Sermon for 28 March 2021

The Last Phrase of the Lord’s Prayer on Palm Sunday

The last part of the Lord’s Prayer ties in with Palm Sunday perfectly. If I had been more intelligent I would have planned it.
The final phrase is “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever “ Amen
This phrase at the end of the prayer isn’t found in all denominations.

When I was little I knew that the Roman Catholic church was just wrong. We the protestants, had broken away from them because we were the true church. I knew that a good protestant didn’t marry a Roman catholic. I knew that a Roman Catholic would never be the president of the United States. And I know that they had a different bible and they didn’t say the Lord’s Prayer right. So when I found out that the last line of the prayer was not in their bible I looked with confidence to see that it was in ours. It wasn’t. I was using the New Revised Standard Version.

I quickly looked in the King James Version because we were in a time when everything was changing and there were new versions of the bible. But the King James Version was still the go-to when there was a discussion. I found that the final phrase of the Lord’s Prayer was in Matthew but not in Luke.

Suddenly my world changed. Roman Catholics might have some credibility. I might be able to date one.
But more importantly it raised the question of why was it in our prayer. It still is. When I do a wedding and they want the LP I ask which version they want and most people on both sides of the discussion have no idea that there is another version.

The line itself is not really part of the original bible. There is a version of the original manuscript called the Didache which is from the first century and it includes “For yours is the power and the glory forever”. That is about the only instance. Most early versions do not include it at all.
The phrase as we know it came into existence in the 4th or 5th century. Many sources point to Queen Elizabeth I, whose subjects in the 1500s wanted to differentiate the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, which had excommunicated her father, King Henry VIII.

It can be found and not found in various traditions and churches. As I said I think it is perfect for Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem just one week before he is executed. It is filled powerful moments like the people waving the palm branches and shouting hallelujah. It is also full of imagery like the act of riding a donkey. Part of the symbolism of the donkey was his unity with the poor. The donkey was also the animal that was not used much in war because of its cautious nature. It actually came to represent a figure of peace (like the Volkswagen van) The donkey also demonstrated Jesus sarcastic sense of humour. When great warriors returned from battle they would be cheered on as they rode a magnificent horse. I am sure there was a slight smile on his face as he watched the disdain on the faces of the mighty.

Back to the Lord’s Prayer.

Why is the last line, the perfect phrase for Palm Sunday?

Because it talks about God being the power, and the glory forever and ever.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem he was taking on the powers-that-be. The phrase we often use now is that he was speaking truth to power. When Jesus approached Jerusalem he was in effect saying there is a greater power than the earthly kingdoms. He was saying that God will last forever and ever.

We often think that we are very powerful but then we are faced with some kind of natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado or even an earthquake. Or we are faced with something like this pandemic and we realize how powerless we are as a human race. We often think that the earth needs us but if we all ceased to exist the world would go along just fine. In fact nature would likely breathe a sigh of relief.
I sometimes wonder how many times the earth has renewed itself. Are the iron ore deposits just old cities from a billion years ago?

The people who stood along the road as Jesus rode in, recognized that there was a transition of power that was taking place. The authorities seeing Jesus coming in also knew there was a change happening and they were afraid.

Suddenly that last line has a new meaning.
FOR THINE IS THE KINDOM – ultimately the world will be the fulfillment of God’s vision, whether we stick around or not.

THE POWER – you may be the wealthiest person, or the most powerful nation, or the most feared system or even the most loved but the day will come when that power will cease and you will just be a name in the history books (unless someone erases it).

AND THE GLORY. Yes we as a human race are pretty amazing. Look how we are doing church. But with all our inventions we have a long way to go before we are as impressive as the creator.

FOREVER AND EVER. That is pretty self-explanatory

Finally we get to a word that is hardly used anymore with hymns but we still say it at the end of this prayer Amen. It is an old word, used in the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith. It basically is a word of strong agreement. When you say it, you are agreeing with all the promises and hopes of the Lord’s Prayer
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem he was changing the dynamics
The Lord’s Prayer and Jesus ride into Jerusalem call us to change the dynamics of the world we live in. 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 on 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 March 28
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers Cheryl, Aubrey, Cathy
Sunrise Service at 6:58

Hymn – 122 All Glory Laud and Honour
Scripture Mark 11: 7-11
Reflection
Intro Communion
Singing of Lord’s Prayer
Prayer before Communion
Communion
Hymn 123 Hosanna
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 21 March 2021

Lead us not into Temptation but Deliver us from Evil.

Years ago I was in charge of a ministerial group. That is a collection of all the local clergy. Many people think that churches never get together but the ministers have periodic meetings to talk about issues that are common to the churches or town. We have one here in Innisfil.
It is sometimes difficult to get attendance due to differing schedules and opinions. In this particular town, where I was the coordinator, the average attendance was about 4.
At that time the United Church produced a documentary on the effects of pornography on society. I thought this might be a good topic for the local churches to discuss so I presented it to the ministerial. I sent out an invitation but warned them that there were some fairly graphic scenes in it. The response was – shall we say – overwhelming. If I remember correctly there were 27 ministers that showed up. Many of them were from the stricter denominations. Several of them asked if they could take a copy home for further study.
The area of the Lord’s Prayer today is about temptation.

“lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil.”
The Greek text of this part of the Lord’s Prayer conveys this meaning: “Bring us not into trials, but rescue us from our evil heart of unbelief.

A petition similar to this is said by David in Psalm 141:4: “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.”

Right off there is a theological discussion. Does God lead us into temptation? Does God give you challenges or are challenges something that happens when you follow God? Does God lead you into temptation?

The larger discussion around that is whether or not God leads us at all. There are many arguments on both sides.
An illustration of this is on the door of an old Presbyterian church. Over the door on the outside it says “All are welcome” but over the door on the inside it says “Only the chosen have entered” That is playing both sides of the question

Many minsters will tell you that they had the choice of their job but they felt they had to follow their calling. So did they have choice or not?

