Friday, April 5, 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024 The Second Sunday of Easter

 Yes! It is still Easter! It is always Easter because we continue to celebrate Christ’s rising, each and every Sunday (at least). So we will continue to sing our Easter hymns and our hallelujahs. 


Hymn:       The Day of Resurrection #164VU


Prayer:  Risen Jesus, we thank you for your greeting, “Peace be with you.” The shalom of God, deep lasting peace; peace that brings inner calm; that keeps a person steady in the storm; that faces the persecutor without fear and proclaims the good news with courage and with joy. This is the peace that reconciles sister to brother, black to white, rich and poor, young and old, but not a peace that is quiet in the face of oppression and injustice. This is the peace that passes understanding. Amen. ( a prayer by John Johansen-Berg and printed in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley.) 

Scripture Lessons:      Acts 4:32-35

                                    Psalm 150 p. 874VU

                                    John 20:19-31

Message


Prayer: We praise you, O God, that by the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ, you have delivered us from the power of death, making us alive to serve you. 
   Free us from pride of self that we may live in community with one another and with all your people. 
   Free us from fear of the principalities and powers of this world that we may live and speak with courage, guided by your Spirit. 
   Keep us rooted and grounded in your love, and fill us with the power of your Spirit. 
   Be glorified in our life together; through Jesus our risen Saviour. Amen. ( from the Book of Worship of the United Church of Christ) 

Hymn:        Christ the Lord is Risen Today #157 VU

 




This Sunday’s services will be held at 9:30 in Ormstown and 11:00 in Howick. Hope to see you there! 

We want to thank everyone who has helped with the renovations in the basement of Howick United Church. Work is proceeding and we hope to complete the project soon. 

We also want to say “Thank you” to those who have supported the renovation work in Howick United Church. If you wish to make a donation, it can be done by cheque, or by e-transfer ( or, of course, with cash!)

As a result of the work being done in the basement, there will be no Pancake Lunch this Sunday. 

St Paul’s Session will meet this Wednesday, April 10th at 1pm in the hall. 

St Paul’s will also be holding a congregational meeting on Sunday, April 14th following the Sunday worship service. This is being held to decide on the application to Faithful Footprints, the United Church  program for making church buildings more sustainable. 


Hopefully, we will rise again! 


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Sunday, March 31, 2024 Easter Sunday

 


Hymn.      Come Children Join to Sing #345VU


Scripture Lessons:      Acts 10:34-43

                                    Psalm 118:14-24 p.837 pts 2-3

                                    John 20:1-18

Message



Prayer: O God of Easter surprises, open our eyes to signs of your presence and signs of new life among us. 

Jesus Christ, of great, good news, help us to hear and believe the wonderful news: that God is faithful, that our sins are forgiven, and that the power of death and despair are defeated in you. 

O Spirit of peace and hope, fill our hearts and minds this day. Let our faith in you bring us comfort and joy and unite us in love, this day and always. 

We pray in the name of our crucified and risen Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Hymn         Christ the Lord is Risen Today #157VU


                                             

This Sunday there will be a combined Easter Sunday service in Howick, beginning at 11:00. This will be a Communion service held in the sanctuary. We will begin gathering at 10:30 and share coffee and cookies before the service. Activities for children will also be planned. 

This Wednesday, April 3rd, the St Paul’s Board of Stewards will meet at 7:30 in the hall to discuss a recommendation for the Faithful Footsteps program as well as hold its monthly meeting. 

St Paul’s Session will meet Wednesday, April 10th at 1pm in the hall for its monthly meeting. 

A congregational meeting is called for St Paul’s United Church for Sunday, March 14th following the worship service. This will be to discuss and decide on the congregation’s plans for the application to the Faithful Footsteps program. 

Barbara will be away from April 15-21st on Continuing Education. Debbie Beattie will be leading the Sunday worship services. 

Michael Blair, the Executive Secretary of the General Council of the United Church will be in Montreal and speaking on The State of the Church: Leaning into God’s Future on Monday, May 6th from 3:30-5:00 at St George’s Anglican Church at 1011 Stanley Street, Montreal. The event is free but registration is requested. This may be done with the QR code on the poster or at montrealdio.ca/state-of-the-church. This event will be followed by the convocation for Montreal Diocesan College and the United Theological College at 7pm, at St George’s. 

