Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to many of 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 the worship service Mission & Service: World Food Day 2022, from the United Church website:  https://united-church.ca/worship-special-days/world-food-sunday


“The value of persistent prayer is not that God will hear us, but that we will finally hear God.”
– William McGill


Two characters step out of scripture today to teach us about persistence in prayer. One is named. Jacob is the devious brother who tricked his twin, Esau, out of his birthright and their father’s blessing, and Jacob was himself duped on his wedding night by his father-in-law, Laban. The other character, unnamed, is a widow acquainted with grief, one among many marginalized and vulnerable people, but a woman who dares to stand her ground in her quest for justice. On the banks of the river Jabbok, Jacob wrestles with the angel and limps away with a blessing and a new identity. The unnamed widow repeatedly appeals for justice and finally is vindicated. Many have known persistent prayer as a kind of wrestling with God. Many have pleaded with God for justice and mercy. Today God’s grace and mercy is known in the blessing of baptismal remembrance and our identity as beloved children of God.


We acknowledge we gather and worship on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Creator, thank you for your truth and wisdom, and for inviting us to travel the healing path with you; we offer you our hearts and minds so that we might embody your grace and share your blessings with all who live upon the earth. Amen.


Our Creator has designed a beautiful world,
a world where each one can have what is needed to live fully
when we nurture and share Earth’s sacred abundance.
As we gather for worship, we do so with gratitude.
Let us worship our Creator God,
for we have been deeply blessed,
And renew our commitment to be a blessing.

CHILDREN’S SONG:   We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder


O beloved Creator, we open our hearts to your wisdom:  to the thoughts that calm us, the ideas that provoke us, the teachings that expand us, the insights that challenge us, the ideas that inspire us.
Work in us as we worship today.  We are open and ready for your wisdom’s unfolding.  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.


Once there was a little boy who wanted more than anything to play in the band at school. The boy went home from school one day and asked his parents if they would buy him an instrument and let him sign up to play in the band. Well, the boy’s parents didn’t say yes, and they didn’t say no. They said, “We’ll have to think about it. After all, a musical instrument costs a lot of money and we aren’t sure you will stick with it.”

A few days went by and the boy’s parents still hadn’t said anything, so the boy decided he should ask again. The boy’s parents didn’t say yes and they didn’t say no. They said, “We are still thinking about it.”

On his way home from school the next day, the boy decided to stop by the local music store to check out the musical instruments. When he walked in the store, the first thing that caught his eye was a beautiful, shiny trumpet. It wasn’t new, but it was in very good condition and it had a really cool fake alligator skin case. It was just what he wanted.

That night at supper the boy said to his parents, “I went by the music store today after school and they have a really nice used trumpet. It is exactly what I want and it only costs $100.”

The boy’s father turned to his wife and said, “I guess we had better go take a look at that trumpet or we are never going to hear the end of this.” The next day, the boy went to the music store with his parents and they bought him that trumpet.

The boy joined the band — and he did stick with it. He played in the band all through high school and when he graduated from high school, he went on to college and studied music. After graduating from college, he became a music teacher. I wonder how differently his life might have turned out if he had asked his parents for that musical instrument one time and never mentioned it again.

Jesus teaches us that just as our parents want what is best for us and will give us what we ask for, God also hears and answers our requests. Sometimes we ask God for something one time and never mention it again. Maybe that is our impatience showing. When we ask for something, we want God to say “yes,” and we want God to say it right now! Jesus said that we should always pray and not give up. Perhaps God wants us to show that we are really serious about what we are asking. Does this mean that if we keep asking for something over and over again that God will always give it to us? No.  AND, God loves us, wants what is best for us, and will answer, “yes” if that is what is best for us.

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Teetering On The Brink Of A Global Hunger Crisis

Who was Jesus referring to when he advised his followers to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread?” Who is the “us”?

“When we say the prayer, we often think ‘us’ refers to ourselves; after all, we are the ones praying. But I think Jesus, who had a broad view of neighbour and family, meant all of humanity,” explains Sarah Charters, Director of the United Church’s Philanthropy Unit, adding, “so I take it to mean ‘Give every one of us our daily bread.’”

God has already come through on that petition. There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone. The problem is that some have too much and others not enough.

It’s never been more urgent that we share. Food security has always been an issue, but the pandemic as well as wheat shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine have catapulted us to the brink of a massive hunger crisis.

Right now, more than 50 million people are facing starvation―almost double the number in 2019. One person is dying of hunger every 4 seconds.

In this critical time, your meaningful gifts through Mission & Service are put to work right away helping people meet immediate needs by providing emergency food hampers in times of crisis, stocking shelves at food banks, and serving good, healthy meals through various outreach agencies.

Your gifts also provide longer-term support and systemic change by teaching agricultural techniques, seeding community garden initiatives, and helping neighbourhoods set up systems to cope with the impact of conflict and climate change on their food systems.

As we teeter on the brink of a global hunger crisis, your generosity has never been more needed.

Please choose to do something meaningful this World Food Day, and make a gift through Mission & Service to help those who are most vulnerable.

Together as a United Church we can help build the world Jesus envisioned when he taught us to pray—a world where every one of us has our daily bread.


Gracious God, we do not live by bread alone. Let the heavenly food of the scripture we are about to hear nourish us today in the ways of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Genesis 32:22-31

Returning to the home he had fled many years before after stealing his brother’s birthright and his father’s blessing, Jacob wrestles all night long with a divine adversary who ultimately blesses him and changes his name to “Israel,” a name that means “he wrestles with God.”

