Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to many of 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 of one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have the internet may find the songs on YouTube.

Parts of today’s worship service are taken from 2024 Asian Heritage Month Worship:  contributed by Collaborating Asian Networks in The United Church of Canada:  Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Global Partnership Team in General Council in The United Church of Canada, and more people of God who live in blessings of Asian heritages in faith, love, justice, and hope.


“Are there ways for gauging one’s spiritual strength?” “Many.”

“Give us one.”

“Find out how often you become disturbed in the course of a single day.”

― Anthony de Mello, One Minute Wisdom


John 17 is the text of Jesus’ prayer not just for his followers but for all the followers who would come in the future. What’s more, Jesus is praying this prayer at the table with his disciples after Judas has already left to betray him. At a time when it would be understandable that Jesus be worried about himself, he is thinking and praying for us. It’s been said that the most meaningful moments in life are when our hearts and our actions are wide enough to include others. Just hours before his death, Jesus’ heart and his actions were wide enough to include us.

Acknowledgement of Asian Heritage

Canada’s cultural richness owes much to its vibrant Asian heritages, woven with tradition, resilience, and innovation. Asian Canadians have significantly shaped the nation’s history and identity. Celebrating this heritage acknowledges countless contributions, perseverance, and ongoing impact on Canadian society. From cuisine to literature, art to technology, Asian Canadians have left indelible marks on every aspect of Canadian life, enriching the nation. As we commemorate Asian Heritage Month, let us reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and envision a future of inclusivity and equity, where every voice is heard and valued.


We acknowledge we gather and worship on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Creator God, from you every family in heaven and earth takes its name. You have rooted and grounded us in your covenant love, and empowered us by your Spirit to speak the truth in love, and to walk in your way towards justice and wholeness. Mercifully grant that your people, journeying together in partnership, may be strengthened and guided to help one another to grow into the full stature of Christ, who is our light and our life. Amen.


Come to the place where God listens!
Come as humble as we are
Broken, whole, sick, well

Come to sing!
Come to cry!
Come to hear!
Come to see!

Come to meet God to be a new creation!
God is here.
We are here.

God is giving us peace where we worship God.
We praise God!  Let us worship God with all our hearts and minds and bodies!  Amen!

GATHERING SONG:  Voices United #345  Come, Children, Join To Sing


O, God, you are the Source of life and peace in heaven and on earth.  Pour out the grace of your peace on a world troubled by war and hatred.

Extinguish enmity between humans, and pour into the hearts of all humility, peace, and goodness. Calm those who are fighting, and give them wisdom. Give help to those who are suffering. Give protection to the refugees and homeless. Give comfort to the alienated and sorrowful. Give us all the will and strength to help, with all our hearts, our brothers and sisters who are suffering from war, injustice, and exploitation.

Teach us to seek to acquire peace of heart and peace among peoples, for in the heart in which peace is found there is no longer enmity, dominion, or fear, but the consolation of the Holy Spirit, love of God, and love of our neighbours.

For this we humbly pray to you, O Christ our God, for peace among peoples and for the welfare of the whole world, that we may live in harmony. Amen.

MISSION AND SERVICE:  Educating Future Leaders

Mission and Service does a surprising amount of development in your local church, recruiting new ministers and funding theological schools. It even shapes the hymn books you sing from every service.

Another important way Mission and Service supports local ministry: by providing academic bursaries for students studying to become ministers and theological leaders.

“The church has a lot to offer in terms of witness to the community and supporting people who are struggling,” explains the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Janzen-Ball, the United Church’s Executive Minister for Theological Leadership.

“The money is really helpful,” she says, “but the other thing that is so important to students is realizing that people throughout the church cared enough to donate to Mission and Service.”

The Rev. Alexa Gilmour received one of these bursaries when she was still a ministry candidate. “I was a single parent, and I knew I couldn’t get through without support,” Gilmour says. “I felt blessed by God through people who donated and who, by giving, encouraged me on my journey. I have tremendous gratitude for that important role the church played in my life at that time.”

