Sermon for 17 Oct 2021

Sermon Fred on Prayer Scripture Mark10: 35-45

Hi for those of you who don’t know me yet – I’m Fred – same as I was before. I have to look at this paper sometimes cuz I don’t always say everything I wanted to . My second cousin on my father’s side twice removed by marriage told me that my memory isn’t bad, it’s just full.
I come here sometimes. But I didn’t come here to tell you that. I came to relate an experience I just had.

You see the other day I got to thinkin’ (That wasn’t the experience – but it is a notable event). Anyway I got to thinkin that it had been a long time since I Prayed. I guess you could say I was feeling a little guilty. You see I hadn’t been keeping God informed of all the good things I had been doing. How can I expect God to give me credit it I don’t say how good I am.

So I decided I would pray. Well I’d forgotten how. I was going to start out by gettin down on my knees – but with the price of jeans and all I figured it wasn’t worth it.

So next I tried to close my eyes, but I was afraid of what I might miss and even more afraid of what I might see, if I did close them. So I figured I would just start right in.

Well the first thing I remembered that you do is – like in a business letter – you start with a salutation. That’s not some new vegetable. That’s like addressing God. But since I didn’t know God’s address I just began by saying “God”. That’s about as far as I got. I couldn’t remember the rest. I was a little embarrassed but at least I was trying.

I heard somewhere that the words in a prayer aren’t so important. You just say what you feel. So I said “God – I’m good.” Then I waited and waited. There was no answer. So I figured maybe God wasn’t listening (heaven forbid) or maybe (and this is more likely) I didn’t say anything God didn’t already know.

Anyway I was just about to stop praying – having said everything that was important, when all of a sudden I heard this voice. (I guess God had been thinking) The voice says “Continue”

Now I didn’t know if the voice meant that I was to continue doing the good deeds or whether I was to continue praying. I figured that since God knew I was going to continue doing the good deeds ( I helped an old lady – she was about 50, across the street – and back. Turned out she didn’t want to go in the first place. I thought she was doing the pedestrian point thing and I stopped to tell her which finger to use. Turned out she was just giving a special salute to some preacher on a motorcycle)
So I figured God wanted me to continue praying.

So I said “We;; God I pretty well summed it up when I said “I’m good”. In fact I’m so good I want to sit at your right hand in the hereafter. God said “Is that all you’re hereafter? (I don’t know if God knew that was a pun but it was funny) I said “No God, that is not all I am here after ( I tried to use the pun again so God would have a chance to see it) I just stopped by to tell you I good. The voice said “No you’re Not”.

At this point I got a little mad. Up until now I thought I was talking to God but I knew God wouldn’t say that to me so I figured it must be the neighbours peeking I while I was praying and making fun of me. I mean I may have peaked in at the neighbours sometimes but that is a different story. It’s just for research,
But I looked around and realised no one was home. (Sometimes people say that about my place even when the lights are on)

So I tried again “God I’m good”. I was getting pretty good at saying it by now. The voice again said “No you’re not”. By now I figured it must be God. Who else speaks in an empty room?
I was getting a little frustrated. I thought well maybe God doesn’t hear so well. The hearing tends to go after a while and God was pretty old. So I said my prayer one more time in a very loud voice, “God, I’m Good!”

This time the voice came back “Not as good as you think you are”. That is when I realised it wasn’t God’s ears. It was mine. I hadn’t heard right. What I thought I heard was “You’re not as good as you think you are” Probably what God meant to say was “You’re as good as I think you are”.
Since God knows everything and God thinks I am perfect. I must be. I had been trying to say that all day.

Well again I figured I was finished when suddenly God starts asking questions. The first questions was “Do you think you have all the answers to faith?”
I said “Sure – in my humble opinion I am as near perfect as one human can get” (I didn’t want to seem too proud but it never hurts to sell yourself well)

Then God says “Do you ever read the bible”? Ha ha I couldn’t believe the question. Of course I read the bible. I read it in Sunday School and any other time I need to prove someone else wrong. In fact I pretty much have it memorized. See the first thing in September, God creates the earth with Abraham and Jean. That took seven Sundays. Then there is the section on propheteering. Then Jesus is born, coincidentally around Christmas. Then Daniel chooses the five Rolling Stones and throws them at his Samsung. Then it’s Easter. Then it’s summer. I know that’s right because I read it out of the King James Version just like Jesus did.

