Friday, January 29, 2021

January 31, 2021

 It strikes me that this Sunday would be a Sunday with a shared service among our 3 congregations. Instead, we will be meeting together in another way. May our shared faith continue to guide and strengthen us. 

Hymn    When Morning Gilds the Skies #339VU

Scripture Lessons: I Corinthians 8:1-13

Psalm 111 p.833VU

Mark 1:21-28


Prayer: Let us give thanks in the beginning of this year for the many ways in which our lives are supported day by day.

For familiar places and faces on the street, for warm homes and full cupboards, for friends and entertainment, for new challenges and past achievements, for good government and leadership and the absence of famine or war, we thank you God, and praise your holy name. 

Let us give thanks especially for those we love, whose loyalty we depend upon, whose faults and frailties we forgive, whose acceptance of our faults and frailties we wonder at, whose daily presence we so easily take for granted. For dearest and nearest, wherever they are, whoever they are, however they are, we thank you O God, and praise your holy name. Amen. ( a prayer written by John Harvey and printed in the Iona Community’s Hay and Stardust,  adapted.) 

Hymn     New Every Morning #405VU

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the victims and families of victims of the attack on the Grand Mosque of Quebec as we pause in remembrance this week. 

Many thanks to all who have prepared and delivered their annual reports. For those who have not yet completed or dropped off your reports yet, you can do so this week, or let me know when they might be ready. We do not yet have plans for the annual meetings, but we can get a sense of how this past year has gone by seeing how our congregations have continued to function in these difficult times. 

I have realized that Lent is coming up soon (beginning, I believe, February 17th this year) and this is a traditional time to prepare for Confirmation. Are there those who are interested in taking part in a Confirmation Class? It would need to take place on ZOOM as we cannot meet In person at the moment. You can let me know if you know of those who would be interested. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

January 24, 2020

 We are coming to the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we are moving through the season of Epiphany, and the season of Lent is approaching quickly. Wherever we are and however we are feeling, let us remember: God is with us! Alleluia. Amen. 

Hymn   Jesus Calls Us #562VU

(I know this is not the usual tune, but it still sounds familiar, and I liked it! )

Scripture Lessons:  Jonah 3:1-5, 10

                                Psalm 62 p. 779VU

                                Mark 1:14-20

Hymn   I Will Make You Fishers of Men 


Prayer:  Jesus Christ, our Saviour, alive and at large in the world, help us to follow and find you today in the places where we work and meet people, spend leisure time and make plans. Teach us to see through your eyes, and to hear the questions you ask, by the power of the Cross, and in the freedom of your Spirit, we pray. Amen. ( a prayer by John Taylor, bishop of Winchester, and printed in Voices United #564)

Hymn     O Master Let Me Walk with Thee #560VU

We are continuing to collect reports for the annual report. This year’s report may be different from those we have prepared before, and some may feel that there is little or nothing to report, but if there is something to report on from 2021, please get them in to me (for Ormstown and Franklin) or to Evie Kerr (for Howick) by the end of the month if possible. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to give me a call. 

We hold the residents and their families, as well as the staff of the Centre d’Accueil in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with an outbreak there. We pray for all who may be struggling with their health (physical and mental) at this time, as well as those who care for them. If I can help in any way, please let me know. Barbara

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

January 17, 2021 3rd Sunday of Epiphany

 So, how is the curfew going for you? Does it inspire you to want to go for a moonlight stroll? Or does it really make little or no difference to you at all? Here’s hoping that it helps to make a difference and our numbers will go down and eventually, we can gather together once again! 

Hymn:     You Servants of God #342VU

Scripture Lessons:    I Samuel 3:1-10

                                   Psalm 139 p.861VU

                                  John 1:43-51

Hymn:      Lord Speak to Me #589VU


Prayer:  She sits working, needle and thread in hand. The coat of many colours, torn and tattered, is held tenderly across her knee. 

She works carefully. With each hole she anchors her thread, then weaves together the fragments of cloth, recreating the pattern. 

