Due to copywrite 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.


I’m convinced that probably everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. It’s just one more reason to always try to be kind.

~Yolanda Hadid


     We Embody the Presence of Christ

     It is possible that the biggest barrier to accepting this as our lifelong vocation is not a lack of faith but a lack of imagination.

     On this final Sunday of the liturgical year, we receive a parable from Jesus challenging and inspiring our imaginations to grasp our whole vocation that is celebrated in baptism: to embody Christ in every moment and to engage every part of our world as Christ’s redeemed creation.

     The parable of the sheep and the goats has sometimes been used to instill fear of God’s judgment. However, it is possible that Jesus’ point here is to urge his disciples to share God’s generous saving grace with all. Jesus’ parables consistently offer a simple setting and story, but behind them lie a world of rich meaning that takes a lifetime to unpack. For this reason, Jesus’ parables are important texts for the postmodern church, which is hungry for story, for connection, and for meaning for our faithful lifelong questions.


Call to Worship

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
     Worship the LORD with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God. It is God that made us, and we are God’s;

     We are God’s people, and the sheep of God’s pasture.
Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and God’s courts with praise.

     Give thanks to God, bless God’s name.
For the LORD is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever,

     And God’s faithfulness to all generations.

CHILDREN’S SONG:    WOV 651  Shine, Jesus, Shine


O God of power and might, your Son shows us the way of service, and in him we inherit the riches of your grace. Give us the wisdom to know what is right and the strength to serve the world you have made, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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.


     I have here a coat, a can of tomato soup, my glasses and my cell phone.  My question is this:  what do these items have in common?  Coat, soup, glasses and cell phone.  Give up?  These four items help me to see Jesus more clearly.  Put another way, these four items help me to see Jesus in others more clearly.  Better yet – these four items help me to see my neighbour.  Aaaand, who is my neighbour?  Everybody!

     Jesus tells his disciples that whenever they are kind to someone, help someone, look after someone, they are being kind and helpful and caring to him, personally. 

     When we are baptized, Jesus pulls us into a wonderful hug and says, “Welcome!  You are now part of my family!  We become followers of Jesus – Christians – and part of Jesus as well.  The Spirit of Jesus lives in us and we recognize that Spirit in others.  So, yes, when we are kind, helpful and caring to others, we are doing those things to Jesus as well!

     I don’t know about you, but when I think that my actions and words towards other people are actions and words to Jesus as well, it makes me think about what I say and do, so I don’t hurt Jesus.  Most of the time I can do it.  Sometimes, I don’t.  I can think of all kinds of excuses not to help someone, listen to someone, feed someone.  The reality is that Jesus knows that they are excuses, that I really could be helping, listening and feeding others – I just don’t want to in that moment.  The other reality is that I know that Jesus knows I am making excuses!  Yeah, Jesus is pretty smart.

     So, what do I do in those “but I don’t want to do it!” moments? …yep, even pastors have them!  Well, I pray.  I ask Jesus to give me the strength and the patience to help the person.  I ask Jesus to help me see Jesus in the other person.  When I do this, my attitude improves and God surprises me using the other person.  Yeah, God is pretty smart too.

     My encouragement to you, my young friends, and everyone else for that matter, is to really try to see Jesus in everyone you meet, knowing that you have the Spirit of Jesus within you, and everyone will be seeing Jesus in you.




     There is no place like camp for campers and staff alike to live life to the fullest, experience the beauty and wonder of creation, and guild meaningful relationships.  Thanks to your gifts for Mission & Service, campers can continue to have meaningful experiences at camps like Camp McDougall in Thessalon, Ontario.

     The Camp McDougall staff strive to have a positive effect on the lives of the young people spending time there, and they recognize the importance of their role in this experience and provide guidance, entertainment, leadership, example and friendship.  Making the most of this opportunity creates the ultimate camp experience for everyone.

     As a United Church camp, Camp McDougall is an entity both rich in tradition and dedicated to encouraging new ideas.  Throughout the years, many people have contributed a great deal of time and effort to make the camp what it is today.  Board members, staff members, counsellors, and even campers have the potential to contribute to the ongoing development and success of this organization.

