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.


In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was ‘Help me.’ Sometimes a prayer was ‘Thank you.’ What I’ve discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.

~Iyanla Vanzant



Today’s gospel reading is first and foremost a prayer. It is Jesus’ prayer, and we are given the privilege of listening in as he prays on behalf of his disciples and people of all times and places. Listeners are given a glimpse of Jesus’ mission for the world—that all may be drawn into the life of the triune God. On the eve of his death, Jesus entrusts this particular community of disciples—but also our communities, our lives, and our world—into the care of God.

What is it Jesus is doing when he prays? What is it the church does when it prays on behalf of the world and other people? To be prayed for by another is to know one’s life is cared for and has value to the one praying on your behalf. It is to know that much of the future is out of one’s own control but rests instead in the care of the Triune God. To be prayed for is to be vulnerable, dependent, and deeply loved.

Here is the astoundingly good news: Jesus prays for you, and for the communities in which we find ourselves. Whether your cup is empty or full, whether your community is in crisis or experiencing joy, whether your future is foggy or clear, Jesus loves you deeply and your life is bound to the God who loved you before the foundations of the world. On the eve of his death, Jesus entrusted your life and the church’s life and its entire future to the Father. What glorious good news that the future rests in the care of the Triune God, and that we, the church, are set free to make God known to 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.


God has given us this beautiful earth, all that grows, all that lives upon it.

Thanks be to God.

God has given us breath to live and spirit to sing.

Thanks be to God.

God has gathered us into a community of care and worship.

Let us worship God with love, thanksgiving, and praise.

CHILDREN’S SONG: Rejoice In The Lord Always! (sung 3x’s)

            Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, “Rejoice!”

            Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, “Rejoice!”

            Rejoice!  Rejoice!  And again I say, “Rejoice!”

            Rejoice!  Rejoice!  And again I say, “Rejoice!”



Wondrous God:  you touch our lives with healing and with justice; new life is your gift.  We praise you for the Good News which is ours through Jesus Christ.  May this time of worship nourish us with your promise of meaning and purpose.  May we be empowered to carry your goodness into the coming week.  We pray in Jesus’ name, our Source and Saviour.  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.


     Have you noticed that we pray a lot during worship?  Yep, it’s true, we talk to God many times as we gather!  Why do we do that?  Why do we have so many prayers?!  Well, we begin worship with a prayer to help us focus on God so that we can experience God’s presence without distractions.  Then, we pray before the reading of scripture so that we hear God’s voice speak to us as we hear God’s word being read.  Then, we say a prayer of thanks after we give our offering to God, asking God to bless the money we have given that it may be used to help others.

We still aren’t done!  We need to pray for each other and what is going on in the world.  It is because we love and care about all of God’s creation and God’s people that we pray for others.  The wonderful part about prayer is that we know other people are praying for us!

Then, we pray the Lord’s prayer, the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.  This prayer reminds us that God is in charge, that we are to love and forgive others, just as God loves and forgives us.

We finish the worship service with a benediction, or blessing.  Blessings can act like prayers.  We are asking God to be with us and guide us as we leave the building and go back out into the world to tell others about God.

Yes, we do pray a lot during worship!  It is a good thing to talk to God — any time, any place, any situation.  God is always ready to hear our prayers and answer them.  Thank you, God!



Learning Racism At A Young Age

The following is an excerpt from a blog written by Adele Halliday. Your Mission & Service gifts support anti-racism programs and initiatives like the ones Halliday develops as the United Church’s Anti-Racism and Equity Lead to help all of us be in deeper, more equitable relationships with one another.

The name calling started when she was about three years old. They were racial slurs, and names, and taunts. My child, my own flesh and blood, was being ostracized for having Black skin. The people slinging the insults? Other children on the playground….

She may not have necessarily always understood the particular terms that they used, but she knew that it was related to her Blackness and her racial identity. And this deeply wounded her tender heart….

Despite all of our intentional modelling, teaching, and proactive actions, our child is still already developing internalized racism and inferior notions of herself.

The children who were taunting her were offering explicit and overt notions of racism, but they were children! They had not even started primary school! And yet, the children had already learned behaviour (at home, or elsewhere in society) that Whiteness is superior. And, they had the audacity to vocalize that to an innocent little child….

This is in part why I am so deeply committed to dismantling racism in all its forms—racism is damaging and destructive for all people in society. It reinforces negative notions for people of colour. I live it in a particular way because of my own racial identity, as a Black person who has lived with racial injustice my entire life.

