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


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


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


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. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021 The Fourth Sunday of Advent

 Candlelighting: A candle burns, the sign of your love. 
God of Mary, come to us again this Advent. 
May the light of your love be born anew in us. 
(By David Hamflett, from the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.)

Carol             O Little Town of Bethlehem #64VU

Scripture Lessons:      Micah 5:2-5

                                    Psalm 80:1-7 p.794VU

                                    Luke 1:39-55


Prayer:  Generous God, you gave your Son to take our nature upon him and to be born of your chosen one, Mary. Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, May daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen. (A prayer from the Book of Common Prayer and reprinted in Voices United #39.)

Carol                 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child #46VU

Many thanks to all who donated food for the Christmas baskets and who put items on the Mitten Tree in Howick. Allyson counted 111 items when she collected them. Thank you for your generosity! ( For those who did not get food in last Sunday, I will take another collection down to La Bouffe Additionelle if necessary after this Sunday’s service. They were very grateful for what has already been received and know they will need more for the new year.)

This Sunday’s service will be the last for this year for Franklin and Ormstown. Our next services there will (hopefully) be on Sunday, January 9th. Please stay in touch in case of any changes. Unfortunately, Franklin has now decided to cancel their Candlelight service for this year. See you next year! 

In Howick, there will be a Christmas Eve service at 7:30pm for that congregation. There will be no December 26th service, but there will be an Epiphany Sunday service held on January 2nd at 11am. 

I will have blogs up for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and January 2nd as well. Stay well and have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Sunday December 12, 2021 The Third Sunday of Advent


A candle burns, the sign of our faith. God of the Baptizing One, come to us again this Advent. May we have a faith that renews our lives. May we live in the light of your promises. (A prayer from the Iona Community, printed in Candles and Conifers.) 

Hymn      Good Christian Friends Rejoice #35VU

Scripture Lessons:    Philippians 4:4-7

                                  Isaiah 12:2-6

                                  John 3:7-18


Prayer: Bright star-maker God, travel with us through Advent. 
Shine into our dark corners. 
Lead us into ways of justice.
Warm us with joy and wonder. 
Bring us to new birth. (A prayer by Ruth Burgess printed in the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.)

We await the Christ, the one who will reveal God to us. 
He comes to us as sparkling light: twinkling with joy and playfulness. 
He comes to us as everyday light: Brightening the ordinary world around us. 
He comes to us as softened light: creating a gentle, healing space in the shadows. 
He comes to us as a focused spotlight: bringing truth and Justice into stark relief. 
This is the Light of the world— Jesus Christ, coming to shine among us. (by Jessie Jessop, Broomhill Methodist Church and printed in the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.) 

Hymn     Joy to the World #59VU

Final decisions have been made. Each congregation has chosen what they believe is best for them. 

In Howick, this Sunday is White Gift Sunday. If you have non-perishable food items to contribute, you can bring them to the church this Sunday. Debbie Beattie will be leading the service at 11am. 
Next Sunday, December 19th will be Communion Sunday. The service will be held at 9:30am. 
There will be a Christmas Eve service for the Howick congregation. It will be held at 7:30pm. 
There will be no Sunday service on December 26th. 
We will be holding a Sunday service January 2nd at 11am. 

In Ormstown and Franklin this will be White Gift Sunday as well. This year we are collecting non-perishable food items for La Bouffe Additionelle, possibly for the Christmas baskets, but also for the New Year. 
In Ormstown on December 19th at 11am there will be a hybrid service, for people to be present inside the church, but also to hear the service outside in the parking lot through their car radios at FM frequency 87.7. (If you have food to contribute we can still take it this Sunday as well.)
In Franklin there will be a Candlelight Christmas Communion service on December 19th at 7:30pm. 
There will be no Christmas Eve service in Ormstown this year and no Sunday service will be held on December 26th or January 2nd either. Services will begin again on January 9th. Location TBA. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Sunday, December 5, 2021 The Second Sunday of Advent


Candlelighting: A candle burns, the sign of your Word. God of the prophets, come to us again this Advent. 
May your Word be a lamp to our feet and a light on our path. ( from the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers.) 

Hymn:      Hark the Glad Sound #29VU

Scripture Lessons:       Malachi 3:1-4

                                     Luke 1:67-79 p.900VU

                                     Luke 3:1-6


Prayer:  Child of promise 
Revealer of God come
Bringer of life come 
Come to the beaten and the battered
Come to the despised and the rejected
Come to all in whom the divine image is still distorted
We wait in joyful expectation
Come not as a distant emperor but as a helpless babe
Come not as a prince in a golden palace, but as a displaced and frightened refugee
Come not as a man of power, but in love and compassion 
Come to those outcast like shepherds in the field
Come to the rich and poor, young and old, male and female 
We wait in hopeful anticipation 
Come to bless all creation with your love
Come to bring salvation to the earth
Come to rule with Justice and in peace
Come, child of promise, open the windows of our hearts
Come Christ of compassion open the doors of our churches
Come prince of peace, open the pathways to our lives
We wait with all the people of the earth
Child of hope we welcome your coming
Child of life we welcome your coming
King of glory we welcome your coming. (by Christine Sine and printed in the Mission and Service Advent newsletter, 2012)

Hymn:      Hark the Herald Angels Sing   #48VU

FYI: Some plans have been made for the Advent-Christmas season, and some are still to be made:

Next Sunday, December 12th will be White Gift Sunday in Franklin and Ormstown. 

