Friday, January 21, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

 

Hymn   Amen, Amen



Scripture Lessons:     Nehemiah 8:1-10

                                   Psalm 19 pp.740-1 VU

                                   I Corinthians 12:12-31

                                   Luke 4:14-21

Meditation 


Another excerpt from the Song of Faith:

… Scripture is our song for the journey, the living word
   passed on from generation to generation
   to guide and inspire, 
   that we might wrestle a holy revelation for our time and place
   from the human experiences
      and cultural assumptions of another era. 
God calls us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. 

The Spirit breathes revelatory power into scripture, 
    bestowing upon it a unique and normative place 
   in the life of community.
The Spirit judges us critically when we abuse scripture 
   by interpreting it narrow-mindedly, 
   using it as a tool of oppression, exclusion, or hatred. 
The wholeness of Scripture testifies
   to the oneness and faithfulness of God. 
The multiplicity of scripture testifies to its depth:
   two testaments, four gospels, 
   contrasting points of view held in tension—
all a faithful witness to the One and Triune God, 
the Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love. …

Prayer : O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, we thank you and pride you for your love, for your wisdom, for your kindness and mercy. Make us instruments of love, peace, unity, and harmony between people independently of race, colour, and creed. Grant us to respect all of your creation and to look at one another and at all your creatures as brothers and sisters. Help us to serve one another in humility, simplicity and joy. Take away from the heart of people the spirit of hatred, violence and rivalry. Amen. ( a Franciscan prayer, Week of Prayer for World Peace, 1986, and printed in With All God’s People)

Hymn      Jesus United by Thy Grace #591VU


Did you know that our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott is reading through the whole New Testament from the New Year till Easter. You can join him by following him on Facebook. 

Some reports have now come in for our annual reports. Howick’s report will be collected by Evie Kerr, for one last year, and Ormstown and Franklin’s can come to me. You can email them to me at ormstownfranklin59@yahoo.ca or you can drop them off at the manse. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Sunday, January 16, 2022

 Today in the United States is Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, leading into Martin Luther King Jr Day tomorrow. How does his life and example inspire you? Which of his words do you remember? 

Hymn.     Joyful, Joyful We Adore You #232VU


Scripture Lessons: I Corinthians 12:1-11

                               Psalm 36:5-10 p.762VU

                               John 2:1-11

Meditation 


I thought for this season, the season of Epiphany, I would include parts of the latest statement of faith  related and developed by the United Church, the Song of Faith. It is quite long, so I won’t include it all. If you want to have it all, you can find it on the church’s website: united-church.ca. This week, the beginning: 

God is Holy Mystery, 
beyond knowledge, 
above perfect description. 
Yet, 
in love, 
the one eternal God seeks relationship. 
So God creates the universe 
and with it the possibility of being and relating.
God tends the universe, 
  mending the broken and reconciling the estranged.
God enlivens the universe, 
   guiding all things toward harmony with their Source. 
Grateful for God’s loving action, 
We cannot keep from singing.

With the Church through the ages, we speak of God as 
   Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer
   Good, Christ, and Spirit
   Mother, Friend, and Comforter
   Source of Life, Living Word, and Bond of Love, 
   and in other ways that speak faithfully of
The One on whom our hearts rely, 
the fully shared life at the heart of the universe. 

We witness to Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love. …. (to be continued in coming weeks)

Prayer: Gift-giving God, we give you thanks and praise for the blessings you pour out upon your people: for the spiritual gifts you provide for each of your children; for the opportunities you provide to share our gifts and blessings with others; and for the gift of your Son to be our Saviour, whose glory you continue to reveal and make manifest in our world. May the gifts and blessings you provide to us bring joy to our hearts; peace to our souls; and hope to our world. We pray in the name and the spirit of the one who came to be our Brother, our Teacher, and our Redeemer. Amen. 

Hymn.      Songs of Thankfulness and Praise#101VU


We will be preparing annual reports for our three congregations for the year 2021. If you have a report for us, please try to get it in by the end of the month. For Howick the reports can go to Evie Kerr (one last year!) and for Ormstown and Franklin, they can come to me either by email to ormstownfranklin59@yahoo.ca or by dropping it off at the manse. 

