Sermon for 18 July 2021

Church Service for Churchill and Gilford United Churches
July 18, 2021
The Cost of Compassion

Mark 6: 30-34 + 53-56

Comedian Jeanne Robertson tells o story of when she lived in a certain community. The tradition was that if there was a tragedy people would make a pound cake and send it to the individuals affected. She sent her husband to the store with a list but she numbered the items in the list. Her husband – not wanting to make a mistake bought exactly what the list said. So he purchased 1 bag of sugar; 2 dozen eggs; 3pounds of butter etc. The clerk knew the symbolism of the pound cake but when the husband put 7 bags of flour on the checkout the clerk responded “Oh dear, was there an epidemic I missed?”
I am sure that there has been many donations to the situation in Barrie but I am not sure if anyone received a pound cake.

It is a wonderful thing to be compassionate but have you ever been in a situation where you felt that your generosity was being over used? Like when you fix a lawnmower and another neighbour says “Oh I didn’t know you knew how to fix those”. You know the next question. Of if someone says “Do you sew?” Again you know where that is leading. OR when the minister says “Wow, I haven’t had a butter tart in a long time” – nevermind.

I am sure that Jesus felt that way in the story of today. He had just finished feeding a crowd numbered at five thousand men, which would likely be about fifteen thousand people in reality. He was exhausted. He set out in the boat to get away from the listeners for a while. When he gets to the other side of the water he is recognized and people start bringing more sick to him by the hundreds. It says they lay their friends by the road side so they might touch his robe. Everyone was healed.

At what point should Jesus have said he was finished? Did he mind this situation? He understood that he had a gift of healing but he also had the job of teaching people about God. He easily could have been distracted into becoming a healer only. He could have made a lot of money and lived happily ever after in some resort – but he didn’t.
His nature was that he loved people and so it was difficult for him to stop but we read that rom time to time he retreated into the wilderness. Most of the time we recognize that he was a great teacher.

He had to learn to balance his compassion. He understood that there is a cost to it and there is.
There is time, money and effort.
Think of the other people who went home and got their friends and brought them to Jesus. There was a lot of time and effort put into carrying your friend several kilometers to get healed. There is even the story of the friends who let their companion down through the roof. They likely spent years paying off the insurance companies.

For any of us there is a cost to compassion. We likely don’t think about it but when we cut the grass for someone, or volunteer at some crisis line, or do some shopping for another person. It costs us.

The challenge becomes understanding how much we are willing to pay. It is more than just an individual content. That question is the fundamental basis behind social decisions. That is the largest question behind our health care system. How much are you willing to pay to help others. How extensive should our system be? What levels of health care should be included? It often reflects where someone works in the health environment. What level of alternative medicine should be included?

However it is not just the health care system. It applies to many levels of social services. There may be questions about how much we should subsidize housing while at the same time we are pretty glad that we have an emergency response crew when tornadoes strike.

When you go through a cashier and they ask you if you would like to donate to some charity or camp, on one hand you wonder why this multi-million dollar company can’t just pay for it themselves and on the other hand your generosity tugs at your pocket.
I had a friend who said that when he went into Toronto to a baseball game he would put ten loonies in his pocket and give them to the first ten people he saw begging. He said it helped ten people but it also helped his conscious.

I was reading a book where the compassion cost was at a much more dramatic level. A man named Manuel Sasquic, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala was murdered for helping the widow of another pastor. That other pastor, by the name of Pascual Serech was murdered for his work in human rights.

I was reading another book where a man was murdered for his compassion. That book was the bible and the man’s name was Jesus.

Caring for others costs us. It may take time or money or effort but it also can challenge us. We may find that the person who we were opposed to helping is actually really in need. We may have some of our stereotypes challenged.
We may also be challenged by others who doubt our motivation. The person who won the 649 needs friends just as badly as anyone.

You may never have thought of social questions being based on your faith, but they are. Everything you do is a reflection of your faith.

How much are you willing to help others and at what cost?

Whenever we spend time, money, effort or even our courage we like to know what are the returns. Jesus understood that question. When we look at all the great religions and all the words of Jesus we realize that helping others gives the greatest return in value for life.

When we help others we find the value of our own lives. If you are feeling worthless or bored, go help someone. If you are searching for the meaning of life, go help someone. If you are questioning the meaning of life, go help someone.
The cost of compassion is worth it.

The more you invest the more you redeem.

Jesus may have been very tired at the end of that day but he was also very satisfied.

PRAYER
God we recognize that compassion is not easy. We follow the example of your Son, Jesus who was willing to give up his life to demonstrate the power of caring. We read the stories of the disciples who followed him and the sacrifices they made. We hear about the people who have given of their own resources to share life with others. We stop short of counting our own moments of expense because we know that the privilege of caring is our highest calling. You have told us that and we have found that out through our actions. Help us to find ways and places where we can spend our compassion.

We pray for those in special need this day:

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE July 18, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers; Hugh, Marion and Cathy
There is a BBQ at Gilford August 21
Next Saturday the service is being filmed at Gilford at 9:30

Opening Prayer God. As we gather today, help us to feel your presence
in this place, in the companionship of others and in the words we
hear. We join in worshipping you.
Hymn – What a Friend we have in Jesus
Scripture Mark 6: 30-34 + 53-56
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Oh for a World
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 27 June 2021

FAITHING A CHALLENGE Mark 5: 25-34

The teenage son walks up to his dad says, “Well I have good news and bad news. What do you want first?” The dad says “Tell me the good news first”. The son replies “Well the air bags in your car work perfectly”

The scripture today isn’t about air bags (I may be leaving myself open there) but it does have a good news/bad news aspect to it.

Most parables have two sides. There is the obvious story with the easy moral. For example the parable of the Good Samaritan. It contains the blatant message of helping others but there is a far more poignant and powerful point to it that is not obvious except to people who understand the situation. I’ll save that for an extra sermon.

