Wednesday, September 30, 2020

October 4, 2020

 As we enter into another period of shutdown (but not quite lockdown) let’s try to stay connected with one another.  We may not be able to visit with one another, but we can keep in touch and support one another through this time and remember: We are not alone! 

You will notice that in the message, filmed earlier this week, I say that there will be public worship this Sunday. At this time, none of our churches are planning on holding public worship. The blog with worship materials will continue to be published.  Please keep in touch and we will try to let you know when things change. 

Hymn      When Morning Gilds the Skies #339VU

Scripture Lessons:  Psalm 19

                                Philippians 2:1-13



Lord, make our hearts places of peace and our minds harbours of tranquillity. Sow in our souls true love for you and for one another; and root deeply within us friendship and unity, and concord with reverence. So may we give peace to each other sincerely and receive it beautifully. Amen. from a Native American  tradition found in worship resources from the Iona Community. 

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, 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. from the Ghanaian church, found in worship resources from the Iona Community. 

Hymn.   How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds #344VU

St Paul’s (Ormstown), Franklin and Howick United Churches have decided not to hold services for the month of October. With numbers of COVID climbing and people with reasons to be concerned, we have decided to suspend services for the time being, for the safety of all. We hope to be coming together soon, but felt that this was best at this time. Stay safe, everyone! 

 I have been reminded of the tradition, in Franklin and Ormstown, of collecting food on Thanksgiving Sunday for La Bouffe Additionelle, the local food bank. La Bouffe would welcome the food (especially pasta sauce, ready made meals such as KD, or fresh fruit and vegetables.) If you would like to my home, I will make sure that the food gets to La Bouffe. B

Thursday, September 24, 2020

September 27, 2020

 Welcome to fall! As we continue to live in uncertain times, we continue to live as God’s people. May God be our help and our guide in uncertain times. 

Hymn     This is God’s Wondrous World #296VU

Scripture Lessons:     Exodus 17:1-7

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

                                   Philippians 2:1-13


Hymn      I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say #626 VU

Prayer:  O God, we give you thanks for all you give and share with us, especially for ordinary blessings such as the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink each day. We praise you for all that brings joy and delight: the stars in the night sky, a glorious sunrise, the laughter of a child or loved one. Help us to rejoice in all you have made and to preserve and protect it each and every day. In this season of creation, we give thanks for the abundance you provide, enough to sustain us and to share with others. As we live through uncertain times, help us to believe that you are with us, that you guide us and help us, that you care for us and watch over us. May our hope and faith in you give us the courage we need for the facing of each day and may the good news of the gospel help us to share and show your love to others and to all the world. We pray in the name of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Hymn      Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah #651 VU

Thursday, September 17, 2020

September 20, 2020

 Here we are again. I hope that you are keeping well and taking care. We continue to hold public services in our churches, but also share a message and news here as well, for those who cannot be present, or would just like a little more through the week. Have a good week! 

Hymn     Let Us With a Gladsome Mind #234VU

Scripture Lessons:       Exodus 16:2-15

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

Philippians 1:21-30


Prayer:  O God, we come before you in prayer, ready to offer thanks for what you have done and also to ask for what we need. Sometimes we do grumble and complain about the troubles we face and the times we live in, and we do so trusting and believing that you will hear and understand. We trust that you will help us and strengthen us as we live through difficult times and you help us to know what it means to live as your people this day. As we face the changes that life brings, help us to have faith, hope and courage. Help us to know that we are not alone. Help us to remember all that you promise to your people: life abundant; never-failing love; and inexhaustible grace. May the good news you have given to your people in story and in psalm, through the prophets and from Jesus the Christ fill our hearts and minds and lives, so we may share it with all the world. Amen. 

Hymn.     God Take My Hand and Lead Me #638 VU

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Lois Duncan, following her death this past week. The family will be holding a private service to remember and give thanks for her life. St Paul’s United Church is thankful for her faith and faithfulness throughout the years. 

While there are no plans to restart Sunday School at this time, there are some resources for children and young people provided by our church and our region. Each Sunday the children, youth, and family life staff person for our region has a weekly presentation for children each Sunday morning at 9am on Facebook Live. Find it under Shanna Pauline Bernier. There are also resources for the season of creation which are available through the Go project. 

More news from the United Church:  a new General Secretary has been named to replace Nora Saunders, who is retiring. The new General Secretary is the Rev. Michael Blair, who has been working at the General Council offices for a number of years. He will begin his role November 1, 2020. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

September 13, 2020

 Here we are again for another week. We have held our first indoor services last week, and we are moving forward, following our usual schedule for another week. I know that the people in Howick will be glad to see Debbie Beattie once again and I will be glad to see the people in Franklin (and Ormstown) again as well. Hope to meet you somewhere, at church or online, whatever works best! 

Hymn.      Joyful, Joyful We AdoreYou #232VU

Scripture Lessons:     Romans 14:1-12

Psalm 114

Matthew 18:21-35


Prayer:  O God, we give you thanks for the choices we are free to make: to choose to live as your people; to choose the ways we will serve you and share your love day by day; week by week; and year by year; and to choose to accept your forgiveness and grace when we choose unwisely. We give thanks that you too are a choosing God, who chooses to be with your people day by day, year by year, and generation by generation. As we choose to walk in the way of our Saviour, send your Holy Spirit to us, to guide us and strengthen us; to sustain and renew us; and to empower us in your choices, now and always. Amen.

Hymn      It is Well with my Soul

For anyone looking for some Christian activities for children, while there is no Sunday School,  there are activities posted each week, Sunday at 9am,  on Facebook Live by our region’s youth and family life staff person, Shanna Pauline Bernier (often with her 2 daughters as well). Also there are some French language resources for the season of Creation on the region’s website, 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

September 6, 2020

 We continue to post messages, and announcements as well as worship materials for each week even as we open our churches for indoor public worship again. We hope this will continue to be useful and helpful, both to those who are staying home to avoid any possible exposure to the virus, and possibly for those who may choose to attend the Sunday service as well. If you are coming to the Sunday service, please keep in mind that masks will be required, as well as hand sanitizing and registering your name on a list for any possible contact tracing in the future. Pews will be blocked off to keep us socially distanced, doors and windows will be left open, and the service will be shorter than usual, with no congregational singing, though some music will still be included. 

Hymn  Let All Things Now Living #242

Suggested Scripture Lessons: Exodus 12:1-14

Psalm 149 p.873 VU

Romans 13:8-10


Prayer:  O God of the exodus, you call us onward, onward towards your reign of shalom. 
     You call us to freedom:  freedom from oppression and freedom from fear. 
     You call us to hope:  hope for our world and hope for our common future. 
      You call us to community, living in relationship with you and with our brothers and sisters, your children. 
Open our ears to hear your voice calling and speaking to us, guiding us ever onward and following in the way of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Hymn  He Leadeth Me #657VU

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family of Lochlan (Butch) Cameron, whose death took place last week, and whose memorial was held on Saturday, September 5, 2020. 

Worship Schedule for September:

September 6     9:30     Ormstown     11:00     Howick

 September 13   9:30     Franklin        11:00     Ormstown      11:00     Howick, with D Beattie

September 20    9:30     Howick         11:00     Ormstown

September 27    9:30     Franklin         11:00     Howick