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.


Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

~Albert Einstein


The dishonest manager is one of the more puzzling characters in Jesus’ parables, yet we may learn more from this parable if we can resist the tendency to reduce it to allegory. Step up to it sideways rather than try to fit each character into a fixed role. The manager forgives debts. Who else does this? We do and God does—if we are to believe the words we pray each week (“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” in the most literal translation of the Lord’s Prayer). When debts become unsustainable, they must be rebalanced for the system to continue to function. That’s not charity—it’s economics. The manager was doing what governments have done over and over in revaluing their currencies. Even if he went rogue, the manager was willing to challenge the rules of the empire of wealth, an empire often at odds with the kingdom of heaven.


     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.

     Source of all life, you have created all lands and all peoples.  You have given abundantly, yet we have not been so generous to our sisters and brothers who share this earth.  We have been harsh to the earth itself, and suffer the consequences of our choices, our need for more.  Great Spirit, fill our hearts with the contentment of being alive, having enough, while celebrating friends and family.  Teach us to be kind to the earth, and all the lives it supports.  Teach us to be a people of generosity and peace.



We gather together in the name of the One who bids us come.
We gather together to hear the words of the One who is Love.
We gather together to sing praises of the One who teaches peace.
Come, let us worship!

~ The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada Worship Service—Peace in Community, prepared by Miriam Spies.  


CHILDREN’S SONG:  This Little Light Of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m goin’-a let it shine (x3)

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

            Hide it under a bushel? – no!  I’m goin’-a let it shine (x3)

            Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Jesus gave it to me, I’m goin’-a let it shine (x3)

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


God among us, we gather in the name of your Son to learn love for one another. Keep our feet from evil paths. Turn our minds to your wisdom and our hearts to the grace revealed in your Son, 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.


     Is there something you really, really, really love to do? 

     When I was in my first parish, there were a number of people who loved to garden, both flowers and vegetables.  We were having coffee after worship one Sunday in the spring of the year, and started sharing how we were looking forward to gardening and what flowers and vegetables we would be planting.  Then, someone mentioned the care home, and how sad it looked on the outside because there were no flowers.  Suddenly, we had a great idea!

     I contacted the care home and asked if the Lutheran church members would be able to plant flowers with the residents of the care home.  They said, “Yes!” 

     It turned out that there were raised garden boxes so that people in wheelchairs could plant as well.  Perfect!

     When everyone finally arrived, there were more than Lutherans who showed up!  We had the United Church members, the Roman Catholic church members and the Anglican church members all ready and willing to dig flower beds, plant flowers, get dirty, and have some fun!

     The residents of the care home were so happy to be able to dig in the dirt, plant their favourite flowers and then have snacks when they were done!

     It seemed such a small thing, planting flowers, but you know, that summer the care home looked like a happy place because of all the colours!  The residents were happy because they got to watch the flowers they planted bloom and attract the bees and hummingbirds!

     God had given us the ability to do many things.  Find something you love to do and share that talent with someone.  By teaching someone else, you just may gain a friend in the end!

MINUTE FOR MISSION:  End Racism.  Build Peace.

     It seems there’s a day set aside for everything under the sun: World Nerd Day, Pistachio Day, and Squirrel Appreciation Day to name a few. There are so many special days that we can become immune to them. But when September 21 rolls around every year, it’s important to tune in.

     The International Day of Peace was initiated by the United Nations over 40 years ago and is observed around the world on September 21. The theme this year is “End Racism. Build Peace.”


     “Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society.      It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies and erodes the legitimacy of governments,” says António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General.

News emerging from Ukraine and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic perfectly illustrate Guterres’ point.

     As people fled Ukraine, social media feeds became flooded with a deluge of reports outing the mistreatment and abuse of people of colour at the borders. Countless reports told the ugly tale of people of colour prevented from crossing borders while White Ukrainians were ushered to safety. Similarly, racism reared its ugly head during the pandemic. Anti-Asian rhetoric surged alongside COVID-19, and statistics emerged revealing that people of colour were more likely to be hospitalized and die from the virus.

     There can be no peace without justice. Each one of us needs to do what we can.

     “We all have a role to play in fostering peace. And tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute,” reads the United Nation’s website. “We can work to dismantle the structures that entrench racism in our midst. We can support movements for equality and human rights everywhere. We can speak out against hate speech―both offline and online. We can promote anti-racism through education and reparatory justice.”