Often through the years only the easy moral has been highlighted. Today’s story has the simple idea but it also includes a challenge for us

This story today is sometimes overlooked because it has the “difficult” issue of the woman with the “flow of blood” or as so many say “she was hemorrhaging”. That may make it more polite but it avoids the true impact of what her life was like. She had a menstrual period for 12 years. That makes the story more powerful. It was important enough to be in three of the gospels.

If we set the scene; Jesus was about 4 months into his ministry. Along comes this woman who was likely about 22 or 24 years of age. She was unclean. Many cultures had menstrual taboos, where the woman was excluded from the daily life while she was having her period. This is no exception. She was unable to serve meals at festivals or at Passover. She could not get married and of course she could not have children. Without children in those days a woman was seen as having no value.
She lived in a small town and therefore everyone would know that she was unclean. No one would touch her and she would have to live I a separate abode. On top of that she had spent all her money on doctors. Two of the gospels include the phrase that she only got worse but the book of Luke excludes that sentence. I assume because he was a doctor and didn’t want doctors to look bad.

The woman then seeks out Jesus as a last resort. She has tried everything else. Nothing has changed in that area to this day. People usually try traditional medicine first; then alternative medicine and finally faith or religion.

Her faith was motivated by desperation. I mentioned last week the idea that crisis causes prayer.
Regardless of her motivation Jesus responds. That of itself is good news.

When you seek help from anywhere and you get a response it makes you feel better. You know the situation, when you have been on hold for a long time and finally the person answers. You really want to yell at them but you are so thankful to be finally heard that you stop your rampage.
For Jesus to react to her made her feel as if she had value. She was afraid after she touched his robe that he would be angry but instead he blessed her.

Usually the sermon ends here. Everyone feels happy; we take up the offering while there is a good feeling and then everyone goes home.

But life doesn’t always work out that way. Jesus isn’t physically around to do the healing. Not everyone gets better. So what is the second message of this story? What is the message that affects us?

Put yourself in Christ’s position.
We are the disciples of Christ. We are the church. What if we are approached by outcasts; both personally and as the church institution. Socially we have been raised to avoid the outcasts. They may have a disease or they may be a burden on you. They may upset the progress of our nation or community.

There is a well-known phrase among social advocates called NIMBYism. It stands for Not In My Back Yard. People will say they are in favour of a shelter or some kind of social housing but NIMBY. Many people really don’t want to get involved. The counter to that is called Yimby – Yes In My Back Yard

Jesus could have easily ignored this woman. He could have gone home knowing that he helped her and felt good about what he did but he stopped to talk to her. That was a big part of her healing. Just being heard.

Who are the outcasts today? Take your pick. The world may be getting better as far as violence awareness goes but the inequality still exists. The gap between rich and poor is growing daily.
There is still prejudice with colour, race, income, gender and religion. There is still people that the world considers “unclean”.

An especially relevant situation is unfolding this week. More and more unmarked graves are being discovered at the residential schools. The last residential school closed in 1996, so most everyone listening to this was alive during the residential school time frame. However the whole issue was largely ignored. Growing up I never even knew there was such a thing. I could say it has nothing to do with me. But that is not true.
Jesus could say that the woman’s flow of blood had nothing to do with him. Again that is not true. Someone was suffering.

The native people have asked for a long time just to be heard. It has happened in part. The United Church, the Anglican Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Federal Government have all issued an apology. The Roman Catholic Church has not apologized. The listening has begun but there is a long way to go.

There may not be much we can do to change the situation but we can listen. Part of the healing for that woman was just being heard by Jesus.

Jesus took a risk! For many at that time he would be seen as unclean but I don’t think many of us today see him that way. By talking to this woman, he identified himself as being in solidarity with an outcast.

That not only healed her, it also healed society.
When we turn toward a so-called outcast we help to heal them, society and ourselves.
The residential schools are not the only issue. Jesus interrupted his travels to listen to this woman. We can do the same.

By the way the definition of an outcast is : anyone you don’t want to spend time with!

These stories and the Christian faith are two fold. There is the comfort of knowing God is there but there is also the challenge of being there for others.

That is the good news and the …..better news!
PRAYER
God Out of the silences of ignorance we listen for your call. Out of the distances of non-involvement we listen for your caring. Out of the barriers of prejudice and fear we listen for your voice. Out of the hidden realities we listen for your truth. Out of the eyes of every human we look for the eyes of Christ. Teach us, Heal us. Love us; that we might be your people.
Now we pray in silence for all those who are suffering or need special prayers;
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE June 27, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Barb, Dave, Aubrey
Opening Prayer

Hymn – (explain) O Canada
Scripture Mark 5: 25-34
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer -Sung
Hymn
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 20 June 2021

Church Service for June 20, 2021
from Churchill and Gilford United Churches
Sermon Changing the Whether Mark 4: 35-41

I am sure some people would think it was sacrilegious to make a joke about the chicken crossing the road based on the story of Jesus crossing the lake so I won’t do that; although I do wonder why Jesus crossed the lake. Anyway this is a simple story. Jesus needed to get across the lake. He was tired so he got in a boat and fell asleep. A storm came up, he calmed it and everyone got to the other side safely.
Simple enough but there are several points to it.

The best way is to take it apart in sections and then see how they apply to ourselves.
The first point is that Jesus wanted to get to the other side of the lake. He wanted to make a move. He knew that he had spent time on the one side but there were people on the other side that needed him. He wanted to use his life, not just park it.
Often faith has been seen as an inhibitor of action. So often we have heard “Thou Shalt Not” but Jesus wanted to demonstrate that faith that says “Thou Shall”. For Jesus faith was a motivator not a restrictor of life.

The next thing that happens is that a storm arises. The disciples thought that they were safe because they had God with them. We often have had a similar belief. The idea is often that, if we follow God no harm will come to us. It is not true but people lose faith when calamity strikes; when their shield breaks.

