Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sunday, October 1, 2023 The Fourth Sunday of Creation

 This weekend our country marks National Truth and Reconciliation Day, (also known as Orange Shirt Day) remembering and repenting the damage and injustice that many policies, including residential schools, did to the indigenous peoples of this country. 

Hymn       When Morning Gilds the Skies #339VU

Scripture Lessons:     Exodus 17:1-7

                                   Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 p.792VU

                                   Philippians 2:1-13


Prayer: Powerful Christ, we are grateful that you came to us as a child, who grew out of a community that nurtured, supported, and taught you the way of your ancestors. 
You have asked us to do the same: to treat each child as we would treat you, to love every person as you have loved us. 
  We are grateful that your power is rooted in love, not force; your strength is displayed through community not might. You have taught us to work toward a better world where all of creation thrives, and where every child matters. 
   On this Orange Shirt Day, we remember Phyllis Webstad as a child, and the stolen childhood of all children forcibly raised by church-run institutions, known as residential schools. We lament how these institutions stole from children the opportunity to grow in a safe and loving environment, stole from the Elders the opportunity to share their teachings and wisdom with younger generations; and stole from communities the opportunity to live intergenerationally. 
   We mourn the children who never made it home, the communities that were destroyed, the broken hearts, the stories never shared, and the shattered relationships. 
   We ask that you provide comfort to all who are seeking healing and who daily wrestle with the ongoing harmful legacy of these colonial institutions, strength to all who name how colonial powers have harmed us as a people’s and as a nation: often at great personal cost, and courage to all who are working toward reconciliation. 
   Christ Child, as you grew you reminded us to always welcome and care for children.
 We remember your children today.
 We lament and acknowledge the sinful ways that colonial powers tried to eradicate indigenous cultures within Canada, breaking indigenous families, removing children from their homes while destroying communities. And we pray for healing, so that we who live together in this country can also work together to build a better future where all children are cherished, beloved, and given what they need to thrive. 
   So that we may treat all children as we would treat you, our Beloved. May it be so. Amen. ( a prayer of the United Church of Canada)

Hymn      All the Way My Saviour Leads Me #635

This week there will be no morning service in Howick, to allow members to attend the 200th anniversary celebration in Georgetown Presbyterian Church, beginning at 10:30am. There will be a service in Ormstown beginning at 9:30am, but it will be a shorter service for the same reason. There will also be some craft activities for children offered at the same time.

Unit C of Howick’s UCW will be gathering for dinner out this coming week, on October 5th. Location to be determined. Keep in touch! 

There will be a memorial gathering in honour of Donald and Rosemary Hooker held Saturday, October 7th from 1:30-4:30 in the hall in Ormstown. All are welcome to come and to share your stories and your memories of Don and Rosemary with their family. 

Next Sunday will be Thanksgiving Sunday, and there will be services in all three of our congregations: 9:30 in Franklin, 11:00 in Ormstown, where there will also be a collection of food for the food bank, and also 11:00 in Howick led by Debbie Beattie. 

There will be a town hall meeting for rural congregations and communities in the Nakonhaka Regional Council to be held on Zoom October 12th at 7pm. This is part of a consultation process to set priorities for our region for the coming years. If you would like to participate, please let Barbara know and she will forward you the link. (There will also be other meetings held for intercultural communities and an in person meeting in the city on Tuesday, October 3rd at 7pm at Wesley United Church, 5964 Ave. Norte-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal.) 

For those who would like to attend an information session on Zoom concerning the remit sent to our congregations by the General Council, on creating an autonomous and independent Indigenous church, one will be held this coming week October 4th at 7pm. Please let Barbara know you are interested and she will send you the link. 

There will be a congregational meeting held in Howick to inform the congregation about the Stewards work on an application for Faithful Footprints, an ecological program for United Church buildings. It will follow the 11:00 service on Sunday, October 22nd. 

There will be a combined service for our three congregations held Sunday, October 29th in Franklin beginning at 11:00. There will be a time of fellowship preceding the service with coffee etc and snacks provided. 


