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.

Parts of this service were written by Nancy C. Townley



If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.


Many are surprised to discover that the tallest buildings in the world are made to move. There is a good bit of “give” engineered into the structure of the buildings so that as the wind blows and the buildings experience environmental stressors, they’re able to give a little and remain standing. Palm trees, similarly, have a good bit of sway in their structure, allowing hurricane force winds to blow them, but allowing them—usually, if the soil is strong—to remain rooted. In today’s second reading the writer talks about a “kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:28), but perhaps learning to sway, being flexible in our faith and expectations, is the way to remain solid in this life.   


     We acknowledge that we gather to worship on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people.

     Creator of all, we ask that you fill us with your justice and your passion so that we strive with all indigenous peoples to move forward from the abuses of the past and work hard to build respectful relationships.  Open our hearts and minds to learn new ways of being, to embrace new teachings and experience your presence in all we meet.



With great rejoicing we come to the house of the Lord today!
God is our refuge and our stronghold.
The power and love of God flow through this gathering.
We place our whole trust in God’s mighty compassion for us.
Come, let us worship the Lord!
Let us celebrate the presence of God here in this place and in all our lives. AMEN!

CHILDREN’S SONG   MV 122   This Is The Day


Lord God, whose power and mercy have extended to all ends of creation, pour your love on us this day that we might be healed and be made ready to serve you by serving others in this world that you have created. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. 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.


     My friend, Jeremy, had cerebral palsy.  That means his brain did not get enough oxygen when he was born, so his muscles did not work well.  He was very intelligent and, while he couldn’t talk, he could communicate.  He had a great sense of humour!  Sadly, he died when he was 20.

     Jeremy spent most of his day in a wheelchair because he couldn’t walk.  He went to a regular school and attended classes.  The children in his class became his friends.  They took turns reading to him, pushing his wheelchair around the school yard at recess and telling him jokes.  Jeremy had a great laugh!

     Some adults could not understand why Jeremy’s friends enjoyed spending time with him, since he couldn’t walk or talk.  The children were smarter.  They could see the beautiful person that Jeremy was, even if his body didn’t work well.  They could see that Jeremy understood the stories they read to him and the jokes they told him.  They could tell that Jeremy loved them as much as his friends loved him.

     In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus heals a woman whose body was so bent, she couldn’t look up but could only see the ground at her feet.  Jesus heals her so she could stand up and see the world!  The interesting part of the story that we can only guess is that now this woman could see the suffering of others, and we guess that because she was so thankful to God for her healing, she helped others who were suffering.  That is what love does. 

     I am grateful to have known Jeremy.  He taught me to look for Jesus in everybody!  He taught me to be patient.  Jeremy also taught me that laughing was good for my health!  He was an excellent teacher.    

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Camp Instills Confidence

     Lindsay Vautour, the United Church’s Engagement and Stewardship Associate, started attending a United Church camp at the tender age of five. There, she not only met lifelong friends and gained job skills as a counsellor, but it also helped chart her course to eventually work for the United Church of Canada.

     “Coming from a financially tight background, I’m extremely grateful for the assistance available that let my brother and me attend camp every summer. I met so many different people from different cultures and regions, and got to learn their journeys in faith. I still keep in contact with some camp friends over 20 years later,” she says.

     “One of my most prominent memories was with a fellow 13-year-old camper who told me that she loved camp because she could be herself without any expectations. She said, ‘I’m not the weird kid or the foster kid here, I’m just me,’” she recounts. “That’s something I resonate with, because I wasn’t particularly popular in school, but popularity never mattered at camp, and it’s beautiful to know that that’s a widely shared perception.”

     Children come together at United Church camps across Canada to learn the gospel in a safe and supportive environment. Through campfire stories, hiking, music, canoeing, and so much more, campers gain confidence while enjoying unique activities and exploring their curiosity. At camp kids learn soft skills like self-confidence, patience, and organization as well as hard skills in sports, crafting, and music.

     Without the generosity of supporters, children who attend camp wouldn’t be able to continue having such affirming, defining experiences. Your gifts through Mission & Service are deeply appreciated.


Lord Jesus, you taught in synagogues and on hillsides, bringing healing and wisdom to those who listened. By the Holy Spirit, teach us through the words of Scripture, and bring us your healing and wisdom. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14

God promises those who have returned from exile that where justice and mercy prevail, the ruins will be rebuilt and light will rise in the darkness. It is a day for new beginnings.

9bIf you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in             the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones

                strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall

be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. 

13If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call

                the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own

                ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;

14then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will

            feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


Psalm 103:1-8

R:  The Lord crowns you with mercy and steadfast love. (Ps. 103:4)

1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.

2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all God’s benefits—

3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases;

4who redeems your life from the grave and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy; R

5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.

6O Lord, you provide vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

7You made known your ways to Moses and your works to the children of Israel.

8Lord, you are full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. R

Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-29

Using images of Moses, the writer presents a striking vision of the new covenant of God made possible in Christ. There is no longer fear; only awe in the new promise in Christ into which we are invited.

18You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20(For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.” 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”) 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! 26At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17

Jesus heals a woman on the sabbath, offering her a new beginning for her life. When challenged by a narrow reading of the sabbath command, Jesus responds by expanding “sabbath work” to include setting people free from bondage.