We continue to hold the family and friends of Ken Brooks in our thoughts and prayers, following his death last week. 




Thursday, March 28, 2024

Good Friday, March 29, 2024

 

Hymn       There is a Green Hill Far Away #152VU


Scripture Lessons:      Isaiah 52:13-53:12

                                    Psalm 22:1-22 p. 744-5VU, parts 1,2

                                    Mark 15:25-39

Message



Prayer:  Gracious God of grief and suffering, this Friday seems ‘good’ for all the wrong reasons. Be with us in these hours as we pray under the shadow of the cross of Christ and hear again the story of Jesus’ death. This is not where we would choose to be, O God, brought face to face with this symbol of death and instrument of torture. 
   Forgive us, where we have sought to avoid such times: where we have ignored the cross or denied our own pain, or turned our backs on the suffering of others. 
    Strengthen us to be here today, that we may know the ways of the world, O God: you have been there; you are here; you have loved and cried and lived and died to be with us, to comfort us, to forgive us and to free us. For this we give thanks. This we call good. Amen ( from the United Church’s worship resource, Celebrate God’s Presence) 

Hymn.       When I Survey the Wondrous Cross #149VU


Blessing: May you find in the cross a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven. And May the blessing of God go with you, now and forever more. Amen. ( also from Celebrate God’s Presence)

                                               ✝️                             ☦️                                 ✝️

This Sunday’s service will be a combined service held in Howick, as an Easter Communion Sunday, at 11am in the sanctuary. We will begin gathering at 10:30 for coffee and goodies. 

Next week we will be back to our normal worship schedule, with services at Ormstown at 9:30 (in the church) and in Howick at 11:00. 

St Paul’s Stewards will meet this week, on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30pm in the hall. We will be deciding on the recommendation for Faithful Footprints as well as holding our monthly meeting. 

St Paul’s Session will meet on Wednesday, April 10th in the hall at 1pm. 

St Paul’s United Church will be holding a congregational meeting to discuss and decide on the application to Faithful Footprints. It will be held Sunday, April 14th following the Sunday service. 

Barbara will be away from April 15th to 21st for Cont Ed. Debbie Beattie will be leading the Sunday service. 

Michael Blair, the Executive Secretary of the General Council, will be in Montreal in May. He will be discussing the State of the Church: Leaning into God’s Future on Monday, May 6th from 3:30-5:00 at St George’s Anglican Church, 1011 Stanley St., Montreal. The convocations for Montreal Diocesan College and the United Theological College will follow at 7pm. This event will be free, but registration is requested, which can be done with the QR code on the poster or at montrealdio.ca/state-of-the-church. 

We continue to hold the family and friends of Ken Brooks who died last week. 


Friday, March 22, 2024

Sunday, March 24, 2024 Palm/ Passion Sunday

 This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading us through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, to Easter Sunday. This week we celebrate both the highs and lows of our faith. There will be a special blog for Good Friday as well as one for Easter Sunday. 

Did you know that in Australia Palm Sunday is a day to pray and to March for peace? Let us all pray for peace this Sunday and throughout Holy Week. 

Hymn      All Glory, Laud and Honour #122VU



Scripture Lessons:      Philippians 2:5-11

                                    Psalm 118:19-29 p.837VU pts 2 & 3

                                    Mark 11:1-11

Hymn       Hosanna, Loud Hosanna #123VU



Message



Prayer:  Loving God, on this Sunday of Palms and of Passion when you invite your church more deeply to follow you, hear us as we pray. 
      Remembering the crowds who followed Jesus, we pray for all who are lost in this world, who cannot find their way, whether they are trapped in poverty, or lack of education and opportunity, whether they are depressed or lonely, whether they know you or not. Hear us as we pray. 
      Remembering the disciples who walked with Jesus, we pray for all who are seeking to walk in his way, all those who serve others either in their profession or as volunteers or in the home. Hear us as we pray.
      Remembering the religious leaders who feared Jesus, we pray for all in leadership over others, that they might know true humility, that they might turn to you for guidance, that they might consider their highest legacy to be not personal gain, but social advancement so that all might live better lives. Hear us as we pray. 
       Remembering Jesus, who faced adoration and then abandonment, we pray for ourselves, that we might be strong in our faith, joyous in serving the Good, and resolute in opposing evil. Hear us as we pray. 
       Remembering all who have been called Christian through generations upon generations, we join our voices to the great communion of saints as we pray the words that Jesus gave so each one of us to treasure …. Amen. (a prayer written by Kate Crawford and shared and printed in Gathering LEP2012)

