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.


There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian….A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate….What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values:  compassion, love and understanding.

            ~Pierre Elliot Trudeau



     Multicultural communities live alongside one another, value tolerance, and celebrate outward expressions of culture. The church’s intercultural vision, however, goes further. It encourages all of us to change, build relationships, and distribute power fairly in respectful awareness of each other’s differences. 

     Today’s story of two healings in a single reading appears to present a horrific choice: should Jesus hurry to the dying daughter of a rich man, or pause to heal an outcast woman? The urgency of both requests before him presents a real dilemma, one we might be tempted to resolve in a variety of either/or ways. Either he keeps his commitment to Jairus, or he pauses to help the woman before him who is so obviously suffering. He either helps an important person who can help him further his ministry, or gives help to someone who has no other resource at all.

     In the face of Jesus’ power, none of these really are either/or propositions, even though they seem like dead ends. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus’ power is enough to provide new life for both the rich man’s daughter and the poor woman. How often do we assume that God’s power is not enough to bring life out of the seemingly impossible choices we make? We are challenged to open up the interruptions and hard choices of our lives to Jesus’ power to bring life out of death.


Who are we in Canada?

We are First Peoples who have walked these lands for thousands of years; Inuit, Mohawk, Cree, Haida, Mi’kmaq, and over 600 more peoples. We are French, Black, British, and Chinese peoples who have been here for a few hundred years. We are multitudes from all corners of God’s world: Pakistan, Korea, Ghana, Chile, and Morris.

Where are we in Canada?

We are in the streets, in our neighbourhoods, in workplaces, schools, and community centres, and in temples, mosques and churches together. We are here, at Morris United Church, Lutheran Church of the Cross and St. John Lutheran Church together. We are here on Treaty 1 land.

Why have we gathered here?

We are here to celebrate and give thanks for our cultural differences. We are here to praise God for the gifts of intercultural relationship and the desire to live joyfully and equitably with one another.  We are here to worship.  Thanks be to God!

CHILDREN’S SONG   Swing Low, Sweet Chariot



Eternal One, we hear the cries of our neighbours near and far, and our hearts reach out to them. We are thankful for your promise of hope, and we are thankful for Jesus’ love for you, which he demonstrated on the cross. Through this love we get not only a glimpse of you, but we also receive the good news. Strengthen our faith; help us to see each other through your eyes, so that we will be able to experience you in more ways than one. As we worship you this day, may we be open and sensitive to each other’s needs and presence, recognizing that we are all your children. This is our prayer. 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.


     A woman who has been sick for many years enters the crowd around Jesus and touches Jesus’ clothes, knowing in her heart that she will be healed of her sickness if she does.  Jesus feels power leave his body, stops and asks, “Who touched my clothes?”

     Jesus was surrounded by a crowd who wanted to touch him and be touched by him.  Here is a picture of a singer surrounded by his fans.  Do you see how packed in the people are around him?  If we pretend that this singer is Jesus, would you be able to tell which person touched you and took power from you?  EVERYBODY seems to be touching this person!

     The disciples are shocked by the question.  “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’”  Good question.  My daughter, Jilleen, would probably have said to Jesus, “Dude!  We are being squished by all these people!  How should I know who touched you?!”  Jilleen states it like it is.  That’s my girl!

     Jesus wants to know who drew the power from him – not to get angry with that person, rather, someone needed healing, and Jesus is the type of person who cares about people and wants to make certain that whoever touched him is totally healed.

     Jesus was on his way to heal a dying child, yet he stopped to find out who needed his help.  Every person is important to Jesus.  YOU are important to Jesus!  Whenever you need to talk to Jesus, he will give you 100% of his attention, every minute, of every hour, of every day.  Thank you, Jesus!



      Over the last year, the need for food has skyrocketed. Since the pandemic began, Fred Victor, a charity based in Toronto, Ontario, has served over 180,000 free and low-cost meals to people in need―a 40 percent increase over previous years.

     Growing food security issues are just one of the reasons why Fred Victor’s community gardens are so necessary right now.

