Friday, March 17, 2023

Sunday, March 19, 2023 The Fourth Sunday of Lent

 This past week we will have marked St Patrick’s Day and this coming week will be the official start of spring (we will see!) and also World Water Day when we consider the use and the conservation of a very precious resource, water. 

Hymn.       Open My Eyes #371VU

Prayer:  Loving God, radiance of our lives, you are the light to our darkness, hope to our despair, promise to our dreams. Gift our lives with an unfolding awareness of your life within us. Let us live in the joyful surprise of your transforming work, continually creating us anew, birthing through us, Christ to the world. Amen. (a prayer from Jacqueline Syrup Bergan and S. Marie Schwan’s Taste and See.)

Scripture Lessons:      I Samuel 16:1-13

                                    Psalm 23 p. 749VU

                                     John 9:1-41

Hymn       The Lord’s My Shepherd #747VU


Prayer:  O God, source of love and compassion, in the sufferings of all your children, we offer our compassion also for the hungry, and the sick in body, mind, or heart, the depressed and the lonely, all living in fear and under stress, all stricken in grief, the unemployed and the rejected, and those burning with hatred. 

Strengthen us to work for their healing and inspire us to build with you the kingdom of love where none shall cause suffering to others and all be caring, loving children of yours, our compassionate, all-embracing God, ever present, ever loving, never failing. Amen. (adapted from a prayer by George Appleton and printed in With All God’s People from the WCC, compiled by John Carden) 

Hymn.      He Leadeth Me #657VU

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the families and friends of Robert Ness and Myrna Rees who died this past week. 

We have also deeply saddened by the news of the death of Jade Ouellette who died this week. We pray for her family and friends in this very difficult time. 

Unit C of Howick United Church is offering a bread sale to members of the congregation and the community. The deadline for ordering is April 15th and the bread will be delivered on Wednesday, April 26th. Orders may be made through members of Unit C or on the form in the church. 

The Confirmation Classes are continuing to meet on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm in the hall in Ormstown. 

St Paul’s Session will be meeting this Wednesday, March 22nd at 1:00 in the church hall. 
St Paul’s Stewards have decided to cancel their meeting for this month. They will be meeting again on April 19th. 

A reminder for those who may make donations to Howick United Church by e-transfer: the email address to be used for this has changed to 

Best wishes to Merging Waters Pastoral Charge (Union Church Ste Anne’s and Beaurepaire United Church) as they mark the beginning of the new ministry that they will be sharing with Lisa Byer-deWever. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023 The Third Sunday of Lent

 This week we marked International Womens’s Day, recalling the many gifts and contributions women bring to our community, giving thanks for them, and praying for justice, peace, and equality for all women all around the world. Next Tuesday March 14th (3.14) is PIE Day (Public, Intentional and Explicit) offering support to congregations who are affirming and welcoming to LGBTQ+ members. The Moderator of the United Church has posted a message on the website and on the church’s YouTube channel. 

Hymn.      Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah #651VU

Prayer:  Gracious God, may your love, like water, pour over our thirsty spirits, cleansing, refreshing, renewing us. Be present as we seek to know you, to love you, and to respond to your unconditional love for us. Amen. (a prayer from Jacqueline Syrup Bergman and S. Marie Schwan’s Taste and See)

Scripture Lessons:     Exodus 17: 1-7

                                   Psalm 95 p.814VU

                                   John 4:5-42


Prayer: God our Mother, Living Water, River of Mercy, Source of Life, in whom we live and move and have our being, who quenches our thirst, refreshes our weariness, bathes and washes and cleanses our wounds, be for us always a fountain of life, and for all the world a river of hope springing up in the midst of the deserts of despair. Honour and blessing, glory and praise to you forever. Amen. (a prayer from Miriam Therese Winter’s Woman Prayer Woman Song)

Hymn.     I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say #626VU

The Stewards of Howick United Church will be meeting March 14th at 7pm in the hall. 
The Session and Stewards of St Paul’s United Church have delayed their meetings until next week, March 22nd. 

Howick UCW (unit C) will be holding a fundraiser, a sale of a selection of Grant’s bread (white, whole wheat, Canadian Harvest, Austrian, molasses oatmeal, farmer’s rolls, raisin bread, and pizza crusts). Orders need to be handed in by Saturday, April 15th and delivery will be on Wednesday, April 26th between 12 and 2 in the church hall. Members of Unit C can take your order. Your support would be greatly appreciated! 

The Confirmation Class will be meeting this week, on Wednesday night in the hall in Ormstown, from 6:30-7:30pm. 

Howick United Church is planning a Pancake Luncheon for Sunday, March 26th following the Sunday service. All welcome to come and join in the fun. A free will offering will be taken to try to cover the costs.

