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.


Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.

~C. S. Lewis


Hebrews’ lofty preaching on faith and wanting “a better country . . . a heavenly one” (11:16) obscures one brutal fact of the Bible—the overwhelming majority of its heroes live and die in exile. Juan Francisco Martinez, in his stellar book on intercultural ministry, Churches, Cultures, and Leadership, writes of this with crushing eloquence: “Returning to the United States feels like retuning to exile, because the United States is my only home, but one that has often questioned my place here. Yet it is in exile where God wants me to serve” (IVP Academic, 2011, p. 23–25). Martinez’s response takes a page from Jeremiah 29:7-19, learning to “seek the shalom of Babylon” (p. 34) even though it means accepting that he will live and die far from home—in actual physical, not spiritual, exile. What does this mean, then, for those who are both physically and spiritually “at home”? How can you care for and welcome those who will never be truly at home among you?


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.


We are met in the presence of God

And we do not meet alone.

With the angels in the highest heaven

We gather to worship the Lord.

With Abraham and Sarah

We gather to worship the Lord.

With the saints of every age

We gather to worship the Lord.

We embark on our own journey of faith

God’s Holy name be praised.

God makes of us a great people

God’s Holy name be praised.

In the desert and in the den, in barrio and basilica

God’s Holy name be praised.

We journey in the presence of God.

And we do not journey alone.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  MV 145   Draw The Circle Wide


Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may be ready to receive you wherever you appear, 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.


     When I was 5 years old, I accidentally stepped on a bee.  I remember hopping around, whimpering, it hurt so much!  After that, I was afraid of bees.

We were camping as a family.  Friends of ours were renting a cabin nearby.  My mom asked me to go over to their cabin and ask to borrow some butter so she could make pancakes.  Off I went.  I had to cut through a small lot on a path that was surrounded by wildflowers – and bees.  I couldn’t do it.  I tried – oh, how I tried, but each time I started running down the path, bees would fly past me and I would stop and scream!  I finally turned around and ran back.  I told my mom I couldn’t get the butter – too many bees.  She understood and said she would make due without it.

Now, suppose I wasn’t afraid of bees.  What do you think would have happened when my mom asked me to go and get the butter?  I would have run down the path, picked up the butter from our friends and run back without giving the bees a thought.  Without fear, I could get the job done.

Jesus tells the disciples to not be afraid.  Fear stops us from doing what Jesus wants us to do.  Trusting Jesus enough so that we are not afraid can sometimes be hard work – and it’s worth it!  Just think of what you could accomplish if you were not afraid!

I recommend that if Jesus wants you do to something, and you are afraid, do what Jesus wants you to do anyway!  It’s ok to be scared.  Pray for strength and Jesus will help you.  You may not lose all your fear, you will find your courage to get the job done!



Our gifts for Mission & Service support new ministers.

United Fresh Start is a program offered by the General Council Office through trained presbytery-based facilitators. The goal of the program is to nurture the pastoral relationship between a minister and key congregational leaders, especially at the beginning of a pastoral relationship after a new minister is called or appointed. Over two years, a facilitator works through pieces of the United Fresh Start curriculum with the minister and key congregational leaders to facilitate effective leadership, cooperation, mutuality, creative problem solving, and potential reductions in conflict.

“The program enables shared learning and growing as a tool for strengthening and enhancing the new ministry relationship,” reports Bob Wallace, a facilitator in South Alberta Presbytery. Brenda Watt, a facilitator in Foothills Presbytery, says, “I have watched relationships and attitudes be transformed with renewed enthusiasm and awareness. I have experienced creativity and collaboration emerge from inspired participants who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones and their typical boxes to seek new ways of reflecting on, behaving, and leading in their relationships with others. I am especially grateful for Mission & Service funding and to our church leadership for having the foresight to bring this program into our midst!”

A vibrant ministry that shares in God’s mission of love with our neighbours is often rooted in a healthy pastoral relationship. Thanks to Mission & Service for supporting United Fresh Start and other programs for vital ministry personnel and their healthy pastoral relationships



God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us. In the midst of the multitude of words in our daily lives, speak your eternal Word to us, that we may respond to your gracious promises with faithfulness, service and love. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Genesis 15:1-6

God promises childless and aging Abram that a child of his own will be his heir and that his descendants will number as many as the stars. Abram trusts God’s promise, and through this faith he is considered righteous.

1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Psalm 33:12-22

R:  Let your lovingkindness be upon us, as we place our hope in you. (Ps. 33:22)

12Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!  Happy the people chosen to be God’s heritage!
13The Lord looks down from heaven, and sees all humankind. 

14God sits firmly enthroned and watches all who dwell on the earth.

15God fashions all their hearts and observes all their deeds. R

16A king is not saved by the size of the army, nor are warriors rescued by their great strength.

17The horse gives vain hope for victory; despite its great strength it cannot save. 

18Truly, your eye is upon those who fear you, O Lord, upon those who wait for your steadfast love,
19to deliver their lives from death, and to keep them alive in time of famine. R

20Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord, our helper and our shield.

21Surely, our heart rejoices in you, for in your holy name we put our trust. 

22Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, even as we place our hope in you. R

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Abraham and Sarah exemplify the vision of faith that people of God enact in every age. Their hope and trust in God’s promise allowed them to face an unknown future and to receive the promise of God.

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Gospel: Luke 12:32-40

Jesus encourages disciples to invest their hearts and live fully into God’s reign. Instead of facing life with fear, those who know God’s generosity are always ready to receive from God and to give to others.