The disciples were no different. They lost faith in the journey. In desperation they called on Jesus to save them from this turmoil. We do the same. When times get bad we call on God to “save” us.
Recently I saw a sign that said “We will always have prayer in school, as long as we have exams”.
How often do we call on God in desperation?

Part of that desperation reveals itself as anger. When things are not going the way we want we get mad. Often we blame God. The disciples yelled at Jesus “Don’t you even care if we all drown?” Jesus appears to stay asleep. I often wondered how he could sleep through the storm and all the water pouring into the boat but I realise he was not asleep. He was giving the disciples a chance to figure things out for themselves.
He was allowing them to begin their journey of faith.

Finally Jesus wakes up and calms the storm. They seem amazed. Are they amazed because he can do something they can’t? Or is it because he is doing something that no one can do? Or are they amazed because he has pulled them towards a self that they never imagined.

This story is not just about the disciples in the boat with Jesus. It is about all of us. It begins when we decide that we want more from life. We find that something is missing and life is no longer fulfilling. It starts when we have a desire to make a change toward improving not just ourselves but those around: when we see a place where we can serve God.
It starts when we say “Someone should do something about that” and we realise that someone is us. That is when the journey begins.

But that journey isn’t always easy. The answer may be obvious: everyone needs clean water; we need to put an end to warfare; we need to care for nature; we need to repair the argument between us and someone else; everyone in the world needs to be fed.

The answer may be obvious but the journey may be difficult. Suddenly the trip runs into obstacles. You may find people who are vehemently opposed to your goal. You may find situations that are incredibly frustrating due to red tape and protocols.

It is at the point when you begin to question if this is the path God wants you on. It may cause you to question your faith and your course of action. Like the disciples murmuring among themselves whether or not this was a good decision to head out across the lake. You question if your new life was a good decision.

Like the disciples we then get angry. God has pushed us too far. We are being asked to do something that we don’t feel we are capable of. Suddenly we are facing situations that terrify us and out of our own sense of low self-esteem we panic. We get angry at God.

It is similar to a child who is pushed by their parent. The parent knows that they are capable but the child is scared and so reacts in anger.

We also feel as if we are on our own. Jesus seems to be asleep in the boat. We desperately want God to finish the task but there is no answer to our prayers.

It takes a very patient parent (here is where I put in the part about this being Father’s day). It takes a very patient father to sit back and watch while the child learns slowly their ability. It is easier to say “Here let me do that” but the child learns nothing if we do it for them. (so long as they put the tools away and don’t lose the 10mm wrench.)

God is not asleep at the wheel, rather God is helping you determine new limits. You only discover your limits by pushing the old ones.

Finally Jesus wakes up and calms the storm. God is not taking over but rather showing you that there are no limits. Jesus performs a miracle. He did it because he knew he could.
For the disciples that may not have been such a great event as it would be for us. We are so steeped in scientific worldview that we have a hard time believing that anyone could change the weather. But they can.

The greatest obstacle to that is our belief that we have reached our limits. This is where your faith comes in. Have faith that there are no limits. Jesus says to the disciples “Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?”
Too often we safeguard ourselves by saying “That can’t be done” and that justifies our doing nothing. We are the ones that draw the line on what we can accomplish. We are the ones that say the situation cannot be fixed. We are the ones that say it can’t be done.

We need to be challenged. We need to ask God for enough faith to not just cope but to change whatever needs to be changed.
There are no limits to what you can do.
All things are possible with God.
Go out and still the storms you find.

PRAYER God, so often we hear about how the world is changing around us. So often there is fear of the unknown but with you there is only reassurance and faith. Help us to move beyond a sustainable faith to a dynamic faith. From survival to abundance. Help us to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to helping others. Help us to reach beyond the limits when it comes to the possibilities of love. God you are limitless. Help us to move beyond the boundaries that we and the world have put in place. Thank you for first loving us and showing us the way.
We pray for those who need special care this day.

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE June 20, 2021
Announcements Happy Father’s day
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers

Opening Prayer
Hymn – For the Beauty of the Earth
Scripture Mark 4: 35-41
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn I feel the Winds of God Today
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 15 June 2021

This is the 96th Anniversary of the United Church of Canada. The national church has supplied a worship service to commemorate the date. Note the comments and the link.
Here’s the link to the 96th anniversary service of the United Church of Canada:

It’s a long service — one hour and 20 minutes. It starts with a 16-minute prelude of hymns in different styles, five pieces in all.

Moderator Richard Bott conducts the service and puts an emphasis on truth & reconciliation with indigenous people with a big mea culpa for the UC’s involvement in residential schools.

Assisting him are Alydia Smith from the General Council office, Franklyn James of B.C., Darla Sloan of Quebec City and Mitchell Anderson from Saskatoon.

There are hymns throughout provided by four singers, a guitarist, bass player and pianist from Nova Scotia.

The service concludes with a rousing two-minute organ postlude.

  1. The link should be all you need but if there’s any problems let me know and I’ll help to sort things out.

Sermon for 06 June 2021

Worship Service of Churchill Gilford United Churches

June 6, 2021
Sermon: Wisdom from Thessalonians

A strange thing happened the other day; I was reading the bible. Well if the truth was told – I was reading it because we were having bible study. I found a passage that I thought should be the sermon for this week
It is not the first time I have seen this passage but it is similar to when you pull out your summer clothes and find that money in the pocket from last fall; You remember it being there when you discovered it, but you had forgotten about it.
I remember this passage ( I am saying that so everyone will think I have read the bible before) but I have not thought about it. It is worth repeating.

Paul is the apparent writer. He was in prison at this point. If you don’t know his story, I will give you the brief synopsis.