December 19th will be Communion Sunday in Howick. In Ormstown we will hold a hybrid service, both inside the sanctuary and also broadcast to the parking lot via FM transmitter (frequency 87.7) Franklin is planning to hold a Candlelight Christmas Communion service at 7:30pm. 

St Paul’s will not be holding a Christmas Eve service this year. 

More decisions still to come. 

Keep in mind that there are Gifts with Vision catalogues available in our churches and there are even more choices available on their online catalogue found at gifts with, including giving vaccines to people around the world. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Sunday, November 28, 2021 The First Sunday of Advent

 We are getting ready….

Hymn  O Come O Come Emmanuel #1VU

A prayer for lighting the Advent Candle: A candle burns, the sign of our hope. God of hope, come to us again this Advent. May your hope live within us, burning as a light in our lives. Amen.  (from the Iona Community’s Candles and Conifers) 

Scripture Lessons      Jeremiah 33:14-16

                                   I Thessalonians 3:9-16

                                   Luke 21:25-36


Prayer:  Holy God, during this busy season of Advent, we pray for our world. We seek your light in the midst of darkness, your peace in the midst of violence, your love in the midst of discord, your courage in the face of fear, and your wisdom to guide us. Help us to be messengers sharing your light, sharing your peace, and living your love with courage and wisdom. Amen. (a prayer by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, and shared on worship

Hymn       Come Thou Long Expected Jesus #2VU

Did you know? This Tuesday November 30th, has been named as Giving Tuesday and the United Church is inviting its members to give to Gifts with Vision or another program that provides vaccines for people around the world. With Gifts with Vision $25 buys vaccines for 2 people. We may be talking about boosters and vaccines for children but in many parts of the world, vulnerable adults have no access to vaccines at all. 

St Paul’s Session will meet this Tuesday, November 30th in the church at 7:30pm. 

Howick United Church Session will meet Monday, November 29th in the church hall at 7:30pm. 

Here is the Mitten Tree up now in Howick United Church.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Sunday, November 21, 2021 Reign of Christ Sunday

 Hymn:     Come Children Join to Sing #345

Scripture Lessons:      Revelation 1:4-8

                                    Psalm 93 p.813VU

                                    John 18:33-8


Prayer:  You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, want us to wait for the right time in which to discover who we are, where we must go, who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you …. for the waiting time. 

You keep us looking. You, the God of all space, want us to look in the right and wrong places for signs of hope, for people who are hopeless, for visions of a better world which will appear among the disappointments of the world we know. So thank you…..for the looking time. 

You keep us loving. You, the God whose name is love, want us to be like you—to love the loveless and the unlovely and the unloveable, to love without jealousy or design or threat, and most of all, to love ourselves. So thank you…..for the loving time. 

And in all this, you keep us through hard questions with no easy answers, through failing where we hoped to succeed and making an impact when we felt we were useless, through the patience and the dreams of others, and through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us. So thank you…..for the keeping time, and for now, and for ever. Amen. ( from the Iona Community’s A Wee Worship Book.) 

Hymn:      Rejoice the Lord is King #213VU

We are continuing to invite donations for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Envelopes are available in the churches or donations may be made online at 

Please keep in mind Howick’s Memorial Fund, the books will be closing in December, so if you would like to make a donation, please get it in to the church or to Grace as soon as possible. 

The Rudolph Run/Walk is coming up soon! You can take part virtually by walking sometime between November 26th to December 2nd or you can take part in person on Saturday, November 27th from 9-11am. The minimum donation requested is $5. There will be no volunteers on street corners or refreshments offered this year, and you can take any direction or walk any distance. The proceeds go to the Christmas Basket program organized through La Bouffe Additionelle. 

Congratulations to Grace Brown who received an award this week for her community action. 

The Santa Claus Parade is returning to Howick! We look forward to welcoming him on Saturday, December 4th at 1pm. Donations will also be collected for Christmas baskets as well. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Sunday, November 14, 2021 Children’s Sunday

 Hymn      O Day of God Draw Nigh 688 VU

Scripture Lessons:      Ruth 4:13-17

                                    Psalm 127 p.851VU

                                    Hebrews 10:19-25


Prayer:  God, you heap your love upon us like a parent providing for a family’s needs, embracing a child with tenderness. 
Forgive us when, like spoiled children, we treat your generosity as our right, or hug it possessively to ourselves. 
Give us enough trust to live secure in your love and to share it freely with others in open-handed confidence that your grace will never run out. Amen. (a prayer by Jan Berry and printed in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley) 

Hymn.      New Every Morning is the Love #405VU

Howick UCW will be holding its annual meeting in combination with Unit C’s meeting on Wednesday, November 17th in the Church Hall. All welcome. 

