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.

Parts of this service are taken from Creation Time in the Season of Pentecost:  What Is Creation Saying to Us? Submitted by Lauren Hodgson.


Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.

~Jesse Jackson



Most worship services in the Christian tradition include several prayers (an opening prayer, a prayer of confession, prayers of the people, the Lord’s Prayer, etc.), but there is often little emphasis or explanation about why we pray. At its heart, prayer not only connects us with God, but also helps to strengthen connections within the community. Naming particular people, places, and situations in prayer serves to reinforce the idea that we are united in very tangible ways: what affects one, affects all. The reading from James is a powerful example of why prayer is an integral part of the Christian faith: “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (5:16). Notice the emphasis on community, healing, forgiveness, and restoration to wholeness. Holding each other in prayer seeks to heal the divisions that may occur when we sin against one another and ensures that relationships are healthy, so that together the community can live out its mission and ministry of reconciliation.


Listen closely.

Listen to the hum of the Earth.

Listen to the murmuring of the grass.

Listen to the buzz of the birds, and the rustling of the forest.

Do you hear it?  Listen closely.

Listen closely as the melodies of creation

sing, shout, creak, and whisper around us.

Listen closely as our hearts sing within us.

Listen closely as all of creation yearns for nurture.

Do you hear it?  As we take these moments to listen, we remember God’s call of creation:

“Let there be!”

And so, in this time of gathering, let there be honest reflection.

Let there be radical discernment.

Let there be creative stirring.

Let there be space for connection.

Let there be nurture and care.

Come! Let us worship with one another and with all of creation!

CHILDREN’S SONG  VU 87  I Am The Light Of The World



We long to travel gently on the earth, Creator, to respect all life, and to recognize water as sacred.  Forgive us for the things that we have made and done that hurt your good creation.  For the sake of creation, help us to live better.  Help us to restore good relations. 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.


    Grab a plastic grocery bag.  It seems like such an innocent thing, this little plastic bag.  Yet this little plastic bag, when multiplied millions of times, becomes a floating island of garbage in the ocean, the polluter of our drinking water and the source of soil contamination.  Plastic is not a good thing.  It hurts the earth and it hurts our bodies.  We are drinking plastic. 

      God wants us to take care of the earth.  That means that we have to make hard choices.  These choices may mean we have to work harder in order to make the earth healthier.  It may cost more money and time.  Yet, in the end, if the earth is cleaner and we are healthier, perhaps the hard choices are the better choices. 

     We cannot change the world in one day.  We can’t change other people.  We can only change ourselves and choose whether or not to follow Jesus and care for the earth.  One helpful choice a day.  That we can do.  And it all starts, with a small plastic bag.



We commit to this work not alone but with God.”

     Wondering what more you can do to become anti-racist in your local communities? You aren’t alone.

It’s one of the questions Adele Halliday, the United Church’s Anti-Racism and Equity Lead, is asked a lot. 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism, a new cutting-edge program set to run from October 12 through November 26, is one of the ways Halliday is answering.

      “I took the question to heart, mulled it over with colleagues, and an idea was born to invite the whole church to intentionally reflect on a range of racial justice issues in creative ways for a specific period of time together,” she says.

     Each day for 40 days, heart-expanding reflections on anti-racism themes written by contributors from across the church will be shared on the United Church’s website. These free reflections geared for individuals and small groups will also come with activities for children and families, prayers, and practical ways to take action in local communities.

     What does Halliday hope the impact of the program will be?

     “I’m hoping there will be engagement with advocacy, personal transformation, and continued commitment to work to become actively anti-racist not just for 40 days but over the long haul,” says Halliday. “We commit to this work not alone but with God. Ultimately, I hope 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism will draw church members into a deeper understanding of God’s vision for a just world and how they can live it out.”

     Your Mission & Service gifts help support the development of awakening education and learning resources like 40 Days. Because of your generosity, the whole of the church will be blessed with practical ways to live into God’s call to become anti-racist. And in turn, our world will become a more just and equitable place for all. Thank you.



Loving God, you speak to us in so many ways: in the song of a bird, in the babbling of a brook, in the voices of our friends, in the hug from Mom or Dad, in the songs we sing, and in the stories of the Bible.  Speak to us now through the reading of scripture. Help us to hear your voice and follow the way of Jesus.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

What constitutes legitimate need and legitimate leadership is the focus of this reading. God provides manna in the wilderness, yet the people crave meat. What is truly needful? God bestows the spirit on seventy elders, yet two men not designated as leaders prophesy in the power of God’s spirit. What constitutes real leadership?

4The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

  10Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. 11So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors’? 13Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. 15If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favor in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.”

  16So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you.”

  24So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

  26Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!”

Psalm 19:7-14

R:  The commandment of the Lord gives light to the eyes. (Ps. 19:8)

7The teaching of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul;
  the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple.
8The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart;
  the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes.
9The fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever;
  the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold,
  sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb. R
11By them also is your servant enlightened, and in keeping them there is great reward.
12Who can detect one’s own offenses?  Cleanse me from my secret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion over me;
  then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a great offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
  O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. R

Second Reading: James 5:13-20

Marks of the Christian community include praying for those who are sick and in need, celebrating with those in good health, restoring those who have strayed, confessing sins to one another, and offering forgiveness to each other.

13Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

  19My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Gospel: Mark 9:38-50

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches his disciples about ministry that involves service and sacrifice. His disciples are slow to realize that these words apply to them as well as to others.

38John said to  “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

  42“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
  49“For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”



These verses from Numbers stand near the beginning of part II of Israel’s time of wandering in the wilderness, having just departed from Mt. Sinai.

The entire book of Numbers is set in a journey through the wilderness (‘In the wilderness’ is the Hebrew title for Numbers). When you are reading Numbers, think journey — journey through the wilderness of life.

This wilderness setting presents problems and possibilities for shaping a community identity for the newly redeemed people of God. This period of wandering is a necessary interval between liberation and setting down roots for the sake of forming this identity. Such a process does not unfold easily for Israel or for God. The people have been taken out of Egypt, but it proves difficult to take Egypt out of the people. The familiar orderliness of Egypt seems preferable to the insecurities of life lived from one oasis to the next. 

It is customary among interpreters to view the people’s complaint as whiny and self-obsessed. God and Moses have provided for them, the argument goes, and they should be grateful. After all, what the people seem to have forgotten is that the cost of those leeks and onions was their very enslavement at the hands of Pharaoh, from which God and Moses had dramatically rescued them. God and Moses seem to take just such a view, the Lord seething with anger while Moses wishes to die rather than put up with their tears.

Yet, a different reading of the text is possible. When Moses complains to God about the burden of leading the people, God’s response is to propose a restructuring of leadership. From now on the people will have a voice in the decisions that affect the community. This suggests that the people’s complaint has been less a selfish grumbling than a symptom of poor leadership exercised by Moses. What appears to be mere grumbling about the present, or nostalgia for the past, often indicates a people who feel disempowered from participating in the decisions that affect them.

Joshua reflects the old model of Moses’ leadership, in which only one could be vested with power, which consequently had to be jealously guarded from others. It is a temptation that we still face, especially those of us who have found ourselves in culturally ascribed positions of privilege. If the power of leadership spreads throughout the community, what will happen to our own significance?  There is plenty of burden to go around, plenty of decisions that need to be made, plenty of hope that needs to be renewed, plenty of work that needs to be done.

Israel’s time in the wilderness is shaped by God’s extraordinary patience and mercy, and the divine will to stay with Israel in this time of adolescence. 

Moses had asked for divine favor, and he had also equated it with God’s care and concern for the community. If that favor was bestowed upon the community in an entirely unexpected way, Moses could at least recognize the moving of the spirit within the community. Sharing burdens requires the recognition of shared gifts, and Moses was all too happy to share.

We can learn much from this situation.  In any relationship there are the words that are spoken, and then there is the emotion and message underneath the words.  In other words, what isn’t being said?  There is a tendency to view another’s words from a negative perspective.  Perhaps what is heard as complaint is actually a plea.  When in doubt, clarify:  “What I hear you saying is…”

This story from the book of Numbers focuses on community, shared leadership, working together to deepen a relationship that is determined to walk together through the wilderness.  God grant us the patience and wisdom to listen with our hearts as well as our ears so that our faith journey will be fruitful and life giving.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH  MV 45  You Are Holy


God, whose power is great beyond our knowing, whose love runs deeper than our hurtful actions of neglect, who holds all of creation in your tender embrace:  let us love, not only in words or speech, but in truth and action, let us be the stewards of deepened relationship and interaction, and the givers of life to creation that surrounds us.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We come to you in this quiet place seeking your reassurance and your hope.  Come and cradle us in your arms of love.  As we inhale, breathe your life into our hearts.   As we exhale, help us to let go of heavy expectations and anxieties.  Help us to feel your love as close to us as the breath we breathe.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Today, God, we admit to the places where we fall short—where we are not able to give enough, do enough, nurture enough.  Inspire in us a longing to be better stewards and help us to live out our covenant commitment.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Allow the dreams and hopes that we have—for ourselves, for our communities, and for all of creation—

to sprout forth with energy and new life.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Lord God, we pray for those in authority – locally, provincially and federally. Give them wise minds and compassionate hearts. Strengthen in them a desire to protect the vulnerable and care for those underserved. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are struggling with cancer, dementia, or any other disease. Provide them with peace and resilience for the days ahead. We bring before you Carolyn & Douglas, Mike Froese, Dwayne, Phyllis and Tracy Skoglund.  We pray for those healing from accidents and other forms of trauma. We hold up to you, gracious God, Kathryn Schmidt, Brooke Alexiuk and Matthew Grossman.  We pray for couples who must live apart.  Grant patience and strength to Lorraine & Walter Pokrant.

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.



SENDING SONG  WOV 651  Shine, Jesus, Shine 


Go out into the world as listening, responding nurturers.  Go, knowing that God’s creation continues to unfold around us and within us.  And as you go, know that you are accompanied by Christ’s radical challenge, guided by the Spirit’s creative movement, and supported by God’s deep nurture, now and always.





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