Then God says to me “Have you ever read any other books about your faith, or anyone else’s faith?

I started to wonder if this really was God. I said “Of Course not God. You know there is only one book worth reading and that is the bible and I just proved how much of it I read”. I guess I was getting a little upset until I realized that God was just testing me.
I added that when I read the bible, I interpret it myself because there is no one who understands things the way I do. As far as reading about other people’s faith, I don’t have time. I am too busy reading about my own.
So I said “You see God I really am good”

Then the voice says to me (and this was a really dandy) Have you ever listened to someone with a different opinion than yours?” Well I laughed right out loud.

I said “God I am here for such a short time that I don’t have time to waste. Anyone with a different opinion than me is just wrong. Listening to them would just be a pointless waste of time. As for me having a second opinion on something, I never change my mind. I believe in inspiration not perspiration. My first opinion is my only opinion.

Well the questions went on and on. It was almost as if God doubted my perfection. So finally I decided to lay it all out. I said listen God. There are ideas in this world that are not mine and they are wrong. There are people in this world that are not like me and they are just wrong. And if you think I can change my mind or if you think I can love people who I have decided are unlovable, then you are wrong and so you must not be God.

There was a silence. So I said “God with your limited understanding – you cannot be God”.
This time it wasn’t a question that came back. It was statement. God said “We’ll see” I have no idea what was meant
I do know that if I am going to get answers when I pray then I better stop praying. I always thought the purpose of prayer was to tell God what to do, not the other way around.

It’s almost as if God wants to be in control.
God should know by now that I have all the answers

PRAYER
God we give you thanks that you have given us the ability to think and create. You have given us wisdom to make decisions and you have given us the freedom to follow whatever path we choose. Help us to choose a path that give fulfilment to every human being. Help us make decisions that enhance the ability of nature to live and grow. Help us to share our faith so that all people may not only have the ability to lie but also the reason to celebrate each day.
Your son, brought life. May we do the same.

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 October 17, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Info about Services
Opening Prayer
Hymn – G – 697 O For a World
C – 409 Morning has Broken
Music – Brent Cheryl and Glen
Scripture Mark 10: 35-45
Reflection Fred “God I’m Good”
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn G -716 My Life Flows On
C567 Will you come and Follow Me
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 10 October 2012

Sermon From Fear to Gratitude Joel 2: 21-27

I start today with the land acknowledgement that we have become familiar with. We are on the territory of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Ojibway/Chippewa, Anishinabek. The languages spoken were the
Mississauga/Eastern Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) and the treaty is the Upper Canada Treaty.

I also start with an older acknowledgement of these lands and that is to the Creator who had provided us with the earth upon which we live.

In the book of Genesis, the first story of creation almost perfectly follows the path of evolution. There was a void and earth. Then there was fish and animals and finally humans.

On a side note, in the first story men and women were created at the same time. The point is that there was a time when the earth did not have any human beings.

Whether you are a creationist or evolutionist, we are new to this world. We are guests.

I sometimes wonder if there were other civilizations before this one. Was there human habitation millions of years ago?

The pictures that come back from mars show a very desolate and dry landscape but the question that the scientists are searching for is, if there was life on that planet millions of years ago.
Did earth go through a desolate time such as Mars is right now?
I have wondered if our ore deposits are just the remnants of an old city.

The earth is complete without us. The food chain does not need us. If suddenly the human race disappeared the earth would survive and in fact move ahead easily.

The lines from the scripture reading start with
Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
I thought it was going to say – rejoice oh soil we have got rid of the humans.

We need to understand that we are guests here. Unnecessary guests as far as survival of the earth.

In the last half century there has been tremendous pressure for us to look after the earth or we are going to kill it. We have been warned of climate change and many governmental policies and public concern reflect this.

Forty years ago we were made aware of the hole in the ozone layer. It was such a common theme that it was a topic even in cartoons. If you remember Broom Hilda, she showed up in one cartoon with a burn on her belly and the caption stated “Trust me to sit under the hole in the ozone”. That so called hole was caused by CFC’s of which Chorine is a major component. We have virtually stopped using CFC’s and the good news is that the hole seems to be repairing itself.

There was a lot of fear in the concern over the depletion of the ozone layer. There is also a lot of fear in many of the other climate issues. If the ice caps melt we will be flooded! Millions of people will be underwater and our economy will come to a screeching halt.
If the temperature of the earth increases there will be extremely severe and inconsistent weather. The end result will be the death of the human race. People have told me they don’t want to have children due to their fear that the world will become uninhabitable.