This year’s Rudolph Run will be held in part as a virtual event, from November 26th to December 2nd. You can walk any distance, time or place. There will also be an in person run/walk on Saturday, November  27th starting at the Rec Centre in Ormstown, from 9-11am, where you can make your donation and head off on your run/walk in any direction or any route. No volunteers will be on the street, nor will any refreshments be offered. A minimum of $5 is requested and you are invited to wear red or green as you head off. Remember this is an event to raise funds for the Christmas basket programs in our area, so put on your running shoes and get ready to participate! 

We continue to invite donations to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Envelopes are available in our three churches and donations may also be made online at 

We are being reminded in Howick that the year is coming to an end, and if you would like to give a gift to the memorial fund in memory of a church or community member, you are invited to do so soon. November is Remembrance month, so you can make your gift in remembrance of someone in your family, church or community. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Sunday, November 7, 2021

 Hymn       O God our Help in Ages Past #806VU

Scripture Lessons:       Hebrews 9:24-28

                                     Psalm  46 770VU

                                     Mark 12:38-44


Prayer:  We give thanks this day, O God, for all that makes our common life secure; for the peace and freedom that we enjoy; and for the opportunity that is ours of building a better world for the generations to come. We remember with gratitude those who fought and died to make this possible; and we pray that the memory of their sacrifice may inspire in us the resolve to seek your kingdom and to do your will for the world of our day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

God of the nations, whose kingdom rules over all, have mercy on our broken and divided world. She’d abroad your peace in the hearts of your children and banish from the the spirit that makes for war; that all races and religions and peoples may learn to live as members of one family, and in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ( a selection of prayers from Contemporary Parish Prayers by Frank Colquhoun.) 

Hymn      God of Grace and God of Glory #686VU

The Ormstown Legion’s laying of the wreaths will be held Sunday, November 7th at the cenotaph. There will be no parade or other public events held this year. 

We continue to invite donations for the Canadian Food Grains Bank. Envelopes are available in our 3 churches and donations may be made online as well at 

Keep in mind the Howick Craft Fair, to be held outside this year, at the school, on Saturday, November 20th. There will also be opportunities to buy online through December. 

Following the annual meeting in October in Howick, the decision has been made to dispose of the old red hymn books and the green service books that are no longer being used. Those who would like to have copies are welcome to take them, before the end of the year. 

Happy birthday to Thelma Lang, who is celebrating her 90th birthday this week. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Sunday, October 31, 2021 Reformation and All Saints Sunday

 Hymn      You Servants of God #342VU

Scripture Lessons:      Ruth 1:1-18

                                    Psalm 146 p.868VU

                                     Mark 12:28-34

Hymn     For All the Saints #705VU


Prayer:  For all the saints who went before us, who have spoken to our hearts and touched us with your fire, we praise you, O God. 

For all the saints who live beside us, whose weaknesses and strengths are woven with our own, we praise you, O God. 

For all the saints who live beyond us, who challenge us to change the world with them, we praise you, O God. (a prayer by Janet Morley for Christian Aid 1989)

Hymn      A Mighty Fortress is our God #262VU

This Sunday there will be a single, combined service held in St Paul’s in Ormstown. All are welcome to attend, either inside or listening to the service in the parking lot through the FM transmitter. The frequency is 87.7. 

We continue to invite donations to the Canadian Food Grains Bank. Envelopes are available in the churches. Donations may also be made online at 

We are already hearing messages about Christmas. If you want to give a non-material Christmas gift, you could look at the Gifts with Vision catalogue. A few copies are available in our churches and more choices are available online at 

Next Sunday will be Remembrance Sunday in our churches, 9:30 in Ormstown and 11:00 in Howick. These will not be community services this year. 

Franklin United Church Joint Board will be meeting Tuesday, November 2nd at 7:30pm in the Franklin United Church. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Sunday, October 24, 2021

 Hymn       Open My Eyes #371VU

Scripture Lessons:      Job 42:1-9

                                    Psalm 34:1-6, 19-22

                                    Mark 10:46-52


Prayer:  In following you, O Christ, we choose to love and not to harden our hearts, even when the incomprehensible happens. As we remain in your presence with perseverance, day after day, and pray with simplicity of heart, you come and make us into people who are a leaven of confident trust by the way we live. And all that your gospel calls us to, all that you ask of us, you give. Amen. ( a prayer from the Taize community.) 

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

We hold in our thoughts and prayers Jean Lawrence and her family following the death of Bob Lawrence this past week. 

