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.

Portions of this worship service are taken from,


Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discoursing about the trinity or original sin or the incarnation, which have preoccupied later Christians. He went around doing good and being compassionate.

~Karen Armstrong


When we say God is the triune God, we are saying something about who God is beyond, before, and after the universe: that there is community within God. Our experience of this is reflected in Paul’s words today. When we pray to God as Jesus prayed to his Abba (an everyday, intimate parental address), the Spirit prays within us, creating between us and God the same relationship Jesus has with the one who sent him.


To God be all glory, the One who visits us in three persons, the Holy Trinity of hope and love.

For there is no place which is without you, O God, and no time when you are not there.  For you are the beginning and the end, the source of all that is in the wonder of universal life.

And yet, you take us by the hand and lead us, as the life of Christ walks our human way and shows us that life is stronger than death.

In the Holy Spirit, we are gifted, again and again, and are called onwards toward a future in which we are surrounded with love and grace,

We praise and worship you, O God,

for there is no other God like you.

~from Words for Worship.  Posted on the http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/ website.



Creating and Loving God, today we thank you for the many different peoples of your world. Help us to live together with respect for all creation, including the human family. Help us to love one another and to honour the unique gifts of each person. Forgive us when we judge others by our own standards, forgetting that your ways are not our ways and that You love all people. Forgive us when we prejudge those who are different from ourselves. Teach us your ways of love and justice, that we might be the human family as you intended; that we might be bringers of your kin-dom.  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.


     Do you know what this is?  It is a pill container.  Do you know what is in this container?  God is in this container!  Now, I am about to let God out into the world.  Ready?  Here I go!  Ta da!  Now God is in the world!  Amazing, isn’t it?

     What is that, you say?  I can’t let God out of the pill container into the world because God is already in the world!  You are correct!  I knew I couldn’t fool you!

     There is a saying people use when trying to describe someone who wants to control God.  “You can’t put God in a box!”  You can’t put God in a pill container either! 

     Sometimes, when life gets scary, we want to “put God in a box”.  We want to feel like we are in control of something, and thinking we are in control of God can make us feel strong.  The sad thing is, thinking that way usually ends up with the situation getting worse, not better. 

     Strength comes from accepting that we cannot control everything.  Strength comes from trusting God to guide us, give us courage and put people in our lives to help us.  I am only fooling myself if I think that I can control God.  I am also setting myself up for some major disappointment.

     So, I guess I can put away my pill container and enjoy looking around my world for the many ways that God lives in and works through myself and others.  That is far more exciting!  God and I have had some wonderful adventures so far.  I look forward to how God will surprise me next!



Thank you for supporting outdoor ministries through Mission & Service.

     No children have died falling out of a tree, at least not in the 17 years statistics have been gathered. In fact, the leading cause of death of children is car accidents. While some parents fear letting their children play outside, the same parents think nothing of strapping their children into a car.

     Over the last 35 years, attitudes have shifted. Increased screen time, along with fears about playground injuries and child abduction, mean that only a third of Canadian school-aged children get the exercise they need. As a result, childhood obesity, anxiety, and depression have soared.

     Getting outside is good for our kids.

     That’s why the United Church runs camps across the country. Today, your Mission & Service donations support approximately 25 United Church camps in Canada.

     Overall, approximately 20,000 children attend a United Church camp each year. In COVID times, many of these camps have pivoted to continue offering services and encourage kids to get outside.

     On Environment Sunday, we often focus on what we can do to reduce our personal footprint and to advocate for changes to social policies, particularly ones that impact climate change. Without a doubt, we need to do more to care for the world God made.

     But Environment Sunday is also a good time to stop and appreciate how the created world takes care of us. As Bill Darnell, one of the founders of Greenpeace says: “The environment doesn’t need us. It can get along without us. We need it.”

     Let’s pause today and give thanks for all the ways the natural world sustains us, and especially our children. Specifically, we give thanks for the confidence, creativity, and imagination nature builds. For the sense of responsibility it creates. For the stimulation it provides. For the mental and physical health it promotes. For the wonder it inspires.

     And we give thanks for all of our camps.

     And for you.

     Thank you for supporting outdoor ministries through Mission & Service. Your gifts help our children―and all of us―breathe more deeply.





O God, the Three in One, you draw us into your community of love with people across the ages and around the world.  By the same Spirit that binds us together speak to us that what we read and ponder may enliven us and stretch us to trust and follow you; through Christ our Savior. Amen.

