Due to copyright 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.



The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.

                      ~Mother Teresa



     Faith cannot be stockpiled. It needs a pattern of replenishment. Today, the disciples are hungry. While their stomachs may not be rumbling, their hunger is shown in their lack of certainty about who Jesus is. Even though they were just talking about how Jesus walked with two of them on the road to Emmaus, his real presence now frightens them. Doubt, disbelief, and fear are like hunger to the disciples.

     Jesus relieves the hunger with his risen presence. When the disciples are unsure what to make of the mess that life has become, Jesus shows up. When their hunger for truth and certainty is most apparent, Jesus walks into the room. The answer to someone’s hunger is not to ask why they are hungry. Nor is the answer to doubt a question about why they cannot believe. The answer is food. The answer is the real Jesus showing up and easing fears. Everyone’s faith needs sustenance. Those who listen to the preacher and gather at the table are looking for the God of truth and love to settle their doubts.


We are one flock,

we are called to be one in community.

We have boldness before God

because we know we are loved and known

and so, in the same way, let us love each other, siblings and cousins.

not only in word or speech

but in truth and action—let us join together as one flock to worship the one God.


CHILDREN’S SONG  VU 345  Come, Children, Join To Sing


Holy One, Heart of Creation, you know us and call us into bold service.  We come together this day to celebrate your creation, the beautiful streams that surround us and provide us with food and water, and that are often the centre of our communities.  We come to hear hard stories of where our still waters have been lost, communities broken.  Open our hearts to hear the cries of our family, of partners in Canada and abroad so that we may be empowered to act in love for one another. For you are our shepherd, who leads us toward green pastures. 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.


     Suppose you are planning a huge barbeque.  You have booked Danny’s Whole Hog for the meat, you and your family have a list of salads, desserts and side dishes to make for the event, you have even put together a music play list for background sound during the meal.  Here is my question:  Whom do you invite?  Who will be on your guest list?  I am guessing that you will invite family and friends.  Maybe you will invite distant cousins, relatives from another country, old people and young people!  Wonderful! 

     What about people you don’t like?  Will any of those people be invited?  What about people who don’t like you?  Are they going to be invited?  Why am I even asking this question?!

     Jesus, who has been dead for a few days after dying on the cross, pops into a locked room where the disciples are gathered, and seems confused as to why the disciples are not overly happy to see him!  I think somebody forgot to tell Jesus that the dead are not usually invited to family gatherings!

     Jesus points out that he is very much alive!  He is not a ghost.  To prove that, Jesus asks for some food to eat.  He is given some broiled fish.  Jesus eats the fish.  This is his proof to his disciples that he is alive.  We all know the dead don’t eat!

     Once Jesus eats the fish, the disciples lose some of their fear and realize that it is true – Jesus is actually alive!  It is food that connects Jesus with the living.

     Back to your BBQ.  If you were to write out all the names of the people you would invite if you were actually having this BBQ, I am guessing you would notice that all the people are either related to you, are liked by you.  You are already connected in a family/friend relationship.  Coming together to celebrate life and eat together strengthens that relationship.  Jesus says wherever two or three are gathered, he is present also. 

     Food connects us.  It creates happy memories of family gatherings.  Food reminds us that we have senses to appreciate the sight, aroma and flavour of our food.  Food reminds us that we are alive and fortunate to have food to eat.  Food reminds us that wherever we gather, Jesus is with us, loving, forgiving and granting us peace. 

     Just because you can, set a place setting for Jesus at your next meal.  Tell Jesus about your day.  Thank Jesus for being with your family.  See what a difference it makes to invite Jesus to dinner.

     Let us pray:  Resurrected Jesus, thank you for your presence in our lives.  Where we go, you go.  Help us to share, not just food, but also your love with others who are hungry, in body and in spirit.  In your name we pray.  Amen.


The Incredible Difference Your Gifts Make:  Bill’s Story

     None of us can go a single day without having an impact on someone’s life. And we can’t always predict how what we do to help change a life might wind up changing ours, too.

     Take Bill Darnell. Bill’s love affair with nature began at camp, but it didn’t end there. Far from it. Bill’s childhood experience of camp wound up inspiring one of the world’s most influential environmental movements.

     “Camping had a big effect on me. I grew up in suburbia and didn’t have much access to the natural world. Camping was an opportunity to go out and be in nature. It was amazing. Being at camp solidified my strong connection with the natural world,” he says.

