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.


Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.

            ~  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life.

            ~  Dietrich Bonhoeffer



            We live in a culture of invitation. Television invites us to join complicated story arcs so that we feel connected to the characters. Commercials invite us to see their product as a new movement and invite us to join it. We are invited to join groups on Facebook and invited into chat rooms and blog responses. The number of social networks is exploding as we are invited into ever expanding ways to connect.

            Invitation is an essential part of our walk of faith, but here we frequently see ourselves not as the invited but rather the one who is supposed to be doing the inviting. We can misuse invitation, maybe using the phrase “invite Jesus into your heart,” which often results in the misunderstanding that we are carrying a little bit of Jesus wherever we go. But today’s gospel (John 1:43-51) emphasizes not invitation as our call to others to join the walk of faith but rather Jesus’ invitation to us to follow him. Jesus’ invitation is not that we carry him with us but rather that we follow where he would lead. When Christ invites Philip to “follow me,” may we hear that invitation in our own ears.


Lord God, you call your people to tasks we would not ourselves choose.

Give us the grace to love you enough to follow when you call.

You know our weakness and have promised to give resources for that which you ask of us.

We praise you for your generous care.

Like Samuel, let us say “Here I am.”

God of surprising light, here we are.

We are surrounded, O God, with people who need to hear the story,

people who need to meet the one from Nazareth, Jesus our Lord.

Make our places of worship places of hospitality and welcome.

Make our words and actions, words and actions of invitation.

Like Philip, let us say, “Come and see.”

God of surprising light, here we are.

            — from Lift Up Your Hearts: Worship and Spirituality Site of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).


CHILDREN’S SONG   With One Voice 712  Listen, God Is Calling


Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful redeemer, for the countless blessings and benefits you give. May we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day praising you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  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.


     Have you ever had someone make fun of you because you come from a small town?  My mom’s relatives lived in what is called the Ottawa Valley.  It is an area about 3 hours north of where I grew up – Ottawa.  My great uncle, Jack Liedtke, his wife, Vera, their children and our cousins lived in Palmer Rapids, Ontario.  They dressed funny, spoke with an accent and said “ain’t” a lot – which bothered my mom.  By the end of the summer, when we got back home, my sisters and I had picked up the “Ottawa Valley Twang”, as we called it, and our friends made fun of us because we sounded funny! 

     Our neighbours would have laughed at the way Uncle Jack spoke.  But here’s the thing:  my Uncle Jack was an inventor.  If he needed a tool or machine to help with farming, he created it himself!  He had no formal training.  It was all planned out in his head, and he just created what he needed!  Pretty intelligent, if you ask me!

     When Philip asks his friend, Nathanael, to come and meet Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael says, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  You see, he was making an assumption that because Jesus came from a small town, he must be unintelligent and boring!  Was he wrong!!

     What we can learn from Nathanael is that we need to get to know a person before we say anything about them.  Where a person lives does not define what kind of personality they have.  We may live in small communities, yet we have some wonderful people that we call neighbours living there.  In fact, I feel pretty good about living in a small town.  If the son of God thought the little town of Nazareth was a good place to grow up, then it is nice to know that small towns are loved by God too!   


Mission & Service partners deliver rice to people in need in the Philippines.

     Together, we can accomplish far more than we ever could alone. This has never proven more true than during the global pandemic. In emergencies—whether floods, explosions, or viruses—the United Church often launches appeals, and thankfully, generous church members step up to offer support.

     When COVID-19 struck, the United Church asked members to make a special gift to help those most affected by the virus. Your response was amazing.

     Together, we raised over $280,000 dollars to support those around the world who are struggling because of the pandemic!

     But did you know that it is because of your regular Mission & Service gifts that we are able to respond quickly when emergencies strike?

     There are two key components of responsible fundraising: raising money and ensuring that it gets where it’s needed most.

     Over the years, your reliable Mission & Service gifts have helped our church develop a network of trusted partnerships all across the world. In turn, that means we know exactly who to work with in times of crisis so your gifts are directed quickly, responsibly, and effectively when disaster strikes.

      Through the COVID-19 crisis, we have and continue to work through Mission & Service partners to help distribute food and to support communications projects to disseminate health and safety information. We are providing medicine, soap, sanitation stations, and personal protective equipment to front-line workers. We are working to ensure that those living with chronic illnesses or who are immune-compromised receive timely treatment. We are protecting children in parts of the world where they are more vulnerable than ever to human trafficking.

