Friday, January 28, 2022

Sunday, January 30, 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


Hymn       Come Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love #574VU

Scripture Lessons:       I Corinthians 13:1-13

                                     Psalm 71:1-6 p. 789VU pt. 1

                                     Luke 4:21-30


Another excerpt from the Song of Faith, the United Church’s latest statement of faith. You can find the complete statement on the United Church’s website: 

We sing of Jesus, a Jew, born to a woman in poverty
   in a time of upheaval and political oppression. 
He know human joy and sorrow. 
So filled with the Holy Spirit was he
that in him people experienced the presence of God among them. 
We sing praise to God incarnate. 

Jesus announced the coming of God’s reign—
   a commonwealth not of domination 
   but of peace, Justice, and reconciliation. 
He healed the sick and fed the hungry. 
He forgave sins and freed those held captive
   by all manner of demonic powers. 
He crossed barriers of race, class, culture, and gender. 
He preached and practised unconditional love—
   love of God, love of neighbour, 
   love of friend, love of enemy—
and he commanded his followers to love one another 
   as he had loved them. 

Because his witness to love was threatening, 
   those exercising power sought to silence Jesus. 
He suffered abandonment and betrayal, 
   state-sanctioned torture and execution. 
He was crucified. 

But death was not the last word. 
God raised Jesus from death, 
   turning sorrow into joy, 
   despair into hope. 
We sing of Jesus raised from the dead.
We sing hallelujah. 

Prayer: O God, in Jesus you called us to come to you as a child, full of trust and hope and freely expressing our love, our joy, and our delight to you and to others. Through the apostle Paul you have also called us to grow into a mature faith and understanding of your kingdom and your call to us. Help us to keep this balance: to come as a child ready to experience and to share your love, AND to be ready to learn and to grow; to seek the knowledge and wisdom that can guide our living and our serving. Above all, O God, help us to live and share the love you have revealed in your children and your church and in your son and our Saviour, Jesus the Christ. In whose powerful name and spirit we pray this day. Amen. 

Hymn      Love Divine #333VU

I realized I had not set a deadline for reports to be submitted for the annual report, but this is usually the time. If anyone still has a report to submit, please let me or Evie (for Howick) know if it is still to come. You can email it to me or drop it off at the manse. Barbara

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Winston (Wink) Keeler, who died this past week. 

This week (January 29th) marks the 5th anniversary of the mosque shooting in Quebec City. As we think of people in our own communities who are lonely or sad, we can also remember the survivors of this attack, and those who continue to live in fear because of events like this one. 💞

Tomorrow is February 1st and the beginning of Black History Month. Are you planning anything to mark this month, (such as read a book, take part in a virtual class or program)…..? 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Sunday, January 23, 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


Hymn   Amen, Amen

Scripture Lessons:     Nehemiah 8:1-10

                                   Psalm 19 pp.740-1 VU

                                   I Corinthians 12:12-31

                                   Luke 4:14-21


Another excerpt from the Song of Faith:

… Scripture is our song for the journey, the living word
   passed on from generation to generation
   to guide and inspire, 
   that we might wrestle a holy revelation for our time and place
   from the human experiences
      and cultural assumptions of another era. 
God calls us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. 

The Spirit breathes revelatory power into scripture, 
    bestowing upon it a unique and normative place 
   in the life of community.
The Spirit judges us critically when we abuse scripture 
   by interpreting it narrow-mindedly, 
   using it as a tool of oppression, exclusion, or hatred. 
The wholeness of Scripture testifies
   to the oneness and faithfulness of God. 
The multiplicity of scripture testifies to its depth:
   two testaments, four gospels, 
   contrasting points of view held in tension—
all a faithful witness to the One and Triune God, 
the Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love. …

Prayer : O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, we thank you and pride you for your love, for your wisdom, for your kindness and mercy. Make us instruments of love, peace, unity, and harmony between people independently of race, colour, and creed. Grant us to respect all of your creation and to look at one another and at all your creatures as brothers and sisters. Help us to serve one another in humility, simplicity and joy. Take away from the heart of people the spirit of hatred, violence and rivalry. Amen. ( a Franciscan prayer, Week of Prayer for World Peace, 1986, and printed in With All God’s People)

Hymn      Jesus United by Thy Grace #591VU

Did you know that our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott is reading through the whole New Testament from the New Year till Easter. You can join him by following him on Facebook. 

Some reports have now come in for our annual reports. Howick’s report will be collected by Evie Kerr, for one last year, and Ormstown and Franklin’s can come to me. You can email them to me at or you can drop them off at the manse. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Sunday, January 16, 2022

 Today in the United States is Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, leading into Martin Luther King Jr Day tomorrow. How does his life and example inspire you? Which of his words do you remember? 

