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.


Bethlehem was God with us, Calvary was God for us, and Pentecost is God in us.

~Robert Baer


On Pentecost, we celebrate that we have been given an Advocate to accompany us. Poured out in wind and fire, water, wine, and bread, the Holy Spirit abides in and among us. We give thanks that God speaks to each of us, no matter our origins, language, or life path. Filled with the Spirit of truth, we go out from worship to proclaim the saving power of Christ’s love and the freedom of God’s grace with all the world.


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.


On this day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought together the church.

Ninety-seven years ago, the Holy Spirit brought together the United Church of Canada.

Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Union churches.

And, later, the Evangelical United Brethren.

And, before and after, other congregations of like-minded disciples of Jesus Christ.

So we come together.

God’s people.

Christ’s people.

People of the beloved community of Christ!

People of Morris United Church, Lutheran Church of the Cross and St. John Lutheran Church.

To sing and to serve.

To live and to love.

To pray and to play.

To seek justice and live into reconciliation.  Alleluia, amen!

            ~Richard Bott, Toronto, ON.  Adapted from Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2017, p. 26.

CHILDREN’S SONG: I’ve Got The Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy


God, it is indeed a privilege to worship you today in this place where your people have gathered for so many years.  Like us, they faced challenges and difficulties.  They laughed, they cried and they ate together.

One of the biggest changes and challenges they faced was in deciding to join with others to form The United Church of Canada, which was inaugurated 97 years ago.

Six years ago, three congregations and two denominations trusted in your vision and your grace to become an ecumenical parish.  We had to let go of what we knew, and trust that your love and Spirit would guide us into new life.

May we, like our sisters and brothers in Christ of the past, find the courage to face uncertainty, the faith to trust a new vision, and the assurance in your unfailing support and love.  In Jesus’ name and for his sake.  Amen.

~adapted from the prayer by Catherine Tovell, Kilworth UC, London, ON


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.


            Get out your birthday party hats!  Today is the birthday of the Church!  The Holy Spirit came and brought people together because God needs EVERYBODY to spread the good news of Jesus around the world!  It is a day to celebrate!  It is a day to sing songs of joy!  It is a day to give thanks to a great God who does great acts of love, kindness, justice, mercy and forgiveness in the world!  The Holy Spirit speaks to us, guides us, gives us strength and courage to do what God wants us to do.  So break out the party hats, light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to the Church!

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Your Gifts Support Displaced People In Ukraine

The latest stats released by the United Nations are mind-boggling: More than 12 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the invasion began. Over 5.7 million have left for neighbouring countries, and another 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.*

Irina, a trained nurse, is one of these millions of people whose family has been torn apart by war. Her husband, a history teacher, joined the territorial defence in the first days of the occupation. In the beginning, Irina and her five- and eight-year-old children moved in with her parents; because the home didn’t have a basement, they rearranged sofas and furniture to create safe shelter. When a bomb exploded in the neighbourhood, Irina had a tough decision to make. Her parents did not want to leave their beloved home, but as a mother she felt she needed to get her children to safety.

After a lot of agonizing soul-searching, Irina parted with her parents and started walking with her children toward the evacuation point. They were forced to take cover as shelling grew near. Eventually, the family was able to catch a train to western Lviv―a 20-hour journey―and then endured another exhausting 5-hour train ride to Batiovo, Transcarpathia.

In Batiovo they were welcomed into one of 120 refugee centres and shelters. Through bilateral partnership with Hungarian Interchurch Aid held in relationship by ACT Alliance, your generous gifts are helping to provide these centres and shelters with food, water, hygiene products, and household appliances.

There, thousands of people like Irina and her children have found shelter and warm meals, and volunteers are doing what they can to offer support and help keep spirits up. For now the family isn’t crossing the border; Irina’s husband, sister, and parents are in Ukraine and Irina doesn’t want to leave them farther behind. She recognizes this might not be an option in the future.

In an unimaginably difficult time, your gifts are not only helping to provide necessities, they are also showing the people of Ukraine you care. Thank you so very much for your compassion. Please continue to hold Irina and the people of Ukraine in your prayers.

