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.

Parts of this service are taken from In God’s Own Image, a worship service celebrating the Churches’ Commitments to Children.


Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish has been caught, and the last stream poisoned will we realize that we can’t eat money.

            ~Indigenous saying


In Hebrews we find this amazing word of grace: “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin” (Heb. 10:18). This is the word that invites us to let go. It invites all God’s people to stop trying to fix everything, bear every burden and do everything right. It is a word of freedom that invites God’s people to be daring, to risk everything for the sake of the gospel, knowing that even when we don’t get it all perfectly right, and we won’t, forgiveness and grace still abounds.    


Beloved of God, we are called here today.

We are called at every age, from every corner, to gather.

Children of God, let us playfully worship together,

worshipping God who made each of us and loves all of us.

CHILDREN’S SONG   VU 217  All Creatures Of Our God And King  


God of All the Ages, we thank you for this day, for caring for us beautifully in this time.  We praise your name for the gift of children in our lives and in our community.  Forgive us for times when we discount their voices.  Help us share your story with one another that we may remember your love written on our hearts.  Remind us to follow children, as they lead us to living the kin-dom way.  We pray in Jesus’ name. 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.


Today I would like to say “thank you” to the children, youth and young adults in our parish.  I have missed being able to visit with you during Covid.  I have missed you on those Sunday mornings when you are not able to be present.  I have missed our activities, our day at the beach, I have missed your participation in worship.  I have missed you.


I have missed our conversations, your questions, your jokes, getting to know you better.  My life is not as full when we can’t be together.  Worship on a Sunday morning is missing your energy and life when you are not there.  It just isn’t the same.

So, just in case you didn’t know this, you are an important part of my life and the life of our congregations.  You remind us “old people” to think outside of the box, challenge us to be more accepting, more loving, more giving.  For that, I say “Thank you!”


No Way to Treat a Child: Obaida’s Story

Military violence exposes children to unimaginable brutality.

“I was on my way to the store when they arrested me,” Obaida, a Palestinian child from Al-Arroub refugee camp, says to the camera. “When they took me for interrogation, they bound my hands in plastic cords. They used two of them so that I couldn’t move my hands at all. My eyes were covered in a thick blindfold that also covered my nose and made it hard to breathe.”

He is talking about the first time he was detained by Israeli military forces. Obaida was only 14.

Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have lived under Israeli occupation since 1967. Anyone―including children―can be arrested without a warrant if there is suspicion that a “security offence” has been committed.

According to The United Church of Canada’s mission partner Defense for Children International‒Palestine (DCIP), Israeli forces detain and prosecute around 700 Palestinian children every year. Thirteen thousand Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces and held in military detention facilities since 2000. Israel is the only country in the world that routinely convicts children in military courts―which are known to lack fair trial guarantees.

On May 17, 2021, just a month shy of his 18th birthday, Obaida was tragically killed. He was one of the 67 children who were killed by Israeli forces during an 11-day military assault on the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian children, like all children, deserve a childhood that is free of violence. Your Mission & Service gifts support DCIP in defending and promoting the rights of children living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Thank you for helping to provide a safe and just future for all children.



Holy God, the earth is yours and everything in it, yet you have chosen to dwell among your creatures.

Come among us now in the gift of your word, and strengthen us to be your body for the world through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3

The book of Daniel is an example of apocalyptic literature, which is full of strange visions and symbolism. Arising during times of great persecution, apocalyptic literature is concerned with God’s revelation about the end time and the coming kingdom of God, when God will vindicate the righteous who have been persecuted.

1“At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

Psalm 16

R:  My heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body shall rest in hope. 

