Friday, March 25, 2022

Sunday, March 27, 2022 The Fourth Sunday of Lent


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

Prayer:   O God, tirelessly you seek out those who are looking for you and who think that you are far away; teach us, at every moment, to place our spirits in your hands. While we are still looking for you, already you have found us. However poor our prayer, you hear us far more than we can imagine or believe. Amen ( a prayer from the Taize community.)

Scripture Lessons:  II Corinthians 5:16-21

                                Psalm 32:1-9

                                Luke 15:1-3, 11-32


Prayer: By the prayers of Jesus, God, teach us how to pray. 
By the stories of Jesus, God, teach us how to listen and to hear. 
By the gifts of Jesus, God, teach us how to give. 
By the love of Jesus, God, teach us how to love. 
By the cross of Jesus, God, teach us how to live and to serve. ( adapted from a prayer published in Frank Colquhoun’s Contemporary Parish Prayers. )

Hymn       Amazing Grace #266

The Board of Stewards in Howick will meet for a meeting Wednesday, April 6th at 7pm in the church. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sunday, March 20, 2022 The Third Sunday of Lent

 Today is the first day of spring! You can look for a few signs of new life in the world around us. Another kind of new life: tomorrow (March 21st) is the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. 

Hymn.     As Comes the Breath of Spring #373

Prayer: O God, with Lent we approach the springtime of the year when the face of the earth is renewed and life emerges out of death. 
   We pray that this season of Lent may be a veritable springtime for our souls, so that our lives, quickened by the breath of the Spirit and warmed by the sunshine of your love, may bear abundant fruit and be made radiant with the beauty of holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ( a prayer by Frank Colquhoun and published in Contemporary Parish Prayers)

Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 55:1-11

                                    Psalm 63:1-8 p.781VU

                                    Luke 13:1-9


Prayer: Our Lord, who is in us here on earth, holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
   Your Kingdom come, which is a generous land that flows with milk and honey. 
   Let us do your will, standing up when all are sitting down, and raising our voice when all are silent. 
   You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn. 
   Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice, and for burying our dreams, for not sharing bread and wine, love and the land, among us, now. 
   Don’t let us fall into the temptation of shutting the door through fear; of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice; of taking up the same arms as the enemy. 

   Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love, even if the path has not yet been trodden, even if we fall; so we shall have known your kingdom which is being built forever and ever. Amen. ( a prayer and meditation based on the Lord’s Prayer from Central America, shortened. Published in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley.)

Hymn      I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say #626

This afternoon in Howick we will be celebrating the sacrament of baptism with the Johnson-Tolhurst family. We will Gwendolyn Tolhurst into the family of God and the church of Jesus Christ. 

If you wish to make a donation to support the people and refugees of Ukraine, you can do so through the United Church. This can be done through the United Church’s secure death nation page, from its website,; or by phone with a credit card to 1-800-268-3781 or with a cheque by mail to the United Church of Canada, Philanthropy Unit-Emergency Response, 3250 Bloor St West, Suite 200, Toronto, On, M8X 2Y4. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Sunday, March 13, 2022 The Second Sunday of Lent

 Hope your International Women’s Day was happy! Now we are looking forward to St Patrick’s Day! 🍀

Hymn     Stand Up and Bless the Lord

Prayer:  Gracious God, you call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship. Help us to understand and accept the costs of following Christ, that we may know the joy you intend for the faithful. Make us lifelong learners in the school of faithfulness, through Jesus Christ. Amen. ( a prayer by Ruth C. Duck and published in Flames of the Spirit)

Scripture Lessons:     Philippians 3:17-4:1

                                   Psalm 27 p.754-5

                                   Luke 13:31-35


Prayer:  O God, you gather us; your outspread wings gather us for protection, for comfort, for nurture. You hold us close, and we are at rest. May we too, gather in all those in need of protection and comfort, nurture and rest. May we spread our wings of caring. 

O God, you invite us to return. Your wings offer a warm place a home that is a place of love and compassion. May we return to this home: a place we can be still, a place we feel your gentle touch. 

O God, you comfort us. With your loving wings holding us close, we know ourselves to be loved by you. May we in turn offer comfort, holding close those in need— those who hear for the first time: God is love. 

O God, on your wings we soar. We live in your energy and spirit. You renew us; you encourage and strengthen. May we in turn encourage and strengthen. May our strong wings uphold others that together we may soar unafraid. Amen. ( a prayer by Rosemary C. Mitchell and adapted and published in Birthings and Blessings II)

Hymn       Standing on the Promises

The United Church has launched a special appeal for Ukraine. You can contribute online, through the United Church’s website, by phone with a credit card, or by mail. Howick United Church at its annual meeting has chosen to support Ukrainians through the Red Cross from the Outreach Fund, because the funds will be doubled by the federal government. (though I see that the 10 million has now been matched and the offer is complete.) 

This Sunday, March 13th, Franklin will be holding its annual meeting, beginning at 9am. St Paul’s in Ormstown will be holding its annual meeting, in combination with the Sunday service, March 20th, beginning at 11am. We will be reviewing both the years 2020 and 2021. Annual reports will be available at the meeting. 

Howick United Church will be holding a Session meeting on Tuesday, March 15th at 7pm in the church. 

St Paul’s United Church (Ormstown) will hold a Stewards meeting Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30 pm in the hall. 

Friday, March 4, 2022

Sunday, March 6, 2022 The First Sunday of Lent

 Happy International Women’s Day! Okay, this is a couple of days early, but we give thanks for the women of our church who have taught, led, supported and worked hard to sustain and renew our churches. 

Hymn      We Praise You O God #218VU

Prayer:  O God, we confess that sometimes we come to you reluctantly, afraid of what we might have to give up or change when we enter your presence. In our reluctance, we often miss opportunities for your grace to touch us, and through us to touch others. Touch us that we might be healed; forgive us that we might be born again. Amen. (a prayer printed in the United Church’s worship resource Celebrate God’s Presence) 

Scripture Lessons:     Deuteronomy 26:1-11

                                   Psalm 91:1,2, 9-16 p.807VU

                                   Luke 4:1-13


Prayer: O God, you know us through and through, you know the many choices we face each day. We choose between right and wrong; we choose between greater and lesser evils; we choose what will be important to us in life. As you strengthened Jesus to choose rightly when he was tempted in the wilderness, so strengthen us, through your presence and Spirit, when we face temptation, that we may walk in the paths most pleasing to you. Amen. (a prayer by Ruth C Duck and printed in Bread for the Journey, edited by Ruth C Duck.)

Hymn      O Jesus I Have Promised #120VU

This week we will be returning to public worship in the rest of our churches. There will be a 9:30 service in Ormstown and a combined worship service and annual meeting in Howick, beginning at 11:00. Next Sunday Franklin will hold a combined worship service and annual meeting beginning at 9:00. Ormstown’s annual meeting and service is tentatively scheduled for March 20th, beginning at 11:00. Masks and social distancing will continue to be needed, but no vaccine passports! 

Good news! Howick’s Membership Roll book has been re-located and is being updated. 

 An addition: I have just seen a report of the death of one of the United Church’s former Moderators. We give thanks for his life of faith and the service and leadership he provided to our church and to the Christian church and to the country throughout his life.