Janzen-Ball wants you to know that your gifts do matter.

“They matter both tangibly in peoples’ lives in a real way but also in intangible ways because they signal the support of the wider community,” she says. “The care of people who are strangers to one another―the importance and impact of that can’t be overstated.

“Giving to Mission and Service is an opportunity to support future and current leaders. Those gifts make a significant difference.”

A more detailed video, A Deeper Look: Educating the Ministers of Tomorrow, is available on YouTube.


When I was a child, it seemed that my mother could read my mind.  It was rather scary.  She would look at me and say, “Don’t even think about taking off on your bicycle!  Supper will be ready in ten minutes.”  How did she know that that was exactly what I was going to do?!  She must be magical to know my thoughts!

As I grew up, I realized that while my mother wasn’t magical, she did know me better than I thought she did, and she could tell from my expressions what I was thinking.

Then came the day when I did the mind-reading thing on one of the children for whom I babysat.

I was making supper.  Janet was in the family room watching TV.  Robbie was in the kitchen with me and Benjamin – who was a baby and in the highchair.  Robbie got a look on his face and was about to leave the kitchen.  I said to him, “Don’t even think about it.”


“You are going to go into the family room and bug Janet.  Janet will get upset and hit you.  Then you will come running back in here to tell me that Janet hit you with the expectation that I will punish her.”

Robbie was in shock.  “How did you know?!”

“I was a kid.  I know.”

Jesus is telling the disciples some bad news.  Jesus will be betrayed, arrested and crucified.  Jesus can tell from the expression on his disciples faces what they are thinking and feeling.  While he needs the disciples to hear what is coming, Jesus prays to God to help the disciples overcome their fear and give them strength.  Jesus knows the disciples better than they know themselves, which is why Jesus prays the prayer he does.

We have a God who knows us even better than our moms!  We have a God who feels what we feel.  We have Jesus who sends his Spirit to comfort us, give us strength, and the courage to face what needs to be faced.  Thank you, Jesus, for praying for us, loving us, forgiving us.  We are grateful.

A NEW CREED  Voices United p. 918


Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

In the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Peter oversees the process whereby one of the members of the community of believers is chosen to be the twelfth apostle, in order to fill the vacancy created by Judas’s treachery and death.

15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 21So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Psalm 1

The Lord knows the way of the righteous. (Ps. 1:6)

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor lingered in the way of sinners,

nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law of the Lord, and they meditate on God’s teaching day and night. R
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not

wither; everything they do shall prosper.
4It is not so with the wicked; they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, nor the sinner in the council of the

6For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall be destroyed. R

Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13

God has borne witness to the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in the Son of God believes in the witness of God and has the promise of eternal life.

9If we receive human testimony; the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Gospel: John 17:6-19

In this reading the church hears Jesus’ words on the night before his death—his prayer for his disciples and for all who would believe in him through their words.

 6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

 HYMN:   More Voices #156  Dance With The Spirit


When I was a seminary student awaiting internship, there was a unique internship program that had been introduced for that one year.  I had signed up for it, along with one other student, and I had been the one chosen to participate in the program.  My first choice had been an overseas appointment – somewhere in Africa I had specified.  What I got was an appointment to Peace Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio,USA – sadly, not Toledo, Spain.  My student advisor made the following comment when I informed him of my placement, “Oh, so you’re going to the armpit of Ohio.”  Little did we know that, spiritually, that was to be the profoundest year of my life to date.

It is the night before his death.  Jesus knows what’s coming.  The disciples, with the exception of Judas, do not.  Feeling spiritually ill at ease, Jesus is compelled to pray for his disciples.  They will need all the strength they can get over the next few days.  They will need blessing and protection.  The disciples have been set apart – in the world but not of the world.  Until they get their feet planted firmly on the evangelical path, Jesus prays for his friends to be made holy in order to survive the journey.