1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;
  I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are in the land,
  upon those who are noble among the people.
3But those who run after other gods
  shall have their troubles multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings to such gods,
  never take their names upon my lips. R
5O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;
  it is you who uphold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
  indeed, I have a rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
  my heart teaches me night after night.
8I have set the Lord always before me;
  because God is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. R
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;
  my body also shall rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me to the grave,
  nor let your holy one see the pit.
11You will show me the path of life;
  in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. R

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-25

Images of worship and sacrifice are used throughout Hebrews to highlight what Christ has uniquely accomplished through his death. Because we have received forgiveness through Christ’s death, we live with sincere hearts by trusting in God’s promises and encouraging love and good works from each other.

11Every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” 13and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
16“This is the covenant that I will make with them
  after those days, says the Lord:
 I will put my laws in their hearts,
  and I will write them on their minds,”
17he also adds,
 “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
  19Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Gospel: Mark 13:1-8

In the last week of his life, Jesus warned his disciples concerning trials that were to come upon them and upon the world. He exhorts the listener: Do not be alarmed.

1As  came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” 2Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

  3When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”


My thanks to Rev. Adam J. Copeland for his words as they inspired my own.

Apocryphal writings are a style of writing, a genre of literature such as poetry, prose, science fiction, fantasy, ballads.  They were popular in antiquity.  Jesus was familiar with them, particularly the book of Daniel, a fine example of an apocrypha.  Apocryphal literature was written to sound like a prediction of the future, yet in actual fact, the event had often already taken place.  The purpose of an apocrypha was to remind the reader, in the midst of trying times and suffering, that God is always in control, that there is always hope.  We will suffer for a little while, and then God’s realm will begin with all blessing and peace.

Our text from the gospel of Mark is no exception.  The gospel was written around the year 70 of the current era.  Guess when the Romans razed Jerusalem to the ground – the year 70 of the current era.  So when Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple, it had either already happened, or the political climate was such that people sensed their impending doom.  Either way, I remind you, as I remind my confirmation students, that such details were not important to the writer.  The author was not writing for historical accuracy.  The author was writing to proclaim Christ and bring others into the fold.  The point of the story is the point of the story.

Sadly, humans are predictable.  No matter the tragedy these days, some religious leader or blogger will attempt to connect it to God’s judgment. This instinct to interpret current times through the broader lens of God’s judgment is not new. Examples appear throughout the Bible. For those who believe God’s Spirit does work in the world through signs and miracles, such tragedies can function as intellectual puzzles, but they should never stop us from responding with heart, head and hands.

Jesus spoke often about the end times and certainly not in ways supported by a modern scientific worldview. For Jesus, the belief that God controls history was fundamental to his perspective.

Not long before his arrest, Jesus was with the disciples in the temple. As they came out, one of the disciples exclaimed his awe of the structure. “Look, Teacher, what large stones and large buildings!” Indeed, ancient historians wrote that the temple in Jerusalem was magnificent. If its massive size was not impressive enough, much of it was covered in gold.

Jesus’ response must have caught the disciples off guard: “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down”.

The disciples too must have been in a mood to discuss the end times because next, when Jesus was sitting opposite the temple on the Mount of Olives, some of them asked for further explanation. “When?” they wondered aloud, “What will be the sign?” Jesus responds in his trademark roundabout way.

Jesus warns of those that would lead them astray. He tells them not to be alarmed by “wars and rumors of wars”.  I don’t know about you, but if someone said that to me, I would already be concerned. 

A more troubling time would be coming, Jesus explains. It will include war, earthquakes and famines. But they are not to be afraid since, “This is but the beginning of the birth pangs”.  Jesus should not be the front line for public relations.

Like the disciples, phrases like this make us want to know every detail about when and how our future — and God’s ultimate justice — will take place. Certainly, knowing the severity and destination of future superstorms will help save lives, but the disciples were longing for more. They wanted a blueprint. Perhaps they hoped for a way to save themselves as they interpreted the signs of the time.

In this passage from Mark, Jesus uses language and terms common in other biblical books to help reveal what is currently hidden to the disciples. It was common, around Jesus’ time, to mix visions, symbols and dreams to disclose a future more important than the present reality.

