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.


If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa


In the video “The Secret of Our Baptism,” Heather Murray Elkins relates the story of a participant at a clergy retreat who shared the name for himself he has heard since childhood: “Not Good Enough.” The other participants gathered around to recall for him the words at Jesus’ baptism: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). When asked later if the blessing made a difference, he replied, “Every time I put my hand in the water to name another human being before God, I will remember who I am.” This, Elkins reflects, is the secret of our baptism.


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.

CALL TO WORSHIP – Submitted by Austin D. Hill

In the beginning, darkness covered the deep, and God said: Let there be light.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

Through the words of the prophet, the Lord said: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

Do not fear, says the Lord; I am with you. I have called you by name; you are mine.

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When Jesu was baptized by John, suddenly the heavens were opened.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

And as Jesus was coming out of the water, the Spirit of God rested on him like a dove.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

And a voice said: You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

CHILDREN’S SONG:  Jesus In The Morning

CENTERING PRAYER ~ written by Bruce Prewer

Most wonderful God, foolish and flawed though we are, we too delight in your beloved Son.  As in his name we gather in the house of many praises, may the heavens be opened for us, that we may catch a glimpse of that Light and Love that transforms our common days with a beauty not of our making.  Through Christ Jesus 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.


The shepherds were told by the angels where to find the baby Jesus, God’s son, in Bethlehem.  The Magi, those who study the stars, followed a special star to where Jesus lived.  Another name for Jesus is Word of God.  Jesus, being God, lived out the love of God wherever he was.  Jesus lived love, spoke about love, received love, when you were near Jesus, you knew you were loved!

When we gather for worship on Sunday morning, we hear the Word of God, the love and promise of being with God after we die, in the readings from the Bible.  We taste the Word of God, the love and promise of God in the bread and wine/grape juice.  Jesus included everyone in his love, and communion reminds us of belonging to God.  At the baptismal font, where water is poured over a person’s head, and the Words of God are used, we become part of God’s family.  We are included, we belong.

Jesus is with us always.  Jesus is in each of us.  Wherever we are, so is Jesus.  When we help one another, listen to each other, work together, Jesus is there.  Need to feel Jesus close to you?  Hug someone you love.  You will feel Jesus in the love.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  A Better World: One Water Project at a Time

According to UNICEF, more than half of the global population does not have access to safe sanitation and 2.2 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water.

Today―Baptism of Jesus Sunday—is a good day to consider our relationship with water.

How many Bible stories do you know have to do with water? Many of us have heard the story of Moses making water flow from rock and parting the Red Sea. We may remember stories about Jesus turning water into wine, walking on water, and calming it, too. So often, water is the focal point of God’s miracles and grace. It figures prominently because it’s necessary.

Clean water is essential to life, and yet around the world people suffer for lack of it.

The issues are complex. Climate change is altering weather and water patterns, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others. In some parts of the world, a growing population means rising demand and there isn’t enough water to go around. Water infrastructure problems sometimes mean people can’t access water even when it is available. There are racial and gender implications to accessing water, too. Did you know that, on average, women and children in the Global South walk nearly 6 kilometres to access water and carry nearly 19 liters of water every day?

Through Mission & Service you help provide solutions to water issues worldwide.

Your generosity supports irrigation projects and provides accessibility to water. Your gifts help construct bore holes, wells, and rain catchment tanks, which in turn address food security and sanitation issues in communities. During crises, your gifts help deliver drinking water where it’s needed most. In the midst of the global pandemic, your support is helping to construct sanitation stations and share life-saving hygiene communications through flyers and radio programs.

Thank you for your generosity! Together, we can build a better world. One water project at a time.


God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us.  In the midst of the multitude of words in our daily lives, speak your eternal Word to us, that we may respond to your gracious promises with faithfulness, service and love.  Amen.



First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9

God’s servant is endowed with God’s spirit in order to bring justice to the nations. The servant will not exercise authority boisterously or with violence, nor will weariness ever prevent the fulfilling of the servant’s task. God’s old promises have been fulfilled; the servant’s new assignment is to bring light to the nations.

1Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

2He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

4He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:
6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

8I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.

9See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth,   I tell you of them.

Psalm 29

R:  The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. 

1Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. R
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6the Lord makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord bursts forth in lightning flashes.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. R
9The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!”
10The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forevermore.
11O Lord, give strength to your people; give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace. R

Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43

Peter crosses the sharp religious boundary separating Jews from Gentiles and proclaims the good news of God’s inclusive forgiveness in Jesus’ name to Cornelius, a Roman centurion. As a result of Peter’s preaching, Cornelius and his family become the first Gentiles to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

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: Matthew 3:13-17

Before Jesus begins his ministry, he is baptized by John, touched by the Spirit, and identified publicly as God’s child.

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

HYMN:   WOV 698  We Were Baptized In Christ Jesus


The Baptism of Jesus – Taken from Luther’s Large Catechism (Inclusive version)

Every Christian ought to have at least some brief, elementary instruction in our two sacraments because without these no one can be a Christian.  We shall take up Baptism, through which we are first received into the Christian community.

In the first place, we must above all be familiar with the words upon which Baptism is founded and to which everything is related that is to be said on the subject, namely, where the Lord Christ says in Matt. 28:19:  Go into all the world, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Likewise, Mark 16:16:  The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.