As a Canadian, I was a curiosity for many in the Toledo congregation.  I was bombarded with questions about our health care system.  I was asked by a little Mexican boy to, “say something in Canadian.”  There was one man who listened intently to me the whole year waiting for me to say, “eh”.  I was told numerous times that I had an “accent”.  I was in their world but not of their world.  I was also aware of the pain, struggles and confusion in the lives of some of the parishioners, particularly of the youth, whose responsibility it was for me to lead and spiritually nourish.  God help me!

I understand Jesus feeling spiritually ill at ease.  His love for his friends is deep.  They have travelled on foot together across the land for three years.  They have shared countless meals, healings, fears, confusion, and through it all Jesus has guided, taught, encouraged, challenged and loved them.

The youth were a troubled group.  One young man had severe learning disabilities, another was suicidal.  Still another, a self-declared racist.  One young woman was intellectually challenged, the parents of another were in the midst of a nasty divorce.  They were all hurting and confused.  I was their rock of Gibraltar.  They called me “mom”.  My soul was ill at ease for them, they were so young and lost.  I prayed for them all – deep, loving prayers.  I still do.  Thanks to Facebook, I am in touch with many of them.  Not all of their lives have turned out well.  Still, they have kept the faith and trust that God will continue to be with them and guide them.

Nine times in this Gospel passage Jesus refers to God as “giving” – the disciples, the word, the work Jesus came to do…  I may have been a seminary student, but I was no innocent when it came to the struggles, pain and realities of life.  The Holy Spirit communicated with me constantly during my internship year.  The Spirit guided me to those who needed to hear the Word, who needed to hear that they were loved, that there was a purpose for their life, that God had not forgotten them, that Jesus walked with them in their pain.  I gave to the youth, members of Peace Lutheran and my community the most precious gifts I had – my time, a listening ear, my love, and my deep, abiding prayers.

These chapters in the Gospel according to John, those that make up Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples, can seem to run on and on until one’s attention wanders.  Yet to those to whom he is speaking, Jesus’ words are strength and nourishment.  Ministry is tough some days,  People will lash out in anger and pain and make the servant of Christ the target of all that causes them pain.  We respond with love and forgiveness.  People die and loved ones grieve.  We respond with hope and the promise of the resurrection.  People question.  We respond with encouragement to deepen one’s relationship with God!  People turn away from God.  We respond with our presence and walk with them on their journey of discovery.

Through all this, people, we, like Jesus, pray.  We pray over one another, we pray with one another, we pray for one another.  We, like the disciples, haven’t a clue as to what lies ahead.  Yet through our prayers we know that the Holy Spirit will guide us, nurture us and give us strength for the journey, and words we need to proclaim the Good News.

Thanks be to God for this most generous gift.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #147  God, Help Us To Treasure


Rejoicing that Jesus is risen and love has triumphed over fear, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need of good news.

You sanctify us in your truth; your word is truth. Send your church out into the world to spread your love and joy. Embolden all bishops, pastors, and deacons to be faithful ministers of your word and sacraments. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your creation groans under the strain of pollution. Preserve melting glaciers and dwindling forests. Bolster those who work for climate justice and help us all to be good and faithful stewards of your creation. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your people seek wisdom, understanding, and peace. Guide all those who govern and inspire them to work on behalf of the most vulnerable in our midst. Keep safe first responders, those serving in the military, and those whose duty it is to protect others. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your children need your loving care. Protect them from all harm. Comfort those in any affliction. Support those who grieve and bring solace to those near death. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your Spirit lives within us here. Inspire the work of this congregation and unite us as one. Bless all the mothers in our midst, console those for whom this day is difficult, and gather us all under the care of your loving wings. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your saints dwell with you in light. Keep us ever thankful for those who have gone before us in faith. Inspire us by their witness. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Into your hands, most merciful God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your abiding love; through Jesus Christ, our resurrected and living Lord.



SENDING SONG:  With One Voice #721  Go, My Children


May God the Creator take away your pain and loss.  May Christ shield you in your sorrow and fear.  May the Spirit carry you each day of your life.  And many blessings leading you to the fulfillment of your dreams give you peace in your heart.  Now go and live in peace, love, and joy of our Creator, the Risen Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.



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