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.


Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection.

~Arthur Schopenhauer


What is Easter anyway? Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.” From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning. It is the first day of the week. It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation. The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day. In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark. In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world. Worship is where heaven and earth meet.


We respectfully acknowledge that the Province of Manitoba includes the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Lyiniwok, the Cree, Oji-Cree, Dene and Dakota Peoples and homeland of the Metis People.

As First Peoples have done since time immemorial, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land, and to respect the cultures, ceremonies, and traditions of all who call this land home. As we open our hearts and minds to the past, we commit ourselves to working in a spirit of truth and reconciliation to make a better future for all.

Christ is risen!

Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


We are here today because the weeping Mary of Magdala once said:

“I have seen the Lord!”

We are here because Jesus still comes into our locked spaces and says:

“Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit.”

We are here today like doubting Thomas who finally cried:

“My Lord and my God.”

We are here like Peter, tempted to forget the call of Jesus:

“I’m going fishing.”

We’re here this morning because of Jesus, who asks us face-to-face:

“Do you truly love me?”

We gather here to whisper timidly.

“Yes, Lord, you know that we love you.”

We are here as a congregation only because many faithful disciples have listened to Jesus’ words:

“Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid!  Go and tell, ‘Jesus has been raised!”

~ from the Mennonite Church Canada website.

CHILDREN’S SONG:   VU 351   Lord Of The Dance


O God of all our days, we come this morning with eager anticipation.  We seek to know you, to see you, to touch you.  Open our hearts, that we might experience you anew.  Open our lives, that we may be faithful witnesses to your resurrection.  May we, with shouts of joy, proclaim your steadfast, liberating love to all people, everywhere. Amen.

~adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2006, © 2005 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Ministry Matters website.


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.


In Luke’s gospel for today we hear of the women who went to the tomb on that Sunday morning, after Jesus had been crucified and buried there, only to discover that Jesus’ body wasn’t there!

Two angels appeared and reminded the women that Jesus said he would rise after three days.  When they ran back to tell the rest of the disciples, no one believed them!  How disappointing!  How sad!  How annoying!  The women had an amazing experience, and no one believed them!

Sharing your faith isn’t always easy.  People may not believe you.  People may not believe in God.  People may not believe in Jesus, or that Jesus was raised from the dead by God.  It can be a very difficult experience.

When it comes to your faith, it is what you believe about Jesus that is important.  How you experience Jesus in your life feeds your faith.  Others don’t have to believe you.  You know in your heart the love you have experienced from God.  Trust that.  Live that.  Who knows, it just might help someone else to have faith!


Millions Face Food Shortages in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is on the verge of the worst crisis in its history. Even before the Taliban took control of the country last August, Afghans were already struggling with the effects of 40 years of conflict, the worst drought in 27 years, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, with restrictions on international funding put in place to prevent money from falling into the hands of the Taliban, humanitarian assistance was impeded.

The consequences have been devastating. The United Nations estimates that nearly 23 million Afghans―more than half the population―face potentially life-threatening food shortages, with nearly 9 million on the brink of famine. People also lack proper healthcare and are facing unemployment and housing shortages.

Our Mission & Service partner the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) has been working hard to provide food packages to internally displaced families in Afghanistan during this emergency.

The life-saving packages contain staples like rice, sugar, oil, salt, beans, potatoes, and onions to feed a family for up to two months. So far, 133 families have received the packages, including widows and orphans.

“The most challenging issue was and is the fund transfer to Afghanistan because the banking system of the country is still almost completely frozen,” reports Zineb Naini, AMAN’s international program coordinator. “Nevertheless, we were able to reach these families and, in the future, we hope to reach many more. Recently we obtained a grant that will allow us to distribute food packages to about 400 families.”

Please make a gift through Mission and Service today. In the most difficult circumstances, your generosity helps sustain families and provide much needed hope.


O risen Christ, open us to the power of your resurrection as we hear it proclaimed anew this day, that we too might rise to new life in you.  Amen.

~ written by Andy James, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, New York.   

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25

Through the prophet, God promises a new heaven and a new earth. Weeping will pass away, life will be abundant for God’s people, and the world—including the wild animals—will be at peace.

17I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.
19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.
20No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
21They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—and their descendants as well.
24Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent—its food shall be dust!  They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

R:  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)

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. R
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. R
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. R

Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43

Peter’s sermon, delivered at the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, is a summary of the essential message of Christianity: Everyone who believes in Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the words of the prophets, receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

34Peter began to speak to : “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Evidently expecting to find Jesus’ corpse, some of the women among his followers go to the tomb with embalming spices. After a perplexing encounter with the empty tomb and angelic visitors, the women become the first to proclaim the amazing news of resurrection.

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn,  came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

HYMN: VU 155   Jesus Christ Is Risen


The first Easter Sunday began with confusion, terror and disbelief.

There are prescribed funeral rituals for many religions, but the one law that is common to all is that the dead are to stay dead.  Once a body is buried, either in a tomb or in the ground, that is where the body is to stay.  One should not have to stand in confusion, looking at the place where a loved one should be, and isn’t.  One should not have to have one’s grief ritual interrupted, spices sitting neglected on the ground, tears now flowing for a double loss.