Originally he was named Saul. He was a Pharisee in the Jewish faith. He was very intense and adamant that Judaism was the only way. For a while he persecuted Christians until he had a momentous experience on the road to Damascus. He saw a light which blinded him for 3 days and heard a voice saying “Why are you persecuting me?” That completely changed him and he became as adamant for the new Christian sect as he had been for the Jews. He traveled around the middle east on at least three different journeys preaching the gospel and starting new churches.

The Gospel was very offensive to the powers of the day. It was provocative for the religious sphere because he was starting a new faith and they were threatened. The civil was alarmed because they thought he was starting a revolution against them.

Paul had great concern for the churches he had started. He knew at this point that his life was limited. He was in prison and was fully aware that he would soon be executed. He wanted to leave his people with instructions on how to be a Christian in the future.

Unfortunately Paul was a product of his age and some of his writings are quite offensive to people today but some of his works are very meaningful. Many of you have heard his writing “Love is patient and kind…” at weddings over the years.

If you were about to die, what would you want to pass on to friends and family? I have thought that I would say, with my last breath “The money is in the…….”and die before the sentence was finished.
But Paul was a better man than me.
As you hear this, remember that this was what a man in prison on death row, thought was the important information to pass on to people.

I start part way through simply for the sake of time.

As you hear these, repeat them to yourself. Later on today or tomorrow repeat them again and think deeply about each one.

The first statement is “Don’t repay evil for evil”
We would often call that a knee-jerk reaction. Someone hits you or your car and immediately you respond with an equal or increased violent reaction. If someone shoves you, you want to shove back. We do the same thing in a non-physical way. If someone hurts you or causes some damage we seek an opportunity to repay it. People have been known to plot for years how to repay someone for something they did.

One of the most misinterpreted biblical passages says “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” It is used to justify repaying evil for evil, yet that is not what it means. Paul was a biblical scholar and he would have known that an “Eye for an eye” meant that if you take away another person’s vison, you must be their sight. You must replace the damage you caused.
If we don’t repay evil for evil we slow down the cycle of destruction.

The next sentence “Do good to one another”, seems to be a straight forward extension of the last but it goes beyond simply not repaying evil with evil. This sentence contains a proactive action. When we deal with others we can either treat them in a bad way, a good way or just ignore them. The challenge here is to seek ways to make life more positive for others.
We are being encouraged to go out of our way to make life better for others.
Imagine if you lay in bed each morning and picked one person and decided to make their life better that day. You would have 365 happier people every year.
In turn you yourself would become a much more positive human being.

The next phrase “Rejoice always” is much easier if you are a positive person. We live in a society that thrives on negativity. If you watch TV or listen to the radio for even a few minutes you will hear an ad about the availability of lawsuits. How often are you told that you are saying or thinking or doing, something wrong?
I recently talked to a poet who said he was afraid to be happy because he would lose his creativity. That is sad. It is possible to be happy and creative.
If you really want to drive people crazy – be happy, especially in bad times. Making people feel sad is a form of power but if you are happy they have no power over you.
The best part about “rejoice always” is that life is better.

The fourth piece of advice is; “Pray without ceasing”. It means to stay in touch with a higher power. In order to live the previous three challenges, you need the energy and support of something greater than yourself.

A theologian once said “If I closed my eyes every time I prayed I could not cross the street without getting run over”.
There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. Everything including people need to be recharged and renewed from time to time.

Finally the last sentence “Give thanks in all circumstances” is a humbling statement. We realize that we are privileged to even be here. We are privileged to have life and all that we have been given. We are privileged to know and to love.

It is possible to be thankful in all circumstances no matter how bleak things may seem. It helps us to focus on the positive and overcome the negative.
I have to admit that at this point I can hear Blake Constable sing out the Bing Crosby song “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive – and that is what being thankful does.

Anita Krizzan: You don’t have to move mountains simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude and acceptance. You will change the world just by being a warm, kind hearted human being

Take a look at those five sentences.

Don’t repay evil for evil.
Do good to one another
Rejoice always
Pray without ceasing
Give thanks in all circumstances

Take a few moments this week and read them over slowly. Think about what they mean and it will become clear why Paul’s dying wish was to share this wisdom.

PRAYER
God, our lives are full of opportunities and routes. We are sometimes drawn to the path of least resistance when we know the true path is often the most difficult one. Help us to know you walk with us.
When we meet people and situations along our journey, help us to empathize with them. When we hear the story of children who died in residential schools, or people starving, or our fellow humans living in fear or violence; help us to walk with them. When we meet people who are celebrating new life or new moments; help us to be part of their joy. When we encounter rough times personally; help us to turn to you and allow you to walk beside us.
God this is the world and the life you have given to each of us; help us to live fully I it. Amen
Now we pray in silence for those who are suffering or need special prayers;

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE June 6, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh Marion
Opening Prayer
God, In the midst of confusion you are there. In the midst of silence, you are there. In the midst of our lives, you are present. May we feel your presence, now in the midst of our worship. Amen

Hymn – I’m gonna live
Scripture 1 Thessalonians 15-28
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Deep in our hearts
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 30 May 2021

Service for May 30, 2021 – Churchill and Gilford United Churches
Sermon: That God Might Exist

A troublesome individual (I am being politically correct) came to the minister and stated. “I don’t believe in God because God has not awarded me with what I feel I deserve. I need a sign from God that God exists”. The minister advised that person “Go stand in the rain”. A few minutes later that person came back soaking wet and stated “There was no sign and I feel like an idiot”. The minister responded. There are many ways that God is reveals what we deserve, this one seems to have worked”

God can be revealed in many different ways.

John Boger in a book called “The Great Hunger” tells a story about an engineer whose daughter was killed by the neighbour’s dog. The community turns against the neighbour but after a while the area is hit by a famine. The engineer goes out and plants corn in that neighbours field. When the local people asked him why, he said “That God might Exist”

It’s an odd phrase. Doesn’t God always exist? We are told that God is always there but sometimes God’s presence seems pretty removed and difficult to find.

