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

Parts of today’s liturgy are taken from Worship Liturgy for Black History Month 2022:  Stories of Black Experiences in Canadian Churches.


People don’t enjoy salt. They enjoy what is salted. We are the salt of the earth. We do not exist for ourselves.

~John Piper


In early spring of 1930, Indian nonviolent activist Mohandas Gandhi and a community of thousands of his followers set out on what became known as the Salt March. Gandhi sought to protest the British laws that prohibited Indian citizens from selling salt. The prohibition contributed to a vicious cycle of poverty and disenfranchisement in India. The protesters marched for 240 miles to the coastal town of Dandi, where they defied the British law by making their own salt. This historic act of resistance, which inspired Martin Luther King Jr. in his own nonviolent resistance in the US, points to the enduring power of Jesus’ image in today’s gospel: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13). Salt has long been a crucial element of life across the world, both dietarily and financially. Jesus’ words remind us that in the same way that salt is essential, our daily acts of Christlike love and mercy are crucial for the flourishing of the whole world.


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.

Holy One, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, of story and of song, of heartbeat and of tears of bodies, souls, voices and all relations: you are the God of all truth and the way of all reconciliation. Uphold with your love and compassion all who open their lives in the sacred sharing of their stories breathe in us the grace to trust in your loving forgiveness, that we may face our histories with courage; touch us through the holy gift of story that those who speak and those who listen may behold your own redeeming presence; guide us with holy wisdom to enter through the gates of remorse that our feet may walk gently and firmly on the way of justice and healing. Amen.

~From the Anglican Church of Canada


Come!  Come into the place where God listens!
Where God waits
Come as you are
Broken, whole
Sick, well
Satisfied or with deep longings
Come to sing
Come to cry
Come to hear
Come to see
Come and be ready, or,
Come to be made ready
We are here
As God is here too.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  VU 87  I Am The Light Of The World


Lord God, with endless mercy you receive the prayers of all who call upon you. By your Spirit show us the things we ought to do, and give us the grace and power to do them, 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.


Jesus tells us that we are salt and light.  What does that even mean?!  It means that Jesus relies on us to be his hands, eyes, heart and feet in the world.  Whenever we help someone, listen to someone’s pain, give a hug, hold the hand of someone who is scared, show love and respect to everyone – we are being Jesus to that other person, we are seasoning, “salting up”, their life with the love of Jesus, we are shining, being the light, the love of Jesus in their life.

Find a flashlight and grab a strainer from the kitchen.  Hold out the strainer over the floor and shine the flashlight into the strainer.  Do you see the pattern of the strainer holes on the floor?  The light represents the love of God, and all the spots of light are us.  Being salt and light means that we need each other to make the world saltier and brighter!  If everyone is helpful, loving and kind, the world becomes a better place.  God’s love is in all of us.  Let’s work together for God!

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Fighting Racism at Home and Abroad: Adele Halliday’s Work

When was the first time you became aware of discrimination or oppression?

Adele Halliday, the United Church’s Anti-Racism Equity Lead, says that parts of her work focus on racial discrimination―and she encounters many people across the church who are surprised by the ongoing systemic racism in church and society.

“I grew up as a racialized person and in a multiracial context, so this always surprises me. There’s almost a kind of initial moment of realization,” she says. “In my work, what I encourage people to do is move beyond that moment of realization, asking, ‘So what does that mean for you in your life?’ If you’re a person who’s benefited from racism, now what? What’s your next action? What does it mean for your life in the church and society as a person, as an individual, as a family member?’”

Racialized people are among the people who have felt the negative effects of racism. It can take many forms, but all are harmful. And even worse, racism still exists in Canada and in the United Church today.

Your gifts to Mission & Service support educational initiatives, programs, and partners that work hard to dismantle racism. One of these programs is the 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism, which tackles topics like internalized racism, systemic racism, and anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism.

While the program was designed for The United Church of Canada, Halliday says the impact is global. “I have gotten messages from people in other denominations and in other parts of the world like the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States who are excited about the program and who want to use it,” she says.