On one hand if God led us all the time then there would be no reason for forgiveness or regret because God made us do it. If we don’t have free will then why do we even have scripture or any other guidance. If you don’t have free choice then how do you fall in love?

I do think that God (or the Spirit of Life, or the Universe or whatever term you want to use) provides opportunities and gifts. I do not believe that God throws obstacles in our paths. In James 1:13 it says “that God does not tempt us to sin.”
However following God is not a guarantee that you will have no temptations. Even Jesus in the scripture today was tempted.

So why is this passage phrased this way?

It is an indication of our own flaws. If you know you have a weakness for buying a particular item; lets make it easy – say ice cream but you are trying to lose weight. You might say to your friend “Whatever you do don’t take me to the ice cream store”. It is not a statement of your friends’ evil ways, it is an admission of your weakness. You are in reality asking your friend to help you with your temptation in the same way asking God not to lead us into temptation is not an indication of an action but rather just a plea for help.

Remember, if god delivers you from evil don’t keep in touch with it

I saw a man one day at Princess Auto with a huge smile. I asked him why he was so happy. He said his wife was worried about the amount of money he spent at that store – so this time in order to overcome his spending, he brought her credit card. As he said he was no longer tempted to spend his own money.

The end of the sentence in the prayer is really the reason for the first half. “Deliver us from evil”

We should get into a great discussion of what is evil. What is the definition of evil?

For years sexuality has been the focus of evil and temptation. When someone says that they were “tempted” last night, the majority of people think of sexual promiscuity. At least until you get to a certain age. The church has certainly been pivotal in that. When someone says they are “living in sin” we don’t think they mean they bought their clothes from a sweat shop.

I am not trying to deny the pain of infidelity but I am saying it is not the only evil in our society.
The other night I saw a picture of some priests blessing some bombs and guns. I have been asked to do the same and I won’t because I think war is one of the greatest evils of our world.

Some of those churches won’t bless the union of two loving people because of sexual or even racial differences. There are churches that won’t perform weddings for a couple unless the woman is a virgin. Is pre-marital sex a greater evil than dropping a bomb on an apartment building? What it really is – is a great distraction.

We live in a very unequal world. A couple with two children in Ontario gets $1173 on Welfare. A two bedroom apartment in Churchill cost $1300. You do the math. This week I had two families looking for a place they could afford.

There are also pockets of evil all over the world. Violence, inequalities, fear, lack of food and services etc. And we are tempted to ignore it and that temptation to ignore it is facilitated by a sanitized media..

Edmond Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing”

Albert Einstein “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”.

Sometimes when we see an opportunity to get rich we are tempted to get that money regardless of the effect it has on someone else

When we repeat that expression in the Lord’s Prayer “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” we need to hear the word US.

It is important to say don’t let ME fall into temptation but we should not stop there. The phrase is about US. The human race.

Again we see a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer that has a lot of power when we take it apart.

We do have choices. Let us use those choices to lead ourselves and this world out of evil.

PRAYER God, so easily we overlook the pain that evil ways cause in our world. So easily we ignore the discomfort of others when we are tempted to focus on our own comfort. Help us not to be tempted to ignore the evils around us. Help us to walk in the light of love and kindness. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
We now pray in silence for those in special need

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 on 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 March 21, 2021
Announcements
-Bible study on Zoom
-Etransfer info at bottom of page
-Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion
-Session: No in-person services until end of April
-Annual Meetings to be in-person in May or June outdoors
-communion next week /Palm Sunday
-Easter Sunrise Service at Sunrise

Opening Prayer
Hymn 289 It only Takes a Spark
Scripture Matthew 4: 1-11
Reflection
Lord’s Prayer – sung
Prayer
Hymn 120 Oh Jesus I have Promised vrs 1,2,4
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 14 March 2021

Forgive us our Tresspasses

I saw a sign on the fence between two properties. It said “We don’t forgive your trespasses because you didn’t forgive ours”. Bet there is a whole miserable neighbour story behind that one.

This is the fourth in the series on the Lord’s Prayer. We are looking at the phrase “Forgive us our trespasses as we Forgive those who trespass against us”.

It is interesting that forgiveness is featured in the Lord’s Prayer right after food. It demonstrates the importance of forgiveness.
I have preached many sermons on this topic.

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as “a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”

Oscar Wilde states “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys
them so much.”
Jesus tells his disciples to forgive seventy times seven times or in other
words, always.
Dalai Lama All major religious traditions carry basically the same
message; that is love, compassion and forgiveness are the most important things. They should be part of our daily lives.
Every book on coping with life talks about the necessity of forgiveness.

Basically there are two aspects to forgiveness in this prayer. First is the idea that when you forgive others it frees you up. The second is critical to understanding the wording. You only understand forgiveness as much as you are able to give it.

The first part is a tough concept.
Sometimes we are convinced that if we hold a grudge then the other person will suffer. In reality they may be upset at first but not as upset as you are. The longer it goes on the bigger the difference between their resignation and your resentment.

One of the best moments is when someone says they will forgive you for something you have done and you think “For what?” You have completely forgotten the offence but apparently they have carried it for years.

People will ask me how to forgive someone who destroyed their life. The first thing is to try to understand why the situation occurred. Try to see it from their perspective. Try to understand what was going on in their life and maybe even talk to them. But eventually you just make up your mind to forgive them and the sooner you do, the sooner they stop destroying your life.

I have related a story before of a woman my father met in the hospital. She had been there fifty plus years. Apparently when she was sixteen, her boyfriend broke up with her at the high school dance. She went to the hospital with some form of anxiety and was still there. She explained to my father that she would never forgive him and she thought that eventually, he would feel that pressure and return to her.
Her lack of forgiveness destroyed her life. I am sure he moved on and if she had been able to learn how to forgive, through counselling or whatever then she could have had a much fuller life.

