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.


Portions of this worship service are taken from a Season of Creation Theme Service:  Creation and Creativity by Rod Sykes.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. ~Coretta Scott King The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ~Mahatma Gandhi The price of greatness is responsibility. ~Winston Churchill


The writers of today’s readings express to God their fears about death and those who do evil. They rage against the cravings, coveting, envy, and selfish ambition that lead to disorder and war, within and around us. They describe one caught in this reality who is led to slaughter, tested with insult and torture, and faces a shameful death. Through our lenses we see Jesus. In fact, Jesus keeps describing what is going to happen to him, but his followers can’t understand. They don’t want to understand. Instead, they argue about who is greatest. Putting a quick end to that line of argument, Jesus brings a child into their circle. Embracing the child, Jesus invites disciples into humble service—this is how we draw near to God and God to us.      It is easy to be fearful in view of events outside us. It is easy to be thrown off course by feelings inside us or to work hardest for the wrong things. But Jesus invites us to practice what may be the most challenging spiritual practice of all. Jesus invites us to love our neighbor. Jesus asks that we look around for someone concrete to invest our time and energy in, someone who cannot necessarily return the favor. Jesus challenges us to receive others’ ministry to us, since we are also little children in faith.      In real life, there is no way to avoid shame and death. At some point, it comes to each of us. However, for now, wherever we are, we can participate in God’s way of life. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, disciples look where Jesus points and see those whom they can serve. They do not escape death but can know that resurrection is on the other side. Each day, God is with us through dying and rising.


When insight floods a human mind, when a solution arises in a vexed heart, when the light bulb goes on, in such creative moments we hear an echo of the act of creation itself, and catch a glimpse of the Creator of all, whom we come to worship now.

CHILDREN’S SONG  Children of the Heavenly Father    


O God, our teacher and guide, you draw us to yourself and welcome us as beloved children. Help us to lay aside all envy and selfish ambition, that we may walk in your ways of wisdom and understanding as servants of 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.


When you invite guests to your home, how do you make them feel welcome?  When I was a child, Sunday afternoons means COMPANY!!!!  Those were exciting days!  We cleaned the house on Saturday, touched up anything we missed on Sunday, made sure we had our favourite games ready to play, the china dishes already placed on the dining room table, good food being prepared in the kitchen…I wish they would hurry up already!       When the company arrived, we greeted them at the door, took their coats, invited them into the living room to sit down, offered them a snack and a beverage.  My sisters and I then went with the children to our basement to play games until supper time.  Every effort was made to make certain our guests knew they were welcome in our home!      What about God’s home?  We often call the church building God’s house.  What do we do to make people feel welcome for worship?  Have we ever asked any of our visitors if they felt welcome here?  If we haven’t, perhaps we should start.   


The people of Haiti need emergency shelter, clean water, and food.      On the morning of Saturday, August 14, Haiti was struck by a severe earthquake. Precious lives have been lost. Many homes and community buildings have been destroyed. Hospitals have also been damaged, and acutely injured and traumatized people are struggling to find help.      The earthquake follows sharply on the heels of other disasters, including a massive earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. To make the situation even worse, Tropical Storm Grace hit Haiti on August 16.      The impact of the most recent earthquake is all the more devastating because of political instability, a severe economic downturn, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of the current political crisis, Haitian citizens are working to create an agreement to facilitate a successful interim government to build a different future for their country.      The United Church of Canada is in contact with Mission & Service partners in Haiti to find out how we can support their communities. Already, we know that the people of Haiti need emergency shelter, clean water, and food. The church has made it possible for members to designate donations to help      Haiti when they make a gift through a special emergency fund.      Please hold the people of Haiti in prayer.  


