Friday, April 5, 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024 The Second Sunday of Easter

 Yes! It is still Easter! It is always Easter because we continue to celebrate Christ’s rising, each and every Sunday (at least). So we will continue to sing our Easter hymns and our hallelujahs. 


Hymn:       The Day of Resurrection #164VU


Prayer:  Risen Jesus, we thank you for your greeting, “Peace be with you.” The shalom of God, deep lasting peace; peace that brings inner calm; that keeps a person steady in the storm; that faces the persecutor without fear and proclaims the good news with courage and with joy. This is the peace that reconciles sister to brother, black to white, rich and poor, young and old, but not a peace that is quiet in the face of oppression and injustice. This is the peace that passes understanding. Amen. ( a prayer by John Johansen-Berg and printed in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley.) 

Scripture Lessons:      Acts 4:32-35

                                    Psalm 150 p. 874VU

                                    John 20:19-31

Message


Prayer: We praise you, O God, that by the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ, you have delivered us from the power of death, making us alive to serve you. 
   Free us from pride of self that we may live in community with one another and with all your people. 
   Free us from fear of the principalities and powers of this world that we may live and speak with courage, guided by your Spirit. 
   Keep us rooted and grounded in your love, and fill us with the power of your Spirit. 
   Be glorified in our life together; through Jesus our risen Saviour. Amen. ( from the Book of Worship of the United Church of Christ) 

Hymn:        Christ the Lord is Risen Today #157 VU

 




This Sunday’s services will be held at 9:30 in Ormstown and 11:00 in Howick. Hope to see you there! 

We want to thank everyone who has helped with the renovations in the basement of Howick United Church. Work is proceeding and we hope to complete the project soon. 

We also want to say “Thank you” to those who have supported the renovation work in Howick United Church. If you wish to make a donation, it can be done by cheque, or by e-transfer ( or, of course, with cash!)

As a result of the work being done in the basement, there will be no Pancake Lunch this Sunday. 

St Paul’s Session will meet this Wednesday, April 10th at 1pm in the hall. 

St Paul’s will also be holding a congregational meeting on Sunday, April 14th following the Sunday worship service. This is being held to decide on the application to Faithful Footprints, the United Church  program for making church buildings more sustainable. 


Hopefully, we will rise again! 


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Sunday, March 31, 2024 Easter Sunday

 


Hymn.      Come Children Join to Sing #345VU


Scripture Lessons:      Acts 10:34-43

                                    Psalm 118:14-24 p.837 pts 2-3

                                    John 20:1-18

Message



Prayer: O God of Easter surprises, open our eyes to signs of your presence and signs of new life among us. 

Jesus Christ, of great, good news, help us to hear and believe the wonderful news: that God is faithful, that our sins are forgiven, and that the power of death and despair are defeated in you. 

O Spirit of peace and hope, fill our hearts and minds this day. Let our faith in you bring us comfort and joy and unite us in love, this day and always. 

We pray in the name of our crucified and risen Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Hymn         Christ the Lord is Risen Today #157VU


                                             

This Sunday there will be a combined Easter Sunday service in Howick, beginning at 11:00. This will be a Communion service held in the sanctuary. We will begin gathering at 10:30 and share coffee and cookies before the service. Activities for children will also be planned. 

This Wednesday, April 3rd, the St Paul’s Board of Stewards will meet at 7:30 in the hall to discuss a recommendation for the Faithful Footsteps program as well as hold its monthly meeting. 

St Paul’s Session will meet Wednesday, April 10th at 1pm in the hall for its monthly meeting. 

A congregational meeting is called for St Paul’s United Church for Sunday, March 14th following the worship service. This will be to discuss and decide on the congregation’s plans for the application to the Faithful Footsteps program. 

Barbara will be away from April 15-21st on Continuing Education. Debbie Beattie will be leading the Sunday worship services. 

