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.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “Easter is not about immortality but about resurrection from a death that is a real death with all its frightfulness and horrors, resurrection from a death of the body and the soul, of the whole person, resurrection by the power of God’s mighty act. This is the Easter message.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter


Easter turns the world upside down. It defies our expectations with hiddenness and bluntness: Mary does not recognize the resurrected Jesus (John 20:14), the good news is heralded by an earthquake and terrifying angels and is brought to the women of the church first, rather than to the Twelve (Matt. 28:1-10). The radical reversals prophesied in scripture and revealed in Christ’s life and ministry culminate in the good news we proclaim today: Christ, through death, has triumphed over death. “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone” (Ps. 118:22).


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.


Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, by whose hand we are given new birth, by whose speaking we are given new life.


Joined to Christ in the waters of baptism, we are welcomed, restored, and supported as citizens of the new creation.  Let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.

Holy God,

holy and merciful, holy and mighty, you are the river of life, you are the everlasting wellspring.

In mercy and might you have freed us from death and raised us with Jesus, the firstborn of the dead.

In baptismal waters our old life is washed away, and in them we are born anew.

Glory to you for oceans and lakes, for rivers and streams.

Honor to you for waters that wash us clean, quench our thirst, and nurture both crops and creatures.

Praise to you for the life-giving water of baptism, the outpouring of the Spirit of the new creation.

Wash away our sin and all that separates us from you.  Empower our witness to your resurrection.  Strengthen our resolve in seeking justice for all.

Satisfy the world’s need through this living water.  Where drought dries the earth, bring refreshment.

Where despair prevails, grant hope.  Where chaos reigns, bring peace.

We ask this through Christ, who with you and the Spirit reigns forever.  Amen.

HYMN:  VU 155  Jesus Christ Is Risen Today


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


Lord, have mercy                 Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.              Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.                 Lord, have mercy.


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:  have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father:  receive our prayer.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.


God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Your Generosity Shows Love of Creation

Earth Day is celebrated in communities around the world on April 22 each year.

This year, the United Church and fellow members of the For the Love of Creation climate justice initiative are holding a “Together for the Love of Creation” Earth Week, April 16-22.

We often hear messages about the habits we can change and the things we can do to take better care of the earth. In day-to-day life, we hear about bans on single-use plastic, ways to reduce waste in our homes, and the ebbs and flows of Earth hurting and healing—but we can also engage in prayer, learning, and action to achieve sustainable habits and deeper understanding, respect, and hope for earth.

Your Mission & Service gifts support the development and delivery of climate initiatives and educational opportunities. Thank you for your generosity.


Years ago, my aunt and uncle had a German shepherd for a pet.  Tara was a big dog.  One day we were visiting and my aunt and uncle decided to have a barbeque for supper.  My aunt had 2 pounds of hamburger in the freezer.  She took it out and left it on the counter to defrost.  When she went to get it hours later to make up the hamburger patties, imagine her surprise when she picked up the hamburger only to have the foil collapse in her hands!  It turns out that Tara, being such a big dog, had been able to reach that package of hamburger and had licked out the 2 pounds of  meat, leaving the foil in the shape of the hamburger!  And don’t get me started on the missing cupcakes that grandma Hamm had made!!

The women went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried expecting to find him lying there, dead.  Imagine their surprise when, after an earthquake, the stone rolls away, an angel appears and says, “Jesus isn’t here.  He is alive, just like he said!”  Oh, the burial clothes were there, but Jesus was not.  The women were expecting one situation, and were surprised, and a little afraid, when life took a happy turn!  Thankfully, Jesus showed up and they realized he wasn’t a ghost, but actually alive!

God did an amazing thing in Jesus.  Because Jesus was resurrected, we do not need to be afraid of death!  It’s not the end.  Jesus will greet us and take us to be with God forever!  Awesome!


Almighty God, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word; and give us grace that we may clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


First Reading (alternate): Jeremiah 31:1-6

God’s final word is always “Yes.” Because God’s love is everlasting, God always remains faithful. Ancient Israel is assured that it will be rebuilt and have plentiful crops. The people of God too will ultimately be reunited.

1At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
2Thus says the Lord:  The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, 3the Lord appeared to him from far away.  I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

4Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!  Again you shall take your tambourines, and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.  5Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit.  6For there shall be a day when sentinels will call in the hill country of Ephraim:  “Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.”

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

1Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good; God’s mercy endures forever.
2Let Israel now declare, “God’s mercy endures forever.”
14The Lord is my strength and my song, and has become my salvation.
15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord acts valiantly!
16The right hand of the Lord| is exalted!  The right hand of the | Lord acts valiantly!”
17I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. 
18The Lord indeed punished me sorely, but did not hand me over to death.
19Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord.
20“This is the gate of the Lord; here the righteous may enter.”
21I give thanks to you, for you have answered me and you have become my salvation. 
22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23By the Lord has this been done; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Easter means new life for us as it first meant new life for Christ. His resurrection reshapes the entire focus and motivation for our lives since we are now hidden with the risen Christ in God.