Please mark your calendars: a memorial tea will be held Sunday, April 30th from 2-4pm in the hall in Howick United Church to remember and to give thanks for the life of Marjorie Templeton. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Sunday, March 5, 2023 The Second Sunday of Lent


Hymn      Unto the Hills #842VU

Prayer:  Creator God, from quark to planet your universe is awesome. 
Give us eyes to gape at the wonders daily about us, 
And the will to live in the harmony of your creating. 
Help us to recognize and honour the connections of all things, 
Even at cost to our own wants and comforts; 
So we may live gently on earth, 
And all creation praise you. ( a prayer by Chris Polhill and published in the Iona Community’s Lenten worship resource, Eggs and Ashes, edited by Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill)

Scripture Lessons:   Genesis 12:1-4

                                 Psalm 121 p.842VU

                                 John 3:1-17


Prayer:  By the prayers of Jesus, Lord teach us how to pray. 
By the gifts of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to give. 
By the the toils of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to work. 
By the love of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to love. 
By the cross of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to live. Amen. (printed in Frank Colquhoun’s Contemporary Parish Prayers) 

Hymn      I Love to Tell the Story #343

Next Sunday will be the combined service and annual meeting in both Franklin and Ormstown. Franklin’s service will begin at 9am and Ormstown’s at 11:00 in the hall. Annual reports are available for those who have not yet received one. 

Upcoming Events in Howick:  Stewards meeting Tuesday, March 14th 7pm in the church hall. 

Pancake Luncheon following the 11am Sunday service March 26th 

A Memorial Tea held for Marjorie Templeton Sunday April 30th, 2-4pm, in the church hall. 
Please mark your calendars! 

The Confirmation Classes have begun on Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30pm in the hall in Ormstown. We will be beginning again after March Break, on March 15th. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Sunday, February 26, 2023 The First Sunday of Lent


Hymn     Great is Thy Faithfulness #288

Prayer: Most Holy God, before you feel the limitations of our human power and goodness. We thank you that your forgiveness is as eternal as your righteousness. Teach us never to doubt your love, but always to trust in you, through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen. (a prayer by Ruth C. Duck printed in Bread for the Journey, edited by Ruth C. Duck.)

Scripture Lessons:       Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

                                     Psalm 32 p.759VU

                                     Romans 5:12-9

Hymn      Grace Greater than all our Sin


Prayer:  Teach us, O God, so to use this season of Lent that we may be drawn closer to you and to our Lord and Saviour, and in fellowship with him may learn to resist sin, to overcome temptation, and to grow in holiness, that our lives may be strengthened for your service and used for your glory. We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen. ( a prayer adapted from one by Frank Colquhoun and printed in Contemporary Parish Prayers, edited by Frank Colquhoun)

Hymn.        Amazing Grace #266 

Following yet another earthquake in Turkey and Syria this past week, I will include the information for donating to the United Church’s Relief Fund again. Donations may be made online through the church’s website, or by phone with a credit card at 1-800-268-3781 ext.2738 or send a cheque to The United Church of Canada, Philanthropy Unit - Emergency Response, 3250 Bloor St W, Suite 200, Toronto, On, M8X 2Y4. Please mark “Emergency Response— Türkiye” on the face of your cheque.

The address for e-transfers to Howick United Church has changed. It will no longer be Wilene’s personal account. In stead it will be Please use this instead as it will simplify the transfer of funds into the church account. If you have any problems, please let her know. Thanks. 

Plans are being made for Confirmation Classes to be held. Please contact Barbara if you know someone who would like to participate. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Sunday, February 19, 2023 Transfiguration Sunday

 This is the last Sunday of Epiphany, before the beginning of the season of Lent. Do you have plans for observing the season? Starting with pancakes on Tuesday or ashes on Wednesday? Giving something up or trying something on for the season? Reading a series of readings from a book of readings? UCRD has one for this year, called Good Courage. It can be ordered in print or as an e-book. 

Hymn:          Holy Holy Holy

Prayer:  God of power and wonder, we are awestruck by the glory of your presence. We rejoice at what we can see; we marvel at what we cannot see. You dazzle us with your brightness; you overshadow us as with a great cloud.  Loving, protecting, challenging, nurturing, you strengthen and transform us. May we love and serve you, in all that we are and do. Glory be to you. Amen. (from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence)

Scripture Lessons:        Exodus24:12-18

                                      Psalm 99 p.819VU

                                      Matthew 17:1-9

Hymn.        Fairest Lord Jesus


Prayer: O Shining One, you are the flame burning within, the beacon on the horizon, the radiance in all creation, the bright idea apprehending us, the sparkling in the eyes of our loved ones, the uncreated light that is lighting all. 

Transfigure us, this very day, as we open into the radiance of the Christ in each other, in song, in word, and witness. May this be the day of our enlightenment, when we see with clarity the sacred life we are called to manifest. 

Remake us as sacraments of the Holy, that we might embrace our calling:  to see with new eyes, reach out with gentle hands, imagine with transformed minds, be still with hallowed presence, and be filled with grateful prayers. In the name of the Transfigured One we pray. Amen. (a prayer written by Bruce Sanguin and published in his book, If Darwin Prayed.)

