June 21, 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.


God does not promise that the path of the disciple will be easy. Jeremiah feels the pain of rejection from those who do not want to hear what he has to say. Jesus declares that his words may bring stark division. Even so, we need not be afraid for God accounts for each hair on our heads. Though we may experience rejection, frustration, division, and death, God’s grace and love make us a new creation each day. Receiving the benediction, we are sent from worship to witness to Christ in the world.

Call to Worship

Great Creator, from the east comes the dawn, the new beginnings of the rising sun.  Open our hearts to newness this day.

Come, holy Spirit.

From the north come cold winds that refresh us and challenge us.

Come, holy Spirit.

From the west comes the setting sun, the reminder that all things end, only to begin again.

Come, holy Spirit.

From the south comes warmth and renewal, growth and new life.

Come, holy Spirit.

Come indeed, holy Spirit, all around us, always behind us, ever before us.

Let us worship God.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  VU #357  Tell Me The Stories Of Jesus


Creator, you have made the world a beautiful home for us and for all the creatures that fly through the air, move across the ground, or swim in the water. Let our worship be a time when we remember how we are connected to this earth, to all creatures, to all people, and to each other. Amen.


This week begins the summer solstice.  That is when the sunlight begins to get a little shorter each day until we seem to be living in darkness as Christmas gets closer.  Sad, I know.   Rather than being sad, I have an idea that will hopefully make you think and have fun at the same time!!


Every week I want you to take a thin piece of paper – you are going to make a paper chain – and write on it one thing you are thankful for from God.  This is the challenge…you are to do this until Christmas!  Once a week I want you to seriously think about all you have, all that God provides in your life, and write it on a piece of paper.  Then connect that paper to the other pieces of paper.  At Christmas time, it would be nice to connect all the paper chains of thanks and use them to decorate the sanctuary!! 


I find that as the days get shorter, I burn more candles so that I am reminded that Jesus is the light of the world and darkness cannot overcome his light!  If you choose colourful paper, you will have that colour surrounding you even as the sun shines less and less each day.


God, you give us so much!  Help us to look after all that you have created, and help us to live with an attitude of gratitude.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.




Living God, help us so to hear your holy Word that we may truly understand; that, understanding, we may believe and believing, we may follow in all faithfulness and obedience, seeking your honor and glory in all that we do;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading:  Jeremiah 20:7-13

Jeremiah accuses God of forcing him into a ministry that brings him only contempt and persecution. Yet Jeremiah is confident that God will be a strong protector against his enemies and commits his life into God’s hands.

Psalm 69:7-18

Answer me, O Lord, for your love is kind. (Ps. 69:16)

Second Reading: Romans 6:1b-11

In baptism we were incorporated into the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection. We have been made new in Christ through his death and resurrection to live freed from sin.

Gospel: Matthew 10:24-39

Jesus warns his disciples that their ministry in his name will meet with opposition. However, he assures them that they need not fear for the truth will come to light. Life is found in Christ.


It was annual meeting time in my first parish. I had been serving as pastor for 5 years. We had gone through most of the agenda and were at “new business”. One of the senior members, a matriarch of the congregation, proceeded to stand up and start listing off her disgruntlements against me and my ministry. Since she had never expressed these opinions to me, or any council members, before this, mine was not the only jaw hitting the floor. 


In actual fact, ministry was going very well. Attendance was up, we had an active youth group and church choir, a community choir, a community youth choir; Confirmation classes were going well and we were financially secure. As she carried on with her list part of my brain was thinking, “ I am 33. Jesus was 33 when he was crucified. I am in good company!”


Thankfully, I was astute enough to realize, as was the Council and other members, that her complaints were not founded on reason, but on frustration. She had been active in the local, synodical and national Church all her life. She was trained as a professional lay leader; she had taught the confirmation program at a different congregation when she lived in another city. She had been a youth leader and many a pastor’s right-hand woman.  Now, her health was failing, her bones deteriorating, she was in constant pain and she had to watch me, young, fit and competent, doing the ministry that she had done for most of her life. She wasn’t angry at me. She was angry at her body for betraying her and forcing her to give up her ministry as a lay professional. While I understood the situation under the words, being verbally crucified, as it were, was still difficult to take. 


So, I understand Jeremiah and his rant to God. There were several times in my first parish where I stomped up and down the aisle of a locked church, yelling my frustration to God!  Once, I ended my rant with the words, “Send me to Calcutta!”  After a moment’s pause, the word of God came to me – “You’re already there!”


I knew that. I knew the broken lives of the people I served. I knew the reasons behind the behaviour. I knew that I was the scapegoat for their not wanting to confront themselves.  I knew it, I got it – but so help me God there were days when I, like Jeremiah, wanted retribution!!