     In addition to providing vital food services, shelter, counselling, and job training to support people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness, Fred Victor runs over 240 gardens where local community members garden together. It is an activity they can still enjoy amid lockdown restrictions.

     “The pandemic has pushed more people into poverty. More people are experiencing food insecurity and hunger. That is why we see these gardens as more than just plots of land with plants growing in them. For every harvest that makes its way onto plates and into bellies, and for every resident who feels empowered by their surroundings, these gardens represent our vision for healthy and thriving communities,” says Keith Hambly, Fred Victor’s CEO.

     Today, over 200 families, many of whom live in poverty, grow their own nutritious food through these gardens. But the food itself isn’t the only benefit of the gardening program. At Fred Victor, gardening isn’t just about growing food―it’s about growing community, too.

     “What we grow reflects our community’s vibrant cultural diversity. In our gardens, kiwi and amaranth grow alongside strawberries, carrots, and garlic, which grow alongside Indigenous healing and ceremonial plants such as tobacco and sage,” says Mark Woodnutt, Fred Victor’s Senior Manager, Community Food Centre.

     Gardening and nutritional education, healthy food choices, and strong relationships are cornerstones of the gardening initiative. And there are plans to expand. “We’re looking to expand the program over the next year, turning plots at one of our locations into a micro-farm that will supply fresh ingredients to the meals served out of our community hub,” Woodnutt explains.

     Your gifts through Mission & Service not only help feed families but also support building healthy communities through organizations like Fred Victor. Thank you for helping your neighbours across our country flourish.


God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us. In the midst of the multitude of words in our daily lives, speak your eternal Word to us, that we may respond to your gracious promises with faithfulness, service and love. Amen.


Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Lamentations 3:22-33

The book of Lamentations is one of our most important sources of information about the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587 BCE. Though the people admit that God’s judgment was just, today’s reading declares a fervent trust that God will not leave them forever.

22The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end;
23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in the LORD.”

25The LORD is good to those who wait for the LORD, to the soul that seeks God.
26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
27It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,
28to sit alone in silence when the LORD has imposed it,
29to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope),
30to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults.

31For the LORD will not reject forever.
32Although the LORD causes grief, the LORD will have compassion according to the abundance of God’s steadfast love;
33for the LORD does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

  • Psalm 30

I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have lifted me up. (Ps. 30:1)

1I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have lifted me up
  and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2O Lord my God, I cried out to you, and you restored me to health.
3You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;
  you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4Sing praise to the Lord, all you faithful; give thanks in holy remembrance. R
5God’s wrath is short; God’s favor lasts a lifetime.
  Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.
6While I felt secure, I said, “I shall never be disturbed.
7You, Lord, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.”
  Then you hid your face, and I was filled with fear.
8I cried to you, O Lord; I pleaded with my Lord, saying,
9“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
  Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
10Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; O Lord, be my helper.” R
11You have turned my wailing into dancing;
  you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
12Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;
  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. R

  • Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Paul encourages the Corinthians to honor their commitment to participate in the collection his churches are organizing for the Christians in Jerusalem. He presents Jesus as an example of selfless stewardship and reminds them that Christians have received abundantly so that they can share abundantly.

7Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

  8I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—11now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15As it is written,

 “The one who had much did not have too much,

  and the one who had little did not have too little.”

  • Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

Jairus, a respected leader, begs Jesus to heal his daughter. A woman with a hemorrhage was considered ritually unclean and treated as an outcast. Both Jairus and the unnamed woman come to Jesus in faith, believing in his power to heal and bring life out of death.

21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24So he went with him.

  And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32He looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

  35While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.



Jesus and Shakespeare – my two favourite men.  Jesus because he’s, well, Jesus, and Shakespeare for his ability to confront and put words to the human soul and all its emotions.

After reading this text from Mark’s gospel, however, I am inclined to add the author of Mark to my short list of favourite people.  Compared to the other gospels, Mark is brutal in his brevity and brilliant in his writing style. 

Here we have two healing stories that are interconnected.  A narrative sandwich, if you will.  The women in these stories are connected, but not through familial ties.  They are connected because they cause Jesus to become ritually unclean.