Hymn        Ride On, Ride On in Majesty #127VU


This week there is a change to our worship schedule. This Sunday (March 24th) There will be Palm Sunday services with Communion in Franklin (9:30) and in Ormstown (11:00). There will be no service in Howick this week. Instead, there will be an Easter Sunday service with Communion in Howick, offered as a combined service for our three congregations. We will begin gathering at 10:30 with coffee and goodies. We are also planning on offering some activities for children. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends of Ken Brooks, who died in the past week. 

Please note that the Pancake Lunch that had been suggested by the Howick Session for April 7th will have to be postponed, due to the work that is being planned for the church basement. We hope to be able to do it later in the spring. 

St Paul’s Stewards have moved their monthly meeting ahead to Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30 in the hall. This is to finalize recommendations for the Faithful Footprints project. 

St Paul’s Session will meet Wednesday, April 10th at 1:00 in the hall. 

St Paul’s United Church will hold a congregational meeting to finalize plans for the Faithful Footprints project following the Sunday service at 11:00 on Sunday, April 14th. 

Did you see the Promise Tree we have been decorating in Lent? Here is Howick’s:


And here is St Paul’s:





Thursday, March 14, 2024

Sunday, March 17, 2024 The Fifth Sunday of Lent

☘️. Today is, of course, St Patrick’s Day, which is more than a day for a parade or a party (or green beer?). It is a day to reflect on the spiritual meaning and impact of St Patrick and the heritage of the Irish church. 

This week also, for Muslims, the month of Ramadan begins, when faithful Muslims who are able, fast from food and water for the daylight hours, and usually gather in the evening hours to share food and celebrations. Ramadan Mubarak! 

Ooops! I seem to have forgotten PIE Day. March 14 (3.14) which was  celebrated as a Public, Intentional, and Explicit inclusion of 2SLGBTQ community members. Did you have pie to celebrate? 

Hymn      Love Divine #333VU


Prayer:  God be in our heads and in our understanding. 
God be in our eyes and in our seeing. 
God be in our ears and in our listening. 
God be in our mouths and in our praying. 
God be in our hearts and in our loving. 
God be in us, in our living and our serving, this day and every day. Amen. (based on a blessing attributed to St Patrick.) 

Scripture Lessons:     Jeremiah 31:31-34

                                   Psalm 51:1-12 p. 

                                   John 12:20-33

Hymn       O Love that wilt Not Let Me Go #658VU

Message



Prayer:  I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through the confession of Oneness of the Creator of creation. 

… I arise today, through the strength of heaven, the light of the sun, the radiance of the moon, the splendour of fire, the speed of lightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, the stability of the earth, the firmness of rock. 

…I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, from temptation of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near. 

…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christwhen I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. 

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Amen. 

Hymn      Be Thou My Vision # 642VU



This Sunday there will be a 9:30 service in Howick and a 11:00 service in Ormstown. You are invited to wear green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. 
Next Sunday will be Palm Sunday and there will be a change to our usual worship schedule, to allow all three churches to hold a Holy Week service. On March 24th, Palm Sunday, there will be services in Franklin at 9:30 and Ormstown at 11:00. Howick will host a combined Easter Sunday service at 11:00. All these services will include the sacrament of Communion. 

St Paul’s Stewards will be meeting on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:30pm in the hall. 

In Howick the work on renewing the church heating system and environmental footprint will be beginning this week. As a result, the Pancake Lunch will need to be delayed. We will let people know when we are able to reschedule this event. 



Thursday, March 7, 2024

Sunday, March 10, 2024 The Fourth Sunday of Lent

 Hope you had a happy International Women’s Day! 💐

Hymn      O God How We Have Wandered #112



Scripture Lessons:       Numbers 21:4-9

                                     Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

                                     John 3:14-21

Message



Prayer:  O God, who loves the world, you hold all that you have created within your compassionate embrace as you hold each life torn by pain or sorrow or hatred within your aching heart. 

O God, who loves the world, we want to believe that snakes in the grass can be transformed into symbols of healing, but we are afraid trust in your great goodness. 

O God, who loves the world, we cry out for wholeness, for ourselves, for those we love, and for our world. 

