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.


“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”



     The world can be a dangerous place, and we all long for someone, some leader, who will watch over us and protect us from all harm. The prophet Jeremiah issues strong cautions to those who abuse the trust placed in them to care for God’s people, and the psalmist sings the praises of the Lord who guards and guides us through life’s trials.

     But the letter to the Ephesians suggests that lasting safety comes through the healing and reconciling work of Christ, which allows us to share a meal with those we are inclined to regard as enemies, because Christ has “broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” So, in Christ, aliens become citizens and strangers become members of the household of God.

     Living into this reality requires all of us to be diligent in our practices with and policies toward all kinds of “strangers and aliens” in our world and in our lives. It means making peace with those whose politics make them strange to us, and creating genuine welcome for the newcomer in our classrooms, workplaces and congregations. It means considering the needs of immigrants and refugees through the lens of Christian faith as well as national identity, and not assuming the two are the same.

     The reassuring news this day is that God, unlike so many who hold power in this world, is already reconciling the world to God’s own self and us to one another. We enact this new reality each time we pass the peace or come to the Lord’s supper, not because we have finally achieved the peace we seek, but because in Christ God’s future reign of peace has already broken into our present.


Christ our Lord united his followers together in Christian love.

His presence makes our fellowship a happy experience.

When Christ is our life, our fellowship takes on the nature of Christ, we experience unity, love and humility toward one another.

May Christ live in us, that we may be like him.

CHILDREN’S SONG  MV 145  Draw The Circle Wide


O God, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us. Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace 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.


     When I was four years old, I would lay in the grass, look up at the sky and talk to God.  When I was older, I would make myself a cup of tea after school, sit on the back porch steps, sip my tea and talk to God. 

     One day, while out on a bike ride, I came across this beautiful tree with a sturdy branch.  The view was wonderful from that branch.  It looked out over the Gatineau hills (you will have to Google that!).  While sitting on that branch, I would talk to God.

     Jesus made sure to take time for himself to talk to God.  When the disciples were getting tired from spending so many hours helping people and sharing the Good News of God’s love, Jesus made certain they all took time away from everyone to rest and pray.

     Since Covid, I have found that my life has gotten busier.  Sometimes, life has been so busy that I have missed my morning devotions and prayer time.  What I have learned is that when I miss out on that devotion and prayer time, my life gets discombobulated.  The only way for me to get centered again is to make sure I have my private time with God, just like Jesus did.  Jesus was smart that way.  He knew that keeping in touch with God every day would ground him, help him to focus on what God wanted him to do. 

     If I’m smart, I will be smart like Jesus!  How about you?



     When Alf Dumont’s Roman Catholic father and Anishinaabe mother asked the priest serving the Shawanaga reserve to marry them, the priest rejected their request, advising them to “marry someone of their own kind.” Nearby, a United Church minister had a different response. He told the couple he had just two rules: “If you have differences, talk them out and just try to get along.”

     “Dad and Mom said ‘I think we can do that.’ They brought together First Nations understanding and non-First Nations understanding. That’s how I came to the church,” Dumont recounts in a United in Learning webinar.

     Dumont spent his life as a spiritual leader, serving the United Church as a minister while staying connected with his traditional Indigenous spirituality. His memoir The Other Side of the River: From Church Pew to Sweat Lodge shares stories of how Dumont walks between the two worlds of Indigenous and settler, traditional spirituality and Christianity.

     “Part of the struggle with me in life was to find out who I was as Anishinaabe and who I was as French, Irish, and English mix,” Dumont shares. With a foot in both sides of the river, Dumont’s words eloquently draw together spiritual threads.

     “There are seven truths in some of the Anishinaabe teaching: love, courage, respect, humility, truth, wisdom, and love. But you can’t have one of those teachings or truths without having the other. So you can’t have respect without love. You can’t have truth without humility,” explains Dumont. “I took those underlying teachings and applied them to the four teachings on love: Love God. Love your neighbour. Love your enemy. Love yourself. You can’t have one teaching without the other. You can’t love God if you don’t truly love yourself. You cannot love your neighbour unless you truly love God.”

     In an interviewBroadview magazine asked Dumont to weigh in on the future of reconciliation: “Part of the struggle has to do with learning to walk together again. It means being as open as we can,” he says. “You bring a gift that I don’t have; I bring a gift that you may not have. And as we share, we learn from the gifts that we have been given.”

