June 28, 2020 Service



Due to copywrite limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


Discipleship is risky and yet so simple. It requires acknowledging that we are dependent not just on ourselves, but on God and on others, too. Followers of Jesus are called to be vulnerable and open to receiving as well as giving – being open to whatever and whoever crosses their path. Welcoming our neighbor is, according to Jesus, the same as welcoming God. In this way God’s realm becomes a reality in the midst of our day-to-day lives.

Call to Worship

Jesus said that whoever welcomes one of his followers, welcomes Jesus himself.

All are welcome!  Let us worship God.

Whoever welcomes Jesus, also welcomes God.

All are welcome!  Let us worship God.

Whoever offers even a cup of cold water to one of God’s children will be blessed by God.

All are welcome! Let us worship God.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  WOV #649  I Want To Walk As A Child Of The Light


O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.



We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


I have a confession to make.  I wasn’t always nice to my younger sister.

I remember a situation where I convinced Carrie to draw on an envelope.  Carrie was too young to know that the envelope contained a card that my mother was sending to her sister for her birthday.  Once she started drawing her picture, I left the kitchen.  My mother came into the kitchen and found Carrie drawing on the envelope.  Carrie was sent to her room for a time out.  My mom wasn’t happy!  I remember hiding and listening to the whole thing!  I thought I had been pretty clever and chuckled to myself that she had gotten in trouble.

I knew at the time that I was not being nice to my sister.  I still chose to trick her anyway.  Like I said, I wasn’t always nice.

As adults, people choose to not be nice to others.  We say things and do things that are hurtful.  We know better.  We do it anyway.  Just because people grow older does not necessarily mean they behave in a mature manner.

Thankfully, Jesus knows this and keeps reminding the adults that we are role models for our children.  Jesus reminds us that we must choose to be kind, gentle, understanding, welcoming and generous – even if we don’t feel like being kind, gentle, understanding, welcoming and generous!!  Why?  Because that is what people who love Jesus do.

As an adult, I understand that when I do things for others out of love, I feel happier.  That is what the love of Jesus does.

Your challenge this week is to put love into the words you speak and into your actions.  Hey, I have two sisters, I know it isn’t always easy to get along!  I also know that my life is happier when we do get along, and it is worth the effort to put love into everything I do.

Dear Jesus, help us to love you and share that love with our families.  Amen.


Our gifts for Mission & Service support a safe house for LGBTQIA and

Two-Spirit refugees in Kenya.

Down a long road behind a large fence in Nairobi, Kenya, is a safe house for LGBTQIA and Two-Spirit refugees from Uganda, Somalia, and South Sudan, supported by Mission & Service partner Pembizo Christian Council. The refugees who live here dream of a day they are resettled in Canada or another country where they can live freely without fear of imprisonment.

While the group waits to be resettled, they have named themselves Nature Network and spend their time creating art. Whether it is movies, dance, or blogs to post on Facebook, the group always puts their best foot forward.

In 2017, a small group of Mission & Service pilgrims visited the safe house and received a warm welcome. When some of the visitors shared that they were LGBTQIA and Two Spirit and were openly in relationships, the residents cheered, since that’s what they’d been praying would be possible for them one day.

We are thankful that in The United Church of Canada there are opportunities to sponsor and support LGBTQIA and Two-Spirit refugees.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.



O God, your Word is more precious than fine gold, and sweeter than purest honey. As we turn to your Scripture, send your Holy Spirit to infuse your Word with truth and grace — so that the good news of your love would shine before our eyes and delight our senses … so that we cannot help but respond with wonder, faith and trust. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading:  Jeremiah 28:5-9

Through a symbolic action Jeremiah insisted that Judah and all the surrounding nations should submit to the king of Babylon (Jer. 27). Hananiah contradicted the word of Jeremiah, who in reply insisted that Hananiah’s rosy prediction should not be believed until it came true. God confirmed the word of Jeremiah and sentenced the false prophet Hananiah to death (vv. 16-17).


Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18

Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing. (Ps. 89:1)


Second Reading: Romans 6:12-23

Sin is an enslaving power which motivates us to live self-serving, disobedient lives. Sin’s final payoff is death. We, however, have been set free from sin’s slavery to live obediently under God’s grace, whose end is the free gift of eternal life.

Gospel: Matthew 10:40-42

When Jesus sends his disciples out as missionaries, he warns them of persecution and hardships they will face. He also promises to reward any who aid his followers and support their ministry.



The two words I distrust the most are “Trust Me”.  When someone says this to me, I am immediately suspicious.  My first response is “Why?”  If someone tries to back themselves up using God as a reference, that is when I become very skeptical and my second immediate response is, “Do you have it in writing?”

Religion and politics are the two worst subjects to discuss, debate or trust because you just don’t know who to believe.  There are many leaders out there who know their topic, who quote facts, who sound sincere, and yet….

Jeremiah is up against some stiff competition.  There, in the temple, stands Hananiah prophesying, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:  I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.  Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.  I will also bring back to this place King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, says the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

Sounds pretty official, doesn’t it?  After all, Hananiah is a legitimate prophet who leads a righteous life and obeys the laws of Moses.  He has prophesied many times before, and his words came to pass.  Why wouldn’t the people believe all the wonderful things he says will happen to Judah? 

That’s the problem, they did.