May your healing presence gently transform the hidden places of our lives where we hold pain in the secret depths. 

May your loving presence be a comforting reality for all those who find themselves in despair, lost and alone. 

May your transforming presence create generosity in place of greed, harmony in place of hatred, and everlasting justice where now evil reigns. 

O God, who loves the world, we bring before you from the silence of our own aching hearts those people and places that most need your healing, loving, transforming presence. (Silence) 
O God, who loves the world, this is your world and we claim your power and your presence to make it whole. Amen. ( a prayer by Cora Krommenbrook, printed in Keri Wehlander’s Courage for Hallelujahs)

Hymn      Amazing Grace #266



This Sunday’s services are Howick at 11:00 with Debbie Beattie and in Franklin and Ormstown we will be combining our Sunday service with our annual meetings. In Franklin we will begin at 9am (remember, this is Spring Forward Sunday) and in Ormstown, we will begin at 11am. 

Holy Week Worship schedule:  
Palm Sunday March 24   9:30 Franklin      11:00 Ormstown  Communion Sunday in both churches
                                        (Please note, no service in Howick, though it is a 4th Sunday)    
March 31.  11:00 Combined Easter Sunday service in Howick with Communion in the sanctuary. 
                   Coffee and munchies at 10:30. 




Friday, March 1, 2024

Sunday, March 3, 2024 The Third Sunday of Lent

 

Hymn     Holy, Holy, Holy #315VU



Scripture Lessons:       Exodus 20:1-17

                                     Psalm 19 p.740-1VU

                                     John 2:13-22

Message



Prayer:  We pray in thanks for those with hope around us, for eyes to see the ever-present hint of spring within our soul. Thanks be to you, O God, for the gentle, persistent power of your love that asserts itself within us, and will not be denied until it buds, then bursts, full-flower.  We praise you for your patience with our blindness and our short-lived memories, and stand dumbfounded that you accept us all within us and dare to take delight in us. This alone is cause for hope— to know your ease with our dis-ease of self. We trust that what you know and love of us gives peace today and future promise. Amen. ( a prayer from Janet Schaffran and Pat Kozak’s More Than Words) 

Hymn       For the Beauty of the Earth #226



This Sunday the service in Ormstown will be held at 9:30 in the hall and will include craft activities for children as well. 

In Howick, the service will begin at 11:00 and will be combined with the annual meeting. Annual reports are now available. 

The annual meetings for Ormstown and Franklin will be held on Sunday, March 10th, in combination with the worship service. In Franklin we will begin at 9am and in Ormstown at 11:00, in the hall. 

Howick’s UCW will be meeting on Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm in the church hall. We will be discussing books we have read recently. 

The annual meeting for the Union Cemetery will be held Thursday, March 7th at 2pm in MacDougall Hall. Directors are asked to gather at 1:30, just prior to the meeting. 

Worship Schedule for Holy Week:
March 24  Palm Sunday with Communion 9:30  Franklin.  11:00 Ormstown (not Howick as is usual)
March 31  Easter Sunday. 11:00  Combined service with Communion for all 3 congregations.



Saturday, February 24, 2024

Sunday, February 25, 2024 The Second Sunday of Lent

 

Hymn.       Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross #142VU



Scripture Lessons:      Genesis 17:1-7, 15, 16

                                    Psalm 22:23-31 p.746VU parts 3 & 4

                                    Mark 8:31-38

Message



Prayer:  O God, we give you thanks and praise that you are a God who hears prayers and does not leave us alone in our sufferings. Instead you are with us. You provide the strength, the hope, and the comfort that we need. You help us to be faithful and resilient. You call us to help, encourage, and support one another. In Jesus you share not just our lives but our suffering and our sorrows and you lift us up to new life. May the cross of Jesus Christ be a source of faith and hope to us, this day and everyday. Amen. 

Hymn.      Beneath the Cross of Jesus #135VU



The annual reports are now ready for our 3 congregations. Please speak to Barbara or Wilene if you would like a copy. 

This Sunday’s services will be 9:30 in Franklin and 11:00 in Howick. 
Next Sunday March 3rd at 9:30 there will be a craft and activity day for St Paul’s in Ormstown which will take place in the hall along with the service. 
Next Sunday will also be the annual meeting for Howick United Church, in combination with the Sunday service, beginning at 11:00. 

