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.


Every child should have a caring adult in their lives. And that’s not always a biological parent or family member. It may be a friend or neighbor. Often times it is a teacher.

~Joe Manchin


In today’s gospel, Jesus gives the lawyer an ordering of the commandments: love God first, love neighbor second. Sometimes preachers focus on the second of these (love of neighbor) as an impetus for social justice that while difficult, is often presented as “achievable.” While this is important, the order of the commandments fits well with the understanding that it is faith (love of God) that is the most important thing. What does it mean to “love God”? Is it simple assent to creedal beliefs? Is it theology? How does one “love” the God who—in fact—needs no love, but instead desires it? This question is harder than one might think; sit with it a while.


     We acknowledge that we gather to worship on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people.

     Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on what we do and what we can do to make Manitoba a better place for everyone who lives here. 



We gather to worship God,

Who creates us and loves us;

Who gifts us with diversity and makes us for community;

Who gives Jesus Christ to show us how to live;

Who inspires children, youth, young adults, and people of all ages,

To seek justice, share power, and live together in love and equality;

Who invites us to join the struggle for wholeness and wellbeing for all,

and whose presence, grace, and love sustain us in our living.

We gather to worship God.

To God be all glory, honor, and praise!

~from  the 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, posted on the Presbyterian Church USA website.  

CHILDREN’S SONG: VU 593  Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love


O Lord God, your mercy delights us, and the world longs for your loving care. Hear the cries of everyone in need, and turn our hearts to love our neighbors with the love 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.


     Do you like guessing games?  Charades?  I do.  Sometimes it is hard to guess the word.  Take the word “neighbour”.  What words or actions would you choose to try and help your friends guess the word?  Our neighbour is not just the person or family who lives next to us or across the street.  Our neighbour is anyone who needs our help.  If you help someone in a wheelchair get unstuck on a snowy sidewalk in winter – you are neighbours.  If you help someone who can’t bend over well to pick up something off the floor – you are neighbours.  If you stop to talk to someone at the dog park, someone who may be lonely but does not show it – you are neighbours.

     Not so easy to act out the word, is it?  There are so many ways we can help our neighbour, your friends could guess for hours!  Perhaps it is easier just to be a neighbour.


MINUTE FOR MISSION: Every Gift Is A Story Of Generosity

     Behind every act of generosity there’s a story. Those who work in the United Church’s Philanthropy Unit have the privilege of hearing these stories from generous supporters. Sometimes the story involves honouring someone significant through a gift; other times it’s responding to a deep internal impulse to create positive change in the world.

     Each story shared is inspiring, but this note included in a cheque sent by Rock Lake Pastoral Charge in Manitoba is especially delightful:

     “Please find enclosed our cheque for $125.00. One of our member’s great-grandchildren rolled loose coins they found around the house. There was 1 roll of loonies, 6 rolls of quarters, 6 rolls of dimes, and 5 rolls of nickels. The three children ages 12, 9, and 7 were told if they rolled the coins, they could use the money however they wanted. They decided very quickly that they wanted to give it to children/people of Ukraine. They brought the money to Rock Lake Pastoral Charge and asked to have the money sent through The United Church of Canada for Emergency response―ukraine. They wanted it to go through the church because their great-grandmother loved the church.”

     This story represents thoughtful, intentional giving at its finest. “The children could have gone and bought a toy or chocolate bar but they thought about it and decided to give it to help the people of Ukraine. They were so proud when they came into the office. It was a big heavy bag of coins they carried for seven or eight blocks to get here. They were really pleased to present it,” says office administrator Linda Sharpe.

     Every gift given is a treasure. Every gift given tells a story about generosity.

     Thank you for supporting the work we do together as a United Church. May the story we tell in our giving and receiving bring us ever more near the heart of God.


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.

Readings and Psalm:

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:9-14

Moses calls the people who are about to enter the promised land to renew the covenant God made with their ancestors. Through this covenant God gives life and asks for obedience. God’s commandment is neither burdensome nor too far off, but dwells in the people’s hearts.

9The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, 10when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

11Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

Psalm 25:1-10

R:  Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. (Ps. 25:4)

1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame,
  nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3Let none who look to you be put to shame; rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous.
4Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. R
5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;

        in you have I trusted all the day long.
6Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.
7Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;
  remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
8You are gracious and upright, O Lord; therefore you teach sinners in your way.
9You lead the lowly in justice and teach the lowly your way.
10All your paths, O Lord, are steadfast love and faithfulness
  to those who keep your covenant and your testimonies. R

Second Reading: Colossians 1:1-14

The letter to the Colossians was written to warn its readers of various false teachings. The first part of the letter is an expression of thanks for the faith, hope, and love that mark this community, including a prayer for strength and courage.

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 

3In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. 7This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Gospel: Luke 10:25-37

Jesus is challenged to explain what is involved in obeying the greatest commandment. He tells a parable rich in surprises: those expected to show pity display hard hearts while the lowly give and receive unexpected and lavish mercy.

25Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

HYMN:  MV 42  Praise God For This Holy Ground

SERMON:   Pentecost 5    Luke 10:25-37

Rev. Christie Morrow-Wolfe

Assistant to the Bishop, Public Policy & Service, Stewardship, Youth & Young Adult
Eastern Synod

It’s a dark and stormy, late summer evening. I am early in my teen years, sitting in the back of the family minivan…likely pretending I wasn’t sitting in the back of the family minivan…my two younger sisters are in the seats ahead of me; my Dad is driving; my Mom is in the passenger seat. We are on our way back from a late evening softball game that I was playing in, about 45 minutes away from home. The game had finished just in time as lightening began to flicker on the horizon. We are about 10 minutes into our journey home, on the highway, when all of a sudden, the wind picks up making the sound of an oncoming freight-train; the frequent flashes of lightening make it seem like daylight; and the amount of rain makes it feel like we are stuck in an unending carwash. The van is actually shuddering from the wind. It is a heart-stopping few minutes, made all the more so when I overhear my Dad say to my Mom, “I don’t know where we are. I can’t see a thing. Are we still on the road?” Keep in mind, this was back in the day before cell phones or Google Maps or any kind of GPS. We had no screen to map our place to let us know if we were indeed still on the road, or whether we were off in the rhubarb somewhere. It seemed to me that we were stuck in that deluge for about an hour, when in all reality, it was actually only about 5 or 10 minutes or so…just a downburst. Eventually the weather eased and we could proceed on our way home once again.

Now travelling with a family of my own, Google Maps is never far from reach. This travel tool has rerouted us; warned us of traffic snarls, oncoming construction, and guided us safely through unknown territory more times than I can count. We can even check the weather! It has become an essential part of any road trip, laying out a predictable path and providing us with the most efficient way to get there. The only heart-stopping moments these days is when we lose signal and the familiar voice from my phone ceases to talk to us…rendering us “lost” for a moment or two.

The road down to Jerusalem from Jericho was a dangerous stretch. You didn’t want to stop there. It wasn’t the place to pull over. In our modern day, this proposed route on our Google Maps might prompt us to opt for a different choice of paths laid out in our GPS to ensure our safe arrival. If he could, the one in the ditch could attest to the fact that this was not the safest stretch of road.

The story of the Good Samaritan is probably one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. It may be one of the earliest stories we remember hearing in church or Sunday School. The characters – the Priest, the Levite, the man in the ditch, the Samaritan, and of course, Jesus and the lawyer all have a role to play. In my recent reading and studying of this text, I was most struck, this time, by the lawyer…or the Scribe. It seems like in his questions, the lawyer is looking for a roadmap for salvation. He wants to hear about the proposed route Jesus would take to maybe see how it compares the route he is most familiar with. ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life, Jesus?’ or what is my road map for getting there?

The Scriptures tell us that the lawyer was testing Jesus. It was his job as a lawyer or a scribe, to be well versed in the laws of the Torah. And true to form, the lawyer demonstrates that he did indeed know his stuff reciting the law without barely even thinking — “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Even Jesus affirms this answer: “You have answered correctly,” he says, “Do this and you will live.” 

But the lawyer presses on…and he responds to Jesus with: “but who is my neighbour?” And this is when Jesus uses a parable to blow the conversation wide open, thereby stretching the lawyer’s understanding of a very familiar and predicable “law,” imploring him to consider that law of loving God and neighbour through the lens of love and Gospel. He understands the law on paper…but does he know what it means to live it according to Jesus’ teachings? 

So in the story Jesus tells, along come a Priest and a Levite on that dangerous, lonely road. And they choose to ignore the beaten one in the ditch — for whatever reason. Maybe they were afraid it was a trap…maybe they were so bound by their own rules / laws and institution that they will not risk getting bloodied and dirty by getting down in the ditch with the one in need. Whatever their reason, they cannot and will not bring themselves to any merciful action to help the person lying there so helpless, so they cross the road and proceed on their way.

And then along comes the Samaritan — an outsider and sworn enemy, and unlikely hero, going above and beyond to offer care and love to the one in need. The Samaritan takes a risk by stopping on this dangerous road…he shows compassion and mercy to one outside of his community; someone not like him. He dresses the wounds of the man in ditch, and then he uses his own resources to ensure continuing care so healing can occur.

In the telling of this parable, Jesus has changed the traditional rules. Can you imagine what this did to the neatly ordered world of the lawyer as Jesus is telling this story? This neatly ordered, well-versed world of the Scribe, with all his studying of the Torah and knowledge of the laws as they existed in very concrete, predictable terms! Can you imagine what Jesus’ teachings would do to the very institution the lawyer was a part of? Jesus has changed the rules and veered off a known course. The once familiar road map of life and order has been turned upside down…the voice of the GPS now beckoning the traveller along a new route and way home. Jesus has juxtaposed the Scribe’s understanding of the law with Jesus’ understanding of the law.

Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, has written that: “This kingdom of God the kingdom of danger and of risk, of eternal beginning and eternal becoming, of opened spirit and deep realization, kingdom of holy insecurity.”[1] I love that…the kingdom of holy insecurity.
Maybe this is what a journey of faith is all about. For it’s in the holy insecurity and resulting vulnerability where our hearts are opened to see the other…and to meet the other where they’re at. To realize that we all share a common humanity, and to come to terms with just how wide God continues to draw the circle. Maybe this is where we move past the point of thoughts and prayers ONLY and when where we are spurred on to a faith lived out through holy action and holy care and holy love. But, oh my, it can be so hard. Every day in our walk of faith, we are faced with the decision to take risk…to become vulnerable…to get down in the ditch of offer care, compassion, help and hope…. Some days we do just that. Other days, we’re the Priest and the Levite, crossing the road and hurrying on our way. Some days, we’re a really awesome Good Samaritan…other days, not so much. But all days we are called by God’s love to keep trying and to do as Jesus did and draw that circle wide and then wider still.

Using Jesus’ route on our holy GPS means letting go of certainty; giving up what might be easiest and safest and it frequently means getting messy. In the Evolving Faith Podcast from May 25th of this year, Jeff Chu spoke about the messy, unpredictable nature of faith…he says that we all cling to clarity…but that faith calls us to let go of clarity and seek trust and lean into trusting God instead. Doing so, he says, allows your mess to be messy; it allows your heart to wonder; and your questions to morph into half answers in their own good time because faith resists clear binaries. And what gets us through in the meantime is growing to know and trust that we still have God’s love. Through all the uncertainty, God’s love remains. God’s love is the thing that makes everything whole. This is not our doing. This is God’s work. And it’s God’s love that creates grace for what’s still in process. Even on those days when we cannot feel God’s love in its completeness — the promise of this love is enough and it helps us to embrace the uncertainty of faith each and every day. [2]

The Good Samaritan is a story for travellers on the road. Through it, Jesus provides us with a map – the GPS coordinates to the abundant and more intimate life that God desires with each of us. Getting there is guaranteed to be an adventure…it’s rarely a straightforward journey. Sometimes it’s risky; oftentimes it’s uncertain, but it’s in this exact moment of vulnerability where we meet and know God most readily…where we encounter God’s Spirit already working …already doing her thing. How blessed are we that she takes us along for the ride…along Jesus’ chosen route of love, hope, care and compassion. Along Jesus’ way home.

HYMN:   VU 600  When I Needed A Neighbour


United in Christ and guided by the Spirit, we pray for the church, the creation, and all in need.

Good and gracious God, you have placed your word of love in the heart of your church. Fill your church with compassion, that we bear the fruit of your healing mercy to a broken world. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You created the earth with seeds sprouting up to new life. We pray for the flourishing of fruit trees and orchards, vines and bushes. Prosper the work of those who plant, tend, harvest, and gather. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Show us your ways and teach us your paths of justice and love. Raise up community and national leaders to challenge and dismantle societal structures that perpetuate ethnic, racial, and religious profiling and discrimination. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Come near to all in need. Orchestrate kindness in the face of cruelty, hope where there is despair, love in the face of neglect, comfort where there is death, and healing in illness (especially). God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Turn this community toward neighbors in need. Bring aid and support to those who are poor, beaten down, abused, forgotten, silenced, or avoided (local outreach ministries may be named). God of grace,

hear our prayer.

We give thanks for the saints who revealed your love and mercy in this life. Inspired by their witness, strengthen us to live in hope. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of every time and place, in Jesus’ name and filled with your Holy Spirit, we entrust these spoken prayers and those in our hearts into your holy keeping.



SENDING SONG: VU 509  Here I Am, Lord


You are children of God, anointed with the oil of gladness and strengthened for the journey.

Almighty God, motherly, majestic, and mighty, ☩ bless you this day and always.





PRAIRIE TO PINE WEEKLY NEWS:  prairietopinerc.ca

Weekly News from MNO:  mnosynod@elcic.ca


** PASTOR LESLIE WILL BE AWAY ON HOLIDAY JUNE 30 – AUGUST 6 INCLUSIVE.  THERE WILL BE NO WORSHIP SERVICES DURING THIS TIME.  WORSHIP WILL RESUME IN PERSON ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 7.  If there is an emergency during this time, please call Debbie Swift, 204-712-6669, and she will direct you to the on-call clergy.

** In the interest of maintaining accurate church records, would you please email the church, or call and leave an answering machine message, regarding any changes to your phone numbers, emails, or any other information that has changed, or was not included, in the directory. 

[1] Martin Buber, as quoted in Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, Barbara Brown Taylor, Harper Collins 2019, pg. 81.

[2] Jeff Chu – Evolving Faith Podcast, May 25, 2022. Accessed on May 30, 2022