Again, people will ask if they should forgive someone who doesn’t ask for forgiveness. The answer is yes. If you wait for them to ask then you are giving the control of your life to someone else. This is your decision not the decision of someone you don’t get along with. Another way of looking at this is if the person has passed away, they are never going to ask for forgiveness, so make up your mind to forgive them.

Mahatma Gandhi says “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the
attribute of the strong.”

Forgiveness takes a lot of courage. It takes more than the courage to just absolve, it also takes the courage to move on. Sometimes the only connection you have with your past is anger and resentment. If you forgive then you may need to let go of that and move forward. That can be scary. Anger sometimes becomes our comfort zone. But it is a harmful comfort and it is time to get out of it.

The second part of the equation goes back to basic human psychology. Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us”. The word “AS” is critical.
It is a well-known fact that we find in others the faults we have already found in ourselves. It is equally true that the goodness you find in others is what you already found in yourself.

If you are a trusting person then you expect others to be. If you are the kind of person who accepts a handshake as a sign of agreement, then you are surprised when you offer your hand and someone says they prefer a written contract.

If you are the type of person who can give forgiveness then you are the type of person who can accept forgiveness. If you are the type of person who cannot give forgiveness then you cannot accept it either.

If you can forgive, then you understand that God also can forgive and vice-versa.
Right away someone will raise the idea of the unforgivable sin. The only way a sin is unforgivable is if the person will not receive it. If you turn your back on God then God can’t forgive you because you can’t be reached. The forgiveness is there but you won’t accept it.

Someone can only give me a blueberry pie if I accept it. If I refuse (which I wouldn’t) then you can’t give it to me.
It is difficult sometimes to understand how God can forgive certain people because we can’t. Whether they are people of history or someone we know we may struggle but remember that the forgiveness is there.

Recently I saw a statement on the internet titled something like “The errors of biblical forgiveness”. The person who was writing was explaining that the word forgiveness in the bible really didn’t mean unconditional forgiveness. They went on at great lengths to explain all the conditions that apparently God had imposed. When I read some of their other works I realised that they insisted on a tremendous number of conditions on any mercies they would share.

Our society is really not very good on clemency. We have a pretty strong belief in retaliation and revenge. It is often seen as the avenue of the weak yet it takes far more mettle than any other path. Of all the topics Jesus could have put in the Lord’s Prayer he chose forgiveness.

Our duty is first to learn to forgive and then learn to accept God’s forgiveness.

PRAYER God we so easily resort to anger and retaliation. We so often misinterpret the “eye for an eye” passage. Our society so often encourages vengeance and revenge, yet we know you are a forgiving God. Help us as we struggle with situations where we have been hurt of used. Help us to forgive those who have been cruel . And help us God to celebrate those who have been willing to forgive us. Our world has a long way to go but may we be reminded everytime we repeat the prayer your son taught us.
We now pray in silence for those in special need

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 on 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 March 14, 2021
Announcements
-Bible study on Zoom
-Etransfer info at bottom of page
-Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Aubrey and Cheryl

Opening Prayer
Hymn 574 Come let us Sing
Scripture Matthew 18: 19-22
Reflection
Lord’s Prayer – sung
Prayer
Hymn 271 vrs 1,2,4,5
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 07 March 2021

Give us this Day our Daily Bread

We are at the third phrase in the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t have to remind you of the first two because you can just look them up on Youtube. It is becoming one of the problems of this recorded sermon style. You can just look up what I have said previously and see if I still have the same opinion but also it is far more difficult to use the same jokes. So
I’ll skip the joke this time.

The third phrase of this prayer is: Give us this Day our Daily bread.
We say it without thinking it through. Are you really willing to live day to day? Are you willing to live one day at a time?

There is a well-known song called “One day at a Time”. written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson in 1974, and performed by many since. It is about coping with life and that is great advice. The Eagles also have a song by the same name and it also is about coping with life and alcohol. There is a TV sitcom by the same name as well, but as much as we are familiar with the phrase – how far are we willing to go and what forces are against us if we try to live one day at a time?

I put together this reading or loose style poem. Listen and consider:

Moses said “Give us this day our daily bread (or manna).”
The Israelites said, “Wait God – what if we are scared that there isn’t any
more manna in this wilderness and we might need more?
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And the Israelites learned to gather only what they needed.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
But the bankers say: Wait! What about your savings account? You work
hard and you make extra money and you put it away in our accounts. Then on a day when things go wrong you can get most of that money back so you will live.”
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that if someone doesn’t have enough money, we share
with them.

And we say: “Give us this day our daily bread”
And the insurance company says: “Wait, you need a policy that will be
in place if anything goes wrong. How will you rebuild your house or repair your car? You need to be prepared for the future”.
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn – that if someone’s house burns down, we all come
together and rebuild it.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
And our grandparents say: “We lived through the depression. Hang on to
that stuff. Don’t throw anything away even if you can’t use it.”
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that there is enough stuff to share with others. Throwing it
away and giving it to others are two different things.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
And the modern consumer market says. “Wait, You need more things. You need 50 pairs of shoes and you need 14 coats. You need a house with 24 rooms. You need a stable of cars and …..a motorcycle.”
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that a lot of dust collects on the objects we haven’t used.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
And the Military says: “Wait: We need to stockpile weapons and
implements of destruction, in case something goes wrong in the future”.
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that borders are not part of nature. When the world was
created there were no countries.

And we say” Give us this day our daily bread”
And the church says “Wait; what about the afterlife? Aren’t you afraid
of what is coming? What about the apocalypse? Prepare to meet your God”. But Jesus says “let today’s own worries be enough for today”.
And God said “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that one act of love – today, is what we need to do.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
But the security company says; “Wait you need to protect all that stuff
you have collected. You need fences and cameras and watchers”. But Jesus says: “It’s ok to give away your coat and your cloak”
And God says “I will give you this day your daily bread”
And we learn that our value is not in our possessions.