     Your support through Mission & Service helps us as a whole United Church work toward a world free of racism and racial discrimination by supporting educational initiatives, programs, and partners working hard to dismantle racism.

     Thank you for helping build a better world―a world where we are eager to honour the Divine spirit in everyone.


Dear God, 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. We pray that we receive every word you speak to us today. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7

Amos was called by God to prophesy in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Peace and prosperity in Israel led to corrupt business practices and oppression of the poor. The prophet declares that God will not tolerate such a situation.

4Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
  and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
5saying, “When will the new moon be over
  so that we may sell grain;
 and the sabbath,
  so that we may offer wheat for sale?
 We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
  and practice deceit with false balances,
6buying the poor for silver
  and the needy for a pair of sandals,
  and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”
7The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
 Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113

R:  The Lord lifts up the poor from the ashes. (Ps. 113:7)

1Hallelujah! Give praise, you servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord.
2Let the name of the Lord be blessed, from this time forth forevermore.
3From the rising of the sun to its going down let the name of the Lord be praised.
4The Lord is high above all nations; God’s glory above the heavens. R
5Who is like the Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high,
6but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
7The Lord takes up the weak out of the dust and lifts up the poor from the ashes,
8enthroning them with the rulers, with the rulers of the people.
9The Lord makes the woman of a childless house to be a joyful mother of children. Hallelujah! R

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

The pastoral epistles offer insight into how early Christians understood many practical matters, such as church administration and worship. The church’s focused prayer for others is an expression of the single-minded passion God has toward us in Jesus.

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: Luke 16:1-13

Jesus tells the curious story of a dishonest manager who cheats his employer and then is commended by him for having acted so shrewdly. Jesus wonders why his own followers are less creative and diligent in their stewardship given that they are managers of a far more valuable household.

1Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
10“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

HYMN:  MV 127  I Saw The Rich Ones

SERMON:  by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild

“Changing The Bottom Line”

There are rascals, rogues, and scallywags aplenty in the scriptures, and today’s gospel reading features one of them most prominently – a manager or steward of an estate who is so poor at what he does that eventually, when he is called to account by his master, he cooks the books.

You have to picture this this fellow, knowing that he has done a poor job and that he is going to get canned, changes the bottom line on all the debts that are owed to his master.   Some he drops by 20%, some by as much as 50% – his theory being that the debtors of his master will be so happy to get a discount that they will gladly welcome him into their homes and feed him and care for him after he is fired.

Pretty far out reasoning, with maybe just a grain of truth to it.

I imagine if the manager of the Bank of Montreal called me up and told me that she was going to reduce my debts by 50% with a stroke of her pen that I might welcome her into my home after she got fired, but still, I would be a little uneasy about it – wouldn’t you?  Uneasy because the police likely wouldn’t be far behind her, and with good reason.

Yet what happens in the parable when the master finally hears the story and calls the manager before him?  The master commends his manager because he had acted shrewdly, because he had showed some intelligence in doing what he had done.

Pretty far out, eh?…

Where does one begin with this story?  What in the world is Jesus trying to tell us?

First of all, let us not imagine that Jesus is commending the dishonesty of the manager.  It is quite clear that he is not commending the fact that he was a bad manager, one quite willing to cheat his master, but rather, he is commending the shrewdness – the forethought of the manager in looking after himself – in doing good to those who in turn may be expected to do good to him.

Jesus often uses people who are scoundrels to illustrate what God is like and what we should be like:

think of the judge who would only give a poor widow her due after she bothered him over and over   again, or the example of the person who would not budge from his bed to help welcome a stranger until his door was beaten on repeatedly, or the example of the fellow who found a treasure in someone’s field and went out and bought it so that he could get the profit.

Each of these examples tells us something important about how we should live our faith and something important about God – but none of them tell us that God is unjust, or that he is annoyed when we call upon him late at night, or that we should cheat someone on a business deal.  Rather we are meant to understand, in a humorous and interesting way, that if the reluctant judge can still give justice to a widow, or the grumpy person can still get up and share his bread in the middle of the night, then how much more will God help us when we appeal to his mercy?

And if a man will expend every effort – if he will even cheat – just to obtain a treasure which he has found in someone else’s field, then how much more ought we expend every effort to enter the Kingdom of God?