Friday, September 22, 2023

Sunday, September 24, 2023. The Third Sunday of Creation


Hymn.     Let Us With a Gladsome Mind #234

Scripture Lessons:      Exodus 16:2-16

                                    Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45 pp.828-9VU

                                    Matthew 20:1-16


Prayer: We give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation: for the glory we see around us, for the mystery of wonder and life, for green leaves, bird song, and smiles of wonder. Thank you God. 
We give thanks for the friendship of Jesus: for the stories he told, for the hope he gives us, for Good Samaritans, broken bread and laughter. Thank you God. 
We give thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit: for the wisdom and challenges she brings and the courage she gifts us, for wild dances, shared tears, and new adventures. Thank you God. 
We pray for our world, for those who suffer because of climate change, for those who are afraid of what tomorrow May bring. We pray for those who seek to renew the seas and the earth, for botanists, for marine biologists and for growers of flowers, vegetables and fruit. God in your mercy
We pray for people who live in places of war and conflict, for fighters, child soldiers, for those who get hurt. And we pray for all who work to bring peace and Justice, for volunteers and peace builders, for those who seek to do good to everyone. In our community we pray for ….. God in your mercy, 
We pray for people who are homeless and for those who are living in places that are strange to them, for new people in our churches, for new children in our classroom, for those who are living away from the people they love. And we pray for all who welcome strangers and offer hospitality, who listen and befriend. In our community we pray for…… God in your mercy, 
We pray for the church, for the church that is organization and buildings, for the church that is projects and people; we pray for ourselves. God in your mercy, 
God of grace and mercy, hear our prayers with those spoken and those held in our hearts; we ask them in Jesus’ name. AMEN. ( a prayer by Ruth Burgess printed in the Iona Community’s Acorns and Archangels)

Hymn.       Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah #651

This week there will be services in Franklin, at 9:30, and in Howick, at 11:00. This Sunday will be Communion Sunday in Howick. There will be no service in Howick next week, October 1st, as we are inviting members of the congregation and the community to join in the 200th anniversary celebration service at Georgetown Presbyterian Church at 10:30am. 

Sunday, October 1st there will be a short service offered at St Paul’s in Ormstown, and a Family Activity Sunday with crafts to do for young people. All welcome to join in. We begin at 9:30. 

On Saturday, October 7th there will be a time of remembrance and thanksgiving held at MacDougall Hall in Ormstown 1:30-4:30 for Donald and Rosemary Hooker. Friends and members of the community are invited to drop in, share stories and memories of Rosemary and Donald and to visit with members of the family. 

Thanksgiving Sunday there will be services in all three churches: 9:30 in Franklin, 11:00 in Ormstown, and 11:00 in Howick with Debbie Beattie. In Franklin and Ormstown, food will be collected for the local food bank. In particular donations of cereal, cookies, and snacks for school children would be appreciated, but gifts of any non-perishable food items and seasonal produce would be appreciated. 
Franklin will also be celebrating Communion this Sunday. 

St Paul’s will be holding its Communion Sunday service on October 15th at 11am. 

There will be a combined service for our three congregations to be held Sunday, October 29th at 11:00 in Franklin United Church. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Sunday, September 17, 2023 The Second Sunday of Creation


Hymn      Praise to the Lord the Almighty #220

Scripture Lessons:       Romans 14:1-11

                                     Psalm 103:1-11 p.825VU

                                     Matthew 18:21-35


Prayer:  Eternal God, creator of the world, we thank you for the earth our home, and for the gift of life.  We thank you for your love, revealed in Jesus the Christ, who came to heal this broken world, who died, rejected on the cross, and who rose triumphant from the dead.
Because he lives, we live to praise you, our God, forever. 
Glory to you, O God, forever and ever. 
Gracious God, who called us from death to life, and with the church through all ages, we thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to make us holy, and to lead us into all truth. 
Glory to you, O God, forever and ever. 
Glory to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. 
Glory to God from generation to generation, in the church in the world and in Jesus the Christ, forever and ever. Amen. ( from the United Church, services for trial use 1996-7, adapted) 

Hymn      Amazing Grace #266VU

This week’s services will be 9:30 in Howick and 11:00 in Ormstown. 

St Paul’s Stewards will be meeting this coming week, on Wednesday, September 20th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

Congratulations to Georgetown Presbyterian Church who are preparing to celebrate their 200th anniversary on October 1st of this year. In order to be able to share in the celebrations, Howick Session has decided to cancel the 11:00 service in Howick on October 1st and invite members of the congregation to attend the 10:30 service in Georgetown instead. A lunch is being prepared to follow the service, but space is limited so an RSVP to either Brian or Nancy Tannahill or Amy Tolhurst is needed. 

As a result of cancelling our October 1st service the fall Communion celebration in Howick will be held September 24th at our 11:00 service instead. All welcome. 

Congratulations are also due to Harvey Satewas Gabriel and to Kanesetake United Church who celebrated the completion of Harvey’s complete translation of the Bible into the Mohawk language. This was celebrated in the Kanesetake United Church last Sunday. 