If we keep using oil at the rate we now are, there will be a shortage and we will all end up stranded and cold.

Fear is a great motivator. If you can get a group of people to be truly afraid of something you have great control over them. However the minute you instill fear there will be someone looking for a hole. As human beings we react against fear. We question and we dispute the source.
The Covid pandemic is a perfect example. There is tremendous fear. There is also tremendous skepticism and reaction. We haven’t heard the word conspiracy this much in years.

The same is true with climate issues. As soon as anyone raises the issues someone else has a counter source of information. We spend more time arguing than appreciating.

Fear and love are two powerful motivators but if you live in fear you are always looking for a reason to get free. If you live in love you never want to get free.

If we love the creation on which we live then we are not looking for holes in the concerns. If we truly live in a state of gratitude then we want the best for our earth. Not because we are afraid of losing it but because we are thankful for having it.

George Bernard Shaw remarked: “What a person believes may be ascertained not from their creed, but from the assumptions on which they continually act”.
We are guests here on this earth. We are privileged to be able to exist at all. We been given everything that we need to not just survive but to live an abundant live. What an amazing gift!

If you have a piece of art that you truly find beautiful. Perhaps some painting or carving that just speaks to you, you don’t care about its monetary value. If someone says you should be careful with it because it will drop in price you realize they have no understanding of what it means to you. You protect it because you love it.

If we assume the attitude of gratitude we will cherish the earth out of love not fear.

PRAYER
God we give you more than thanks. Into a perfectly harmonious void you raised human beings. Knowing that with your gift of wisdom we could build up or destroy this creation of yours. We thank you for your faith in us. We thank you for your courage.
Help us to appreciate this beautiful piece of art on which we live. Help us to be so overwhelmed by its beauty that any injury to your world is an injury to us. Help us to understand that we are all sisters and brothers here on our home and that caring for each other is caring for you.

We pray in silence for those who especially need your strength 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 October 10, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Board meeting Tues 7pm Gilford

Opening Prayer
God, Creator Your works are wonderful. You have created the birds of the sky, the animals of the land, the fish of the sea and us. You send your Spirit to renew us. May we be renewed and fed this day. Amen
Hymn – G – 516 Come you Thankful People Come
C –
Scripture Joel 2: 21-27
Reflection From Fear to Gratitude
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn G – 519 (T 331) Sing to the Lord of Harvest
C
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

Joel 2:21-27
New Revised Standard Version
21 Do not fear, O soil;
be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
22 Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23 O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the LORD your God;
for he has given the early rain[a] for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Sermon for 03 October 2021

Service for October 3, 2021
Sermon Seeing the Light John 9: 1-12

George Burns once quipped that the secret of a good sermon was to have a good beginning and a good ending and to have the two as close together as possible.
He would have been pleased with the results of the pandemic as many minister I have talked to have told me they have reduced the length of their sermons because they know the people can just shut off the video.

The scripture today was long enough as it was but the full story goes to verse 41. To make the sermon shorter, I have reduced the homily to a series of lessons.

It is the story of a simple act of kindness. Jesus heals a blind man. Everyone should be happy – but no. Some are furious.

LESSON 1: Even a simple act of kindness can become complicated.

If we look at the characters in this story we see first the blind man. He was blind from birth which would have been a very difficult existence in those days. Jesus may have chosen this man as everyone knew he was blind all his life and therefore they would know it was not a fake healing.

The Fifth Estate once did a documentary on Benny Hinn and found that he only allowed people on stage who were not obviously ill so the “cure” could not be easily disproved.

The disciples were there as seekers and learners to ask the questions that we would want to ask. The neighbours are there for validity as the story gets shared with others. The Pharisees are the doubters that every story has to have and the parents are simply there because they are the parents

In Verse 2
g the disciples ask who sinned that this man should be born blind. It was a common theory then and it still is. There is a common belief that God punishes people for their “sins” but Jesus refutes this. I have often said that we may feel punished because of lifestyle may lead us into bad situations but that is not God punishing us. Jesus uses this negative situation to show God’s love.

LESSON 2: There is a way to show God’s love in all circumstances.

In Verse 6, Jesus heals the man and it only takes two verses for the neighbours to doubt the results. They have kl=lived with this person for years but the miracle is so far out of their conception that they doubt if it is the same man.