Observe, first, that these words contain God’s commandment and ordinance.  You should not doubt, then, that Baptism is of divine origin, not something devised or invented by human beings.  Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved.  We are not to regard it as an indifferent matter, then, like putting on a new red coat.  It is of the greatest importance that we regard Baptism as excellent, glorious, and exalted.  It is the chief cause of our contentions and battles because the world now is full of sects who proclaim that Baptism is an external thing and that external things are of no use.  But no matter how external it may be, here stand God’s Word and command which have instituted, established, and confirmed Baptism.  What God institutes and commands cannot be useless.  It is a most precious thing, even though to all appearances it may not be worth a straw.  So the words read, “Go, baptize,” not in your name but “in God’s name.”

To be baptized in God’s name is to be baptized not by human beings but by God’s own self.  Although it is performed by human hands, it is nevertheless truly God’s own act.  From this fact everyone can easily conclude that it is of much greater value than the world of any person or saint.  For what work can humanity do that is greater than God’s work?

Now you can understand how to answer properly the question, what is Baptism?  It is not simply common water, but water comprehended in God’s Word and commandment and made holy by them.  It is nothing else than a divine water, not that the water in itself is nobler than other water, not that the water in itself is nobler than other water but that God’s Word and commandment are added to it.

Note the distinction then:  Baptism is a very different thing form all other water, not be virtue of the natural substance but because here something nobler is added.  God’s own honor, power and might are staked on it.  Therefore it is not simply a natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and blessed water–praise it in any other terms you can–all by virtue of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word which no one can sufficiently extol, for it contains and conveys all the fullness of God.

In the second place, since we now know what Baptism is and how it is to be regarded, we must also learn for what purpose it was instituted, that is, what benefits, gifts, and effects it brings.  Nor can we understand this better than from the words of Christ quoted above, “The one who believes and is baptized shall be saved.”  To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit and purpose of Baptism is to save.  No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to “be saved.”  To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and evil and to enter into the realm of Christ and live with him forever.

Now, some people are so foolish as to separate faith from the object to which faith is attached and bound on the ground that the object is something external.  Yes, it must be external so that it can be perceived and grasped by the senses and thus brought into the heart, just as the entire Gospel is an external, oral proclamation.  In short, whatever God effects in us God does through such external ordinances.  No matter where God speaks–indeed, no matter for what purpose or by what means God speaks–there faith must look and to it faith must hold.

In Baptism, therefore, every Christian has enough to study and to practice all his life.  One always has enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism promises and brings–victory over death and evil, forgiveness of sin, God’s grace, the entire Christ, and the Holy Spirit along with the Spirit’s gifts.  In short, the blessings of Baptism are so boundless that if timid nature considers them, it may well doubt whether they could all be true.

To appreciate and use Baptism aright, we must draw strength and comfort from it when our sins or conscience oppress us, and we must retort, “But I am baptized!  And if I am baptized, I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.”  This is the reason why these two things are done in Baptism:  the body has water poured over it, though it cannot receive anything but the water, and meanwhile the word is spoken so that the soul may grasp it.

Further, we are not primarily concerned whether the baptized person believes or not, for in the latter case Baptism does not become invalid.  Everything depends upon the Word and commandment of God.  This, perhaps, is a rather sublet point, but it is based upon what I have already said, that Baptism is simply water and God’s word in and with each other; that is, when the Word accompanies the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking.  For my faith does not constitute Baptism but receives it.  Baptism does not become invalid even if it is wrongly received or used, for it is bound not to our faith but to the Word.  Similarly, those who partake unworthily of the Lord’s Supper received the true sacrament even though they do not believe.

Since the water and the Word together constitute one Baptism, body and soul shall be saved forever:  the soul through the Word in which it believes, the body because it is united with the soul and apprehends Baptism in the only way it can.  No greater jewel, therefore, can adorn our body and soul than Baptism, for through it we obtain perfect holiness and salvation, which no other kind of life and no work on earth can acquire.  Amen.

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.

Calling God, you speak with power to your church. Open our hearts and minds to the new things you are declaring. Strengthen bishops, moderators, pastors, deacons, lay leaders, and teachers of the faith. Equip the baptized for your reconciling and redeeming work. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Renewing God, you provide the waters of the earth and in Jesus’ baptism you reveal the waters of life. Cleanse and protect oceans, rivers, and watersheds. Bring relief to parched lands and to communities without access to safe water. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Righteous God, you never weary of establishing justice. Increase cooperation and constructive dialogue between nations. Guide local, national, and international authorities to govern with equity, vision, and integrity. We pray for those in military service, for peacemakers, and for our enemies. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Abiding God, your mercy is steadfast. Give sanctuary to people who flee from oppression, war, poverty, and famine. Sustain health care workers, caregivers, first responders, counselors, and all who help and heal. Comfort those who are grieving or experiencing crisis. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Blessing God, in Christ you gather the beloved community. Kindle the gifts of your Spirit in your people. Accompany the newly baptized, those recently ordained, and any beginning a new ministry. Inspire synodical and regional leaders and congregational boards and councils to serve with imagination and wisdom. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Promising God, your faithfulness endures throughout all generations. We give thanks for those who have died in Christ, trusting that we will be united with them and all the saints in Christ’s resurrection life. 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 693  Baptized In Water


The God who faithfully brings forth justice and breaks the oppressor’s rod ☩ bless, strengthen, and uphold you, today and always.  Amen.


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