     Your faithful generosity through Mission & Service means that we are there, no matter where in the world tragedy strikes. By giving regularly, you are helping to set the foundation for a quick response when the unimaginable happens.

     Thank you for your ongoing support. Your commitment to make the world a better place truly does make all the difference.



O You who are the Light of the minds that know you, the Life of the hearts that love you, the Strength of the spirits that seek you; help us so to know you that we may truly love you, so to love you that we may fully serve you, in whose service is perfect freedom.


Readings and Psalm

First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20

At a time when visions are rare and unexpected, the Lord comes to Samuel and calls him to speak the divine word. Though just a boy, Samuel responds to God obediently, as Eli the priest has taught him to respond. This marks the beginning of Samuel’s prophetic ministry.

1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

  2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

  10Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 11Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. 12On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”

  15Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”

  19As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

You have searched me out and known me. (Ps. 139:1)

1Lord, you have searched me out; O Lord, you have known me.
2You know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
3You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.
4Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. R
5You encompass me, behind and before, and lay your | hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
13For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I will thank you because I am marvellously made; your works are wonderful, and I know it well. R
15My body was not hidden from you, while I was being made in secret and woven in the depths of             the earth.
16Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your             book; my days were fashioned before they came to be.
17How deep I find your thoughts, O God!  How great is the sum of them!
18If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
  to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours. R

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Paul helps the Corinthians understand that God has claimed the entirety of their lives through the death of Christ. Hence Christian relationships and conduct, including areas of human sexuality, are to reflect the reality that we belong to Christ and that the Holy Spirit lives within us.

12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Gospel: John 1:43-51

In John’s gospel, Jesus’ ministry begins with the call of disciples, who then bring others to Jesus. Philip’s friend Nathanael moves from skepticism to faith when he accepts the invitation to “Come and see.”

     43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”



So, you have the invitation–“Follow me”, “Come and see”.  What are you going to do with it?  Philip already had a vocation as a fisherman.  Near as we can tell, he just walked away from it all and followed Jesus.  Certainly, there were times afterwards where he went back out on the water with the nets, but that life, for Philip, was now the past.  Philip was offered the invitation and he took it.  He became a disciple of Jesus.  His first response as a disciple was to invite another to follow–Nathanael.  Philip was a very fast learner. 

But is that all?  We just accept the invitation and that’s it, job done, work finished, higher someone else to do our leg work?  When God sends out an invitation, what IS the proper response?

God makes a covenant with God’s chosen people, binding them fast forever.  The parties to the covenant are not equal, and Yahweh is not as dependent upon Israel as they are upon Yahweh.  Yahweh remains free and sovereign.  This solemn agreement involves a promise made by God, and this mystery of divine choice requires a free acceptance on the part of God’s people.

It is possible to refuse the invitation.  But at what cost?

Yahweh entered a covenant with Noah that involved the whole human race.  The covenant made with Abraham included the promise of numerous descendants – so many they would be more than the stars!  The covenant was renewed with Jacob–who became Israel.  This covenant required but one obligation:  circumcision.

Should we choose to accept the invitation, we become a covenant partner responsible to God, and therefore there are obligations, things we must do to uphold the agreement that we are representatives for God.  Suddenly, personal responsibility enters into the picture.

The covenant made on Mount Sinai binds the whole nation and the whole nation receives a code of conduct which functions as a promise to God and as a deterrent against transgression and therefore a broken relationship with God.

Great, we accept the invitation and if we “don’t follow the rules” we invite judgment!  So why accept the invitation if all it will bring is a code of conduct and accountability if we don’t follow the code?

Sinai stands as the symbol of the law and the place of primary revelation where God called Moses into God’s service and where the two conversed.  The exodus and the passage through the Red Sea were a living out of God’s love for the Hebrew people and the promise to watch over them and be their God.  Out of love and respect for the covenant partner, limits are set and maintained so that love and peace prevail.  True, we can accept that, it is logical, but one gets the feeling that in this covenant with God, more is expected of us than following a code of conduct.  After all, this is God about whom we are talking!

