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 28 Days To Thanksgiving:  Offering Our Gratitude from the United Church of Canada website:  https://united-church.ca/worship-special-days/thanksgiving-sunday.


When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.

~Dalai Lama


We live by a grace that precedes us, at once divine and ecological. Gratitude is built into the structure of creation, but it’s only we humans who are able to forget it. Our lives are a miracle from the start, yet how easily we lose sight of this. Naaman is unimpressed with Elisha’s command to wash in the Jordan; he expected something more. The waters of baptism are no less humble. Sprinkled or dunked, we find ourselves in Naaman’s shoes. Is this all there is? The eyes of faith are the eyes of gratitude and abundance, seeing God “in, with, and under” every aspect of life, and especially in the sacraments, where God has promised to meet us. William Blake’s words encourage us to dive deeper: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower.”


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.


For the beauty and wonder of creation,
we thank you God.

For our daily food, for our homes, families, and friends,
we thank you God.

For minds to think and hearts to love,
we thank you God.

For health, strength, and skill to work and for leisure to rest and play,
we thank you God.

For those who are brave and courageous, patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
we thank you God.

For all who pursue peace, justice, and truth,
we thank you God.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
we thank you God.

For all the saints whose lives have reflected the light of Christ,
we thank you God. Amen.[1]

CHILDREN’S SONG:   MV 188   I Thank You, Thank You, Jesus


Gracious and loving God, your generous goodness fills all creation. Keep us safe from all that may hurt us, that, whole and well in body and spirit, we may with grateful hearts accomplish all that you would have us do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  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 is Thanksgiving Sunday!  What are some of the ways we can say “Thank you?”  We can send a “thank you” card, give a hug, make a phone call…people have been very creative with the ways they have said “thank you”.  Praying before we eat is a way of saying “thank you” to God that we have food to eat.  How else can we thank God for all that God has given us?

Jesus tells the disciples that loving their neighbour by helping them, being kind to them, praying with them, sharing a meal are ways to let God know you are thankful for all you have.

Caring about the earth and helping to keep it clean; supporting places that protect animals, buying products from companies that don’t build factories where animals live are also ways we can say thank you to God for all we have.

Actions, as well as words, express our thanks.  What will you do today, with actions and words, to let your family know that you are thankful for them?  Be creative!


You have likely been there. A million and one things to do: errands, housekeeping, food prep, work, volunteering. Sometimes we can be so busy checking off our to-do list that we forget to pause and appreciate all that God has blessed us with in life.

Enter Thanksgiving. A time to stop and catalogue what we are grateful for.

You top our list.

This Thanksgiving, the Mission & Service team of the Philanthropy Unit is pausing to give thanks for you—our donors.

Without you, we wouldn’t be able to help transform so many lives.

Thanks to your support, we were able to provide 9,996 full vaccinations to those who need them most around the world.

What’s more, since the pandemic struck, your generosity has helped raise over $525,000 in emergency gifts to help Mission & Service partners deliver personal protective equipment, distribute food, install sanitation stations, and support education programs to help prevent and control the spread of the disease.

As the war in Ukraine continues to devastate lives, your generous gifts of over $1.3 million are helping to provide emergency shelter, clean water, food, and medical attention. The recently unveiled gift of food hampers and dignity kits for refugees in Ukraine featured in the Gifts with Vision catalogue is adding to this total (you’ll see these new gifts starting Sept. 26!).

These are just some of the tangible changes you help make possible. Behind each one of them is a changed life.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he begins with a statement of thanksgiving: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.”

Ultimately, Jesus charged us with helping build a better world. On behalf of those we serve, thank you for rising to the challenge.


Almighty God, you are the source of all light. You divinely separated light from darkness so that we may have the beauty of the light of day. Dear Lord, illuminate this day and enlighten us as we seek to know you through your word. May we be led by your light so our hearts may be opened to your word.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c

Naaman, a Syrian general, suffers from leprosy. In this passage Elisha miraculously cures his illness, but only after Naaman realizes, with the help of his servants, that he also needs healing for his pride. This foreign general then acknowledges the sovereignty of the God of Israel.