Congratulations to Harley Sproule who grew a prize-winning squash this year. Both his squash and Jim Bryson’s prize-winning pumpkin will be at the ice cream stand at the IGA in Ormstown on this Saturday afternoon. 

This Sunday, October 24th at 11am, Howick United Church will be holding its annual meeting for 2020, in combination with the worship service.  All members and adherents are welcome to attend and participate. 

Next Sunday, October 31st there will be a combined service held at St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown at 11am. This will be held as an All Saints service remembering members and neighbours who have died during the pandemic. 

We have received some catalogues for the Gifts with Vision program from the United Church of Canada. More gifts are included on the website at: 

We continue to invite donations to the Canadian Food Grains Bank. In the years since it has been created, it has fed over 1 billion people, worked in over 70 countries, and worked with over 100 international partners. You can donate online at or pick up an envelope at one of our churches. 

For those who may have known her, I have heard from the Regional Council that Mary Hatfield, a former Youth worker for the Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery has died. A service to celebrate her life will be held November 13th. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Sunday, October 17, 2021 World Food Sunday

A few final flowers before frost….


 Hymn       Let Us with a Gladsome Mind #234VU

Scripture Lessons:      Job 38:1-7, 34-41

                                    Psalm 104:1-9 p.826, pt 1

                                    Mark 10:35-45


Prayer:  Creator of all that is, all that has ever been, and all that will ever come, n the season we know in the North as autumn, we offer gratitude for the cycle of the seasons. In this season we begin to reap what we have sown, tended to, prayed over, and fretted on. In all of this, we know that you have been there, watching over your creation and all its creatures. 

We lament over crops that were lost this year, to drought, and hail, and floods, to frost, to lack of workers, to pandemic. We lament over crops that were never planted, where farmers could not access their land or do not have the privilege to acquire land. Help us to stand in solidarity with farmers whose harvest never came to yield; help us to see land not as a resource to use, but as a gift to share. 

As the leaves begin to turn brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, we begin to pull from the ground the fruit of our labour. The potatoes, the squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, apples, pears, and more begin to fill our baskets. We give thanks. The corn and beans are ready to be stored; they have dried on their stalks. We know that these foods will sustain us through the winter. 

We give thanks for the labourers who have come to harvest, workers from near and far, many who travel to this land to find work. Sustainer, open our eyes to their sacrifice and help us to honour their gift. We pray for a safe harvest for all labourers and farmers. 

As the honeybee prepares for winter, we enjoy honey’s nectar sweetness. As the broiler chicken is fully grown, we give thanks for their life that will sustain us. As the hunter patiently awaits the deer, we honour its gift as nourishment. 

Creator, we are called back to remember our interconnected ness during this harvest season. Forgive us the times that we have been disconnected from our relations in our desire to take more than we should. Call us back into the fabric of creation so that we might live in the abundance of life. 

For all this, and more, we give thanks. Amen.
( a prayer written for World Food Day by Michael Shewsburg, director of Five Oaks)

Hymn     This is God’s Wondrous World #296VU

The United Church has named this Sunday both World Food Sunday and Sunday for a Guaranteed Living Income. We will be launching our campaign for the Canadian Food Grain Bank. Envelopes will be available in our churches for donations to be made, if you choose.

Next Sunday there will be a 9:30 service in Franklin and in Howick the 11am Sunday service will be combined with the annual meeting for 2020. Annual reports are still available. 

There will be a memorial service held for Helen Nice next Saturday, October 23rd at 2pm in the Franklin United Church. 

St Paul’s Session will meet this Tuesday, October 19th at 7:30pm in the church. (St Paul’s Stewards meeting has been delayed until a later date.)

The catalogues for the Gifts with Vision program have come out from the Philanthropy Unit of the United Church. You can pick one up in the church or check out the more extensive list online. 

Congratulations to Jim and Kelsey Bryson who have had the prize winning pumpkins in a couple of contests. One was actually over 2000 pounds, a new Canadian record! 

And another….

Friday, October 8, 2021

Sunday, October 10, 2021, Thanksgiving Sunday

Blessings on this Thanksgiving weekend! 

 Hymn      Come You Thankful People Come #516VU

Prayer: Creator God, we praise you for bright, crisp mornings, for leaves crackling under foot, and wisps of cloud in a pale sky. 
We praise you for the night-time rain, for the wind buffeting the city and street lamps reflected in wet pavements. 
We praise you for the season’s labours, for the smell of new-turned earth, and smoking bonfires.
  We praise you for the season’s gifts, for fruitfulness beyond measure and time to reflect and remember. 
Creator God, we praise you. Amen. (A prayer by Cally Booker and published in the Iona Community’s Acorns and Archangels.) 

Scripture Lessons:     Joel 2:21-27

                                   Psalm 126 p.850VU

                                   Matthew 6:25-33

Hymn       We Plough the Fields and Scatter #520VU


Prayer To wake from sleep into day,….is gift enough for thanks. 

