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 are many reasons to steer clear of Christianity. No question. I fully understand why people make that choice. Christianity has survived some unspeakable abominations: The Crusades, clergy sex-scandals, papal corruption, televangelist scams, and clown ministry. But it will survive us, too. It will survive our mistakes and pride and exclusion of others. I believe that the power of Christianity — the thing that made the very first disciples drop their nets and walk away from everything they knew, the thing that caused Mary Magdalene to return to the tomb and then announce the resurrection of Christ, the thing that the early Christians martyred themselves for, and the thing that keeps me in the Jesus business (or, what my Episcopal priest friend, Paul, calls “working for the company”) — is something that cannot be killed. The power of unbounded mercy, of what we call The Gospel, cannot be destroyed by corruption and toothy TV preachers. Because in the end, there is still Jesus.”

                                                  ― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People


This week, the center of the church’s year, is one of striking contrasts: Jesus rides into Jerusalem surrounded by shouts of glory, only to be left alone to die on the cross, abandoned by even his closest friends. Mark’s gospel presents Jesus in his complete human vulnerability: agitated, grieved, scared, forsaken. Though we lament Christ’s suffering and all human suffering, we also expect God’s salvation: in the wine and bread, Jesus promises that his death will mark a new covenant with all people. We enter this holy week thirsty for the completion of God’s astonishing work



This is the day that the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Jesus is coming.


He comes to us riding on a donkey.


Open wide the gates!


Let us welcome him with branches and songs of praise.

Jesus is coming. Hosanna to the King of kings!

CHILDREN’S SONG  VU 124  He Came Riding On A Donkey


Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  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.


     When I go for my eye doctor appointment, I am given a tool that looks like a flattened spoon.  I have to hold it over one eye while trying to read the eye chart on the other side of the room.  Then I have to hold it over my other eye, and see how far down the chart I can name the letters.

     My left eye has always been weaker than my right eye, so I can never get as far down the chart as when I use my right eye.

     My eye doctor then puts a machine in front of my face, and while still covering one eye, moves some knobs and then asks, “Is view 1 clearer or view 2?”  When the proper lens is in front of my weak left eye, suddenly, I can read all the way down to the bottom line on the eye chart!  Wow!  It is so nice to see clearly!

     Sometimes, what we see isn’t what we are seeing.  If we look at a situation a certain way, we may only see a hopeless situation.  Yet, if we try to look at the situation with a different attitude, sometimes we see that the situation is not hopeless at all!

     Take this eye chart.  When I first look at it, it seems to be a typical eye chart.  I can read off the letters all the way to the bottom!  Wait a minute! – this isn’t an ordinary eye chart, there is a message printed on the page!  Shift how you read the letters, and suddenly you are seeing words!

“I love Jesus and I need him in my life.”  Yes!  Very true!

     When we hear the story of Jesus dying on the cross, we may feel sad that it happened.  Jesus didn’t do anything to deserve dying on the cross.  Even Jesus felt that God had forgotten about him.  While it may have felt that way to Jesus, God never left Jesus.  And, Jesus never leaves us.  So, yes, I do love Jesus, and I do need him in my life, because I would feel lost and alone otherwise.  Let’s pray:  Jesus, I love you and I need you in my life.  Help me to trust that you are always with me, especially when I am afraid.  Give me courage and strengthen my faith.  Amen.



Jesse’s story is proof that your generosity through Mission & Service truly does help transform lives!

     The transformation that began on Palm Sunday is at the heart of the Easter story. It’s at the heart of Jesse’s story too.  

     When he was 12 years old, Jesse had a traumatic brain injury. His life instantly changed because his brain didn’t function the way it once did. By the time he was 17, Jesse had been hospitalized 32 times. Through the ups and downs, his mother took care of him. She was his rock. And then, sadly three years ago, she died of cancer. Without his mother, Jesse’s life spiraled out of control. Two years ago, he survived the painfully cold winter sleeping in a storage unit.  

     “I lost 40 pounds and all hope. Finally, on one forlorn morning I made a final attempt to better my situation by reaching out to Stella’s Circle, a Mission & Service partner. Without hesitation they opened their arms,” says Jesse. “Since that fateful morning, their staggering support and generosity has completely altered my life. Because of them, I now dwell in a home I can call my own. They’ve helped me obtain the counselling services needed to heal from my past, and have even provided me with a washing machine. There has rarely been a day they haven’t sought me out to ask about my well-being or if I needed anything.” 

     Jesse is now completing a greenhouse technician college program. He also leads a new social enterprise at Stella’s Circle that grows produce for sale.  