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

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-13

This reading narrates Isaiah’s vision of the Lord surrounded by angels. They sing “Holy, holy, holy,” a song the church sings at the beginning of the great thanksgiving. This liturgical text invites the church and all creation to sing in praise of God’s glory. That glory is God’s mercy toward sinners.

1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of the LORD’S robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:

 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

 the whole earth is full of God’s glory.”

4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

  6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”   9And the LORD said, “Go and say to this people:   ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’  10Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” 

     11Then I said, “How long, O LORD?” And the LORD said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; 12until the LORD sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.  13Even if a tenth part remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.”  The holy seed is its stump.

Psalm 29

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Ps. 29:2)

1Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,
  ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
  worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders;
  the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;
  the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. R
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;
  the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6the Lord makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
  and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord
  bursts forth in lightning flashes.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
  the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. R
9The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
  And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!”
10The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;
  the Lord sits enthroned as king forevermore.
11O Lord, give strength to your people;
  give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace. R

Second Reading: Romans 8:12-17

In describing the new life of faith, Paul refers to all three persons of the Trinity: the Spirit leads us to recognize that we are children of God the Father and joint heirs with Christ the Son.

12Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

  • Gospel: John 3:1-17

Jesus’ miracles prompt Nicodemus to visit him in secrecy. Jesus tells him about being born of the Spirit and about the Son who has been sent by God to save.

1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
  11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
  16“For God so loved the world that God gave the only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
  17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”


King Uzziah had been a good king; a strong ruler, innovative, faithful to Yahweh, a conqueror of nations, loved by the people…a king who lost it all when he deemed himself better than the Temple priests who had been consecrated to burn incense to the LORD GOD on the altar.  Uzziah attempted to do the job himself.  A sudden earthquake split the Temple wall, the sun poured in and Uzziah was struck with leprosy. 

Driven from the Temple and forced to live alone and away from others, his realm was handed over to his son, with whom he had a coregency for the last years of his life.  A sad end to a good king. 

What about the people of Judah?  Isaiah declares that he lives among a people of unclean lips.  In the previous chapter, Isaiah delivered the six woes to God’s people. They had wandered far from their relationship with the LORD God and so Isaiah cries out, “Woe to those who…!”  The time of reckoning is at hand.

It is no accident that Isaiah has this vision “In the year that King Uzziah died”.  The chosen people have abandoned their God, their King’s arrogance had led to his downfall and demise, and Isaiah feels like he is spitting into the wind.  Is there any hope left?

This vision of Isaiah’s is nothing like the images people give from their brief death experiences.  There is no comforting tunnel of light, soothing voices, visions of loved ones gone before.  No, this vision of Isaiah’s states very clearly who is in control, who has the power, and how even the creatures of heaven defer to this power!

Gone are the Hallmark cherubs with their chubby, naked bodies, tiny wings and love-inducing arrows! These are the Seraphim who sing their haunting song.  If drawn literally, they are the stuff of nightmares!  The LORD God is so enormous that only the hem of God’s robe can fit in the Temple.  It is any wonder that Isaiah questions the fact that he is still standing after seeing God?  Can anyone stand before God and not be aware of how impure one is? 

In Daniel Erlander’s book, Baptized, We Live:  Lutheranism As A Way Of Life, there is a text box that I have my confirmation students memorize.  The theology found in this text box goes beyond denomination.  The theology found in this text box is a verbal statement of Isaiah’s experience in his vision.  The theology found in this text box is a reality for anyone who acknowledges their humanity and being a creation of the LORD God.  The words are these: “We do not find God.  God finds us.”[1]  Welcome to Isaiah’s vision. 

Notice that Isaiah did not request a vision.  He was brought by the LORD God into the vision.  Why?  Because King Uzziah had died.  He had been a good king.  There was no longer a positive influence.  The people of Judah were now left to their own vices.  What they did not realize was the depth of love God had for them.  God is experiencing anguish, as is Isaiah, over the sin of God’s chosen people.  God desires they experience metanoia – turning from their evil ways to having a right relationship with God once again.  Can you hear the yearning in God’s voice?  God has not given up on this wayward people!