Michael Blair, the Executive Secretary of the General Council of the United Church will be in Montreal and speaking on The State of the Church: Leaning into God’s Future on Monday, May 6th from 3:30-5:00 at St George’s Anglican Church at 1011 Stanley Street, Montreal. The event is free but registration is requested. This may be done with the QR code on the poster or at montrealdio.ca/state-of-the-church. This event will be followed by the convocation for Montreal Diocesan College and the United Theological College at 7pm, at St George’s. 

We continue to hold the family and friends of Ken Brooks in our thoughts and prayers, following his death last week. 




Thursday, March 28, 2024

Good Friday, March 29, 2024

 

Hymn       There is a Green Hill Far Away #152VU


Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 52:13-53:12

                                    Psalm 22:1-22 p. 744-5VU, parts 1,2

                                    Mark 15:25-39

Message



Prayer:  Gracious God of grief and suffering, this Friday seems ‘good’ for all the wrong reasons. Be with us in these hours as we pray under the shadow of the cross of Christ and hear again the story of Jesus’ death. This is not where we would choose to be, O God, brought face to face with this symbol of death and instrument of torture. 
   Forgive us, where we have sought to avoid such times: where we have ignored the cross or denied our own pain, or turned our backs on the suffering of others. 
    Strengthen us to be here today, that we may know the ways of the world, O God: you have been there; you are here; you have loved and cried and lived and died to be with us, to comfort us, to forgive us and to free us. For this we give thanks. This we call good. Amen ( from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence) 

Hymn.       When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #149VU


Blessing: May you find in the cross a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven. And May the blessing of God go with you, now and forever more. Amen. ( also from Celebrate God’s Presence)

                                               ✝️                             ☦️                                 ✝️

This Sunday’s service will be a combined service held in Howick, as an Easter Communion Sunday, at 11am in the sanctuary. We will begin gathering at 10:30 for coffee and goodies. 

Next week we will be back to our normal worship schedule, with services at Ormstown at 9:30 (in the church) and in Howick at 11:00. 

St Paul’s Stewards will meet this week, on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30pm in the hall. We will be deciding on the recommendation for Faithful Footprints as well as holding our monthly meeting. 

St Paul’s Session will meet on Wednesday, April 10th in the hall at 1pm. 

St Paul’s United Church will be holding a congregational meeting to discuss and decide on the application to Faithful Footprints. It will be held Sunday, April 14th following the Sunday service. 

Barbara will be away from April 15th to 21st for Cont Ed. Debbie Beattie will be leading the Sunday service. 

Michael Blair, the Executive Secretary of the General Council, will be in Montreal in May. He will be discussing the State of the Church: Leaning into God’s Future on Monday, May 6th from 3:30-5:00 at St George’s Anglican Church, 1011 Stanley St., Montreal. The convocations for Montreal Diocesan College and the United Theological College will follow at 7pm. This event will be free, but registration is requested, which can be done with the QR code on the poster or at montrealdio.ca/state-of-the-church. 

We continue to hold the family and friends of Ken Brooks who died last week. 


Friday, March 22, 2024

Sunday, March 24, 2024 Palm/ Passion Sunday

 This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading us through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, to Easter Sunday. This week we celebrate both the highs and lows of our faith. There will be a special blog for Good Friday as well as one for Easter Sunday. 

Did you know that in Australia Palm Sunday is a day to pray and to March for peace? Let us all pray for peace this Sunday and throughout Holy Week. 