*BBC News, How many Ukrainians have fled their homes and where have they gone?


God our creator, the resurrection of your Son offers life to all the peoples of earth. By your Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love, empowering our lives for service and our tongues for praise, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Genesis 11:1-9

The builders of the tower of Babel try to make a name for themselves by building their tower to the heavens. God scatters them, confusing their language so that they cannot understand one another. The miracle at Pentecost is a reversal of sorts, drawing many people with many languages together into the new people of God.

1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” 5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

R:  Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. (Ps. 104:30)

24How manifold are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too many to number,

living things both small and great.

26There go the ships to and fro, and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.

27All of them look to you to give them their food in due season. R

28You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

29When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath,

they die and return to their dust. 

30You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.

31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; O Lord, rejoice in all your works. R

32You look at the earth and it trembles; you touch the mountains and they smoke.

33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.

34May these words of mine please God.  I will rejoice in the Lord.

35bBless the Lord, O my soul.  Hallelujah! R

Second Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, amid signs of fire, wind, and a variety of languages, the people were amazed and astonished at Jesus’ promise coming true.

1When the day of Pentecost had come,  were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17‘In the last days it will be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams.

18Even upon my slaves, both men and women,

in those days I will pour out my Spirit;

and they shall prophesy.

19And I will show portents in the heaven above

and signs on the earth below,

blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

20The sun shall be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood,

before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”

Gospel: John 14:8-17, 25-27

Though the disciples struggle with Jesus’ nature and identity, they receive the promise that they too will be identified with God and God’s mission. Though he must leave them now, Jesus promises the coming of the Advocate whom God will send to comfort and enlighten them.

8Philip said to  “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

HYMN: MV 97   Spirit, Open My Heart


The Holy Spirit never does anything using less than full power.  The sound was as loud as a violent wind.  We know about violent winds because we are still cleaning up after a recent one!  We know the fear of listening to the sound of the wind to see if it changes, indicating a tornado is on the way.  The Holy Spirit’s arrival was not necessarily comforting!

I don’t know about you, but if something like fire suddenly appeared above my head, I don’t think I would receive that miracle calmly.  Not only that, if I was immediately able to speak in other languages, I would probably wonder if I was having some sort of brain event!

Thankfully, Peter’s voice prevails and reminds the people of God’s promise spoken through the prophet Joel.  Peter confirms that, indeed, when God promises something, God delivers, and delivers big!

What about now?  Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church.  Christ’s Spirit sparked the passion over 2000 years ago and the people of The Way got organized to help those around them.  Those who did not follow Christ were amazed at the love and compassion the Church had for the poor, infirm, widows and orphans, those who had no support, income or a roof over their head.  These people sold all they had and pooled their money to look after themselves and all in their care!  The Spirit’s flame burned for a long time after Pentecost.  Sadly, instead of a tongue of fire, the Spirit of the Church now seems to have the power of a sputtering match.  Or does it…

Going through my old files, I came across this meditation I saved from a preaching website years ago.  I continue to search for the author who provides a spiritual parallel between a car race and the arrival of the Holy Spirit:


We parked on West 16th Street and walked the final half-mile to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  In the company of some 400,000 people, we found our seats. Race cars sat in rows on the track, as quiet as worshipers waiting for permission to sing.

     Pre-race ceremonies were a moving display of patriotism and respect for armed forces guarding this free land, capped by a state song told, ironically, from the standpoint of someone who has left home.  I was immensely pleased to be sharing this with my three sons and their young ladies. 

     Then came “the rush.” Not exactly a “violent wind,” but every bit as loud, as 33 Honda 3.5-liter V-8 engines roared to life. People shouted for joy. Racing was about to begin. Little by little the sound intensified. Parade laps at slow speeds (135 mph), and then the unbearably exciting moment when the pace car pulled off, the starter flagged green, and cars accelerated suddenly to 220 mph and swooped into the first turn.

     Now noise filled every corner of the 100-year-old track. Fans were lifted higher and higher by the sound. It was the roar of adolescent dreams, the roar of the internal combustion power that has largely defined the modern age, the roar of drivers being allowed to go as fast as their skills and engines could take them.

