by an act of God. But now that they are free, and in the wilderness, they come face to face with the question what now? What happens after? How are we to live? And this was not just a theoretical question; it was a very practical one indeed. They are hungry, their children are hungry and they are wondering if they should have ever left Egypt in the first place. Where and how are they going to be fed?

Now what? What happens after we are saved and set free? Looking forward to exploring this question together on Sunday

See you Sunday
Grace and Peace
Karen

This Sunday – 14 September

Good morning and happy Friday!

As the weather gets cooler and the kids settle into school, suddenly it feels like fall is here!

It was great to see so many of you last week and I am looking forward to catching up with more of you this Sunday.

We are going to be continuing our reading of Exodus in Chapters 14 and 15. You might have seen this scene in the movies: the crossing of the Red or “Reed” Sea. This is a very dramatic moment that has stayed in the hearts and minds of people for generations – the wind blowing, the waters curling back and the Israelites crossing on dry land.

As I read this week I wonder what that crossing felt like, taking the first step into the water as it parted would be one kind of faith – then half-way across, with the water hemming them in on both sides, with people behind and before? And I wonder when in your life you have had to make journeys that are like that.  When the only way forward is ahead and you can only walk in faith.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday,

Grace and Peace,

Karen

This Sunday – 7 September

This week at MHP we are going to be counting our chickens before they are hatched!

At some time in your life, I am certain someone has either told you not to do this or something similar: “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” or “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket”.

These kinds of cautionary warnings are often issued by well-meaning parents and friends who see us making plans for the future and beginning to rely on outcomes that have not yet happened. And often these words, these cautions, are delivered by caring people who don’t want to see us disappointed or giving up on other alternatives. Nothing is certain, nothing is sure until it happens they want us to realize.

What then do we make of Exodus 12:1-14?  The Hebrews are about to leave Egypt. Finally pharaoh is letting them go, releasing them from their slavery. The journey is about to begin. There are forty years in the wilderness ahead of them, though they don’t know that yet. And here is God telling them how they are to celebrate when it hasn’t yet happened.

It seems there are some things that can be counted on. Some things that we know will happen even before they have come to pass.

And I wonder as I think about that, what those things are in your life? What are the things you look forward to, knowing that nothing in this world or the world to come can take it from you?

It’s a good way to start September with so much newness lying before us, celebrating what lies ahead!  And we have a lot to celebrate…

In worship, we will be commissioning our teachers for the start of the new Sunday school year and giving out Bibles to children entering the Senior Sunday School class.

After worship we will be having our annual lawn barbeque which will be a lunch this year instead of a dinner.

And then, at two o’clock, Dorothy is hosting a concert in the sanctuary

See you then,

Grace and Peace

Karen

 

This Sunday – 31 August

Good morning and Happy Friday!

As we head into the last long weekend of the summer I hope and pray you are all keeping well.
As the kids head back to school this week, Hugh and I will be away this weekend taking Jamie to university. Pat Ramkhelawan will be leading worship for us. Thank you Pat!

I am looking forward to seeing you all again the following weekend, being back together and sharing each other’s summer adventures. In worship on Sept 7 we will be commissioning the church school for a new year and then, after worship, enjoying our yearly lawn barbeque. This will be the start of a very celebratory fall at MHP as we move towards our 125th anniversary weekend, November 1 and 2.

“The joy of The Lord is you strength” – Nehemiah 8:10

Grace and Peace

Karen

This Sunday – 24 August

Good morning and Happy Friday,

This week we are starting a series of sermons based on the book of Exodus.  We will be calling it To Egypt and Back again
We really started last week as we read from the end of Genesis about the movement of Jacob’s family to Egypt in a time of famine. Then they were an honored family in the sight of the pharaoh but as we meet up with them this week, several hundred years have passed and while they are now a very numerous family indeed they have been enslaved by the pharaoh who is fearful of them, and their numbers.

