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 today’s worship are taken from the service World Communion Sunday: Individual Life of Faith, found on the website united-church.ca.


As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

– Nelson Mandela


A little faith goes a long way is Jesus’ point in the gospel. A mustard seed’s-worth of faith has miraculous potential. The patience, tenacity, and endurance required for the life of faith are the blessings received in holy baptism, holy communion, and the word read and proclaimed in this assembly. Anticipate them. Receive them with thanksgiving.


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.


Eternal God, you are great indeed.

Praise God, O my soul.

You spread heaven like a tent and make the winds your messengers.

Praise God, O my soul.

You fix the earth on its foundations so that it can never tremble.

Praise God, O my soul.

You’ve designed the world for blessing and have blessed us without limit.

Praise God, O my soul.

Come, let us bless one another and God with our worship.

CHILDREN’S SONG:   VU 365  Jesus Loves Me


Holy and gracious God, we gather as seekers, lovers, disciples, and friends.  We gather to give you thanks for the blessings of our lives   and to replenish and refuel for the road ahead.  We gather to learn the wisdom of your way and feel the warmth of your love.  Bless this gathering as we join together in wholehearted worship. 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.


     Let’s pretend you told your best friend something that was bothering you, and you asked them to not share it.  After a week, you find out they told a bunch of people your private thoughts.  Now what do you do?!

It would be tempting to never speak with your best friend again – except that they are your best friend, and you really would miss talking to them.  What do you do?

I would suggest telling your friend how you feel, how disappointed you are that they shared what was private, and that now you will have a hard time trusting them, and may not share such thoughts with them again.  Can you still be friends?  Yes.  However, it will take some time to forgive them, and you still may have difficulty trusting them.  Hopefully, they will realize how hurtful their actions were, by sharing your private thoughts, and will be truly sorry and work very hard to never do that again.

I may have used this example before, and I probably will again, because forgiving someone can take time, depending upon what has happened.  We need to forgive others because holding on to our anger and hurt actually harms us more than the person who caused the hurt.  If we want to heal, we need to forgive and let go of our anger.  That can take time.  Thankfully, God is very, very patient.


MINUTE FOR MISSION:   There’s One Church – The Universal One

Unity, justice, and peace for all is a big vision. And it’s one that more than 4,000 participants from over 120 countries joined together in September to help realize.

Fifteen United Church delegates participated in the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany—the largest ecumenical gathering in the world.

The denomination has a long history with the WCC. The United Church has been there since its inception in 1948, and your generosity through Mission & Service (and its antecedents) has supported the work ever since.

It’s critical we are there.

Since its creation, the World Council of Churches has supported and inspired church participation in struggles for justice, peace, and creation. For example, in the late 60s the WCC Programme to Combat Racism led to taking a bold stand in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Churches addressed the role of structural injustice in the economic and financial system in the service of apartheid through boycotting goods and calling for divestment from banks and enterprises collaborating with the apartheid system.

The WCC has used its collective voice in other areas of justice as well, including supporting efforts to bring an end to conflict in Sudan, the reunification of North and South Korea, and the defence of human rights in Latin America during decades of brutal military dictatorships.

Today, the WCC is advocating on key issues like nuclear disarmament, stateless peoples, children’s rights, and racial justice at various levels of national and international governance. Since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in 1992, the WCC has been present at all UN climate change conferences.

At the September 2022 meeting, Bishop Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria was elected as the new moderator of the WCC. In his speech, he encouraged churches to listen to the spirit calling them to unity.

“The church can never be provincial or national. The church is always universal. The church can only witness Jesus Christ when we make this visible: that we are one church in this global world,” he said. “Where people are suffering, where people cry out for justice, the church must be an agent to give them a voice and to make visible how the church can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

Thank you for supporting worldwide ecumenical efforts to build a better world through Mission & Service.


Holy One, as we listen once more to the wisdom of your Word, may we be fed both in mind and body. Help us open to your revelation of love and to receive your blessing with grace. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

Injustice and violence in the time leading up to the Babylonian exile move this prophet to lament: How can a good and all-powerful God see evil in the world and seemingly remain indifferent? God answers by proclaiming that the righteous will live by faith.

1The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
3Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
4So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

2:1I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
2Then the Lord answered me and said:  Write the vision; make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
3For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
4Look at the proud!  Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.

Psalm 104

1Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, 4you make the winds your

messengers, fire and flame your ministers.
5You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.
6You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.
9You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11giving drink to every wild

animal; the wild asses quench their thirst.
12By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches.
13From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the

earth, 15and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the

human heart.
16The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
20You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
22When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens.
23People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening.
24O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your

25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and

26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27These all look to you to give them their food in due season; 28when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to

their dust.
30When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
31May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works — 32who looks on the

earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD!

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

This letter written to Timothy is a personal message of encouragement. In the face of hardship and persecution, Timothy is reminded that his faith is a gift of God. He is encouraged to exercise that faith with the help of the Holy Spirit.

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
8Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, 12and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 13Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Gospel: Luke 17:5-10

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus instructs his followers about the power of faith and the duties of discipleship. He calls his disciples to adopt the attitude of servants whose actions are responses to their identity rather than works seeking reward.