To hear a child’s delight in laughter—- is gift enough for thanks. 

To sip a glass of clean, cold water—- is gift enough for thanks. 

To watch the sunset paint the sky—— is gift enough for thanks. 

To share a moment with a friend—- is gift enough for thanks. 

To smell the fragrance of moist soil—- is gift enough for thanks. 

To feel the comfort of clean clothing—- is gift enough for thanks. 

To form the words that make a prayer—- is gift enough for thanks. Amen. 

( A prayer by Keri Wehlander and published in Joy is our Banquet.) 

Hymn.      Now. Thank We All Our God #236VU

Congratulations to the recipients of the Howden-Templeton bursaries which will be awarded on Sunday. These include Randy Chisholm, Ryan Chisholm, Lindsay Gruer, Kevin Macfarlane, William Orr, Kailyn  Sylvester, and Kelsey Sylvester. Best wishes to you in your studies! 

On Sunday afternoon we will be celebrating the sacrament of baptism in Howick for Rylee Rose, daughter of Karlina Bustamante and Jordan McArthur. Welcome to the family, Rylee! 

Howick’s Stewards will be meeting this week on Wednesday, October 13th at 7pm in the church basement. 

Howick United Church will hold its annual meeting on Sunday October 24th in combination with the 11am worship service. Both members and adherents are welcome. Please let us know if you would like to receive a copy of the annual report before the meeting. 

We continue to hold the family of Ruth Graham Petch in our thoughts and prayers following the memorial service held on Saturday in Ormstown. 

Congratulations to Lily-Catherine and Noah, George and Matilda who welcomed a new member to their family last month. We look forward to getting to know Gwendolyn in the future. 

St Paul’s United Church will be holding a Thanksgiving Sunday service, both inside and out. We will be setting up the FM transmitter so people who are uncomfortable taking part in the service in the sanctuary can tune in on their car radios at 87.7 on the FM band and share in the service that way. We will also be doing a food collection for La Bouffe Additionelle that Sunday, collecting both fresh seasonal produce and  non-perishable food items. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

October 3, 2021 The Fourth Sunday of Creation

 Hymn      All People that on Earth Do Dwell #822VU

Scripture Lessons:       Job 1:1,2, 2:1-13

                                     Psalm 26

                                     Mark 9:38-41


Prayer:  O God, keeper of stories and weaver of dreams, set our voices free. Grant us the courage we need to be tellers of truth and speakers of the sacred. Unstop pur ears, that we might recognize the wisdom of the witnesses in our midst. Empower us with your love that we might spin new yarns with confidence and grace. Amen. (from Keri Wehlander’s Joy is our Banquet.)

Hymn       Jesus United by Thy Grace #591VU

The deadline for applying for the Howden-Templeton bursaries is coming up fast! The deadline for applying is October 6, 2021 and the bursaries will be handed out at the Thanksgiving Sunday service. Application are available on the website or in the church. 

Next Sunday will be Thanksgiving Sunday in all 3 of our churches: in Howick Debbie Beattie will be leading the service with Sally Kyle providing the music. Franklin (9:30) and Ormstown (11:00) will be holding Thanksgiving Sunday services as well and also collecting food for La Bouffe Additionelle. Both fresh seasonal food and non-perishable food items will be gladly accepted. The service will also be available in Ormstown as a drive-in service from your car radio if that is more comfortable for some attendees. 

There will be a memorial service held for Ruth Graham Petch on Saturday, October 9th in St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown. There will be visitation beginning at 1pm and the service beginning at 2pm. All government protocols of masks, social distancing, limits on numbers allowed in the church for visitation as well as an attendance registry will be observed. Due to the pandemic there will be no singing and no reception to follow. 😔

Howick Stewards will meet on Wednesday, October 13th at 7pm in the church. 

There is a plan to start up Meals on Wheels again in the area. The plan is to cook the food on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-12:00 and deliver from 11:30-12:00. If you would be willing to volunteer, please let Linda McMillan Upton at 514-449-2225 know. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

September 26, 2021 The Third Sunday of Creation

 Welcome to fall! We may miss the long days, but we can enjoy and give thanks for the beauties and the bounties of this season, so I hope you can take some time to enjoy, to gather with friends and family, and to celebrate all the good things God gives. 

Hymn     I’m Gonna Live So #575VU

Scripture Lessons:       James 5:13-20

                                     Psalm 124 p,848VU

                                     Mark 9:38-50


Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you recognized the beauty of the lilies of the field. In wild places you found the stillness that helped you to pray. You reminded us that every sparrow and raven is known and cared for. You saw the labour of the farmers and enjoyed the fruit of that work. Let us be like you and cherish this earth you created, sustain and promise to make new. Amen (a prayer by Simon Taylor and printed in the Iona Community’s Acorns and Archangels.)

 Today we wear orange to remember and honour all the indigenous children who went to residential schools. 

Today we wear orange and we pray for the residential school and intergenerational survivors who are still struggling.