If that isn’t enough to deal with, throw in the sudden appearance of two strangers, clothing blinding the eyes, who were not there and now are – standing in the personal space of the women, who have thrown themselves on the floor in terror!  Do the women anticipate being assaulted?  Killed?  Kidnapped?

Notice, there are no words of comfort here.  Instead, there is seeming chastisement – “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  “Remember what Jesus said?”

Suddenly, the women do remember.  To where the two strange men disappeared, we are not told.  What we are told is that when the women returned to the other disciples and shared their experience, they were not believed.

We should not be shocked by this.  There are many who view the Easter account and Jesus’ resurrection as a nice teaching story, a myth.  Resurrection is just too good to be true, so it can’t be true.  And yet…

When you choose to look for them, there are many resurrection moments in life.  Where there is forgiveness, there is the resurrected Christ.  Where war ceases and the work of peace begins, there is the resurrected Christ.  Where death is embraced in faith, trusting in a new creation upon death, there is the resurrected Christ.  Wherever love is at work, there is the resurrected Christ.

The women were told that Jesus had risen, but they did not see the risen Jesus himself. What they had was a word, a message.

This brings the Easter experience uncomfortably close, because this is precisely what we have–the word of resurrection. One would think God would work differently. It would seem so much easier to have the women come to the tomb and watch Jesus walk out into the light of a new day. And it would seem much easier for Jesus simply to appear in dazzling glory to us, who gather on an Easter morning generations later. And this is precisely where our situation is like that of the women on the first Easter: we are all given a message of resurrection, which flies in the face of what we know to be true.

Indeed, the new life experienced by the resurrection will continue to be called by various names – coincidence, fate, human nature, luck…yet to the eyes of faith, Christ shines!  Even those who do not believe can be transformed!  Our part in the resurrection narrative is to proclaim Christ risen – over and over and over again.  It is to live out Christ’s unconditional love and forgiveness, over and over and over again.  It doesn’t matter if our words are considered an idle tale.  The Holy Spirit can work miracles with the words of the resurrection!

Rick Morley, an Episcopal priest, writes the following:

     In our pews on Easter Sunday there will be a lot of people who hear the words of the women, who went to the tomb, as an idle tale.

     I don’t mean to heap mounds of my own condescension here. And, really, I don’t think Luke does either. Because that exact position was taken up by Jesus’ most dedicated followers, who would become his greatest evangelists and apostles.

     And, I don’t think Luke faulted them because, for them, it wasn’t a terminal position.

     What changed their minds? Those who once regarded the Resurrection as an idle-tale would eventually have a powerful experience of the Risen Christ.

     Somehow Peter—perhaps because of his experience on the mount of transfiguration, or his sleepy time in the Garden of Gethsemane—was spared the temptation to dismiss the report of the women. Instead of snickering, he went running. And, he found what he probably already knew to be true: the tomb was empty.

     Our job at Easter is to echo the women. Proclaim the Resurrection. AND, it’s to offer a space for the Risen Christ to touch our hearts and deliver us from rolling our eyes into a running leap of faith.[1]

On this Easter Sunday, we exit the tomb with hope!  We have been reminded by the angels of Jesus’ words, words of promise that have come to pass.  Words that go beyond logic, extend far beyond story and myth into the realm of experience.  Share the words!  Be part of the story!  Tell someone about your faith!  Let someone know just what Jesus and the resurrection mean to you!  They may consider your words an idle tale, yet they will not be able to refute the difference Christ makes in your life.



And amen!

HYMN:  VU 186   Now The Green Blade Rises


On this day of resurrection joy, let us offer our prayers for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.

Renewing God, the good news of your resurrection changed the world. Give church leaders and all the baptized the same excitement as the women at the tomb, and inspire us to share your abundant life. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Sustaining God, your creation abounds with signs of new life in budding trees and newborn creatures. Provide fertile soil, ample sunlight, and nourishing rain for the growth of plants, and provide farmers with a plentiful harvest.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Sheltering God, strengthen and sustain all who support vulnerable people across the world especially all countries and communities accepting refugees. Empower government agencies and international organizations that provide for refugees and migrants forced to leave their homelands.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Encouraging God, you do a new thing among us. We pray for those gripped by fear and anxiety or who suffer in any way especially the people of Ukraine, Afghanistan and any place where there is discord and oppression. Send us as your healing presence to places of hunger, pain, illness, or overwhelming sorrow.  We lift up to you Bill and Terry Howie, Marlene Buhler, Evie and Brian Watt, Tracy Skoglund, Brooke Alexiuk, Joan, Angèle Harmonic and family, Debbie, Dwayne, Wendy Bachinsky.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Surprising God, you offer endless ways for us to delight in your grace. Give this community of faith a sense of joy and wonder in exploring new avenues of faith formation, worship, and discipleship.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Resurrecting God, you make us alive in Christ. Thank you for blessing us with faithful witnesses who now rest in you.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

We offer to you these petitions and those we carry in our hearts, trusting in your abundant and ever-present mercy.



SENDING SONG: VU 158   Christ Is Alive


God, the Author of life, Christ, the living Cornerstone, and the life-giving Spirit of adoption, ☩ bless you now and forever.



Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS011617.
© 2011 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.
[1] http://www.rickmorley.com/archives/2546