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.


I have faith that God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.

~Yolanda Hadid


Jesus’ words in today’s gospel from Luke use images from nature to illustrate his teachings. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” he says (9:58) to warn potential disciples of the hardships they will face if they choose to follow him. As we watch human activity destroy natural habitats around the planet, we note the sad irony that it is increasingly difficult for even foxes and birds to find and build their dens and nests. Deforestation, pollution, climate change, and “development” of land for human purposes put strain on animal populations and threaten the existence of some species. Yet, more and more Christian biologists, naturalists, and ecologists are connecting their faith with their work. For them, following Jesus means protecting and advocating for God’s creatures and their habitats.


We acknowledge that we gather to worship on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people.

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on what we do and what we can do to make Manitoba a better place for everyone who lives here.


God is a God who calls.
We have gathered to worship and to hear that call.
God is a God who equips.
We are here to worship and to be shaped into the body of Christ.
God is a God who sends.
We are here to worship so that we can carry that spirit of worship out into the world where we live.
God is a God who blesses.
We are here to worship and to request a double share of that blessing.
Let us worship God.

~Rev. Dr. Derek C. Weber, Discipleship Ministries, 2021

CHILDREN’S SONG: Freedom Is Coming


God of power, without your love we can do nothing.  Give us a double share of your spirit so that we can work together, across the world, to bring about the end of poverty for all.  Teach us to follow the examples of the prophets, to speak clearly alongside the poor and to work tirelessly for the good of all people.  Through your Son Jesus Christ who brought healing and love to the whole world.  Amen.

~From the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.



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.


     For a brief time in my first year of university, I lived with my aunt and uncle.  They tended to argue.  What I found interesting was that my aunt would point out something that my uncle had done YEARS AGO, that had angered my aunt.  In fact, she had a long list of things my uncle had done that angered her, and never let them go!  I can remember thinking, “But that was 20 years ago!”  Still, she held on to her anger and the offence all those years and blamed my uncle over and over.  I felt sad when I heard this.

Think about it – how can you be happy if you hold on to anger all the time!  How can you say you forgive someone when, at every opportunity, you remind the other person of what they did wrong, from a long time ago!  It makes no sense, and it tells Jesus that you are having a difficult time doing what he wants you to do, which is to let go of anger and forgive others, not for them, for YOU!  If your heart is full of anger all the time, where is the room for God’s love?  In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us.  Hmmm…so if I don’t forgive, does that mean God doesn’t forgive me?  Or does it mean that my heart is closed to God’s forgiveness because I am holding on to grudges so God’s love struggles to get in?

Jesus takes the love of God very seriously.  We are to talk to God regularly, tell God of our words and actions that were hurtful and apologize and make amends for them.  That can be hard work – so can being honest with yourself.  It is necessary, says Jesus, if we want true joy in our lives.

So, practice letting go of that which you cannot change, and those actions that have been forgiven.  You will find your life to be happier, and God’s love even greater.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  985 Leaders Trained in Anti-Human Trafficking

     In December 2020, we shared Lakshmi’s story. Lakshmi, a teenager from West Bengal, India, was trafficked by her aunt, who promised that Lakshmi could earn money “dancing.” Thankfully, the story had a happy ending. Lakshmi’s parents contacted the Diocese of Durgapur, which runs an anti-human trafficking program supported by your Mission & Service gifts. The Diocese intervened, and on the threat of legal action, Lakshmi’s aunt returned her to her parents.

Over the year since we published Lakshmi’s story, the Diocese of Durgapur has been busy initiating life-saving anti-trafficking programming, advocacy, education, and relief efforts.

Here’s an update. In 2021, your support through Mission & Service meant that

985 key leaders became aware of anti-human trafficking methods, including youth, church, and community leaders

20 young people received computer training

9 families learned bamboo crafting to augment their income

500 families received relief during COVID lockdowns, including food hampers and personal protective equipment

CCTV cameras were installed in the Malda Safe Home, which houses 21 children

Now that people are returning to work after COVID lockdowns, the efforts of the Diocese and ongoing Mission & Service support are especially critical.

Most of the people the Diocese of Durgapur reaches out to live below the poverty line and earn their livelihood through agriculture and labour. “They go to other states looking for work and sometimes fall victim to human trafficking. Now as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, people are again getting ready to go outside for work. We are working with these people, especially in the areas where people were trafficked earlier, so they don’t become victims,” says Raja Moses, a Project Coordinator for the Diocese.

