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  • Fergie and Fuzzy - a story for Easter
    playing leap frog Fergie looked puzzled You know caterpillars don t leap very well he said I really wonder how Fuzzy landed on my nose He can t hop at all Fergie s big brother Freddie said I bet Fuzzy was hanging from a tree by a thread In school we learned that caterpillars spin thread to make their cocoons What s a cocoon asked Fergie It s like a sleeping bag for a caterpillar said Freddie A caterpillar sleeps in the cocoon and turns into a butterfly When it wakes up it unzips the cocoon and flies away If he can t hop Fuzzy is never going to fly said Fergie shaking his head Fergie watched Fuzzy sit on that stick that night Before he went to school the next morning he put a leaf in Fuzzy s jar Have a snack Fuzzy See you later But after school Fergie went swimming He forgot all about Fuzzy The next day he went to Frog Scouts By the time he remembered to look in Fuzzy s jar Fuzzy wasn t there Mom Fuzzy s gone You didn t make him into caterpillar soup did you Fergie demanded Mother Frog looked in the jar Hanging from the stick was a little smooth green pod Look Fergie There s Fuzzy s cocoon Fuzzy won t be a caterpillar the next time you see him Fergie frowned But Fuzzy was my pet caterpillar I loved Fuzzy I wanted to take Fuzzy to the pond go diving I wanted to take him exploring in the woods And to see Grandma Frog A tear slid down Fergie s nose I want Fuzzy back Fergie said Mother Frog Fuzzy can t come back just the way was He has to change into a butterfly That s what caterpillars do Fergie was pretty unhappy when his mother told him to put Fuzzy s jar in a safe place I m sorry I never said good bye Fuzzy I didn t really mind that you couldn t hop Then Fergie went out diving with Freddie A few days went by Fergie kept busy so he wouldn t miss Fuzzy too much He practiced catching mosquitoes for his Frog Scout badge He did his homework on Saturday he hunted for toadstools with Teddy Toad He mostly forgot about Fuzzy until his mother carried in the jar to Sunday breakfast Look who s here she said setting the jar on the table Fergie s eyes opened wide On the stick where Fuzzy used to sit stood an insect with long skinny legs and brand new wings Slowly it unfolded one wing and then another gently stretching them open Mom it s a butterfly See the orange and black patterns on its wings Where did it come from Fergie this is Fuzzy He changed into a butterfly inside his cocoon Can t be Mom He s too skinny to be Fuzzy In fact he s not fuzzy enough to be Fuzzy

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/fergie-and-fuzzy-a-story-for-easter (2016-02-13)
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  • The Monster of Lonesome Lagoon
    move When it reached the other side of the lagoon the monster sank beneath the calm water The next morning Fergie was all excited I saw it I saw it he cried The lagoon monster It s real You re kidding said Roger his eyes so wide they nearly popped Where When What s it like Fergie told his story and the two little frogs decided they would watch together that night Maybe we ll get a monster merit badge for this Fergie said That night Fergie and Roger sat up under the stars They ate mosquitoes and chased fireflies until way after dark Then they climbed on to a big rock to watch for the monster They waited And they waited But nothing appeared not even a water spider They counted the stars and both of them got sleepier and sleepier and Fergie woke up all at once when he heard a splash There it was The monster was gliding through the water coming straight toward them Fergie thought he could see two shining eyes Roger Wake up Look Here it comes Fergie cried But at the sound of his voice the thing sank out of sight Roger could only see ripples sliding across the surface of the water Next morning back at camp no one believed that there was a monster It was just a log said Scoutmaster Leatherlips With eyes asked Fergie What kind of noise did it make Diver asked Fergie shrugged Monster swimming noise I guess I bet it was just a beaver said Hop a long Or a moose Fergie hopped up and down It was too long to be a beaver It was too smooth to be a moose Roger shook his head It could have been a water snake Fergie Fergie was

