Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to many of 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.


The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty. It is madness. You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do.

~Anne Lamott


Thomas is criticized for doubting, but he asks for nothing more than the same experience of the risen Christ the rest of the disciples had. By the grace of God, Jesus returns a second time and offers his body as living proof to Thomas. In the presence of Jesus, Thomas discovers he did not need the proof he demanded. Thomas’ story is our story. We are not always where we need to be. Sometimes we even find ourselves in places we should not be at all. But Jesus comes to us, seeking us out and giving us the gift of faith. Thomas is not criticized; he is not condemned. Instead, Jesus loves Thomas back into a relationship and shows the disciples what the words “Peace be with you” mean when lived out.


We acknowledge we gather and worship on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Help us to use our gifts, our knowledge, our skills, our positions in society, and our strength in Christ, as a community of faith, to support our indigenous neighbours. Give us humility and the wisdom to know when and how to follow their lead in seeking solutions, and in making positive changes. Open our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to new possibilities when the steps our Indigenous leaders and neighbours wish to take may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar.

We pray for our Indigenous neighbours. We ask that you will help us to let our Indigenous neighbours know that we honour them, we want to live together with them in harmony, and we share their hope for a blessed future together, for growth in mutual understanding and respect, for healing, for justice, and for reconciliation. We pray for all our relations. Amen.


Every good thing we have comes from God.
God is awesome!
The Lord is right beside us.
The Lord guides us and teaches us.
We are safe in God’s presence.
You will show us the way of life and fill us with the joy of your presence!

CHILDREN’S SONG:  I’ve Got The Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy


Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Your Generosity Supports a Rights-Based Approach to Growing Food

The Association of Economic and Social Development Santa Marta (ADES), a Mission & Service partner, is located in an area of Central America that is very vulnerable to climate change. This hot, dry region regularly experiences drought. Mining projects have also negatively affected the environment and the people in the region. ADES and other community organizations decided to act to protect the community’s right to a healthy environment.

An example of how ADES is responding is a three-year agroecology project co-funded by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and The United Church of Canada Foundation, along with Mission & Service. Agroecology benefits the land and water because it recycles nutrients back into the soil. It also reduces production costs, lessening the financial burden on rural farmers.

In this project, ADES works closely with the community to grow food in a rural region of El Salvador, promoting sustainable agriculture that protects biodiversity, maintains the integrity of the land, and upholds rural culture.

The centre of the project is the Dora Alicia Sorto School Farm, where rural families, mainly led by women, learn about agroecology. The school provides training, technical expertise, and seeds indigenous to the region. It focuses on preserving the surrounding environment and on upholding gender and human rights as part of its approach to food security.

Your gifts to  Mission & Service  help support ADES’ agroecology project. Thank you for your generosity!


What is the purpose of a door?  Well, usually a door is closed to keep bad weather from coming into the house. We lock the doors of our house to keep us safe, to protect our belongings, to keep out intruders.  We close our bedroom doors for privacy.  Hmmm, I guess the purpose of a door is to stay closed – and locked.

     Good thing Jesus didn’t think so!

The disciples were huddled in a room with the door locked.  They were very scared.  Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the room and said, “Peace be with you!”  He didn’t even open the door!  How cool is that!

Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that he was alive and they didn’t need to be afraid.  Jesus wanted them to understand that he wanted them to be out in the world and not shut in a room with the door locked!  Death wasn’t the end, so fear would not be given control!

Feeling scared is ok.  What isn’t ok is when we let our fear keep us from going out the door!  It takes courage to face our fear, and Jesus is right beside us giving us the strength to do just that!

The world is an amazing place, and Jesus can be found everywhere in the world.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome our fear, and follow Jesus out into the world to love and serve others.


Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened to us the light of eternity.  Enlighten our minds and kindle our hearts with the presence of your Spirit, that we may hear your words of comfort and challenge in the reading of the scriptures, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 22-32

After the Holy Spirit comes to the apostles on Pentecost, Peter preaches the gospel to the gathered crowd. He tells them that Jesus, who obediently went to his death according to God’s plan, was raised from the dead by God. Finally, he appeals to scripture, quoting Psalm 16:8-11, to show that Jesus is the Messiah: though crucified, the risen Jesus is now enthroned.

14aPeter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed , 22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—23this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;

26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.

27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.

28You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried,

and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”

Psalm 16

1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings to such gods, never take their names upon my lips. 
5O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me night after night.
8I have set the Lord always before me; because God is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me | to the grave, nor let your holy one see the pit.
11You will show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.           

Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

This epistle was written to encourage Christians experiencing hardships and suffering because of their faith in Christ. The letter opens by blessing God for the living hope we have through Christ’s resurrection even amid difficult circumstances and surroundings.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel: John 20:19-31

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. But one of their number is missing, and his unbelief prompts another visit from the Lord.

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

HYMN:  Because He Lives


The opposite of faith is not doubt, it is fear.