5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’ ”

HYMN: VU 580  Faith Of Our Fathers

SERMON:  Wisdom to Wonder and Share, by Rev. Trisha Elliott.  Based on Psalm 104

Psalm 104 paints a picture. You can imagine the canvas being filled in as it moves along: the waters flowing through the mountains and the valleys; teams of fish swimming in it; animals drinking off to the side; the birds singing while they circle and make nests; the cattle in the distance grazing; trees providing shade; a sunset; people working together peacefully, making wine, bread, and oil.

The scene is so picturesque, so perfect that the psalmist’s heart is stirred. “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live” (v. 33), he declares.

Surely, we’ve all had such heart-stirring moments. Canoeing in the impossibly blue water of Moraine Lake in Alberta was one of those times for me. Getting a first glimpse of Stonehenge was another. Visiting Mississagi Lighthouse in Meldrum Bay another. So many times I’ve looked at God’s good creation and my heart has been blown away—or blown open.

In his writings, Plato said that contemplating and wondering at the cosmos leads the soul to God because all of creation is a reflection of the beauty of the Divine. When we wonder    at creation and are charged with the glory of God through it, our soul transcends time and    space. We are totally present to the moment. Wonder transports us to the deep.

“Teach Me, God, to Wonder” (VU 299), the song goes.

Wonder is a portal to the Divine. Maybe that’s why Jesus talked about the extraordinariness of seemingly ordinary things. Why he took bread and turned it into communion. Why he took fish and turned it into revelation. Why he took a cross and turned it into redemption. Why he took a child—and all of the wide-eyed amazement that filled the child—onto his knee and said “For it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19: 14). Why he gathered a group of people like you and me together and called us disciples.

Teach me, God, to wonder. That’s my prayer.

Yearning to wonder for me isn’t escapist. It’s not about escaping my inbox, my to-do list, my housekeeping. Sigh. It’s about being faithful. I want to wonder so that I can be more engaged. How can any of us love something we don’t wonder about? We are never moved to care about something we keep at arm’s length.

Psalm 104 not only wonders at the creativity of God but it connects God’s creativity with our own ability to be creative. The psalm says that God causes the plants to grow and we cultivate them. We make the wine and bread and oil. It’s a team effort. We are united with God in a mission to cultivate the wonder. To ensure the world is wonder-full. To resist diminishing wonder by putting a price on it, restricting it, harming it, polluting it.

Teach us God, to wonder.

When we join with God’s mission in our personal lives, together as a congregation and as a worldwide church, we are saying that the beauty, bounty, and peace in the picture Psalm 104 paints—the waters flowing through the mountains and the valleys, the teams of fish swimming, the animals drinking off to the side, the birds singing while they circle, the cattle in the distance grazing, the people working together making bread and oil—is for everyone.

Psalm 104 isn’t just quaint words we can imagine hung on a wall. They represent a vision for our lives and for the world.

God’s wonder is for everyone. Teach us, God, to wonder.

Verse 31 of Psalm 104 reads: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.”

You get the sense here of how deeply the psalmist longs for God, the divine artist, to sit back from the canvas of the world and say “Yes! This is how I envisioned it. Yes! It is good. It is very good.”

On the seventh day, the story goes, God rested. But then what? Well, we know how artists roll. Michelangelo didn’t stop at the Pieta. He went on to create David. After Da Vinci’s Last Supper there was the Mona Lisa.

Artists never stop creating. It’s in their bones.

Likewise, God never stops creating. God’s spirit beckons us into other wonder-filled visions of the world. Dreams of lions lying down with lambs, of promised lands, of a new heaven and new earth. Wonder upon wonder to stir our hearts.

Allow yourself to be wonder-struck. Allow your heart to be stirred by the beauty of God. Allow your wonder to transport you to the deep places where the waters of mission baptize, cleanse, and refresh you to live your mission.

Let God teach you to wonder.

There’s wonder to realize. Wonder to actualize. Wonder to share.

There’s wisdom in the sharing. Amen.

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


As scattered grains of wheat are gathered together into one bread, so let us gather our prayers for the church, those in need, and all of God’s good creation.

We pray for your holy church in every place and for those who serve following the example of Christ. Help them to live by faith and walk by the light of your gospel. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

For parts of the world ravaged by natural disaster, especially the east coast of Canada and the US: relieve those affected by floods, wildfires, droughts, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

For every nation and for those entrusted with authority: grant our leaders self-discipline in all things, and inspire them with love for your people. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

For victims of violence, abuse, and neglect: heal those who have been harmed and protect those who are vulnerable. For all who are sick, grieving, struggling. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

For this and every congregation: rekindle your gifts within your people, and inspire councils, committees, and individuals to plan and work together that all may know your love. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

In thanksgiving that you have abolished death, and for the saints who have died. Bring us all to eternal life with you. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Gathered together in the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit, gracious God, we offer these and all our prayers to you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.



SENDING SONG:  VU 364  Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive   


Go into the world this week knowing you are anointed and blessed without limit.  Share the blessing of God with friends, neighbours, even strangers.  Reach out, extend yourself, and let God surprise you.
Be blessed and be a blessing this week and all your days. Amen.




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