The book of Exodus tells the story of their liberation and journey out of Egypt. It is a foundational story in the Bible. God’s saving action in this book shapes much of our theology and how we understand God and God’s will and faithfulness at work in the world, for life and freedom. There is also a Biblical literacy that comes from reading Exodus. Many of the other books of the Bible and indeed events in Jesus life echo it and reference it and so we understand the rest of the Bible better when we know Exodus. And finally there is also a cultural literacy that comes with reading Exodus as the themes it explores have nourished and given hope to oppressed people for thousands of years and terms like wilderness wandering and manna from heaven have become part of our cultural as well as our faith language.

I’m looking forward to exploring this book with you this fall. We are going to begin with Exodus 1: 8 – 2: 10 this week.

See you then,

Blessings

Karen

This Sunday – 15 August

Good morning and Happy Friday!

It is good to be back from vacation and settling back in among you this week.

Looking very forward to catching up on Sunday and enjoying V.B.S. on Monday! Thanks to all of you who have reached out to support it.

The Scripture passages this week come from Genesis 45: 1- 15 and share with us the reconciliation of Joseph and his brothers many years after he had been sold by them into slavery in Egypt.  As I regard these brothers, torn apart so many years ago, still not sure what to make of each other and yet so in need of each other, I wonder yet again at just how often and how poignantly the Bible depicts our sorrows.

Thank God that it also shares with us the good news that no matter how strong the things are that divide us, no matter how deep they run, they are never as strong as that which unites us.  Thank God for the love of God.

As I get ready, I pray for each of you, for your families and your friends.

See you Sunday.
Blessings

Karen

This Sunday – 25 July

Good morning and Happy Friday!

After a couple weeks away I am looking very forward to being back at MHP and worshipping together this week. Am amazed by how the garden has grown and I hope and pray that you too are enjoying the sun and yes, even the rain.

Last week I was on study leave, on retreat near Lake Huron, a place where I love for the way the horizon dominates the landscape. Whether walking along the lanes between the fields or corn or strolling along the beach, for much of the time the horizon is large and open and I find freedom in that that lifts me beyond myself. Then time to time along the way, there is a dip in the way or a sand dune and suddenly the horizon that seemed miles off is only a few feet away and I am sheltered in a much smaller world. There is something about walking in these places that moves me to reflect on life and living, and that reminds me of God’s presence and purpose in ways that opens me up in hope and sets me free to live and love in better ways.

In our Scriptures this week we are turning to Genesis 28: 10-19 and Jacob’s dream of a ladder connecting heaven and earth. We will talk more about how Jacob ended up in the middle of nowhere on Sunday but for now just know that before that that dream was one in which God’s presence, God’s protection and God’s promise opened Jacob up to a new reality, to new possibilities. When he awoke Jacob wondered out loud, surely God was in this place and I didn’t realize it.

I wonder what those places are in your life where you have felt God’s presence, God’s promise and what that was like. What was going on in your life at that time? How did that experience change you? Do you still seek those moments, those places today?

As you meditate on that you might also want to take a look at the Psalm 139 for Sunday. It reminds us that there is nowhere we go that God will not find us. Nowhere we can go where the love and promises of God are not at work for us.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.

Grace and Peace
Karen

This Sunday – 4 July

Good morning and Happy Friday!

It’s been a lovely first week of summer and I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine, the green and the way things are growing.

For many of us this is a time to seek rest and vacation, a slower pace, the opportunity to be with family and friends. As we think about and I pray for you this summer, I am going to be talking about Sabbath during worship on various weeks.

This week we are going to start by looking at the end of Genesis chapter one. I often think as I read this first chapter of the BIble of what a great gift Creation is. How God made it and called it good. And Sabbath is part of that.

In Mark chapter 2 we will be reading how Jesus affirmed that when he said that Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

And I wonder:

  • Do you find it easy or hard to receive this gift of Sabbath?
  • How do you use it, and do you?
  • What do you think it means to take Sabbath anyway?
  • What is the grace you are seeking this week that Sabbath might offer?

I am looking forward to worship and to summer. I pray for you all that you will find rest. That it will be healing and soothing to your souls
Grace and Peace

Karen