July 12, 2020 Service



Due to copywrite 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 we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 

                                                                                                Mother Teresa


God’s word is like the rain that waters the earth and brings forth vegetation. It is also like the sower who scatters seed indiscriminately. Our lives are like seeds sown in the earth. Even from what appears to be little, dormant, or dead, God promises a harvest. At the Lord’s table we are fed with the bread of life, that we may bear fruit in the world.

Call to Worship

We are all different, yet God invites us to journey together.

Loving God, go with us.

If we set our sights on God’s spirit, we will have life and peace.

Loving God, go with us.

If we hear God’s word and respond to it, we will do great things.

Loving God, go with us.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  VU Page 884  You Shall Go Out With Joy


Almighty God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your word. By your Holy Spirit help us to receive it with joy, live according to it, and grow in faith and hope and love, through 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.



You are going to need your parents’ help, and permission, for this…

Today Jesus talks about a farmer who was sowing seeds.  A reality check for all you kids who live on a grain farm:  there were no air seeders, tractors to pull the air seeders or harrows in Jesus’ day.  If you were a farmer, you usually had two oxen to pull a small, single blade plow through hard soil.  Then you could sow the seed one of two ways:  1.  Once all the soil was turned up, you could toss the seed onto the soil and wait for the rain to push it into the ground so it could grow.  2.  You could have someone follow the plow and hand feed the seeds into a funnel that would put the seeds right into the furrow and then they would get covered up by the soil as it closed over the plowed line.

Seed was expensive, so farmers did not waste it.  Well, at least in real life they didn’t.  The Parable, or teaching story, that Jesus tells the people has a farmer (representing God) sowing seeds with reckless abandon!  This sower throws seeds everywhere!  The seeds land on a rocky path, in shallow soil, in patches of weeds and in good soil. Extravagant!  Wasteful!  God doesn’t care!  God spreads love to everyone and if they take it, they take it.  If they don’t, they don’t!  And you know what else?  God doesn’t stop spreading love!!  Ever!

If I was outside, I would show you my seed-sowing dance.  It has a lot of twirls and arm waving, a bit of fancy footwork…but, alas, I am filming this indoors.  So, you are going to have to do the sowing dance for me.  If your parents will let you, take a bag of birdseed out into your yard.  Grab a handful of seeds, and TOSS THEM IN THE AIR!  Take another handful of seeds, and TOSS THEM IN THE AIR AS YOU TURN IN A CIRCLE!  Be like God and spread that seed as far and wide as you can!  Be extravagant!  Be wasteful!  Be exceedingly generous!  The birds will thank you!  Not only that, you will experience the tiniest feeling of what it feels like to be God spreading love in the world!!

Now, if your parents don’t want you throwing birdseed around the yard, then may I suggest you get a bottle of bubble mixture and spread bubbles around your yard!  Twirl, jump, jete, leap, cartwheel, summersault!  Whatever works to spread those seeds or those bubbles, enjoy the moment and think of God spreading love!

Let us pray:  Dear God, thank you for your unconditional love.  Thank you for being so generous in sharing that love with us.  Help us to be equally generous in sharing your love with others.  Amen.



Community ministries are places where God is present and active.

The term “partnership” can describe a wide range of relationships undertaken by the church. The work of the church is accomplished through working with others—some full ministries of the church, including community-based organizations, as well as through relationships with organizations and coalitions we know as national partners. Mission & Service supports partnerships with community ministries across Canada.

In addition to congregations, the church includes ministries such as camps, campus ministries, and community and social justice ministries that support people seeking basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, advocacy services, and spiritual guidance. There are over 60 community ministries.

Community ministries are often full ministries and expressions of the church, while some have developed into community-based organizations that partner with a variety of local government and non-governmental organizations. Through these relationships, the church is able to faithfully and more fully make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people. These ministries call the church to risk new forms of life and membership, to be willing to be transformed by those on the margins of society, and to join them as the place where God is present and active.

Through partner relationships, the church engages in advocacy and justice, research and policy, education and theological reflection, congregational engagement for justice-making, and community support.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.


Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.  

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-13

God’s word to Israel’s exiles is as sure and effective as never-failing precipitation. Their return to the Holy Land in a new exodus is cheered on by singing mountains and by trees that clap their hands.


 Psalm 65:1-13

Your paths overflow with plenty. (Ps. 65:11)


 Second Reading: Romans 8:1-11

There is no condemnation for those who live in Christ. God sent Christ to accomplish what the law was unable to do: condemn sin and free us from its death-dealing ways. The Spirit now empowers proper actions and values in our lives and gives us the promise of resurrected life.

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

In Matthew’s gospel, both Jesus and his disciples “sow the seed” of God’s word by proclaiming the good news that “the kingdom of heaven is near.” Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear.


My year of internship down in inner-city Toledo, Ohio, was one of my most profound to date. It brought to life this parable and, I gotta tell ya, this parable has nothing to do with soil.  This parable is all about sowing seeds.


There I was, this young, female Canadian who, though young, had been around the block of life, so I was not so naïve as to think this internship year was going to be a walk in the park!