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/the-monster-of-lonesome-lagoon (2016-02-13)
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  • The Advent Adventure of Fergie the Frog
    water But sure enough when it bobbed back to the surface Roger was hanging on to the ball for dear life Fergie Yelling Don t let go Roger He began to pull on the fishing line A few minutes later Roger and the ball were safe on shore Both little frogs sank into the mud They were so tired Roger groaning My legs hurt Too much frog paddling Let s rest for a while before we go home Fergie Fergie Home How are we going to get home We landed on the wrong side of the stream Home is on the other side Roger Oh no What are we going to do now It was getting dark Those two frightened little frogs just huddled in the mud scared and tired and hungry The next morning they couldn t find much breakfast just a mouthful of moss Fergie I wish I had that flyloaf sandwich mustard and all Tired and hungry Fergie and Roger set out to find their way home Roger Let s hop back along this side of the stream past the waterfall until the water is calm enough for us to swim across Fergie OK I wish I were a bird right now It would be so much faster to fly They hopped along the bank right beside the water so they wouldn t get lost Suddenly Roger cried Roger Look Fergie Over there It s a blue heron Fergie Are you sure Maybe it s just a sandpiper Or a very tall seagull Roger Nope it s a blue heron And they love little frogs for breakfast Quick Hide Fergie and Roger hopped as fast as fleas into the forest and hid under some toadstools And that s where we ll find them in the next episode In the middle of trouble we can get pretty scared Some days all we can do is take a deep breath and say a prayer for God to help us through the trouble So let s sing our trouble song again to help us find the courage to keep going This little light of mine I m gonna let it shine 3X Let it shine let it shine let it shine The End of the Adventure The two little frogs sat as still as they could even though they were shaking When they figured the heron had finished its breakfast they set off again hopping through the woods Every time they heard a noise they would dive under some leaves until it was quiet again Fergie What s that They could see some leaves moving on the ground ahead of them Roger whispering It could be a snake Fergie What kind of snake A garter snake Roger No something bigger Maybe a bull snake Fergie Or maybe a boa constrictor Roger frowned Roger There are no boa constrictors in Canada Fergie They live in the jungle But just then the leaves on the ground rustled again Fergie yelling Hop for

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/the-advent-adventure-of-fergie-the-frog (2016-02-13)
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  • The Look of Love
    grow up trusting the power of love For God s love reaches us not just through our parents but through every loving steadfast figure in our young lives Responsive Psalm 136 1 4 9 23 26 Leader O give thanks to the Lord for the Lord is good People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader Who alone does great wonders People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader Who by understanding made the heavens People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader Who spread out the earth on the waters People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader Who made the great lights People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader The sun to rule over the day People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader The moon and stars to rule over the night People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader It is the Lord who remembered us in our low estate People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader And rescued us from our foes People for God s steadfast love endures forever Leader Who gives food to all flesh People for God s steadfast love endures forever ALL O GIVE THANKS TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN FOR GOD S STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER Reflection God is steadfast love God s steadfast love endures forever Psalm 136 repeats that phrase 26 times I guess we do need reminding that love is God s enduring gift to us For sometimes we confuse God with other dynamics in the world We witness the natural forces in an earthquake we doubt God s goodness We scan the political horizons in the world and wonder how could God let violence occur When things aren t going our way we imagine God as some uncaring clockmaker who simply wound up the clock of creation and now is just letting things wind down so we lose hope To all these experiences the Psalmist declares The steadfast love of the Lord endures for ever In those moments we doubt this truth we should reread John s love letter and be reminded that God is love Wherever we meet love we meet God Second Reading 1 John 4 12 a 20 21 No one has seen God So those who say I love God and hate their brothers or sisters are liars for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen The commandment we have from him is this those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also Reflection Seeing the impossible Now I m a little sister The family angst which colours the stories of Fergie the Frog and Freddie my sister would be quick to add reflects the tug of war we sisters felt growing up I remember afternoons when I hate you was thrown from one sister to the other or from one little girl to her mother