“There are people who are hurting because of racial injustice and racial trauma,” says Halliday. “The work that we’re doing helps us move collectively towards healing as a church and beyond.”


Guide us, O God, by your Word, and Holy Spirit, that in your light we may see light, in your truth find freedom, and in your will discover peace; through Christ our Lord, Amen.


First Reading: Isaiah 58:1-12

Shortly after the return of Israel from exile in Babylon, the people were troubled by the ineffectiveness of their fasts. God reminds them that outward observance is no substitute for genuine fasting that results in acts of justice, such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked.

Shout out, do not hold back!  Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced   righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments,

they delight to draw near to God.

“Why do we fast, but you do not see?  Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.

Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.  Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.

Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?  Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,

and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?  Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:  to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly;

your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

if 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.

The 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.

Your 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.

Psalm 112:1-10

R:  Light shines in the darkness for the upright. (Ps. 112:4)

Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord and have great delight in God’s commandments!

Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches will be in their house, and their righteousness will last forever.

Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion. R

It is good for them to be generous in lending and to manage their affairs with justice.

For they will never be shaken; the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.

They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Their heart is established and will not shrink, until they see their desire upon their enemies.

They have given freely to the poor, and their righteousness stands fast forever;

they will hold up their head with honor.

The wicked will see it and be angry; they will gnash their teeth and pine away;

the desires of the wicked will perish. R

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]

Though people such as the Corinthians are enamored with human philosophy and wisdom, Paul continuously presents God’s hidden wisdom which is Jesus Christ crucified. True spiritual maturity involves judging ourselves and others in light of God’s revelation in the cross.

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the human heart conceived,

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encourages his followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, doing good works and keeping God’s commandments.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

HYMN:  VU 672  Take Time To Be Holy


May 8, 1992.  Graduation day.  We had all suffered with non-existent sleep for about two weeks, staying up nights to finish final papers so we could escape the sacred stone walls of the seminary.  This was it!  We were done!

But then, once all the festivities were over, reality hit.  The call process began and suddenly we experienced the truth.  We knew — nothing.  We were entering into the realm of the unknown.  For you see, entering ministry is like having a first child.  Oh sure, you’ve read the books, taken the classes, learned how to breath, talked to others who have gone through the experience, but lets be honest; when the moment comes and you are suddenly faced with a little human being — are you ever fully prepared for what that inventive little mind will do to you as the child grows?  Can you possibly anticipate everything in order to be ready for it?  Well, welcome to ministry!

So I closely identify with Paul when he writes, “And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.”  But then I focused on the power of the Spirit, and the trembling stopped.

The power of the Spirit is active, because the nature of God is active.  God was not content to be passive.  God spoke to the prophets, opened rivers, wrestled with Jacob, comforted Hagar, argued with Abraham, lived among us in the person of Jesus and remains active in the movement of the Spirit.  It follows, then, that we, who are created in the image of God, being baptized into the body of Christ, and endowed with the gifts of the Spirit, should be active in our faith.

How is the world to know about the risen Christ, unless Christians proclaim?  What Jesus is saying in today’s Gospel is more than, “If you have faith, prove it.”  For even the scribes and Pharisees do that, but their hearts are not in it.  No, we are to show it, but more importantly, we are to mean it.  The fact that Jesus holds value and meaning in our everyday lives needs to be expressed.  This can be easier said than done.

It was a balmy summer night in Ottawa.  Me and my boyfriend, and my younger sister, Carrie, and her boyfriend, were out having a stroll along the Rideau canal.  Up ahead was a man sitting on a bench, bent over, head in hands in obvious emotional pain.  And what did we do?  We walked right past him in silence.  When we were a good distance away, we all said we felt we should go back.  It didn’t feel right to ignore the man.  And what did we do?  We kept on walking.  But I found out later that individually we had all said a prayer for the man, and asked God to forgive us for not stopping.

