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 the internet may find the songs on YouTube.

Parts of this worship service are taken from The Sacred Drum: Celebrating Indigenous Spirituality and Strength – 2023 Indigenous Day of Prayer Service, by Shane Goldie.  Shane Goldie is the student minister at Knox and St. Paul’s United Churches, Taber and Milk River, Alberta.


Your gifts are not about YOU.  Leadership is not about YOU.  Your purpose is not about YOU.  A life of significance is about SERVING those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose.

~Kevin Hall, author, Aspire.


Throughout the Torah, God reminds the chosen people of Israel that they have been chosen in order to be a blessing to the world. The Israelites’ status as “a priestly kingdom and a holy nation” (Exod. 19:6) is not a self-serving designation. Rather, their calling is to pursue justice and righteousness in order that the communities around them might also flourish.

Jesus tells the disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. He then calls them together and sends them out. In baptism we are also called and sent to care for our neighbors, live out our faith, and labor in the field. This call continues to be an agricultural one. Food and water are necessities for human survival, yet many do not have access to clean drinking water or healthy food. The items most often donated to feeding ministries are highly processed with a long shelf life. Though great in a pinch, these are like an adhesive bandage on a broken bone. In the name of Jesus Christ we are called to radical love, not just enough love to get by. As people of faith, how can we work together toward sustainable agriculture that cares for the earth and for our neighbor, so that all have access to healthy and fresh food?


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 God, we look at your world and praise you for the diversity all around us.  Thank you for the gift of relationships; our connection with people, animals and the land.  Help us, Lord, to see differences and diversity as strengths.  Help us to listen and understand; to meet one another with wonder and anticipation.

Help us to love as you love, without expectation.  Reveal to us your way of reconciliation and guide us into right relationships with all living things.  Lead us to understand how Indigenous peoples have been and continue to be profoundly harmed by settler people and institutions.  Lead us to repent when we as settlers deny Indigenous peoples respect, dignity and fullness of life.  Help us to listen compassionately, to speak humbly and to act justly.  Help us to seek the peace, justice and reconciliation you desire among all your children.  Thank you for your mercy and grace.  Amen.

Prayer by Dianne Climenhage, MCC Atlantic Canada Regional Representative


On this Indigenous Day of Prayer, we gather in solidarity with the First Peoples of this land.

We celebrate their wisdom, culture, and spirituality.

We honour the sacred drum, the heartbeat of Mother Earth, echoing the voice of our ancestors.

May our hearts beat in harmony with the rhythm of Creation.

Come, let us join in worship, embracing the beauty of Indigenous heritage and strength.

With open hearts, we seek to journey together on the path of healing and reconciliation.

CHILDREN’S SONG:   VU 664  What A Friend We Have In Jesus


Creator, Great Spirit, we thank you for gathering us today to celebrate and honour the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. We recognize the sacredness of the drum, the powerful symbol of unity, healing, and connection to the earth. As we worship, guide us to listen deeply, embrace compassion, and seek understanding. May our journey together strengthen the bonds of unity and foster the spirit of reconciliation. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Your Generosity Revitalizes Languages

Take a moment to think about your favourite story.

Now imagine that story being at risk of disappearing because the language it’s written in is endangered. This is something that nine Elders from Haida Gwaii are passionately trying to change.

Once there were over 15,000 fluent speakers of Haida, but today, because of assimilation tactics like residential schools, almost all Haida people speak English at home. The nine Elders—with an average age of more than 80—represent about half of the fluent Haida speakers who remain.

With partner support, the work of these Elders in a research-based revitalization project keeps the Haida language alive and growing.

The Elders are teaching students the words, phrases, songs and stories of their ancestors. The response has been empowering, with language learners near and far dedicating themselves to study. Lessons are given through the Longhouse of Skidegate village, but the program reaches much further, with more than 120 online lessons available. The opportunity to connect across the globe has allowed Haida language, stories, and culture to be shared broadly.

The program also gives young people from the Haida Nation the opportunity to connect with the Elders to nurture their cultural pride and understanding. “I appreciate the work the Elders are doing with our language and culture,” said one young student. “They work very hard every day so that my generation can remember.”

The Haida language is not the only Indigenous language that has been endangered. Your gifts to Mission & Service support programs and partnerships for Indigenous cultural revitalization around the world.

CANADIAN LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF Sudan | Emergency assistance to refugees

Canadian Lutheran World Relief is responding to the violence in Sudan by supporting families who have crossed the border into Chad.