     Your gifts through Mission & Service help support the creation and publication of luminous, timely work like Dumont’s book as well as the webinar discussions and education events that follow. Through listening and learning, we take important steps forward on the journey toward reconciliation.


Eternal God, in the reading of the scripture, may your Word be heard; in the meditations of our hearts, may your Word be known; and in the faithfulness of our lives, may your Word be shown.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

Jeremiah prophesied before the exile in 587 BCE. In this passage, he uses the metaphor of a shepherd to describe the bad kings who have scattered the “flock” of Israel. God promises to gather the flock and to raise up a new king from David’s line to save Israel and Judah.

1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 

2Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 

3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 

4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

5The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 

6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

  • Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. (Ps. 23:1)

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
3You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
 you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. R

  • Second Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22

The author of this letter reminds his audience that originally, they were not part of God’s chosen people. Through Jesus’ death, however, they are included in God’s household of faith, whose cornerstone is Jesus Christ.

11Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—

12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 

14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 

15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 

16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 

17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 

18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 

19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 

20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 

21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

  • Gospel: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

When Jesus sends his disciples out to teach and heal, they minister among large numbers of people. Their work is motivated by Christ’s desire to be among those in need.

30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 

31He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 

32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 

33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 

34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 

54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 

55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 

56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.



Pentecost 8

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Rev. Prema Samuel
Assistant to the Bishop, Synod of Alberta and the Territories

We are exhausted.

As I am preparing this sermon, I am hot and sticky and tired. It is 34 degrees and I have a whole week of this ahead. How I feel this dry, hot day reflects how I have felt the past number of months.

I turn to Facebook for some escape. I usually enjoy pictures of people’s camping trips and flower gardens, beautiful baby pictures and family events. But populated throughout social media are stories of the great injustices – injustices perpetrated on our Muslim brothers and sisters… the horrors of the residential schools. These issues, along with concerns of climate change and gender equality, are of immense importance. But for just a few blessed minutes I want to find an escape from all that needs to be done, to be challenged, voiced — to find peace. Quickly enough, that quest for positivity becomes swallowed up by the darkness I was hoping to avoid for a few, precious minutes.

When I check out the news feeds from my family and friends in India, I find the same thing waiting for me. The grim realities of COVID, as my country of birth faces levels of death and trauma due to the virus which some have referred to as a genocidal in nature. Of course, that does not even take into consideration the migrant workers seeking work or refuge, amidst the numerous atrocities towards women and young children, students and so on. I feel helpless, knowing I am half a world away and can do nothing to help. All I can do is pray and hope that God will see my family and my country through this horrible time, and I worry.

The COVID realities here in Canada are fraught with uncertainty. The province I am currently living in is set to open on July 1st and many await it with anxiety. Yes, it will be nice to see everyone again and do the many things we have put on hold, but there is always the worry that this might precipitate another wave. We do not want to go through anymore lockdowns, but we certainly don’t want to see any more loss of life either.

Needless to say, I am exhausted, deep in my bones and soul and I know that I echo a sentiment shared by many. I am exhausted!

In our Gospel reading, Mark tells of the disciples returning to Jesus from their missionary work, excited by all that they have done and taught. It reminds me of the day when my grade 1 child returned from a hot field trip day at the Zoo. He was so excited to tell all me about all that he saw and did at the Zoo, that he did not give any thought to the heat of the day and that he had been walking through most of it and possibly very tired. As a mother, my first thought was, “did you eat your lunch, did you drink enough water throughout the day?” – to ensure that he was well and cared for.

Responding to them, Jesus recognizes that and offers the disciples the invitation for rest and nourishment. They are invited to eat and rest, knowing that soon enough they will need to return to world. But right now, rest is far more important. Without it, they will not be able to do what they have been called to do. 

How many times, over the last many months, have you rested? And when I say rested, I mean truly rested. A soul rest that leaves you nourished and feeling alive. The soul rest that is so needed after the soul work, the Spirit’s work that comes from passion and love for the speaking and doing – proclaiming the Gospel.

This soul rest has certainly been a challenging one for me through this time of COVID. Along with negotiating the world we live in, to negotiate education and care for my family, ensure the call I have been invited to serve is… to worry about loved ones’ health and well-being. Not even to mention the exhaustion from weeping for and with our Indigenous siblings, speaking for climate justice, challenging discrimination against persons of color and disabilities, against the many oppressions and injustices… This is soul work and it is exhausting! And needs the soul nourishment and soul rest. 

There isn’t time for soul rests and taking the kind of nourishment that brings fullness to the soul. I am sure that like me, you have to make do with little driblets of rest, most of which feel like cat naps when what we need is a long, real soul rest.

