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 of one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have the internet may find the songs on YouTube.


Silence is sometimes the only way to share the unsharable.

~Ron McLarty


The wind blows us powerfully, frighteningly, making even familiar places seem strange, stirring up the water to obscure our vision and make our journey fearful and slow. Today Jesus comes to us in our drowning panic, responding to our “Lord, save me” with a quick response. The little faith of Peter (and our little faith) is not only a chiding to “do better” in our faith lives and respond with discipline, but it offers forgiveness: even when we risk and mess up anyway, God’s hand is there to reach out and catch us.


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.

O God, Creator of all, with humility we your children acknowledge the relationship of all living things. For this we thank you, praise you and worship you. We call on you, Great Mystery, the Word made Flesh – our teacher, prophet and brother – to open our hearts to all our brothers and sisters, and with them to grow in wisdom, honesty, courage and respectfulness. As we deal with many challenges, may we never give way to fear and anger, which can be the source of division and threat amongst peoples.  O Creator, show us the way to healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and a renewed fellowship. Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP ~Reformed Worship

As we are called into worship today, it is sobering to remember that when God appeared on earth in the person of Jesus, most of the world did not recognize him and therefore did not worship him.  Today we ask for the faith that will open our eyes to see Jesus for who he is, that we might worship him in truth.  People of God, behold and see your God!

We open our eyes to see his glory.  We open our ears to hear his wisdom.  We open our hands to offer him gifts.  We open our mouths to sing his praise.  We open our hearts to offer him our love.  He is Lord!

CHILDREN’S SONG:   WOV 712  Listen, God Is Calling


O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:    Your Generosity Settles Families

When Almaz Fesshaye and her two young children arrived in Canada in 1991, they did not know what to expect. None of them knew the language or culture but hoped and prayed that Canada would be a safer place than Eritrea, a war-torn country in Eastern Africa.

Leaving Eritrea could have meant the difference between life and death. “Everyone had to be a soldier,” Almaz describes, before sharing the sombre note that “people have died trying to escape.” She was devastated to have to flee her home and frightened by not knowing what would come next.

When Almaz and her two children—then aged four and six—arrived in Alberta, they were greeted with warmth and love by members of Gaetz Memorial United Church. “They opened the gate for me; I have no words,” she says with gratitude. “They changed my life, starting from getting furniture, renting a place to live, helping me with the language, and support for my kids.”

Almaz describes the congregation and community as “selfless and kind.” The church was one block from the family’s new home, and Almaz says, “My son was very forgetful, so I gave the church secretary an extra key.”

Now settled in Red Deer, Alberta, Almaz is joyfully giving back to her community. She works in social services and offers her time as a volunteer with local programs that help people experiencing homelessness and poverty. She is also passionate about helping other refugees learn the local culture and language.

Your gifts to Mission and Service help support life-changing programming and staffing to support families seeking safety.

Almaz has some words for anyone considering supporting refugee programs through Mission and Service: “Don’t think twice! It doesn’t have to be millions—whatever you give means a lot. If it is financial, educational, time, knowledge, it means a lot. You are saving the lives of human beings and making the world better.”

Thank you for your generosity.


Accountable partnership: God calls us to work together. CLWR works in partnerships. CLWR reflects intentional and respectful collaboration, mutuality, accountability and transparency.

Stewardship of creation: The earth is a gift from God entrusted to our care and nurture. CLWR strives for the sustainable use of Earth’s resources in order to support abundant life for all.

Compassion & justice: God calls us to show compassion and seek justice. CLWR responds in love to people who are suffering unjust or challenging political, social, economic and environmental circumstances.

Dignity & respect: Created in God’s image, all human beings have value and should be treated through word and action with dignity and respect. CLWR supports vulnerable individuals and communities in striving for human rights and a sustainable future.


      When my sisters and I were children, we were playing in the water with friends at Sauble Beach, Ontario.  The gang of us were on an air mattress floating over the crests of the waves, bobbing up and down enjoying the ride!

  Suddenly, there was a very big wave that crested right over us!  It was scary to see this wall of water rolling over our heads!  When we all came up for air, the people beside us were laughing.  They said all they could see as the wave passed over us were arms and legs sticking out of the water, and the air mattress flying straight up like a rocket!  Glad they thought it was funny – I was still scared!

Peter asks Jesus to call him out of the fishing boat to walk on the lake during a storm.  Jesus says, “Come.”  Peter was doing fine, walking on the water toward Jesus until he realized how strong the wind was, how high were the waves, how deep was the water – and he was afraid.  As soon as he became scared, he started to sink into the water.

As scared as I was as a child, watching that wave curl over my head, I have been even more scared of some situations in my life as an adult.  In those moments, I have prayed for courage.  Oh yes, I was given courage, and I came through the situation.  However, my courage did not always remove my fear.