In our struggle to hear your Word, O God, bless even our doubts, our wonderings, our wanderings, our soul-struggles, life’s deep questions, and deeper mysteries.  Teach us to love our questions as well as our answers.  Amen.   Readings and Psalm First Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20 Today’s reading tells of the suffering of the prophet Jeremiah, who announced God’s word to Judah but was met with intense opposition and persecution. Jeremiah continues to trust in God in the midst of his suffering.      18It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew; then you showed me their evil deeds.      19But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.  And I did not know it was against me that they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will no longer be remembered!”      20But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

Psalm 54

God is my helper; it is the Lord who sustains my life. (Ps. 54:4) 1Save me, O God, by your name; in your might, defend my cause. 2Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3For strangers have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life,   those who have no regard for God. 4Behold, God is my helper; it is the Lord who sustains my life. R 5Render evil to those who spy on me; in your faithfulness, destroy them. 6I will offer you a freewill sacrifice and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.     7For you have rescued me from every trouble, and my eye looks down on my enemies. R

Second Reading: James 3:13–4:3, 7-8a

The wisdom God gives unites our hearts and minds. Instead of living to satisfy our own wants and desires, we manifest this wisdom in peace, gentleness, mercy, and impartiality toward others. 13Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.4:   1Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8aDraw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Gospel: Mark 9:30-37 Jesus’ teaching and action in this text are directed to the church whenever it is seduced by the world’s definition of greatness: prestige, power, influence, and money. The antidote to such a concern for greatness is servanthood. 30 and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it;31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.   33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”



I had stopped at the red light. I was stationary for a good 3 seconds.  I glanced to my right at the traffic about to turn left.  Suddenly, a silver sports car came tearing past me on my left, straight through the red light!  Thankfully, the traffic turning left had seen the car coming, realized the driver was not going to stop and held off until the car cleared the intersection.

I was angry.  This was a neighbourhood with a lot of young families.  How dare that driver go racing through on the red!  I get it, you drive a fast and fancy car and think you own the road!  I don’t think so!

Once my light changed to green, I followed the car.  It had turned into a sport facility.  There was a soccer tournament about to begin.  I drove slowly around the parking lot.  I found the car.  It was a Porsche convertible with a distinctive licence plate.  Good.  No guesswork for the police.  While the young man was heading toward his teammates, I took pictures of the car.  I filed an online police report and sent the photos.

In the grand scheme of life this may seem like a small incident.  Yet if you take the behaviour of that one person and multiply it by, say, oh, a million people, suddenly, one is no longer dealing with a small incident but a serious societal issue.

Ok, perhaps I am reading to much into the situation.  He could have been a very nice man who was late for the tournament and chose to risk running the red.  It could be that he just happened to be driving a very expensive car.  The car could have belonged to his parents!  One should not assume, after all.  Still, he broke the law by going through on the red and potentially could have caused an accident, had the first vehicle turning left been equally eager to get through the intersection.

What the world needs now is not love, according to the sixty’s song.  Rather, the world needs wisdom.  True wisdom.  According to the writer of James, false wisdom comes from envy and selfish ambition, which in turn leads to people believing they are better than others and therefore more knowledgeable.  But wait, the spiral has not yet completed its descent!  With the desire to be more, have more and the false belief that one deserves more, fear arises.  The more one has, the more someone else can take away!  It doesn’t have to be jewels, real estate or money that we are afraid of losing.  Just 18 months ago people were coming to blows over the 30-roll value pack of toilet paper!  Once you hit the bottom, what do you have?  Good question.

Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner) is an American writer and theologian.  In Buechner’s book Wishful Thinking, he discusses envy.  Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else be as unsuccessful as you are.[1]

And there is your answer.  When you hit bottom, you have nothing.  But at least, if you have your way, other miserable have-nots will be there to keep you company.

Or, you can look at life from James’ perspective and realize that in Christ, when you are at the bottom, there is no way to go but up!

It’s easy to claim to have wisdom. James says, “Show me your wisdom by your life!” Your deeds should display “the gentleness born of wisdom.”

“Gentleness” is often translated “meekness.” It is one of the beatitudes and it is a fruit of the Spirit.  The Greek word did not connote a mild, weak person who is always nice, but rather had the idea of strength under control. It was used of a tamed horse, which is powerful, but submissive to its owner. A meek person may be very strong, but is completely submissive to God’s Spirit. Moses is described as the meekest man on the earth, yet he was a very strong leader. Jesus described himself as meek, and yet he powerfully confronted the religious leaders and drove the moneychangers out of the temple.  So, neither “gentleness” nor “meekness” really communicate the true meaning of the Greek word.