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/worship-and-the-arts/sermons/2015-archive/389-the-look-of-love?tmpl=component&print=1&page= (2016-02-13)
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  • Chosen to Choose
    We have been welcomed into God s chosen race holy nation which circles the globe And though we have many different family histories customs we are one in Christ Jesus built together like living stones to welcome others into God s ever growing family My reflections on God s ever growing family made me wonder how we will help Jamie the child baptized today and every other child of God in this place cherish her identity in God who shows no partiality no particular favorites For these days it seems like we all consider ourselves special entitled to benefits and blessing just because Jamie is growing up in a generation when everyone can star in their own YouTube channel All around her will be those who have little regard for anyone other than themselves The CBC commentator Rex Murphy got me thinking about this a couple of weeks ago Rex gave his weekly TV editorial after some revelations during the trial of Senator Mike Duffy Evidence was presented about expensive trips Duffy charged to the Senate though the events had nothing obvious to do with Senate business It seems Mr Duffy also charged the government for expensive meals and a questionable trip or two for his wife Rex Murphy shook his head sadly Two things would have spared us all the agonies expenses of this trial he argued character and conscience People of good character would know how to distinguish a legitimate expense from self indulgence And conscience would tell them when they d crossed that line What caught my attention was the word conscience These days not much good is said about our conscience Conscience just makes us feel guilty right And special people don t have to feel guilty Yet John Calvin declared that conscience is a gift of the Holy Spirit In his view conscience is God s caution or warning not to take a step no matter how tempting or easy to get away with Conscience is God s hand on our shoulder asking us to stop think to recognize where justice and prudence and moderation those ancient civic virtues are pointing us and then to choose in accordance with our conscience So how do we shape children like Jamie with good character and an alert conscience And how do we encourage each other to maintain good character which responds to the nudges and cautions of conscience These are important questions for people of faith Scripture often urges God s people to avoid the pitfalls of weak character As our reading from Peter s letter says rid yourselves of malice guile insincerity envy and slander The letters of Scripture plead with us to honour God by being honorable people whose lives are consistent with the mercy and generosity we meet in Christ Jesus But it s really not enough to give children a list of commandments or vices Lists of dos and don ts are easily tacked up on a bulletin board and then forgotten For

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/worship-and-the-arts/sermons/2015-archive/390-chosen-to-choose?tmpl=component&print=1&page= (2016-02-13)
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  • A Deep Breath of God
    strength and energy for all that pushing To take a deep breath of God in the moment of giving birth is to know God as the power that gives life panting gasping pushing with us Yes there is immense pain but by God there is life St Paul must have admired the women around him who delivered their children in the face of incredible odds in that generation He saw in every mother s suffering and determination a powerful image of the hope we can claim from God s presence with us All creation shares this hope born in the sharp pains of labour claimed in the first deep breaths of the Spirit which connect us to God Singing Breathe on me breath of God fill me with life anew That I may love what thou dost love and do what thou wouldst do Not being a mother myself I began to think about other moments when we take a deep sharp breath and how we might also understand those moments as a deep breath of God For example athletes of all sorts learn to breathe deeply runners swimmers cyclists tennis players all athletes use breath for endurance to focus their attention to draw strength just before they release their best shot So when the rest of us need strength and endurance to complete a project at work or attack a mess at home our deep breath can be a prayer to God to see us through to give us the energy we need to finish our tasks God is with us Then there are those sharp gasps we give when we re surprised It might be a deep breath of joy at the sight of an old friend It could be a sudden gasp of alarm at bad news In either case think of your quick deep breaths as God s presence right there with you in joy or in danger Singing Breathe on me breath of God till I am wholly thine Until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine I learned another use of a deep breath when I was studying piano I d get so nervous before any performance I could hardly play My teacher suggested sitting still on the piano bench and taking 3 deep breaths before ever putting my fingers on the keys Focus she said As you let that breath go let your nervous energy go too I ve used that advice with nervous student preachers and nervous brides and grooms I practice it myself whenever I m waiting anxiously for news or to meet someone important A deep breath when we re anxious draws God s Spirit in It s our silent prayer for support It releases our fear to God And how good is that And then there are those deep breaths we should take when we need God s gift of patience The child in our care has done something we wish they hadn t something we