Barbara will be preparing a newsletter for Sunday, March 3rd as well. If you have items that might be included, please try to let her know by February 29th. 

Sunday, March 10th will be the date for the annual meetings in Franklin (beginning at 9:00) and St Paul’s in Ormstown, beginning at (11:00). 

This year the schedule of services for the month of March and Holy Week for our three congregations will be changed somewhat:  
Sunday, March 24th Palm Sunday, there will be no service in Howick. Instead there will be Communion Sunday in both Franklin at 9:30 and Ormstown at 11:00 in the church. 
Sunday March 31st, Easter Sunday, there will be a combined service in Howick for all three congregations. 
In April we will return to our usual schedule. 

St Paul’s Stewards will be discarding a number of square card tables from the hall. Some are not usable, but others might still be useful to someone. If you would like to take one (or more) of these tables, please speak to a member of the Stewards. The space used to store them is needed for other purposes. 



Friday, February 16, 2024

Sunday, February 18, 2024 The First Sunday of Lent

This month is not only the month the season of Lent begins, it is also Black History month. Are you doing something to observe this month: reading a book, taking part in a webinar or another event? There are some items on the United Church website, united-church.ca, if you would like to take a look. 

Hymn   Take Time to be Holy #672VU



Scripture Lessons:      Genesis 9:8-17

                                    Psalm 25 p.752VU

                                    Mark 1:9-15

Meditation 



Prayer:  Through the season of Lent, teach us, O God.  Teach us to walk in your ways, the way shown to us by Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Christ, even though it may lead us to the cross. Teach us to be faithful, as he was faithful, as you are faithful, so we call upon you: 
    When we are tempted, help us to find strength. 
    When we are discouraged, fill us with hope. 
    When we are led astray, help us to find the right paths. 
    When we are ashamed, assure us of your grace and love.  
 Unite us through your Holy Spirit that we may serve you with our sisters and brothers in Christ. 
We give you thanks, O God, that you hear and answer our prayers and that you are faithful to your promises. Let this season of Lent teach us how to be your faithful people, now and always. Amen. 
   

Hymn.       O Jesus I Have Promised #120


This Sunday’s services will be at 9:30 in Howick and at 11:00 in Ormstown. 

Unit B (retired) will be meeting on Tuesday, February 20th gathering at about 11:30-noon for a soup luncheon at the home of Thyra Ness. There will be a small charge to cover the cost of the lunch. 

The Ormstown-Franklin Pastoral Charge Official Board meeting will take place Wednesday, February 21st at 1:30 in the hall in Ormstown. Please note that we will be discussing and voting on Remit #1, on the Indigenous Church. If you wish to find more information, it might be found at the United Church website, united-church.ca or the United Church channel on YouTube, or the General Council website, GC44.ca. 

Barbara will be preparing a printed newsletter for Sunday, March 3rd. If you have items to be included, please let her know by February 29th. 

St Paul’s United Church will be holding a Craft and Activity Day Sunday March 3rd at the 9:30 service. All welcome. 

Howick United Church will be holding its annual meeting on Sunday, March 3rd at 11:00 in combination with the worship service.  We will be discussing and voting on Remit#1, on the indigenous church. If you wish to learn more about this remit, information is available on the United Church website, united-church.ca, on the United Church channel on YouTube or on the General Council website, GC44.ca. 

The annual meetings for Franklin United Church and St Paul’s United Church will be held on Sunday, March 10th, in combination with the worship service. Franklin’s meeting and service will begin at 9am and in Ormstown at 11am. 

Nakonhaka Regional Council’s First Third Ministries (formerly Youth and Young Adults) will be holding a Youth Forum for young people between the ages of 12-18 at Mount Bruno United Church will be held March 22-24th. Please let Barbara know if you would like registration information. 

We have been saddened to hear of a number of deaths in the wider community of the Regional Council, the Rev. Barend Biesheuval, a former minister of Lacolle and Clarenceville, the Rev. Marsha Mundy, wife of the Rev. John Matheson, and Heather Chesney, the widow of the Rev. David Chesney. We hold them in all in our thoughts and prayers. 

And just because I can, (because I haven’t given up laughter for Lent!)



Friday, February 9, 2024

Sunday, February 11, 2024 Transfiguration Sunday

 This Sunday is either the last Sunday of the season of Epiphany or the Sunday before Lent begins (eat up all your chocolate before you give it up for Lent!). Either way, it is a Sunday to celebrate the glory of God and Jesus, the Light of the World. 