Isaiah can hardly believe he is still alive.  He has seen the Almighty and lived!  He is also painfully aware of his own brokenness, his own sin and failures.  Bottom line, Isaiah has an epiphany; he is no better than the Judeans to whom he had declared the six woes!  Notice what happens next.  It is by God’s direction that the seraph cleanses Isaiah’s lips.  It is God’s action that cleanses and forgives Isaiah, thereby making Isaiah ready to take on the task at hand – proclaiming the word of God to the people of God.  We do not find God.  God finds us.

Do not doubt that God loves you.  Do not doubt that God desires your help in proclaiming the Good News.  Do not doubt that you are called.  Do not doubt your abilities.  God will come to you and give you the strength you need, the words to speak, the path to follow.  On our own we could not do it.  With God, all things are possible! 

Yet what strange words Isaiah is asked to speak!  What nonsense is this?!  What are you driving at God?!   Go and say to this people:…10Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.”

I was a determined, inquisitive child.  My mother summed up her daughters’ personalities this way:  “I punished Kelly by putting her on a chair with her nose in the corner.  She sat and cried and cried.  You – you sat for a while, refusing to cry, and then got up and left, no matter how many times I put you back there!  By the time Carrie came along, I had given up.”  I was also the child about whom my mother would say to others, “Those that don’t listen have to feel.”  Yep, I resembled that remark!

These bizarre-sounding words are really God saying to the people of Judah, “Those that don’t listen have to feel.”  They knew better.  They had been warned previously about their sinful behaviour and its consequences.  They had chosen to not listen.  They had chosen not to look after the poor, the oppressed, the widows and orphans.  They had chosen not to stay in a right relationship with Yahweh. “Well,” says God, “I guess you will need to suffer the consequences of your choices.”

“This people”—the people to whom Isaiah will proclaim the truth—will soon be exiled.  Their exile will continue for decades—a lengthy period during which most of them will die.  But their children will live, and Yahweh will enable a remnant to return and to rebuild the city and the temple.[2]

The holy seed is its stump.    All is not lost.  Hope is here.  Desolation and exile will occur, yes – only a remnant will survive, AND the love of God, the hope of the future, the promised agreement between God and God’s people, will continue with renewed hearts. 

We do not find God.  God finds us.  In our pain, in our suffering, in our fear, in our grief, in our despair, in our hopelessness, in our loneliness…no matter our circumstance, God.  Finds.  Us.  Not only does God find us, God redeems us, forgives us, removes our sin and gives us a new name – children of God.

8Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 


HYMN OF THE MONTH     MV 40  Never Ending Joy  


The compassion of the Spirit of God within our hearts compels us to reach out in prayer to other people.  Let us pray:

From around the world we hear many children crying, O God; crying for food and drink and someone to enfold them in loving arms.

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us instruments of your peace.

We see the desolate eyes of refugees, O God; plodding along war devastated roads, or looking from transit camps, and from behind barbed wire, for glimmers of hope.

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us the instruments of your peace.

We read about the abused sisters and brothers, O God; cringing from family violence, or suffering in paddy-wagons and jails, or assaulted in their own homes by strangers.

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us the instruments of your peace.

We hear the sobbing of the broken hearted, O God; betrayed by spouse or lover, deserted by parents,

watching at the bed of the dying, living with chronic pain, failing health, terminal illness, grieving a death.  We pray for our family, friends and community members who are in need of your healing touch:  Larry McCrady, Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Dwayne, Tracy Skoglund, Matthew Grossman, Lorraine & Walter Pokrant. 

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us the instruments of your peace.

We know about the disasters that afflict others, O God; the victims of auto accidents; those devastated by natural disasters or war, the long goodbye with those whose minds have disengaged.

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us the instruments of your peace.

We read about your church, O God; in some places overcrowding its buildings, in others, struggling to maintain services, or in some countries meeting secretly behind locked doors.

Hear their prayers, dear Lord, and make us the instruments of your peace.

Holy Friend, while we have been praying, you have been busy answering our petitions with wisdom and love.  Thank you.  Through Christ Jesus our Saviour.


~written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage


SENDING SONG  WOV  787  Glory To God We Give You Thanks


The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.






Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS011617.
© 2011 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.
[1] Erlander, Daniel, Baptized, We Live:  Lutheranism As A Way Of Life.  Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 1981.
[2] Sermon Writer:  Resources for lectionary Preaching.  Isaiah 6:1-13. Copyright 2007, 2008, 2010, Richard Niell Donovan.