August 23, 2020



Due to copywrite 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.



Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.

  1. Elton Trueblood



     In Isaiah the people are advised to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn. Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter’s bold confession of faith. God’s word of reconciliation and God’s mercy are keys to the church’s mission. Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ.

     It is Peter’s rocklike faith in Jesus as the Christ that is to be the foundation of the church. Scholars point out that these are most likely the words of the early church, because there is no evidence that Jesus ever intended to separate from Judaism. But the image is a vivid one, and affirms the continuity between Jesus and the church as provided by the apostles. Present day Christians must be grateful to those before us who recorded and passed on accounts of Jesus’ teachings and actions. Their rock-solid faith has enriched the church and inspires us today to stand firm, and share the faith tradition given to us in love.

Call to Worship

God calls us to be new people!

Transform us, and change us, and make us new.

We are invited to use our many gifts and talents to the glory of God.

Transform us, and change us, and make us new.

In this time of worship, let us open ourselves to the working of God’s Spirit.

Transform us, and change us, and make us new.

CHILDREN’S SONG:    Rock A My Soul


O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  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.


     Here is your question for the day:  Who is the Church?  Did you answer – the building?  NOPE!  Notice I said “who” is the Church, not, “what” is the Church?  True, we worship in a building that we call a church – that’s church with a small “c”.  When I ask, “Who is the Church?” the word Church has a capital “C”.  Why is that?  It is because one is a building and the other is a family of Christians.  As Christians, we say that we belong to the body of Christ – the Church.  And why are we called the “body”; you may ask?  That is because Jesus needs all of us with our different skills, knowledge and talents to bring the love of Jesus to the world.  Just like your own body, some Christians are the head:  thinkers, artists, engineers – they use their minds to come up with new ways to tell others about Jesus.  Music is a huge way that we share stories about Jesus with others!  Way to go, mouth!  Then we have the hands.  These are the people who help build, make the ideas come to life to help share Jesus’ love with the world.  The feet people are those who make certain the different ways of sharing Jesus’ love actually get around the world!  On planes, trains, boats, especially walking, the love of Jesus is shared!  Jesus needs all of us working together to spread love, kindness, food, clothing, hugs, listening ears and shared stories of how Jesus has helped each of us to the rest of the world.  It’s a big job, a most important job, and we are all needed. 

     Who is the Church?  WE are the Church, the body of Christ!  Thank you, Jesus!



Healing Fund program promotes youth leadership skills.

Many of the Plains, Dakota, and Nakota peoples have a sacred connection to the horse. For them, the horse holds immense cultural and spiritual significance, and its energy is a powerful catalyst for change.

The spirit of the horse was certainly present among Indigenous youth from Plains Presbytery in Saskatchewan Conference during the equine-assisted learning (EAL) program at Cartier Farms in Spruce Home, Saskatchewan, a Healing Fund project that’s also supported by Mission & Service. Ten young men participated in the week-long leadership program in July 2018. The tools and strategies the EAL facilitators and Traditional Knowledge Keepers used would help the young men grow into strong Indigenous adults.

By interacting with these incredible animals, the young men brought innovation, strength, and energy to everything they did at the farm. Despite the injustices that Indigenous youth face every day, the skills these young people took home helped them understand their place in the circle of life and equipped them with the inner resources to strengthen it.

The EAL program acknowledges the need to support young people as they deal with difficulties in life stemming from systemic racism and intergenerational trauma. For Indigenous youth, the trauma from colonial oppression continues to reverberate powerfully in their lives and circumstances. The impact from the Indian residential school system and other colonial practices is still felt today. The EAL program is a place for Indigenous youth to begin their healing.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.


Holy One, we come into your presence, we let go of daily demands, we open our hearts to your welcome, we celebrate your love. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6

Just as God had called Abraham and Sarah and given them many descendants, so now God offers comfort to Zion. God’s deliverance will come soon and will never end.

1Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord.  Look to the rock from which                                                                                               you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.

3For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness    like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her,   thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.

5I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.

6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.

Psalm 138

R:  O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever. (Ps. 138:8)

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.

2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast love and faithfulness; for you have glorified your name and your word above all things.

3When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.

4All the rulers of the earth will praise you, O Lord, when they have heard the words of your mouth. R

5They will sing of the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.

6The Lord is high, yet cares for the lowly, perceiving the haughty from afar.

7Though walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.

8You will make good your purpose for me; O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands. R

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8

In response to God’s merciful activity, we are to worship by living holistic, God-pleasing lives. Our values and viewpoints are not molded by the time in which we live but are transformed by the Spirit’s renewing work. God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians, but all forms of ministry function to build up the body of Christ.

     1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds with the promise of a church that will overcome the very gates of Hades.

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.


Matthew 16:13-20


Here it is – the pastor’s job description, summarized, as found in the Lutheran service of Ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament:  preach & teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, the creeds and the Confessions; be diligent in the study of the Holy Scriptures and the use of the means of grace; pray for God’s people; administer the sacraments; live righteously; live your faith; be faithful, patient & wise; serve without reproach; renew the people; glorify God’s name; care for the people; bear their burdens and do not betray confidences; preserve the truth; give real hope & security; give and receive comfort; have courage. 

