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.


We forget that God’s primary goal is not changing our situations or relationships so that we can be happy, but changing us through our situations and relationships so that we will be holy.

~Rev. Paul David Tripp


Each fall is the perennial move-in day on or near college campuses. Legions of parents descend with carloads that include tiny refrigerators, Ikea furniture, electronics, area rugs, and posters. They unload the one they have birthed, raised, nursed, instructed, and reproved for eighteen years or so, to prepare him or her for independence. Then, just like that, the parents are gone, perhaps wiping away tears. Perhaps their final words were ones they hoped would stick. “Study well.” “Make good choices.” “Watch your time.” “Don’t stay up too late.” But in every parental heart is a simple prayer: “O God, be with them.” In the final portion of Jesus’ great prayer for the disciples (John 17:6-19), he entreats the Father to love and protect the disciples as a parent who knows their time for direct supervision is coming to an end. In this preparation we hear his pleading like a loving parent who wants the best for the ones he has sheltered, taught, loved, reproved, and sent. Jesus begs for God to hold them in the truth that is to do as they have been taught, to follow the model established for them. Jesus asked for the disciples to be protected and surrounded so that they may not be lost. He prays for the disciples to have their joy completed, and to live what they have seen and understood from their rabbi. May we, like the disciples, live in the truth of the gospel, love as we have been loved, have our joy complete, and, above all, know that God is with us.


Holy God, you inspired great musicians to write the hymns and music we have today.

We gather here to be with you and with all your people.

Inspire us, we pray.

May the examples of our siblings in the faith from around the world stir our hearts and minds

that we in turn may help to inspire the generations that follow us.


(Adapted from “Opening Prayer” in Singing Faith Alive, Betty Lynn Schwab (ed.) (The United Church of Canada), p. 15.)

CHILDREN’S SONG  He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands


     Come, O Holy Spirit:  come as Holy Fire and burn in us, come as Holy Wind and cleanse us within, come as Holy Truth and dispel our ignorance, come as Holy Power and enable our weakness, come as Holy Life and dwell in us.

     Convict us, convert us, consecrate us, until we are set free from the service of ourselves, to be your servants to the world.  Amen.

(Adapted from Eric Milner-White 1884–1963, Voices United 197.)



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.


     Imagine, if you will, that I am wearing funky sunglasses and sporting a unicorn horn!  Pretty nifty!  It’s not every day you see a pastor wearing funky sunglasses and having a unicorn horn on her head!  What an experience!  In fact, this may be such a unique experience that you need to tell your family and friends about it!  You could say, “It’s true!  I witnessed it.  She was wearing funky sunglasses and had a unicorn horn on her head!  Really!  I will never forget this moment as long as I live!”

     The apostle Peter, and the other followers of Jesus, must choose a new apostle to tell others about Jesus now that Jesus has gone back to God.  They want to choose someone who witnessed Jesus dying on the cross, saw him after God raised him from death.  They want the new apostle to be excited about sharing what Jesus did for others, what Jesus did for the new apostle.  This is such good news, that they want to tell everyone about Jesus!  What happened to them when they were with Jesus is so important that they will never forget it as long as they live!  It changed their life in a wonderful way, and they want everyone to experience the same incredible joy with Jesus in their life.  It is important that those who saw and experienced Jesus share their story with others, so that those others will believe in Jesus too.

     We also are to share with others what Jesus has done for us in our lives.  How we have been able to forgive others, love others that we thought we couldn’t love, how Jesus has given us strength to get through tough situations, gave us words to help friends in need.  Jesus doesn’t want us to keep those experiences to ourselves.  If Jesus has changed your life, Jesus wants you to share that so that others have faith because of your experience.  And, you will probably remember that moment for the rest of your life.



Your gifts through Mission & Service provide non-judgmental support and safe spaces.