Jesus was tired before he and the disciples crossed over to the Gentile side of the sea of Galilee.  After exorcizing a legion of demons, one would think all Jesus would want to do when he got back was go to bed!   This was not to be.  The people were waiting!  Perhaps Jesus didn’t even have a chance to get his feet out of the water and he was being pressed from all sides!  The need of the people was so great!

Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue of Capernaum, so he was a well-known religious leader. It would seem that not all religious leaders were against Jesus.  Jairus falls at Jesus feet, acknowledging Jesus’ higher status, and begs Jesus to help his daughter.  One would hope that hearing of a child in trouble, the crowds would have parted to let Jesus through.  Instead, they seem to squeeze in even closer!  Jesus isn’t a rock star or movie celebrity, so why this frantic response?! 

The home of one of my parishioners was on fire.  I had managed to reach him on his cell phone.  A crowd had gathered to watch in distress as their neighbour’s house burned.  Suddenly, his truck screeched to a stop behind the crowd.  He leapt out of his vehicle, frantically looked for me, as I told him I would be waiting, pushed his way through the crowd and grabbed me in a tearful bear hug!  This man’s wife had recently died.  Before she died, she had purchased new furniture and appliances for her family.  She had started to sort through the family photos.  Now, all was in flames.  I had been the constant in their lives for the past year.  I was the refuge in the storm.  There was nothing I could do but hug him back and just be present. 

The people in the area of Capernaum, a town of around 1,500, were mostly fisherfolk and farmers.  Money was scarce, life was hard and if you got sick, you had to rely on home remedies and those skilled in the healing arts, if you could afford their services.   Jesus claimed Capernaum as his home.  He performed many miracles there.  Those he healed felt a connection to him.  He was their refuge and hope.   No wonder people wanted to be around him, touch him, be touched by him – he personified the love of God!  People had not been loved and cared for with such compassion and gentleness before nor since!  Jesus’ reputation as a healer and teacher was known in the surrounding area.   This was small town.  No matter where Jesus went, people would find him, and quickly.

Suddenly, we are introduced to the middle story, the filling of this narrative sandwich.  We do not live in this ancient Jewish culture, so the extreme risk and personal danger in which this woman places herself is lost on our modern sensibilities.

In the book of Leviticus, we read that a woman who is having her menstrual period is unclean for seven days.  She cannot be near anyone, no one can touch her, no one can sleep where she has been sleeping, sit on the chair on which she has sat while unclean, or that individual will also become ritually unclean.  Any food that has been touched by the hands of a woman during her period is unclean and cannot be consumed.  For seven days out of every month, a woman is isolated from family and society.  Then, once her period is over, she must go to the priests with her offering in order to be declared clean for another month.

In the culture of the day, a husband, brother or other male relative would be the one to approach Jesus on the woman’s behalf.  This woman appears to have no one to advocate for her.  AND, she has been bleeding for 12 years!  The fact that she is still alive is a miracle!  Yet if she is bleeding, she is unclean and therefore should be shut away from everyone until the bleeding stops.  The bleeding never stops!  She has no money left.  This woman learns of Jesus presence in the town. 

My mother used to say, “Desperate situations call for desperate measures.”  Putting everyone around her at risk of becoming ritually unclean, this woman is beyond desperate.  She has one goal.  To touch Jesus’ clothes. He is her refuge in the midst of her suffering.  He is all she has left. 

By touching Jesus’ clothing, she has now made Jesus ritually unclean.  When Jesus demands to know who touched him, and this woman confesses, suddenly, everyone around her, including Jesus and Jairus, is aware that they may now be ritually unclean.  Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t care and calls her “daughter”, thereby becoming her male advocate.  He declares her trust in him as the source of her healing, and possibly diffuses the situation from becoming hostile.  We will never know because at that moment the news comes of Jairus’ daughter’s death.  Jesus moves on, the crowds move with him, and the now-healed woman avoids becoming the victim of a mob.

The professional mourners scoff at Jesus comment that the girl is only sleeping.  It is not clear in the English translation, but in the Greek language, Jesus shoves these mourners out of the house!  Only the girl’s parents and a select number of disciples are allowed to be present.

