Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sunday, April 2, 2023 Palm/Passion Sunday

Hymn.      Hosanna Loud Hosanna #123

Scripture Lessons:         Philippians 2:5-11

                                       Psalm 118:19-29 p.837VU pts 3&4

                                       Matthew 21:1-11



Prayer:  Jesus invites us to a way of celebration, meeting and feasting with the humble and poor. 
Let us walk his way with joy. 
Jesus beckons us to a way of risk, letting go of our security. 
Let us walk his way with faith. 
Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices of those who have nothing to lose.
Let us walk his way with compassion and empathy. 
Jesus points us to a way of self-giving, where power and status are overturned. 
Let us walk his way with courage and conviction. 
Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross, where despair is transformed by the promise of new life. 
Let us walk his way with joy. Amen. 

Hymn.       All Glory, Laud and Honour #123VU

This Sunday will be our Palm Sunday and Communion Sunday, celebrated at 11am. 

In Ormstown, we will be celebrating Palm Sunday and will also be offering some craft activities for children and families. The service and activities will begin at 9:30am in the church. 

The following Sunday, all three of our churches will be holding Easter Sunday services: in Howick the service will be at 11am with Debbie Beattie; in Franklin we will be holding our Easter Sunday service with Communion at 9:30 and in Ormstown we will be celebrating our Easter Sunday service in the church, beginning at 11am. All welcome.

We will be holding a Confirmation and Communion Sunday service in Ormstown, on Sunday, April 16th,  beginning at 11am. 

Barbara will be taking a week of Continuing Education leave from April 17-23. Debbie Beattie will be leading Sunday worship in Franklin (9:30) and Howick (11:00) in her place. 

Please keep in mind Howick United Church Unit C’s fundraising bread sale. Forms are available in the church or from one of Unit C’s members. Orders need to be in by Saturday, April 15th and are to be picked up Wednesday, April 26th from 12-2pm, at the church. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023 The Fifth Sunday of Lent


Hymn.      As Comes the Breath of Spring #373

Prayer:  God, breath of life, there are moments when I feel like the dry bones filling Ezekiel’s valley. When those times come upon me, help me to trust in you, to believe in your dance of life in me. Do not allow me to lose heart or abandon hope. You can take the dry bones of my life and enliven them in a way I have never dreamed possible. Bless my dry and dusty spirit with your deep and stirring love. Renew my dreams. Fill me with enthusiasm for life. May I always look to you as my source of Life. Amen. (a prayer from Joyce Rupp’s May I Have This Dance?)

Scripture Lessons:      Ezekiel 37:1-14

                                    Psalm 130 p.853VU

                                    John 11:1-45

Hymn       Breathe on Me Breath of Life #382


A Sprin Blessing: Blessed are you, spring, 
bright season of life awakening. You gladden our hearts with opening buds and returning leaves as you put on your robes of splendour. 

Blessed are you, spring, 
In you is a life no death can destroy. As you exchange places with winter you harbour no unforgiving spirit for broken tree limbs and frozen buds. 

Blessed are you, spring, 
You open the closed buds of our despair as you journey with us to the flowering places. 

Blessed are you, spring, 
Free gift of the earth.  Without cost we gaze upon your glory. You are a gospel of good news for the poor and rich alike. 

Blessed are you, spring, 
Your renewing rain showers and cathartic storms nurture the potential that sleeps in Earth’s heart and in our own earthen hearts. 

Blessed are you, spring, 
Season of resurrection, sacrament of promise. Like Jesus you rise up out of darkness, leaving around you a wake of new life. 

Blessed are you spring, miracle child of the four seasons. With your wand of many colours you work magic in the corners of our darkness.

Blessed are you spring, 
Season of hope and renewal. Wordless poem about all within us that can never die. Each year you amaze us with the miracle of returning life. (from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr) 

Hymn      O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing #326

This Sunday Howick United Church will be holding a Pancake Luncheon following our 11:00 service. All welcome. A free will offering will be taken to help to defray expenses. 