In mid-April, fighting began between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Thousands of people were trapped in their homes and hundreds killed. At least 30,000 people have crossed the border into Chad seeking refuge in the first month, with more arriving every day. Initial assessments found Sudanese refugees in Chad have no access or limited access to food, basic household supplies and shelter. There are also growing shortages of sanitation, water, and hygiene facilities. Safeguarding risks have also been identified.

With funding from Global Affairs Canada, Humanitarian Coalition and Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), CLWR is responding by providing emergency assistance to almost 3000 people, plus constructing emergency latrines, handwashing facilities and showers, and rehabilitating damaged community water sources, benefitting over 11,000 people. Water treatment products are also being distributed to ensure access to potable water.

CLWR’s local partners, LWF Chad, are prioritizing the most vulnerable, including children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and single mothers. 588 families are receiving cash support to allow purchase of shelter and critical household supplies.

Join us in prayer for our partners in LWF Chad as they respond, and in particular for all those who have been affected by this crisis.


      Here is an indigenous story about the Rainbow Crow that helps us understand what following Jesus means:

Rainbow Crow retold by Nancy Van Laan (Toronto: Random House, 1991).

The Rainbow Crow is a beautiful and colourful bird that lives in a time when the world is always warm and bright. One day, winter arrives, bringing snow and cold with it. The animals in the forest are suffering, and they decide to send a messenger to the Great Spirit to ask for help. The animals choose the Rainbow Crow because of its beautiful feathers and sweet voice.

The Rainbow Crow sets off on its long journey to the Great Spirit. It pleads for help, explaining how the animals are suffering in the cold. The Great Spirit listens and gives the Rainbow Crow a stick with fire on the end. The Rainbow Crow thanks the Great Spirit and returns to the forest.

As the Rainbow Crow flies back, the heat from the fire stick causes its beautiful feathers to turn black, and its sweet voice becomes hoarse from the smoke. Despite these changes, the Rainbow Crow completes its journey and brings fire to the animals, saving them from the cold.

The animals are grateful for the Rainbow Crow’s sacrifice, and they learn the importance of selflessness, courage, and helping one another.


Almighty God, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word; and give us grace that we may clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


First Reading: Exodus 19:2-8a

At Sinai God assured Israel, “You shall be my treasured possession,” and commissioned them to serve as mediating priests for the nations. The people commit themselves completely to God’s will.

2 had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.3Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: 4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, 6but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”

7So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8aThe people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

Psalm 100

1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!  2Serve the Lord with gladness; come into God’s   presence with a song.

3Know that the Lord is God, our maker to whom we belong; we are God’s people and the      sheep of God’s pasture. 

4Enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and the courts with praise; give thanks and bless      God’s holy name.

5Good indeed is the Lord, whose steadfast love is everlasting, whose faithfulness endures      from age to age. 

Second Reading: Romans 5:1-8

We are no longer God’s enemies but have peace with God because we were brought into a right relationship with God through Christ’s death.

1Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Gospel: Matthew 9:35—10:8-23

The mission of Jesus’ followers is to continue the mission of Jesus himself. Here, he instructs his first disciples as to how they might proclaim the gospel through their words and deeds.

35Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

HYMN:  WOV 779  On Eagle’s Wings


Dear friends, today we gather to celebrate the Indigenous Day of Prayer, a day of great significance for Indigenous people across the country. This day is a reminder of the deep spiritual traditions that have been passed down through generations, and the importance of honouring and respecting them.

One of the most important symbols of Indigenous spirituality is the Sacred Drum. The drum has been used in Indigenous ceremonies and rituals for centuries, and its sound is believed to connect us to the Creator, to our ancestors, and to the natural world. The drum is a powerful tool for prayer and meditation. Its rhythmic beat creates a sacred space, a space in which we can connect with the spiritual world and seek guidance and strength. The drum reminds us of the importance of unity, of coming together as a community to honour our traditions and our shared history. But the drum is not just a symbol of Indigenous spirituality. It is also a symbol of resilience and resistance.

