Friday, April 30, 2021

May 2, 2021 The Fifth Sunday of Easter

 This coming week has been declared to be Mental Health Awareness Week by the United Church. It acknowledges the toll that the last year may have taken on many of us, either because of the demands made of us, or the isolation we have faced, or the losses we have experienced without being able to follow the usual rituals. We acknowledge as well the challenges of living with anxiety or depression or other mental illnesses or conditions. The United Church is offering a number of live webinars on its Facebook page from 12-1:00 EDT on wellness and the medicine wheel, anxiety, guided mediation (in French) and trauma fatigue as well as a blogpost from Amy Strickland. Take a look, if you would like. 

Hymn    All People that on Earth Do Dwell #822VU

Scripture Lessons:    Acts 8:26-40

                                  Psalm 22:25-31

                                  John 15:1-8


Prayer:  O God, we give you thanks for sending us Jesus, who comes to be our True Vine, grounding and rooting us in you and giving us a chance to live and grow in love, in wisdom, in understanding, and in compassion. We pray that we will know you live in us as we live and abide in you and so we will be enabled to be your witnesses to the world, to reveal your love, mercy, and faithfulness in the way of your Son Jesus. Help us to bear the fruits of this love in the words we speak, in the actions we choose, and in the love we share. Help us to be true and faithful witnesses of you and for you, now and always. Amen. 

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

A reminder: the deadline for theHugh Duncan and IFE bursaries for university and college students is coming up, on June 4th. If you want to apply, the applications are available on the region’s website ( or you can let me know and I will provide a copy. Barbara

The United Theological College will be holding a virtual convocation this week, Wednesday, May 5th at 2pm. We can hold the students, graduates and faculty in our prayers, and it is possible to attend the convocation on zoom. The college is going through changes as it moves into a union with the Diocesan College under one Principal and in one building. 

Still looking for a gift for someone who has everything (or more than everything) that they need? You can make a gift to support families through the United Church and an e-card will be sent to your recipient, a mother, grandmother, aunt, godparent or whoever you choose. There is also an offline version. 

The United Church is planning to hold a service to lament forced or coerced adoptions through its maternity homes next Sunday, May 9th at 3pm ET on its YouTube channel. The Moderator will offer an apology on the church’s behalf. 

We continue to hold the family of Rosemary Hooker in our thoughts and prayers, following her death last week. A private service has been held for her immediate family. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

April 25, Good Shepherd Sunday

 This past Thursday was Earth Day. Did you pause to enjoy the earth’s wonders this past week, it’s sun; flowers; buds and blooms; as well as the snow? I hope you will continue to see, enjoy, and give thanks for all of the gifts of creation. 

Hymn     All Creatures of our God and King #217VU

Scripture Lessons:  I John 3:18-24

Psalm 23 p.749VU

John 10:11-18

Hymn     Brother James’ Air #748VU


Prayer:  Jesus you said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Help me to love. Teach me your commands. Help me to obey. Let me praise you with a love that is not just emotion. Let me praise you with a love that is action. Let me praise you with a love that reaches out to others. Let me praise you with a love that lets you live in me. Let me praise you with a love that lets me live in you. I praise you because I love and because you first loved me. Amen. ( a prayer by Jeanne Wilson of St Catherine’s, ON and printed in Gathering L/E 2021.)

Hymn     The King of Love My Shepherd Is #273VU

The United Church has declared next week, May 2nd to 8th “Mental Awareness Week” and there will be daily workshops on the church’s Facebook page from 12-1:00 EDT dealing  with issues such as wellness and the medicine wheel, anxiety, guided meditation, and trauma fatigue. There will also be a special blog from General Council staff person Amy Crawford. 

The deadline for the Hugh Duncan and IFE bursaries is June 4th. Application forms are available on the regional council’s website: or ask Barbara to provide one for you. 

We are saddened to hear of the death of Rosemary Hooker. She died on Friday and arrangements are being made. We hold Don and Ian and all the family in our thoughts and prayers. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

April 18, 2021 Easter 3

 I don’t know whether this Sunday or next Sunday should be Earth Sunday, (maybe every Sunday should be Earth Sunday?) but maybe we can take some time to see the changes happening around us: plants bursting out from the ground (dandelions and bleeding heart) buds appearing and spring flowers (crocus and daffodils) blooming, and give thanks. 

Hymn Jesus Stand Among Us #396VU

Scripture Lessons:     Acts 3:12-20

                                   Psalm 4 p.727VU

                                   Luke 24:36-48


Prayer:  Jesus, ‘Peace be with you!’ you said to your disciples when you came and stood among them— locked as they were into their bewilderment and their fear. Breathe your Spirit of Peace into our troubled hearts, our full-of-fear world. Enter into our turbulence, our disorder and our discord. Bring your peace, your serenity and your harmony. Calm us, still us, open us up, in order that we may be channels of your peace to those in need of that life-giving river. Amen. (A prayer by Susan Hardwick published in Geoffrey Duncan’s Wisdom is Calling.)