Our text from Mark, and similar passages in Daniel and Revelation, long for a future in which oppression is a thing of the past, but they should not be read as an end time recipe book with detailed step-by-step instructions. The coming times are sometimes described in vague, rough, violent terms, but the ultimate end is full of God’s justice and peace.

Trust in God means living a life expectant and hopeful for Christ’s return; it need not be consumed by explaining every world affair in terms of God’s super-plan.  That is a recipe for paranoia and emotional breakdown.

Discipleship calls for a faith in which ultimately, despite our present struggle, God’s love is sovereign. We need not micromanage the signs of God’s judgment. Instead, we are called to manage our lives and conform them to God’s vision of justice, love and peace.

The desire of Christians to see the ultimate end or divine judgment in every natural disaster, epidemic or attack is, I believe, an attempt to gain some control of our lives when, truly, there is much over which we have no control.  I repeat, the purpose of apocalyptic writing is to remind us that God is always in control.  God allows the forces of nature, the very cells of our bodies freedom of choice, and God is always with us, especially in death.  Whether we live or whether we die, God is in control.  God’s love is present, God’s grace abounds.

The faithful response to disaster is not pointing a finger, or making shocking headline-grabbing accusations, but service to God and neighbor.  We know that one day there will be another storm, another terrorist attack, another earthquake.  When that happens, God expects us to lend a helping hand in whatever way we can. 

Jesus gave a vague answer as to when God will renew the world in God’s justice, but his instructions for caring for our neighbors were abundantly clear. When disasters hit, Jesus’ followers should get to work and leave the end time predicting to God alone.


HYMN OF THE MONTH   MV 126  Are You A Shepherd?


Gracious God, we thank you for the gifts of this day, for the time to gather with all ages, as part of the Body of Christ in the world.  Most of all, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus, as he came to be guest and host at our tables.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

We pray for the faithful all over the world, that all who love you may be united in your service.  We pray for the church, for our witness and action together in and around Canada and with our global partners.  May we support partners working with children, like the Wesley Centre in Hamilton and the Wi’am Centre in Palestine and Israel…May we continue to love and serve as Jesus taught, calling those on the margins to gather together for God’s blessing.  O God, know our hearts. And love us, we pray.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

We pray for the peoples and leaders of the nations, that they may be reconciled one to another in pursuit of your justice and peace.  We pray that our leaders—national, provincial, and local—might serve with humility and grace, remembering the needs around them of all peoples and all ages.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

We pray for all who suffer from prejudice, greed, or violence, that the heart of your humanity may warm with your tenderness.  We pray especially for all prisoners of politics or religion, and for all refugees.  We pray for children of the world who face emotional, sexual, or physical violence.  Help us challenge behaviours and attitudes that cause harm, and help us become advocates for a world that values children.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

We pray for the land, the sea, and the sky, that we may live with respect in creation and use your gifts with reverence.  We pray that the generations beyond us will love and respect your blessings of creation.  O God, know our hearts. And love us, we pray.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

We pray for all who suffer the pain of sickness, loneliness, fear, or loss:  Pastor Norris Nordin, Dwayne, Douglas, Tracy Skoglund, Kathryn Schmidt, Brooke Alexiuk, John & Erica Sommer, Mike Froese.   Grant comfort to the family of David Buhler as they grieve his loss.  Support the family of Carolyn Lighthart as they struggle with her death.  May they receive strength and courage.

God of grace,

We give you thanks.

God our hope and strength, we entrust to you all for whom we pray. Remain with us always, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.



SENDING SONG   VU 649  Walk With Me    


Let us go into the world daring to let children lead,

partnering with friends and neighbours,

as we seek God’s justice and peace.

May God, who loves us from our borning cry, go with us.

May Jesus, who welcomes us into relationship, stay with us.

And may the Spirit’s persistent call for peace be with us.

This day. This week. And always. Amen.


Led on by the saints before us, go in peace to serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



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