Today we wear orange and we are thankful for those who speak the truth, and who work to shine a light on injustice. 

Today we wear orange in the name of compassion and the spirit of truth and reconciliation. 

Help us, God, to remember and act on this every day. Amen

(Prayer from the United Church’s worship resources for orange shirt day, inspired by Honarine Scott’s orange shirt day blog.)

Hymn.        What a Friend We Have in Jesus #664VU

(I think I may have used this video before, but it is great!) 

This Sunday is being called “Orange Shirt Sunday” because this is the Sunday before the first official national Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30th, so wear an orange shirt, if you remember (I often forget) and maybe try some of the other suggestions made for this day: read a book by an indigenous author, review the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, take part in a special event to mark the day (online or in-person), connect with local indigenous organizations, and read Phyllis Webstad’s book The Orange Shirt Story. 

Howick United Church will be observing Worldwide Communion Sunday next Sunday, October 3rd at 11am. We will be using pre-filled communion cups and wafers for this service. 

The deadline is coming up for the Holden-Templeton Bursaries offered to members and adherents of Howick United Church who are attending post-secondary schools. The deadline is October 7th so they can be presented on Thanksgiving Sunday. Applications are available online, or in the church. 

The Howick Stewards will be meeting on Thursday, October 13th at 7pm in the church. 

There will be a memorial service for Ruth Graham Petch on Saturday, October 9, 2021. There will be a visitation at 1:00 for those who will not be staying for the service and the service itself will start at about 2:00.  All COVID protocols will be in place, such as masks and social distancing. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Sunday, September 19, 2021

 The Second Sunday of Creation

Hymn.      Jesus Calls Us   #342VU

Scripture Lessons.      Proverbs 31:10-31

                                    Psalm 1 p.724VU

                                    Mark 9:30-38


Prayer/Blessing:  Like the roots of a strong oak, God is under our feet.

Like the stars in the night sky, God is over our heads.

Like the sun on the horizon, God is ever before us. 

Like the gentle rain falling, God’s love is filling our hearts. 

Like the wings of an eagle, we open our arms to care for this world. 

Like the river which runs to the ocean, we know that our home is in God. 

And so we go forth surrounded by the presence of God, and filled with the peace of God. Amen. 

(Written by Keri Wehlander and published in Circles of Grace. Also set to music and sung by Linnea Good.)

Hymn.      For the Beauty of the Earth #226

Bursary alert! The Trustees of Howick United Church have responded to some concerns raised to them about the timing of the Howden-Templeton bursaries and have moved forward the application period to the early fall so they may be given out at Thanksgiving.  The deadline is October 6, 2021.  If you are a member or a part of the Howick United Church community and are attending school, either College or university, please get your application in as soon as possible. The application forms are available on the website or from the Trustees of the bursary fund. 

Howick United Church Session is planning on holding the annual meeting for the congregation on Sunday, October 24th at 11am combined with the Sunday service. All members and adherents are invited to plan to attend to review the annual report (copies available in the church) and to look toward the future. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Hymn       Lord Speak to Me #589VU

Scripture Lessons:     Proverbs 1:20-33

                                   Psalm 19 p.740-1VU

                                   Mark 8:27-38


Prayer O God, sometimes we take the symbol of the cross for granted: as a symbol for Jesus and the church. Sometimes we forget that the cross is a symbol of sacrifice, suffering, and death, and how shocking it was for the church to use this as a symbol for itself. Help us to see the cross again, remembering all that Jesus did and said and suffered for our sake. Help us to remember that the cross is both a symbol of death and resurrection; of defeat and victory; of sacrifice and salvation. Help us to be willing to follow in Jesus’ way and to take up our crosses ourselves, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of others as well. May this be a source of good news for us and for all the world. We pray in the name of our crucified and risen Saviour. Amen. 

Hymn        Beneath the Cross of Jesus #135VU

We are continuing to hold our public worship services on our usual schedule: this week in Franklin at 9:30, and in Ormstown at 11:00, as well as 11:00 in Howick with Debbie Beattie. It is hoped the service may be outside, so please bring your chairs if possible.  Next week the services will be 9:30 in Howick and 11:00 in Ormstown. All protocols from the pandemic will be followed, including masks, hand cleaning, and social distancing. 

There will be no Stewards meeting in Ormstown this month, but probably one in October. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Sunday, September 5, 2021

 I hope everybody had a good summer, and now here we are again, ready to start a new (school) year. I will continue to produce these blogs for those who are not comfortable coming to our public services especially in light of the increasing numbers of infections. 