Throughout history, Indigenous Peoples have faced great challenges and adversity, including the forced removal of children from families, the loss of land and resources, and the suppression of languages and cultures. Through it all, the drum has remained a constant source of strength and hope. As we celebrate the Indigenous Day of Prayer, let us honour the Sacred Drum and all that it represents. Let us remember the resilience and strength of Indigenous peoples, and their deep connection to the land and to the spiritual world. Let us commit ourselves to working towards reconciliation and healing, and to creating a future where the drum can continue to be honoured for generations to come. May the sound of the Sacred Drum fill our hearts with hope and our spirits with strength. And may we all walk together in a spirit of unity, respect, and love As we reflect on the meaning of the Sacred Drum, let us also remember the importance of listening. The drum teaches us to listen to the rhythms of the natural world, to the voices of our ancestors, and to the whispers of the Creator. It reminds us that listening is an essential part of prayer and of building relationships.

In Ephesians 2:14‒22, we learn of Christ’s mission to break down the walls that divide us, creating a new humanity in which all people are united in peace and love. As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate this spirit of unity, seeking to build bridges of understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The Sacred Drum, with its power to unite and connect, is a symbol of the kind of unity that Christ seeks to bring about in the world. Just as the drum brings people together in a shared experience of prayer and celebration, Christ’s love breaks down the barriers of race, ethnicity, and culture that separate us from one another. As we reflect on the meaning of the Sacred Drum and Christ’s message of unity, we are reminded of the importance of breaking down the walls of division that exist in our society. For too long, Indigenous peoples have been marginalized and oppressed, their voices silenced and their rights ignored. It is time for us to listen, to learn, and to take action towards reconciliation and healing. In this mission, we can draw inspiration from the drum and the way it brings people together. By seeking to understand the traditions and cultures of Indigenous peoples, we can begin to build bridges of understanding and respect. By acknowledging the harm that has been done and working towards restitution, we can begin to break down the walls of division that have separated us for too long. Through Christ’s message of love and unity, we can create a new humanity, one in which all people are valued and respected, and in which the Sacred Drum can continue to be heard, as a symbol of the power of unity, healing, and hope.

Listening also plays a crucial role in reconciliation. As we work towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we must be willing to listen to their stories, their perspectives, and their experiences. We must be willing to acknowledge the harm that has been done and to work towards healing and reconciliation. At the same time, we must also be willing to listen to the land, to the animals, and to the natural world. Indigenous Peoples have always recognized the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of living in harmony with the natural world. As we continue to face environmental challenges, we must learn to listen to the wisdom of Indigenous Peoples and to work towards a more sustainable and respectful relationship with the land. In conclusion, let us celebrate the Indigenous Day of Prayer with a deep sense of gratitude and humility. Let us honour the Sacred Drum and all that it represents, and let us commit ourselves to listening to the voices of Indigenous Peoples, to the land, and to the Creator. May we journey together in a spirit of reconciliation, healing, and love. May we go forth from this day with a renewed commitment to building bridges of understanding and reconciliation, to listening to the voices of Indigenous Peoples, and to working towards a future of peace and love for all. Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  MV 182 Grateful


Great Spirit, Creator of all, we come before you in gratitude and reverence, lifting up the prayers of our hearts. We join our voices in this sacred space with humility and love, seeking your guidance, wisdom, and strength.

For the healing of the land and the renewal of our relationship with Mother Earth, we pray:
Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

For the wisdom of Indigenous leaders and Elders, that their teachings may inspire us to travel together in unity and respect, we pray:

Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

For the survivors of residential schools and their families, that they may find healing, comfort, and justice, we pray:

Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

For the ongoing work of reconciliation and the building of strong, respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, we pray:

Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

For the courage to confront and dismantle systemic racism, colonialism, and injustice, and for the wisdom to create a more equitable and compassionate society, we pray:

Great Spirit, hear our prayer.

For the Sacred Drum, that its rhythm may continue to unite us in harmony with the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the voices of our ancestors, we pray:

Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

For the churches and faith communities seeking to be instruments of peace, justice, and reconciliation, that they may be guided by your Spirit and sustained by your grace, we pray:

Great Spirit, receive our prayer.

Great Spirit, hear the prayers of your people, spoken and unspoken. May we be bearers of your love, justice, and compassion as we travel together on this journey of healing and reconciliation. In your holy name, we pray.



SENDING SONG:  VU 512  Lord, You Give The Great Commission


May the Creator, the Great Spirit, fill your hearts with love, your minds with wisdom, and your spirits with courage. As you leave this sacred space, carry the heartbeat of the Sacred Drum within you. May you be inspired to unite, celebrate Indigenous cultures’ richness, and seek healing and reconciliation for all. Amen.


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