     Camp McDougall is blessed with the raw materials for a great summer:  a fantastic location on the shore of Lake Huron near Thessalon, Ontario; an enthusiastic and capable staff; and most important, lots of excited campers ready to experience the magic.

     If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much!  If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.  Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.


God of mystery and majesty, your thoughts are not our thoughts; your ways are not our ways. So guide us by your Holy Spirit as we listen for your Word speaking in the scriptures, that we may encounter your Living Word and find our thoughts and ways transformed by your love. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Because Israel’s kings proved to be bad shepherds, Ezekiel declares that the Lord will assume the role of shepherd in Israel. The Lord will also set over them a shepherd-messiah, “my servant David,” who will feed and care for the people.

11Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 14I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

  20Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 22I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

  23I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Psalm 95:1-7a

R:  We are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand. (Ps. 95:7)

1Come, let us sing to the Lord;
  let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving
  and raise a loud shout to the Lord with psalms.
3For you, Lord, are a great God,
  and a great ruler above all gods.
4In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
  the heights of the hills are also yours. R
5The sea is yours, for you made it,
  and your hands have molded the dry land.
6Come, let us worship and bow down,
  let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
7aFor the Lord is our God,
  and we are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand. R

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23

In this passage, God is praised for revealing ultimate divine power in raising Jesus from the dead. The resurrected, exalted Christ is Lord of both the church and the entire universe, now and in the age to come.

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus compares himself to a king who moves among his subjects to see how he is treated: what is done for the least of those who belong to his family is truly done for him.

 31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”





SERMON:  MATTHEW 25:31-46  The Reign of Christ

The power of the Spirit is active, because the nature of God is active.  God was not content to be passive.  God SPOKE to the prophets, OPENED rivers, WRESTLED with Jacob, COMFORTED Hagar, ARGUED with Abraham, LIVED among us in the person of Jesus and remains active in the movement of the Spirit.  It follows, then, that we, who are created in the image of God, being baptized into the body of Christ, and endowed with the gifts of the Spirit, should be active in our faith. 

How is the world to know about the risen Christ unless Christians proclaim Christ?  What Jesus is saying in today’s Gospel is more than, “If you have faith, prove it.”  Even the scribes and Pharisees do that, but their hearts are not in it.  No, we are to show it, but more importantly, we are to mean it.  The fact that Jesus holds value and meaning in our everyday lives needs to be expressed.  This is easier said than done.

It was a balmy summer night in Ottawa.  Me and my boyfriend, and my younger sister and her boyfriend, were out having a stroll along the Rideau canal.  Up ahead was a man sitting on a bench, bent over, head in hands in obvious emotional pain.  And what did we do?  We walked right past him in silence.  When we were a good distance away, we all said we felt we should go back.  It didn’t feel right to ignore the man.  And what did we do?  We kept on walking.  I found out later that individually we had all said a prayer for the man, and asked God to forgive us for not stopping.

I was walking through a mall in Calgary with a friend.  She had driven us there.  Up ahead there was a commotion.  A woman was standing in a fountain yelling at two police officers who were trying to calm her down and get her out of the fountain.  Their means of doing this was not very helpful, and as we passed, I had a strong urge to go over and talk with the woman to find out why she was so upset.  Many others kept walking trying not to notice this person in the fountain.  And what did I do?  I kept walking.  After all, I had come with Cindy and I couldn’t just leave her.  And besides, she had the car.  To get home I would have to take a bus.  But I said a prayer for the woman and asked God to forgive me for not stopping. 

The price for entering into God’s rule over us is nothing less than all we have.  We have heard the stories over the last year:  the treasure or the pearl costs everything.  Jesus asked his disciples if they had understood all this and they answered yes.  It is doubtful they did.  It takes a whole lifetime to comprehend what it means to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves. 

