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Feb 21, 2023: Prophets

In the 1st Testament, the prophets were the charismatic commentators on social, political, economic and religious issues of the day, that offered a safety valve within a system ruled by kings. They were often political figure – scathing speakers against religious norms. This lecture considers some of the early prophets, such as Amos, the most radical voice of the times. Rev. Sandy provides insight into the nature and role of the prophets, as well as the relationship between the prophets and kings of the 1st Testament, in comparison to their relationship with the leaders of the Roman Empire in the 2nd Testament. He speaks to the constructs of the prophets of the 1st Testament, then the interpretation to involve Jesus in the Jewish saga.

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Jan 24, 2023: Paul's Letters

Paul's letters have become a source of mainstream theology of the Protestant church. In this lecture, Rev. Sandy will address such questions as: Who was Paul? What were Paul's beliefs? Who comprised Paul's audiences? and Why do today's mainstream churches often struggle with engaging with Paul's words

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Dec 6, 2022: The Book of Revelations

This lecture addresses when the Book of Revelations was written, and by whom. The relevance of the symbolism is considered in the context of the times in which the book was written. This lecture then looks at how the Christian church has dealt with Revelations through the ages, and offers tools to read and appreciate the book.

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October 26, 2022: Prayer

This lecture considers scriptural references to prayer and focuses on Psalms that reflect both community and individual prayers.  This lecture also addresses popular perceptions of prayer and prayer in the United Church.

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September 28, 2022: The Jewish Exilic Experience

Using the biblical analogy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Judean exile to Babylonia (they left as Judeans; they returned as Jews), this lecture explores the exilic experience of trauma and recovery: judgement, lament and hope. Today, we lament the impacts of the Covid-19 experience.  We can also explore those impacts and consequences, learning valuable lessons that can lead to a renewal of hope. 

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July 13, 2022: Language of the Bible

Sandy addresses the key languages spoken and written, as associated with both the 1st and 2nd Testaments.  He considers the history of these languages and their impact on Biblical interpretation.

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Bonus: UCC Song of Faith

Strathearn United Church is pleased to share the United Church of Canada’s Song of Faith.


June 1, 2022: The Protestant Reformation and its Legacy

Sandy addresses key factors that prompted and supported the Reformation and introduces us to some of the religious leaders at this critical time in the history of the church, including Martin Luther.  He goes on to speak of a number of the results of the Protestant Reformation, including its impact on legal, educational and cultural values, many of which are with us today.

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May 4, 2022: The 1st Era of Definitions

Sandy addresses the period from the end of the Jewish Revolt to the rule of Emperor Constantine and the establishment of Christianity as an institution. He explains the meaning of “Era of Definition”, then provides context, history and Biblical references regarding the 1st Era. In this lecture, you will learn about what happened in those earliest days, when Christianity moved from evangelizing to scattered communities, to an Imperial Christian faith.

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April 6, 2022: Holy Week: A Hero's Narrative

Looking at the events from Palm Sunday through the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest, Rev. Sandy’s lecture explores the gaps between the evidence-based history and the Gospel narratives.  He also offers insights as to why the Gospels differ in their narrative of the Passion.

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Lent 2022: Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians

Sandy explains the historical context of leadership in the Corinthian community, drawing on scripture verses that addressed social and political realities of the time.  He goes on to address Paul’s approach to teaching and leading this community of Christians, reminding them of the Vision of Christ as they lived within the realities of their time.

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