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.


We can’t say “Thy kingdom come” unless we’re willing to say, “My kingdom go.”

~Richard Rohr


In systematic theology the concept of “theology from below” means addressing the cultural context on the ground before imagining divine workings and scaffolding. It is a theology that begins at street level instead of from the “ivory tower” of academia. Paul’s point in our second reading, from Corinthians, gives voice to the idea that the church, from the very beginning, was doing “theology from below,” utilizing parts of humanity discounted and overlooked by powerbrokers in the ancient world. Do we still do “theology from below” today in in our worshiping communities or denomination? What might it look like to consider the streets first, developing doctrine and practices based on what is seen, heard, and found there? And remember: doing “theology from below” is not doing theology on behalf of any group or persons, but always alongside them.


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.

Creator of all, give us one heart and one mind to walk together in the love and strength of your Spirit, in truth, reconciliation, and peace. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our brother, our Lord, and our hope. Amen.


Holy God, you invite us to come to worship you.
In your Holy Presence, we discover unlimited love.
Holy God, you invite us to come to worship you.
In your Holy Presence, we discover forgiveness.
Holy God, you invite us to come to worship you.
In your Holy Presence, we discover empowerment,
joy and peace. Come, let us worship our Holy God. Amen.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  Can A Little Child Like Me


Holy God, you confound the world’s wisdom in giving your kingdom to the lowly and the pure in heart. Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice, and perseverance in striving for peace, that in our words and deeds the world may see the life of your Son, 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.


I think Jesus was a person who hugged others.  It doesn’t say in the scriptures that Jesus hugged people, but he was always such a loving person that I believe he did.

There are many types of hugs.  There is the full body hug you give to your mom and dad.  There is the side hug that you give when you are posing with a friend or family member for a picture.  There is the A-frame hug, where only your shoulders touch because you are not related to the person.  There is the sneak up and hug a person from behind hug – another hug you might give your mom and dad as a surprise!  There is the one-arm hug – that one is for when you are rushing off but still want to give someone a hug.

There are all kinds of hugs and all of them say, “I love you”.  What kind of hug would you like to give Jesus?

MINUTE FOR MISSION:   Making a Home for Refugees: ChrisAnn Alvarez’s Work

Imagine being forced to leave your home.

Set adrift, hoping to find a place to land, somewhere safe so you can rebuild your life.

“There’s this huge misconception that refugees choose to be refugees,” says ChrisAnn Alvarez, Refugee Support at The United Church of Canada. “It’s not a choice. It’s something they’re forced into.”

It’s a reality that is faced by millions of refugees, and it’s a reality that is becoming more and more prominent. More people are displaced today than ever before: 100 million, says the UN Refugee Agency.*

That’s the equivalent of three Canadas.

There are many causes: human conflict, climate change, human rights violations, and more.

We can help.

Your gifts provide food, water, sanitation, and social support to people forced to flee their homes. Mission & Service creates educational and confidence-building programs in refugee camps.

Mission & Service also helps refugees find new homes. “Congregations form sponsorship groups together to sponsor the refugee,” Alvarez explains. “What Mission & Service allows is for them to sponsor through their own congregation.”

She tells one story of a sponsor who renovated their basement after it flooded and immediately planned to sponsor a refugee in the new space.

“Who thinks like that?!” Alvarez exclaims with wonder and awe. “It’s just so beautiful!”

The refugee stayed with his sponsors for years, and they became an adopted family to one another. “The sponsor told me, ‘We have no kids, so this was an unexpected blessing,’” Alvarez recalls, tearing up. “That’s one example of someone opening their home in their home, in their heart, and allowing themselves to be transformed.”

When we help protect one refugee from persecution, death, or years in a refugee camp, we save the world for that one person—and just maybe for ourselves, too.

*UN News, “UNHCR: A record 100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide” (23 May 2022).


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: Micah 6:1-8

With the mountains and the foundations of the earth as the jury, God brings a lawsuit against Israel. God has “wearied” Israel with a long history of saving acts. God does not want or expect lavish sacrifices to attempt to earn divine favor. Rather God empowers the people to do justice, to love loyalty to God, and to walk shrewdly in God’s service.

1Hear what the Lord says:  Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel.

3“O my people, what have I done to you?  In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”

6“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 15

R:  Lord, who may abide upon your holy hill? (Ps. 15:1)

1Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?  Who may abide upon your holy hill?
2Those who lead a blameless life and do what is right, who speak the truth from their heart; R
3they do not slander with the tongue, they do no evil to their friends;
they do not cast discredit upon a neighbor.
4In their sight the wicked are rejected, but they honor those who fear the Lord.
They have sworn upon their health and do not take back their word.
5They do not give their money in hope of gain, nor do they take bribes against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be overthrown. R

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

According to the world’s standards of power and might, the message of the cross seems stupid and offensive. Yet this word reveals the paradoxical way God has chosen to work power and salvation through weakness, rejection, and suffering. Hence the message of the cross becomes true wisdom and power for believers.

18The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount by naming those who are blessed in the reign of God.

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

HYMN:  VU 896  Blessed Are They


Mother Teresa wrote the following with regard to her decision to enter into the convent:

“Once I asked my confessor for advice about my vocation.  I asked, ‘How can I know if God is calling me and for what is calling me?’[1]

“He answered, ‘You will know by your happiness.  If you are happy with the idea that God calls you to serve and your neighbour, this will be the proof of your vocation.  Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.  One has to follow it, even though one enters into a way full of difficulties.'”