Another story is of a child in a cathedral. The child looks up and sees the painting of an old man in the clouds. He asks who it is. The parent says that it is God. After contemplation the child says “But he is so far away”

Sam Levenson in a cliche and often repeated line states If God is so far away – who moved?

People come up with “Proofs” of God’s existence. Most are scientifically oriented in the sense that they are searching for “Proof”.
There is the Pool Table theory based in the concept that God started the motion of creation and the various effects continue to develop, but that God was the original mover.

There is the Watchmaker theory which claims that the world is so well made and so intricate that it could not be by chance.

There is the “Ought” which is just the idea that God exists because we have morals. Morals draw us out of our selfish human reality to a higher level.

Finally there is the Reaching up Proof. Every civilization has portrayed a god or gods by their prayer methods.

Even in the bible in Deuteronomy 4: 32, there is a list of ways by which we should know that God exists.

We question not just God’s existence we question our own as well. I have had many discussions with people over the years questioning whether or not we as humans exist. Descartes, “I think therefore I am” is a classic response to that. But we won’t get into that because if you don’t know you exist then there is no sense in asking for your contributions.

Sam’s statement about “Who moved?” is a clever line indicating the idea that God is always present but it does have some limitations in the idea that God doesn’t ever move or change. Perhaps God doesn’t change but our understanding of God does
I would counter that statement with a line that seems at first like an oxymoron by saying. If God is so far away who didn’t move?”

Often people have what we call a Sunday school faith. Their understanding of God was formed when they attended Sunday school. It is inadequate. It does not explain the adult questions and so it feels like God has disappeared. We have to move our minds to comprehend God in our lives.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he told him he must be re-born. Unfortunately that term now has a great amount of baggage with it and in some cases a very specific protocol and mandated results. I was asked once if I spoke in tongues and when I replied that I did not, I was told that I was not reborn.
Being reborn really means entering a new reality where the spiritual life is predominate. Jesus was guiding Nicodemus away from the physical quest to the spiritual view.

The “proofs” of God’s existence don’t work because they are in the physical world. Our understanding of God only happens in the spiritual realm. We no longer prove that God exists, we must allow God to exist.
By our actions and our thoughts we permit God to exist in our hearts and world.

There is a wonderful story of a boy who goes to leave his house. His mother asks him where he is going and he tells her he is going in search of God. As he walks down the street he sees a puppy on the road with what appears to be a hurt leg. He also sees an approaching car. Because of his heart, he immediately runs out and grabs the dog out of harm’s way. As they lie together on the side of the road, the puppy realising what has happened, reaches up and gives the boy a kiss. The boy then takes the puppy back across the road to the house where he has come from. He leaves the little dog with the people and returns home. His mother asks him if he found God. The boy says “Yes, I was kissed by a puppy for no reason, and I realise that God’s love is everywhere”. The puppy on the other hand gets scolded by his mother for leaving the litter and getting hurt. She says “Well was the journey worth the injury?” The puppy replied “Yes, today I found God”

We allow God to exist by our actions. We create the space for God to occur in our world when we take the time to contact someone who is ill or missing; when we take the effort to clean up our world; when we stand up for peace; when we forgive; when we share; when we take the time to be concerned; when we love.
The Jews have a tradition called the Mezuzah. It is a little box over the door that holds the ten commandments or a prayer. Each time they enter or leave they are to touch the box to remind them to take God with them in their actions and thoughts. Perhaps we should have a reminder that helps us take God into the world, so that God’s existence will be seen in the world through us.

There is an expression: If you can’t find kindness then be kindness. Maybe we should change that to read “If you can’t find God in your world then be God in your world”

PRAYER
God may we aspire to be your hands and feet in this world. May we be the reason someone realises hope; may we be the catalyst that brings forgiveness into a situation; may we be the vehicle by which people are fed, both spiritually and physically; may we be the dawn of a new life for someone who is failing. God help us to find you in everyday love of others. Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 30, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Doris, Cheryl
Opening Prayer
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. No matter where we are Oh God, we are with you. Help us to hear, see, and feel you in this time of worship. Amen

Hymn – What a Friend
Scripture John 3: 1-10
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Give to Us Laughter
Benediction

Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 23 May 2021

Worship Service of Churchill Gilford United Churches
May 23, 2021
Sermon Igniting the Spirit

It’s a good job that May 24 was not around in Jesus day. If someone shows up to work next Tuesday and tells people a story of how they were in a room and there were tongues of fire on everyone’s head and then there was a big wind and after that everyone could speak several languages at the same time, your co-workers would just ask how much of what, you had to drink.

Even in that day that was the accusation against the disciples.

A story like that is hard to believe in any era. Yet that is the story we have. This day is called Pentecost Sunday and it is the celebration of the Spirit coming to the disciples.

The story starts with the disciples gathered all together in what we think was the Upper Room. Jerusalem was full of people because it was a Jewish holy week and many had come to celebrate Pentecost.. Pente means fifty and it is the Jewish observance of the fiftieth day after the Passover.

When it became such a significant day in the Christian faith, the early church took the term and used it to as a Christian term. Pentecost is now celebrated fifty days after Easter.

We have no way of knowing if the facts as presented actually took place in that way, or on that day but it doesn’t matter. Something happened.

For years the Church has formalized the Holy Spirit (used to be called the Holy Ghost) into an entity, part of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit was and for many is, on a par with God and Jesus. The difficulty with that theology is that it isolates and itemizes the Spirit. It becomes something that is separate from the human being.

The other difficulty with that theology is that it implies that the Spirit entered the world after Jesus. There are many accounts of God in Spirit being active in the world before Jesus. For example the Spirit appears as a dove at Jesus baptism.

Perhaps a better way is to imagine what happened is to think of the Spirit as igniting instead of entering.

I remember being told by a Scout leader in the church, how they used to light their special campfires. The campfire was set up, (maybe with a little gasoline in it) and then a long string was tied to a tree. A flaming rag or something was allowed to slide down the string and of course when it got to the campfire everything burst into flame.