The Confirmation Classes will be continuing this week, on Wednesday evening, 6:30-7:30 in the hall in Ormstown. 

Unit C of the Howick UCW is now holding a fundraising bread sale offering Grant’s bread. There are order forms available in the church or orders may be placed with the members of Unit C. The deadline for orders is April 15th and the day to pick up your orders is April 26th from 12-2pm in the church hall.

Applications for the IFE and Hugh Duncan bursaries offered through the Nakonhaka Regional Council are now being accepted. Application forms may be found on the Nakonhaka website ( or request one from Barbara and she will make one available to you. 

We continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers the families who have lost members this past week. A memorial service will be held for Robert Ness on Saturday, April 8th at 1pm in Howick United Church. A visitation will be held Friday night in the Town Hall. 

The Women’s Institute is holding a public meeting concerning poverty in our communities. Speakers from Pacte du Rue and Residence-Elle will be present to speak. The meeting will be held in the Village Church Thursday, March 30th at 1pm. All welcome. 

Worship Schedule:  April 2   Palm Sunday service, Communion Sunday in Howick
               April 9   Easter Sunday Communion Sunday in Franklin
               April 16  Confirmation and Communion Sunday in Ormstown 
               April 23 
               April 30  Combined Service in St Paul’s in Ormstown 11am

Please keep in mind a Memorial Tea will be held for Marjorie (Hooker) Templeton on Sunday, April 30th 2-4 pm in the church hall in Howick. This is an opportunity to remember Marjorie’s life and to share our memories and stories of Marjorie. 


Friday, March 17, 2023

Sunday, March 19, 2023 The Fourth Sunday of Lent

 This past week we will have marked St Patrick’s Day and this coming week will be the official start of spring (we will see!) and also World Water Day when we consider the use and the conservation of a very precious resource, water. 

Hymn.       Open My Eyes #371VU

Prayer:  Loving God, radiance of our lives, you are the light to our darkness, hope to our despair, promise to our dreams. Gift our lives with an unfolding awareness of your life within us. Let us live in the joyful surprise of your transforming work, continually creating us anew, birthing through us, Christ to the world. Amen. (a prayer from Jacqueline Syrup Bergan and S. Marie Schwan’s Taste and See.)

Scripture Lessons:      I Samuel 16:1-13

                                    Psalm 23 p. 749VU

                                     John 9:1-41

Hymn       The Lord’s My Shepherd #747VU


Prayer:  O God, source of love and compassion, in the sufferings of all your children, we offer our compassion also for the hungry, and the sick in body, mind, or heart, the depressed and the lonely, all living in fear and under stress, all stricken in grief, the unemployed and the rejected, and those burning with hatred. 

Strengthen us to work for their healing and inspire us to build with you the kingdom of love where none shall cause suffering to others and all be caring, loving children of yours, our compassionate, all-embracing God, ever present, ever loving, never failing. Amen. (adapted from a prayer by George Appleton and printed in With All God’s People from the WCC, compiled by John Carden) 

Hymn.      He Leadeth Me #657VU

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the families and friends of Robert Ness and Myrna Rees who died this past week. 

We have also deeply saddened by the news of the death of Jade Ouellette who died this week. We pray for her family and friends in this very difficult time. 

Unit C of Howick United Church is offering a bread sale to members of the congregation and the community. The deadline for ordering is April 15th and the bread will be delivered on Wednesday, April 26th. Orders may be made through members of Unit C or on the form in the church. 

The Confirmation Classes are continuing to meet on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm in the hall in Ormstown. 

St Paul’s Session will be meeting this Wednesday, March 22nd at 1:00 in the church hall. 
St Paul’s Stewards have decided to cancel their meeting for this month. They will be meeting again on April 19th. 

