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


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,, 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


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, or the United Church channel on YouTube, or the General Council website, 

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,, on the United Church channel on YouTube or on the General Council website, 

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


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


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.