     Bill’s early camp experience instilled such a love of nature that when he became an adult, he became an environmental activist. “When I was 25 years old, not far removed from my years in camp, I saw that they were testing nuclear weapons. That was so obviously wrong that I felt I had to do something to stop it,” he says.

     So, Bill and a small group of friends anxiously climbed on board an 85-foot fishing boat later dubbed Greenpeace. Together, they set sale for Alaska to stop the testing of a nuclear bomb. Greenpeace as a movement was born.

     Bill’s story proves that camping experiences in childhood can lead to a lifelong commitment to care for God’s creation.

     As scientists and activists sound the alarm around climate change and experts report that not spending enough time outside is having an impact on our children’s health and well-being, outdoor ministry has never been more crucial. It’s just one of the many reasons why Mission & Service really matters.

     Your Mission & Service gifts support over two dozen United Church-run camps across the country. Every year, your generosity gives thousands of children an opportunity to go to camp. There, they learn life skills, meet other campers, explore faith, and spend time outside.

     Like Bill, some young people may leave camp so impressed by the natural environment that they get on board a movement to take care of it. “Camping made an incredible difference in my life. I know it will make an incredible difference to young people across Canada. I give thanks to those who support it,” Bill says.

     Please make a gift to Mission & Service today. Your support not only makes a difference right now but also has an impact on the future for all of us who are blessed to live in the beautiful world God created.


Gracious God, open our eyes that we may see the abundance of your creative love in all that surrounds and sustains us. Enable us to become people of hope and life, who plant the seeds of your earthly garden for the benefit of all. Help us to be gardeners and caregivers for the earth that is home for all life. Fill us with your gentle love, that we may walk tenderly on the earth, cooperating with your intention of abundant love and life. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Acts 3:12-19

After healing a man unable to walk, Peter preaches to the people, describing how God’s promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus. Through the proclamation of Christ’s death and resurrection, God is offering them forgiveness and restoration in Jesus’ name.

     12 addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

  17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

Psalm 4

R:  The Lord does wonders for the faithful. (Ps. 4:3)

1Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;
  you set me free when I was in distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2“You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;
  how long will you love illusions and seek after lies?”
3Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; the Lord will hear me when I call.
4Tremble, then, and do not sin; speak to your heart in silence upon your bed. R
5Offer the appointed sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
6Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” 
  Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
7You have put gladness in my heart, more than when grain and wine abound.
8In peace, I will lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me rest secure. R

  • Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7

God has loved us in order to make us children of God. Though we do not yet know the full details of our future existence, we trust that God will reveal it just as God revealed Jesus to take away our sins.

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

  4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

  • Gospel: Luke 24:36b-48

In this account of an appearance after his resurrection, Jesus opens the minds of the disciples to understand him as Messiah. Jesus convinces them that he has been raised and sends them on a mission to proclaim the message of repentance and forgiveness.

36bJesus himself stood among  and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

  44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.”




SERMONLuke 24:36b-48

The dead do not eat. 

The dead do not stand up on their own, speak or offer peace. 

Twice in one day the disciples have heard that Jesus is alive.  First, the women come rushing to the gathered disciples with the incredible news given to them by the gleaming young men who suddenly appeared at the empty tomb.  Sadly, their story is met with disdain.  The women are out of their minds, their news nonsense.  Still, Peter feels the need to check things out, examines the empty tomb and leaves confused.

Then, Cleopas and his friend are walking to the village of Emmaus where Jesus himself joins them on the road and enters into the conversation.  Both men have no clue they are talking to the risen Christ until they stop for supper and Jesus breaks and blesses the bread. 

In my youth, I used to jog a 7-minute mile.  Emmaus is approximately seven miles from Jerusalem.  I am guessing the two men did not get back into Jerusalem until quite late, yet they knew exactly where to go, and, behold, everyone was still up!

It is while Cleopas and his friend are discussing their meeting with the risen Christ that Jesus suddenly appears in the room.  Having just spent time with Jesus not that long ago, one would think that, if nothing else, Cleopas and his friend would announce to the group, “See, we told you!”  But no, they are as scared as the rest of the disciples!  Jesus popped out of sight after blessing and breaking the bread.  Now he is popping into sight.  Why the fear?  Did he change that much from several hours ago?