When Jesus offers his disciples rest, there is a part of me that wants to call out, “Me too. Please. I need that food and rest too!” It sounds so wonderful, to rest in the presence of Jesus.

Perhaps that sentiment was shared by others outside of the disciples. Because, as they rest, others, many others, come to Jesus. They are seeking something. Perhaps it is healing or wholeness or perhaps just standing in the presence of Jesus. Jesus, seeing them, goes to them because he has compassion on them. As the disciples rest, Jesus continues the soul work of teaching and healing. Many, like the Syrophoenician woman from the June 27th reading, are content just reaching out to touch the fringe of Jesus’ cloak. In that moment, they find the rest, the love and the wholeness that they need. We don’t know what kind of life they were facing, but it was likely not easy. The Romans and the Judean elites would have made life difficult for them. But in Jesus, they had found life and it was enough just to touch the fringe of his cloak. It was enough for them to find the healing they needed so that they could keep moving and keep living.

In this moment of our history, we need the rest in Jesus. We echo the needs of the disciples and those that came running and those that were brought to Jesus. Whether we were trying to help negotiate the church through this unprecedented time or whether we were just trying to hold on, our very being cries out for relief and for hope. We are crying out for our God. And as Christ does, he comes to us in compassion and offers us that peace, that rest. Christ gathers us in and bids us to rest, to put down our burdens and let go.

That is not to say that we are no longer needed in the world. Soon enough, we will need to set off once again and be agents of Christ’s love in the world. But we also need to rest and find nourishment and succor for our souls. We need to find that healing and peace that only Christ can give, or we risk being taken down by the cares of the world.

And mind you, as he did that day… while the disciples rested, Christ continued to heal, teach, nourish and care.

In our need, Christ comes and offers us food and rest knowing that we will have to go back out into the world. As we rest Christ continues the healing and teaching. We rest in Christ to be strengthened to get back to where Christ is to speak, challenge, heal, teach, nurture and nourish in compassion – to go and do the soul work. We are needed to be the hands, heart, ears, voice, eyes of Christ. But for now, knowing Christ continues the work of compassion, we are invited to rest, to rejuvenate, to renew. We will go out with renewed strength to clearly see and do, with refreshed heart to passionately love and challenge, with revived hope to heal and forgive. But he won’t let us do that so exhausted that we cannot even function. Instead, he will grant us peace, restore our hope and help us to see again that we are valued and loved always so that in turn, we can value and love God’s children.

To this God who, in challenging and calling us to be the missionaries of justice, healing and peace, invites and reminds us of the peace, healing and rest bringing wholeness, we say, “Amen and thanks be to God.“

HYMN OF THE DAY  MV 1  Let Us Build A House


Rooted in Christ and sustained by the Spirit, we offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all of creation.

Tend your church, O God. Encourage bishops, moderators, pastors and deacons in their proclamation of the gospel. Raise up new leaders and encourage those pursuing a call to ministry. Embolden all the baptized to embody your love and justice.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Restore your creation, O God. Sustain croplands and pastures and safeguard all farm animals and livestock. Preserve lakes, rivers, and streams that offer refreshment. Revive lands recovering from natural disasters and protect coastlands threatened by rising oceans.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Reconcile the nations, O God. Break down the dividing walls that make us strangers to one another and unite us as one human family. Equip leaders to deal wisely with conflict and guide diplomats who seek peaceful solutions.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Heal your people, O God. Look with compassion on immigrants, exiles, and all who are afraid or feel lost. Lord God, help us to walk humbly with our Muslim and Indigenous sisters and brothers.  There is a great pain and a great rift.  Grant us courage.  Give rest to those who are weary, comfort to those who are grieving, and recovery to those who are ill.  We bring before you Lil Schieman, Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Dwayne, Tracy Skoglund, Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Nourish this parish, O God. Prepare a table where we receive food for our hungering spirits. Renew our commitment to provide for one another and revitalize our ministries of feeding and nurturing hungry neighbors.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You lead us home, O God. We give thanks for all who have died, now citizens with the saints. As you have received them into your heavenly home, so welcome all of us to dwell in your house forever.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We lift these and all our prayers to you, O God, confident in the promise of your saving love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


SENDING SONG  VU 672  Take Time To Be Holy    


May the God who dances in creation, who embraces us with human love, who shakes our lives like thunder, + bless us and drive us out with power, to fill the world with divine justice. 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 Noncommercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.