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.


Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.

~Henri Frederic Amiel



     As a national holiday in both Canada and the United States, Thanksgiving Day has a strange feel to it. Often this day is reduced to general and generic feelings of gratitude. Warm feelings without a specific direction can become empty. As Christians we are blessed because we know who to thank. We know these good things of this life come to us from a good and gracious God. We are blessed because we can direct our thanks and praise to the blessed and holy Trinity, who fills our lives with good things and sustains us in times of hardship.

     In the Lord’s Prayer we ask for “daily bread.” This is a humbling prayer in a culture that constantly tells us we need more and newer, better, faster of everything. In these words, given to us by Jesus, God’s people ask for enough. Even more significantly, the prayer asks for enough for us. Give us this day our daily bread—not give me this day my daily bread. This prayer is for the whole world. As people gather to give thanks for what they have, may this prayer seeking enough for all be on their lips and in their hearts as well.


We gather here today to give thanks in all things.

Sometimes, God, that is difficult to do, especially if we are sick,

or suffering,

or dying,

or alone,

or lonely,

or hungry,

or scared,

or lost,

or abused.

In fact, God, there are many reasons we do not give thanks. 

Help us to see your face in the faces of our family, friends and caring strangers.

Help us to hear your voice as we read your word, as we experience your Word.

We are thankful that you are faithful and loving, even though we may be struggling.

Compassionate Christ, we thank you and praise you, truly we do, for all that you have done for us.

Now, as we worship, remind us of your love for us, that we may give you thanks and share that love with others.

CHILDREN’S SONG   WOV 767  All Things Bright And Beautiful


We come to you, O God, our River of Life:  may we drink deeply, and receive your grace.  We come to you, O God, our Rock of Ages: may we stand in trust, and receive your strength.  We come to you, O God, our Source of Compassion:  may we open our hearts, and receive your healing love.  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.



      When our daughters were very young their dad and I began to teach them to say “Thank you” when someone gave them something or paid them a compliment.  We did this, not just because we were trying to teach them good manners.  We taught them to say “Thank you” so that they would learn to recognize how loving it was that someone would think of them and buy them a gift, or compliment them for being helpful and caring. 

     Sometimes, if we are having a grumpy, bad day, we may say “Thank you” with our mouths, yet we do not feel thankful.  Our actions may tell people that we are really not thankful, even if our mouths are saying the words.  We may have everything we need and want, but that doesn’t mean we are thankful, or even grateful. 

     Today is Thanksgiving Sunday.  Today we say “Thank you” to God – for everything!  Even if we are having a grumpy, bad day, we can still think of who is in our lives for whom we thank God.  Sometimes, we have to work at being grateful.  Even adults! 

     For this week, I would encourage you to write down one item a day for which you are thankful.  Then, think about how you feel when you remember what it was that had you feeling thankful.  Say a prayer of thanks to God for the person, the gift, the kind words that you received because someone loved you and thought of you.  Then, think about someone in your life for whom you are grateful and how you can show them how much they mean to you.

     Some things are worth the time and energy to do, and do well.  Being thankful, grateful, is one of them.


Dignity Is on the Menu

     Most of us appreciate a well-dressed table and can afford to go out for dinner from time to time. Many of us will be sitting down to elaborate Thanksgiving dinners. Our daily experience doesn’t involve standing in line for every single meal with a tray in hand.

     That’s why special dinners like Café Cinq-Zéro-Sept that Ottawa-based Mission & Service partner Centre 507 hosts are so important. Several times a year, the adult drop-in centre sets up a small room for a special fine-dining meal with gourmet food, decorations, and candlelight. For just two dollars, participants have their choice of meal accompanied by full service and great company.

     “We realized that people in our community struggling with poverty had to wait in line a long time for a meal. When they were served, they weren’t given any choice and felt pressured to leave so that the next person could be served. That’s why we started Café Cinq-Zéro-Sept,” says Richard LeBlanc, Centre 507’s Executive Director. “We saw such a change in how people felt about themselves after experiencing this kind of a meal that our ultimate goal is that this dining experience becomes the norm rather than the exception.”

     While COVID-19 has been challenging, it has also helped the drop-in take an important step toward achieving their goal. “One of the great things that happened is that when COVID hit, we had to start a system where everyone sat down and was served,” says LeBlanc.