I was walking through a mall in Calgary with a friend.  She had driven us there.  Up ahead there was a commotion.  A woman was standing in a fountain yelling at two police officers who were trying to calm her down and get her out of the fountain.  Their means of doing this was not very helpful, and as we passed, I had a strong urge to go over and talk with the woman to find out why she was so upset.  Many others kept walking by trying not to notice this person in the fountain.  And what did I do?  I kept walking.  After all, I had come with Cindy, and I couldn’t just leave her.  And besides, she had the car.  To get home I would have to take a bus.  But I said a prayer for the woman and asked God to forgive me for not stopping.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid….Let your light so shine before others.”  Jesus did NOT add, “Only when convenient.”  If he had, then we WOULD be like the scribes and Pharisees, and Jesus would NOT have value and meaning in our everyday lives.

Is it ever easy to be salty or shining?  There is always something else we could/should be doing, always someplace else we would/should rather be, yet to give up those opportunities may mean missing out on an opportunity to serve Jesus himself.  And when we do say YES to the moving of the Spirit within us, convenient or not, we cannot help but be changed, for we are in the presence of God.

Maybe you are unsure of what to do in order to be salt or a shining light.  Not to worry, Isaiah has laid it all out with great clarity.  To be a salty and beaming Christian means to:

*loose the bonds of injustice

*let the oppressed go free

*share your bread with the hungry

*bring the homeless into your house

*clothe the naked

*walk among the people

“Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly….Then you shall call, and God will answer; you shall cry for help, and God will say, ‘Here I am'”  in the eyes of the one in need who stands before you.  Do not be afraid, for the power of the Spirit is with you.  It’s true, the Spirit does remove the fear.  Suddenly you find yourself with strength you never knew you had; vision you never believed you would gain; love you never thought you would experience; a closeness with God that you never thought possible.

There is a danger in being salty and shining:  burnout.  We can give and give and give of ourselves until nothing is left.  We can function out of guilt or duty, rather than faith, and when that happens, we pay dearly.  Yet Jesus did not advocate self-destruction, but wholeness.  Which is why, after much preaching, teaching and healing, scripture reminds us that Jesus “went off by himself to a quiet place to pray.”  The idea is recognizing our human limitations and renew ourselves through rest, prayer and focusing on God, the strength giver.  That is how salt stays salty and a light keeps shining.  At all times our motivation should be the risen Christ for that is what brings us joy — Christ in people.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  ELW 715  Christ, Be Our Light


Called together to follow Jesus, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

Call your people to seek your wisdom in difficult conversations and action. Give the church everywhere courage to repent for the ways we have tolerated and practiced injustice. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Inspire our wonder at creation, from the light of dawn to the beauty of the dark night. Sustain the unseen depths of the ocean to the plants and animals we know well. Bring healing to lands and communities experiencing natural disasters. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Instruct the powerful in your ways. Provide upright leadership in business and industry, that workers are not oppressed. Throughout the world, inspire voters and raise up politicians to heed your call for nations to practice righteousness. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Loosen the bonds of injustice in our midst. Grant peace to endless quarrels, put an end to hunger, and break every yoke of oppression. Shelter all who flee abuse in their homes or violence in their communities. Satisfy those afflicted in any way. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Shape our congregation to be salt for the earth. Give us delight in your commandments, that we are generous with those in need. Make us steadfast in our trust in you, ready with tangible mercy and compassion for our neighbors. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

The cross and resurrection bring redemption from sin and death. We praise you for all whose unshaken faith in Christ shines forth in their witness. Keep them in our remembrance and bring us with them into the kingdom of heaven. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

We bring to you our needs and hopes, O God, trusting your wisdom and power revealed in Christ crucified.



SENDING SONG:   WOV 650  We Are Marching In The Light Of God


O Living, Disturbing God, let us go in peace with you, to disrupt those who are comfortable, comfort those who mourn, and walk alongside those who suffer various forms of racial discrimination.  Now receive the blessing of God all-loving; our Mother-God who holds us in our pain, our Brother-God, Jesus the Christ, who gives us courage to resist, and Spirit-God who binds us together in all that is free and liberated.  Amen.


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© 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.