And we say “Give us this day our daily bread”
And the social media says; “Wait; If you are going to move into the
future, you need the latest technology that is out of date by the time you get it home.”
And God says;” I will give you this day your daily bread”.
And we learn that the most powerful moment is when we are face to
face.

And we learn that the most powerful thing is love
– and you can’t plan for that!

I know that we need to make some plans for the future.
I know that we need to be aware of possibilities.
I also know that too many people die with huge bank accounts.
They die with properties they can’t manage
They die with far more possessions that they can ever need.
They die with enough fear to stop their living

The philosopher Seneca says The mind that is anxious about future
events is miserable”

If we had a little more faith in humankind and God, and in the future we
might be more willing to share.
Give us this day our daily bread
This is something for us to consider in the society in which we live.
This is a sentence about faith.
This is a sentence about risk taking.
When you say “Give us this day our daily bread”
How much do you mean it?

PRAYER God, Sometimes when we pray for our daily bread, we really want more. Open our eyes so that we may see the completeness of your creation. Help us to understand that you have given us all we need. Help us to allow others to have all they need. Give us the self-assurance to know that we are more important than the things we possess. Give us the perception to see past the physical accumulations to the spiritual immensity that you share with us. Help us to have faith.
We now pray in silence for those in special need

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 on 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 March 7, 2021
Announcements
-One year anniversary of last in-person service
-Bible study on Zoom
-Etransfer info at bottom of page
-Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion

Opening Prayer
Hymn 226 For the Beauty of the Earth.
Scripture John 2: 13 – 22
Reflection
Lord’s Prayer – sung
Prayer
Hymn 427 To Show by Touch and Word
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 28 February 2021

Feb 28 Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This is the second Sunday of the season of Lent which stretches up until Easter. As I mentioned last week we are focusing on the Lord’s Prayer as a theme. The prayer was created in phrases or segments that follow a fairly standard pattern. I am using one of these phrases each week to give us the opportunity to comprehend the full impact of this prayer.
For those of you who think they know this prayer I would challenge you to go outside somewhere and see if you can say it out loud. See if you get stuck because you don’t have the help of others around you. There may or may not be a prize for those who can do it correctly.
Last week we looked at the opening statement “Our Father who are in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name” This week we move along to “Thy kingdom Come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Much of the Lord’s Prayer challenges us to look at ourselves and our world from a different perspective.
This phrase starts with “thy kingdom come”
As an aside, and I have mentioned this before, some people have pushed to change the word Kingdom to Kindom. I am not huge on changing every word we have historically used but I rather like this change. The word Kingdom is often associated with feudal times and small walled kingdoms that were protected by warriors.
The word kindom speaks of a gathering of family. It likely won’t catch on but I think it is an interesting change.
Back to the complete phrase “Thy kindom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The first thing to notice are the words “On earth”. Too often Christianity has been focused on the afterlife. There is an expression that Christianity is so heavenly minded that it is no earthly good.
Paul did take food to the poor in Jerusalem but generally speaking the idea of soup kitchens, which were originally started by the Christian churches, didn’t come into being until the 1600’s.In the 1800’s they were outlawed by the British Government. The idea was that the church had no business interfering with the everyday life and economics.
If you look back as far as Egypt, you will see they had an emphasis on helping the poor but it was to facilitate access to the afterlife, not to improve the present world.
The Lord’s Prayer counters that with the idea of establishing heaven on earth.
The first question then is: What does heaven on earth look like?
Some would say “A perfect world”
What’s the definition of the perfect world?
I have been told that another word for the perfect world is Utopia and that is the name of a little town between Barrie and Angus – I have been there and it’s a nice town but I think we should look further.
Webster Dictionary says the definition of the perfect world is: the best form of human society that one could want, there would be no need for weapons.
John Larroquette states: My wife says that my perfect world is for me to be in my Suburban driving with her in the seat next to me and the boys in the back seat, all perfectly quiet for 2000 miles
JD (I don’t know his real name) an eleven year old boy told his teacher that a perfect world would be a place where: Money grows on trees. Free houses, free cars, free food, and free phones. More books, more pets and more medicine for sick people. Clean water, and…. Parents who don’t fight. I think we can determine his motivation.
Someone else stated that a fundamental extremist of any belief and a Freudian psychotherapist would have very different views of the perfect world, but I don’t think so. They may have different ideas of how to achieve it but I think most everyone envisions a world in which “everything and everyone works in perfect harmony”.
A world of peace; where there is no hunger, no fear, no inequality, no racism, sexism or other “isms”. A place where people can live their lives to the fullest.
Read the Dream Speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
OR as Jesus says “I have come to give you life abundantly.
What have we learned during the pandemic? That many jobs can be done from home and there is huge inequality in job value. We have learned that human interaction is vital to our survival.
So the Lord’s prayer challenges us to have this perfect world here on earth. What does that mean for us?
It means change.
It means we have to look at the systems in our world that prevent or inhibit Utopia.
It is easy to point fingers at other structures and countries and that is the tact that so often is employed. We condemn other countries in order to refocus us away from our issues. By doing so we attempt to justify our situation. However we need to take a look in our own back yard.
In Canada there are still people who don’t have enough money for food, shelter, medicine, clean water. There are still people who live in fear and inequality.
I recently had a man come to my house because he needed medical attention. He had been living in a tent, in this cold, in the woods outside Lefroy.
During the last year, our churches have been supplying food and essentials to various families
If nothing else, the pandemic has shown us how poorly paid the essential workers are.
Things need to change.
We live in one of the best countries in the world yet we are a long way from perfection. There are a lot of countries that are in greater need than we are. We as a world are a long way from God’s Kindom.
Again, traditionally there has been a train of thought that somehow God is going to fix all this. We hear about the second coming and the Apocalypse, but if God was going to miraculusly change all this it would have happened already.
You must be familiar with the story of how a man meets God and in anger says “God, why would you let all this suffering and pain exist. God says “I was going to ask you the same question”.
It is up to us to make the changes to bring in the Kindom.
.
What needs to change? In many cases we do. We need to change our level of awareness and our level of comfort. We need to examine our consumerism and the system that enables it. We need to be willing to risk our comfort to create comfort for others.
We are the hands and feet of God.
Every time we say the Lord’s Prayer, by the time we get to the second line, we are calling for change both within the world and within ourselves.
Maybe there is a reason why we are not supposed to repeat it in some of the public places anymore. It’s a little too revolutionary.
PRAYER God, we thank you for life. We thank you for your idea of creating us and a world that can sustain us. We thank you for giving us the tools to ensure that every human being may have an abundant life. But God we also ask that we may be made aware of the shortages and the pains. Help us to hear the cries of those who are not living life to the fullest. Help us to share. Help us not to be so protective of our possessions. Help us to realize every human being as being human.
Pray in silence for those in special need
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 on 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 Feb 28, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Cheryl, Aubrey
Opening Prayer
Hymn For the Healing 678 vs 1,2,4
Scripture Mark 8: 31-38
Reflection
Lord’s Prayer – sung
Prayer
Hymn 371 Open My Eyes that I May See
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 21 February 2021

