Sermon for 24 January 2021

Sermon Put it in Context

It’s amazing what you do when you are bored. Many of you have stories of things you did. Stories you may want to forget; stories you want others to forget; stories that ended up at the police station; stories that made great video fails and now stories that end up on TikToc.
The pandemic has certainly added to the list of embarrassing moments.
Being the quiet and reserved type my boredom has led me to choose an odd piece of scripture to preach on.
This is written by Paul. Paul was an apostle of Jesus. He never actually met Jesus in person. He is the one that had the bright light and the vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Paul’s original job was to persecute and then execute the early Christians. I would say he was a very intense man. Following his conversion he used that intensity to grow the new faith. He was also a prolific author. He has more writings in the New Testament than anyone else.
However his writings are odd. He has written passages like the “Love is patient, Love is kind” poem that is used at many weddings. He has written other passages that you would only use at a wedding if you want an immediate divorce, like “women should obey their husbands”. Needless to say Paul was never married.
There is a large group of scholars who believe that because there is such inconsistency in his writings it is likely there were two authors who used his name.
Regardless, everything in life including his writings need to be taken into context.
Recently a picture of a Lioness holding her cub has made the rounds. From one angle it appears that she is swallowing the head of her offspring but from the other you can see that the head is simply off to one side and the young lion is fine. It’s about context.
Another story is about a man tells his friend “I fell off a 50foot ladder today” the friend is shocked and asks if he is ok. The man replies “Yes I was only on the first step”
It is all context.
We have the same situation with all the news outlets. Watch the same story via CNN /CBC/ Fox, CTV etc. There are a lot of different versions of the same story. Try watching the different news casts as if each one was your regular one.
Now let’s look at the scripture passage. Let’s put it into context
If we back up just one verse we see a very revealing statement by Paul. He says those who marry will experience distress in this life,[f] and I would spare you that. I rarely use that at weddings.
The next part seems odd but he is basically saying “Focus”. Act as though you had no other distractions. Don’t focus on your marriage, your mourning, your happiness, your possessions or even the world you live in. Concentrate on what is happening. Paul believed that the world was going to end. He believed that Jesus would return and so distractions were impediments.
He says: ”For the present form of this world is passing away.
That could certainly apply to today’s world but he was being much more drastic. He was trying to tell his people not to miss the moment when everything would change.
Then he says “32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided.
Interestingly this passage has been used to talk about how sexist Paul was. I would agree with that analysis but not from this scripture. Again we need to keep it in context. Right away he says
And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband.
These are not intended to be sexist declarations. As he says he wants people to have “unhindered devotion to the Lord”.
Then there is an interesting part where he says that if you can’t control your impulses, at that point it is alright to get married.
The last phrase again returns to his personal view of marriage when he states “he who refrains from marriage will do better”. Again – not a passage I use in the wedding ceremony.
I think it is important for us to realize that he is not really talking about marriage or lack of it. It is important for us to put this passage in context because what Paul is really trying to do is put our lives in context.
We as people so easily get distracted from the spiritual pursuit.
I remember years ago an older minister who was opposed to having radios in cars. He explained that that time of driving could be spent on inner reflection. I can’t say much as I don’t like to have a radio on a motorcycle, but just think what that minister would say now about distracted driving now: Radios, CD’s, satellite stations, phones, videos, texting, coffee, makeup. I even saw a man shaving one day with a razor and foam. He held it out the window to clean it. I know that because I was behind him.
Our lives get out of perspective. We get out of context. Paul felt there was short time before the world was ending, and really when you consider that most of us live less than an hundred years it is not a long time.
Paul’s concern was that we get distracted and then we get anxious. We get obsessed about the physical provisions. We can spend our whole lives being worried about the physical. Jesus addresses that, he says “Don’t be worried about what you wear, even the flowers look better than the king”.
Our economy is geared to focusing on the physical because when someone is truly happy they don’t spend as much money. If we all became spiritually content our economy would change. So there is pressure to keep people distracted.
As many of you know I get lot of content sent to me. This week I got a post that pictured a nice house and said “This is your dream home BUT” and then a picture of a huge mansion came up and it said “This is the house God wants you to have. Call us for details” Apparently God is into upsizing.
Paul may not have had the best manner of speaking but if we put it in context we can understand what he was trying to say.
If we put our lives in context we can understand what God wants for us.
It is not that we are to ignore the needs of the rest of the world, or the world itself, or the needs of our families and communities.
We are visitors here. We need to put our physical lives into the spiritual context, not the other way around.
PRAYER
God, sometimes we get so distracted with life that we forget to take time to give you thanks. We forget to pray. We overlook the symmetry that you have given to this world. Teach us to appreciate your wisdom over our limited information. Teach us to listen to your silence and your loud calls. Help us to share this life and not try to keep it all to ourselves.Help us to look inside ourselves and find our spirits.
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 24, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion
Opening Prayer
Hymn – Come in Come In 395
Scripture 1 Corinthians 7: 29-31
Reflection In Context
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Over my Head 88MV
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 17 Jan 2021