22The same night  got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Psalm 121

R:  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:2)

1I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
2My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
3The Lord will not let your foot be moved nor will the one who watches over you fall asleep.
4Behold, the keeper of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep; R
5the Lord watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6the sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7The Lord will preserve you from all evil and will keep your life.
8The Lord will watch over your going out and your coming in,
from this time forth forevermore. R

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5

The writer of this letter continues his instruction of Timothy, his younger colleague in ministry, by emphasizing the importance of faithful teaching despite opposition.

14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

4:1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

Jesus tells a parable of an unjust judge who is worn down by a widow’s pleas. Jesus is calling God’s people to cry out for justice and deliverance. For if an unethical judge will ultimately grant the plea of a persistent widow, how much more will God respond to those who call.

1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

HYMN:  VU p. 842  Unto The Hills


From A Worship Resource for World Food Day, Canadian Food Grains Bank.

Read and reflect on the account of the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6 and Jesus’ following teaching on being the bread of life. There’s something about everything that Jesus said and did that needs to be seen as part of a greater whole. The disciples were constantly being stretched to see beyond the obvious (Jesus providing lunch), to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. Take a look at three different ‘scenes’ from John 6, considering various questions:

Scene 1 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”  —John 6:9

In a world where might is right, Jesus reminds us that the values of the kingdom are the exact opposite. God’s way is for David to defeat Goliath, for faith the size of a mustard seed being enough, of his kingdom acting like yeast in the dough, of the least of this world having God’s favour.

What situations overwhelm or paralyze you because the issue seems so big and your input so small? When has a small act of kindness or generosity made a difference to you? What have you done for others lately? What could you do this week?

Catherine of Sienna wrote, “Become the person you were created to be and set the world on fire.” We don’t have to be like anyone else, not powerful, not well-known—we just have to be authentically who we were intended to be. How can you fulfill this calling and make a difference to others?

Scene 2 “‘Now gather the leftovers,’ Jesus told his disciples, ‘so that nothing is wasted.’” —John 6:12

God is a generous God. God doesn’t keep a tally of what we deserve, God wants to do so much more than we can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3) and just as the Divine word never returns to God empty (Isaiah 55), nothing goes to waste in our lives.

But just like in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), God asks us to make good use of what we have been given. Whether it is opportunities, abilities, or wealth, God calls us to live with faithful generosity, looking beyond our own needs to the needs of others.

What opportunities, abilities or resources have you been given? How are you using what you have been given to further the kingdom of God?

Scene 3 “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” —John 6:33

Bread broken and given to others is so much more than a matter of lunch! Jesus makes the link at last with sacrifice—his own—for the sake of the world. Jesus fed a crowd and was nailed to a cross. It’s all about giving. In him alone can we find true fulfillment and in following him we also must take up the cross and deny self—we become the bread broken and shared for others.

Rob Bell, former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, said, “We need to ask, ‘What is God doing and how can I be part of it?’”

When we pray for those who are needy or struggling, we have to believe that God wants to be at work in their lives, to bring something good out of it—to offer bread…. What might it mean for you to break bread for others?

~Meditation adapted from a meditation on John 6 from the Third Space blog, Can You Tell What It Is Yet?

HYMN OF THE MONTH:   WOV 714   The Thirsty Fields Drink In The Rain


Merciful God of compassion and justice, have mercy on us as we confess our sin. We are not the stewards Christ calls us to be. Riches possess us while others go hungry. We mismanage creation with our pollution and strife to obtain ever more than we already have. We abuse your provision for us by our selfish desires. Help us hear again Christ’s call to be faithful, and through him forgive us as we repent of our sin and turn from it…

Lord, hear our prayer.

Loving God, with a handful of flour and a drop of oil the widow of Zarephath fed the prophet Elijah before her child and herself. God, teach us the joy of hospitality which welcomes friend and stranger, neighbour and enemy, and so finds You feasting among us….

Lord, hear our prayer.

God of Abundance, with two small coins the widow of Jerusalem offered to you her love, her worship and all she had. Teach us the joy of giving freely, which counts nothing as ours by right, but willingly shares and so finds you sharing with us….

Lord, hear our prayer.

God of Resurrection, with his whole being Christ Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of your love for us. Teach us the joy of giving ourselves to you, so that we yearn for your presence, long for your salvation, and so find you living in us….

Lord, hear our prayer.

God of Mercy, it is your will that we love and work and pray for those who are in need of bread and of shelter, of healing and of wholeness. Hear the prayers we make for those of our world— those of our community, and those of our family who are in need. We lift before you now in the silence of our hearts and with the words of our lips….

Lord, hear our prayer.

Bless your church throughout the world and help it to fulfil the purpose you have given it. Guide us each day and help us to give as completely as we have received. We ask it in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord and our Saviour, our brother and our friend.


Prayer for Others written by John Maynard, and posted on Rev. Richard J. Fairchild’s Kir-shalom website.


SENDING SONG:  MV 209  Go, Make A Difference


May the blessing of God, Creator of heaven and Earth, rest upon you and upon all that God has made; May the Risen Christ Jesus transform your life and your vision, so that you may live in reconciliation with all things; May the power of God’s Holy Spirit move over this whole Earth, like the breath of Spring, to renew the Earth and all its people, so that all creation may join together in praise to God’s holy name! Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever. Amen.

Written by Kim Winchell, in Living Earth: Creation Waits with Eager Longing.



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