LESSON 3 Even your friends will doubt you at times.

By verse 13 the Pharisees get in on the action. They realise they cannot refute the healing so they take a different tact. They accuse him of breaking the law by healing on the Sabbath. They accuse him of not really being from God as he broke a human law.

LESSON 4: The authorities are not always right but they will argue against you because they hate to be wrong.

In verse 18 the authorities call the parents. The son has not been any help to them so they raise the stakes and ask te relatives.

LESSON 5: Some authorities will go to great lengths to prove they are not wrong; even when they are.

In Verse 20 and 21 the parents are afraid so they pass the buck.

LESSON 6: Some people are too terrified to be able to stand up for truth.

In verse 24 they recall the man who got healed. By this time he is frustrated with them and basically responds that he doesn’t know how it happened it just did.
Have you ever been in a situation where something happened and someone says to you “OH that’s not possible”. Your response is “I don’t know if it’s possible. I just know it happened”

I had an emergency number sign at one place I lived. It faded completely, to the point where you could not read the numbers. I removed it and took it to the township office. I asked for a new one. The man there said they didn’t fade. I showed it to him. He looked at it and said it hadn’t faded. Then he asked what number was supposed to be on it.
The blind man must have felt the same type of frustration

LESSON 7 Sometimes we just want to celebrate a miracle without knowing how it happened.

Finally in verse 34 the authorities attack the blind man. They tell him that he is a sinner and has no right to be telling them anything so they drive him out of town.
It is a common argument style, that if you can’t discredit the act you discredit the person.

LESSON 8: Some people are so afraid of good news that they become illogical. Especially if that good news is going to force them to change their preconceived ideas.

In the closing verses of this story, Jesus seeks this man and comforts him. He brought him both physical and spiritual light.

LESSON 9 No matter what the world throws at you , God is never far away.

The lesson of this whole story is that a life of faith is not always easy. We don’t always understand everything. We are often challenged. We are often condemned but bringing light to others is worth it. We also can be assured that we are never alone, God seeks us out.

PRAYER God, Many things happen in our lives. We are often confronted by new information and new ways of seeing your work in our days. Help us to embrace the many ways you reach out to us and others. Help us to be inspired and enthused by the constant reminders of your action. Wake us up that we might share your good news with people of all walks of life. Wake us up they we might rediscover our own faith consequently help others to do the same.
God help us to see areas that need your energy, inour country or around the world. Help us to be the miracle.
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 Oct 3, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers

Opening Prayer
Hymn – G 457
C Let us Break Bread Together 480
Communion
Scripture John 9: 1-12
Reflection Sharing the light
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn G 660
C Only takes a Spark 289
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 26 Sept 2021

Just Do It Mark 9: 43-50

So I start today by relating a story by a Mr Trudeau. It’s a story about stress. However the man I am quoting is not the prime minister of Canada but rather the man who created the Doonsbury Comic. His great great grandfather was governor of New Orleans but that is about as close as we get to politics.

Garry Trudeau told a story about a man who came in to see the doctor because he had an ulcer. The doctor asked if the man had any emotional stress. The man confessed that yes he did. He had a wife and a girlfriend who he would drive to see about twice a week. He explained that it could be quite tense as his truck often broke down and he had to create many excuses as to where he had been. The doctor suggested that it was time the man made a decision before he got really sick. About six months later the doctor saw the man. The man looked much better. The doctor said “I can see by your improvement that you have made the decision”. “Yes” the man said “I decided after much thought – to buy a new truck”
It’s an old story but it raises the idea that you have to make decisions in life.

Recently I saw and expression that said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. If you don’t move forward you lose your balance”

John in the Book of Revelations is a little more drastic when he says : So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out.

Jesus is frustrated by the excuses people make. How often did he run into people who supported him in words only. He tells the story of the wedding banquet, where everyone has excuses.
In the scripture passage today he is even more drastic than John in Revelations when according to Mark. he says: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; or if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; or if your eye causes sin pluck it out.

I have wondered if a minister cut off their arm to avoid sin, could he or she collect Workers Compensation?
Jesus goes on to say that it is better to be maimed then to go to Gehenna. Gehenna is usually translated as hell in English bibles but as I have explained before it was the city dump where you would be forced to live when you were cast out of the city.
However there is a certain reality to the term hell as people who don’t make decisions live in their own hell.