     1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” 11But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
15a-cThen he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”

Psalm 111

R:  I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. (Ps. 111:1)

1Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
2Great are your works, O Lord, pondered by all who delight in them. R
3Majesty and splendor mark your deeds, and your righteousness endures forever.
4You cause your wonders to be remembered; you are gracious and full of compassion.
5You give food to those who fear you, remembering forever your covenant.
6You have shown your people the power of your works in giving them the lands of the nations. R
7The works of your hands are faithfulness and justice; all of your precepts are sure.
8They stand fast forever and ever, because they are done in truth and equity.
9You sent redemption to your people and commanded your covenant forever;
holy and awesome is your name.
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who practice this have a good understanding. God’s praise endures forever. R

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Though Paul is chained as a prisoner, the word of God is never shackled or confined. Timothy is encouraged to proclaim that word of freedom in an honest and upright life as well as in his teaching and preaching.

8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

12if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he will also deny us;

13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

14Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

Gospel: Luke 14:15-24

15One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.'”

HYMN: VU 516  Come, You Thankful People, Come


In the time of Jesus, your place in society depended upon your honour, not your income or your style of dress or how many toys you had. Honour was public reputation and determined how you were treated in social life, such as where you sat at a banquet and whom you invited to your house. If you had money but lacked honour, you were called “poor.” The reverse was true: if you had no money but enjoyed a good reputation, you would be a person of honour. Dishonour was based on any physical, mental, or social anomaly, such as having a disability or being a widow without a son. Being “poor” meant that you did not have a place at the table. Being “poor” made people vulnerable, “religiously, economically, politically, and domestically.”[2] In this social hierarchy some fortunate people were on top and some below; movement from “poor” to “honourable” was rare. As we have seen in other stories, Jesus criticized these arrangements for they perpetuated injustice. By contrast, in the kin-dom of God, justice and righteousness flow like a river and Jesus’ ministry and ours is all about bringing that kin-dom into being.

When the dinner guest says, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God,” Jesus responds with a story that helps us better understand the qualities of that kingdom and the meaning of the word “anyone.” Notice that the first two people make nonsensical excuses and the third likely does not want to have to return the favour and invite the host to a later dinner.

The host is angered by their rejection; they insult his honour by refusing relationship. The story could have stopped there, but instead, expectations are reversed when the honourable and wealthy host opens his home to the poor, to those who cannot reciprocate. He invites not only “the poor, crippled, blind, and lame,” but also those living outside the walls of the city—prostitutes, beggars, and thieves. He fills his house and breaks bread with those who will bring him dishonour. Jesus uses this story to show the dinner guest that “anyone” willing to accept the invitation can eat bread in the kin-dom of God, not just those of the elite who seem to have the price of admission.

The open invitation of the great dinner is for “everyone who thirsts” (Isaiah: 55:1) to “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1) for in fact what returns to the host, or the Lord of hosts, multiplies like the miracle of the bread and fish. As we hear in Isaiah 55:11–13:

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
t shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

As we gather today in gratitude remembering all we are and have from God—food, friends, family—we also gather grounded in who and whose we are: children of God, carers for creation, sharers in the abundance that is enough for all, and God’s beloved to act in the world so that God’s kin-dom may come on earth. Thanks be to God for the blessing of this day. Come, let’s have a banquet!

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

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION – written by Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke

In a time of creation awareness we pause to give thanks for the wonders that surround us. We celebrate the blessings of Earth, nestled like a speck of dust in the great universe and at the same time home to life and beauty: from the amoeba to the antelope, from plankton to great whale, from newborn infant to wizened elder.

We lament the desecration of the sacred gifts: the impact we and our habits have on Earth and environment. We mourn the species now extinct from over hunting or loss of habitat. Move us to repent of our ways and live in harmony with Earth, our mother, and sun and moon, our sister and brother.

We give thanks for the breath of life, and pray that we may use our breath, our voices, and our lives to stand in solidarity with those places and peoples under threat or siege due to climate change or any other violence, which we name at this time… Strengthen us to keep solidarity.

Finally, we turn back to our own circles and community, rejoicing at the love of friends, family, and congregation and, at the same time, calling to mind all who cannot be in this circle today and those who are in any particular need, whom we name at this time…. Keep us in communion with the sick, the dying, and the bereaved.

Bless, O Holy One, our prayers and our intentions that they may be added to the mending of the world. Amen.


SENDING SONG:  Bringing In The Sheaves


May God continue to bless us + as we respond to your call, O Christ, to share your abundance, and follow you.  You called everyone who thirsts to come to the waters, multiplied loaves and fishes, and invited all of us to the banquet.  We will go out in joy and be led back in peace.  As we go out, we will remember that Christ has no body but ours.  Bless us to your service.  Amen.


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 Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/byncsa/2.5/ca.
[1] Adapted from The Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada © 1985 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. Used with permission.
[2] Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh, “Rich, Poor, and Limited Good.” Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 2003), p. 400.