Lenten Lord’s Prayer

SERVICE Feb 21, 2021

 

(There is no Service video this week. See footnote)

It’s easy to tell that the government and the churches are not in sync right now. This is the first Sunday of Lent and traditionally the time when people give things up. This is also the week when we, in this area have changed from Lock-down to Red which means we can go shopping. Somehow those two things don’t go together.

I recently read of a theological college where they decided to dare each other as to the extremes to which they would go to outdo each other in giving up things for Lent.

They began with certain foods. Then it was Television; then social media; then bedding, but finally the college authorities stepped in when one of the student proposed they should give up clothing for the 6 weeks. You just have to admire the intense religious fervor of that student.

Another focus of Lent is that it is a time to meditate and ponder on your faith. Ministers often use a theme to enhance the process. Several people have mentioned lately that they would like to hear more about the Lord’s Prayer, so I have elected to use that. It is a prayer that is easily broken into segments and I will emphasize one of those each week.

You will notice as well that each week we will sing a different version of the Lord’s Prayer. This week it is the one that was written by Sister Janet Mead and used in Godspell the musical. You can listen on the Youtube link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JUz2YOyD6o

It is also interesting to see the images of Jesus from 50 years ago.

As I mentioned the Lord’s prayer is easily broken into segments. It is a Jewish prayer that was written according to a formula.

Formulae are common for public prayer. When I went to theological school (with my clothes on) we were given a pattern to make writing prayers easier. The most common one is A.C.T.S.S. which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication and Silence. I find the silence part the easiest. The idea being that you spend a few words in each area so that you get a more general coverage.

We start today with the first part of the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father who are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” Often this is called the Adoration section.

It is good to start any prayer and indeed any conversation on a positive note. Business uses this technique. If you are at a seminar and you ask a question the initial response from the presenter is “That is a great question” even if it isn’t. Basically it starts the discussion on a constructive note.

For some people they like to start a prayer on a complimentary emphasis because they are going to ask God for a favour. This is not the point of prayer. If prayer was a guaranteed request list, I would not be sitting in my office looking out at the snow.

The reason to start a prayer with respect is to establish recognition of who you are talking to. It sets the mood.

That brings us to the first line of the prayer. “Our Father, who art in heaven,. Hallowed be thy name” Out of the first six words, three possibly four, have come under discussion. At times it has been very energetic discussion.

The first word “Our” has not figured highly in the controversy but some replace it with “Oh” as they feel it is too possessive.

The next word “Father” has certainly come under a great amount of debate. Some people will not use the term “Father” as they feel it is too sexist and exclusive. When Jesus used the term “Abba” I don’t think his emphasis was to be exclusive but it does indicate the common view of the time, that God was a male. I think Jesus was trying to indicate a relationship. In today’s world we are much more conscious that spiritual beings have no gender. Thus the God we worship is neither male nor female. There are many alternative phrases which can be substituted, such as “O Holy One” O Creator” “God our Sustainer”. It really is a point of personal preference.

The words such as “art” and “thou” are old English words and many more modern versions of the prayer do not include them.

Finally under the disputed section. we come to the phrase “in heaven”. Again this has been challenged as the image of heaven has changed. No longer do we understand heaven as a place above the earth.

Apparently the “Epic” which landed on Mars this week has a drone on board. To get from here to Mars, did it have to pass through heaven? Can you imagine the excitement in heaven if they suddenly got their first drone? That may seem irreligious but it points out the two realities.

Also the idea that God is off in heaven somewhere can lead to the perception that God is not with us.

Staying with old language can be comforting but it also can lead to misunderstanding.

I am not going to take the prayer apart word by word but this opening has caused people to stop using it. Let us move on.

To me the second half of this phrase is important. “Hallowed be thy name”

The term Hallowed immediately implies respect. It is one thing to honour someone for something they have done but to “hallow” someone goes way beyond that. For us to “Hallow” God’s name indicates worship. It demonstrates that God is far above us intellectually and spiritually. This is an important concept.

If we are going to learn and grow we have to realize that we are not the brightest beings in the world. We often think that we have all the answers but, there is more knowledge and wisdom in the spiritual, physical and natural world than we have even begun to understand. There are ways for us to live. There are ways for us to share and to be at one  with each other and the world that we have yet to discover. If we hallow the creator, then we hallow the creation. That includes all of us. The name of God is written on everything just as the name of an artist is written in every stroke of the brush.

