Thursday, January 26, 2023

Sunday, January 29, 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

 This week is also a week for awareness of Islam and against Islamophobia, recalling the shooting in the Quebec City Mosque 6 years ago. We hold our Muslim brothers and sisters in our thoughts and prayers at this time of remembrance. 

We can also recognize that this Friday was Holocaust Remembrance Day as well, held on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At this time when anti-semitism seems to be on the rise, it is even more important to remember. Hopefully we can be united in our grief and in our work for justice for all people. 

Hymn.       Blest Are the Pure in Heart 


Scripture Lessons:      Micah 6:1-8

                                    Psalm 15 p.736

                                    Matthew 5:1-12


Prayers:  Gracious God, you have commissioned us to make our common home a place of justice for all. In your generous love, you send rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness and, in Jesus, teach us to love without discrimination. We confess that we have failed to follow this teaching by: disrespecting our neighbours; spreading falsehoods through various social media; participating in the disruption of social harmony.  Our conduct risks making the world a barren field that no longer brings forth justice for all of creation. May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive our sins, and lead us to eternal life. Amen. 

We pray for those who live in the midst of injustice. Encourage us to lift up their voices and strength their hope. We pray for those who continue to perpetuate injustice. May your kindness fill our hearts and make us agents of freedom and peace. We pray for every institution and person who stands for justice. Let us act justly according to your words. Today we ask you: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your justice. 

We thank you for the many colours, cultures, and customs that we share in this world. In our differences, unite us by your love. Enable us to act together to uphold life and to make this world a just and peaceful household for all humanity. Today we ask you: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your peace. Amen. (a series of prayers from www.week of

Hymn.     Blest Be the Tie that Binds.   #602 VU


This Sunday’s services will be 9:30 in Franklin and 11:00 in Howick. 

Next Sunday Howick United Church will be holding its annual meeting in combination with the worship service. All members and adherents are invited to attend, to review what has been done in the past year and to look forward to the coming year. (The annual meetings for Franklin and Ormstown will also be held in combination with the worship service, on Sunday March 12th. In Franklin we will begin at 9am and in Ormstown at 11:00.)

We are planning to hold a Confirmation Class this year, either this winter or in the spring. Please let me know if there is someone who would like to take part and possibly join the church. Give me a call (450-829-3855) or send me an email ( so we can begin making plans. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Sunday, January 22, 2023 Third Sunday after Epiphany

 This Sunday is right in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week begins on Wednesday, January 18th, the Feast of the Confession of St Peter to January 25th, The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. This year’s theme is “Do Good, Seek Justice.”  During this week we pray for more understanding and cooperation between churches, and also between people of other faiths as well. 

Hymn        When Morning Gilds the Skies #339

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 9:1-4

                                    Psalm 27:1,4-9 p. 754VU

                                    I Corinthians 1:10-18


Prayer: O Lord our God, listening to us here, you accept also the prayers of our sisters and brothers in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas and Europe. 
    We are all one in prayer. So May we, as one, rightly carry out your commission to witness and to love in the church and throughout the world. Accept our prayers graciously, even when they are somewhat strange. They are offered in Jesus’ name. Amen. (a prayer from the church in Ghana and printed in the Iona Community’s A Wee Worship Book, the 4th incarnation)

We pray for the visible unity of the Church. 
Lead us to fulfill Jesus’ prayer that we may be one and work together to manifest your Kingdom. 
Today we ask you: O God, hear our prayer and grant us passion for unity. Amen. ( from resources for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity) 

Hymn      Jesus, United by Thy Grace #591

The dates for our annual meetings for all three congregations have now been set. For Howick, the date will be Sunday, February 5th in combination with the service, beginning at 11:00. For Franklin and St Paul’s, the date will be Sunday, March 12th, in combination with the worship service, beginning at 9:30 and 11:00 respectively. The time has come for reports to be turned in for the annual report. The deadline is January 29th. 

St Paul’s Stewards will be meeting on Wednesday, January 25th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

We are hoping to offer a Confirmation Class this year. If you know of someone who might be interested in participating, please let them or Barbara know. The classes might be offered during the winter or spring, hopefully in person, but possibly partly on Zoom as well. Those interested could contact Barbara by phone or email. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Sunday, January 15, 2023 The Second Sunday of Epiphany

 Did you know that this weekend is Martin Luther King Junior Weekend and that tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day in the US? Maybe reflecting on his life and ministry may bring inspiration on how to be God’s servants in the world today. 