Your generous gifts through Mission & Service support anti-human trafficking programs run through the Diocese of Durgapur, directly impacting thousands of lives. Thank you!


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.

Readings and Psalm:

First Reading: 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

In the story preceding today’s reading, the prophet Elijah flees for his life to the security of God’s mountain. There God reveals to Elijah that there are still other faithful people in Israel and commissions him to anoint new leaders, including his own successor, Elisha.

15Then the Lord said to  “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
19So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. 20He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” 21He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

Psalm 16

R:  I have set the Lord always before me. (Ps. 16:8)

1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;
I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings to such gods, never take their names upon my lips. R
5O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me night after night.
8I have set the Lord always before me; because God is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. R
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the pit.
11You will show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. R

Second Reading: Galatians 5:1, 13-25

For Paul, the freedom Christ gives is not permission to do whatever we want. It is the invitation to be what we could not be otherwise. The power and guidance of Christ’s Holy Spirit produce a different kind of life, one marked by the fruit of this Holy Spirit.

1For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
13For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

16Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Gospel: Luke 9:51-62

Jesus is unwavering in his commitment to his mission in Jerusalem and will not be swayed by pettiness. In a series of striking cases in point, he calls his disciples to a similar single-mindedness.

51When the days drew near for  to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then they went on to another village.
57As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

SONG OF THE DAY:  Just A Closer Walk With Thee


SERMON: written by The Rev. Dr. Michael K. Marsh, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Uvalde, Texas

            ~printed with permission

Today’s gospel is a difficult one. It’s confrontational and it doesn’t leave much, if any, wiggle room. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” We’re either looking toward the kingdom or we are not. We’re either responding to the call of life or we’re not. We’re either open to the coming future or we’re not.

Jesus is calling us into question and that’s never easy, fun, or comfortable. He is calling into question the direction of our life, the values we claim to hold, and how we are living and embodying those values. He is asking us to look at ourselves rather than the Samaritan on whom we’d like to call down fire from heaven.

By Samaritan I mean those who look, act, and believe differently from us; those who do not hold our particular religious or political beliefs; those who are not from these parts; those to whom we are opposed and in conflict with, for whatever reasons. And if you’re not sure who your Samaritans are look at your social media feed and who posts the articles and comments that push your buttons, turn on the news channel you refuse to watch, picture the face of one you crush and defeat in the arguments that go on in your head.

Today’s gospel won’t let us turn away from the people and situations that are right in front of us or the future that is coming to us. Jesus recognizes and holds before us the tension in which we live. On the one hand we say to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” On the other hand we say to him, “But first let me go and ….” You probably know what that’s like. I know I do.

When have you experienced that tension? When has it felt like you were being pulled in two directions, the way of Jesus and some other way? In what ways have you said, “But first let me go and…?”

It’s easy and simple to follow Jesus, in principle. Love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemy, welcome the stranger, visit the sick and imprisoned, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give the thirsty something to drink, turn the other cheek, forgive not just seven times but seventy times seven. These are values Jesus holds. That’s where Jesus is going. That’s the direction in which he has set his face. That’s the road to Jerusalem and it sounds good. Most of us probably agree with those values. It’s the road we too have chosen to travel, in principle.

But it’s so much harder and messier to follow Jesus in life than in principle. I suspect we are all in favor of love, hospitality, forgiveness, and nonviolence until we meet the unloveable, the stranger who scares us, the unforgivable act, the one who throws the first punch, or the Samaritan in our life. Then it’s a different story and that story usually begins with, “But first….”

Jesus, however, puts no qualifications, limitations, or exceptions on where he is going, who is included, or what he is offering. He doesn’t seem to care who we are, where we are from, or what we have done or left undone. Republican or Democrat, citizen or foreigner, Christian or Muslim, gay or straight, black or white, good or bad, believer or nonbeliever just don’t seem to matter to Jesus. For him there is no why, no conditions, attached to love, hospitality, forgiveness, or giving. He does not allow for a “but first” in his life or the lives of his followers.

“But first” is the way we put conditions on the unconditional.

Yes, I will love the other but first let me go and see who the other is, whether she or he is deserving of love, whether I like him or her, whether he or she agrees with and is agreeable to me.

Yes, I will open my door to and welcome the stranger but first let me go and see who’s knocking, how different he or she is from me, what she or he wants, what I am risking.