Jeremiah’s response?  “I wish.  I wish Yahweh would make all those wonderful things happen.  But listen to me Hananiah and all you who believe him, you have made a grave mistake.  You have forgotten the prophets and history that have gone before you, and you prophecy from your own desires, not from the saving history of Yahweh among the people of Israel.  You have invoked the name of God falsely, are misleading the people in the name of Yahweh.   Remember, God is not mocked.”

Jeremiah points out very clearly the means by which to distinguish a true prophet from a false one.  There are four criteria.  I quote from the Proclamation commentaries by Jack Dean Kingsbury and Morris Niedenthal:  “The first criterion is that the true prophetic word is one that is spoken under a sign of repentance.  In verse 8, Jeremiah places himself in the long line of Israel’s prophets who did call the nation to repentance.  In contrast, Hananiah promises Judah “cheap grace”, peace without repentance.  

The second is that the true prophetic word is one that assesses the present situation in the light of God’s actions in the past.  In verse 8 we note that Jeremiah, in aligning himself with the prophets before him, aligns his message with a tradition that  measures the spiritual health of Israel, whether that of the kingdom of Israel or Judah, in terms of its faithfulness to the God who elected it to be God’s chosen people.  In the case of Hananiah, his message has no roots in Israel’s tradition of redemption and election, for he conveniently overlooks Judah’s idolatry and prophesies peace in the face of unfaithfulness. A false prophet confuses God’s strategy and purpose.  For while God remains faithful to the purpose to save and restore, God’s strategies for accomplishing this purpose are never simply predictable.  Regardless, therefore, of how many Bible verses a present-day prophet quotes in order to prove God’s will, that individual will be a false prophet in thinking that God’s will is determined by amassing evidence and reasoning logically to a conclusion.

The third criterion is that the true prophetic word is one that takes no delight in suffering and punishment.  Hananiah, because he is blind to the prospect of Judah’s ruin, cannot even appreciate what it might mean to long fervently for peace while at the same time perceiving the signs of approaching doom.  The prophetic word tends to be a hard word, one that lays bare personal and national faults and calls for change, yet the prophetic word is spoken in love.

The final criterion is that the prophetic word is one that can also envisage change and restoration.  Having summoned Judah to no repentance, Hananiah’s reassuring predictions are empty.  Jeremiah, whose calls to repentance Judah will not hear, can nonetheless envisage Judah’s restoration following its punishment.  The future envisioned by a false prophet is automatic and inevitable, unrelated to the need of the people to change and to participate actively in creating the future.  Whereas a false prophet baptizes the status quo, a true prophet challenges the people to change and become participants with God in creating a different state of affairs, a different history.”  End quote.  

I have the honour of having been labeled a false prophet – a wolf in sheep’s clothing, to be exact.  Well, if I share this label with Jeremiah, I consider myself in good company.  While I do not claim to be a prophet, I do claim to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the love, forgiveness, acceptance and salvation of God through the One who walked among human beings and who took the sin of humanity upon himself.  In proclaiming Gospel, judgement is inevitable.  For in proclaiming Gospel we see and hear where we have turned our backs to God.  Therefore, the Gospel urges us to repent and once again seek God’s face.

We cannot comprehend the lengths that God will go to draw us back into a loving embrace.  We do not find God–it is God who finds us.  We also cannot predict the profound experiences of grace that each of us will have.  For what at times seems a hopeless, sinful, deceitful or hypocritical situation to our eyes, is often the means of grace for God.  We are not to judge.  We are to look for God’s grace to be proclaimed in every situation.  If we cannot see it, if it truly does not exist, then how is God calling us to be the means of grace?  We are not to take such situations lightly.  All of us have virtues and vices, and most of us are loath to have the vices pointed out.  Yet, it is in holding up that which binds us, that which breaks relationships and hurts others, that we experience healing, forgiveness and freedom.

Once we are free from our bondage, we are free to change.  How does Jesus do this?  I close with a quotation by Anthony de Mello who sums it up very nicely:

I was neurotic for years. I was anxious and depressed and selfish. Everyone kept telling me to change. I resented them and I agreed with them, and I wanted to change, but simply couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. Then one day someone said to me, “Don’t change. I love you just as you are.”  Those words were music to my ears: Don’t change, Don’t change. Don’t change . . . I love you as you are. I relaxed. I came alive. And suddenly I changed!  Amen.


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #176  Three Things I Promise


O God, there are many conflicting messages in this world,

Help us to stay clear about your mission of love.

O God, there are many voices demanding our loyalty,

Help us to stay loyal to your mission of love.

O God, many promise quick fixes and easy solutions,

Help us to stay clear that love takes work.

O God, many use fear or hatred to win us to their side,

Help us to remember the disarming power of love.

O God, many have lost hope and given up. We ask for healing for friends and family in all our communities.  For Myrtle & Art Ganske; Mike Froese; Brooke Alexiuk; Abbie; Tracy Skoglund; Carolyn & Douglas; Don; Amber; Nicole; Gordon Dreger; Diane Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Elizabeth & David.

Help us to remember that love never ends.

O God, you have set us on the firm foundation of love,

Help us to keep our footing there.  Amen.




Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

God, the creator, ☩ Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.



SENDING SONG:  WOV #719  God Is Here!


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19/20 WPOG License: Congregation 25-49