The point is that there was already something there to ignite. If the flame had just hit bare ground it would simply have gone out.

You have often heard that inside everyone is a divine spark. A little piece – if you will- of the Holy Spirit resides in us all. We are not alone.

That opens a lot of doors.
We are starting to realise that every human being has that spark, regardless of where they live or what religious exposure they have been raised with; regardless of their culture or heritage.

More and more we are understanding or contemplating the idea that animals and even plants have some kind of spiritual connection.

There have been a lot of barriers imposed over the years. Many groups have tried to own the Spirit or at least control it by setting limitations or conditions, but when we realise that the spark resides within each person the barriers disappear.

I remember a couple who seemed to have a lot of barriers in their relationship. They came from two different cultures, two different areas, two different religions and neither could speak a word of the other’s language. They got married. When people questioned them and said “What do you have in common”? They – (well one of them)- responded “Love – what else do you need?”

When the disciples went out onto the porch and spoke to the crowds, the record says that everyone could hear them in their own language. Maybe that wasn’t Latin or Greek or Aramaic or Hebrew. Maybe it was a spiritual language that they heard. Maybe they could hear each other because they were listening with the same spirit.

How often have you known what someone was going to say before they said it because you were on “the same wave length”?

If we realise that we already have the spirit in us then we simply have to
open the channels to receive the spark.

Again the best example is to use the illustration of the campfire. If the flame slid down the rope but ended up in an empty pit, it wouldn’t light. If it slid down and found the wood was wet, it wouldn’t light.

The disciples had spent three years with Jesus. They were in-tuned to him. They understood some of the ways of listening to the spirit. If their hearts had been full of hatred and anger, they would not have been able to ignite or energize their souls.

I believe that everyone has the spiritual capacity. We all have the same ability to receive the energy of the spirit just as the disciples did.

This weekend when you light the bonfire, watch and imagine that we all have that capability to be set on fire. Notice the glow and the warmth and remember Penetcost: the igniting of your Spirit.

PRAYER
God you created us in your image, with a divine spark within. When we look at others help us to see that flame. May we not be overwhelmed with the physical attractions or the monetary distraction: may we not be deceived by the noise and glamour: may we hear the voice of the Spirit trying to give us hope and power. May we be consumed by love, both giving and receiving. May we be ignited by the flame of the Spirit.
We pray also for the duration of the ceasefire in the middle east and anywhere else in the world where peace is struggling to survive. We pray in silence for any situation or person who needs prayer.

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 23, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh Marion
Opening Prayer
Spirit of Life, Wind of God who moves over the face of all creation. We are humbled before you and we praise you asking that we may be filled with that Spirit in this time of worship.
Hymn -It only takes a Spark 289
Scripture Acts 2: 1-8
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Spirit of Gentleness 375
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 16 May 2021

Church Service from Churchill Gilford United Churches
Sermon Life is Always a Choice

There is a story about a man who sees his friend on the street. The friend looks quite upset. He says to his friend “I thought you were going to ask your girlfriend to marry you?” The friend replies that he did ask her. The man hesitantly says “By the look on your face I am guessing she said no?” The friend replies “She said yes. The look on my face is ecause I am not sure what to do with that answer”

In some ways many of us can relate to that moment. Did you ever notice that as soon as you sign a deal to buy a car or a house, a better offer comes along. Of course we all have the neighbour who tells you they could have gotten the item cheaper.

Decisions and choices are great but they are not always easy.

The story today is about a man named Matthias. He was elected to be the replacement disciple for Judas. Judas was the disciple who identified Jesus in the garden so that he could be arrested and eventually crucified. I personally believe that Judas thought the arrest of Jesus would bring about the apocalypse or end-of-the -world. When Jesus was executed Judas was overwhelmed and in the Gospels he hanged himself. In Acts it just says he burst open – not an image for the supper table.

This left the disciples short of the twelve that they felt Jesus wanted them to have. There were twelve tribes of Israel and so you can follow the symbolism.

The disciples gathered and the story says there were about 120 of them. They needed to pick a new disciple. There were two conditions of approval. The new disciple had to have been present at Jesus baptism and also at the resurrection.

Two names were brought forward; Justus and Matthias. (They both have alternative names). The disciples cast lots and Matthias was chosen.
I wonder how they each felt when they got the news. Certainly Matthias would have been overjoyed but at the same time he would have realized that his life was about to change.
We have very little information on him. We don’t know if he was married or if he had children. We don’t know if he was working but we do know that the life he had lived abruptly came to a halt.

By the preconditions we know that he had been very involved with the new faith and with Jesus. He would have heard many of Jesus teaching. There is even a book called the Gospel of Matthias, although most authorities don’t believe it to be authentic.

But for him his life changed completely. The history tells us that he went on to preach the gospel in Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian Sea, residing chiefly near the port Issus. According to one history text his first sermon was in Judea, the province where Bethlehem is.

Another account called the “Acts of Andrew and Matthias”, places his work in “the city of the cannibals” or Ethiopia. There is a marker near the ruins of the Roman fortress in the region of Adjara claiming that Matthias is buried at that site.

We do know that by all accounts his death was violent. Apparently he was stoned and then beheaded.

That is relevant because he knew when he took the position that that type of death was likely.

So how did he feel when that decision was made?

In one way I am sure he was excited but also I am sure he was apprehensive. He knew the costs.

One of the advantages he had was that his mission was confirmed.
Many people would like to change their lives and become someone different. Many would like to devote themselves to a mission or a propose but they have to finish mowing the lawn; or paying the bills; or
Whatever it is that gets in the way.

Matthias was catapulted into that decision and with that came the respect and support of the other disciples. There was one hundred and twenty people there that day and every one of them would now know that they were to support this person because he was chosen.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone else made and supported that decision for you.
I give Matthias great credit for carrying on and bringing the news of Jesus to so many people at the final cost of his life.

