Friday, February 26, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

 This is the last Sunday (day!) of February, also known as Black History Month. I regret not seeing an opportunity to address the subject directly, but in the many historical figures, and modern day leaders, activists, and change-makers, whose stories we have heard, we can give thanks for the gifts of inspiration and leadership that they have provided and commit to working for a community and a world where everyone’s rights and needs and dreams are respected. 

Hymn    Standing on the Promises of God

Scripture Lessons:    Genesis 17:1-7,15,16

                                  Psalm 22:23-31p. 746VU pts 3 & 4

                                  Mark 8:31-38


Prayer: O God, you have called many different people from different places and situations to be your servants and your witnesses to the world. Help us to listen for your call, help us to follow where you lead us, even when it leads us to the cross, and help us to see you in our sisters and brothers and neighbours who share in this journey of faith with us. Help us to reach out to them as you reach out to us.  Above all, help us to trust in your promises, to wait with patience and hope, and to be ready to live as you have intended, in peace and in justice; in compassion and grace, all the days of our lives. In the name and spirit of our crucified Saviour we pray. Amen. 

Hymn     O Jesus I have Promised #120 VU

The Confirmation Class will begin this afternoon at 1:30 on Zoom. If there are those who still wish to participate, please contact me so I can send you an invitation. 

We offer our congratulations to the Rev. Joëlle Leduc and Ste Genevieve United Church who celebrated their new shared ministry with a covenanting service last Sunday. We hope this is the start of a blessed and fruitful ministry together. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of the Rev. Malcolm Cogswell who died last Sunday. His burial will take place in Riverfield tomorrow. We remember with thanksgiving his ministry in Howick as well as his faithful ministry to the United Church in this region and to the church of Jesus Christ. 

Next Friday March 5th is World Day of Prayer. There will be no community service this year (next year, maybe?) but it is possible to connect online on 

Friday, February 19, 2021

February 21,2021 Lent1

 We have begun the season of Lent this week. Are you planning to do something special? Giving something up, or starting something new? However you observe the season, may it be a source of strength, hope, and faith to you. 

Hymn:     Sweet Hour of Prayer

Scripture Lessons:     Genesis 9:8-17

                                    Psalm 25:1-10 p. 752VU

                                    Mark 1:9-15

Hymn.     Forty Days and Forty Nights #114VU


Prayer: O God, in this world where goodness and evil continue to clash with each other, instil in us, and in all your people, discernment to see what is right, faith to believe what is right, and courage to do what is right. 
Keep us aware of the subtlety of sin, and preserve us, body, mind and soul, through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen. (from the Iona Community’s Stages on the Way) 

Hymn:         O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go #658VU

The Confirmation Class will be starting next Sunday, February 28th at 1:30pm on Zoom. If you know of someone who would be interested in participating, please have them contact me (Barbara) so I can send them an invitation to attend. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

February 14, 2021 Transfiguration Sunday

 Happy Valentine’s Day! While the rest of the world may be celebrating Valentine’s Day, the Christian church will be observing Transfiguration Sunday, a bridge between the seasons of Epiphany and Lent. Did you discover something this season? Did you learn something or experience something new? As we prepare to begin a new season in the church year, what more are we going to be bringing with us? What have we learned? What may we need to leave behind? 

Hymn       Be Thou My Vision #642VU

Scripture Lessons:     II Corinthians 4:3-6

                                   Psalm 50:1-6 p. 775VU


Hymn        Jesus Bids Us Shine #585


Prayer:  Let us pray this Valentine’s Day 
that broken hearts be mended     
Young hearts stay wonder-filled                                                                                                                       Old hearts discover their wisdom
Embittered hearts let go of hurt
Compassionate hearts find strength
Big hearts know their wealth
Betrayed hearts recover trust
Soft hearts not be wounded
Hardened hearts begin to soften
Sensitive hearts be vigilant
Happy hearts announce their joy
Courageous hearts keep risking
Passionate hearts tend the flames
Arrogant hearts learn humility
Sympathetic hearts benefit others
Determined hearts lessen their grip
Jealous hearts accept what they have
Lost hearts find their way home
Loving hearts reach out to others
Generous hearts receive in return
Fearful hearts turn toward trust 
empty hearts befriend loneliness 
tepid hearts stretch into action
Faithful hearts remain steadfast

Kindhearted Holy One, you gather all these hearts into your one great love. Thank you for reaching our heart through the hearts of others. The genuine love of each person reflects your divine affection. Keep us aware, when we hesitate or question our ability to share our love with another, that you dwell within our hearts. Amen. (A prayer by Joyce Rupp and printed in Prayer Seeds.)

Hymn.      Love Divine #333VU

I have had some takers for the Confirmation Class. I am thinking of holding it (on Zoom) on Sunday afternoons for about 45 minutes, I think. If you know of someone who would be interested, of high school age or older, please let me know, even if the time doesn’t work, and we will see how we can work it out.

In Howick, it is now time to renew your subscription for Broadview, the United Church’s newsmagazine. The deadline has snuck up on us, so Evie will be renewing the subscriptions and other names can be added if desired. The cost for the year is $25. Please let Evie know if you wish to make a change. You can get the money to her later. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

February 7, 2020

 We are most of the way through the season of Epiphany as Lent begins after next Sunday. We are moving through winter and the sun is rising earlier each day. Let the light brighten and guide us on the way. 

Hymn   I Sing the Mighty Power of God #231VU

Scripture Lessons:     Isaiah 40:21-31

                                   Psalm 147:1-11 p.898-9 pt 1 VU



Prayer:  Lord God, creator of all seasons and seasons and ages, I praise you for all that is beautiful in this winter day of February coldness:  the strong, black patterns of trees standing tall, utter whiteness of snow as it layers the lawn, stillness broken only by the sound of the furnace and maybe a brave cheep of a snowbird, blue sky with morning pink still on its cheek, the bush under the rain spot drenched in ice. 

   Oh that is glistening with cold this morning, praise the Lord! All creatures snuggled away in nest s, caves, trees, praise the Lord! Oh, all people’s bundled in winter wear, scurrying to work, praise the Lord! Cars, trucks, and buses chugging along the highway, praise the Lord! Snowbirds all a fluff with thick winter warmth, praise the Lord! Cows, steers, and sheep on hillsides, braving cold, praise the Lord! Oh crunch and crackle of boots on frosty snowfall, praise the Lord! All ponds and lakes deeply frozen and lovely formed, praise the Lord! Little rabbits leaving deep footprints ‘neath my window, praise the Lord! 

   Yes, all the winter world, whose beauty we so often miss, whose weather we so often condemn, praise the Lord, and bless his holy name, for our world has wonders and tiny miracles if only our hearts as well as our eyes are open to see. Amen. (a prayer/psalm by Joyce Rupp, printed in Fresh Bread)

Hymn       Your Hands, O Christ #622VU

Thanks to all who got their reports in to me or to Evie for the annual reports. If your report is still outstanding, please speak to me or to Evie about when it may be ready. We will let you know when the reports are ready. 

I have some takers for the Confirmation class. If there are others who would be interested, please let me know so we can make plans for the classes(which will be taking place on ZOOM.)