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.