This week is also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We won’t be holding a service or other activity to mark this week. Is there something else we can be doing to show our common faith and commitment? Might it include not just Christian churches but also other people of faith as well? Let us at least pray for our sisters and brothers who seek to live according to their conscience and their convictions and in so doing, bring hope, healing, and light to our world.  


Friday, January 7, 2022

Sunday, January 9, 2022 The Baptism of Jesus

 

Hymn.     Hail to God’s Own Anointed #30VU


Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 43:1-7

                                    Psalm 29 p.756VU

                                    Luke 3:15-17, 21,22

Meditation 



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. 

Hymn.      All Beautiful the March of Days #530VU


Another week, another year, another lockdown! Hopefully, this won’t last as long as the last one! I hope and pray that you will stay well and that we will be able to gather before too long. 

As we begin another year, we will start preparing for another annual report as well. In Howick, we were able to hold an annual meeting last year, so we will be looking forward to holding one for this last year, 2021. In Ormstown and Franklin, we will be combining our meetings for 2020 and 2021, but the report for 2020 has already been produced, so we are only looking for reports for 2021.

As we begin a new year in Howick, we will also be starting with a new treasurer. Wilene Cullen has agreed to take on the role from Evie Kerr, who has decided to retire from the job after 30-plus years. Many thanks, Evie! 💐

We hold in our thoughts and prayers this week, Margo MacKinnon and her family, following the death of her husband Tom this week. 

We also hold in our thoughts and prayers the family of the Rev. Brian Evans, former priest of St James Anglican Church in Ormstown and St John’s Anglican Church in Huntingdon who has died this past week. No service is planned at this time. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Epiphany, January 6, 2022

 

Carol       Angels from the Realms of Glory #36VU


Prayer: O God, the source of all insight, whose coming was revealed to the nations not among men of power but on a woman’s lap: give us grace to seek you where you may be found, that the wisdom of this world may be humbled and discover your unexpected joy, through Jesus Christ. Amen . (a prayer byJanet Morley and printed in in All Desires Known)

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 60:1-6

                                    Psalm 72 p.790VU pts 1, 3

                                    Matthew 2:1-12

Carol        ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime #71VU



Meditation



Prayer:  O God our Creator, in you alone are the riches of life. We come from the East and the West knowing we follow, on our different roads, the same star to the same place. May we share what we know of its light, learn from each other the way to the child, worship you, our only wealth, and serve the world with Gospel gold. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ( from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence.) 

Carol        The First Nowell #91VU



Friday, December 31, 2021

Sunday, January 2, 2022

 Prayer:  God of the old and the new, be with us in this New Year as you were with us in the old. Guide our journey. Strengthen our faith. Renew our hope and our commitment to you and to others. Draw us together as a people who follow in your ways. Amen. (written by Beth W. Johnston, then of Rexton Pastoral Charge, Rexton N.B. And printed in Gathering A/C/E 2008-9.)

Hymn       God Rest you Merry Gentlemen



Scripture Lessons:       Jeremiah 31:7-14

                                     Psalm 147:12-20 p.869VU pt. 2

                                     John 1:1-18

Hymn.     Of the Father’s Love Begotten #61VU




Meditation



Prayer:  Eternal God, Creator, Son, and Spirit, at the start of this new year, with your help, we would let go of the past. We would lay down our failures, guilt, and shame, and lift up our eyes and look to the future. 

Let the grace of your presence strengthen our resolve, enlighten our minds, clarify our wills, and inflame our hearts with love for you and for all people. 

So May we live dedicated lives in peace, and with courage, faith and cheerfulness, until the year’s end. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. ( a prayer by John HRvey and printed in the Iona Community’s Hay and Stardust.) 

Hymn       What Child is This #74VU

As I hope everyone has heard, worship services have now been cancelled according to the protocols set by the provincial government. Once it is allowed and the church Sessions are comfortable with the numbers, we will begin public worship once again. In the meantime, I will continue to produce the blog and will be available for assistance if needed. I am thinking this week I will produce 2 blogs, one for Epiphany and one for Sunday, so I can use up some carols I have saved up. 🎶

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family of Isabel Sutton, a member of Franklin United Church, who died this past week. A service will be planned for the spring when we can remember and give thanks for Isabel’s life. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Sunday, December 26, 2021

 What do we call this day? Is it Christmas Sunday? Is it Boxing Day? Is it St Stephen’s Day? Whatever it is, it is a day to think of someone else, your neighbour or a stranger, but someone in need! It is a time to keep that “Christmas spirit” of caring and sharing as we prepare to move into a new year. 