Sermon: Philip and Nathaniel
Not everyone is famous or memorable. Do you recognize these names from the time of Jesus? Zadok the Judge?, Dee-bir the tent Cleaner? Gumi the candy maker?, Lowtan the awning maker? Jael the prison guard? Ido the wedding coordinator? Orr-in the rower? Humphrey from the Cheap Rent-a-Camel?
Of course you don’t recognize these names. They are not in the bible. Did Jesus call them? Who knows?
How about the names Philip and Nathaniel? You may not recognize them at first but when I tell you they are disciples it rings a bell. They answered the call of Jesus. You don’t recognize their names because they were called. You recognize them but because they responded.
Philip, like Andrew and Peter is from Bethsaida. That is about 40k from Nazareth. It may seem odd to have a Greek name but then Jesus is a Greek derivative. Philip means “lover of horses” and he was named after Philip of Macedon, who was the father of Alexander the Great. You see even in those days people were named after famous individuals.
As soon as Philip is called by Jesus he immediately invites Nathaniel.
We then see him in the story of the feeding of the five thousand. He is the one who asks “Where can we get bread? He was the practical type. In the Upper Room he asks Jesus “Show us the Father”. He wasn’t the kind to get swept up religious fever, yet when he was crucified he apparently asked to crucified upside down because he didn’t feel he was worthy of the same death as Jesus.
His importance is that he was a link to the Greek community. Tradition tells us that he also went to areas now known as Russia and France. So he did a big part in spreading this new faith.
Nathaniel was invited by Philip. Philip says – Come and see this man” Nathaniel’s response was “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Perhaps this was just some small town rivalry. Maybe Nazareth had the best sand hockey team. At any rate Jesus says to him “Here is an Israelite in whom there is no guile. A better word might be deceit. He sees Nathaniel as an honest person even though Nathaniel just made a joke about Jesus’ hometown. Nathaniel is curious as to how Jesus knows him Jesus states that he saw him under the fig tree. The fig tree was traditionally a place where scholars gathered to share information and to think. Jesus recognized him as a thinking man.
Nathaniel’s last name may have been Bartholomew which denotes royal heritage. We are not sure where he went later in life. He may have accompanied Philip to Russia or he may have gone to India.
The Armenian Church claims him as their founder.
We look at these two because they are just ordinary people. They didn’t have any outstanding talents that they were known for. Jesus didn’t pick them because they had some great charismatic gift. They were ordinary people. They were also different from each other. Variety is a good thing. Philip was practical and energetic, while Nathaniel was thoughtful and witty.
They are a cross section of ourselves. What gifts do you have that would be of help in this world?
Our first response often is “I have no talents or gifts that would be of any help to anyone. That is not true.
Unfortunately we live presently in a world that emphasises our inadequacies. We are told that all of us are victims of one kind or another. That victimhood often immobilizes us. We end up feeling sorry for ourselves and unable to help others.
However helping others is the very way you bring meaning to your life.
I watched the movie, Ted Two the other night. (It is amazing how this stay at home rule affects us.) Morgan Freeman played a judge. He said “the definition of being human is doing something positive for someone else”.
We all have that capability in spite of, or even because of our difficulties.
There is a story right now making the rounds from Alaska Airlines, about a man named Tim, who boarded a plane but he had no hearing or sight. The flight attendants tried to help him but there was much they couldn’t do. Finally one of them thought to ask the passengers over the loudspeaker. A 15 year old girl named Clara came forward. She had learned sign language because she had dyslexia. She was able to sign into his hand and he was able to respond. Not only was it beneficial it brought joy to them and to everyone around.
I am sure if you had asked this girl what possible benefit her dyslexia could be to anyone else she would not have had an answer. But because of it, she was able to help another human being.
A few years ago some churches took part in a program, I think it was called Talent pool or something to that effect. Everyone in the church had to describe their talents and then when the church needed that particular emphasis they could call on that person. Some people had a hard time writing down anything. I think for some it was more of a wish list
Search yourself and ask – what gifts do you have that would be an asset to the world.
Why would Jesus want a questioning Greek to be part of his Jewish following? Because he could reach people. Why would Jesus want a thinking Jew to be part of his following? Because he could reach people
All of us have that capability.
Recently a survey showed that 95% of the people who came to church as adults did so because a friend invited them. Sadly the same survey showed that only 2% of the invitees extended that offer to non-church people.
Right now inviting someone to become familiar with a church is very needed as a lot of people are feeling the effects of this pandemic and it has never been easier. Just give them the information for Youtube. Even if all you have is a flip phone you can still make a call.
Every one of us has a skill or talent that can make the world a better place. We are all called. Be one of the ones that answers.
PRAYER God, just as an artist can take a piece of wood or stone, see something beautiful inside, and create something wonderful, so to you can do that with us. Just as creation brings joy and warmth to those around, so do we when we use our gifts. As we struggle with our isolation and so many changes to our lifestyle, make us aware that others are going through the same passage. Help us to search ourselves and find not only our gifts but also our divine spark that comes from you. Just as Jesus gave up his whole life, help us to give up even a part of ours for the betterment of all. Thankyou for you love.
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 Jan 17, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers
Opening Prayer
Hymn – 574
Scripture John 1: 43-51
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 561
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
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks
January 17, 2020 service