The passage isn’t just about making decisions but more about making good decisions. How often have we discovered that making a good decision to change our lives in a positive direction is extremely difficult. We are willing to make lots of excuses and even rationalize our behavior rather than change.

Lines like “Well every cigarette is three minutes less in the nursing home” Or “one more drink isn’t going to matter”. It is tough to change ourselves.

Marshall McLuhan is the author of the illustration about the person in a bathtub and the temperature is increased one degree every 10 minutes. At what point does the bather realize it is hot enough to scream?

As tough as it is the change ourselves, it is just as hard to change the world. Christianity is seen as the religion of tolerance and love and that is sometimes used as a reason not to try to change the world.
It is used as a lever to maintain the status quo.
In actual fact Christians are very often in the forefront of trying to bring in equality and justice. Many rallies and demonstrations are led by Christians, but there is an attitude that a good Christian should just stay at home and be satisfied.
Nikita Khrushchev was a Communist politician who had operated under Stalin. At a news conference someone sent him an anonymous letter asking where he was during the crimes of Stalin. He looked at the crowd and asked the person who wrote the note to stand up. No one did. He replied “That is what I was doing. Sitting quietly, trying not to be noticed”.

Jesus did not stay at home. Jesus did not stay quiet. He succeeded in changing the world but there is lots of work left.

Sometimes we feel that our one voice won’t make any difference. It does. Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States by one vote. Nearly 40% of Canadians didn’t vote in the last election. I wonder how different the result may have been if they had?

Sometimes it just takes one person to start a movement.
Sometimes it just takes one person to object and draw attention to a problem.

Years ago I read a book by James Mitchener called “The Source”. In it there is a story of a town in the middle east, many years ago, where the Jews are being forced to denounce their God and consequently being forced to become slaves to the emperor. The punishment for noncompliance is to be tied to a post and whipped to death. Everyone is afraid so they do what they are told. Except one old man. He says “no”. He is tied to the post and whipped but as he dies, his courage inspires others and an uprising takes place and the town is saved.

We do live in a world where there are over-powering forces that seem to be in control. We put up with homelessness, poverty, hunger, low standard of living, war and so many other injustices because we feel helpless to change them. But we are not.

People like Greta Thunberg, Malala or Sophia Cruz are names you know because they are trying to make a change.

Faith Dickinson from Ontario was worried about her aunt getting cold from her cancer treatments and so she started a group called Cuddles for Cancer and so far has given 4500 blankets to cancer patients around the world. She is 15.

Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of England at one time had an expression for people who procrastinated. He said “It is difficult to jump canyon in 2 jumps”. In other words, if you are going to do something then do it full blast.

When Jesus states that you should cut off your arm he is simply stating that sometimes you need to take drastic measures to change your own life or the life of the world.

We live in a pretty comfortable world. What changes can we make to make the world more comfortable for others.

PRAYER
God, we know we are very blessed. Thank you for our lives, They are such an incredible gift. Help us not to become comfortably numb. Help us not to become afraid to better the world. Give us the courage it takes to change our own shortcomings. We try but we need your help. Strengthen us with your spirit.
In silence now we pray for people who we know who are going through difficult times. We pray for world situations that need your strength…..

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 Sept 26, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Communion next Sunday
Opening Prayer God, today each of us woke up from our physical sleep. Help
us to feel your presence, coaxing us to wake up from our spiritual sleep as
we worship you..
Hymn – G – 516 Come you Thankful People
C – 625 I feel the winds of God
Scripture Mark 9: 43-50
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn G – 651Guide me O Thou
C – 382 Breathe on Me
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 19 Sept 2021

Sept 19, 2021 Churchill Gilford United Churches
Sermon New Exposure

I stopped at store to get battery for my guitar tuner. I approached the counter and used a line that a friend of mine had used at one time. Slowly I grabbed the counter, put one hand on my chest and asked the clerk if they sold batteries for pacemakers. The clerk looked shocked (No pun intended) but when he saw me laugh he relaxed. However the woman behind me didn’t have the same reaction. She was angry. She told me it was not funny as her husband had died of a heart attack a couple of months previously.
We all bring different experiences and stories to every event. We all have different baggage that affects the way we see our lives.

Wendy and I went to a restaurant on our bikes a few years ago. She got food poisoning. You may think that is bad in a car – but trust me – on a bike with a full face helmet, it’s worse. The point is that it may have had nothing to do with the restaurant but she never wanted to go back there again. That diner had a negative feel about it.