Hymn     Good King Wenceslas


Prayer: Holy God, the angels have sung and the shepherds have come to the stable, And we are filled with wonder.
Thank you for coming to us in a little baby; thank you for such good news; thank you for this time of wonder. 
Come into our lives today and every day, that we might have the joy and peace and love that only Jesus Christ brings us, for we pray with awe and wonder. Amen. ( a prayer written by Nancy E. Hardy, then of London, ON, and printed in Gathering, A/C/E 2005-6)

Scripture Lessons:      Colossians 3:12-17

                                    Psalm 148 p.871VU

                                     Luke 2:41-52

Carol       Once in Royal David’s City #62VU



Meditation 



Prayer: O God, we admit it is sometimes easier to love Jesus as a baby than it is to consider the boy and the man he became. Help us to remember that the story of his birth and its poverty reveals your care and concern for all who are poor and in need. We remember how Jesus grew and learned how to live and serve as your messenger, how he brought comfort and good news to those who were discouraged and sad; and how he showed compassion to those who were sick or isolated. May the Spirit who led and taught Jesus in his life fill us and help us to learn from Jesus and to follow in his way. We pray in faith and hope. Amen. 

A Christmas Creed:  (that I had planned to use on Christmas Eve)
We believe in God, who created the earth, loved it, and who refuses to give up on it. 
We believe in God who through the prophets, promised peace and justice for all God’s children. 
We believe in God, whose love was revealed in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth we have now celebrated.
We remember how the Holy Spirit helped him to grow and to reveal God’s love, faithfulness, and forgiveness in his life, death, and resurrection. 
We remember how Jesus proclaimed good news for the poor and how his birth was celebrated by shepherds and angels. 
We remember that the angels offered good news of great joy to those who were afraid or alone.
We rejoice that Jesus’s birth is a sign of God’s goodwill and favour, and we welcome him as a source of light and hope for all the world. 
May this faith and hope strengthen and sustain us now and forever. Amen. 

Carol      See Amid the Winter’s Snow #76VU



Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021

 


Candlelighting: A candle burns, the sign of your presence, God, among us, born as one of us. May we live in the light of your presence, theLight who gives life to all.  Amen. ( written by David Hamflett and printed in the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.) 

Hymn:        O Come All Ye Faithful #60VU


Prayer:  We praise you, hidden God, that in Jesus Christ you have come to us to speak your Word of love and life. Touch us with unearthly joy, like the singing of angels; fill us with wonder, like the eyes of children; teach us to humble ourselves before you, like the worshipping magi. May our journey to the manger be only the beginning of a lifetime of service to Jesus our Christ. Amen. (a prayer by Ruth C. Duck, printed in Bread for the Journey, edited by Ruth C Duck.) 

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

Carol:      Away in a Manger #69VU




Meditation




Prayer:  Gracious God, we pray this day for all who have come with us to Bethlehem. We pray for all who are poor and cold and hungry like the shepherds, that they may hear good news. We pray for all who are wandering and searching like the magi, that they may find the place to leave their gifts and their burdens. We pray for all who are busy, hurried, preoccupied like the innkeeper, that they may know the peace that comes from genuine acts of hospitality. We pray for all like Caesar or Herod who have power, that they may use it with good will. We pray for ourselves— we who need comfort, peace, and joy, even in this starlit season, and all the days of our lives. Amen. (from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence)

Hymn:      Silent Night #67VU


We regret that it was necessary to cancel Howick’s Christmas Eve service for this year, as well as Franklin’s Candlelight Christmas service. Despite the fact that we will not be meeting in worship, I pray that each one of you will have a blessed Christmas, connect with family, friends, and neighbours in whatever way possible, and that the Spirit of the Christ, as well as Christmas will bring you peace, hope, joy, and love. 

We had tentatively made plans for January, but we will probably need to revisit those plans. Please keep in touch so we can let you know when those decisions are made.