Sermon for 10 January 2021

Immersion

We talk about new starts all the time. One of the trends is de-cluttering- to get rid of some of the old stuff around the house. (Here I am just talking about material possessions not human beings)
I recently heard of a unique way to do that -after the pandemic When you are invited over to someone’s house just take some of the items you are trying to get rid of and put it in an obvious place, like a kitchen shelf or a coffee table and then watch the discussion about who owns it. The hosts will likely keep it because they don’t know how it got there. But then be careful because it may end up back at your place.
How many times in your life have you thought that you needed a new start? But you were afraid of doing it because it meant giving up more than you were willing to give up. You were not sure if your new start was worth, what you would lose.
Many times people have told me that they would like to just disappear and start over. I suggest that they change their name and all their contacts and move to a place where no one knows them. There are a couple I have not heard from since I advised that, but mostly people say that is too big a change.
So what does a new start look like?
In the scripture today Jesus is making a new start. He gets baptised by John. That is a huge statement. Jesus already had his Brit Milah, when he was circumcised on the eighth day of his life. He may have taken part in the weekly ritual bathing but to come out in public and be baptised by John was a big statement.
Jesus was leaving the past and joining the future.
He had grown up in a observant Jewish home. He had been circumcised, made the visit to the temple when he was 12 and we assume he took part in regular weekly rituals. He was about 30 years of age when he decided on the baptism
Something made him reassess his life at that point. It might have been his frustration with being a carpenter but knowing he should be something else. It might have been anger over what he felt was injustice of the religious system. We don’t know exactly but we do know he felt it was time to make a change. So he got John to baptise him.
But a baptism is only a symbol. It is nothing magical.
People will sometimes ask me if they get their child baptised will they be a better kid. You already know the answer to that.
There has to be more than just a simple action that lasts a few minutes.
If you really want a change you can’t drag your past into the future.
I recently ran across a poet by the name of Wattney. She wrote a book called Black Sheep (I told her I would let people know it was available on Amazon if I could use her quote). She writes “Forgiving didn’t start with them. It didn’t begin when they changed their actions. Forgiving started when I forgave myself for holding on to those moments of the past and stopped projecting them into my future on replay.”
In other words if you keep dragging up the past hurts, you never move on.
It is more than just letting go of the past. It is embracing the future.
In the Gathering Magazine which is a guide of worship service suggestions, put out by the United Church there was a great analogy. It is about making pickles. It says when you are making pickles the first thing you do, is wash them but that doesn’t make them into pickles. In order to complete the job you need to immerse them in a brine of spices and vinegar and leave them there until they are infused with the flavour.
Likewise in life the mere baptism doesn’t do much except start the process. The person then needs to be immersed in the community. This is where the church comes in.
You do want to be careful what community you become immersed in. We saw a demonstration of people this week who were very involved in their beliefs of a false election. Group mentality took over and damage was done to both the physical and the emotional situation in the United States.
Over history we have seen many times when people were submerged into ideologies or cults that turned out to be detrimental to their lives and the lives of many others. So choose wisely.
Jesus surrounded himself with his disciples. They were of like mind and so they were able to encourage and re-inforce their new values. They traveled together and ate together. The early Christians basically lived together
One caution is to say don’t completely surround yourself with church people. You will get fat on the cookies but more importantly if your circle is too small then it borders on being a cult. There are lots of Christian minded and spiritually minded people in our present world and in history. Read their stories. Hear their wisdom.
Another caution is to say – While you need to leave your past, don’t completely erase it. You learned many valuable lessons. Every time you have an experience, good or bad, you learn.
Jesus was starting a new chapter in his life. It didn’t mean he needed to leave everything behind but he did have to leave behind whatever was holding him back. He needed to focus on where he was going
This sermon doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people are very content right where they are. Some people feel they are perfectly fine. If you are one of those people I would suggest that you ask your relatives what they think.
In reality we all come to a point once or often when we feel that there is more to life. There is an expression that everyone has a God-shaped hole in our hearts that needs to be filled.
Spend some time this year reading, meditating, sharing and growing in your faith. We all need it.
PRAYER
God, every day when the sun comes up we realise it is a new beginning. We are surrounded by memories but also by the possibility of new experiences. We may complain about it being morning but in reality we thank you for that gift. Help us, God to use our experiences and the collective wisdom of our world to improve not just ourselves but also those around us. Keep bringing that restlessness that moves us forward toward the vision of a better 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 January 10, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion
Opening Prayer
Hymn – What Child is This
Scripture Mark 1: 4-11
Reflection Re-Immersion
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Spirit of Gentleness 375
Benediction
Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen
Info about contributing
The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)
Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill
or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 03 January 2021