I had worked with Ottawa Children’s Aid one summer and experienced “the slums” of Ottawa.  The scale of poverty and addiction in the area surrounding Peace Lutheran Church, Toledo, was staggering!  Operating out of the church building was Cocaine Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and various other self-help groups.  Cocaine anonymous was by far the largest group.  They used the church gym.  It was so packed with people each week that if they could have hung seats from the ceiling, they would have been full as well!  Kudos to all the people who showed up every week to gain the support needed to stay clean for another week and help them lead a productive life!!


The leader of Cocaine Anonymous was a young man named Dan.  Dan was in his late 20’s and his life was the stuff of horror and gangster movies.  Yet there he was, every week, sowing seeds of love, acceptance, hope, forgiveness and courage.  He knew he was the example that every person in that packed gym looked to for guidance.  Dan knew himself to loved, forgiven, accepted by God.  He woke up every morning and reminded himself of that reality so that he would stay clean in order to sow the seeds of love at the meetings.  This took considerable effort as cocaine addiction is, according to those who struggle with the drug, one of the most difficult from which to get clean.


Geneva Tribett was an amazing black woman with whom I connected and was fortunate to become her friend and hear part of her story.  She managed a liquor store in downtown Toledo.  She had to deal with all walks of people in her store – those trying to get into her store, those being escorted out of her store, those vandalizing her store…you get the picture.  True, there were days when she wanted to whack people’s heads together and knock some sense into them!  Still, she prayed for these people because they were down and out in life.  She was firm, yet polite.  Geneva was a sower of the seeds of understanding.  She taught those who were not addicted, who were financially and food secure, to see those who were down and out with a different view.  Not, pity – rather, as children of God.  She taught others to give a hand up, rather than a hand out. 


Geneva grew up in the deep south.  As a child, Geneva had witnessed several of her relatives being lynched.  It traumatized her.  Her mother, an equally strong woman, told Geneva not to put all white people in the same basket.  There were white folks who did their utmost to help the black folks.  Geneva learned to accept each person on their own merit; was taught to see each person as a child of God.  Geneva was taught that everyone was loved and forgiven by God.  Geneva was a formidable sower of seeds!


My supervisor, Pastor Bill, was a man who loved people.  He was strongly connected to God and volunteered in the community so that he could tell people they were loved by God every day.  Bev, his wife, was equally involved with those in the community.  She had a smile and hug for everyone!  One could not help but feel happy when Bev and Bill were in the room!  One could also not help but feel God’s love.


And then, there was me.  I was pretty much told that I would be the youth leader.  I didn’t want to be the youth leader.  I had enough to learn from Bill, plus I had to write several essays for seminary while on internship.  Youth ministry takes up a lot of time and requires a strong commitment to the kids involved.  In the end, it didn’t matter what I wanted.  God said, “You are the youth leader.” 


Ok, then…


One of the youths was suicidal, another had parents going through a nasty divorce.  Another youth was obsessed with his girlfriend to the point of stalking, still another was a self-professed racist who hated black people, yet his best friend in the group was black.  One female youth member became pregnant during that year, another kept trying to run away from home.  Then there was the young woman who had an emotional breakdown during Youth Group on Sunday morning…


Thank you, God.


This parable that Jesus tells is NOT, as far a I am concerned, about soil!  It is about this persistent, extravagant, wasteful, generous, hopeful sower who doesn’t care where the seed goes, into what soil it lands.  The sower is only concerned with constantly sowing seeds, inundating the soil, if you will, so that no matter where one walks, there will be seeds – of love, acceptance, forgiveness, peace, hope and joy.


Remember I said that although I was young, I had been around the block of life?  Well, that journey taught me how to sow seeds.  Believe you me, I relied heavily on God to provide me with all that I needed to love, accept and guide these youth!!  It was an intense, draining, fulfilling, inspiring, insane, hilarious, adventurous and profoundly spiritual year of sowing seeds!  It doesn’t matter what soil type each person is.  What matters is that the seeds keep coming, keep sharing the Good News, keep giving love, so that, eventually, people hear the Good News, and hearing it, believe it, and believing it, live it!!  Hallelujah and Amen! 


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #138  My Love Colours Outside The Lines


Loving Creator, you pour your love out for us and ask us to journey with you in hope.  May we feel your presence and trust in your promises.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


The land, waters, skies and creatures surrounding us are filled with beauty.  We give thanks for the many blessings of creation. May we be caring and thoughtful stewards for this precious gift.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


We know that many in our world suffer in mind, body and spirit.  We ask that your healing love would embrace each one. We pray for Myrtle & Art Ganske; Mike Froese; Brooke Alexiuk; Abbie; Tracy Skoglund; Carolyn & Douglas; for the family of Don Dowswell; Amber; Nicole; Gordon Dreger; Diane Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Elizabeth & David.  May we embody your compassion to the brokenness in our world.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Holy One, speak into and through our lives; show us how to walk with you in grace.  May we be your hands and hearts in this world. Amen.



Go into the world to plant seeds of kindness and love.

We go to serve our God!

Go into the world to nurture all aspects of God’s creation, caring for them, and helping them to grow in love.

We go to serve our God!

Go into the world to blossom and grow the way God wants.

We go to serve our God!  Amen.


SENDING SONG:  MV #41  O Beautiful Gaia



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19/20 WPOG License: Congregation 25-49