     “Thanks to the team at Stella’s Circle, I have new found hope and a proper foothold to help propel me into a more prosperous future,” he says. 

     Jesse’s story is proof that your generosity through Mission & Service truly does help transform lives!  

Jesus lived, died and rose again to show us what it means to shelter each other with God’s transforming love. A love stronger than injustice, deeper than despair, and more expansive than poverty.  

     Everyone deserves love. No one should be sleeping in a storage unit. No one should go hungry. No one should feel alone. Everyone is someone’s child. 

     Let’s be the hands and feet of the risen Christ for everyone who needs to feel his abiding love. 

     You and I can do something to help. Please make a special Easter gift through Mission & Service. 

     Thank you for your generosity.


  • God of all people and all places, God of all situations and all times, you are the light of the minds that know you, and the strength of those who serve you in times of challenge and times of joy.
  • We come to worship you this day, setting aside our work and responsibilities, our relaxation and pastimes, to listen for your voice and reflect on the wisdom and courage we witness in Jesus. As tension mounts for him and for us, we turn to you for hope and healing, for courage and compassion, in the name of Christ, our Lord.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The image of the servant of God is one of the notable motifs in the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading describes the mission of the servant, whom early Christians associated with Jesus. Like Jesus, the servant does not strike back at his detractors but trusts in God’s steadfast love.

4The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.  Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

5The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.

6I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

7The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

8he who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand up together.  Who are my adversaries?  Let them confront me.

9aIt is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

  • Psalm 31:9-16

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. (Ps. 31:5)

9Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
  my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;
  my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to my acquaintances;
  when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12Like the dead I am forgotten, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot. R
13For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around;
  they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.  I have said, “You are my God.
15My times are in your hand;
  rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.” R

  • Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

Christ did not act to attain status and glory but was obedient to God even to the point of death. Following Christ’s example, we do not seek personal status or glory but care for others as God cared for us in Christ’s death.

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel: Mark 15:1-47

The passion story in Mark’s gospel presents Jesus as one who dies abandoned by all. He shows himself to be the true Son of God by giving his life for those who have forsaken him.

1As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” 3Then the chief priests accused him of many things. 4Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

  6Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. 8So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. 9Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” 15So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

  16Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

  21They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
  25It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 29Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
  33When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

     [40There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. 

     42When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.]


Five years ago, the October senior youth event was “Fright At The Fort”.  Upon arrival, we were informed by several staff, dressed in period costume, that several dangerous prisoners had escaped from the jail and were hiding within the confines of Lower Fort Garry.  We were to stay together for safety and keep an eye out for the escapees.

At one point, my daughters and I entered a storage building.  The door was closed behind us.  The only light came from battery operated tea lights.  We were standing in front of a short barrier.  I was behind my children.

We heard a chain rattle and a scraping sound.  A young woman in a night dress, dragging a ball and chain, slowly made her way in our direction.  Her face was ghostly, blood ran down from her scalp and she kept moaning, “Help me…”  Then Dara said, “Mom, she has an axe!”   Suddenly, the switch inside me that went from mom to mother grizzly was flicked.

I stepped out from behind my children and got into the young woman’s face.  “That’s it! Get away from my children and go back to your corner!” I yelled. 

“Don’t hurt me!” she said.

“I’m not going to hurt you.  I’m not even going to touch you.  Just get back into your corner and way from my children!”

When we got outside, Jilleen said, “Way to go, mom, you just traumatized that poor girl for life!”  All three of my daughters laughed.  I wasn’t laughing.  If that woman ever sees this video, please know that I am truly sorry for scaring you. 

Here’s the thing:  the whole time I was aware that this was an actor in a costume.  What caused the switch to be flicked, upon reflection, was the way Dara had said, “Mom, she’s got an axe!”, and the fact that I was standing behind my children.

In my late teens there was a game that came out on the market called A Question of Scruples.  The game posed 252 moral dilemmas on issues of work, money, friends, family, neighbors and relationships.  Each player was dealt five dilemma cards, each with a question of scruples, and one reply card. Each reply card said, “Yes,” “No,” or “Depends.”  One of the dilemmas included a situation where one was asked, “Could you kill someone?”.  Back in my teens I would have said, “Absolutely not!”  Now, as the mother of three daughters, and after what I experienced that night, if my children’s lives were threatened, and I am brutally honest with myself, I believe I could kill.  However, until I am in a situation where that becomes a turning point for me, I remain a woman who prefers non-violent ways of resolving conflict.  

Have you ever wondered why we read two Gospel texts on Palm/Passion Sunday?  Have you ever wondered how it was that the people who were waving branches, praising God and celebrating Jesus one day could shout for his crucifixion, abuse him and berate him only a few days later?  I have.  And now I know.  It is a question of scruples.