1If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10

Sorrow gives way to “fear and great joy” when two women are sent by an angel to proclaim the good news: Jesus is risen!

1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

HYMN: VU 161  Welcome, Happy Morning


Have you ever sat in your cinema seat to watch the credits at the end of a movie?  If you have, you will notice that the screen listing the leading roles and who plays them is held longer than the rest of the credits.  This is because we are meant to identify key actors.  This  film is helping them build their careers after all!  Then, once that screen is done, the remaining crew names and their part in the production fly by.  Usually at this point, the movie theatre has pretty much cleared out.  Not many are interested in the masses that make up the lighting, set, costume, props, special effects, sound and make up crews.

I am.

I am always interested in those names that fly by, unheralded by the audience, because I know, having a degree in theatre, having worked on those unheralded crews, that without those talented masses, the movie would never have been made.

Jesus was aware, took interest in, and honored his female disciples, the ones who provided for his ministry and his person.  Unheralded by society, these women faithfully followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem, stood at a distance, watching as he suffered and died on the cross, and kept a brief vigil, sitting across from the sealed tomb, after his burial.  In Matthew’s gospel, it is to the women Jesus first appears.  It is the women who have the first opportunity to cling to Jesus and assure themselves that he is not a ghost.  It is to the women Jesus gives the command to give a message to the remaining 11 core disciples. What I find interesting is that in Matthew’s gospel, the remaining 11 disciples do not question the women.  They believe what they are told and immediately head to Galilee.

Why Galilee?  Galilee is almost 160 kms north of Jerusalem!  At the least a 3-day walk!  It’s a hick town in the boonies, considered the home of the uneducated and uncouth by those in Jerusalem.  Why there?  Why not parade Jesus around Jerusalem in front of all those who were responsible for his crucifixion?  “See, he told you – raised up in three days!  You lose!”

Why Galilee?  Because Jesus’ ministry has come full circle.  Also, Jesus is not interested in the grand names of the key players.  Jesus has always been interested in the unheralded folks who toil faithfully throughout their lives, who need to hear the good news that God sees them, hears them, loves them, provides for them and frees them.  Jesus is aware that it is on the backs of people such as those in Galilee who provide for the higher ups of Rome.  Nameless though they be, Rome would not survive without them.

But what if Jesus did meet the disciples in Jerusalem?  What would it accomplish?  The hope would be that people would finally believe that Jesus is really the Messiah of God.  Or would they?   Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Would the people believe, or would they try to kill Jesus again – permanently.   Would the focus be on the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection rather than on his command to love one another, forgive one another, care for one another and trust God above all else?  There is wisdom in assessing one’s audience, and Jesus knew that what the disciples hoped for, and what would be, would most likely be at odds.

Perhaps the 3-day journey for the disciples was intentional in order to get the lofty thoughts of proving the religious authorities and Pilate wrong out of their system, and recenter themselves on what Jesus’ life and ministry was about and to whom Jesus was devoted.  God’s ways are not our ways.

We too have been commanded to share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection and God’s participation in our lives.  God is not looking for drama.  God is looking for devotion.  Through Jesus’ resurrection we are reminded that God is often in the wings, unseen, unheralded, present in the nameless ones, without whom the message would not be shared.

Jesus ministered in the most unlikely places to the most unlikely people.  As we leave this house of worship today, we are to do the same.  Christ is risen!!… Amen.

HYMN:  He Arose


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

You call your church to witness to your salvation. We give thanks for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, all theologians, preachers, and teachers who proclaim your gospel. Equip all the baptized to share the joy of the resurrection in all we say and do. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You bring abundant life throughout creation. The green blade rises, and all creation greets the resurrection dawn. Preserve vineyards and orchards and those who tend to them. Feed us with the fruits of creation. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You show your steadfast love without regard to borders, barriers, or human-made divisions. Infuse your justice in every nation of the world that all experience the peace that only you can give. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You anointed your Son with the Holy Spirit and with power. Encourage us by his example in our ministries of healing, care, and outreach. We pray for all who are sick or hospitalized and for all health care workers who care for them. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You have put gladness in our hearts. Inspire musicians and dancers to rejoice with songs of victory. Bless the music ministries of this congregation and all who foster our assembly’s song. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

As you have raised Jesus from the dead, you show us your resurrection promise. With your holy ones who have sung your praise, free us from fear and empower us to go and tell the good news. Risen Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

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.





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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