     “I lived there for nine days, and there were three young kids. I think they lived in the cul-de-sac I moved into. They kicked in my door. They beat me with a baseball bat. They wrote “*** tranny” on my wall. They smashed most of what I own,” says Mikayla, a 47-year-old transgender woman. “My journey has been difficult. However, today those scars are symbols of my strength, not reminders of my pain. Those experiences have shaped the woman I have become, and are the inspiration for my trans rights advocacy and activism efforts.”

     After the brutal assault, Mikayla turned to WISH, a Mission & Service partner, for support. Located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, WISH’s goal is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade.

     The vast majority of women WISH supports participate in the sex industry by choice. But choice is relative. Extreme poverty, lack of housing, trauma, mental health issues, stigma, violence, and more can limit the ability to choose.

     “Systemic barriers mean that most are resorting to street-based sex work as a means of survival,” says WISH.

     Everyone has felt the impacts of COVID-19, but vulnerable residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are hit especially hard.

     “Every sex worker we support has experienced sudden, total income loss. More women are turning to street-based sex work for the first time. There’s increased violence. The closure of safe spaces and public facilities due to COVID-19 has left hundreds of people without the ability to social-distance, and without access to basic sanitation,” WISH reports.

     To respond to rising needs, the WISHing Well Initiative was launched to provide access to basic sanitation, including showers. A five-toilet washroom trailer and an outdoor safe respite area was added to their backlot. The MAP Van, which provides outreach services to street-based sex workers, added a day shift. The Drop-In Centre expanded its hours.

     “This is the first time in WISH’s history that we have been able to keep our doors open during the day, something we hope we can continue for years to come. You’ve made a tremendous difference during these dire times,” WISH thanks supporters.

     Your gifts through Mission & Service provide non-judgmental support and safe spaces. Thank you for caring.


Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened to us the light of eternity.  Enlighten our minds and kindle our hearts with the presence of your Spirit, that we may hear your words of comfort and challenge in the reading of the scriptures, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ from a collection of prayers posted on the Worship@North website. https://northchurchindy.wordpress.com/

Readings and Psalm

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 righteous.
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 God has testified to the Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made God a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning the Son. 11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in the 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.”


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, Rev. Michael Poellet, 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 congregation.  I was bombarded with questions about our health care system.  I was asked by a young 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 experiencing emotional challenges, 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 does Jesus refer 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 and 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 mourn.  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, give us strength for the journey and the words we need to proclaim the Good News. 

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

HYMN OF THE MONTH     MV 40  Never Ending Joy  


Loving God, we give thanks for all that we have learned from you. Help us to learn to love as you have loved us. Help us to grow beyond narrow views that regard the stranger as an enemy and restrict the scope of your love. Give us instead the embracing love of Jesus, who lived and died that the whole world might be saved. Show us a new path—a path not divided by race or creed, but a path united by love, goodwill, and a concern for the good of all.

God, in your love,

hear our prayer.

And so we pray for peace in a world marred by violence, we pray for unity in a world divided by class, borders, race, and religion, we pray for hope in a world that often seems short on good news, we pray for comfort in a world that seems full of tears.

God, in your love,

hear our prayer.

Holy God, you have given us your peace—but not as the world gives have you given to us.  You have given us the peace of Christ that disturbs us; you have given us a Spirit of restlessness that stirs us from placidness; you have given us a vision of peace that turns us from shaking our heads and asking,

“Why?” and moves us to ask instead, “Why not?”  Help us to move toward that vision.

God, in your love,

hear our prayer.

God, hear our prayers for those who suffer oppression and discrimination and for those whose lives are narrowed because they oppress and discriminate.  We pray for all who lack the necessities of life: not only food, clothing, and shelter but also acceptance, respect, and dignity. Family by blood, family by choice, family by faith – we pray for them all:  Lil Schieman, Larry McCrady, Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Dwayne, Tracy Skoglund, Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant.

God in your love,

Hear our prayer.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



SENDING SONG  VU 504  How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord


May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life, Sovereign, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.





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