Notice how the writer of Mark connects these two stories:  the girl is 12 years old; the woman has been bleeding for as long as the child has been alive.  Trust in Jesus was all the woman had; Jairus lost hope when his daughter died. Now Jesus is asking him to trust.  Here again, by taking the child’s hand, by touching a corpse, Jesus makes himself ritually unclean.  He doesn’t care.  Apparently, neither do her parents or the disciples. 

By calling the woman ‘daughter’, and declaring her healed, Jesus not only restored her health, he restored the woman to her place in society.  By resurrecting the girl, and telling her parents to feed her, Jesus not only restores her life, but by getting her food, Jesus restores her to her place in her family.  She is not the undead; she is fully human.

For Jairus maybe part of his healing or wholeness was discovered in his loving his daughter so much he would do anything to secure her life.  His wholeness was realized in his willingness to abandon much of what had defined him: his position and his sense of pride, to name a few — and to turn without shame to Jesus who alone could answer his deepest need.  Perhaps Jairus was on his way to healing already even as he acknowledged and acted on his deep love for his child.

The no longer hemorrhaging woman realized healing or wholeness not only when the bleeding stopped, but when she finally looked into the face of Jesus.   In that moment she was lifted up from being one who felt she had to sneak up behind Jesus and anonymously receive the gifts of God to one who was recognized by and acknowledged by Jesus himself.  Who was not yet ‘named,’ but who was called ‘Daughter:’ one in relationship with Jesus.  To be sure, it seems her healing was not complete until then.  So perhaps this is the gift of this story.  That the healing we are blessed to receive in our physical beings can be, to be sure, the very gift of God — but still that healing is only temporary.  On the other hand, the healing that comes to us as our relationships with Jesus deepen and grow leads to the sort of wholeness which somehow permeates our entire beings and all of our relationships and lasts far beyond the single earthly lives we have been given.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH     MV 190  Laughter Lit The Stars Of Morning 


Let us come before the triune God in prayer.

God of hope, the ministry of your church extends across borders, from nearby neighbors to far and distant countries. Accompany all those who labor eagerly in service of the gospel, that through your good news all might experience transformation.

Lord, in your mercy,6+

hear our prayer.

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that provides our food. Guard all species of plants and animals from harsh changes in climate and empower us to protect all you have made.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Righteous God, we pray for nations and their leaders. Give them a spirit of compassion and steer them towards a fair distribution of resources; that none among us would have too much or too little.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of healing, your touch has the power to make us whole. We pray for our indigenous sisters and brothers, for those suffering from physical or mental illness. LORD God, we pray for our Muslim sisters and brothers as they mourn the deaths of the Afzaal family.  More than ever, we need to be a people of love, compassion and understanding.  We pray for Nathaniel Veltman, the one who did the killing.  We are at a loss to understand.  Holy Spirit, send your healing, deep and wide, to all who grieve.  Embrace those who are in need of your healing touch:  Lil Schieman, Larry McCrady, Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Dwayne, Tracy Skoglund, Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant. Surround them with your unwavering presence.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We pray for this assembly and all those gathered together in worship. Revive our spirits, renew our relationships, and rekindle our faith, that we might experience resurrection in this community.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We give thanks for the faithful ancestors in every age whose lives have pointed us towards you. Envelop them in your love, that we may be reunited with one another in the last days.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God, Creator of variety and difference, Creator of hearts, minds, and bodies, you have called us into relationship with each other so we can know you more fully. Help us see you in our neighbours,
in those who are familiar and in those who are not yet familiar.  Creator of wholeness, help us learn to do more than celebrate difference. Help us be transformed by the gifts of diversity to become the blessed community.

            Lord, in your mercy,

            hear our prayer.

We lift our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your abiding grace.




SENDING SONG  VU 288  Great Is Thy Faithfulness


We are different parts of God’s beautiful, diverse creation.

May we come to know God more deeply through God’s beautiful, diverse creation in our daily lives.

Beloved, realize who we are called to be.

We are called by God to live in peace, love and with full participation in community together.

We are commissioned to live in community with one another.

The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.






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.