With that Teresa entered the convent and the service of Jesus Christ, and indeed, she found happiness.  Yet there was still something missing.  There was still a call, only this one was to go beyond the stone wall that surrounded the convent and enter the world of the poor.  In typical Teresa fashion, she did just that.

The priest was right.  God’s call was difficult.  There were so many who needed loving attention.  So many who needed food, clothing, shelter, a place to die with dignity.

Teresa walked until she could walk no further.  It was then that she gained a truer understanding of the exhaustion of the poor.  Always searching, always walking, but without reward.

But Teresa was not about to be beaten by despair.  True, thoughts of the material comfort she had back at the convent filled her head and almost overcame her call from God, until she put the power of prayer to use.  Yes, this situation was very difficult, but it was not hopeless.  And so, she prayed:

“O God, through free choice and through your love, I want to stay here and do your will.  No, I cannot go back.  My community are the poor.  Their security is mine.  Their health is my health.  My home is the home of the poor:  not just of the poor, but of those who are the poorest of the poor.  Of those to whom one tries not to get too close for fear of catching something, for fear of the dirt, or because they are covered in germs and disease.  Of those that do not go to pray because they can’t leave their houses naked.  Of those that no longer eat because they haven’t the strength.  Of those that fall in the streets, knowing that they are going to die, while the living walk by their sides ignoring them.  Of those who no longer cry, because they have no tears left.  Of the untouchables.”

And God gave her strength.  First, she walked and found a place to house the dying.  Then

she stood still and God brought her helpers in the call of folly against the world’s wisdom.

The people who gathered on the mountain side to hear Jesus were a mixed bunch.  Fisher folk, former outcasts who had been healed, curious on-lookers, friends and relatives of those who had been healed, people of various social status and life experience.  Each heard a personal message in the words spoken by Jesus.  For those who had just been healed, I would guess his words had the most powerful effect, but then, one never knows how the Spirit moves. To hear these words and be moved with emotion is one thing.  To hear these words and be moved to action is totally another.  For this means to evaluate one’s life and see if it is, indeed, God directed.  It is, in short, to see if our sense of the ridiculous is in place.

Ponder this:  would not a wealthy person look upon Teresa with repulsion as she and her sisters carry a maggot-covered man from the sewers of Calcutta?  Would not there be a sense of ‘Why don’t you just leave that fellow there to die?  He’s almost dead anyway and he’s of no use to anyone. Why waste your time?’  But to those who give love and to those who receive it, there is no waste.  There is only wealth in the knowledge that Christ is present in the person one is serving.  The realm of heaven does indeed exist on earth.

But what about our own back yard.  Surely things are not that bad?  Ok, there has been a pandemic, the economy has taken a hit, the government…well, that never really changes, unemployment may be high…, but hey, we have peace here, this isn’t the Middle East!  We don’t have the vast number of poor like they do in other parts of the world…really, things aren’t that bad!

And Jesus said, “Where is your focus?  Can you not see that comparisons of suffering and accomplishments simply are not relevant?  Where one family in your city is hungry, there is a need for my presence.  Where one aboriginal person in your community is slandered, or is guilty by association, there is a need for my presence.  When the food banks, soup kitchens and half-way houses are in need of supplies and volunteers, there is a need for my presence.  When there is misunderstanding between denominations, there is a need for my presence.  When the values of the world and excuses of convenience get in the way of the Gospel and the calling I have given to each of you, personally, then there is a need for my presence.  When there needs to be some folly of love in the world, then there is a need for my presence.”

In reflecting upon a young novice’s pain at walking amongst the poor and feeling overwhelmed, Teresa writes:

“Joy is prayer.  Joy is strength.  Joy is love.  Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.  God loves a cheerful giver.  gives most who gives with joy.  The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy.  A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.  Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen.  This I tell my sisters.  This I tell to you.”

When Jesus says ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted and who suffer for my sake’, he means it.  What Jesus is saying is what Teresa has put so succinctly.  The joy of which she speaks comes from a faith rooted and focused in Christ.  It is a joy that defies all logic, all material gain, all suffering, all other human joy.  It is real and it is present.

‘When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.  Then Jesus began to speak…


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  WOV 735  God!  When Human Bonds Are Broken


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

Cultivate humility in your church. In gatherings of every size, teach us to boast only in the cross. Shape your church to be people of kindness, generosity, and justice. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

The foundations of the earth bear witness to your faithfulness; the mountains and hills echo with your holiness. When we mistreat your creation, show us the error of our ways. Inspire us with reverent awe to honor all you have made. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

You make foolish the wisdom of the world. Raise up honorable leaders who seek justice, love mercy, and pursue peace. Frustrate plans that are corrupt, wicked, and self-seeking. Prosper the work of peacemakers. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Bless all whom the world rejects. Accompany those who are regarded as foolish, weak, low, and despised; reveal your power and presence at work where it is least expected. Give your life, strength, and wisdom to all in need. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

As with your people Israel, remind this congregation of your saving acts. Remind us how your faithfulness brought us through difficulties and sustained us despite our weaknesses. Establish the cross as the center of our life together. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Praise to you for your blessed saints in every time and place. Trusting you accompanied them in poverty, persecution, and in every trial, we trust you abide with your people always. 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:   VU 481  Sent Forth By God’s Blessing

The peace of God be in your heart
The grace of God be in your words
The love of God be in your hands
The joy of God be in your soul and in the song that your life sings.  Amen.



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] Mother Teresa, in My Own Words, Gramercy Publishers, US, 1997