God of power, God of people, you are the life of all that lives, energy that fills the earth, vitality that brings to birth, the impetus toward making whole whatever is bruised or broken. In you we grow to know the truth that sets all creation free. You are the song the whole earth sings, the promise liberation brings, now and forever. Amen (by Miriam Therese Winter, from Woman Prayer, Woman Song, Resources for Ritual). 

Hymn     Christ the Lord is Risen Today #157VU

Applications for the IFE (college and CEGEP) and Hugh Duncan (university) bursaries are now being accepted. Forms can be found on the regional council website under resources. Or give me (Barbara) a call and I can provide one. 

We welcome a new member into the Christian church and the family of God. Alayna Greig, daughter of Steven Greig and Laura Mahar will be baptized this Sunday in a private service in St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

April 11, 2021 Easter 2


Hymn     This Joyful Eastertide #177VU

Scripture Lessons:  Acts 4:32-35

                                Psalm 133 p. 856VU

                                 I John 1:1-2:2


Song Every Morning is Easter Morning

Prayer: Servant Christ, help us to follow you out of the dark tomb, to share daily your resurrection life, to be renewed daily in your image of love, to be used daily as your new Body in your service to the world. Servant Christ, help us to follow you. 

Almighty God, through the rising of your Son from the grave, you broke the power of death and condemned death itself to die. As we celebrate this great triumph may we also make it the model for our living. Help us to identify in our lives all that needs to die— harmful relationships, tired habits, fruitless longings. Resurrect in our lives faith, hope, and love, as surely as you raised Jesus Christ from the grave. Amen. (prayers found in the Unired Church’s worship resource Celebrate God’s Presence.)

Hymn  #173     Thine is the Glory

Applications for the Hugh Duncan and IFE bursaries through the Nakonhaka Regional Council are now available. The deadline for applying is June 4, 2021. The applications can be found on the Nakonhaka website at or Barbara will provide you with a copy. 

“No Time for Silence” a Christian Commemoration of the Shoah will be held Sunday, April 11th at 10am online and will be led by the Rev. Rosemary Lambie and will also include Irwin Cotler as guest speaker, among others. The service will be available at More information is available on the region’s website ( 

Did you know that many members, leaders, congregations, and organizations are calling for a guaranteed basic livable income? You can learn more about it on the church’s website 

A joke for Holy Humour Sunday: (from the Joyful Noise newsletter) A child asked the minister of their church, “what did Jesus say when he first came out of the tomb?” The minister answered that the gospels don’t tell us what Jesus said when he first came out of the grave. One child put up her hand and said I know what he said, he said ‘Tah-Dah!’”

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

 Happy Easter! May the hope and joy of this season fill your hearts and minds and lives this day and forevermore. Amen. 

Hymn:      The Day of Resurrection #164VU

Scripture Lessons:    I Corinthians 15:1-11

                                   Psalm 118:14-24

                                   Mark 16:1-8


Prayer:  Jesus, you are risen! You are with me. Keep me ever mindful of how you are a part of my life in a deep and profound way. Surprise me with a touch of your love in places where I never thought that I would find you. Fill my heart with hope. May the gift of your presence transform every ordinary moment of mine into a sacred place where you dwell. Help me to see this gift through the eyes of Faith. Fill me with your peace. Amen. (from Joyce Rupp’s May I Have this Dance)

Hymn:   Jesus Christ is Risen Today #155VU

Benediction:May the love of the cross, the power of the resurrection, and the presence of the Living Lord, be with you always. And the blessing of the Eternal God, Creator and Sustainer, Risen Lord and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, Giver of Holiness and love, be upon you new and evermore. Amen. 

There will be a drive-in service for Easter Sunday, held in Howick at 11am. Communion will be served, with the elements provided. The frequency for the service will be 87.7 on the FM dial. There will be some seats inside the church for those who may have trouble receiving that frequency. All welcome. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Good Friday, April 2,2021


Hymn.    Go to Dark Gethsemane #133VU

Prayer: Holy God, who has opened our ears to hear your Word and our lips to proclaim your truth: open our eyes this day to see in the cross the revelation of your love; through Jesus the Crucified, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, be honour and praise, now and forever. Amen. (from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence.)

Scripture Lessons:     Isaiah 52:13-53:12

                                   Psalm 22:1-21 p. 744-5 pts1, 2VU



Prayer:  O Saviour of the world, we praise you again for the victory of the cross and for your work, now finished. You have done for us what we could never do for ourselves, and what we did not deserve you to do; and you have done once and for all. Through your perfect and all-sufficient sacrifice sin is conquered, death is destroyed, humanity is redeemed, and heaven is opened. To God be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. (a prayer by Frank Colquhoun printed in Contemporary Parish Prayers.) 

Hymn     There is a Green Hill Far Away #152VU

There will be both an Easter blog and an Easter service, to be held in Howick. The plan is for a drive-in service to be held on Easter Sunday, April 4th at 11am. There is some room inside, if necessary, but it is planned as a drive in service. Communion will be served with communion kits provided. All welcome from all 3 congregations.