Yes, I will forgive another but first let me go and see if she or he has acknowledged her or his wrongdoing, is sorry for what they did, and has promised to change.

Yes, I will give to and care for another but first let me go and see why I should, what it will cost me, and what’s in it for me.

But first….

It’s as if we are backing our way into the kingdom while keeping an eye on the door. It’s as if we are walking backwards into our future, not wanting to see or deal with what is before us. It’s as if we have put our hand to the plow and looked back. And we already know what Jesus thinks about that.

I don’t want to back my way through this life. I don’t want to live, if you will pardon a bad pun, a butt- first life. And I hope you don’t either. I want us to turn and lead with our hearts, that deep heart that loves the unlovable, forgives the unforgivable, welcomes the stranger, and gives without seeking a payback or even a thank you. 

I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is a difficult gospel. I wish I could resolve this in some neat and simple way, as much for myself as for you, but I can’t. It’s not about resolving the gospel. It’s about resolving ourselves, resolving our heart. That resolution is not a simple or one time decision. It’s a way of being in this world, a way of relating to others, a direction for our life. It’s a choice we make every day. It’s the road to Jerusalem.

That means looking at the ways in which we are backing through life. It means naming the people and situations to which we have turned our backs and acknowledging that we do sometimes live a “but first” life.

I wonder what our lives and world would be like if we were to love, give, welcome, and forgive without a “but first”?

I think it would be risky and scary and look pretty crazy. But as I look at the world, read the news, and listen to the lives and stories of others, the world is already risky, scary, and crazy. So, what if we took a better risk, faced a better fear, and lived a kinder craziness? And what if we were to let that start with you and me, today, in our lives, in our particular situations, and with whoever or whatever is before us?

What if we were to lead with our hearts and not “but(t) first”?  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  VU 287  Wellspring Of Wisdom


United in Christ and guided by the Spirit, we pray for the church, the creation, and all in need.

God of faithfulness, set the face of your church firmly on you. Rooted in your self-giving love, may the church find freedom in loving our neighbors. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of gentleness, strengthen the earth’s ability to heal. Where there are dangerous storms, bring calm. Where there are destructive fires, bring rain. Protect homes, habitats, and livelihoods threatened by climate disasters. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of peace, guide all who govern, that they place the good of their citizens above self-promotion. Anoint leaders of nations with your Spirit of neighborly love. Protect refugees and all who live under tyranny or conflict. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of kindness, reveal your healing presence to all who are sick, dying, or recuperating. We raise up to you Robert Collette, Evie and Brian Watt, Tracy Skoglund, Brooke Alexiuk, Joan, Dwayne, Debbie H.  Uphold those who grieve. Support the needs of any who are unemployed, hungry, or have nowhere to lay their heads. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of love, attend to those struggling with addiction, depression, or uncontrolled anger. Provide support systems and loving companions as they work toward health, that they may rest in hope and know the fullness of joy in your presence. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of joy, we give thanks for all who have died and now celebrate the inheritance of life in you. Keep their examples of faithfulness always before us, that we trust your promises in life and in death. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of every time and place, in Jesus’ name and filled with your Holy Spirit, we entrust these spoken prayers and those in our hearts into your holy keeping.




SENDING SONG:  VU 567  Will You Come And Follow Me


The God of peace, Sovereign, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you, comfort you, and show you the path of life this day and always.




PRAIRIE TO PINE WEEKLY NEWS:  prairietopinerc.ca

Weekly News from MNO:  mnosynod@elcic.ca


** PASTOR LESLIE WILL BE AWAY ON HOLIDAY JUNE 30 – AUGUST 6 INCLUSIVE.  THERE WILL BE NO WORSHIP SERVICES DURING THIS TIME.  WORSHIP WILL RESUME ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 7.  If there is an emergency during this time, please call Debbie Swift and she will direct you to the on-call clergy.

** In the interest of maintaining accurate church records, would you please email the church, or call and leave an answering machine message, regarding any changes to your phone numbers, emails, or any other information that has changed, or was not included, in the directory.

** Who does the church contact on your behalf in the event of an emergency?  While we may know your family’s names, we don’t necessarily have their contact information.  It would be helpful for the office to have the name and number of a contact person(s) with whom to communicate information.

** Starting in the fall, we would like to have families greet, usher and read during the service.  We have missed connecting with everyone during Covid.  Many hands make light work!  Thank you for serving!


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 Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.