     Centre 507 now serves 25 people at sit-down meals and provides 150 people with meals to go each day. The café has incorporated a training program where participants learn to be servers, too. “We are taking the next step toward achieving our goal. We aren’t going back to line-ups after the pandemic,” vows LeBlanc.

     Thank you for giving generously through Mission & Service. Your support helps create a world where everyone has enough food AND it’s served with dignity.


Eternal God, in the reading of the scripture, may your Word be heard; in the meditations of our hearts, may your Word be known; and in the faithfulness of our lives, may your Word be shown.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Joel 2:21-27

The prophet Joel understood that a locust plague that ravaged the land of Judah was God’s judgment on the people, whom he then called to repentance. Today’s reading points beyond the judgment to a time when God will bless the land and cause it to produce food in abundance.

21Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!
22Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
   the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God;
   for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
   he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before.
24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
   the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.

26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt     wondrously with you.  And my people shall never again be put to shame.

27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no                     other.  And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Psalm 126

R:  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed. (Ps. 126:3)

1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream.
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
  Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” R
3The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.
4Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses of the Negeb.
5Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.
6Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,

         will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. R

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Christians are encouraged to offer prayers and thanks for all people, including rulers. We offer such inclusive, far-reaching prayers because God desires to save all people.

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time.7For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Gospel: Matthew 6:25-33

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught his disciples about the providence of God so that they would regard life with thanksgiving and trust rather than anxiety.

 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”


The novel is, To Green Angel Tower, by Tad Williams.  Simon, a castle scullion, gets caught up in an epic battle between good and evil.  After the side of good is victorious, with no small contribution from Simon, Simon learns that he is actually descended from royalty and will become the next king.

Yet Simon declines.  He is a mere kitchen boy.  Who is he to play at being king?  His dear friend, the duke, tells him that the people believe in Simon, love him, need him to lead. Simon dismisses the people’s faith in him, in his connection to an ancestor long dead.  The duke, being a wise man, sets Simon straight:

“…People need to believe something, whether you want them to or not.  If you don’t give them things to believe, they will make things up….

“Right now, they are frightened of the future…. But your people need to believe in something, and they are cold and hurting and homeless.”[1]

Today’s text from Matthew is part of the “sermon on the mount”.  Jesus is speaking to a large crowd of people who have followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan. 

And just who are these people?  They are the ones Jesus has healed, family members who brought their loved ones to be healed, lost souls who connected with the good news of God’s new realm that Jesus proclaimed.  A realm where people are equals, have worth, are loved, forgiven – for no other reason than because God chooses to do it, out of love. 

The majority of these people are Jewish; God-fearing and devoted people, living under the fist of Roman occupation, surviving as best they can with very little, living in fear, anxious for their families, their lives and their future.  They worship Yahweh, obey the Mosaic laws, yet are losing heart, and, perhaps, losing faith, with Rome at the helm.   

Jesus comes along and turns their world upside down!  They believed in God before, but now?!  God’s power in Jesus left no room for doubt.  Here was the anointed one! 

While Jesus taught them with authority, I can’t help but wonder what thoughts were going through people’s minds as they heard these words from Matthew in today’s reading.  If these people had received healing from Jesus, had been restored to participating fully in society, then trusting in God for everything might have been easier to do.  But what about the cold, hurting and homeless ones?  How long would this healing and good feeling last?  Clearly, the Romans would not see the Jews as equals, let alone having worth.  How would Jesus’ words, God’s new realm, translate in the long term in their present reality?  Were these people believing in Jesus, or wanting to believe, because what Jesus offered was better than what they had?

I am reminded of the words of a farmer who was reflecting on the realities of being a person of faith.  He said, “You know, we give thanks to God when the harvest is good, but who do we blame when it’s bad?”

This is Thanksgiving Sunday.  This is the day we give thanks to God for being who God is:  loving, compassionate, generous, forgiving.  I am guessing that all of us has a long list of reasons for being thankful.  I am also guessing that all of us rely on God on a daily basis.  While I appreciate Jesus’ words about the birds, the lilies and letting go of anxiety, I have come to realize that to achieve that ultimate trust takes work.  Once again, we are back to our relationship with the source of our life.  Maybe the author of Matthew wants to make certain we don’t miss the point.  Nurturing our relationship with God helps us to let go of anxiety, fear and doubt.  Nurturing our relationship with God gives us courage, strength and the ability to love others – the cold, hurting and homeless ones.  The early Church was proof of the reality of God’s new realm.  Communities came together and looked after each other.  No one was left out.  What a powerful statement of love and the living out of thanks for a gracious God.