It must be strong, yet supple, so well integrated into the fabric to be almost invisible. A humble art. 

And all the while she sings, her blessing of peace and beauty holding all together. 

Your church is torn and tattered, Lord. Come, mend us, darn us together again into one, wonderful whole garment of praise for all the world to wear. Amen. (A prayer written by Silvia Purdie of Aotearoa New Zealand and published in Geoffrey Duncan’s Seeing Christ in Others an anthology for worship, meditation and mission.)

Hymn:    Will You Come and Follow Me #567VU

The time has come to think of our annual reports for this year. It may be quite different from other years, but we can still reflect on the year that was, what took place and what changes and challenges that we faced this year. If we could have any reports that people can prepare by the end of the month, we will pull them together and produce a report for people to review. Reports for Howick can go to Evie and reports for Ormstown and Franklin can go to Barbara. 

Did you know that the regional council of the United Church of Canada offers some programming for children, families and youth? There is children’s church at home held on Facebook at 9:30 and recordings can also be found on the region’s website,, on the youth and young adult page. There is also a weekly youth group meeting held on Thursdays at 6:30pm. To participate, you need to contact the children and families resource person Shanna Bernier, through the region website. For more information, you can contact me, Barbara Bryce. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

January 10, 2021 The Baptism of our Lord

 Advent is supposed to be the season of waiting and Epiphany is supposed to be the season of revelation and discovery, but we find ourselves waiting again. I hope that we will be able to find ways to survive and spend these next several weeks in lockdown and under curfew, and that we might discover something new along the way. Let’s also try to keep in touch! 

Hymn.    All Beautiful the March of Days #530VU

Scripture Lessons:    Genesis 1:1-5

                                  Psalm 29 p. 756 VU

                                  Mark 1:1-11


Prayer:  O God, when your love spilled over into creation, you thought of us. We are from love, of love, and for love. Let our hearts, O God, always recognize, cherish, and enjoy your goodness in all of creation. Direct all that we are toward your praise. Teach us reverence for every person, all things. Empower us in your service. Living God, may nothing ever distract us from your love..... neither health nor sickness, wealth nor poverty; honour nor dishonour; long life nor short life. May we never seek nor choose to be other than you intend or wish. Amen. 

God of all creation, we ask your blessing on each of us as we enter into the mystery of your ongoing moulding and shaping of our lives. May the spirit of Christ gift us with the grace of loving receptivity to your living Word eager to be born within us. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen (These prayers are taken from Jacquelin Syrup Bergman and S. Marie Schwan’s collection of services, Taste and See.)

Hymn:  Songs of Thankfulness and Praise #101VU

Saturday, January 2, 2021

January 3, 2021

 Happy New Year! We are hoping that this year will be better than the last, though it does start much the same, in shutdown. I hope you begin this year in good health and in good spirits. God be with you! 

Hymn:  See Amid the Winter’s Snow #76VU

Scripture Lessons:  Ephesians 1:3-14

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

                                John 1:1-18

Hymn.    What Child is This? #74VU


Prayer:   In the year gone by, in the year to come, and right at this moment, you are with us, Holy God! Thank you!                                                                                                                                     For your leading and loving, for your teaching and caring, for your changing love at work in all of us, thank you!                                                                                                                                           In your love you hold all creation. In your hope, you give new life. In your peace, you begin again!  So for the year gone by, for the year to come, and for this moment right now, we declare, Alleluia! Alleluia! Thank you Holy God! Amen. (A prayer by our current Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott.)

Hymn:     The First Nowell #91VU

In the past couple of weeks we have held a couple of drive-in services in Ormstown and Howick. I want to thank those who attended and those who helped get them going, including Mark and George Barrington who helped me find the equipment we needed as well as Gordon Furey for helping me set it up. For those who attended, if you have any feedback, I would be happy to hear it, and if you would like another held, I would be happy to plan it. Please let me or a Session member know. Barbara