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.


If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness.



God’s glory is revealed in the reading of scripture. People stand at attention. People weep. People prostrate themselves in prayer. The unity of the church is another reflection of God’s glory. Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Gather round. Listen up. Glimpse the glory of God.


On this day, which is holy, we gather, not alone, but as Christ’s Body;
as ones who would suffer together, we gather.
On this day of wonder and hope, we gather, not in isolation, but in community;

as those who would care for one another, we gather.
On this day of prayer and praise, of silence and song, we gather, not with empty hands, or emptier hearts;
as those baptized in grace’s tears, we gather.

CHILDREN’S SONG  VU 664  What A Friend We Have In Jesus


Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our 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.


     Way back in time, when I was a child, my sisters and I had a game called Kerplunk.  I have a picture here of the game, and parents, take a look at this!  This is an outdoor, homemade version!  Isn’t this cool?  I would love to play this!

     First, we would put all the sticks in the holes, as you can see here.  The game we had was small so it could be played on a table.  It had marbles instead of plastic balls.  The marbles were dropped on top of the sticks.  Then, one person at a time would pull out one stick.  The winner was the person who had the most sticks. 

     At the beginning of the game, it was fairly easy to pull out a stick and not have any marbles drop.  But pretty soon, “kerplunk”!  The marbles started falling!

     This game reminds me of life.  I am one of the sticks.  My family, friends and friends I have yet to know are all the sticks around me.  Together we support one another against all that goes on in life – hard times, death, sadness, scary times.  We also support one another in good times!  We laugh, hug, worship, eat together, laugh and hug some more…. Together the weight of the world doesn’t seem so heavy. 

     But then we lose people in our lives.  Some die, others may move away, still others may lose touch or break off a friendship…one by one the sticks are removed, and then the worries of life seem too heavy. 

     Jesus says the Holy Spirit called him to love others, heal others, give them hope.  The Holy Spirit calls us to do the same.  When we lose someone in our life, the Holy Spirit guides us to other people who can become a support and help us live out what Jesus wants us to do.  That way, life doesn’t weigh us down.  Life will not go “kerplunk”!

     I look for Jesus in everything, because Jesus is everywhere!  The Holy Spirit is always guiding me to look for Jesus and the love of God.  Who would have thought I could learn so much about life from a game?!  The Holy Spirit is full of surprises!



Haiti:  How Your Generosity Is Helping

     Last August 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti. This disaster killed at least 2,248 people and injured more than 12,700. It destroyed buildings and infrastructure, impacting hundreds of thousands of people. Days later, Tropical Storm Grace compounded the situation, bringing heavy rains that triggered mudslides. Since the earthquake, a severe fuel shortage, growing insecurity, and increasing water shortages have hampered efforts to restore basic services to thousands in need across the country.

     In the five months since the earthquake struck, Mission & Service partners have been working hard to respond to the emergency. Through them, your generous gifts to the Haiti Emergency Appeal is helping people rebuild their lives.

Your support has provided

medical supplies and first aid kits

water treatment tablets

temporary shelters

food packages of rice, beans, and cooking oil

tools, seeds, and livestock for families and farmers

hygienic sanitation services

access to safe water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene

rehabilitated or reconstructed earthquake- and hurricane-resistant houses

psychological support


This list consists mostly of things. Imagine their impact on people―on families like yours!

Imagine what it means when your life has been turned upside down to have a place to turn to for a meal, somewhere to lay your head, and later to have support to rebuild your home and someone in your life to talk to about what you have been through.

     This is the difference your generosity makes.

     Thank you for caring.


Blessed are you, O God, Sovereign of the universe.  You offer us new beginnings and guide us on our journey.  Lead us to your table, nourish us with heavenly food, and prepare us to carry your love to a hungry world, in the name of Christ our light.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

The exiles have returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. Now Ezra, the priest, reads the law of Moses to them in the public square. When they hear it, they weep for their sins and for the long years in exile, but Ezra reminds them that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

1All the people  gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
  9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm 19

R:  The teaching of the Lord revives the soul. (Ps. 19:7)

1The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims its maker’s handiwork.
2One day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another.
3Although they have no words or language, and their voices are not heard,
4their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world,
  where God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5It comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber; it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
6It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of it again;
  nothing is hidden from its burning heat. R
7The teaching of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul;
  the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple.
8The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart;
  the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes.
9The fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever;
  the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold,
  sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb. R
11By them also is your servant enlightened, and in keeping them there is great reward.
12Who can detect one’s own offenses?  Cleanse me from my secret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion over me;
  then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a great offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
  O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. R

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

The apostle and pastor Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe how intimately connected we are in the church. For this struggling congregation in Corinth, Paul delivers a vital message of unity that is a mark of the church today.

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
  14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
  27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31aBut strive for the greater gifts.

Gospel: Luke 4:14-21

Near the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, he visits his hometown of Nazareth. In the words of Isaiah, he states and claims his identity, purpose, and mission.

14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

  16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
  because he has anointed me
   to bring good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
  and recovery of sight to the blind,
   to let the oppressed go free,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”


SONG  VU 382  Breathe On Me, Breath Of God


My mother died in August of 2010.  I offered to write the obituary and the eulogy.  It was hard work.  How does one summarize a life of 80 years?  How does one include the many relatives, church family and friends that played such a large part in this one life?  One month and one day after her death, my parents would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.  How does one summarize a marriage relationship of such length that includes three children and so many memories? 