There was another person there that day and that was Justus.
He was not chosen. The people believed that God had a hand in the way that the lots were cast which in effect meant that God did not chose Justus.
What effect would that have on him? We really don’t know anything more about him. There is speculation based on his name that he was the brother of Jesus and that is why he was chosen to run. Christian traditions says that this Justus went on to become Bishop of Eleutheropolis, where he died a martyr and is considered by the Roman Catholic church to be Saint Justus of Eleutheropolis but that is mere conjecture.

We certainly hope that he carried on even though he wasn’t chosen by his peers and he didn’t have the decision made for him.

In some ways we can relate more to this Justus than we can to Matthias. We have not been set aside as special by others. As I said, I think Matthias did a wonderful job but maybe Justus had a more difficult decision.
All of us have that decision that we have to make in private, whether or not we will follow Christ in our lives.

Whether someone tells you that you are chosen or not – you are. God has chosen each one of us to spread the news of life.

PRAYER

God, our lives take different journeys. We have different talents and gifts. Sometimes we hope to hear a clear message from you. Sometimes we desire that you tell us what we should do, but God we know that you have a purpose for each of us. You have a direction that we should pursue. You have made us each different.
Just as the disciples went to diverse areas and challenges, help us to use our gifts and talents to spread the word of faith to different people and unique situations. Guide us, oh God. Amen
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 16, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy and Cheryl
Check the link to the Innispirit Concert – in your email

Opening Prayer
Hymn – 222VU Come let us sing
Scripture Acts 1:15- 17 + 21-26
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 209 MV Go Make a difference
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 09 May 2021

Service for May 9 From Churchill Gilford United Churches
Sermon Let love be your Filter

Five days ago was the fourth of May. If you are a fan of Star Wars you may have said “May the Fourth be with you”. If you are not a fan of Star Wars you may have told someone else not to say it – again. However one of the quotes I saw this week was from Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi in Star Wars and it fit very well with the scripture today.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

From Yoda I move to Lady Gaga who said “It’s always wrong to hate but its never wrong to love.”

From that we move to Jesus who said “Love one another”

In the bible the phrase “Fear Not” appears 365 times. The word “Love appears over 500 times depending on the translation. The bible is 10 time longer than the Quran and the word for love appears 80 times in the Quran which means it actually appears more often.

If we were to try to add up the times the word love appears in the English language we would never get to the end.
No one gets excited about hating someone but we get excited about loving someone.
No one runs home full of enthusiasm and joy and tells their parents that they have found a new person to hate.

The beautiful songs are not about hatred and fear but rather about joy and love.
Listening to the radio a couple of days ago I heard a song by the Youngbloods and it was encouraging people to “Get Together” in love.

If you try to send an offensive tweet, Twitter will ask you if you would like to reconsider what yo have written before you send it. It senses that there is too much anger and hatred in what you have written. It never says that you are sending too much love.

Today is Mother’s Day and we don’t celebrate a other’s hatred. We celebrate a mother’s love.

Are you starting to get the idea that Jesus along with every other religious leader understood that love is the only way to a full life?

In Bible study we are looking at Ephesians. Paul says that through the love of Jesus we break down the wall of hostility between us making one humanity.
Ironically one of the most powerful phrases today; “There is no greater love has this. That a person should lay down their life for another”, has been used to defend war which is the greatest culmination of hate. Yet that was not the intention of that passage. It was to show how far perfect love will go.
Even Madonna weighs in on that with “To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.”

I carry on with some more quotes:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning says “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

Kahlil Gibran “Love is quivering happiness.”
Pablo Picasso Love is the greatest refreshment in life.”
Mahatma Gandhi Love never claims, it ever gives. Love ever suffers,
never resents never revenges itself.”
Plato (ever the romantic) says “Love is a serious mental disease.”

In Corinthians we read “Love is patient and kind….etc”. Down to the part where it says Faith Hope and Love of these three, love is the greatest”

One of the comforts that we rely on is that even death cannot terminate love.
The Princess Bride sums it up with “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”

And to end the quotes I turn to Mumford and Sons in their song “Sigh no More” where they say. “Love; it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you. It will set you free.”

At what point do we get the message.
At what point does the world get the message
Love one another.
It is one of the most difficult things to do when everything is not going perfectly but it is the only answer to every problem.

The most uplifting poems, songs, stories, movies and experiences are ones where love wins. Whether it is the love of a couple or that of a person for a group or the love of God for the human race; those are the stories that move and inspire us.

Love is more important than money or fame or possessions. If you truly love someone and they truly love you then your life is full and abundant. If the world could learn to truly love each other, then the world would be perfect.

I think every so often we need to hear the words of Jesus when he said “Love one another”
Put love in your heart
Use love as the filter for everything you do and Love one another!

PRAYER God, thank you. We did not create this world and however you did it we are grateful. On this mother’s day we raise up the mothers wo have given us life and have nurtured us. We give thanks for all who have stepped in to situations where children are alone or in need. We give thanks for those who raised us and we give thanks for those who have raised the human race to a higher level of love and hope.
God we have learned from those who have gone before us. Help us each to be the person of value in the history of someone else. Help us to be the reflection of love in someone else’s life as Christ is the reflection of love in ours.
We pray for those who need special care this day.

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 9, 2021
Announcements Kick Kenny to the Kerb
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers

Opening Prayer
Hymn – I got the Joy
Scripture John 15: 9-17
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Friends
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 02 May 2021

Church Service from Churchill Gilford United Churches
Sermon Christ Connection

There is a standard cartoon sequence about a character who accidentally runs over the cliff. They realize they are going to fall and then they do and at the last minute they grab a tiny branch that for some reason holds them. So long as they don’t let go they will survive.
The story in John is the same. John likens Christ to the vine that we need to hang on to. As long as we hang on we will have life. Connecting with God is vital to survival.

