July 5, 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.


Taking the risk of choosing life and dedicating ourselves to God’s service rather than yielding to the yoke of society can at times be extremely difficult. It is helpful to hear, over and over again, the empowering stories of people who found ways to trust in God’s yoke of liberation. Trusting in God and in God’s Anointed One can provide us with an inner strength and peace that will lighten all our burdens.

Call to Worship

God invites us to venture into unknown places.  We can do that, for we know that God goes with us.

We trust, we dare, we follow.

Jesus calls us to take his yoke upon us, and to learn from him.  We can do that, for Jesus also says, “if you are tired, come to me, and I will refresh you.”

We trust, we dare, we follow.

Let us worship God, who challenges us, and who comforts us.

We trust, we dare, we follow.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  WOV #712  Listen, God Is Calling


You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through 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.



No doubt you have heard of a yolk.  It is the yellow blob that is inside an egg.  It is the food that feeds the chick as it grows inside the egg.  This is not the same yoke to which Jesus refers in today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew. 

An egg yolk is spelled y-o-l-k.  The yoke of which Jesus speaks is spelled y-o-k-e.  It is part of a harness that horses, oxen, donkeys or other animals, that have to pull machinery or equipment, wear, to help them pull together as a team.  This is why I included a picture so you can see what a harness yoke looks like.  Actually, if you go to the Morris Museum, there is a very old yoke hanging on one of the walls.  It is filled with straw.  The yoke fits around the neck of the horse spreading out the weight the horse has to pull with its partner.  This allows the animal full use of its muscles while avoiding having the leather straps dig into its skin while pulling. 

People have yokes as well.  We call them backpacks.  You probably have one for school.  If you have a good quality backpack, the straps will have thick padding where they fit over your shoulders.  This is so that as you put more weight into the backpack, the straps will not dig into your skin and it helps to spread out the weight of the backpack across your shoulders.  Now you know how a horse feels.

Sometimes life can be hard.  Sometimes, bad things happen to people we love, or to us, and we feel weighed down, as if we are wearing a yoke, or backpack, and it is getting heavier and heavier, and we think we can’t keep going because we feel so scared and sad and alone.  It is at this moment that Jesus says, “Talk to me! I want to share your pain.  Tell me about your feeling scared.  I am right here with you!  Let me help share your load of what life is giving you so that you can cope better.  Let me share your pain so that you can get through it without it being so overwhelming!”

Think of the horses.  They are a TEAM!  There are two of them to pull together.  It is so much easier to carry a backpack if someone else is wearing one of the straps!  It literally takes the weight off your shoulder!  Jesus is offering to carry the weight of your worries so that you don’t feel so pressed down and alone.

I want to stress a very important point.  When we share our worries, fears and feelings with Jesus, it does not mean that suddenly life will be perfect, people who are sick or dying will leap up totally healthy and we will feel like running a marathon!  NOPE.  What it DOES mean, when we share our “yoke” with Jesus, is that we WILL find the strength, courage, faith and hope to get through the tough times.  We will still have the problems, or illness, AND it will not seem so heavy.  God has put people into our lives – family, friends, medical professionals, pastors, even animal friends! to help us cope.  We can carry the burden with greater strength and know, “I can get through this!”  That is what Jesus means.  This is what Jesus wants:  to have you talk to him so he can help! 

Let us pray:  Jesus, help us to trust you and your love for us that we will not feel alone during tough times, but know we can talk to you at any moment, and you will hear us and help us.  Amen.


Camp Bimini creates camping memories.


Put friends first to make friends last—

On this you can depend.

Through thin or thick, you’ll be my pick—You’ll always be my friend.

Bimini friends are always friends,

Who always will be near.

Through Jesus Christ we’re a family

To last all through the years.

Since 1947, Camp Bimini has been offering memorable camping experiences for all ages. Adventures in nature, sports, crafts, music, swimming, campfires and more encourage staff, campers, and volunteers to play, laugh, learn, love, sing, grow, teach, create, and simply be.

The well-being of children and adults is linked to the amount of time spent in nature: The more time spent outdoors, the better off people are. At Bimini, God’s creation is vibrant and dynamic, an awesome and awe-filled place and space.

The camp is energized for the upcoming season and all that it will be offering. They are energized, too, for what our campers, staff, and volunteers will be sharing with one another. Friends are always nearby, and times of discovery and opportunities to do both familiar and new things are always there. Everyone looks forward to all the adventure, discovery, fun, and friendship. When you are at Bimini, you are repeatedly reminded that you are indeed a precious child of God. The camp hopes everyone experiences that “Bimini friends are always friends.”

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.