Hymn       God Reveal Your Presence #391 VU



Scripture Lessons:       II Corinthians 4:3-6

                                     Psalm 50:1-6 p. 775VU

                                     Mark 9:2-9

Message



Prayer:  Holy and loving God, whose nature and ways are far beyond our understanding, we thank you the gift of your Son, Jesus, who lets us see your face in his, who shows us your love in his actions, your grace in his way of being. In him too, O God, we see ourselves as you would have us be and as your power is able to make us. Make us more like him, we pray. Lord, hear our prayer….

      Lord, we often find ourselves weary, tired out by a load of care, a heap of responsibility and concern. We hunger and thirst, and often fail to eat and drink at the table you have prepared for us. Lord, we are here now and we ask you grant us a glimpse of your glory, fill us with your spirit, refresh us and make us new. Lord, hear our prayer…..

      Loving God, we pray that your glory may fill your church and give to your people everywhere the energy to shine wherever there is darkness, dignity, persecution, or despair. Lord, hear our prayer….

      Give us all, O God, a greater love of your holiness, a greater delight in your mystery, and a greater joy in seeking your presence. We ask it through Christ Jesus, who revealed your will to us and who taught us to pray to you as one family. Amen. ( a prayer written by John Maynard, shared on Richard Fairchild’s Kir-shalom website and on the re:Worship website as well.) 

Hymn       Fairest Lord Jesus #341VU



This Sunday there will be an 11:00 service in Howick with Debbie Beattie. There will also be a 9:30 service in Franklin and an 11:00 service in Ormstown. 

Please note that the annual meeting date in Howick has been changed to March 3rd, combined with the worship, beginning at 11:00. 

For Franklin and Ormstown there will be an Official Board meeting Wednesday, February 21st at 1:30pm in the hall and the annual meetings will be held on Sunday, March 10th, beginning at 9am in Franklin and 11am in Ormstown. 

St Paul’s Session will meet on Wednesday, February 14th at 1:00 in the hall. 

The Board of Stewards for St Paul’s United Church will meet on Wednesday, February 21st at 7:30pm in the hall. 

Unit B (retired) of the Howick UCW will meet Tuesday, February 20 at 11:30 at the home of Thyra Ness for a soup lunch and fellowship. A small charge will be requested to cover the cost of the lunch. 



Friday, February 2, 2024

Sunday, February 4, 2024 The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

 February 2nd is not just Groundhog Day but it also known as Candlemas or the Presentation of Jesus, when we remember the story from the gospel of Luke when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple and met Simeon and Anna there. Candlemas is often observed by lighting candles as a sign of our welcome to Jesus, the Light of the World. So, whether the ground hog sees his shadow or not, we know there is light in the world! Let’s rejoice! 🕯️

Hymn.   When Morning Gilds the Skies #339VU


Prayer:  Maker of all that is, heaven and earth, known and unknown, birth and death and the sense of eternity: Giver of life, liver in life:  Words for you lift my spirit. Yet I am so small, my needs consume me. 
Hold my hand, encourage me to dance your dance to laugh with joy, surpassing all trouble and failure. 
Remind me of your beauty:  speechless  wonder    goodness:  light and darkness making light. 
Open to me your giving this day. Let me receive and trust myself into your hands. Amen. ( a prayer for the beginning of the day by the Rev. Neil Whitehouse and printed in Gathering ACE 2011-2.)

Scripture Lessons:       Isaiah 40:21-31

                                     Psalm 147:1-11 p.869VU pt 1

                                     Mark 1:29-39

Message


Prayer: God, in the midst, come close to us, and help us come close to you, as, for a fraction of time, we step back from the activities of the day. 
May we treasure such moments with you. Moments when we can bring to you the things we are doing, and find new meaning for them, and new strength for doing them. 
And moments for recalling how we are meeting you already, in the stuff of daily living and engagement, when faith is tested and compassion is translated into action. 
So, if as the day goes on, we forget you, do not forget us, O God. Amen. (a prayer from the Iona Community’s Iona Abbey Worship Book.)

Hymn.       What a Friend We Have in Jesus #664VU

This Sunday’s services will be held at 9:39 in Ormstown and at 11:00 in Howick. 