How does one cultivate an attitude of gratitude?  Gratitude goes beyond polite statements of thanks.  Gratitude is profound thankfulness put into action.  It is gratitude that keeps people fed, provides a bed on which to sleep, a listening ear, professional help for those who are hurting or recovering from addiction and trauma.  When we all live out our gratitude to an awesome God, no one is ignored, everyone has worth, and love heals us in body, mind and soul.

I am grateful that the Spirit of Christ still pours into people and the Church, the body of Christ, is still here.  The Church has much for which it must atone, to be sure.  We are broken human being after all.  We are also people who believe in Christ, who makes all things new, who loves us, forgives us, embraces us.  Christ who has defeated death, who is faithful and trustworthy.  Christ who calls us into community to gain strength, and who sends us out into the community to serve.

Truly, we can cease our worrying.  It is as Jesus says, first and foremost, work on your relationship with God, and all the rest will fall into place.  To God be the glory!  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH  MV 217  Hey Ney Yana


In God’s vision, every part of creation is good; every part of creation is of value in and of itself; humanity is a precious part of the intricate, beautiful web of life.

In Jesus’ day, wild animals were rounded up from Israel   and taken for sport killing in Rome’s arenas. The hills of Israel were deforested for palaces in distant lands.  Men, women, and children died of lead poisoning from water pipes, eating utensils, and cooking pots.

In our world today, plants and animals are disappearing forever.  Our air and water are polluted.
We exploit and deplete natural resources easily.  Poorer nations hold richer nations responsible for environmental problems, and assert that our environmental concerns are a smokescreen to guarantee our wealth.

As individuals and as the global community, and with God’s help, let us work to end the accusations and fears, exploitation and destruction, and thus restore life and joy to all God’s creation.[2]

In humility we pray, God,

hear our prayer.

God, you give nourishment to those who hunger. Fill us with your generous spirit so that we bring poverty and food insecurity to an end.

Give dignity and adequate employment to those who are unemployed and underemployed. Sustain us all at your welcoming banquet of love and justice.

In hope we prayer, God,

hear our prayer.

God, you give community to those who are lonely. Be with our biological families, our chosen families, and our church family as we gather for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Send your compassionate presence to those who are lonely, those who are separated or estranged from their families, and those whose loved ones have died.

With thanks we pray, God,

hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are struggling with cancer, dementia, or any other disease. Provide them with peace and resilience for the days ahead. We bring before you Pastor Norris Nordin, Dwayne, Carolyn & Douglas and Tracy Skoglund.  We pray for those healing from accidents and other forms of trauma. We hold up to you, gracious God, Kathryn Schmidt, Brooke Alexiuk and Matthew Grossman.  We pray for couples who must live apart.  Grant patience and strength to Lorraine & Walter Pokrant.  We give thanks for healing that has occurred in body, mind or spirit.  We celebrate the slow and steady renewal of health for Mike Froese and pray for continued strength for his family as they have walked with him these past years on this journey.

In trust we pray, God,

hear our prayer.

God, you give a feast of endless thanksgiving. We are grateful for the saints gathered at your table who have gone before us.

Unite us with them whenever we give thanks to you.

In faith we pray, God,

hear our prayer.

God, your welcome is wider than we can imagine. Receive our prayers for the sake of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us.



SENDING SONG  WOV 760  For The Fruit Of All Creation    


May the Christ who walks with wounded feet, walk with you ‘till the end of the road.

May the Christ who serves with wounded hands, teach you to serve one another.

May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart, be your love forever.

And as you walk in the world, may you see the face of Jesus in everyone you meet,

And may everyone you meet + see the face of Jesus in you.  Amen. 


Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.

Thanks be to God!





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] Tad Williams, To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (New York:  Daw Books, Inc., 1993), 768.
[2] Used with the permission of Betty Lynn Schwab; all thanks to God!