Enter in Jesus and the little child.   Jesus was trying to get through to the disciples the relationship that exists between humanity and God.  “If you want to be first, you must be last of all and servant of all.”  A little child is totally vulnerable and must trust the adults in their life implicitly in order to survive and thrive.   Anger, yelling and harsh words can destroy a young child.  One must use lots of love, patience, words that affirm, words that calm fear, words that point the way to a happier ending to a situation.  A child’s vulnerability must be respected and protected.  As adults, we are no different.  We all have our vulnerabilities and become angry and defensive if those vulnerabilities are exploited.  “Gentleness born of wisdom” means the living out of the utmost respect for each person, for all of creation.  We are called to hold each other to account.  While it may take extra effort on our part, we are able to do this with words that build up, not tear others apart.  “Gentleness born of wisdom” means trusting God implicitly to guide our words and actions so that the other is respected, their needs addressed and their emotional well being nurtured.  In order to trust God implicitly, we need to stay connected continuously.

As followers of Christ, we are called to a life that is not based on “more” but is based on “enough”.  Simply put, the one who has the most toys when they die, dies anyway.  The Christian life is one of service.  When one lives a life based on “enough”, one has the time, talents and energy to serve Christ by serving others.  When we do this, we actually gain wisdom.  We deepen a relationship, we share a part of ourselves, we learn about the other.  No longer strangers, our lives are richer as we connect with other human beings.  Cultivating relationships teaches us patience, kindness, respect and unconditional love.

Listen, again, to the wisdom in the quotes for this this day: The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.  The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. The price of greatness is responsibilityAmen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH  MV 45  You Are Holy

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION  Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need. God of community, we pray for the church around the world. Unite us in our love for you. Help us overcome our divisions, that we are encouraged to work together for your sake. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of creation, we pray for this hurting earth. Awaken in us a new desire to care for this world and empower us to support agencies, organizations, and individual efforts to heal our environment. We pray also for those who suffer the effects of natural disasters.  We pray for the people of Haiti and all those affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, floods and raging fires.  May they find shelter, food, water and friendship in the midst of loss and despair. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of cooperation, we pray for nations of the world embroiled in conflict, especially Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq and the Maghreb and Sahel Regions of North Africa.  Inspire leaders to listen to each other and work towards peaceful solutions to disagreements. Protect the vulnerable, especially children, who cannot find safety in their home or country.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of comfort, we pray for all who live with mental or physical illness. Help them find appropriate care. Bring healing and wholeness when the path forward seems bleak.  We pray especially for Carolyn & Douglas, Kathryn Schmidt, Mike Froese, Phyllis, Brooke Alexiuk, Tracy Skoglund, Dwayne, Matthew Grossman. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Divine healer, we pray for all medical, personal care and homecare staff.  We pray for paramedics and First Responders.  We pray for any person who looks after another.  We pray for those who create medications and those who do the research.  In the midst of this pandemic, we pause to bring to mind all those who have given up their vocation, who are overwhelmed, who are exhausted, who have lost hope.  Lord God, remind us to thank those who give so much of themselves for others.  May we use words and actions that build up, rather than tear down.  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Giver of eternal life, we pray for those who are dying.  May death be peaceful, suffering minimal, and family present to surround your people with love and prayer.  We pray for Sandy Belisle.  God, it can be hard to let go of this life.  May her release be soon. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Source of all love, we pray for those partners who must live separately due to aging and increased need for daily assistance.  We bring before you Lorraine & Walter Pokrant.  Take away their loneliness.  Fill their days with happy memories and give them the strength to stay connected while apart.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God of compassion, we pray for the young people of this parish. Renew in us your call to welcome the children in our midst. As they grow, strengthen their faith and our commitment to them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. God of consolation, we give you thanks for our loved ones who have died and pray for all who grieve today. Shine your grace on all your saints. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


SENDING SONG  VU 481  Sent Forth By God’s Blessing 


People of God, you are Christ’s body, bringing new life to a suffering world. The holy Trinity, ☩ one God, bless you now and forever. Amen.      

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[1] https://www.frederickbuechner.com/blog/2018/9/17/weekly-sermon-illustration-envy