Hymn      All Glory, Laud and Honour #122VU



Scripture Lessons:      Philippians 2:5-11

                                    Psalm 118:19-29 p.837VU pts 2 & 3

                                    Mark 11:1-11

Hymn       Hosanna, Loud Hosanna #123VU



Message



Prayer:  Loving God, on this Sunday of Palms and of Passion when you invite your church more deeply to follow you, hear us as we pray. 
      Remembering the crowds who followed Jesus, we pray for all who are lost in this world, who cannot find their way, whether they are trapped in poverty, or lack of education and opportunity, whether they are depressed or lonely, whether they know you or not. Hear us as we pray. 
      Remembering the disciples who walked with Jesus, we pray for all who are seeking to walk in his way, all those who serve others either in their profession or as volunteers or in the home. Hear us as we pray.
      Remembering the religious leaders who feared Jesus, we pray for all in leadership over others, that they might know true humility, that they might turn to you for guidance, that they might consider their highest legacy to be not personal gain, but social advancement so that all might live better lives. Hear us as we pray. 
       Remembering Jesus, who faced adoration and then abandonment, we pray for ourselves, that we might be strong in our faith, joyous in serving the Good, and resolute in opposing evil. Hear us as we pray. 
       Remembering all who have been called Christian through generations upon generations, we join our voices to the great communion of saints as we pray the words that Jesus gave so each one of us to treasure …. Amen. (a prayer written by Kate Crawford and shared and printed in Gathering LEP2012)

Hymn        Ride On, Ride On in Majesty #127VU


This week there is a change to our worship schedule. This Sunday (March 24th) There will be Palm Sunday services with Communion in Franklin (9:30) and in Ormstown (11:00). There will be no service in Howick this week. Instead, there will be an Easter Sunday service with Communion in Howick, offered as a combined service for our three congregations. We will begin gathering at 10:30 with coffee and goodies. We are also planning on offering some activities for children. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Ken Brooks, who died in the past week. 

Please note that the Pancake Lunch that had been suggested by the Howick Session for April 7th will have to be postponed, due to the work that is being planned for the church basement. We hope to be able to do it later in the spring. 

St Paul’s Stewards have moved their monthly meeting ahead to Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30 in the hall. This is to finalize recommendations for the Faithful Footprints project. 

St Paul’s Session will meet Wednesday, April 10th at 1:00 in the hall. 

St Paul’s United Church will hold a congregational meeting to finalize plans for the Faithful Footprints project following the Sunday service at 11:00 on Sunday, April 14th. 

Did you see the Promise Tree we have been decorating in Lent? Here is Howick’s:


And here is St Paul’s:





Thursday, March 14, 2024

Sunday, March 17, 2024 The Fifth Sunday of Lent

☘️. Today is, of course, St Patrick’s Day, which is more than a day for a parade or a party (or green beer?). It is a day to reflect on the spiritual meaning and impact of St Patrick and the heritage of the Irish church. 

This week also, for Muslims, the month of Ramadan begins, when faithful Muslims who are able, fast from food and water for the daylight hours, and usually gather in the evening hours to share food and celebrations. Ramadan Mubarak! 

Ooops! I seem to have forgotten PIE Day. March 14 (3.14) which was  celebrated as a Public, Intentional, and Explicit inclusion of 2SLGBTQ community members. Did you have pie to celebrate? 

Hymn      Love Divine #333VU


Prayer:  God be in our heads and in our understanding. 
God be in our eyes and in our seeing. 
God be in our ears and in our listening. 
God be in our mouths and in our praying. 
God be in our hearts and in our loving. 
God be in us, in our living and our serving, this day and every day. Amen. (based on a blessing attributed to St Patrick.) 

Scripture Lessons:     Jeremiah 31:31-34

                                   Psalm 51:1-12 p. 

                                   John 12:20-33

Hymn       O Love that wilt Not Let Me Go #658VU

Message



Prayer:  I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through the confession of Oneness of the Creator of creation. 

… I arise today, through the strength of heaven, the light of the sun, the radiance of the moon, the splendour of fire, the speed of lightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, the stability of the earth, the firmness of rock. 

…I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, from temptation of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near. 

…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christwhen I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. 

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Amen. 

Hymn      Be Thou My Vision # 642VU



This Sunday there will be a 9:30 service in Howick and a 11:00 service in Ormstown. You are invited to wear green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. 
Next Sunday will be Palm Sunday and there will be a change to our usual worship schedule, to allow all three churches to hold a Holy Week service. On March 24th, Palm Sunday, there will be services in Franklin at 9:30 and Ormstown at 11:00. Howick will host a combined Easter Sunday service at 11:00. All these services will include the sacrament of Communion. 