A reminder for those who may make donations to Howick United Church by e-transfer: the email address to be used for this has changed to 

Best wishes to Merging Waters Pastoral Charge (Union Church Ste Anne’s and Beaurepaire United Church) as they mark the beginning of the new ministry that they will be sharing with Lisa Byer-deWever. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023 The Third Sunday of Lent

 This week we marked International Womens’s Day, recalling the many gifts and contributions women bring to our community, giving thanks for them, and praying for justice, peace, and equality for all women all around the world. Next Tuesday March 14th (3.14) is PIE Day (Public, Intentional and Explicit) offering support to congregations who are affirming and welcoming to LGBTQ+ members. The Moderator of the United Church has posted a message on the website and on the church’s YouTube channel. 

Hymn.      Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah #651VU

Prayer:  Gracious God, may your love, like water, pour over our thirsty spirits, cleansing, refreshing, renewing us. Be present as we seek to know you, to love you, and to respond to your unconditional love for us. Amen. (a prayer from Jacqueline Syrup Bergman and S. Marie Schwan’s Taste and See)

Scripture Lessons:     Exodus 17: 1-7

                                   Psalm 95 p.814VU

                                   John 4:5-42


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. (a prayer from Miriam Therese Winter’s Woman Prayer Woman Song)

Hymn.     I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say #626VU

The Stewards of Howick United Church will be meeting March 14th at 7pm in the hall. 
The Session and Stewards of St Paul’s United Church have delayed their meetings until next week, March 22nd. 

Howick UCW (unit C) will be holding a fundraiser, a sale of a selection of Grant’s bread (white, whole wheat, Canadian Harvest, Austrian, molasses oatmeal, farmer’s rolls, raisin bread, and pizza crusts). Orders need to be handed in by Saturday, April 15th and delivery will be on Wednesday, April 26th between 12 and 2 in the church hall. Members of Unit C can take your order. Your support would be greatly appreciated! 

The Confirmation Class will be meeting this week, on Wednesday night in the hall in Ormstown, from 6:30-7:30pm. 

Howick United Church is planning a Pancake Luncheon for Sunday, March 26th following the Sunday service. All welcome to come and join in the fun. A free will offering will be taken to try to cover the costs.

Please mark your calendars: a memorial tea will be held Sunday, April 30th from 2-4pm in the hall in Howick United Church to remember and to give thanks for the life of Marjorie Templeton. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Sunday, March 5, 2023 The Second Sunday of Lent


Hymn      Unto the Hills #842VU

Prayer:  Creator God, from quark to planet your universe is awesome. 
Give us eyes to gape at the wonders daily about us, 
And the will to live in the harmony of your creating. 
Help us to recognize and honour the connections of all things, 
Even at cost to our own wants and comforts; 
So we may live gently on earth, 
And all creation praise you. ( a prayer by Chris Polhill and published in the Iona Community’s Lenten worship resource, Eggs and Ashes, edited by Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill)

Scripture Lessons:   Genesis 12:1-4

                                 Psalm 121 p.842VU

                                 John 3:1-17


Prayer:  By the prayers of Jesus, Lord teach us how to pray. 
By the gifts of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to give. 
By the the toils of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to work. 
By the love of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to love. 
By the cross of Jesus, Lord, teach us how to live. Amen. (printed in Frank Colquhoun’s Contemporary Parish Prayers) 

Hymn      I Love to Tell the Story #343

Next Sunday will be the combined service and annual meeting in both Franklin and Ormstown. Franklin’s service will begin at 9am and Ormstown’s at 11:00 in the hall. Annual reports are available for those who have not yet received one. 

Upcoming Events in Howick:  Stewards meeting Tuesday, March 14th 7pm in the church hall. 

Pancake Luncheon following the 11am Sunday service March 26th 

A Memorial Tea held for Marjorie Templeton Sunday April 30th, 2-4pm, in the church hall. 
Please mark your calendars! 

The Confirmation Classes have begun on Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30pm in the hall in Ormstown. We will be beginning again after March Break, on March 15th.