It is ok to be afraid.  It is ok to doubt our faith.  It is ok to ask Jesus for help.  Jesus is always ready to give us a hand and remind us that we are loved, cared for, and are never alone.  Thank you Jesus!


Gracious God, give us humble, teachable, and obedient hearts, that we may receive what you have revealed, and do what you have commanded. Amen.


First Reading: 1 Kings 19:9-18

On Mount Horeb, where God had appeared to Moses with typical signs of God’s presence—earthquake, wind, and fire—Elijah now experienced God in “sheer silence.” God assured Elijah that he is not the only faithful believer. Seven thousand Israelites are still loyal. God instructed Elijah to anoint two men as kings and to anoint Elisha as his own successor.

9At  came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

Psalm 85:8-13

8I will listen to what the Lord God is saying; for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to you.

9Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you, that your glory may dwell in our land. 
10Steadfast love and faithfulness have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11Faithfulness shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase.

13Righteousness shall go before the Lord and shall prepare for God a pathway. 

Second Reading: Romans 10:5-15

A right relationship with God is not something we achieve by heroic efforts. It is a gift received in the proclamation whose content is Jesus Christ. This proclaimed word creates our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence Christian proclamation is an indispensable component of God’s saving actions.

5Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say?

“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart”

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33

Matthew’s gospel typically portrays Jesus’ disciples as people of “little faith,” who fail despite their best intentions. In this story, Matthew shows how Jesus comes to the disciples when they are in trouble and sustains them in their time of fear and doubt.

22 made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side , while he dismissed the crowds.23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

HYMN:  VU 675   Will Your Anchor Hold

SERMON:  From the ELCIC Summer Sermon Series:  Rev. Christie Morrow-Wolfe, Assistant to the Bishop, Eastern Synod

“Keep the Faith”

In County Antrim in Northern Ireland, there is a rope bridge that stretches about 20 meters across from the mainland to the Isle of Carrick-a-rede. At some 30 meters high, it crosses a rough part of the Atlantic Ocean; the water swirling and churning below. The current suspension bridge was built in 2008, but it is believed that local salmon fishermen had erected a path or bridge there…of sorts…as early as the 1700s.

Now a tourist attraction, for 9 pounds, you can choose to embark on a bit of an adventure, and walk across the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, which is exactly what I did when my husband and I visited there in 2012.

My husband, who has a great and abiding fear of heights, had declared early on that he would await my return in what he coined “the chicken section,” situated securely on the mainland. He had a fear, not only of the height of this swaying bridge, but of being “that tourist” who would need rescuing by the British Airforce should he make it across to the island, but be unable to make the return trek.  I’m not much of a risk taker myself, but a greater sense of adventure always seems to take over my person when I travel and I’m there for all the things…new foods, new opportunities …meeting new people. I figure I didn’t travel all this way just to watch and who knows when I’ll get back here again, so let’s go!

Crossing the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge is probably the closest I’ll ever get to walking on water…or above water, anyway. There’s a natural sway and quite a bit of movement on the bridge both from the wind and other adventurers crossing to the isle at the same time. You can not only hear the ocean, which is a deafening roar, but you can also feel the odd bit of spray from where the relentless waves are crashing over the craggy, jagged rocks below.  Just enough of a gap exists between the boards on the floor of the bridge to give you a glimpse of what’s happening beneath you…if you dare to look down.

The tentative, but determined, steps I took on that swaying bridge remind me a little of what I imagine Peter’s first steps were like beyond the relative safety of the boat on that stormy night.  There is something so relatable about Peter, isn’t there? From very early on, we learn that Peter is all in. In his role as a disciple, Peter continually seems unafraid to ask questions and to try—even when his faith appears to fail him. It is Peter who asks Jesus to explain things; it is Peter whom Jesus calls both a cornerstone and a stumbling block; it is Peter who promises to keep watch in the Garden of Gethsemane…and then it is Peter who falls asleep.1 Over and over again, it is Peter who is doing all the things, who is seemingly fearless in taking leaps of faith. It is Peter who questions the shadowy figure making its way on the top of the tempestuous waters, saying “Prove it’s you, Lord, by having me join you out there!”

Not only was Peter asking Jesus if he could join him in this miracle, but it also means that Peter was going to encounter the same, unknown forces of the deep which is how the ancient world tended to view the sea…as a wild, untamed place where evil, unpredictable, unknown powers resided. Jesus was able to tame this wild unknown with just the touch of his feet; the stormy, life-threatening waters are no match for the Son of God. But for Peter, venturing out in this storm represented a huge risk …and you know, for a minute or two, it seemed to work. Peter took a few, tentative steps while the water swirled, the waves were relentless and the wind howled….It was the wind, however, that finally got him–the howling wind caused him to be afraid and Peter began to drown. In this moment, we are reminded that Peter is very human and is also in need of a Saviour.