 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

35“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”


SONG OF THE DAY:  VU 663   My Faith Looks Up To Thee


A number of years ago I found an inspirational card.  The inscription on the front read, “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”  The profundity of those words hit me so hard that I had to pause where I was in the store in order to absorb it.  I bought the card, took it home, framed it and hung it where I would see it throughout each day.  That one sentence challenged every fear and moments of laziness.  It inspired me to risk greatly for God and set goals for my life.  Yep.  That was one powerful sentence!

Perhaps you have heard that question asked of others, or someone asked it of you. I like this question because it prompts us to cast our gaze beyond our present circumstances and challenges.  As humans, we are wired to overestimate risk and danger because, well, in a harsh environment, underestimating risk and danger can be deadly. But one might argue that in our relatively civilized world we often lose more to underestimating possibility.

You have to ask this question at the right time, of course, for it to do its work. When you’ve just come out of a difficult or harmful environment, you don’t have the resources to imagine a future, that while brighter, may also be more challenging or risky. A measure of confidence or relative safety helps us to take on even greater challenges. Similarly, having a sponsor, mentor or advocate helps. Someone to support you, who has your back, who will champion your efforts and encourage you. In a sense, that’s what Abram receives from Yahweh in today’s first reading. “Do not be afraid,” Yahweh tells Abram, “I will guide you and protect you and give you offspring and a future you could not have imagined.”

Now, if someone had asked Abram what he would do if he knew he could not fail, I don’t know that he would have answered that he wanted to pull up stakes and move all his family across a continent. But that’s what he did. And that’s what vision and promise do – they enable you to do that which you have never previously dreamed.

One could read Jesus’ promise in much the same vein. “Do not be afraid, little flock,” he says, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you all things.”  From that astounding promise comes the invitation, rather than command, to prioritize, to share, to be prepared for what comes, to give things away. And what’s the difference between a command and an invitation, you may wonder? Only the force of how a statement strikes you. The one implies coercion; the other freedom. Promises always lead to freedom. It is because we have Jesus’ promise that it is God’s good pleasure and heart’s desire to give us all good things, we are suddenly free to give away, to care for others, to lose ourselves in service, and in all these ways find our security and confidence not in our earthly possessions or accomplishments but rather in our relationship with God.

What an astoundingly different message that is than the one we hear in our culture and from too many political candidates.  Rather than tell us not to be afraid, would-be leaders relentlessly tell us, even shout at us, all the things that we should fear.  Such fear tends to limit our vision and paralyze our actions, thereby making it difficult to imagine a hopeful future, let alone work toward it.

Despite my respect for the “risk question”, I wonder if it should be modified to make it better serve as an “action question.” That is, while it’s important to free folks to dream of life without limits, it’s also important to equip us to live with the very real challenges in front of us.  So, I would tweak the question slightly:  What would we do, dare, risk, attempt, not if we knew we couldn’t fail, but rather if we believed that failure didn’t matter.  Not “didn’t matter” as in there are no consequences, but rather “didn’t matter” in the sense that “it’s not the end of the world”.  Indeed, Abram will fail, at times spectacularly, and the followers of Jesus will experience multiple setbacks and disappointments. Yet they carried on, trusting that their future and self-worth were neither secured by their success nor eroded by even devastating setbacks.  Rather, they were granted and made sure by God’s good pleasure and promise alone.

I think the call – or at least one of the primary calls – of Christ’s church today is to become a place where people are so rooted in the promise of God’s good pleasure, reminded of their identity as God’s beloved children and affirmed in their inherent self-worth and dignity, that they can, indeed, see all those around them as similarly beloved and deserving of self-worth, dignity, and God’s good pleasure.

The question for a Christian isn’t about some form of self-fulfillment but rather discovering that as we give ourselves away in relationship and service, we find a deeper sense of self than we’d imagined possible. We are born for community and find a sense of self and meaning and purpose as we trust God’s promises and give ourselves away in love.

I encourage you to pause each day to reflect on God’s love, promise and blessing. Think of this community, the relationships you hold dear and the times you supported a neighbour in need, and they, you.  God, faith community and neighbour have your back, are encouraging you in your challenges, inviting you to dream and strive and relying on you to see those around you, especially those in need, as your neighbor, a beloved child of God, and one perhaps set before you so that you may extend God’s love and promises.

I close with a poem I have shared before that bears repeating:

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live.
Chained by their certitudes they are a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.


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


Trusting in God’s extraordinary love, let us come near to the Holy One in prayer.

Let your lovingkindness be upon your church. Fill all who proclaim the gospel with your Spirit. Equip your flock to speak your word of promise and hope in the midst of fear and uncertainty. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Let your lovingkindness be upon your creation. Dwell among us and sustain our earthly home. In places of famine, provide nourishment. In places of plenty, fashion us to be good stewards of your bounty. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Let your lovingkindness be upon your world. Be our helper and our shield in places torn by strife and violence. Raise up courageous leaders to govern with compassion and justice. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Let your lovingkindness be upon your children. Look upon all who wait for your steadfast love. Console those who grieve and embrace those who cry out to you. Help us to trust your promise and not be afraid. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Let your lovingkindness be upon this community. Fashion our hearts to strive for the way of peace. Strengthen the outreach ministries of this community and all who care for those in need. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

With thanksgiving we remember all who have died in faith and now rest in you. As they placed their hope in you, so strengthen us to trust in your promise of new life. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Receive the prayers of your children, merciful God, and hold us forever in your steadfast love; through Jesus Christ, our holy Wisdom.




SENDING SONG:  WOV 782   All My Hope On God Is Found


The God of peace, Sovereign, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you, comfort you, and show you the path of life this day and always.



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