     Just the sound of the lead cars coming off the fourth turn and down the straightaway drew us to our feet. Fans let out a mighty roar of their own.

     As the disciples of Jesus found on the Day of Pentecost, the rush of such a mighty sound can fill the house and transform human lives. I don’t want to compare auto racing with the work of God’s Spirit, but just to note the transformative impact that such a moment can have.

     It certainly changed everything for the disciples. They went from hiding to proclaiming, from fear of the establishment to confronting the establishment, from settled lives to self-sacrificial lives.

     Church leaders like to name Pentecost the “birthday of the Church.” Better, I think, to name it the birth of freedom and courage. For it was on this day that the commandment Jesus gave — “Don’t be afraid” — took root in their lives.

     I yearn for the day when Christians will stop being afraid — afraid of offending, afraid of change, afraid of failure, afraid of going broke, afraid of each other. I yearn for the day when the sheer noise of God’s Spirit lifts our spirits and we shout for joy. 


Fear can be debilitating.  Fear can drain one’s energy, drag a person into despair, cause one to see only failure.  Like the disciples, we huddle spiritually in a locked room, believing that even God is powerless.  Well, fear can take a hike!

We are Christ’s Church.  We have been given a promise and enough evidence that God comes through.  We are a resurrection people.  We are a people who rise up and adapt to change.  We are a people who accept the challenge to love boldly.  Even if we are scared, even if death lies in wait, even if we do not understand everything, even if we confront our shadow side and are appalled by it, we are the body of Christ and in the midst of the chaos of life we TRUST GOD ANYWAY!  Call us crazy, call us drunk, call us deluded, call us anything you want, we trust God.

I don’t believe the Church is dying.  I believe the Church is adapting to the realities around it with the same fire of the Holy Spirit that first burned in those gathered millennia ago.  Focus on living as Christ would have you live.  Say yes to Jesus and no to fear.  Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the faith and the passion.  It’s infectious!  Live your faith so that people are inspired!  Share your joy so that others may smile and laugh!  Love like there is no tomorrow, and hope will blossom!

We are a resurrection people.  Trust God no matter what, and shout for joy!  Amen.


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  VU 287  Wellspring Of Wisdom


Constant Friend, because people of every sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity have the right to live with dignity and without persecution or discrimination, we remember in our prayers:

LGBTQ+ people of Chechnya, Uganda, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and elsewhere who have been murdered and tortured because of who they are. We remember them and the people who love them.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

LGBTQ+ refugees from around the world seeking safety and sanctuary. We remember them and the people who welcome them.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Trans and gender-diverse people in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and elsewhere, who are targeted victims of hate crimes and assaults. We remember them and the people who love them.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

LGBTQ+ people whose dignity and self-esteem have been eroded by hateful systems and structures. We remember them and seek to be people who love more fully.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

Individually, we each uniquely reflect your glory and express your love, but anti-gay violence, homophobia, and transphobia have blocked many from recognizing your beauty in all people. All of creation suffers from the effects of such hate, fear, and violence.  Daily, may we dedicate ourselves to building bridges of love and hope where harmful divisions have been made, making equity and equality for all people our goal, while working continually for justice, so that everyone can live fully in your love.

—a prayer by Alydia Smith for Pride month

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Divine Creator, remind us always that everything you create is in a relationship with everything else.  All is in balance.  Help us to maintain that balance with respect for all you touch.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We lift up to you all victims of violence.  We pray for the safety of the people of Ukraine.  We pray for the Indigenous peoples of Canada, especially those in Kamloops who seek to bring their children home.  We bring before you the family of Lawrence Petroni, Robert Collette & family, Bill and Terry Howie, Evie and Brian Watt, Tracy Skoglund, Brooke Alexiuk, Joan, Dwayne, Debbie H., Wendy Bachinsky, Jean Filbert, Audrey and Larry McCrady, all farmers, the homeless and vulnerable.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

In your mercy, O God, respond to these prayers, and renew us by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.




SENDING SONG:  All Creation Sings 942   Every Time I Feel The Spirit


God, the Author of life, Christ, the living Cornerstone, and the life-giving Spirit of adoption, ☩ bless you now and forever.




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