Just think! If Peter were to hop out of the boat and skip across the water, he’d have no need for Jesus. Instead, it’s in Jesus’ saving touch and in his helping Peter back to the relative safety of the boat, that the disciples are able to recognize Jesus as the I Am, and worship him as a saviour who has dominion over even the waves and the wind…the disciples exclaimed, “truly you are the Son of God!”. Recognition and a revelation had been made.

Recognition and a revelation. This makes me wonder…how is Christ revealing himself to the church today? Where do you recognize Jesus in your context? It goes without saying that the responses to this question will differ across the board. Where you see Jesus in your life and in the life of your church community is going to look different in your context than it does in mine. This is right and good. But I do feel that this time we continue to live into–this emerging post-pandemic reality is very much a liminal space, time and place. A liminal space could be described as a “threshold space–the space between ‘now and not yet.’ It’s the space where things aren’t familiar and things are changing. And yet, we don’t know where exactly we’re headed.”2

This makes it hard to name where exactly the church is at today. It’s sometimes hard to name the space we’re in when we’re in the middle of it. For those of us who appreciate having a clear path and a plan before us, this can be incredibly discombobulating and unsettling. It’s hard living in the not knowing and the ‘not yet.’ And yet, we know that God’s spirit is very much at the centre of this unknown, moving through this time and this place.

The curious part of my faith is intrigued to see where we are heading as people of God and as communities of faith, as uncertain and uncomfortable as this time might be.  I’m finding more and more, what helps to ground me in this time and place is my prayer life.

And when I’ve prayed recently, I regularly hear three words. KEEP. THE. FAITH. As attendance dwindles and more churches talk about mergers, amalgamations or closure – keep the faith. As we contend with fewer resources–both monetary and people–keep the faith. As we wrestle with challenging but necessary questions around inclusion and radical hospitality and the systemic nature of our church structure–keep the faith. As we continue to dream and discern what new thing God is already doing–keep the faith. As we go about doing God’s work in this world, not sure if we’re making a difference and not sure if we can keep going—keep the faith. In this way, I believe God is and has already revealed God’s self to us as people of God and as the church in this day in age…even as we wait for the fullness of time for all to be revealed, our work in the here and now is simply to keep the faith.

We do so by continuing to love, learn, pray, preach and sing–all the things the church has been about for hundreds and hundreds of years. We keep drawing the circle wider so that no one is left behind. Some days we do this with the certainty and conviction of a bold disciple.  Other times, we call out for God to save us from all this uncertainty and unknowing because our faith feels like it can’t stretch that far. And it’s on these days that I remember those disciples on that stormy night on the sea of Galilee, who were there, ultimately, because they had just enough faith to get into that boat. They got into the boat because that’s what Jesus asked them to do. They kept the faith–even if they were afraid and their faith in Jesus wasn’t perfect. And you know, this was enough—they were enough for Jesus and Jesus came to them and there was revelation and a recognition…even in their fear and their doubt.

So too is our faith. Bold and strong; doubting and uncertain. It is enough for Jesus and Jesus will and does and will continue to meet us in any storm no matter what the future of the church looks like, Jesus will continue to reveal himself to us in this time and in this space wherever we may be. Until the fullness of time, when all shall be revealed, we pray that Jesus will help us keep the faith–the faith to which we have been called. May it be so.  AMEN.

     1 The Seeds of Heaven: Sermons on the Gospel of Matthew, Barbara Brown Taylor, 2004, p.56.

     2 Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson,, “Now and Not Yet,” accessed on June 28, 2023

HOM:  MV 143  We Cannot Own The Sunlit Sky


Confident that God receives our joys and concerns, let us offer our prayers for the church, those in need, and all of creation.

God of grace and faith, your faithfulness is never-ending, and your righteousness becomes ours through Christ Jesus. Send the church to proclaim the gospel both near and far, in church buildings and on street corners, in person and through digital means. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of sky and sea, the plants, animals, mountains, and plains proclaim your glory. Prosper the work of ecologists as they teach us new ways to care for the environment. Bring relief to areas recovering from natural disasters. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of peace and justice, you call us to live as your beloved community throughout the world. Instill in local, regional, national, and global political and civic leaders a desire to work for the well-being of all people. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of care and compassion, you bring assurance when we are afraid. Bring calm to any who are anxious or fearful. Bless the work of therapists, nurses, and other health care providers. Comfort all who grieve and soothe any who are sick. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of wonder, you accompany us in both joys and sorrows. We pray for children and teachers preparing for a new school year. Make your presence known in our work and play, in lively conversation and in quiet rest. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of new life, you send people to renew both church and society. We give you thanks for their lives of faithful service as examples of following your call. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, in the name of the one who reconciled all creation to himself, Jesus Christ our Savior.



SENDING SONG:  VU 670  Precious Lord, Take My Hand


The God who calls across the cosmos and speaks in the smallest seed ☩ bless, keep, and sustain you now and to the end of the age. Amen.

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