Sound a little overwhelming?  Some days it is.  That is why at ordination one responds to God’s call with the words, “I will, and I ask God to help me.”  And I do.

When Peter responded to Jesus’ question with the words, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” I don’t think he realized into what he was involving himself.  Granted, when the Spirit moves within us, we often find ourselves saying and doing incredible things, yet I don’t believe Peter had an inkling, at this point anyway, as to what Jesus’ messiahship meant, or what he would be asked to do as the Rock, the foundation of the Church.  Similarly, when one is ordained, the above tasks are agreed to, often like Peter, in ignorance.  It isn’t until reality hits that one realizes the immensity and wonder of the task.

But it is not only Peter, or the ordained, who have been left with the task of fostering the spread of the Gospel and the running of the church.  For while the promise of the foundation of the church and the command to maintain it was given to Peter, ultimately it was extended to the remainder of the disciples, and to the later-called disciples, like Paul.  It is an unfortunate and inaccurate assumption on the part of some people to assume that the running and maintaining of the church, the spreading of the Gospel, the healing of the sick and the poor in spirit are solely the responsibility of the pastor.  It just isn’t so.  For all of you, through baptism, are made disciples of Christ, and as a disciple, it is your calling, your command from Christ, that you carry out the task of building up the body of Christ.

This conversation on the road facilitates a turning point in the ministry of Jesus.  Once Peter has identified him as the Messiah sent from God, Jesus turns his attention to the private instruction of his more intimate disciples and tries to prepare them for the forthcoming trial of his passion and his death.  In turn, these disciples go out and prepare the members of the congregations they form to face their own life in Christ and their own deaths.  Once baptized into the church, the early Christians knew they faced oppression, and possible death, for their faith.  Nevertheless, they continued to go out and proclaim the transforming power of Christ. 

Our roles have not changed much over the centuries.  My calling and commissioning are to baptize you into the Church, the body of Christ, nurture your faith, and prepare you to go out and proclaim to the world the risen Christ.  Like Peter, you acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, the son of the living God.  Like Peter you are the foundation of the Christian church.  Like Peter, you are blessed by the Spirit.  Like Peter you will perform many wonders in the name of Christ.  Like Peter, you will also doubt, ask a lot of questions, you may say foolish things, and maybe some of you will (or possibly at a low point in your life already have) deny Christ in some form or other.  Yet like Peter, the Rock, you will continue to hold onto and walk forward in faith, trusting in the grace of God, the forgiveness of your sins and your belonging to the family of faith through Christ.

The Church was begun by a small group of naive people who had three years of intense, personal, instruction in order to better understand their faith in Christ and the power and plan of God.  When the three years were up they were still, for the most part, a small group of naive people, but now they had experienced the power of the Spirit and were transformed into courageous, adventurous proclaimers of Christ. 

Like I said, things haven’t changed much.  A small group of unknowing, naive people enter into seminary, are put through the wringer of faith and life and come out a little less ignorant, a little more fearful, yet with the conviction to go and proclaim Christ and instruct others in the faith.  The task of maintaining the church and instructing the saints is ongoing.  We are told that the Church will be able to stand up to the forces of hades and death.  I take comfort in that.  Our task is a great one.  The job description, let alone ministry itself, is truly overwhelming some days.  Yet, I am reminded of the words of Isaiah, “I am the Lord.  I will free you from your burdens and from slavery.  I will redeem you.  I will take you as my people and be your God.”   We have been claimed and freed by Christ.  Now go, and free others.  Amen.


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #98  River Of Tears


Confident of your care and helped by the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

Lord our rock, you are our foundation in Jesus Christ, your Son, whom we confess as the living God. Prepare your church for its mission in bearing witness to Christ, both here at home and throughout the world.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You call forth praises from the far reaches of the universe to the smallest of creatures. Join our songs to theirs, that a spirit of praise and thanksgiving will arouse us to cherish this wondrous home you give us.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

All the rulers of the earth shall praise you, O Lord. Direct the leaders of countries, legislators and magistrates, mayors and councils, to walk in your ways. Help leaders regard those in need with mercy and fulfill your loving purposes in the governance of peoples.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Though we walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve us, deliver us, and fulfill your purpose for us. According to your steadfast love, grant healing and wholeness to those who are bereaved, in trouble or adversity, or sick and in need of care:  Art Ganske; Mike Froese; Brooke Alexiuk; Tracy Skoglund; Carolyn & Douglas; Nicole; Gordon Dreger; Diane Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You call us into this community in which we, though many, are one in Christ. May we recognize in ourselves and in one another the unique gifts you have given us for the building up of the church for the sake of the world.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

In the certain hope that nothing can separate us from your love, we offer these prayers to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.




May the strength of God pilot us;

May the wisdom of God instruct us,
May the hand of God protect us,
May the word of God direct us.
Be always ours this day and for evermore.


SENDING SONG:  Voices United #331  The Church’s One Foundation



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