This reading from Luke’s gospel is my favourite piece of scripture.  The Holy Spirit was far more succinct than I in capturing with few words the essence of a life.

What we find in these selected verses of Isaiah is Jesus’ life and ministry in a nutshell.  In the remainder of Luke we will see Jesus live out his anointing by bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to letting the oppressed go free
and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.

Notice that Jesus comes to Nazareth filled with the power of the Spirit.  Jesus does not head to his home town on a sudden whim of nostalgia.  The Spirit calls him there.  His arrival is planned.  There are words that Jesus needs to say to those with whom he grew up.  The Spirit will not let Jesus rest until those words are said.  The words of Isaiah call out to the people.  They are words that tell them to have hope because God sees them, and God will act.  God’s words will be lived out by Jesus.  God’s touch will be real. 

My internship took place in the inner-city of Toledo, Ohio.  The congregation was made up of white, black and Hispanic members.  It was a very vibrant, musical, joyful congregation, and I am eternally grateful to have been part of the congregation’s life for a year.  It was also a faith community of people, many of whom lived paycheque to paycheque;  were those of the middle class, only a few had no financial concerns.  Most of us, including my supervisor and I, drove used cars and did as many of our own repairs as we could to save money.  We shopped the discount food stores, bought produce from the “clearance” shelves and learned to freeze the reduced, days-old bread.  We may not have had much, we always had enough.  Throughout that year I was invited out and had people over.  The Holy Spirit guided me to those who needed to hear the Good News, to let them know that God saw them and heard them and answered prayer through their pastor and friends.  I was so in tune with the Spirit that didn’t plan my day because I knew the Spirit would let me know where I had to be.  I can appreciate Jesus looking for a particular passage of scripture, because the message needs to be exact.  The people need to know that God cares, that Jesus embodies the love of God, and that love is being lived out now, in this moment.  That internship year was life-changing for me.  God affirmed me every day of my call to Word and Sacrament ministry.  Pastor wasn’t just a title; it was who I was.  It was a word that summarized my reason for being alive!

In her commentary on this text, Karoline Lewis, Professor and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, writes the following:

What will it take for you know, for you to believe, that you don’t need a life-improvement program, but a life-change? We are far more comfortable with talking about the gospel as a self-help, self-improvement project; a step-by-step guide to being a better Christian, a better disciple, a better pastor, a better preacher; some good advice as to how to grow a bigger church, bigger programming, and a bigger budget. But Jesus’ sermon in Nazareth is not for those who want to make their lives better but for those who need to be set free to live the life God wants for them, the life God sees as possible for them, the life they want to live, but have never known the freedom to make happen –- or never been given the gift and opportunity to imagine it.

I witnessed miracles during that year in Toledo.  I saw first hand the amazing life-changes God’s unconditional love could do for those who had given up hope.  I watched a young man, who struggled daily with mental health issues, blossom with the knowledge that God loved him and that his faith community valued HIM.  I sat in on AA meetings and watched the organizer challenge people when they tried to lie to themselves, and the rest of the group.  I heard many confessions, witnessed and proclaimed forgiveness.  The power of the Spirit was the source of it all!

Yes, Jesus, as you were anointed by the Spirit, so you have anointed us in our Baptism to that we, too, might be led out to live out your ministry.  Times have changed, your love has not.

No, I was not able to sum up my mother’s life as succinctly at the prophet Isaiah.  I did share her gifts, her struggles and how her faith and her faith family got her through the rough spots in life.  When we honour people just as they are, wherever they are in life, when we do what we can when we can to live out the love and compassion of Christ, when we trust the Spirit to guide us and empower us, in those moments, God’s favour shines upon us and we are changed.

Know this:  today, this moment, the words of God have been fulfilled in your hearing.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH: MV 172   God Says


The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon us in abundance; so we are bold to pray for the church, the world, and all that God has made.

You reveal yourself to us in the reading of scripture. Fulfill your word through the faithful witness of your church. Send us out to bring your liberating good news to all people.

God of grace,

hear our prayer.

All creation proclaims your handiwork. Teach us to love the intricate and beautiful bodies that you have created. Bless tiny insects, enormous whales, and every creature in between. Sustain species at risk of extinction.

God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You desire that there be no dissension among us. Where we are divided in our society, nation, or world, come quickly to reunite us into one body. Ease conflict, dispel violence, and bring an end to war.

God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Anoint with your Spirit all who seek your favor. Grant provision and justice for people living in poverty, people living with disability, those living with pain, or those living under oppression.  We pray for our family, friends and community members who are in need of your healing touch:  Douglas Pearson, Tracy Skoglund, Mike Fraese, Dwayne, Brooke Alexiuk, Kathryn Janke Schmidt.

God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Build up the body of Christ in this place. Bless the variety of ministries in this congregation. Empower us to freely welcome and deeply value each person who enters into worship and ministry among us. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

In thanksgiving we lift before you the saints for whom the promise of salvation has now been fulfilled. Tend to those who mourn. Bring us together in your everlasting glory.

God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Since we have such great hope in your promises, O God, we lift these and all of our prayers to you in confidence and faith; through Jesus Christ our Savior.



SENDING SONG:  MV 176  Three Things I Promise  


God, who leads you in pathways of righteousness, who rejoices over you, and who calls you by name, ☩ bless your going out and your coming in, today and forever.







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