A special celebration is being planned to remember and give thanks for the lives of Rosemary and Donald Hooker, Saturday October 7th from 1:30-4:30 in MacDougall Hall, 17 Lambton in Ormstown QC. Donald died earlier this year and Rosemary died during the pandemic, so this is a chance to remember them and to share our memories with the family. 

In Ormstown the service on October 1st will be a shortened service and a family activity day, with crafts for young people, beginning at 9:30am. 

October 8th will be a Thanksgiving Sunday service and food will be collected to be taken to the local food bank for both Franklin and Ormstown. 

October 15th will be the Communion Sunday for St Paul’s in Ormstown, at their 11:00 service. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

Sunday, September 10, 2023 The First Sunday of Creation

 This month, until Thanksgiving Sunday we will be observing the season of creation in our services. We are invited to celebrate the wonderful world we live in and all that it provides for us. 

Hymn.    All Creatures of our God and King #217

Scripture Lessons:      Exodus 3:1-5

                                    Psalm 149 p.873VU

                                    Romans 13:8-14


Prayer:  All-powerful God, you are presenting the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. 

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.  O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. 

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey upon it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. 

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. 

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. 

We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for Justice, love, and peace. Amen. ( a prayer of Pope Francis shared by Diana Butler Bass in her Substack page.) 

Hymn.      This is God’s Wondrous World #296VU

We are back now and back into our usual schedule. This Sunday I will be leading worship at Franklin at 9:30 and in Ormstown at 11:00. Debbie Beattie will be leading worship in Howick at 11:00 as well. Hope you have enjoyed a good summer. 

This Sunday we begin observing the season of Creation. As we see the changes coming in the world around us, let us commit ourselves to celebrating and caring for the wonderful world in which we live. 

The Stewards of Howick United Church regret that the elevator is not yet repaired. It has been a challenge to find a solution. We will let you know as soon as it is operational again. 

The Session of Howick United Church will meet on Monday, September 11th at 7:00 in the church.

The Session of St Paul’s United Church will be meeting Wednesday, September 13th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

St Paul’s Stewards will meet Wednesday, September 20th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Monday, July 31, 2023

For the month of August: 

Hymn.      When Morning Gilds the Skies #339

Prayer:  God of the ordinary, we praise you. 
You take the drabness of our thoughts, and brighten them into vivid imagination. 
You take our everyday lives, and transform them into holy, precious moments. 
You take our meagre offerings and multiply them into an abundance of delight. 
Extraordinary God, you light up our thoughts, our lives, our selves with the wonder of your call. 
We praise you. Amen. ( a prayer by Jan Berry printed in the Iona Community’s Bare Feet and Buttercups, edited by Ruth Burgess.) 

Scripture Lessons:  Psalm 113

                                Romans 12:9-21

Hymn      I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say #626


Prayers: Lord, take my life, my small life, and illumine it: that everything I say and do may reflect the light of your glory. 
Lord, take my life, my small life, and imprint it: that everything I say or do may reveal the image of your love. 
Lord, take my life, my small life, and inspire it: that everything I say or do may resonate with the power of your Spirit. 
Lord, take my life, my small life, and dwell in it: that everything I say or do may radiate your life, your glorious life. Amen (a prayer by Pat Bennett printed in the Iona Community’s Bare Feet and Butterflies, edited by Ruth Burgess.)

Ever-changing God, sometimes we plod on, head down, watching our feet, missing glimpses of glory. 
Ever-changing God, breaking through into the mundane greyness of our lives to make all things new, lift up our eyes to see your glory: 
     In the taken-for granted intimacy of human loving,
     In the persistent courage of day to day struggle, 
     In the renewal of green growth through the seasons, 
     In the new insight that stretches our imagination. 
Lift up our eyes to see the wonder and mystery of your presence, beckoning through the everyday glimpses of grace. Amen. (a prayer written by Jan Berry, printed in Bare Feet and Butterflies, edited by Ruth Burgess.) 

Hymn      Saviour, Again to Thy Dear Name we Raise #426

   This will be the final blog until September. Barbara will be on holiday during the month of August. Sunday services will resume September 11th. 

Hope you had a chance to mark Emancipation Day, August 1st, when slavery was abolished across the British Empire. 

Howick United Church is (tentatively) planning a congregational meeting to discuss a potential project for making the church more ecological and sustainable supported in part by funds made available through the church. The meeting would take place Thursday September 7th, if the necessary information can be gathered this month. More information will be coming soon. 