We want to say “thank you” to the Nakonhaka Regional Council who has provided the Ormstown and Howick congregations with copies of the newly translated Mohawk Bible. 

Unit C of the Howick United Church will meet on Wednesday, February 7th at 7pm in the church hall. 

The annual meeting of the Howick United Church will be held Sunday, March 3rd, during the 11:00 service time. ( Please note that this is a change from what may have been announced before, as our plans have changed.)

The Official Board of the Ormstown Pastoral Charge will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 1:30pm. 

The annual meetings for Franklin and St Paul’s United Church will be held on Sunday, March 10th. In Franklin we will begin at 9am and in Ormstown at 11:00 in the hall. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Sunday, January 28, 2024 The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

 

Hymn.      Praise to the Lord the Almighty #220


Scripture Lessons:       I Corinthians 8:1-13

                                     Psalm 111 p.833VU

                                     Mark 1:21-28

Message



Prayer:  O Jesus Christ, when I read the gospel stories I am touched by your healing power. You healed sick bodies to be sure, but you did so much more. You healed the spirit and the deep inner mind. Most of all I am touched by your actions off acceptance that spoke healing into those who lived on the margins of life— shoved aside by the strong and the powerful. 
       Speak your healing into me, O Lord— body and mind and soul. Most of all, heal my sense of worthlessness. My head tells me that I am of infinite value to you but my heart cannot believe it. Heal my heart, Jesus, heal my heart. Amen. ( a prayer written by by Richard Foster and printed in Prayers from the Heart)

Hymn       How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds #344



This Sunday’s services will be 9:30 in Franklin and 11:00 in Howick. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the families of Penny Anderson and Miller Carimichael, who died this past week.

This Sunday is the deadline for submitting reports for the annual report. Please let Barbara or Wilene know if your report will be late and when it might be available. Thank you. 

The Official Board meeting for the Ormstown-Franklin Pastoral Charge will be held on Wednesday, February 21st in the hall in Ormstown at 1:30pm. 

The dates for the annual meetings for our congregations have been set: February 25 for Howick (storm date March 3rd) and March 10 for Franklin and Ormstown. Please mark your calendars! 

Many thanks to the Nakonhaka Regional Council who has provided copies of the Mohawk Bible to the Howick and Ormstown congregations. It allows us to honour the accomplishment of Harvey Gabriel, Satewas, in completing this translation over many years (decades) and also to acknowledge that we share this land with the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) people. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Sunday, January 21, 2023 The Third Sunday of Epiphany

 This Sunday is the Sunday in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, ( January 18-25) when we pray for greater understanding and cooperation between Christians of all churches and people of all faiths. 

Hymn.      Jesus, United by Thy Grace #591VU



Scripture Lessons:     Jonah 3:1-5, 10

                                   Psalm 62:5-12 p. 779VU

                                   Mark 1:14-20

Hymn.      Jesus Calls Us #562VU


Message



Prayer:  Lord, have mercy on us and heal our souls, for we have sinned against you and against our sisters and brothers. 
Renew the communion among Christians, healing their divisions, so that the world may believe in your love, Lord we pray.
For justice and peace in our society, for the overcoming barriers of fear, resentment, and distrust, Lord we pray. 
For those who suffer want and anxiety through lack of work, Lord we pray. 
For those who are separated from their families, and those who have no home or family, Lord we pray. 
For the victims of drought and famine throughout the world, for the generous sharing of the world’s resources, Lord we pray. 
For all who suffer trials and affliction and who need kindness and help, Lord we pray. 
Keep all who have found you rooted in your love; may they grow in goodness and truth, Lord we pray. 
We remember those who have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known only to you. Grant us to enter with them into the life that never ends, Lord we pray. 
Grant us, Lord, the joy of praise, in communion with all your saints. Amen. (a prayer from the Taize Community, printed in Praying Together, adapted) 

Hymn.       All the Way My Saviour Leads Me #635VU


We have recently heard of the death of Mary Loree in London, ON. A memorial service was held for her this past week. 

We continue to hold the family and friends of Susan Evans, whose funeral service was held this past week, and Karen Jones Buchanan, whose memorial service is being held on this Sunday in Georgetown Presbyterian Church. 

Howick United Church will be holding a Session meeting this coming week, on Tuesday night in the church at 7pm. 

Franklin United Church is planning a Joint Board meeting on Tuesday, January 23rd at 1:30 at the church. 