Thankfully, like Jeremiah, once I had my rant, I was able to sit down, breathe, and say, “Ok, God, what is it you would like me to do for these, our people?”


It’s true, you know, what Jeremiah says, “…within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”


You see, no matter what happens in my life, no matter the waves or troughs, the knowledge of my call to serve Christ’s flock never leaves. I have known my call to ministry since the age of 4. There is no running from that. One can only run TO God’s embrace for the courage and strength to do what God desires one to do. 


Notice that after calling upon God for vengeance against his enemies, Jeremiah has a change in attitude. It would seem that he, too, needed to have a rant and get his frustration out of his soul, only to pause, take a deep breath, and say thank you to God for continuing to be a support as Jeremiah tries to proclaim God’s word to a stubborn people. 


As the confirmation students have recently learned, even God had rants!  God wanted to wipe out those stubborn Israelites at Mount Sinai!!  Moses’ cooler head prevailed. The Israelites lived. 


I have developed a much thicker skin since my first years in ministry. I have learned to pay attention to people’s life stories, especially the stories of loss and regret. I have learned patience. I have also learned to be aware of my relationship with God at all times.  


The take away from this text from Jeremiah is the knowledge that Jeremiah suffered because he remained true to proclaiming the word of God a word that no one wanted to hear. AND, Jeremiah remained strong and endured, continuing to proclaim the word of God for the sole purpose of trying to get a stubborn people to acknowledge that they had turned away from God, and that God desired them to turn back into the loving relationship that had existed from the beginning.  Try as he might, Jeremiah was not successful in turning the hearts of God’s people. He was, however, faithful in his proclamation. 


As I check the headlines on CBC.ca, the majority are about Covid-19. No doubt, there are many who are ranting about their struggles with isolation, wearing masks, restricted travel, constantly sanitizing and the seemingly endless questions one has to answer before being allowed to enter a building or a store. I get it. Truly, I do. Now, having ranted, let us all take a deep breath, say a prayer of thanks to God for all we have, for always being with us, and then ask of the Lord, “What would you have me do to help keep these people whom you love, for whom you have died, safe?”  Amen. 


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #176  Three Things I Promise


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

Expansive God, you bring diverse voices together to form your church. Open our hearts and unstop our ears to learn from one another, that differences might not overshadow our baptismal unity.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Providing God, your creation shows us that life comes from death. Renew the places where our land, air, and waterways have been ill for too long. Direct the work of all who care for birds and their habitats.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Protecting God, sustain and keep safe all who work to defend others across the world. Revive and strengthen organizations dedicated to caring for refugees and migrants while their homelands struggle for peace.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Loving God, you promise to be with all who are persecuted for your sake. Guide all who speak your word of justice and console any who are tormented or targeted for being who they are.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Compassionate God, you are with us and we are never alone. Bless all fathers and father figures who strive to love and nurture as you do. Comfort all who long to be fathers and all for whom this day is difficult.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

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; Don; Amber; Nicole; Gordon Dreger; Diane Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Elizabeth & David.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.


Reigning God, you bless us with guides and caretakers in the faith. As we give thanks for those who have died increase our care for one another until we walk with them in newness of 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:  Voices United #567  Will You Come And Follow Me



Our gifts for Mission & Service support the United Church’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.


Published on: 

January 15, 2020

Fairfield, a historic village in Bothwell, Ontario, was first settled by the Lenape people on May 8, 1792. It was established by Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit (El-na-pow-way Lah-ka-weet) ancestors and the Moravian missionaries who lived among the group for generations. For the past 74 years, Fairfield has been operated as a historical park and museum by The United Church of Canada through a grant from Mission & Service.

In May 2019, the United Church returned a significant piece of land to the Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit people of Delaware Nation. A ceremony was held on the site to officially execute the land transfer.

“I think the community is going to be really proud of getting that piece of property back because it’s part of who they are,” said Chief Denise Stonefish. “That will make our home whole again.”

“I actually view it as the people whose story it is are finally getting to tell the story,” said Cheryl-Ann Stadelbauer-Sampa, a regional council Executive Minister.

But both Stonefish and the United Church recognize it took the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring the transfer to fruition. We are thankful that Mission & Service has played a part in the Truth and Reconciliation process within The United Church of Canada. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission involved all of us viewing ourselves as treaty people and understanding how broken the relationship was between Indigenous peoples and Settlers, and how all of us have a role to play in the care and tending of that,” said Stadelbauer-Sampa. “The United Church is deeply committed to being honest with ourselves about our colonial past.”

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.


Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS011617.