Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

 This is the first Sunday of summer (though it might feel like it has been summer for a while.) This might not be a time of rest for you, but I hope you have a chance to enjoy it. 

Hymn.     When Morning Gilds the Skies #339VU

Scripture Lessons:      II Corinthians 8:7-15

                                    Psalm 30 p.757VU

                                    Mark 5:21-43


Prayer: O Christ the healer, we have come to pray for health, to plead for friends. 
How can we fail to be restored when reached by love that never ends? 

From every ailment flesh endures our bodies clamour to be freed; 
Yet in our hearts we would confess that wholeness is our deepest need. 

How strong, O Lord are our desires, how weak our knowledge of ourselves! 
Release in us those healing truths unconscious pride resists and shelves. 

…Grant that we all, made one in faith, in your community may find
The wholeness that, enriching us, shall reach and shall enrich humankind. 
(A hymn by Frederick Pratt Green.)

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

We are now meeting in or around our churches, back to the regular schedule, which means there will be services in Franklin at 9:30am and in Howick at 11:00. Outside if possible, so bring your lawn chair and hat, as well as your mask. Next week we will have services in Ormstown at 9:30 (probably inside) and in Howick at 11:00. Stay well, and if you feel comfortable, join us for worship. If not, you can continue to follow the blog. B

Congratulations to all the students and teachers in our congregations! It has been a strange year, and sometimes a hard one, but congratulations to all who have finished the year. Also, congratulations to all our graduates who will be moving to a new school or a new stage in their lives. Best wishes as you move forward to new experiences and challenges. 

Last week the people who came to the service in Howick were able to pick up a copy of A Year in the Valley,  a community memoir produced by the HAECC for a small donation of about $5 -$10.00. If others would like a copy, Nadine Vick has agreed to be the contact to arrange to pick up a copy. You may contact her at 450-237-0526. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

 This Sunday many families will be celebrating Father’s Day. Best wishes to the many fathers of our congregations and to those with treasured memories of fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and others, let’s be thankful. 

Hymn      Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me #637

Scripture Lessons:              I Samuel 17:1,31-49

                                            Psalm 9 p.732-3VU

                                            Mark 4:35-41


Prayers:  O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world— hear me— I come before you, one of your children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise, so that I may know the things you have taught my People, the lesson hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength not to be superior to my sisters and brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself. Make me ever ready to come to you, with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame. So be it. (a prayer by Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief.)

Hymn       Will Your Anchor Hold? #675

Over the next several weeks, we will be returning to services gradually. This Sunday we will be holding a service in Howick at 9:30am, hopefully outside. So bring your lawn chair along with your mask. 
Next week there will be a service in Franklin at 9:30 and in Howick at 11:00, also hopefully outside. Finally we will start services at Ormstown on July 4th at 9:30am, probably indoors, so bring your mask. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers June Orr and all the family following the death of Eldon earlier this week. 

This Sunday is also National Indigenous People’s Sunday, and perhaps particularly this year, we hold our indigenous sisters and brothers in our thoughts and prayers. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Sunday, June 13, 2021

 Did you remember that June 10th was the 96th anniversary of the creation of the United Church? There was a service presented on YouTube  on Thursday (you can probably still see it on the United Church’s YouTube channel if you would like.) Happy birthday to our church! 

Hymn      I Sing the Mighty Power of God #231 VU

Scripture Lessons.      II Corinthians 5:16-21

                                    Psalm 92:1-4,12-15 p.810VU

                                    Mark  4:26-35


Prayer:  God of sorrows, God of healing: hear the voice of our grief, hear the depth of our loss. The fabric of life has been torn: our spirits are frayed and raw. We ask “why?” and hear no answer. And, thread by thread, our tears fall: the unravelling of our hearts. God of sorrows, God of healing: hear the voice of our grief. We cry out for those who are afraid, for those who are suffering from injustice, for those who are suffering from violence, for those who mourn.

God of sorrows, God of healing: hear the voice of our grief. Mend the threads of our hearts. Sow seeds of healing in our lives and in the lives of all those who suffer. Amen. (a prayer by Keri K. Wehlander from Joy is our Banquet.)

And a blessing:May God’s compassion clothe us. May God’s presence comfort us. May the colours of God’s promise be woven into our hearts and into this world. Amen. 

Hymn     We Plough the Fields and Scatter #520VU

This week we celebrate with St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown which is welcoming 6 new members from the Confirmation Class: Connor Bryson, Caleb Bryson, Jacob Bryson, Spencer Mason, Jackson Rember, and Grace Tannahill. We welcome them into our congregation and into the United Church of Canada. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers our Muslim brothers and sisters hear in Canada who are feeling afraid and under attack. We pray for greater respect and understanding between people of different faiths and among people of good conscience. On the United Church website there are links to some of the reports on our relationships with people of other faiths, includingThat We Might Know Each Other, 2006, on our relationship with Muslims. 

Services are going to begin in our churches soon. Howick will start with a 9:30 service on June 20th with we hope, an outdoor service (bring your lawn chair and your mask). In case of rain we will move inside. Franklin will start with a 9:30 service on June 27th. Unfortunately, we will not be singing at these services as this is not yet permitted by the government. There is no pressure to join us for these services, for those who feel safer staying at home and I will continue to produce the blog for those who find it helpful. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Sunday June 6, 2021

 This Sunday is being celebrated by many churches as Pride Sunday. At the same time we are grappling with the racist history of our past as a church and a country. May God lead us to ways of being a more just and loving society. 

Hymn     Praise to the Lord, the Almighty #220VU

Scripture Lessons:       I Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20

                                     Psalm 138 p.860VU

                                     Mark 3:20-35


Prayer: God of our Ancestors, who holds the spirits of our grandmothers and grandfathers and the spirits of our grandchildren, remembering the children, we now pledge ourselves to speak the truth, and with our hearts and our souls to act upon the truth we have heard of the injustices lived, of the sufferings inflicted, of the tears cried, of the misguided intentions imposed, and of the power of prejudice and racism which were allowed to smother the sounds and laughter of the forgotten children. Hear our cries of lament for what was allowed to happen and for what will never be. In speaking and hearing and acting upon the Truth may we as individuals and as a nation meet the hope of a new beginning. Great Creator God who desires that all creation live in harmony and peace, remembering the children we dare to dream of a path of reconciliation where apology from the heart leads to the healing of the heart and the chance of restoring the circle, where justice walks with all, where respect leads to true partnership, where the power to change comes from each heart. Hear our prayer of hope, and guide this country of Canada on a new and different path. Amen. ( a prayer written to support the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.)

Hymn    Many and Great #308VU

We hold the family of Joyce McKell in our thoughts and prayers following the graveside service that has been held. We give thanks for her life and the memories we can cherish. 

If you would like some more information concerning the United Church’s involvement in residential schools in the past and our present actions to respond to the damage done by these schools, there is a statement on the United Church’s website, from Murray Pruden the Executive Minister for Indigenous Ministries and Justice.

There will be a special service live-streamed on YouTube this week, June 10th at 7pm EDT in celebration of the 96th anniversary of the creation of the United Church of Canada. The service will be led by our current moderator, the Rt Rev Richard Bott. 

United Spirit Camp will be offering online programming from June28-July 16th. A free box of resources can be provided. If anyone would like to sign up for the activities offered, more information is available on the region’s website, Take a look! Activities for morning, afternoon or evening are available. 

Want to find some activities for children? You can also take a look at A number of possibilities are offered. 

 (I borrowed my neighbour’s peony for this photo. Thanks Laura and Keith! )