Sermon The Journey

Today is January 3. We are far enough past New Years to know which resolutions really aren’t going to work for you this year. It didn’t take long.
It is also only 3 days until we have the celebration of Epiphany. That is traditionally the day when it is permissible to take down the Christmas lights. There is a religious significance to that date as well.
The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek “epiphaneia” or appearance and is celebrated on January 6.
In the Eastern churches it is the anniversary of the Baptism of Jesus.
In the Western churches it is the symbol of the revelation to the Gentiles of Jesus portrayed by the coming of the Wisemen.
The first recorded date of this celebration is in 194 which means it is older than Christmas.
In England the Monarch offers Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh at the Altar in Chapel royal at St. James Palace. In the Eastern church the Holy water gets blessed.
In order for there to be an appearance there has to be a journey.
Today we look at the aspects of the journey, both for the Wisemen and for ourselves
I see a journey as having four parts
First is the coming of the light or the inspiration to begin
Second is the invitation to outside help
Third is the confrontation of obstacle and
Fourth is the new path that you have found.
I will explain.
Many people have a faith that is satisfactory but fairly static. Faith should be a journey. No matter where we are we can continue to grow. It is ok, in fact it is good to have doubts in your faith if it prompts you to ask questions and grow.
The Wisemen were well educated intelligent people but they wanted to know more.
Then one day comes the coming of the light. Literally for the Wisemen it was a star (Fortunately it wasn’t overcast like it was here a couple of weeks ago).
We may see it as a moment of inspiration or revelation. A crack in the seam of our beliefs. So with an open mind we seek answers.
Stage two is that we realise this is a universal quest. The Wisemen were not of Jewish origin. This is for all people. We should notice as well that the Wisemen were seeking outside of their own culture. If we look around we will discover spiritual paths by every race in the world. Many are similar and many have wisdom to share.
It is OK and in fact necessary to go outside of our comfort zone.
I know of two churches in my years of ministry that specifically forbade their minster to “visit in the new subdivisions”. Those churches were terrified of new ideas.
The third stage occurs once your journey has begun. I bet that every person listening to this can relate a story of setting out on a vacation just to have the car break down. Just because you start the journey doesn’t mean you are trouble free. The Wisemen took two years to reach Jesus.
Unfortunately, some people are discouraged easily and turn back when the first sign of trouble begins.
The parable of the four soils talks directly about that situation. When we are challenged to open up to others and love our enemies, that can be a huge hurdle. When we are presented with information that is contrary to what we hold dear, that too can be difficult.
Finally and fourthly, as we struggle through our journey we come to a greater understanding and a liberated faith. A faith that becomes our own and not one that was handed to us. A faith that causes us to walk in a different path.
As the bible says: the Wisemen returned home a different way
We too become different people. We become a reflection of God within our lives.
But it never ends.
That is not a bad thing
They say that the final stage of grief is acceptance.
There is no final stage of faith. You never reach perfection but the discoveries along the road are fascinating.
The Wisemen knew that if they stayed where they were after seeing the star that they would always wonder what if?
They could have closed themselves off and many people do but look what they would have missed.
Both ourselves and our churches need to constantly challenge and journey in the faith. We need to ask questions and be willing to travel, spiritually and sometimes physically. We certainly have journeyed in our worship style this year.
It is fitting that this journey story is at the beginning of the year. You may have given up on your resolutions but don’t give up on your journey of faith. There may be rough moments and moments of doubt but in the end it is worth it.
I finish with this poem called “God Knows” or
THE GATE OF THE YEAR Minnie Louise Haskins
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
PRAYER God, We journey into this new year. There are so many obstacles and opportunities ahead of us. We need your strength and guidance. Help us not to weaken in the face of new ventures. Help us not to be afraid of questioning our own beliefs. Help us to grow. God we thank you for the things we have already learned and path we have travelled with you in this past year and through our lives so far.
The birth of Jesus changed the world. Help it to change us and the world we presently live in.
We pray in silence, for those who especially need your care on 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 Jan 3, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Aubrey, Cathy, Cheryl
Opening Prayer
Hymn 81 As with Gladness
Scripture Matthew 2:1-12
Reflection The Journey
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 91 The First Nowell vs 1 3 5 6
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 Dec 2020