For many years the church was the instigator and source for social programs. Outreach, education, social programs, health initiatives, welfare, even art were maintained by the church. Slowly the government took them over. In some situations it was better as the government had more money. But in some situations it became less human because the
connection was lost.

Welfare became more about economics then it did about caring. Ask anyone who has worked in that area about how frustration it is when you know someone s=needs financial help but you can’t give it to them because the don’t qualify under certain rules. For example if you have a car that is worth a certain amount of money, you can’t get welfare which becomes a vicious circle when you are looking for work.

In health care there is an estimated amount of time a person is supposed to stay in hospital. It has to do with optimum economic usefulness.
This is mental health Sunday and mental health in our country is terribly underfunded. I had a urgent need for someone to get access to mental health counselling in a November before the pandemic and I was told it would be June before they could get their first appointment.

The prison system with its “Super jails” is based on economics more than restoration.
Certainly in the last year we have been made aware of the situation in seniors homes. The list could go on.
It is difficult for caring people working in some of these situations because the spirit of concern has taken second place.

If a branch is torn from the vine – it soon dies

It is not just institutions that need connections to God – we do also
When I was going through to be minister you had to get interviewed (Just to be clear I did fail the psychological exam.) They had the standard questions about theology and beliefs but there was one man there who seemed to have a different angle. He wasn’t worried about the technical questions. He far more into the spiritual side. First he asked if I thought God had grandchildren. I will give you a minute – the correct answer is NO! We are all children of God.
His second question was deeper. He simply asked if I had ever been out walking and felt the presence of God. I responded that I had. He said that was all he needed to know.

Everyone wants to be independent but we’re not. We need certain things to survive. We need food, water, air and even fire. We are physically connected to the earth. But we also have a spiritual side to us.

We need to be connected to a spiritual source. If we try to operate without it, we become emotionally dead.
If you don’t eat or drink your body dies and you have nothing to offer anyone or the world.
If you don’t feed your spirit, you spirit is starved and you can’t be of any good to others

Many of you know the children’s story of the spider who spun a web in a tall building. It was supported by a long single strand that reached to the ceiling. After a few years the spider decided that the long strand that seemed to go nowhere was needless and the spider cut it off. Idon’t need totell you the end of the story.

The following passage is out of a book titled “More Jesus, Less Religion” by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton
“We should not condone sinful behavior any more than Jesus approved of the activities of the woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery. But Jesus focused more on connection than correction. He knew that when the connection grew strong, so would the desire to do the correct thing.”

Connection to God is vital. We need to hang on to that vine.
I have mentioned several times that I think there is a change happening in the world. Religion is struggling but spirituality is growing. There are so many avenues opening up. Whether it is mysticism or Wicca or alternative faiths; people are searching for meaningful ways to grow their spirituality.

Another story to demonstrate the power of this is about some people at a dinner party. After the meal they decided to have an impromptu talent show. Various people stood up and recited or sang or acted out a scene. One actor stood up and recited the 23rd Psalm. The one that starts “The Lord is my Shepherd”. It was a beautiful rendition. An older woman in the corner was deaf and she was unaware of what the actor had done. She also recited the 23rd Psalm. When she was finished there were tears in people’s eyes. Someone asked the actor why she had this effect whenhe did not. He replied” I know the psalm, she knows the shepherd” For her there was a spiritual connection to the words.

If we are going to give to others and the world, we must receive, both physically and spiritually

Both we and our institutions need to stay connected. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.

PRAYER
God, just as rivers overflow their banks in the spring because of a surge in newness, help us to overflow with enthusiastic spirits because of the constant discoveries of the way you reach us. Help us to wake each morning thankful that we have another day to grow and live. Help us to seek nourishment for our spirits so we may share the faith that keeps us going.
We pray for those who especially need consideration today:

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 2, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Cheryl Aubrey
Opening Prayer
God, in this moment may we focus on you. May we give thanks for the faith you share and may we be filled with the spirit of Christ.
Hymn –
Scripture John 15: 1-11
Reflection The spiritual Connection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn
Benediction

Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

THE QUAILS A LEGEND OF THE JATAKA
FROM THE RIVERSIDE FOURTH READER

AGES ago a flock of more than a thousand quails lived together in a forest in India. They would have been happy, but that they were in great dread of their enemy, the quail-catcher. He used to imitate the call of the quail; and when they gathered together in answer to it, he would throw a great net over them, stuff them into his basket, and carry them away to be sold.
Now, one of the quails was very wise, and he said: —
“Brothers! I’ve thought of a good plan. In future, as soon as the fowler throws his net over us, let each one put his head through a mesh in the net and then all lift it up together and fly away with it. When we have flown far enough, we can let the net drop on a thorn bush and escape from under it.”
All agreed to the plan; and next day when the fowler threw his net, the birds all lifted it together in the very way that the wise quail had told them, threw it on a thorn bush and escaped. While the fowler tried to free his net from the thorns, it grew dark, and he had to go home.
This happened many days, till at last the fowler’s wife grew angry and asked her husband: —
“Why is it that you never catch any more quail?”
Then the fowler said: “The trouble is that all the birds work together and help one another. If they would only quarrel, I could catch them fast enough.”
A few days later, one of the quails accidentally trod on the head of one of his brothers, as they alighted on the feeding-ground.
“Who trod on my head?” angrily inquired the quail who was hurt.
“Don’t be angry, I didn’t mean to tread on you,” said the first quail.
But the brother quail went on quarreling.
“I lifted all the weight of the net; you did n’t help at all,” he cried.
That made the first quail angry, and before long all were drawn into the dispute. Then the fowler saw his chance. He imitated the cry of the quail and cast his net over those who came together. They were still boasting and quarreling, and they did not help one another lift the net. So the hunter lifted the net himself and crammed them into his basket. But the wise quail gathered his friends together and flew far away, for he knew that quarrels are the root of misfortune.