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/worship-and-the-arts/sermons/2015-archive/391-a-deep-breath-of-god?tmpl=component&print=1&page= (2016-02-13)
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  • God in Motion
    healing just as John s story portrayed this morning Jesus acts out God s love inviting strangers in from the sidelines challenging us when our attitudes present obstacles to love On the cross God s love overflows again in Christ s agony death to cleanse our sin and ease our sorrow with love s healing balm In Act II God s love moves through Christ Jesus bringing new birth to creation making it whole again Then at Pentecost God s love overflows once more in the power of the Spirit bringing gifts to God s people just like the prophet Joel promised The Spirit moves like the wind refreshing God s people pushing us with energy into the world to proclaim Good News in word and action As Spirit God opens our minds and hearts to read the world with new eyes seeing how to put our unique gifts and our common abilities in service of God s love Each one of us is moved by the Spirit somehow to let God s love overflow through us so we become God s supporting cast through our own creative acts of praise and inspiration and also through our attentiveness to the small tasks of caring and every day outreach which can change the world one life at a time Act III of the epic adventure of salvation is under the Spirit s direction By the Spirit s power God s love moves through us gathering the world into God s loving embrace God Father Son and Holy Spirit Is the Conceiver Actor and Director in each scene of salvation from the beginning of time through our days to the edge of eternity The Trinity is God s love in motion creating life redeeming our lives and inspiring new life This view of the Trinity follows the narrative of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation It also follows the plot of how each of us meets God in the wonder of the world around us in our relationships with Christ and his people and as we explore our own talent when the Spirit calls us on stage But the Trinity is also a lens to help us appreciate the mystery of God s own nature Sometimes Christian art has been very unhelpful painting God the Father as an old man on a throne Jesus his right hand man usually looks young inexperienced and the Spirit if it s visible at all is a tiny dove hovering somewhere almost off stage Such art has encouraged the mistaken view that God is a distant uncaring monarch pushing Jesus around and the Spirit well who cares Truer to the ancient understanding of the Trinity are the more fanciful illustrations of God in motion Look at the picture of the Three Hares in the carving from Paderborn Cathedral I handed around These hares chase each other moving with the creative energy which the ancient church called the dance of the Trinity in which three equal yet distinct

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/worship-and-the-arts/sermons/2015-archive/392-god-in-motion?tmpl=component&print=1&page= (2016-02-13)
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  • Bread in the wilderness
    bread with my own hands And you gave it to a perfect stranger You ungrateful wretch shakes his head She wasn t there with me He did seem like a perfect stranger that man named Jesus I could see him roll his eyes when his friends couldn t think of a thing to do He d been telling us some great stories but he could see we all needed some lunch and a bit of a break He asked his friends to get things organized but those guys had no clue They were panicking The guy named Philip was the worst mimicking an adult male voice Six months wages wouldn t buy enough bread for everyone here to get a little That was his idea Send somebody back to town to pick up sandwiches For five thousand people Yeah right The rabbi just shook his head Now I had my lunch with me five barley buns and two sardines Mum won t let me go for a day without taking lunch along So I took it out of my sack and showed it to a guy named Andrew I thought if I shared mine others might join in After all no mother takes her kids for a day in the mountains without taking along some lunch So the rabbi got us organized sat us down started passing my lunch around Sure enough bread and fish came out of nowhere There might have been some cheese and olives too and a few oranges Everybody got something to eat for sure But then a really strange thing happened The rabbi said Gather up the leftovers You should have seen the look on Philip s face He thought the rabbi was crazy But they passed around some baskets and the baskets came back full Then Jesus gave me a bunch of leftovers to take home I know when I ask mum what s for dinner she s going to give me a hard time Mimicking again I gave you the last two fish in the pantry you wasteful boy And once she s done I m going to bring out my basket of leftovers It will be a feast Sardines for sure but some cheese and olives too Amazing what happens when people share their lunch Calling Hey mum What s for dinner tonight A chat about sharing bread Sharing is an important part of family meals Did you ever watch somebody take the last hot dog or cookie when you were hoping to eat it How do you feel when somebody else gets the last bite Did you ever take the last sandwich or the last piece of cake without asking My mom would have scolded me if I did that When there s not much left on the table it s important to check to see if somebody else wants it maybe somebody who didn t have any yet Maybe we can share the last piece with someone else not just

    Original URL path: http://stjohnsmedicinehat.ca/worship-and-the-arts/sermons/2015-archive/393-bread-in-the-wilderness?tmpl=component&print=1&page= (2016-02-13)
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