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

In Howick the work on renewing the church heating system and environmental footprint will be beginning this week. As a result, the Pancake Lunch will need to be delayed. We will let people know when we are able to reschedule this event. 



Thursday, March 7, 2024

Sunday, March 10, 2024 The Fourth Sunday of Lent

 Hope you had a happy International Women’s Day! 💐

Hymn      O God How We Have Wandered #112



Scripture Lessons:       Numbers 21:4-9

                                     Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

                                     John 3:14-21

Message



Prayer:  O God, who loves the world, you hold all that you have created within your compassionate embrace as you hold each life torn by pain or sorrow or hatred within your aching heart. 

O God, who loves the world, we want to believe that snakes in the grass can be transformed into symbols of healing, but we are afraid trust in your great goodness. 

O God, who loves the world, we cry out for wholeness, for ourselves, for those we love, and for our world. 

May your healing presence gently transform the hidden places of our lives where we hold pain in the secret depths. 

May your loving presence be a comforting reality for all those who find themselves in despair, lost and alone. 

May your transforming presence create generosity in place of greed, harmony in place of hatred, and everlasting justice where now evil reigns. 

O God, who loves the world, we bring before you from the silence of our own aching hearts those people and places that most need your healing, loving, transforming presence. (Silence) 
O God, who loves the world, this is your world and we claim your power and your presence to make it whole. Amen. ( a prayer by Cora Krommenbrook, printed in Keri Wehlander’s Courage for Hallelujahs)

Hymn      Amazing Grace #266



This Sunday’s services are Howick at 11:00 with Debbie Beattie and in Franklin and Ormstown we will be combining our Sunday service with our annual meetings. In Franklin we will begin at 9am (remember, this is Spring Forward Sunday) and in Ormstown, we will begin at 11am. 

Holy Week Worship schedule:  
Palm Sunday March 24   9:30 Franklin      11:00 Ormstown  Communion Sunday in both churches
                                        (Please note, no service in Howick, though it is a 4th Sunday)    
March 31.  11:00 Combined Easter Sunday service in Howick with Communion in the sanctuary. 
                   Coffee and munchies at 10:30. 




Friday, March 1, 2024

Sunday, March 3, 2024 The Third Sunday of Lent

 

Hymn     Holy, Holy, Holy #315VU



Scripture Lessons:       Exodus 20:1-17

                                     Psalm 19 p.740-1VU

                                     John 2:13-22

Message



Prayer:  We pray in thanks for those with hope around us, for eyes to see the ever-present hint of spring within our soul. Thanks be to you, O God, for the gentle, persistent power of your love that asserts itself within us, and will not be denied until it buds, then bursts, full-flower.  We praise you for your patience with our blindness and our short-lived memories, and stand dumbfounded that you accept us all within us and dare to take delight in us. This alone is cause for hope— to know your ease with our dis-ease of self. We trust that what you know and love of us gives peace today and future promise. Amen. ( a prayer from Janet Schaffran and Pat Kozak’s More Than Words) 

Hymn       For the Beauty of the Earth #226



This Sunday the service in Ormstown will be held at 9:30 in the hall and will include craft activities for children as well. 

In Howick, the service will begin at 11:00 and will be combined with the annual meeting. Annual reports are now available. 

The annual meetings for Ormstown and Franklin will be held on Sunday, March 10th, in combination with the worship service. In Franklin we will begin at 9am and in Ormstown at 11:00, in the hall. 

Howick’s UCW will be meeting on Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm in the church hall. We will be discussing books we have read recently. 

The annual meeting for the Union Cemetery will be held Thursday, March 7th at 2pm in MacDougall Hall. Directors are asked to gather at 1:30, just prior to the meeting. 

Worship Schedule for Holy Week:
March 24  Palm Sunday with Communion 9:30  Franklin.  11:00 Ormstown (not Howick as is usual)
March 31  Easter Sunday. 11:00  Combined service with Communion for all 3 congregations.