Thomas is emotionally torn apart with grief.  He abandoned his Rabbi in his hour of need; he did not have the courage to show up for Jesus’ crucifixion and he was not around to see where Jesus was laid to rest.  Now the Jewish religious authorities are rumored to be on the lookout for Thomas and the other disciples who, by the way, have literally locked themselves inside a building in fear.  Thomas is on his way to the meeting place afraid for his life.

Doubting Thomas?  No.  Scared Thomas.  Very, very scared.

If Thomas accepts what the others tell him about Jesus having just left the building – alive – then he will suddenly have to change his whole belief system, his understanding of the world and how Yahweh interacts with that world.  If Thomas takes the risk and believes the experience of his friends, “normal” loses all meaning and a new reality that defies all logic will need to be embraced.  The dead no longer stay dead, a relationship with God suddenly becomes intensely personal and a supernatural power guides the heart and mind.  And that, people, is not even close to the fear Thomas faces at seeing alive the one he loved and abandoned to a cruel death – especially after promising that he would never leave Jesus’ side.

Doubting Thomas?  No.  Scared Thomas.  Scared and ashamed.

Thomas wants proof.  This is not an unreasonable request.  Thomas is the outsider – he missed the punch line!  He was absent when Jesus appeared.  The news is too good to be true and that is all the more reason to fear the reality!  By asking for proof, Thomas is attempting to hold on to his reality and keep some control.  The pain of losing Jesus makes Thomas all the more fearful of accepting the truth.  Better to not hope too much in order to avoid the pain of disappointment and further grief.  Thomas is so afraid to risk believing the miracle that he is blinded to the joy and wonder of his friends!  The reaction of the others to having seen Jesus alive would be enough to remove any doubt, don’t you think?  Such joy could be not be an act.  Academy Award winners the disciples were not!

So, why the need for proof?  Is Thomas really doubting or is he scared to face his failure?

Notice that Jesus does not ridicule Thomas regarding his request for proof.  Jesus does tell Thomas to cease doubting and believe.  “Ah ha!”  you say! “See, he is ‘Doubting Thomas!’”  Perhaps.  Try this interpretation of the situation on for size…

As an actor, one always looks for the strongest motivation in any scene.  As a human being, how does one cover up one’s fear?  Often anger or bravado is the means to hide the fear one feels.  So which is the stronger motivation?  Ignoring the joy of the disciples and spouting one’s disbelief that “Jesus was here”, or realizing that the amazement of one’s friends is genuine and being terrified of Jesus’ response to a broken promise?  What if Jesus does not forgive the betrayal?  What if Jesus stops loving Thomas?

Now, suppose that Jesus is aware of the emotional battle going on inside of Thomas.  Jesus knows the fear and the means Thomas is using to hide it.  What if Jesus’ words are meant to address the fear Thomas has of losing Jesus’ love instead of the doubt he so loudly announces?  What if Jesus is saying to Thomas, “Do not doubt my love, Thomas.  Believe in my love!  Do you feel relief because we are face to face and I do not reject you?  Blessed are those who believe in my love and trust it without my having to say it face to face.”  What if Thomas’ exclamation of, “My Lord and my God!” is not just a statement of belief but of thanks?  By not rejecting Thomas, by allowing the request to touch the wounds be fulfilled, Jesus is letting Thomas know that he is loved and forgiven.

Bottom line – it doesn’t matter whether Thomas was doubting or scared.  What matters is that Jesus is alive; Thomas believed; the Holy Spirit was given and the body of Christ, the Church, is still here today.

To believe in Christ, to follow where he leads takes courage, it takes trust and it involves risk.  Thomas learned that.  I close with a poem that captures the heart of living a life in Christ:

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.

To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But they simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave.
They have forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.


HYMN:  MV 162  Christ, Within Us Hidden


United in the hope and joy of the resurrection, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

God of rebirth, the good news of your resurrection brings refreshment to a weary world. Following the women at the tomb, empower us to boldly share your radical love through our words and our work. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

As you breathed your Spirit into the disciples, breathe your spirit of healing upon all creation. Nourish the earth with sufficient rains. Strengthen us to counter the effects of pollution and destruction. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You prepared the disciples for their ministry by calming their fears and granting them your peace. Equip our communities’ leaders. Give them a spirit of peace and hearts that burn for justice, that their leadership reflects your love. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You come among us in unexpected ways. Send us to those who hide in fear or question your love. Be a healing presence for any isolated by addiction, incarceration, mental illness, chronic pain, sickness, or grief. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

As you met the disciples on the road to Emmaus, show us your presence along our journeys. Bless our doubts and questions. Provide trusting and safe relationships for all ages, to nurture our connection to you and one another. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Resurrecting God, you bring us to new life every day. Thank you for blessing us with companions on our faith journey, especially those who now rest in your love. Strengthen us with the eternal peace of your promises. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Rejoicing in the victory of Christ’s resurrection, we lift our prayers and praise to you, almighty and eternal God; through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.



SENDING SONG:  WOV 674   Alleluia!  Jesus Is Risen!


Christ is Risen and He goes before us, into this world of fear and pain. He has called us to bring the Good News of healing and hope, of redemption. Go in peace, and feel the presence of the Risen Lord with you, now and forever. AMEN.



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