Hymn     In Christ There is No East or West #606VU

Scripture Lessons:      James 2:1-10, 14-17

                                    Psalm 125 p.849VU

                                    Mark 7:24-37


Prayer: Sometimes, O God, we are so sure we know who you are and what you will do, but sometimes we are surprised. We are surprised by what you do and what you do not do. We are surprised by your word. We are surprised by your grace and generosity. We are surprised by how you live and move and act in our own lives. Surprise us again, O God, and open our eyes to your presence in our lives and in our world. Open our ears to what you have to say to us this day, and open our mouths to speak words of faith, hope, peace, and love in the way of our Saviour. We pray in his name and in his spirit, this day and forevermore. Amen. 

Hymn     Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life #681

Good wishes to all our students beginning school at the time: to our Cegep students who started last week; our elementary and high school students; and our university students who start next week: good luck and have a good year! 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Helen Nice, who died last Tuesday, at the age of 98. Visitation and a service will be held in Ganonoque soon, and a service in this area is planned for at a later date. 

We continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Jennifer MacGregor and Tristan Majumdar, whose lives were remembered and deaths acknowledged this past month. 

If you wish to send a donation for relief following the earthquake in Haiti, one possibility is through the United Church. You can make a donation online, through the secure donation page found at;  by phone with a credit card  at 1-800-268-3781 ext 2738; or by mail to The United Church of Canada, the Philanthropy Unit-Emergency Response, 3250 Bloor St W, Suite 200, Toronto, On, M8X 2Y4. Please be sure to mark the cheque Emergency Response Haiti on the memo line of your cheque. The church’s response is part of the Humanitarian Coalition, in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. 

As some of you know, Alyson Champ is no longer producing our church bulletins in Howick. Karlina Bustamente had agreed to take it on, but she is currently on parental leave, so if you have announcements to include in the bulletin, please give them to me, either by email or by phone, by Wednesday evening so they can be included in the bulletin. 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Sunday, August 1, 2021

 Did you know that this is officially Emancipation Day in Canada? It marks the day when slavery was abolished in the British Empire, in 1834, including Canada. There is a video ecumenical service that has been produced and which can be seen on YouTube. 

Hymn      Let Us with a Gladsome Mind #234VU

Scripture Lessons:      Ephesians 4:1-6

                                    Psalm 51:1-12

                                    John 6:24-35

Hymn      Fight the Good Fight #674VU



Some times and places prompt me to pray: paddling along a beach;
lying on my settee with my cat purring on my stomach;
looking at the moon and the stars; 
walking barefoot through a field of buttercups;
sitting in a church, watching the sun shine through coloured glass 
and making changing patterns on the stones;
smelling bluebells in woods after it’s been raining; 
curling up warm and cosy when it’s dark and cold outside. 

Some times and places prompt me to pray. 
Words come joyfully and easy. 
Wow! Beautiful! Thank you, God. Amazing! Amen. (a prayer by Ruth Burgess and published in the Iona Community’s Bare Feet and Buttercups.)

Hymn     Your Hand O God Has Guided #274VU

This will be the last blog before September as I am going to take some vacation. I won’t be going far, so you can call and leave a message if I am needed and I will get back to you. There will be a service held in Howick United Church on August 8th at 11am with Debbie Beattie, and there will be services outside at Riverfield at 10am on August1st, 15th, and 29th, (in case of rain, the service may be held in Howick United Church), and there will also be services at Beechridge on Sunday, August 8th and 22nd at 1:30pm. I know other community churches may also be holding services. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brooks family this weekend as they say  a final “good-bye” to Gordon and to Mary as well. 

Our thoughts and prayers are also with the family and friends of Wayne Sutton, following his death earlier this week. 

Please do keep in mind the special appeal the United Church has launched for global vaccine Justice, funding vaccines for places all around the world. If you would like to contribute, you may do so online, by phone with a credit card, or by mail with a cheque marked for this appeal on the memo line. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Sunday, July 25, 2021


Hymn.     O God of Bethel #650

Scripture Lessons:      Ephesians 3:14-21

                                    Psalm 145

                                    John 6:1-21


Prayer: O God of a thousand names and faces, mother and father of all life on earth, you who live in the cells of all life, Teach us to know and love you. 

Lady of peace, of love, and of wisdom, Lord of all the stars and planets, best consoles, inward guest, Teach us to know and love you. 

Giver of gifts and light of our hearts, fill the inmost depths of our hearts, And teach us to know and love you. 

Wash what is soiled, heal what is wounded, bend what is rigid, warm what is frigid, And teach us to know and love you. 

Restore to us our true humanity, And teach us to know and love you. (a prayer written by Sharon Owens and published in No Longer Strangers.)

Hymn.      What a Friend we have in Jesus #664VU

There will be services this Sunday, July 25th in Franklin and Howick. We will even sing in the service! This will be our final service until September. This afternoon there will be a service at the Beechridge Presbyterian Church at 1:30pm. There will be one more blog next weekend. 