FRED says “The Baby’s Awful Quiet”

Happy the day after, the day after Christmas.
I understand that you have Advent before Christmas so this must be De-vent – which is pretty close to deviant and that is why I am here. My name is Fred.
Today I had an epiphany. Some of you might know what that means but back home they would tell you to see a doctor. Most anything can be cured and if the doctor can’t do it then Mildred’s goose grease and something she puts in it will do the job
I came early to the church today to beat the crowd and it looks like I did. When I came in I didn’t notice no baby Jesus in nativity scene. I got thinkin about it and it explains a problem that I always wondered about.
Why do you never hear about the baby Jesus after Christmas, either then or now?

Some of you probably don’t know this but I am a detective (not defective). My cousins will ask me when it had snowed. Apparently they can’t see out the window on their lap? They ask we when the leaves have changed colour too. I am pretty good.
But I figures there was something funny about Jesus birth story
I have a theory – Jesus was never born!
The thing that made me stat to wonder was cuz I had to look after my sister’s
Baby. She really is my half sister – by divorce but she is my cousin on the other side so I like to help her out. She was going away to get married to my second cousin – or you might say her second Choosin”
Truth be told – the baby isn’t really hers but she don’t know that.
Now this kid screamed the whole time I had it. I tried many cures. I would throw it in the air. I’d spin it around. I’d turn out the lights. I even showed that kid pictures of mobile homes and old ambulances, but nothing worked. I got so desperate I let that kid drink some of the special ingredient in Mildred’s goose grease.
I tell you I got real education about raising children. So if I hear about baby not making noise??? – I wonder if really was born.
When ya read that story in the bible – that kid should have woken up.
The Wisemen were wise enough to stay away till the baby was a little older. That’s why they were called wise.
But the Shepherds well they came in and they smelled like sh….eep.
Then you got the animals all in there, mooing and nattering. But that didn’t wake the baby.
Then you got all the other noise: the flute player you see in the pictures: that little drummer boy: the innkeeper who we were told was always drunk and if that is not enough that darn angle choir hangin overhead singin “Hallelujah”
But here is no record of that baby crying
If ya look at the modern world – (I visited there once), you see the same thing
When they have those Christmas pageants they use a trouble light, cuz secretly they know there really was no baby.
In a real birth there is a whole lot of celebration after the baby is born. They have parties and lots of stuff. Sometimes we have a “parents reveal party”.
But with that Jesus fella – nothin”
As soon as it’s over it is done. On December 25 at noon there is no more Christmas music. Nobody talks about the birth anymore. Not even in church. I know a church where they decided to have a pageant in January and everyone thought they were daft. No body showed up
In real life when a birth happens your whole life style changes, but not for this baby Jesus guy. Everyone returns to normal a few minutes after December 25.
I saw a Bumper sticker. It said “Before Christmas everyone is full of love for each other but after Christmas it is back to ……being miserable?
Now I have a reputation for never being wrong. Fred’s never been married so there is no one to correct me. So I need you to prove me wrong just this one time.
Prove to me that the birth happened.
Don’t use history cuz history can be changed, just look at my family tree
Just use only personal experiences
Show me an example – or be an example of how this birth has changed anyting or anyone.
If ya hear of any example to prove the birth happened, let the minister know. He is the only one in the audience today and he’s asleep.
PRAYER
God we have been through this season of Christmas. As difficult as it was for us with all the new rules – we know it was difficult for Mary and Joseph. We know the effort they put into bringing Jesus into the world. Help us as we try to bring Jesus into our world.
With all the restrictions that continually seem to limit us, help us to spread the joy and love his arrival. Help us to share the good news of his birth.
Just as we awake each day to the knowledge that the sun has risen so too let us be aware everyday of this person Jesus. Help us to allow the meaning of that birth to be a part of our lives.
As we head into this coming year may we have hope and may we also have faith. Amen
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us
lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
forever and ever Amen
SERVICE December 27, 2020
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
No more in-person Services until further notice
Opening Prayer
Hymn – Away in the manger 69
Scripture Luke 2: 8-14
Reflection Fred – Baby’s awful quiet
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Little Drummer Boy
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 wayis 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 Dec 2020