Hymn.      You Servants of God #342

Scripture Lessons:        Isaiah 42:1-6

                                      Psalm 40:1-11 p.764VU

                                      John 1:29-42

Hymn.      Just As I Am #508 VU


Prayer: Through human lips, Christ is speaking.
Through human hands,  grist is healing. 
Through our hearts, Christ is loving. 
Through us all, Christ is working. 
So we behold the truth: God is living, loving, speaking and healing through Christ our Saviour. Amen 
(written by Richard Becher and printed inSeeing Christ in Others edited by Geoffrey Duncan)

Hymn.      Songs of Thankfulness and Praise #101

Howick United Church has set the date for their annual meeting for this year. It has been set for February 5th, during the 11:00 service. Please get your annual reports in to Wilene  as soon as possible so the reports can be printed and distributed as soon as possible. 

Annual reports are also being prepared for the Franklin and Ormstown congregations. Deadlines for these reports is January 29th. 

St Paul’s Session will meet on Wednesday, January 18th in the hall at 1pm. 

St Paul’s Stewards’ meeting will be delayed for a week, until Wednesday, January 25th at 7:30 pm in the hall. 

Anyone interested in a Confirmation Class this year? It could be held this winter, during Lent, or later this spring. We can do it in person, on Zoom or perhaps a combination of the two. Please let me know if you are interested and what might work best for you. 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Sunday January 8, 2023 Epiphany Sunday


Hymn.     Angels from the Realms of Glory #36VU

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 60:1-6

                                    Psalm 72 p. 790VU

                                    Matthew 2:1-12

Hymn        What Child is This   #74VU


Prayer:  We give you thanks, O God, for those who believed Jesus to be your Promised One. We thank you for Mary, who praised your name because you chose her as mother of the Christ. We thank you for sages who were led from the East by signs in the sky to greet the holy birth. We give you thanks for John, who bore witness to Jesus. Most of all, we give thanks that when Jesus was baptized, you showed your affirmation of Jesus as your beloved child and servant. 
      Through the word of many witnesses, we too name Jesus as our Christ and Saviour, our Light and Life. Shine in our hearts through the light of Christ that we may be signs of your presence on earth, making peace and doing justice. May your people be a light to the nations, through Jesus, your faithful servant. Amen. (a prayer from the Book of Worship of the United Church of Christ published in 1986).

Hymn       The First Nowell #91

As we begin a new year and a new season, Epiphany, may you know God’s blessings. 

Also, as we begin a new year, we will be collecting the reports for our annual report for last year, 2022.  We will need them by the end of the month. 

This Sunday’s services will be held in Ormstown at 9:30am in the hall and in Howick at 11:00.

Howick United Church’s Board of Stewards will be meeting on Tuesday, January 10th at 7pm in the church hall. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

January 1, 2022 New Year’s Day


Hymn    See Amid the Winter’s Snow #76

Scripture Lessons:       Isaiah 63:7-9

                                     Psalm 147:12-20

                                     John 1:1-18

Hymn Great God WeSing Your Mighty Hand #529VU


Prayer:  Freshness (a prayer/poem by Joyce Rupp)
a new year is moving in
just as surely as the winter
walks along in snowflakes

and I sit here wondering
in the breath of his bless
and the glance of his grace

I think about the year now gone
and how I’ve walked across it
(it grieves me some and joys me some)

and as the new year stretches
I wonder how I’ll meet it
will I let his grace find me
and will I let him charm me
and will I let his truth possess me
and will I let him lead me
and will I take his love to heart
and fix my gaze on him

oh how I wonder how I’ll meet this year
and if I’ll give myself the chance
to catch the breath of bless
and glance of his dear grace
to rise and walk from sinfulness
to come return and find him waiting
to reach and know that he can heal
to turn around and give up all 
and let him be my treasure

a new year is moving in
just as surely as the winter
walks along in snowflakes

my God is moving in again
and just like winter snow
he breathes my life full freshness

Hymn.        Joy is Now in Every Place #45

There will be no Sunday service on New Year’s Day in our churches, but there will be a regional Zoom service offered at 10am by the cluster of South Shore ministers. Barbara will be sending out the link to participate in this service. We are expecting to be back to our regular services in the hall beginning January 8th. That Sunday we will be in Ormstown at 9:30 and Howick at 11am. 