In the month of August there will be a combination of services available to those who would like to attend. August 1 10am Riverfield, service outside (in case of rain, service may be held in Howick United Church)
            August 8. 11am Howick United Church with Debbie Beattie
                             1:30pm. Beechridge service
           August 15 10am Riverfield, service outside
           August. 22 1:30. Beechridge service
           August. 29 10am Riverfield, service outside

The United Church has launched a Global Appeal for Vaccine Justice, ensuring vaccines are available to people around the world. Donations may be made online, by phone with a credit card to 1-800-268-3781 ext. 2738, or by mail to The United Church Philanthropy Unit—Emergency Response, 3250 Bloor St W. Suite 200 Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4. Donations may also be made through the Gifts with Vision website, These donations are also eligible for matching federal funds. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Sunday, July18, 2021


Hymn          Jesus, Where’re Thy People Meet 

Scripture Lessons:      II Samuel 7:1-14a

                                    Psalm 89

                                    Ephesians 2:11-22


Prayer: O God, you have made many different lands, plants, animals, and beings, a great diversity, and yet it is all one, your creation. Help us to learn this lesson as we look at one another:  a great diversity of individuals with many different gifts, beliefs, origins, and practises, and yet we are all your children, members of one human family. Help us to care for one another in our need and to find in one another our hope and our joy. We pray in the name of our Saviour, who came to share our lives with us and also to reveal to us all that human life can be. Help us to walk in his way, now and always. Amen. 

Hymn      How Firm a Foundation

Best wishes to Eunice Livingston’s who is celebrating her 90th birthday this Sunday! 

I (Barbara) will be taking vacation in August, though probably not going very far away for long. There will be services held by Riverfield Presbyterian Church, outside if possible, on August 1st, 15th, and 22nd, at 10am.  There will be services held in Beechridge Presbyterian Church on the 8th and the 22nd at 1:30pm. Debbie Beattie will also offer a service on August 8th at 11am in Howick United Church. All are welcome to attend any or all of these services, but we will still be observing social distancing and wearing our masks as we enter and move around the service (or throughout the service if you prefer.)

Please keep in mind the special appeal that the United Church has launched to support vaccines in other parts of the world. Donations can be made online, by phone (with a credit card) or by mail, or by using the Gifts with Vision website. It has also been announced that the federal government will match donations, so the good we do can be multiplied! 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Sunday, July 11, 2021


Hymn     Joyful, Joyful We Adore You

Scripture Lessons:      I Samuel 6:1-5, 

                                    Psalm 24 p.751VU

                                    Ephesians 1:3-14


Prayer:  God of unfailing love, Saviour to whom we belong, Spirit of truth, you we worship, you we love, you we trust. We long for wisdom to live well and faithfully all the days of our lives. You know the fears that bind us. You know how lost we get sometimes. Yet you search for us and find us; you never let us go. You pour grace upon grace into our lives. Then, you send us out into the world, which needs your light. As we seek to be what you have called us to be, fill our minds so that we observe the world through the light and love of Jesus’ cross and resurrection. Then, grant us courage to walk in the Way of Jesus who is your truth, your life. Amen. (a prayer by Christine Jarrett, of Edge: New Ministry Development and printed in Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020.)

Hymn     To God be the Glory

We continue to hold the family and friends of Bill Welburn in our thoughts and prayers. There will be a drive-in service held at Howick United Church this afternoon at 2pm. 

The services at Beechridge Church will begin holding services Sunday July 25th at 1:30. The services are held every second week. Masks will be required. 

The United Church has launched a special appeal for a Global Response for Vaccines, working for Global Vaccine Justice. We are invited to write our government; to make a donation through the United Church’s Philanthropy Unit online, by phone, or by mail; or buy a vaccine to donate through Gifts with Vision. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Sunday, July 4, 2021


Hymn     You Servants of God #342VU

Scripture Lessons.     I Samuel 5:1-5, 9,10

                                   Psalm 48 p. 772-3

                                   Mark 6:1-13


Prayer: Grandfather, look at our brokenness.

We know that in all creation only the human family has strayed from the Sacred Way. 

We know that we are the ones who are divided and we are the ones who must come back together to walk the Sacred Way. 

Grandfather, Sacred One, teach us love, compassion, and honour that we may heal the earth and heal each other. (from the World Council of Churches Worship book, Jesus Christ the Life of the World 1983.)

Hymn     Blest be the Tie that Bids #602VU

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Bill Welburn following his death this past week. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving, celebrating Bill’s life is being planned. 

Thanks go out to the Ste Martine IGA for their contribution to the repairs and maintenance of the church building. Their generosity is greatly appreciated. 

If any of you are looking for HAECC’s AYear in the Valley, at a suggested donation of $5-10.00 can contact Nadine Vick at 450-237-0526 and make arrangements to pick one up. 

For those who might be interested, the 79th Summer Event will be taking place on Zoom on July 24, 9:30-4:30 with the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott (current Moderator of the UCC). The deadline for registration is July 19th by emailing Carole Dallas-Arbuckle at You are asked to enter UCW on the subject line. For more info, you may contact Kim Baird at 613-933-5851 or at, or check the poster in the church.