Jerusalem was under Roman rule.  The chain short, the collar tight.  Roman soldiers abused their power, abused the Jewish citizens, kept everyone afraid and compliant.  They rode chariots and war horses and ruled the streets.

Into Jerusalem rides Jesus on an animal of peace.  We are guessing his name and his reputation preceded him.  Jesus is the miracle healer, the one who casts out demons, who brought Lazarus back to life – try keeping that incident under wraps!  All the signs point to Jesus as the one to save Jerusalem from the Romans.  Did you know the word “Hosanna” literally means “save us”?  Surely this Jesus, who can raise the dead, can conquer the Roman occupation!  The people are oppressed, desperate and pinning their hopes, and their futures, on Jesus.  I doubt they yelled the words “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David” very loudly.  This was the Passover festival.  THE festival recalling how God saved the Hebrew people from the Egyptians.  Jerusalem would have been crowded with visitors; the centurions would have been out in numbers keeping everyone in line.  To hear people shouting about David’s kingdom would be an act of treason!  They would have joined Jesus on Golgotha.

The distance between entering Jerusalem on a donkey and hanging on the cross is short.  So, what happened?  Following this gospel reading we have the clearing of the temple, Jesus insulting the Temple authorities with his parables, and the crowds hanging on to his words.  Not a whole lot of action until Judas and the Temple authorities join forces and have Jesus arrested.  Not a whole lot happening to turn the tide of opinion.  Perhaps that was the problem.  The Hebrew people wanted the Romans gone.  Jesus was the rising star of hope.  Jesus was supposed to save the Hebrew people from their oppression, rally the troops and run the Romans out of town! When Jesus got arrested, the hope died.  When it became certain that he was heading to The Skull and death, my guess is that shock turned to disappointment; disappointment to anger, anger to blame and blame to violence.

Never underestimate a mob mentality.  In recent times we have seen it in action, and it is a terrifying force!  Throw in some political manipulation, a chunk of change, a willing agitator, and the scene is set.  Yet undergirding this whole Jerusalem fiasco is the pain of a people just wanting to be free of oppression, wanting their life back and hurting because the One they believed would do that, failed them – at least by the people’s definition.

Would we do any better?  Have we done any better?  This is the week to examine ourselves and our scruples.  I believe that we would like to believe we would do better than those fickle Israelites.  Emotional pain and desperation can cause people to do incredible feats for good, or for ill.  Until you are hurting, desperate and hopeless enough, you will never know.  

We have entered Jerusalem.  Our Journey is coming to an end.

God is still here.


HYMN OF THE MONTH     MV 84  In You There Is A Refuge  


Hear us as we bring to you our concerns, and send your redeeming power to touch our lives and your world once more. 

Creator of the universe, Redeemer of all creation, you made the world in beauty, yet too often it is filled with ugly realities.  We trust that you are at work in all situations, restoring and renewing all things.  On this day, we find the courage of Jesus inspiring so we pray that those in need will find such courage, too, as your gift to make a difference in the challenges they face. 

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Wherever people are oppressed by the powers of poverty, sickness or grief, ease their pain and restore them to wholeness.  Wherever people challenge regimes or systems marked by tyranny and brutality, encourage them with your Spirit and lead them to liberty.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Wherever people are burdened by the weight of hostility, greed or jealousy, restore their strength to resist and show them signs of hope.  Wherever people are persecuted because of race or creed, or for the truth they tell; let your truth and justice prevail.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Wherever the earth cries out because people consume too much and ignore the danger signs, wherever care for the ground and water, for endangered climate and endangered species defies human carelessness, let your love for the goodness of creation move the hearts of your people.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for your church in every place, whether it be fragile or strong, tired or energized. Inspire us with your Holy Spirit to offer ourselves in gratitude for the gift of Jesus Christ, serving creatively and courageously in his name:

God, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Hear us as we pray to you for those close to our hearts.  For Lil Schieman, Mike Froese, the family of Ron Harder, Brooke Alexiuk, Tracy Skoglund, Carolyn, Douglas, Debbie, Dwayne; Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant; Thomas & Zach Maynard; for all those infected with the corona virus, or whose loved ones have died because of it.  In your grace and love, restore all things.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Into your hands, almighty God, we commend all for whom we pray.  In Jesus’ name we pray. 




You are what God made you to be:  created in Christ Jesus for good works, chosen as holy and beloved, freed to serve your neighbor.

God bless you ☩ that you may be a blessing, in the name of the holy and life-giving Trinity.


SENDING SONG   VU 122  All Glory, Laud And Honour


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