The life issue in today’s parable has nothing to do with the manager’s honesty or dishonesty,  Rather,  the issue is: just how shrewd, clever, and committed are the children of light when it comes to their faith?  Do we really look after ourselves?  Do we really use what we have at hand, in whatever proportion we have it, to the best advantage?  Are we as anxious to ensure our future with God as the dishonest manager was to ensure his future in this world?  Are we willing to change the bottom line so that when the time of reckoning comes there will be a place that welcomes us?

Indeed, the issue at the very root of the parable of the dishonest manager is: are we, as Christians, as people who profess belief in the living God, really committed to Him and his way?  Are we?  Are we, who sit together here today, really committed, really full of faith?  Really committed to God and God’s purpose for our lives and the life of the world?

How can a person tell if we are committed?  What signs help to prove the case one way or another?  What shows us whether we serve God or wealth?

Today I am going to share with you a couple of signs that helps us answer this question.  The first sign is quite simply – how we feel about and what we do with money.  Perhaps you haven’t thought of it before, but did you realize that over 1/3 of Jesus’ parables and sayings concern the relationship between faithfulness and money?  Jesus talks so much about money because, when push comes to shove, loyalties are revealed by what people do with their money and how they feel about it. 

Recall the rich young ruler – who left Jesus because he was rich?

Recall Levi – who left everything and followed Jesus?

Recall the sermon on the mount – and the lilies of the field which do not spin or toil?

Recall the camel and the eye of the needle?

And the widow who gave everything she had to the Temple Treasury?

The children of this world are more shrewd than us at times – like the dishonest manager, the children of this world will do all that is required to look after themselves.  They will use all their money and all their power to get more money and more power.  Better yet, if they can, they will use other people’s money and other people’s power to get these things, to ensure their future, to change their own bottom lines.

Yes, the children of this world show a savvy that the children of light often lack, and it seems to me that they seem to have this savvy not because they are any smarter than you or I, but because they are more committed – they are only serving one master.  Their efforts are not divided, not confused, not lost in the gap that always exists between two masters.

We in the church often do things badly, we do them poorly, because we attempt to serve two masters, God and wealth.  I think this is one of the big reasons why so many people in the church hate hearing about the problems the church has in raising money, getting volunteers, and doing work that, on the face of it, only benefits others.  They hate to hear it because it guilts them out.  It reminds them of their own torn loyalties.

Indeed, it is still true, no matter how you interpret the message of God’s grace, that we reap what we sow; and if we sow sparingly, then the harvest is a sparse one.

We have a tendency to regard the wealth we have as our own rather as a trust from God – a trust given to us by which we might make friends for ourselves and for the Kingdom which we are supposed to be serving.

Let me end by saying that a manger who is finally approved by the master is the one who is unafraid to invest time, energy, emotion and money so that the work that he or she is entrusted with succeeds, the one who is unafraid to change the bottom line in the way that God intends for us to change it.

God has told us the way in which we should go – make friends for yourselves by means of the unrighteous wealth so that when it is gone you may be welcomed into the eternal homes. And if Jesus has said that with regard to money, then how much more will God welcome us when we make friends with the world by showering upon it the love and the care that he has entrusted to us for that very purpose.

Blessed be God, day by day.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:   VU 713   I See A New Heaven


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.

God our Savior, you keep your church in faith and truth. Accompany those preparing for baptism or affirmation of baptism. Enlighten preachers, teachers, seminarians, and all those who share your good news with the world. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Divine teacher, you instruct your children to be responsible stewards of your creation. Show us how best to care for the earth and its resources, and guide those who work to develop sustainable practices. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Ruler of the nations, you direct those in authority. Give leaders wisdom and compassion so that all may live in peace. Inspire public servants to follow the example of courageous leaders and safeguard the dignity of each person. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Helper of the needy, you lift up those who are oppressed. Breathe justice into economic and social systems that perpetuate poverty and hunger. Sustain food ministries, clothing banks, and emergency shelters.  We give thanks for our local MCC thrift store and the volunteers of the Red River Valley Food Bank who serve those in need. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Sustainer and giver of life, you bless this congregation with abundance. Instruct us in the proper and faithful use of wealth and resources, that we share generously. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

God of glory, you gather your saints around your throne. Keep us thankful for the witness of those who have gone before, and bring us with them to the heavenly feast that has no end. 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: MV 134  There Was A Child In Galilee   


God, who gives life to all things and frees us from despair, bless you with truth and peace.

And may the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, guide you always in faith, hope, and love.  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.