We want often to discount that ancient teaching.  We want a better price.  We arrive at that commandment like confronting a brick wall and are tempted to turn to an easier path.  Jesus says:  to gain everything you must risk everything.  Jesus did NOT add, “Only when convenient.”  If he had, then we WOULD be like the scribes and Pharisees, and Jesus would NOT have value and meaning in our everyday lives. 

I do not believe it is ever convenient or easy to be ministers to the Christ in the eyes of the other.  There is always something else we could/should be doing, always someplace else we would/should rather be, yet to give up those opportunities may mean missing out on an opportunity to serve Jesus himself.  When we do say YES to the moving of the Spirit within us, convenient or not, we cannot help but be changed, for we are in the presence of God.

Matthew draws a picture for us today:  the risen Christ comes in glory.  God crowned him in glory because he taught us how to die.  He died on our behalf.  He redeemed us.  This is the shepherd-king who judges us–who judges the extent and quality of OUR compassion.  We must see the image in context.  If we focus on reward and punishment, we miss the point completely. 

The word compassion means ‘to suffer with.’  It refers to the gut-wrenching feeling one gets when observing or experiencing injustice.  I would sum up the definition ‘to suffer with’ with the phrase, “a theology of presence.”  Simply put – just BE THERE!  Physically there, embracing the one who hurts, weeps, knows only despair and hopelessness; be silently there, listening to the story, the pain, the confusion, the guilt; be actively there with words of affirmation, the love, acceptance, forgiveness and hope of the Gospel, and live those words in walking with the person to wherever they need to go, for however long the journey is.  THIS is compassion.     

‘Here I am,’ says Jesus, ‘in the eyes of the one in need who stands before you.  Do not be afraid, for the power of the Spirit is with you.’  It’s true, the Spirit does remove the fear.  Suddenly you find yourself with strength you never knew you had; vision you never believed you would gain; love you never thought you would experience; a closeness with God that you never thought possible.  There is a danger in ‘being with’ another.  We can no longer look at ourselves, or others, the same way.  It is we, not they, who are transformed.  The choice is ours.  We can function out of guilt or duty, rather than faith and compassion.  When that happens, we pay dearly.  Yet Jesus did not advocate self-destruction, but wholeness.  At all times our motivation should be the risen Christ for that is what brings us our fullest joy — Christ in people.  Amen.


HYMN OF THE MONTH:  MV #127  I Saw The Rich Ones


Lord Jesus Christ, you proclaimed God’s kingdom among us and within us.  In the power of the Spirit, your love is always at work, bringing good out of evil and life out of death.  We thank you that your love never lets us go, for you have known the good times and the hard times of this life before us.

You came as one who was hungry and thirsty.  Where people live on the streets today, suffer from hunger, or beg for a meal:

            Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as a stranger in need of welcome.  Where people live lonely lives or feel like strangers in a strange land; where love is lacking and people face rejection for the colour of their skin or the language they speak:

            Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as one who was naked.  Where people lack enough clothing, shelter or life’s basic resources; where people live without dignity, exposed to every kind of pain and hardship:

            Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as one who was broken.  Where people feel pain in body, mind or spirit; where someone grieves the loss of a beloved or the future they planned; in places where the pandemic has done its worst and desperation has moved in; for our family, friends and community members who are close to our hearts:  Mike Froese, Brooke Alexiuk, Tracy Skoglund, Carolyn & Douglas; Gordon Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Nicole; Sandy Lange. 

            Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as a Shepherd.  Where people are led astray or nations are ruled by corrupt or greedy leaders and there is no peace in the land:

Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as one who was in prison.  Where people are treated unfairly, targeted or tortured; where justice has failed and people are punished with cruelty:

Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.

You came as one proclaiming the kingdom of God.  And so, we lift up these prayers in your name, Lord Jesus, knowing that your kingdom is drawing near and that we meet you in the face of those who cry out to us.  Hasten the day when God will wipe away our tears and death will be no more as we pray the words you taught us:



May God give you wisdom and revelation.
May the eyes of your heart be enlightened.
May you know the hope to which God has called you,
And may the blessings of the + Creator, the Redeemer and the Sustainer
go with you this day and always. 



SENDING SONG: Voices United #235  O Worship The King




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