Another story. I did a wedding in a park a number of years ago. It was a special park because that was the place where the couple had met. Their experience was conditioned by their experience.

When you meet someone who reminds you of someone it affects the way you treat them.

We all bring our experiences to our present life. We all have baggage.

This is very true in the church circle. When I go to do a funeral or wedding people are afraid I will berate them with the “Gospel” or judge them – like I am in any position to judge anyone…

But their past experiences are a very powerful blockade to their openness. You can often tell what church a person attended as a child by their reaction to the word religion.
It is one of the problems churches have: overcoming negative past experiences.

Many people don’t come to church because of bad experiences. It may be that they were forced to attend when they were small. Perhaps the Sunday School was boring. For some kids they had to put on their “Sunday best” and there was a lot of unhappiness if they got it dirty. Church was often not a pleasant experience.

As people got older there was the issue of being judged. I knew a church that would ask you to not attend if you were getting a divorce. Certainly the restrictions like not playing cards made no sense.

Also there was the problem of a theology that did not make sense to many. How can we say that God is love when there are many stories in the bible of God telling his people to kill and destroy others. The idea that the world was created on a certain date is a problem for many, including myself.

There are more extreme cases of abuse that surfacing more and more these days. When people experience that kind of negativity it is understandable that they would not want to attend.

However churches are not all bad. There are beautiful memories of Christmas Eve and Easter services. There are many friendships and even marriages that have been a result of attending church. There is a great sense of fellowship and friendship in a church family. The church has often been a place where people got help, both physical and emotional.
Through the years the church has been the institution that promoted freedom and liberation to millions. There are many positive memories of the church

In Jesus day it was similar. There was lots of problems and anger toward the church.

Jesus comes up with an odd statement. He says “unless you become like a child you cannot enter the kingdom”
He is not speaking about life after death or heaven. Entering the Kingdom is present day. He is not speaking about attending the church. He is speaking of attaining a level of faith-based achievement. He is talking about understanding the love of God. He is talking about knowing God.

Why then does it say it can only happen if you become like a child? Not because kids are perfect. Ask anyone who has had them. Children can be mean to each other. Children can be selfish. Children can test your patience.
But there is one attribute that children have which is the reason for his statement. Children have no baggage. They are not old enough for resentments and long term anger towards someone.
Children have far more trust than adults. Children are far more accepting of change – (until they become teenagers)
They have no long term memory of events.

Children will sometimes ask why they don’t get to see a certain person anymore. There is almost shock because everyone knows why we don’t visit that person but the child has either forgotten or never put much weight on the event. They just want to see someone.

Jesus is basically saying “open your eyes to what is there. Not to what you thought was there”. Trust the present, not the memory.

If you carry your baggage around it will weigh you down and you will never reach a happier life.

We need to learn that and share it with others.

PRAYER
God, We thank you for the constant discovery of life, ideas and possibilities but we have tried to put parameters around our lives and around our faith. Too often the walls of our understanding have been a barrier to people’s perception of you. Too often we would rather survive within a restricted life than find the freedom of our beliefs. Help us to move beyond the concrete walls of the church and our hearts.
Help us to leave the negative events behind. Help us to practice forgiveness and help us to lead lives full of faith not bad memories.

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 Sept 19, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers:
Opening Prayer God, as we journey through life, from birth to death; from tragedy to joy; from moment to moment, you stay with us. Renew us as we journey through our worship and inspirations this day. Amen

Hymn G -Here at the Font 450
C -It only takes a Spark 289
Baptism (Gilford)
Scripture Mark 9: 30-37
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn G – Give to Us Laughter 624
C – Spirit of Gentleness V1,2,4 375
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 25 July 2021

Church Service for Churchill and Gilford United Church
July 28, 2021
Sermon All Things are possible John 6: 16-21

Mark Twain went on a trip to the Sea of Galilee. He asked the tour guide how much it would be to go for a ride on one of the boats. The guide replied that it would be $25, which at the time was a large sum. Twain responded “No wonder Jesus walked”

I have preached on this theme before but I think we should be reminded of it again from time to time. The sermon can be summed up in 6 words. “All things are possible with God”.

It is a difficult concept for many.
When I lived in Woodgreen United Church in Toronto, there was a sign at the end of the hallway that had that quote. Another theology student was visiting. As he walked down the hall he read the sign and said “Can you believe some people actually think that line is true?” I didn’t have the courage to tell him I painted it.