There will be a combined service for our cluster (South Shore and Valley) to be held Sunday, August 13th at 10:30am in the Kahnewake United Church. This will be followed by an introduction to the Teepee Project and a lunch. Please let Barbara know if you are planning to attend. She would like to let the planners know and she has information to share as well. 

Have a blessed summer, all of you. 💞

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Sunday, July 30, 2023


Hymn       Tell Me the Stories of Jesus #357

Prayer:  Holy God, who is both near and far, huge beyond measure, and as tiny as a mustard seed, to you we come. We come to worship, to sing your praise to seek your help and to learn your ways. Help us to open our minds to all that you are: you contain all genders, all melodies, all colours, all languages. Our limited understanding seeks to name who you are and how you are, and all our words and all our images fall short. Keep us mindful, dear God, that our language may fall short but that you never do. Holy God, to you we come. Open our hearts and our minds to you. Amen. ( a prayer by Jane O. Sorensen printed inBefore the Amen edited by Maren C. Tirabassi and Maria I. Tirabassi.)

Scripture Lessons:     Romans 8:26-39

                                   Psalm 105:1-11 p.828VU

                                   Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52


Prayer:  God, make our prayers like a candle-flame, always aspiring, hoping, stretching for heaven. 
God, make our prayers like a light-bulb, drawing energy from a network that extends far beyond my sight. 
Thank you for the vision you give us; and for the world-wide community of sisters and brothers in which you place us. Amen. (a prayer by Bob Warwicker of England printed in Wisdom is Calling edited by Geoffrey Duncan)

Hymn       I Love to Tell the Story #343

This Sunday’s service, July 30th is our final summer service for our 3 congregations, as Barbara will be on holiday through the month of August until after Labour Day. This Sunday’s service will be a combined service in Howick beginning at 11:00, preceded by a fellowship time beginning about 10:30. All welcome. 

There will be a shared service for our cluster (South Shore and Valley) to be held on Sunday, August 13th at 10:30am in the Kahnewake United Church. This will be followed by an introduction to the Teepee project and a lunch will be served. I have been asked for numbers for this, so if you are planning or hoping to attend, could you let me know and I will let the planners know. Also, I now have some info about where the service is to be held that I could forward to those who would like to receive it. Barbara

There will be an outdoor Quilt Show to be held this Sunday, July 30th from 11-4:00 at Tolhurst Farms. Admission is $5.00 and you are asked to bring a non-perishable food item as well. A light lunch will be provided. 

Huntingdon United Church will be holding its second Ice Cream Social Thursday August 17th from 5-9pm. Prices will be $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12 and under 5 free. Mark your calendars! 

I am hoping to prepare one more blog for the month I am away. It should be available after Monday. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

Sunday, July 23, 2023 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

(Rose among the briars instead of the wheat and the weeds!)

Hymn        This is God’s Wondrous World #296

Prayer:  O God, increase our faith. Within us all you have placed seeds of faith. Help us to let them grow, to give space and time and place to nourish and strengthen our faith. Make us powerful, moving forces for good. In Christ’s name. Amen (a prayer written by Camilla LaRouche of Mitchell ON and printed in GatheringS/A 2008.)

Scripture Lessons:       Genesis 28:10-19a

                                     Psalm 139:1-12 p.861VU

                                     Matthew 13:24-30

Song      We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder


Prayer: O God, you have called us together and named us your people and your children. We come just as we are. We cannot pretend to be what we are not, for you have made us and know us through and through. In our weakness, we come with prayers for strength; in our doubt we come with prayers for faith and hope; in our strength we come with prayers of thanksgiving. Open our hearts that we may come before you with honesty and await your answers with renewed faith. May our prayers and worship offered this day be joyful and thankful. Amen. (a prayer from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence, adapted.)

Hymn     O God of Bethel #650

This Sunday’s services will be 9:30 in Franklin and 11:00 in Howick. Next Sunday will be our final Sunday service and it will be a combined service in Howick beginning at 11:00. There will be a time of fellowship before the service with coffee and munchies. (Maybe more! ) Please plan on joining us there. 

There will be a combined service for our Cluster (South Shore and the Chateauguay Valley) held on Sunday, August 13th at 10:30am in the Kanewake United Church. Following the service, there will be a visit to the Tipi Project that will include lunch. Please try to let Barbara know if you are planning to attend so she can let the planners know. 

Please note that Huntingdon United Church will be holding a second Ice Cream Social Thursday, August 17th from 5-9:00pm. Prices will be $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12, and under 5 free. 

We have been saddened to hear of the death of Dorothy Clark this month. We hold her family in our thoughts and prayers.