10Now  was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. 14But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” 15But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 17When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

HYMN: VU 222  Come, Let Us Sing


Last Sunday we were given the gospel text from Luke that showed the angrier side of Jesus.  It was as if Jesus had been surrounded by hypocrites so long to the point that he wondered why he even bothered to try and teach the people about God’s love and justice.  Yes, the people had street smarts – or rather, weather smarts – yet they couldn’t see the presence of God in their midst if God was standing on their foot and staring them in the face!

Today it seems Jesus is over his divisive rant and is back to healing people and doing ministry as usual. 

Or not.

True, Jesus seems a lot calmer in this particular situation, yet his words are no less cutting and his actions no less offensive.  The hypocrites are still present and being called out.  At issue is the interpretation of the sabbath day.  In Deuteronomy 5:12-15 we read:

Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.


The Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner writes: 

     The original intention of the sabbath, according to Deuteronomy, is to provide relief, even if only temporary, from any system that would deny a person — or any part of creation — a share of rest, peace, wholeness, dignity, and justice. The synagogue official says, “Wait just one more day.” Jesus answers, “No. The Sabbath is a pretty good day for setting people free. In fact, the purpose behind the Sabbath — the value God places on wholeness — necessitates that I do this now. We can’t wait.”

…by characterizing the woman’s impairing, painful, and humiliating spinal condition as a form of “bondage” from which she needs to “be set free,” Jesus calls attention to the dehumanizing nature of suffering. Suffering includes not just the physical pain and lost opportunities an individual can experience, but also the scorn, alienation, and disdain that the human family so heartlessly heaps on its own members.[1]

As we read this gospel text, it is easy to side with Jesus and feel good about how he puts the synagogue official in his place.  Yet, as soon as we do that, we become no different than the opposition.  The word “hypocrite” leaps to the fore, and we are forced to look in the mirror that is Jesus’ face.  The moment we internally celebrate the come-uppance of the official, we have missed Jesus’ point.  How often have we let rules dictate our compassion, stunt our education, excuse our disrespect of others and help us feel justified in our “rightness”? 

In May of this year, Kelvin Redvers, a Vancouver-based producer who attended Cannes as part of a delegation of six Indigenous filmmakers, says he was refused entry to the carpet because festival staff didn’t approve of his traditional Indigenous footwear.  He says he was only allowed to walk the carpet if he swapped out his moccasins for a pair of formal shoes that Cannes deemed appropriate.

A CTV Vancouver news article stated,

After members of Telefilm and the Indigenous Screen Office complained to Cannes about the treatment the filmmakers received, Redvers says leadership agreed to meet with them and apologize for the negative experience.

“I think it was a productive meeting,” he said.

“It’s an educational time because they just didn’t understand what moccasins were and why they were important. (They) just kind of thought of them as slippers, which is what they said a few times.”[2]

Rather than reacting in anger, Redvers and the others chose the path of communication and education.  As a result, Redvers and his colleagues have been informed that moccasins will be accepted at future events.  The dress code rules have not changed at Cannes, rather, they have expanded because of new understanding.

Jesus wants to make it clear that healing, wholeness, compassion, justice and inclusion ARE the sabbath!  While moccasins may seem a small issue, they point to a much larger, more wilful ignorance on the part of human beings to disregard the suffering, personhood, culture and experience of much of humanity.  The church, as an institution, is not immune to this sin of omission.

Those who are “bound”, to use Jesus’ term, are tired of waiting for the rest of the world to declare the sabbath over so healing can begin.  As followers of Christ, we are called to view every day as the sabbath.  As followers of Christ, we are called to open our minds, as well as our hearts, to better understand the perspectives of those who are so bent over with oppression that they can only see the ground in front of their feet.  As followers of Christ, we are also to prepare ourselves for the backlash of those who oppose us being the means for helping others to rise up and stand tall in their whole and true selves. 

Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 

God grant us the faith, courage and fortitude to do just that.


HYMN OF THE MONTH:   MV 98   Like A River Of Tears


Lord God, Loving God, gather us into your presence as we pray.  Silence our hearts and minds in these moments so that we may listen for the movement of your Holy Spirit who prays within us through our sighs too deep for words.  God of mercy,

Hear our prayer.

O God, we lay before you our thanks and our concerns as we remember those who have come to our attention through conversations or chance encounters this week.  We offer gratitude for moments of joy and goodness, and remembered pleasures stirred by your Spirit.  God of mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We remember all those whose situations are very close to our hearts today, those facing stress or sorrow, those challenged by pain or illness, those making a new beginning or searching for a new path.

We remember the things in the news lately that concern us deeply: the stress on the environment and worries about its future, the pressures on those who have lost jobs or cannot find work, the pain of those who meet discrimination or hatred in daily life, tensions among nations who threaten each other.

God of mercy,

Hear our prayer.

And we remember one another and needs known and unknown in this community. Bless us as we make a new beginning together as summer turns to autumn. Show us the paths of ministry you are opening before us. We believe you hear our prayers and will be faithful to answer according to your will, so together we offer the prayer Jesus has given us:


SENDING SONG: VU 220  Praise To The Lord, The Almighty


As we depart today, may God set us free.  May we lead lives worthy of our calling, and may God’s praise be always upon our lips.  Amen.


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[2] https://bc.ctvnews.ca/indigenous-b-c-filmmaker-says-he-was-refused-entry-on-cannes-red-carpet-for-his-moccasins-1.5922720