Sermon Who will build God’s house

Everyone says churches are losing members but right now we are having to turn people away. When was the last time that happened?
This covid pandemic is affecting pretty much everything. We are reassessing the world we live in. But many things were changing anyway. Many churches were struggling before this virus struck. Churches of all denominations started losing members in 1967. Many have closed and that trend continues.
This week on the United Church Facebook someone was remarking about another United Church closing and how sad it was that religion was dying. My reply was that religion may be dying but faith and spirituality is thriving. I am on several Facebook and other groups and it is interesting the number of spiritual posts that surface.
In the first scripture today, David is moving the Ark of the Covenant into a permanent building. The Ark was often portrayed as the lodging of God as it apparently held the Ten Commandments. Up until that time the ark had been in a tent and now it was moving into a “House of Cedar”
In my opinion that basically launched the institutional church. That is an institution which is both good and bad. While it has undergone some negative publicity and while we recognize the power that it wielded throughout our history, we also must recognize that it preserved a lot of history and art. Without the church the scriptures might have been lost.
However into that history there were a lot of traditions and superstitions that became part of the religion
When we celebrate Christmas many traditions are revisited and many are lost. Some are upheld because they bring meaning to the people. Some are challenged.
I smile when people say to me, as if they have just uncovered a secret, did you know that Jesus likely wasn’t born on Dec 25? Yes I did.
There are reasons why that date is chosen. Some like to believe it is a takeover of the winter solstice and that is possible.
More likely is the idea that it is 9 months from March 25 which in the middle ages was presumed to be the day Jesus died. In the Jewish calendar it is called Nisan 14.
There was a common belief that everyone’s life happened in whole years. Therefore Jesus would have been conceived on March 25 and delivered on Dec 25. The actual date was not important – they just needed that symmetry.
There are other traditions. Some have been lost. Like the tradition of the Lord of Misrule, which was popular in medieval courts, a “jester or clown would become mayor of the city for the Christmas season, suggesting all sorts of funny things that everyone would have to do,
This tradition was meant to provide entertainment throughout the entire Christmas season. It was banned in 1541. It is very difficult for me not to say anything at this point!
Another tradition which I hope will come back but not this year is the Mistletoe. It would just be too bizarre this year.
Traditions come and go.
There was a time when the wedding march was new and likely shocking. I can see the mother of the bride being upset because her daughter wanted that new music. Now it is rarely played.
We have traditions that are pretty entrenched as well.
One of them is the Wisemen. Sure the story is in the bible but we have overlaid many ideas about them. I had a request from a guy named Sammy. He is a 3 year old member of the congregation, asking if I could talk about the Wisemen. In a couple of weeks they get a whole Sunday to themselves so I will speak more about them then but just to say that we have given them names and we have added one or two. We have created traditions about them that we would hate to part with.
In the other scripture Luke is talking about a woman getting pregnant by God. She wasn’t married. In those days that could be the death sentence. God chose an incredibly unorthodox way to show his love to the world. By tradition Jesus should have been born as a Rabbi or some other church official. But he wasn’t. God broke the traditions.
Years ago I listened to a televangelist explain how Jesus would return to earth via their office because they now had the technology to let everyone hear and see him.
When David moved the ark from the tent to the house of cedar – he broke the tradition because he was listening to God
When Mary and Joseph carried on with the illegitimate birth, they broke the tradition because they were listening to God.
Right now the tradition of Sunday church service is undergoing a lot of change. Even before Covid we were looking at alternative platforms to get the message out, but often we don’t change until we have to.
Right now this sermon goes out to two or three times the number of people then it did last year.
There are some drawbacks. Christmas eve will be very different. On a regular Sunday everyone enjoys the fellowship that we can’t have but new doors have been opened.
I wouldn’t say that God created this pandemic but I would say that it is a time for us to listen to God’s voice in all this.
Think for a moment about how weird the Christmas story is. All those people like the shepherds and Wisemen and townspeople doing things they had never done
There is a story about a blind man sitting on the steps of a building. He had a sign that read “ I am blind, please help” He was getting a few coins but not much. Another man came along and changed the sign. In a little while the blind man was getting significantly more money. The other man came back after a while and asked how it was going. The blind man said it was much better and wondered what the other man had written on his sign that made such a difference. The other man said “ I changed it to read “Today is a beautiful day but I can’t see it”. It made people think. The message was the same but the parameters were different.
That is what is happening right now in our world. The parameters are different but the message is the same.
The message of Christmas is: that we are not alone.
PRAYER God As this week becomes more complex and confusing; as the parameters a round us change; as people come and go; as the dynamics make us re-evaluate what we do; help us to see that tiny child’s birth. Help us to focus on the meaning behind all the celebrations. Bring us closer to the spiritual side of this season.
We pray now for all tose who are struggling this day and this week. People who are not able to celebrate because life has changed for them. Help them also to find spiritual strength. Thank you for your intervention into this world by the birth of your Son. Amen
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen
SERVICE Dec 13
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers; Aubrey, Cheryl and Chelsea
Christmas Services – watch for emails
Opening Prayer
Lighting of the Advent Candle 4
Hymn – 36 Angel’s from the Realms of Glory.
Scripture 2 Samuel 7: 1-3 and Luke 1: 26-34
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 48 Hark the Herald Angel’s Sing.
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 13 Dec 2020