God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us. Amid all the changing words of our generation, speak your eternal Word that does not change. Then may we respond to your gracious promises with faithful and obedient lives; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading:  Zechariah 9:9-12

The coming messianic king will inaugurate an era of disarmament and prosperity. Because of God’s covenant with Israel, the people are designated as “prisoners of hope.”

Psalm 145:8-14

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. (Ps. 145:8)

Second Reading: Romans 7:15-25a

Life captive to sin is a catch-22 existence in which we know good but do not do it and do things we know to be wrong. Through Jesus Christ, God has set us free from such a futile existence.

Gospel:  Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Jesus chides people who find fault with both his ministry and that of John the Baptist. He thanks God that wisdom and intelligence are not needed to receive what God has to offer.



I absolutely love the movie Jesus of Montreal.  So much so, that I spent a good deal of money in order to buy my own video – yes, video.  I am dating myself.  Every time I watch the movie, I am struck by how much Jesus’ actual life must have been like this movie!  Which probably explains why there are people who take offence.  They take offence that Jesus is portrayed as lowering himself (translate that as being too real), that he is too involved with the dirtiness of people’s lives.  Funny, I find that reality in the scriptures, therefore why take offence at a movie that lives out the same?

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”  Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”  Do not these words indicate that Jesus chose to be involved in the dirtiness of people’s lives, and that his love for them was his vindication? 

In the movie, a young actor, named Daniel Colombe, is asked by a Montreal priest to create a passion play.  Daniel takes on the challenge and begins to look for fellow actors.  His first contact is a former drama school colleague who is a single mother, works in a soup kitchen, and who, it is later revealed, is the mistress of the priest.  She in turn suggests several friends who would be strong actors for the play.  The first is a man who does voice-overs for pornographic films.  The second is an agnostic who narrates science films and who finally agrees to be in the play on the condition that he can quote Hamlet’s soliloquy “To be or not to be….”    The third is a model who has been taught all her life that she is beautiful only because she has a fantastic body and flawless facial features. 

Daniel portrays Jesus in the play, yet as the movie progresses it becomes obvious that Daniel’s life with his friends, as they work on the production, is an actual living out of Jesus’ life with his disciples.  So why do people take offence at this movie?  It depicts a Jesus who is too real, who hangs out with the wrong crowd, who does not live up to OUR expectations of who Jesus was and “should be.”  Yes, there is swearing in the movie, and, yes, even a flash of nudity, but is that enough to raise the protest?  What frustrates me about those who protest is that they fail to see the gospel of Christ that flows throughout the movie.  More accurately, they choose not to hear the good news being proclaimed.  They choose, rather, to focus on the swearing, the flash of nudity, and the lifestyles of the actors instead of choosing to see how Daniel’s unconditional love for these people, his acceptance of where they are at in life and his encouragement to them to be the best they can be as persons, not just as actors, changes their lives and makes them better people.  Spoiler alert!:  even Daniel’s death has a profound effect, not just on his close circle of friends, but on the strangers who benefit from the donation of his organs. 

So how, I would like to know, is this movie so different from the life of Jesus in the scriptures?!  Hear again the words of those who took offence at the Son of God:

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

Ok, let’s take a serious look at who Jesus was, who his disciples were, and see how offended we get. 

Mary Magdalene – it is church tradition that states she was a prostitute and that Jesus exorcized seven demons from her.  His love and acceptance of who she was so moved and inspired her that she became a devoted follower.  Not only that, she became the first evangelist – the teller of the good news – on Easter Sunday!  Imagine where she would have ended up had Jesus not shown her such love and acceptance, if Jesus had not been ‘a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’  Look at the disciple Matthew, a despised tax collector who was loved and accepted by Jesus and who, as a result of this love, was also inspired and became a devoted follower.  What about those coarse, weather-beaten, uneducated fishermen – particularly Peter?  Do you think these fishermen were as pure as the driven snow?  Look at Peter – much of his time following Jesus was spent trying to pull his foot out of his mouth!  If anyone was going to say something inappropriate or down right ridiculous, it was Peter!

Remember the woman caught in the act of adultery?  The morality squad was getting ready to stone her, until Jesus pointed out their own sinfulness.  Well shucks, didn’t they all up and leave when he stated that fact.  And then, when Jesus turns to this woman and asks who is left to condemn her, she replies, “No one, sir,” and Jesus’ response to her is, “Neither do I.” 

What about Zacchaeus?  Another outcast with whom Jesus chose to do lunch; to whom Jesus chose to show love and acceptance and as a result, Zacchaeus’ heart was moved and he became a better person.