When we hallow the name of God we humble ourselves and we are ready to learn.

The opening sentence in this prayer has been put there on purpose. It is to help us prepare for the next part by establishing a relationship and an awareness of God and ourselves.

Take a few minutes and think about your image of God and then consider what it means to “hallow god and creation”. What responsibilities and benefits have we been given.

Part two next week

(Footnote: The service was not videoed this week due to caution. I was involved with a family this week. who needed my presence. The next day I received a phone call that one member had tested positive with Covid. Everyone was masked so I am not worried but decided not to expose the worship team to any possible chance.)

 

PRAYER

For the prayer this week I would suggest that each person take some time and follow the 5 steps with their own ideas

Adoration – giving praise to God

Confession – between you and God

Thanksgiving

Supplication – asking for help

Silence

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 14 February 2021

Sermon Light of Love Transfiguration and Valentines

There’s a story about a man who found a Genie and was looking forward to the 3 wishes. The Genie informed him that due to covid cutbacks he could only have 1 wish. The man asked for a bridge from Vancouver to Hawaii. The Genie replied that that was too extreme and for the man to request another wish. The man then asked the Genie to explain why we fall in love with certain people. The Genie replied “How many lanes do you want that bridge”

There are certain things in life that we can’t explain, like, what is love? The scripture passage this morning is another thing that is difficult to explain; the transfiguration of Jesus.
Today is Transfiguration Sunday and also Valentines day
They are strongly connected.
They are connected by the word “Radiance” or “Light”

To understand the light of the transfiguration, you just need to watch a person light up when the person they love enters the room.

The story of Jesus transfiguration has a lot of symbolism. It happens on the day of the Feast of the Tabernacles or Feast of the Booths commemorating the time the Jews spent in the desert. It is usually celebrated in the fall. The disciples offer to build 3 tents, one for Jesus; one for Moses and one for Elijah. The two Old Testament characters represent the law and the prophets coming together in Jesus. But the main event is that Jesus becomes brilliantly white; translucent. He radiates intense light. . He transfigures into the pure form of God or Love, for God is love.

The fact that this is celebrated on the day when they remember their wilderness reminds me of an expression “You say you want to disappear but really you want to be found”

Even though the dates are really six months apart the celebration of Valentine’s Day fits in well with Transfiguration.

It’s all about the power of love. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment he said “love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. He didn’t say get the greatest army or have the most money or own the biggest possession. It was summed up in one word “Love”.
If you remember the story of his temptations, he could have been anything but he chose to be the power of love in our world.
Jesus transfiguration was him becoming one with God. Jesus became the light of love
.
When you see someone who is in love, there is a certain light about them. Even if they are not “in love” but just a loving type of person, there is a light or warmth about them.

The BeeGees had a song called “To love Somebody”. The opening line is “There’s a light. A certain kind of light” He is upset because that light isn’t shining on him but he recognizes that the love is this powerful light.

While love is powerful it is not easy. To love can be the most difficult thing to do but it is worth it. Jesus says “No greater love has anyone than this that they lay down their life for their friend” Jesus laid down his life for our freedom. He lay down his life so we would understand that love cannot be overcome.

Love relationships may not turn out the way you want them to. Ego, the need for control, insecurity, anger and many other things can get in the way but if you love someone, even if they are not with you, you care about them.
When you think about it, Jesus loved the world and he got crucified but he never stopped loving.
Martyrs get killed because they love.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer was led to the execution chamber they say his face radiated light. He found that even death could not quench his love.

When someone tells me they don’t believe in the spiritual, I tell them that they can’t believe in love. Love is the ultimate spiritual experience.

So we venture into the final part of this sermon in the traditional Valentines way with poems and saying about love.
Listen and let the message of love permeate your heart this day.

I would suggest that we follow the pattern of Jesus statement.
FIRST: LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD.
I would include creation and nature;

Vincent Van Gogh: If you truly love nature you will find beauty
everywhere
Angie Weiland-Crosby
Along this earthen wonderland /My heart falls in green love
As I gaze awestruck to the trees / Sharing grace from above
Frank Lloyd Wright Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It
will never fail you.
Unknown: The universe loves you
Unknown I love nature as much as I love myself.
Catherine Pulsifer: No matter what, no matter when. God’s love is
unconditional
Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism)Love the world as your own self then you
can truly care for all things
John 4: 16. God is love and all who live in love, live in God and God
lives in them.
James 1: 5 If any of you lack wisdom you should ask god who gives
generously to all without finding fault
Unknown: Love of self may falter, Love of others may fail but the love
of God is never ending
1 Corinthians 13: 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and
love. But the greatest of these is love.

2 LOVING OTHERS
Louisa May Alcott : Love is a great beautifier –
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: I love you not only for what you are but
for what I am when I am with you.
Unknown: I saw that you were perfect so I loved you. Then I saw that
you were not perfect so I loved you even more
Aristotle: Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
Mahatma Ghandi :Where there is love there is life –
Tom Hanks: There is no substitute for a great love that says, no matter
what’s wrong with you, you are welcome at this table.
Madonna: To be brave is to love someone without expecting anything
in return.

3 LOVE YOURSELF
Franklin Jones: Love doesn’t make the world go round, Love is what
makes the ride worthwhile
Lucille Ball: Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world
Katherine Hepburn: Love has nothing to do with what you are
expecting to get.- only with what you are expecting to give – which
is everything
Sophocles. One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that
word is love

GENERAL
George Burns Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn’t show up on an
Xray but you know it’s there.
Albert Einstein: You can’t blame gravity for falling in love
Helen Keller The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be
seen or even heard but must be felt with the heart.
Nothing better than being loved

Are you the light of love in your world? Are you the radiance that gives people hope? God is love / Love is God
Love is the most powerful force.
It changed the look of Christ it can change the look of you.

