Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sunday, October 22, 2023 The 19th Sunday after Pentecost

 This week the United Church, along with other organizations, observed a Day of Prayer for peace in the Middle East. In some churches this Sunday is also known as Peace Sunday. As we approach Remembrance Day, we continue to pray for peace. 

Hymn       Jesus Calls Us      #562VU

Prayer: Two peoples, one land
Three faiths, one root, 
One earth, one mother, 
One sky, one beginning, one future, one destiny, 
One broken heart
One God. 

We pray to you:
Grant us a vision of unity
May we see the many in the one and the one in many. 
May you, life of all the Worlds, 
Source of all Amazing Differences, 
Help us to see clearly. 
Guide us gently and firmly toward each other, 
Towards peace. Amen. ( a prayer of Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Jewish Community of Amherst, MA.)

Scripture Lessons:       I Thessalonians 1:1-10
                                     Psalm 99 p.819VU
                                     Matthew 22:15-22


Prayer:  God of comfort, send your Spirit to encompass all those whose lives are torn apart by violence and death in Israel and Palestine. You are the Advocate of the oppressed and the One whose eye is on the sparrow. Let arms reach out in healing, rather than aggression. Let hearts mourn rather than militarize. 
    God of Justice, give strength to those whose long work for a just peace might seem fruitless now. Strengthen their resolve. Do not let them feel alone. Show us how to support their work and bolster their courage. Guide religious leaders to model unity and reconciliation across lines of division. Guide political leaders to listen with their hearts as they seek peace and pursue it. Help all people choose the rigorous path of just peace and disavow violence. 
     God of Love, we lift up Palestine and Israel — its people, its land, its creatures. War is a monster that consumes everything in its path. Peace is a gift shared at meals of memory with Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Let us burn incense, not children. Let us break bread, not bodies. Let us plant olive groves, not cemeteries. We beg for love and compassion to prevail on all your holy mountains. 
     God of Hope, we lift up the cities of the region: Garza City and Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Ashkelon, Deir El Ba’ath and Sderot, so long divided, yet so filled with life and creativity. Come again to breathe peace on your peoples that all may recognize you. 
     God of Mercy, even now work on the hearts of combatants to choose life over death, reconciliation over retaliation, restoration over destruction. Help us resist antisemitism in all its forms, especially in our own churches. All people, Israelis and Palestinians, deserve to live I. Peace and unafraid, with a right to determine their future together. 
      God of the Nations, let not one more child or elder be sacrificed on altars of political expediency. Keep safe all people from unjust leaders who would exploit vulnerability for their own distorted ends. Give wise discernment to those making decisions to pursue peace. Provide them insight into fostering well-being, freedom, and thriving for all. Teach all of us to resolve injustices with righteousness, not rockets. Guard our hearts against retaliation, and give us hearts for love alone. 
      Strengthen our faith in you, O God of all Flesh, even when we don’t have clear answers, so that we may still offer ourselves nonviolently for the cause of peace. Amen. ( a prayer by Rose Marie Berger, printed in the Sojourners magazine and distributed by Convergence.) 

Hymn.         O Master Let Me Walk withThee      #560VU

This week there will be services in both Franklin (9:30) and Howick (11:00). Immediately following the 11:00 service in Howick there will be a congregational meeting to discuss emerging issues such as applying for Faithful Footprints funding and possible repairs to the elevator in Howick. Sandwiches and coffee will be provided for those staying for the meeting. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Melissa Evans following her unexpected death this month. 

We also hold in our prayers the family and friends of Marie-Paule Hodgson who died this past week. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving for her life will be held Saturday morning at the Village Church in Ormstown. 

We are continuing our campaign to support the Canadian FoodGrains Bank. Envelopes are available in our churches or donations may be made online at 

St Paul’s Stewards will meet on Wednesday, October 25th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

St Andrew’s United Church in Chateauguay and St Edward’s Presbyterian Churches will be holding an anniversary Musical Celebration this evening, October 22nd at 7pm at St Andrew’s United Church 46 DuPont West in Chateauguay. A free will offering will be taken to be given to the local food bank and the celebration will be followed by a fellowship time featuring many apple desserts. 

Next Sunday there will be a combined service in Franklin United Church, to be held at 11:00. There will be a fellowship time to begin at 10:30. 

The time has come for CEGEP and university students associated with Howick United Church to apply for the Howden-Templeton bursaries. The deadline for applying is November 12th, and the bursaries will be presented November 26th at the 11:00 service. The application is available on the church website or in the church. Applications may be given to Debbi Templeton, Scott Templeton, Brent Tolhurst or Marlene Stuckey, or they may be mailed to the church, 2 Bridge, Howick QC, J0S 1G0. Bursaries may only be received up to a limit of three years. 

We will be holding Remembrance Sunday services on November 5th. In Ormstown the service will be held in the church at 9:30am. In Howick a combined service with Georgetown Presbyterian Church will be held in Georgetown, beginning at 10:30am. 

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