Hymn.     Joyful, Joyful We Adore You #232VU

Scripture Lessons: I Corinthians 12:1-11

                               Psalm 36:5-10 p.762VU

                               John 2:1-11


I thought for this season, the season of Epiphany, I would include parts of the latest statement of faith  related and developed by the United Church, the Song of Faith. It is quite long, so I won’t include it all. If you want to have it all, you can find it on the church’s website: This week, the beginning: 

God is Holy Mystery, 
beyond knowledge, 
above perfect description. 
in love, 
the one eternal God seeks relationship. 
So God creates the universe 
and with it the possibility of being and relating.
God tends the universe, 
  mending the broken and reconciling the estranged.
God enlivens the universe, 
   guiding all things toward harmony with their Source. 
Grateful for God’s loving action, 
We cannot keep from singing.

With the Church through the ages, we speak of God as 
   Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer
   Good, Christ, and Spirit
   Mother, Friend, and Comforter
   Source of Life, Living Word, and Bond of Love, 
   and in other ways that speak faithfully of
The One on whom our hearts rely, 
the fully shared life at the heart of the universe. 

We witness to Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love. …. (to be continued in coming weeks)

Prayer: Gift-giving God, we give you thanks and praise for the blessings you pour out upon your people: for the spiritual gifts you provide for each of your children; for the opportunities you provide to share our gifts and blessings with others; and for the gift of your Son to be our Saviour, whose glory you continue to reveal and make manifest in our world. May the gifts and blessings you provide to us bring joy to our hearts; peace to our souls; and hope to our world. We pray in the name and the spirit of the one who came to be our Brother, our Teacher, and our Redeemer. Amen. 

Hymn.      Songs of Thankfulness and Praise#101VU

We will be preparing annual reports for our three congregations for the year 2021. If you have a report for us, please try to get it in by the end of the month. For Howick the reports can go to Evie Kerr (one last year!) and for Ormstown and Franklin, they can come to me either by email to or by dropping it off at the manse. 

This week is also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We won’t be holding a service or other activity to mark this week. Is there something else we can be doing to show our common faith and commitment? Might it include not just Christian churches but also other people of faith as well? Let us at least pray for our sisters and brothers who seek to live according to their conscience and their convictions and in so doing, bring hope, healing, and light to our world.  

Friday, January 7, 2022

Sunday, January 9, 2022 The Baptism of Jesus


Hymn.     Hail to God’s Own Anointed #30VU

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 43:1-7

                                    Psalm 29 p.756VU

                                    Luke 3:15-17, 21,22


Prayer: God our Mother, Living Water, River of Mercy, Source of Life, in whom we live and move and have our being, who quenches our thirst, refreshes our weariness, bathes and washes and cleanses our wounds, be for us always a fountain of life, and for all the world a river of hope springing up in the midst of the deserts of despair. Honour and blessing, glory and praise to you forever. Amen. 

Hymn.      All Beautiful the March of Days #530VU

Another week, another year, another lockdown! Hopefully, this won’t last as long as the last one! I hope and pray that you will stay well and that we will be able to gather before too long. 

As we begin another year, we will start preparing for another annual report as well. In Howick, we were able to hold an annual meeting last year, so we will be looking forward to holding one for this last year, 2021. In Ormstown and Franklin, we will be combining our meetings for 2020 and 2021, but the report for 2020 has already been produced, so we are only looking for reports for 2021.

As we begin a new year in Howick, we will also be starting with a new treasurer. Wilene Cullen has agreed to take on the role from Evie Kerr, who has decided to retire from the job after 30-plus years. Many thanks, Evie! 💐

We hold in our thoughts and prayers this week, Margo MacKinnon and her family, following the death of her husband Tom this week. 

We also hold in our thoughts and prayers the family of the Rev. Brian Evans, former priest of St James Anglican Church in Ormstown and St John’s Anglican Church in Huntingdon who has died this past week. No service is planned at this time. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Epiphany, January 6, 2022


Carol       Angels from the Realms of Glory #36VU

Prayer: O God, the source of all insight, whose coming was revealed to the nations not among men of power but on a woman’s lap: give us grace to seek you where you may be found, that the wisdom of this world may be humbled and discover your unexpected joy, through Jesus Christ. Amen . (a prayer byJanet Morley and printed in in All Desires Known)

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 60:1-6

                                    Psalm 72 p.790VU pts 1, 3

                                    Matthew 2:1-12

Carol        ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime #71VU


Prayer:  O God our Creator, in you alone are the riches of life. We come from the East and the West knowing we follow, on our different roads, the same star to the same place. May we share what we know of its light, learn from each other the way to the child, worship you, our only wealth, and serve the world with Gospel gold. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ( from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence.) 

Carol        The First Nowell #91VU