Please get your annual reports completed and handed in so we can produce our annual report for last year. For Howick they can be given or sent to Wilene Cullen and in Franklin and Ormstown they may be given or sent to Barbara. Please try to have them in by January 28th, or let us know when they will be ready. Thank you. 

There will be a Youth Forum through the Nakonhaka Regional Council held March 22-4 at the Mount Bruno United Church for young people aged 12-18. If you would like to receive information about this, please let Barbara know. 



Friday, January 12, 2024

Sunday, January 14, 2024 The Second Sunday of Epiphany

 

Hymn       Lord Speak to Me #589VU



Scripture Lessons:        I Samuel 3:1-20

                                      Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 p. 861 VU

                                      John 1:43-51

Message



Prayer:  O God, teach us to listen for your voice and your word. 
Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest to me, my family, my friends, my coworkers. Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”

Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me— the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished. 

Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside— in the deepest part of me. 

Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice— in busyness and boredom, in certainty and in doubt, in noise and in silence. Teach me, O God, to listen. Amen. (Written by John Veltri and printed in Taste and See edited by Jacquelin Syrup Bergan and S. Marie Schwan)


Hymn        O Master Let Me Walk with Thee #560VU



This Sunday’s services will be 11:00 in Howick, with Debbie Beattie, and 9:30 in Franklin and 11:00 in Ormstown, in the hall. 

We hold in our thoughts and prayers the families of Donald McCormick, whose memorial service was held on Saturday, January 13th in St Paul’s United Church, Karen Jones Buchanan, whose memorial service will be held next Sunday, January 21st in Georgetown Presbyterian Church, and the family and friends of Susan Evans, who died this past week. 

The time has come to prepare our annual reports for last year. If possible, they may be emailed to Wilene for Howick or to Barbara for Ormstown and Franklin. 

St Paul’s Session will meet Wednesday, January 17th at 1:00 in the hall and its Stewards will meet that evening at 7:30pm, also in the hall in Ormstown. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Sunday, January 7, 2023 Epiphany Sunday

 

Hymn      Angels From the Realms of Glory #36VU



Scripture Lessons:         Isaiah 60:1-6

                                       Psalm 72:1-7

                                       Matthew 2:1-12

Hymn       All Poor Ones and Humble VU 68


Message



Prayer:  God of gold, we seek your glory:  the richness that transforms our drabness into colour, and brightens our dullness with vibrant light; your wonder and joy at the heart of all life. 

God of incense, we offer you our prayer:  our spoken and unspeakable longings, our questioning of truth, our searching for your mystery deep within. 

God of myrrh, we cry out to you in our suffering:  the pain of all our rejections and bereavements, our baffled despair at undeserved suffering, our rage at continuing injustice; and we embrace you, God-with-us, in our wealth, in our yearning, in our anger and loss. Amen. (by Jan Berry, printed in Bread of Tomorrow, edited by Janet Morley)

  A Home-Blessing for Epiphany
L: Blessed be this house. 
P:  And all who dwell here. 
L:  Three wise ones came to Bethlehem seeking the Christ child, and gave to the child precious gifts:  
Gold for the true king, incense for worship, and myrrh for the body which someday would die like our own. 
P: In your light, we see light. Thanks be to God. 
L:  O God, you led the Wise Ones by the light of a star to show your people’s the way to Jesus Christ. May we who seek Christ trust in you to light the way so we recognize the Christ-light in the epiphanies of the lives with which you bless us. 
P:  in your light, we see light. Thanks be to God. 
L:  Bless, O God, this household, and grant that all who live here may share the light of love within these walls. May this house be a haven of hope and hospitality, for neighbour and stranger in times of need. And May the light of love cast its beam beyond these doors to bless the world and all of creation. 
P: In your light, we see light. Thanks be to God.  Amen. (from Living the Christ Life, by Louise Manganese and Nancy Wyse with Lori Farr)

Hymn       The First Nowell #91VU


I hope that everyone had a blessed and happy Christmas and new year. As we move into the new year, we get back to our meetings and routines. We will be looking forward to annual reports and meetings before we know it! Howick United Church will be holding a congregational meeting this Sunday following the service to discuss and decide on the Faithful Footprints application for Howick.

There will be a memorial service held for Donald McCormick at St Paul’s United Church in Ormstown on Saturday, January 13th at 2pm, with visitation preceding the service from 12:00.