Ok, I get it.  I wasn’t there, so I have no idea what it would feel like to suddenly have someone whom I thought was dead pop into my space without warning.  Yet that is precisely my point – they did have warning!  Twice!

The problem with being human is that we live in a world that is clearly defined by the barriers of life and death.  We are born, we live for a while, grow old, and die.  That is the natural order of life.  Someone needs to inform God that resurrecting Jesus throws the natural order off balance!  The dead are supposed to stay dead!

41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”

Don’t you love this sentence?!  While joyful at seeing Jesus alive, those gathered were disbelieving and still wondering.   We are those people!  What seals the deal, tips Jesus’ followers from disbelief to belief? – a piece of fish.  The dead don’t eat, so that means Jesus really is alive!

Are you aware that Jesus eats his way through the entire Gospel of Luke?  What is it about food and the son of God?!  Food, and more importantly, the table guests, are Jesus’ way of being radical.  They are also why Jesus ends up in so much trouble. 

Do you want to annoy the Pharisees, Temple priests and the Jewish powers that be?  Sit down and dip your fingers in the same water bowl as tax collectors and prostitutes all the while enjoying their company and the food!

Want to embarrass your wealthy dinner host?  Just tell the parable of the wedding banquet and then inform your host that they should have poorer guests around the table.

No regard for your reputation?  Then you should feel quite at home as the house guest of a despised tax collector while the neighbours and religious power people shake their heads in disbelief particularly when Zacchaeus experiences metanoia.

Oh, and let’s not forget that intimate moment when a scorned woman weeps on Jesus’ feet, wipes them with her hair and then massages them with expensive ointment.  That situation will be gleefully shared for years, especially since it was a Pharisee who hosted the meal.

What is it about food and the son of God?  It is in blessing and breaking bread that those of us at the table recognize the risen Christ, know ourselves to be loved, forgiven, saved.  The power of the Holy Spirit fills us whenever we gather around the Lord’s table.  We are witnesses to the power the risen Christ gives to go and proclaim the good news to the world, to love the unlovely, forgive the unforgiven.

The dead don’t eat. 

When we gather at the Lord’s table, we are told to break bread and share in the forgiveness of Christ’s blood in order to remember Jesus.  Outside of communion on a Sunday morning, how do we do that? 

I quote Barbara K. Lundblad who gives us the answer:

At that last supper, Jesus shared bread and cup with those around the table and said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When Jesus said, “Do this,” did he mean only this bread and this cup? Not if we pay attention to the witness of Luke’s gospel! Remembering that witness, we hear Jesus gathering up all the meals he shared with others.

Do this: eat with people who are poor and crippled and lame and blind

Do this: share meals with tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners

Do this – dare to be as disruptive as the woman who crashed Simon’s dinner party and wept all over Jesus’ feet

Do this — praying “Give us this day our daily bread.

Do all of this in remembrance of me. Do this now and the future will be different.[1]

Jesus says we are witnesses to all these things.  So go, bear witness and share the good news!  Amen!


HYMN OF THE MONTH     WOV 669  Come Away To The Skies  


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

Living God, in the midst of Easter joy we are still filled with questions and wondering. Open our hearts and minds as we encounter the scriptures, so that the church embodies repentance and forgiveness in the name of Jesus to all nations. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creating God, like a master artist you have fashioned the universe out of your love and delight. Heal your creation where it is in need of restoration. Provide all the inhabitants of earth a peaceful and sustainable home. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of all, the nations hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Many call on you for guidance and strength. Answer their hopes with the peace of Christ and give your lovingkindness to national, state, and local leaders of people. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Healing God, you hear the cries of those in need and answer them in their distress. Grant to those who are sick and suffering your compassion and nurse them back to health and wholeness especially Lil Schieman, Larry McCrady, Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Tracy Skoglund, Carolyn, Douglas, Debbie, Dwayne; Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant, Thomas & Zach Maynard.  Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Loving Parent, you have given us such love that we should be called the children of God. Reveal yourself to us so that we in this community of faith will become more and more like you in our mutual love and bold witness. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of all times and ages, those who have died in you now see you as you are. We thank you for their lives among us. Assure us of the peace you have promised, that we may join them in everlasting life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



SENDING SONG  WOV 674  Alleluia!  Jesus Is Risen


May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.




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[1] Keynote Address: Ecumenical Advocacy Days: April 5, 2013