The systemic nature of racism is something that cannot be ignored…. This effort to overcome racism is a continuous effort. And I am committed to this work for the long haul.

I hope that you will be too.



Good News!  Good News for my people!  Those who wish to hear must open their ears to hear what is happening in the hearts of a people who have begun to awaken.  Those who wish to see must open their eyes to see what is happening in the hearts of a people who have begun to walk together.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Acts 16:16-34

Those who had enslaved a girl and used her powers to tell fortunes threw Paul and Silas into jail for ordering the spirit to come out of her and consequently ruining their business. In prison, Paul and Silas bring the good news of the gospel to the jailer and his family.

16One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
19But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” 22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Psalm 97

R:  Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous. (Ps. 97:12)

1The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
2Clouds and darkness surround the Lord,
righteousness and justice are the foundations of God’s throne.
3Fire goes before the Lord, burning up enemies on every side.
4Lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth.
6The heavens declare your righteousness, O Lord, and all the peoples see your glory. R
7Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods!
Bow down before the Lord, all you gods.
8Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O Lord.
9For you are the Lord, most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10You who love the Lord, hate evil! 

       God guards the lives of the saints and rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the honest of heart.
12Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks to God’s holy name. R

Second Reading: Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

The ascended Christ, hidden from our sight, promises to come again. We eagerly pray, “Come, Lord Jesus,” with all who respond to this invitation.

12“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.

16“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”

And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”

And let everyone who is thirsty come.

Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

20The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

Gospel: John 17:20-26

Jesus prays that the life of his followers will be characterized by an intimate unity of identity with God. To be so identified with God means also to share in God’s mission: to proclaim the word that will bring others into this same unity.

 20“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

HYMN: And They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love

SERMON                        A Miracle At Midnight by the Rev. Dr. Dwayne Brown

Acts 16:16-34


I would like to credit Dr. Dwayne Brown for his words of grace that I am honoured to share:

I am convinced that the safest place in the world is in the center of God’s will. You will never find a place more secure than being in the center of God’s will for your life. At the same time, I am also convinced that the center of God’s will; though it is the safest place, it is not always the most pleasant and pain free place. Many have been seduced into believing that as long as our lives are being lived out within the will of God everything is going to be alright. I’ve found that not to be so. The God we serve is seeking our holiness, is seeking to have an intimate, trusting relationship with us.  God allows us to make our own choices, and sometimes it is another’s choice that causes us pain and harm. It is in our trusting, intimate relationship with God that we can discover true strength in the midst of the unfairness and pain of life.  Today we read this story from the Acts of the Apostles and from it we can take a powerful message of hope, and reminder that with God all things are possible.

Look at what happens when Paul exorcises the servant girl.  Her pimps, those who were profiting from her, when they saw that Paul had brought an end to their meal ticket; had Paul and Silas thrown in jail. The reality of life is such that when someone sees the light and chooses to follow Jesus, not everybody is going to be happy about it. When the Lord delivers you, when God sets you free, when the Lord has delivered you from something that has been holding you, not everybody is going to get all excited because you will be changed, and as a rule, people do not like change because then they may have to change in return.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.”  There they are– beaten, bloodied and broken lying in a Philippian jail praying and singing. Have you ever wondered what is so special about midnight?  Midnight is the darkest part of the night. It is the deepest part of the night because one second after midnight it is a brand-new day; it is officially morning. Paul and Silas find themselves beaten, bloodied and broken but at midnight they’re not whining and crying.

Those of us who have been around the block of life a few times know what it means and how it feels to have a midnight crisis in our lives–those times when we find ourselves in situations that are beyond our control. We find ourselves caught up in things we cannot handle on our own. Be it sickness, suffering or sorrow, be it troubles, trials, or tribulations; we’ve all had our midnights! Not only have we had our midnights but we’ve shared in the midnights of other people. We know how it feels to be there with other people when they are experiencing their midnights. Now if you haven’t face nor experienced midnight, keep going to bed at night. Keep getting up in the morning. Everybody in here this morning is either in a midnight experience, on their way out of one, or heading to one. We all will be faced with midnight.

The midnight hour reminds us that often times God works miracles when we think it’s too late. When we’ve given it all up as lost, God has a way of showing up. Especially in our midnights. Paul and Silas were aware of that; and so, STANDING FIRM IN THEIR FAITH, they prayed and sang praises to God.