PRAYER
God just as Jesus was and is the conduit of love into our world, so help us to allow love to flow through us. Just as Jesus was able to love inspite of adversity and even death, so to help us overcome all obstacles with that love. God just as you are the author of love help us to keep the story going until every person place and thing has discovered the power and the beauty of pure love. If we cannot find love in any situation, help us to bring it. Help us to be it.
There is no other way for this world to be the vision you hoped for. Help us to dethrone the darkness of war and hatred and bring the light of love in its place.
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 Feb 14, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers; Aubrey, Cheryl and Cathy

Opening Prayer
Hymn – 104 We Have Come
Scripture Mark 9: 2-9
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 565 Love who made Me vs 1,5,7
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 07 February 2021

Sermon When do you know you are Healed?

There is a story about a prophetic preacher who bought a dog. The first thing he did was to teach him to “Heal”. The dog learned well and made a lot of money. A lot more than the preacher.

A lot of people have made money over the years doing exactly that; healing others, both legitimately and not. A lot of people have paid huge sums to be healed.

There are many stories about people discovering they have a disease and then going to extremes to get it cured. How many people have taken trips to other countries? How many have been willing to be a medical experiment? How many have sought out several doctors and opinions because they were desperate to survive.
I don’t fault anyone for whatever length they go to, to get better. We are not cats. We don’t have nine lives. So being well is uppermost in many minds

In this story Jesus is asked by Peter to heal his mother-in-law, (obviously a very caring son-in-law). We don’t know anything about the illness she had other than it was a fever and she was sick in bed. Peter recognized that Jesus had the power to heal others. Just before this he had cured a man with an unclean spirit. Following this story, the passage says that the disciples brought everyone from the region who was sick and Jesus healed them too.

That would be quite a job because realistically that would include everyone. Everyone has some kind of trauma or tragedy. Everyone has some form of upset or illness. I don’t think our society is anymore ill or traumatized than any other in history, we are just more willing to talk about it. Back in Jesus’ day they didn’t have facebook so there wasn’t the same platform to get the info out.

Everyone has difficulty. There is no scale to compare. What might be a major setback for some maybe a minor bump in the road for others.

PTSD is becoming recognized as a source of suffering. However two people can live through the same experience and some are devastated and another is not.

Every experience we have creates a memory. For some people an incident in their earlier lives may have a horrible repercussion on them while others may have far less consequences from a similar experience.

It’s not just emotional trauma either. Some of you listening to this would agree that the “wounds of youth are the arthritis of the older” or “every scar tells a story”
Sometimes our bodies develop pains or disease or weaknesses that leave us susceptible to illness. If you had allergies as a child you may have difficulty with your lungs as an adult.

When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in -law we don’t know what he addressed. We just know he was able to raise her up.

Our physical illness is directly tied to our mental situation. Stress and worry can make you ill.
Saw a T-shirt the other day that said “Pink Freud – the dark side of your mother” If you grew up on Rock and Roll you will understand that joke.

Perhaps Peter’s mother-in-law was worried about this new guy, Jesus who her son-in-law was hanging out with, after all her daughter had married him. Peter used to be a good man. He had a good job – but now what?
Maybe Jesus was able to alleviate some of her hesitation and that caused her to improve.

I share that first part merely to point out that there are so many different levels of dis-ease.
It seems as though you never fully get better.

To complicate things more; when you are sick you tend to feel that you are not very useful. The woman in the story was having people over to her house yet she was restricted to the bed. She couldn’t get up and be the host. That would add to her stress.

Somehow Jesus was able to heal this woman. Did he have some kind of kinetic energy? Did he have a healing touch? Did he have a reassurance that gave her strength?

I don’t know what he did or how he did it, but he healed her.
Somehow his connection to her facilitated her healing.
I also know that people who have a connection to faith heal faster both emotionally and physically. The symptoms may not all be gone but they are able to deal with them better.

How do we know she was healed?
This to me is the pivotal point of the passage.
The sentence is: after the fever left her, she got up and served them”
This has been challenged as chauvinistic and while the society of that day was, I don’t believe that was the intent of the statement.

Even Jesus says I have come to serve – not to be served.

Jesus healed her so she could carry on with what gave her meaning in her life.

It is the climax of the story when the woman turns her focus outward instead of inward. That is when you know that your life has turned the corner. That is when you know the healing has turned the corner. This is not something that can be forced. Sometimes I will encourage people to reach out to others as a way of starting the healing process, but if you are not ready then it is artificial and hurts both parties. There is nothing worse than someone who is a fake helper. When you are ready to serve it shows you are healing

We can use the same analogy with nature. As our world gets sicker it’s capacity to serve or help the human race, declines.

We can us the same analogy with other things: big business, governments, organizations even churches. As they get sicker they turn their focus inward and are unable to be of service.

For this woman the healing was instantaneous and so she was able to resume her world.
That is not always the case. For many it is a more prolonged event.

As you bring your faith into your life and into the life of the world your focus will expand. That is how you will know that the healing has begun.

PRAYER
God, every stream has a rough course to travel yet we know that the water eventually gets where it should go. We know that every life has difficulties yet we know that we must carry on. Help us to see the obstacles in the stream of life, not as barriers but as objects that can redirect us. Help us to focus not on the pain but on the potential. Give us the faith to see past the present moment. Give us strength to believe in ourselves and what you can do with us. God we thank you for your son and the healing he has given to the world.
We pray in silence, for those who need special care at this time…..