Hymn:       All Beautiful the March of Days #530VU

We have been saddened to hear of the death of a former minister of St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown, the Rev. Irvine Johnson has died, at the age of 98. A funeral will be held Tuesday, February 21st 2pm. An obituary can be found at the website for Wartman’s Funeral Home in Napanee. Our thoughts are with the family, including the Duncan family in Ormstown.

Unit B of Howick’s UCW will be gathering for lunch this week, on Tuesday, February 21st. We will be gathering for lunch and we are invited to bring a can of soup and a few cookies to share. 

St Paul’s Stewards will be meeting this week on Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:30pm in the hall. 

The annual meetings for Franklin and Ormstown will be held on Sunday, March 12th in combination with the worship service. Franklin’s meeting will start at 9:00 and Ormstown’s at 11:00. Annual reports are now available for all 3 of our congregations. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sunday, February 11, 2023


Hymn      Take Time to be Holy #672

Scripture Lessons:     Deuteronomy 30:15-20

                                   Psalm 119:1-8 p.838VU

                                   Matthew 5:21- 37


Prayer:  You asked for my hands that you might use them for your purpose. 
I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them because the work was hard. 

You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice. 
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused. 

You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty. 
I closed them for I did not want to see. 

You asked for my life that you might work through me. 
I gave a small part that I might not get too involved. 

Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you only when it is convenient for me to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so, and only with those who make it easy to do so. 

Lord, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument that I might take seriously the meaning of your cross. ( a prayer written by Joe Seremane, of South Africa and published in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley) 

Hymn      Take My Life and Let it Be #506

Benediction:  Look at your hands, see the touch and the tenderness— God’s own for the world. 

Look at your feet, see the path and the direction— God’s own for the world. 

Look at your heart, see the fire and the love— God’s own for the world. 

Look at the cross, See God’s Son and our Saviour— God’s own for the world. 

This is God’s world and we will serve God in it. 

May God bless you, may he keep you ever in his care and lead your lives with love. 
May God’s warm welcome shine from your hearts, and Christ’s own peace prevail through every day till greater life shall call. Amen. 

If you are looking for a way to respond to the crisis in Turkey and Syria following the earthquake there, options include the Global emergency relief fund of the United Church of Canada (which can be found at  Canadian Food Grains Bank, and many organizations listed on theCanadaHelps website. The United Church is in contact with its overseas partners to see how it can best to offer our support. More information may follow. 

Many thanks to all who were able to attend Howick’s annual meeting last Sunday. The annual reports are still available for those who have not yet received one. 

The Official Board meeting for the Ormstown-Franklin Pastoral Charge will take place Wednesday, February 15th at 1:00 in the hall. The annual meetings will take place on Sunday, March 12th in combination with the worship service, at 9:00 and 11:00 respectively. The annual reports have been printed and are now available. 

We are trying to plan for a Confirmation Class for this winter/spring. Please let Barbara know by the 15th of February if you are interested in taking part, so we can make plans for the classes. 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sunday, February 5, 2023 The Fifth Sunday of Epiphany

 February is Black History Month. How will we observe it this year? Read a book, take a course, attend a lecture? There are lots of possibilities out there! 

Hymn       Jesus Bids Us Shine #585

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 58:1-12

                                     Psalm 112 p.834VU

                                    Matthew 5:13-20



Prayer:  Lord, you placed me in the world to be its salt. 
I was afraid of committing myself, afraid of being stained by the world. 
I did not want to hear what “they” might say. 
And my salt dissolved as if in water. 
Forgive me, Jesus. 

Lord, you placed me in the world to be its light. 
I was afraid of the shadows, afraid of the poverty. 
I did not want to know other people. 
And my light slowly faded away. 
Forgive me, Jesus. 

Lord, you placed me in the world to live in community. 
Thus you taught me to love, to share in life, to struggle for bread and for justice, your truth incarnate in my life. 
So be it, Jesus. Amen. ( a prayer by Peggy M. de Cuehlo, of Uruguay, from Your Will Be Done, Christian Conference of Asia Youth, 1984 and published in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley.)

Hymn.        Give Me Oil in My Lamp 

This week Howick United Church will be holding its annual meeting in combination with our worship service, beginning at 11:00. The annual reports are now ready and can be reviewed before the meeting. 

St Paul’s will be holding its service at 9:30 am. The annual meeting is planned for both Franklin and Howick to be held on Sunday, March 12th beginning at 9am and 11:00 respectively. The Official Board meeting will be held Wednesday, February 15th (snow date the 22nd) at 1:00 in MacDougall Hall in Ormstown. 

I am continuing to invite possible participants for a confirmation class offered this year, probably in the spring. I am going to ask those who might be interested to contact me by February 15th so we can make plans on how to move forward. 

We hold the families of Donald Gruer and Garth Coffin in our thoughts and prayers. Don died unexpectedly last week and a service of remembrance will be held in the summer. Garth died this week after a time of illness and the service of remembrance will be held this week in Prince Edward Island. 

And just for fun….