Have a blessed and happy and healthy new year, everyone. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 2022


A candle burns, the last marker of our Advent journey. 
As we arrive at our journey’s end, May we arrive with wonder and worship. 
As we arrive at our journey’s end, God of journeys, welcome us. ( by David Hamflett and printed in the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers) 

Hymn      Angels We Have Heard on High #38

Scripture Lessons:       Isaiah 9:2-7
                                     Luke 2:1-20

Carol       Silent Night #67


Prayer:  Lord, it is Christmas, and I have traced my way to a manger by the light of a beam from a teardrop of a newborn child crying for love, 
for peace, in a war-torn broken world, 
filled with greed and lawlessness, with violence and destruction, draping this beautiful earth in clouds of despair, of disunity. 

Lord, this Christmas, give us new hope and strength, new meaning and power to Change with love, with understanding, to face challenges with courage believing that a life centred in Thee will never fail to build a world of Peace 
of Brotherhood 
of Love. The Love that was born at Christmas. Amen.

…Lord, rekindle in us the dying embers of Faith with the power of the Incarnation 
of the Cross 
of the Resurrection 
to rebuild our broken world with friendship and laughter with music and dance with your Life-giving Spirit, to weave all creation and all nations in your garland of changeless Love. Amen.  (written by Savithri Devansen and printed in Gifts in Open Hands edited by Maren Tirabassi and Karen Wonson Eddy) 

Carol       Go Tell it on the Mountain #43

Friday, December 16, 2022

Sunday, December 18, 2022 The Fourth Sunday of Advent


A candle burns, the fourth marker of our Advent journey. 
As we continue, May we travel joyfully. 
As we continue, God of journeys, draw us to journey’s end. Amen. ( by David Hamflett and published in the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.)

Hymn.    Gentle Mary Laid Her Child #36VU

Prayer: Lord Christ, born of Mary, in our littleness, in our weakness, Let your light shine. 
Lord Christ, born of Mary, in our strength and our achievement, Let your kingdom come. 
Lord Christ, born of Mary, in the overturning of our values, in the renewing of your people, 
Let your kingdom come. Amen. 

Scripture Lessons:      Romans 1:1-7

                                    Psalm 80:1-7 p.794VU

                                    Matthew 1:18-25


Prayer:  God of mystery and miracles, your Word brings light into the dark places of our lives; your presence gives us strength to endure when we are pushed beyond our own strength. You find us in our list Ness and, with love beyond our imagining, you lead us home. 

All this you offer in and through Jesus Christ. Yet, we resist you. We resist loosening our tight grip on our lives. We hesitate to trust you for you may lead us where we do not want to go. You know the places in our hearts and in our minds where we are well-defended against your intrusions. 

In this season of longing, grant us grace to bring all that we are to you, O Christ— all the broken places, all the lost wandering, all the weariness from trying to live lives that are pleasing to you. 

Hold them all in the fullness of your love. Then, be born in us, that we may find our home, our life, our joy in you, Lord of light and love. (a prayer written by Christine Jarrett and shared on the re:worship website.) 

Hymn        O Little Town of Bethlehem #64 

This Sunday is Communion Sunday in our three churches: in Howick at 9:30, in Ormstown at 11:00 and in Franklin during its Christmas Candlelight service at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend. 

Many thanks to all who gave so generously to our White Gift service last Sunday. It is going to make a great difference to many local families. In Howick there were 78 donations to the Mitten Tree and 15 bags going to the Christmas baskets. Your generosity is being noticed. 

Also, thanks to those who organized the activities in church last Sunday in Ormstown. It was greatly appreciated. 

There will be Christmas Eve services held in both Howick and Ormstown. Howick’s will be held at 6pm and Ormstown’s will be at 8pm. There will be no Sunday service on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day there will be a regional Zoom service offered. If you wish to participate, please let Barbara know and she will send you the link. The regular schedule of Sunday services will begin on January 8th with a 9:30 service in the hall in Ormstown and an 11:00 service in Howick.