The earth belongs to God who can choose from it any nation to be God’s people, and in God’s free grace, Israel is chosen to be a special possession, God’s alone.  The nation is to have the status and responsibility of priests, mediating between God and humankind; to represent the world to God and to show God to the nations.  They are to share in the holiness of God which is at once a gift and a duty.  They are witnesses to the interaction between God and God’s people and are to participate in the communication.  The law is a mediator between God and the world. 

Suddenly our role in this partnership becomes almost a burden.  To mediate between God and humankind.  Living our faith is not enough, we must become active in the lives and covenants of others so that they, too, are in an active, faithful partnership with God.  So then what does Jesus have to do with any of this?  The invitation has already been sent out, the covenant relationship already established.

Through our baptism we become grafted to the tree of Christ.  We become part of Christ.  The relationship and the covenant is deepened, becomes more intimate.  We know God personally through Christ.  To encounter Christ is to encounter the one who asks you to leave the familiar (no more living to be safe) and come out on a new journey.  Christ not only asks that, but makes it possible.  To encounter Christ is to be given a new way of looking at the world.  Love is greater than hatred and life is stronger than death.  This new way of seeing the world means that we are able to do new things, to journey in a new direction, to take risks that otherwise would be impossible.  It also means that, like Philip, we are eager to call others.

Eager?  Hardly.  If you believe the media, the church as an institution is on its way out.  Obviously, there is very little eagerness left.  Or rather, maybe it is the way we go about calling others.

“Philip found Nathanael.”  Philip’s words to Nathanael meet with an initial negative response.  “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Not very complimentary to the reputation of Nazareth!  Yet these words express the difficulty which we all have and which indeed all the disciples had.  It is very difficult to believe that a particular human being from an insignificant little village should be the means of God’s final revelation to all the world.  Nathanael responds as any of us might do.  But he does “come and see.”

Jesus’ words begin the process of changing Nathanael.  Unlike Jacob, who as the younger child received his older brother’s birthright and blessing by tempting him with a bowl of lentil stew, this Israelite will not receive his new status by trickery, but as his name, Nathanael, indicates, as a gift of God.  Before Philip called him, Jesus saw him “under the fig tree.”  Jesus’ insight into who he was convinces Nathanael, and he confesses Christ.  What attracts Nathanael is what attracts us all.  In the words of Christ we find ourselves.  He knows who and what we are.  His teaching exposes the reality of human life in its brokenness and its need for fulfillment.

Nathanael’s story reminds us that the good news of Christ overcomes our reluctance to know him.  You received the invitation in your baptism.  At your confirmation you stated you accepted the responsibility to be a covenant partner with Christ.  Now we are called by Christ to call others.  How?  By sharing the Gospel, telling your own faith story, acknowledging your brokenness and need for God and what God has done for you in your life.  And if the to whom you extend the invitation is reluctant, say to them, “at least just come and see.”  Amen.


SONG OF THE MONTH  With One Voice #648 Jesus, Come! For We Invite You




Guided by Christ made known to the nations, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need.

For the body of Christ gathered throughout the world and for all servants of the gospel, that following Jesus, the church lives out its calling every day, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For the well-being of creation, for plants and animals, and for all that God has marvellously made, that we serve as wise stewards of Earth, our home, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For police officers and firefighters, for attorneys and paralegals, for peacekeepers and military personnel, and for the leaders of governments, that they provide protection to all people, especially the most vulnerable, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For those lacking food or shelter, for those who are sick or grieving, and for those who are imprisoned or home bound.  We pray for our faith family, community members and friends, especially Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Tracy Skoglund, Carolyn, Douglas, Debbie, Dwayne; Nicole; Sandy Lange, Matthew Grossman, Gordon Fulford, Jennifer & family; Lorraine & Walter Pokrant; for all those infected with the corona virus, or whose loved ones have died because of it; that God console all who suffer.  We pray for Terry and Bill Howie that they have arrived at their new home safely, will embrace this new adventure in their lives and through new friendships, share the love of God; let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For our community, that all who seek to know God are nourished by word and sacrament, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

In thanksgiving for the saints who have gone before us that their lives give us a vision of the gospel in action, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

Merciful God, hear the prayers of your people, spoken or silent, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.





God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you; and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace.  Amen.

SENDING SONG  Voices United 567  Will You Come And Follow Me

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