Our first reaction to that sentence is doubt. We are all convinced that there are certain things that simply cannot be done. Years ago I heard a ridiculous idea that someday we would have picture phones and we would be able to see each other through the phone. Of course no one believes that.
We are trained that everything has to be scientifically proven and there are some things that are just not possible until…..science finds a way to do it. Then it is believable.

We are also taught to believe within someone else’s limits. This occurs when a parent or some authority figure instills a prejudice or a belief in a child. It is very difficult for that child to rid themselves of that judgementalism. There was a book, a few years ago, called “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” which explained how the system of education trained people to fit into society rather than object or rise up.

The third difficulty with that sentence occurs when selfishness becomes a part of the discussion. Suddenly the focus becomes directed to the financial success. If all things are possible then I can become a millionaire possibly a billionaire. The last two words of the expression are “with God”. Those two words are to help us control the ego.

One of the other difficulties we have is that we believe God is only as smart as we are. There is an attitude that if we can’t figure it out than neither can God and if we can’t understand how something is going to happen then we don’t think it can happen..

Jesus didn’t have those limitations. He believed that if he wanted to do something – he could – so he did. He walked through a wall to join his disciples. I have heard many explanations for this passage. Everything from misinterpretation to folklore, but maybe he simply walked through the wall. I had a discussion with a nuclear scientist who said there are spaces between the atoms in our body and in the wall, so it is just a matter of lining them up and walking through.

We have to be able to believe. One of the last things my father told me was “Keep the faith” It wasn’t about going to church. It was about having an open mind to believe in a better future. It was about having an open mind to grasp new concepts. It was about knowing that God pulls us out of our comfort zones and that is how we grow. Faith is about challenging the limits.

Andy Williams used to sing a song called “Dream the Impossible Dream”. I think Jesus would go beyond that to “Do the impossible”
Faith destroys depression, insecurity and gives us the strength to live fully.

The other thing we need is courage. People are oppressed because they are too afraid to challenge the status quo. People live in unhappy situations because they feel that their peers or family, will judge them or they might be excluded. There is a feeling of helplessness. But if you have faith to believe that God is with you then you gain a tremendous amount of courage. The United Church Creed starts with “We are not alone”. You can begin to challenge

A bird sitting on a branch has no fear of falling because it knows it can fly. A mountain climber who is caught on a ledge has no fear once the rope appears from over the top. If you know you have back up you can also have courage.

We live in a world of restrictions. Jesus challenged that

I am a very practical person. I know that if you drop a rock it will fall down. If you close your eyes, it will hit your foot. I know that if you walk past a truck at night time you will smash your shin on the trailer hitch. Some things are written in stone.
Yet at the same time I am convinced that that Jesus walked on the water. I believe that Jesus walked through walls. I believe he healed people.
He accomplished these things, not because he was the Son of God. But because he knew that with God the human limitations could be overturned.

I have often said that regular people could walk on water but the reason we can’t is because we have been thoroughly indoctrinated that we can’t do it. Here is the test. Go to the lake and take a step onto the water. If the water holds you up, would you be surprised? If you answered, yes you would be surprised, then you don’t really believe. You should be surprised if you sank.

We have a lot to learn about faith and doing the impossible. We have a lot to learn about feeding the world and ending wars. We have a lot to learn about confidence and equality. We have a lot to learn.

Seven years ago I suggested that people should write that sentence “All things are possible with God” and put it on their fridge. I know some did. Not sure if any are still there but I encourage you to do it again. Read it every day
Then go out and change the world.

PRAYER
God of no limits, shake our unbelief. We are convinced that your ability is limited by our understanding. We think that the creator of the world is held back by the little knowledge we have attained. We have been told that the human spirit is limited by the scientific information. Strengthen us. Allow us to know you are with us, that we do not walk alone. Help us, God to see the solutions rather than the problems. Open our minds. Thankyou for the gift of your Son Jesus and the challenges he presented. Help us to follow him.

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 25, 2021
Announcements
-Last video this summer
-Meet at St Joseph Island Labor day
-In church Services to start Sept 12.
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers; Aubrey/ Doris, Barb, Dave and Cathy

Opening Prayer God, we take a few moments now to focus on you. We
spend this time in worship and thanks. We pray that you enter our hearts and minds as we hear and feel you
Hymn –
Scripture John 6: 16 – 21
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
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 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