What about the blind man whom Jesus healed by mixing his spit with dirt and smearing it on the man’s eyes?  Or the Samaritan woman whom Jesus called a ‘dog’ to her face when she asked if he would heal her daughter?  Jesus has a change of heart and grants her request because of the faith and spunk this woman demonstrated out of the love for her daughter,

Then there is Judas Iscariot.  Knowing full well who Judas was, Jesus embraced him in love and acceptance and made him a disciple.

The wedding at Cana.  Jesus turned all that water into wine.  Do you actually believe he never drank any of that wine?  Remember, they called Jesus a glutton and a drunkard – there had to be a reason why. 

Are you offended yet?  If so, I say “GOOD!”  I want you to realize that Jesus was real, was human, chose to associate with those he did because God loves EVERYBODY, and sent Jesus to redeem EVERYBODY, and out of love he willingly entered their lives, offered them love and acceptance and they were never the same people again. 

I have reached a point in my spiritual journey where I believe that if we could actually go back in time to walk beside Jesus as he lived out his ministry, we would be greatly disappointed.  Jesus would be living out the unconditional love of God.  That just doesn’t fit with our expectations and preconceived notions of who we believe Jesus should be.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

People of God, it is time to give up our expectations, our preconceived notions, our prejudices, our Christian arrogance, our fundamentalist way of looking at the world.  It is weighing us down so much that our faces are in the dirt!  The yoke that Jesus speaks of is the yoke of love.  It is so easy to love, and love is so light to carry, if only we would choose to carry it in our hearts and minds and souls.  To put on the yoke of Christ, the yoke of love, is to watch the movie Jesus of Montreal and to be moved by the power of the gospel being proclaimed.  To put on the yoke of Christ, the yoke of love, is to embrace all people, wherever they are at in life, and love them for who they are.  To put on the yoke of Christ, the yoke of love, is to put away religious arrogance that believes God only works through Christians and the Christian church.  Jesus was not a Christian; he was a Jew.  The Christian Church has its roots buried deep in Judaism.  Let us not forget that.  To put on the yoke of Christ, the yoke of love, is to acknowledge that God is at work in an imperfect world.  

I have been called by God into the ministry of word and sacrament.  It is a call that I chose when it was offered to me.  My life and ministry have taken me into places you would not want to enter, let alone sit on a chair.  My life and ministry have given me many friends.  My life and ministry have led me to have conversations with prostitutes, drug addicts, sexual abusers, prison inmates, suicidal teens and adults, the homeless, the mentally and physically challenged and those in the LGBTQIA community.  My life and ministry have brought me to an appreciation for other faiths and religious perspectives.  This does not mean that I agree with them all, rather, I appreciate them and glean value where I see the gospel of Christ being revealed in one of its many forms.  My life and ministry have led me to question the teachings of the church, to question the scriptures, and yes, to even question God.  And guess what, I still have my faith, and God’s love gives me permission to let me ask my questions.   God is gracious and quick to reassure me that indeed, being a minister in Christ’s church made up of broken human beings, being served by broken human beings, all redeemed, is what I am called to do until my last breath. 

To put on the yoke of Christ, the yoke of love, means to know joy in the heart, peace in the soul and freedom.  It does not guarantee that life will be easy or that the desire to throw in the towel some days won’t rear its head.  It does mean that as long as we choose to love with the love of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit will give us the strength, faith, wisdom and courage to get us through, no matter what.  Amen.


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


Called into unity with one another and the whole creation, let us pray for our shared world.

We pray for the church. Sustain us as we share your word. Embrace us as we struggle to find our common ground. Lift up leaders with powerful and prophetic voices. Free us from stagnant faith. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for the well-being of creation. Protect the air, water, and land from abuse and pollution. Free us from apathy in our care of creation and direct us toward sustainable living. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for the nations. Guide leaders in developing just policies and guide difficult conversations. Free us from patriotism that hinders relationship-building. Lead us to expansive love for our neighbor. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


We pray for all in need. For all who are tired, feeling despair, sick, or oppressed. We ask for healing for friends and family in all our communities.  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. Take their yoke upon you and ease their burdens. Give your consolation and free us from all that keeps us bound. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We pray for this parish. Bless the pastor, secretary, congregational leaders and musicians. Energize children’s ministry, church administrators, and those who maintain our buildings. Shine in these places that we might notice the ways your love transforms our lives. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for those who have died in faith. Welcome them into your eternal rest and comfort us in our grief until we are joined with them in new life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those too deep for words; through Jesus Christ our Lord.





Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

God, the creator, ☩ Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.



SENDING SONG:  VU #333  Love Divine, All Loves Excellilng


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19/20 WPOG License: Congregation 25-49