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 February 7, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion
Opening Prayer
Hymn – It’s a Me
Scripture Mark 1: 29-39
Reflection How do you Know when you are Healed
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Lord Speak to Me 589
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 31 January 2021

Sermon on Authority

Authority is an interesting concept. It can be seen as good or bad.
I was going to start this by telling everyone to stand up and see who obeyed without question but I can’t see you anyway so you can tell me whatever you want.
As I said, it has two sides, positive and negative. When the woman who has been speeding through your neighbourhood gets a ticket; that is good authority. However when YOU get the speeding ticket that is definitely bad.
In today’s scripture it states that “Jesus spoke with authority not like the scribes” I think that is a pivotal statement and one that has a lot more power than we realize. Authority is often entrenched into our society so that we don’t even question it.
We read this week that the Governor General has resigned due to a bad or “toxic” work environment. She worked approximately 40 months and is now going to receive $150,000 per year pension. You may or may not agree with that but regardless you feel relatively powerless to challenge it. That is just the way it is. We know that authority is embedded in the structure.
Also this week there has been a big upset on Wall Street. Traditionally it has been a fairly closed system. Some people. Who were watching GameStop, noticed some discrepancies in the trading and through social media were able to band together and cause billions of dollars of upset for the stock market. It is a huge shock for a system that thought it was pretty tight.
In Jesus’ world they had similar systems. I don’t know how much the Governor General was paid back then but the Roman Government and the Jewish structure felt they were pretty invincible. People were to cater to the authority of the status quo.
Then Jesus came along and they said he had a different kind of authority; one that challenged the scribes and eventually challenged Rome.
In the book of Romans in the bible Paul tells us we should obey the authority of the government but by the time we get to Revelation that attitude has changed. John of Patmos says the seven world leaders are in sync with evil. In other words the credibility of the embedded authority has changed.
Authority is based on many different platforms or sources. There is money, tradition, fear, knowledge and several others plus the one Jesus spoke of which I will come back to.
Money has always been a powerful force. We see that in our world all the time. Wealthy corporations and institutions seem to be above the law. Through history, the followers of the humble Jesus became the richest organization in the world. The Roman Catholic Church. That allowed them to have authority over billions of people. Some of it was good and some was bad but it was partly the money that gave them that power.
It is not just in international scenarios that money has power. You see it in everyday situations; interpersonal relationships; friendships, marriages, relatives, mortgages, debt Money often carries power.
Tradition is another source of authority. Some of you have run into the expression: “It’s always been done this way” and that is not just in the church. Again, sometimes it is good to keep things the same and sometimes not. Someone once said that getting people to change their traditions is like getting an ocean liner to make a U-turn. It might happen but it will take a long time. Tradition carries a lot of momentum. Do you remember the song “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof?
A third source of authority is fear. It is very powerful and very easily used. We see it in everything. It is not always bad. If you stand at the edge of a 300 foot cliff you may experience fear and not jump over. That is a good thing but typically it is used to force people to perform a certain way.
The church has used the fear of hell to control people for years. Governments have used fear of warfare to control the populations and the fear of jail to make people obey regulations. Again depending on the laws it is not always a bad thing.
There are people on both sides of that discussion in regard to this Covid pandemic. Some think the rules should be enforced. Some think there should be less rules.
Fear is also used to by groups to enforce their ideals. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia. Any group that doesn’t want a different group around them invents horrible images of what will happen if “That” group moves in.
It can be anything from outright violence such as lynchings to what is called NIMBYism. That stands for Not In My Back Yard. People may say they don’t have any trouble with shelters or group homes or low-cost housing just don’t put it near me. The justification can be based on projected violence all the way to loss of property value.
But fear is a source of power.
Finally the fourth authority is wisdom or knowledge. Typically wisdom is used to uplift or strengthen people. The more we learn the more confident we are. But knowledge can be detrimental if used inappropriately.
Robert Oppenheimer often called the father of the atomic bomb told President Truman that he felt he had “blood on his hands” for what his invention had been used for in Hiroshima.
On the other hand, wisdom has guided our human race. It is an authority which we often cite when we need guidance or direction.
Jesus had tremendous wisdom, on the best way to live for both our personal lives and our world.
The final authority is the one of which Jesus spoke. It is the one that the people around him recognized as new and different.
It is the authority of Love.
It can be stated in a short word but it cannot be summed up.
It is the most powerful authority but it can never be enforced.
So often we profess that we live by love but we quickly change to another form of authority so we can be in control.
If love was our guiding force there wouldn’t be any sexism, classism, racism, homophobia and all the other isms that we are afraid of. There wouldn’t be any poverty, or war.
It is difficult for us to imagine a world without all these things. Even Jesus says we will always have the poor but at least if we are motivated by love we won’t be satisfied to let them stay poor.
Jesus concept of love was pretty new to the world. It still is argued against as being weak and ineffectual but love is the ultimate authority to which we should constantly challenge ourselves.
As Christians we follow Jesus. We preach the God of love, yet employing love as the ultimate authority is not easy. It may mean losing control. It may mean sacrifice. Jesus not only spoke of love, he acted in love.
We are challenged to steer ourselves and the world in the pathway of love.
PRAYER
God,. We worship you as being the source of love. We worship you as being the ultimate foundation of wisdom. We pray on this day for clarity of vision. We pray that we might focus on your wisdom and guidance. Help us to understand the power of your love. Enable us to love ourselves enough that we may love others. Empower us to see love as being not just our first choice but our only choice. We give you thanks, even on a cold day for our very existence. We give you thanks for your son, Jesus.
We pray in silence, for those who need special care at this time…..
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 January 31, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cheryl, Cathy, Aubrey
Opening Prayer God, in this time of worship, help us focus on you. Help
us rid ourselves of anger and hatred, that we may be filled with forgiveness and love. Help us to empty ourselves of busyness that we may be filled with your knowledge and wisdom. We ask for your presence in our lives. Amen
Hymn – 223 Eternal Unchanging
Scripture Mark 1: 21-28
Reflection Authority
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 333 Love Divine
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