Now it does not surprise us that they prayed at midnight. You would be surprised if they had not prayed at midnight. Because those of us who have had to face a midnight, know that the midnight hour of crisis is a time of prayer. If you haven’t prayed in a long time, you’ll pray when you are faced with midnight. When you think you know how to pray, you’ll learn how to pray all over again when you are faced with midnight. Midnight is an hour of prayer. So it does not surprise us that they prayed at midnight. What’s remarkable is that Luke says, not only did they pray but that they sang praises to God.

It’s one thing to pray at midnight. It’s another thing to be able to PRAISE at midnight. Most of us don’t have any problem praying at midnight; our problem is, we haven’t learned how to praise God at midnight! It’s easy to praise God in pleasant circumstances. But Paul and Silas praised God at midnight.

How were they able to sing at midnight? They were able to sing because they were assured that their God was able. They did not know what God was going to do in this situation, yet they stood firm in their faith. No, it’s not difficult to pray at midnight, but how do you praise God at midnight? Their backs are bruised, broken, and bloodied.  They were able to sing praises because Paul turned his pain into a pulpit. And only FAITH will enable you to turn your pain into a pulpit. What kind of sermons do you preach from your scars? It’s easy to preach a good sermon when everything is alright. But what kind of sermons do you preach after life has scarred you?

They were able to praise God. They were able to have joy, because their joy was not in their circumstances; their joy was in the Lord Jesus. Paul was not living under his circumstances; he was living ABOVE his circumstances. Paul and Silas didn’t escape from the prison. Their faith allowed them to escape within the prison. When you stand firm in your faith you can learn to escape in your pain. You can learn how to have joy in sorrow, hope in the midst of despair, light in the midst of your darkness. You may not be able to escape from it but God can help you to escape in the midst of it.

What songs do you sing at midnight? At midnight Paul and Silas pray and sing praises to God and the prisoners were listening to them.  They had an unseen audience. All of us must be aware that we have an unseen audience on the other side of the wall, in the house across the street, in that room or office next to you. There is somebody listening to the song you are singing. Not necessarily the words that are falling from your lips but by the life that you live.

The prisoners listened to Paul and Silas. Our task in life is to be a witness to other people who are in the same prison house that we are in. What inspired the prisoners was that the men who were singing were not on the other side of the prison bars but were behind bars just like they were. What caused them to listen is that the men had chains on just like they did. What caused them to listen is that the men had been beaten and thrown in jail and yet at midnight; they heard praying and singing praises to God. What are people hearing from you in the midst of your suffering? What kind of witness are you being in the midst of your pain?

The question is often asked, “Why do we have to go to church.”  The answer is not that you HAVE to, but rather that you NEED to.  Christ is community.  From community we gather strength, comfort and support.  We have a visible audience to remind us of the unseen audience, and we are reminded that God works miracles at midnight, and at every other hour in our lives.

Thanks be to God!  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  MV 169   When Hands Reach Out Beyond Divides


Set free from captivity to sin and death, we pray to the God of resurrection for the church, people in need, and all of creation.

Holy God, make your people one as you and your Son are one. Extend the gifts we have been given by your Spirit to all people, especially those experiencing division or questioning your love.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Make worthy the work of scientists who look to the stars and planets, as well as scientists who look to atoms and molecules. Bring innovation and well-being to humanity through their discoveries.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Keep in our minds those who have died in war, both military and civilians. May we honor them by seeking peaceful solutions to the conflicts that arise among nations and peoples.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Grant freedom to all who are overwhelmed by chronic illness, depression, or constant worry. Open them to receive health and salvation in Christ Jesus through the Spirit’s gift of faith.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Stir imagination and understanding throughout the church in the work of poets, theologians, and hymnwriters. Lead us into new visions and fresh expressions of your presence.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We lift up to you the families of those killed in the school shooting in Texas, the people of Ukraine and Russia —  may this war come to an end soon.  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, farmers, all who have and are recovering from Covid. We pray for the people of Ontario and Quebec who have lost property and loved ones during the storm.  Help them to rebuild – physically, emotionally, spiritually.

God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Unite us with the saints who have died and been raised in Jesus. Train us to wait with eager longing for Christ to come again, even as we sense his presence with us now.

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:  VU 402  We Are One


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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© 2011 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.