Sermon Spirit Guide

Have you ever been obsessed with something? Doesn’t matter what it is the reaction is the same. If you are infatuated with another person you track their every movement. You listen to what they say and you try to memorize every detail. You also don’t care that you have spent a lot of money on them.
If you are obsessed with a hobby or activity, the reaction is pretty similar. You search all over for things related or things that would augment your new interest. If your new interest is squirrels then you research what they eat, mating habits, where they live, why they are different colours etc. The old expression is “Get your kids involved with a hobby and they won’t have money for drugs”. Your obsession becomes your focus.
As an outsider, you can tell if someone else is gripped by a particular hobby because that is all they talk about. At first it is interesting but after a while….well?
Yesterday I saw a person with a large cross embroidered on their face mask. I knew right away what we would talk about if we got into conversation. I enjoy talking about religion but I think that discussion would have been pretty one-sided.
Again your obsession becomes your focus. But it also becomes your focal point. You view the world through that lens.
You have allowed that hobby or passion to become a part of you.
Interesting ideas are always there. It is up to you to be interested
The change occurs when you accept that passion as YOUR passion.
In the scripture today Isaiah says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” In other words the Spirit has suddenly been allowed to find a home in Isaiah.
In the painting of Jesus knocking on the door, the whole symbolism and power is that the lock is on the inside. You have to open it. No one can force you to accept something that you don’t want to. You can fake it but it is false and will be exposed in time.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. What he is saying is that he has allowed the Spirit of God to reside in him. I don’t believe that God forces you to do anything. But I do believe that the parameters are laid out for you.
The analogy I would use is that you are in a dark room tripping over stuff and someone hands you a flashlight. No one is forcing you to turn it on but not only does it make sense it also makes life easier.
Once you understand that following God in this world makes life easier and more fulfilling, then it makes sense.
So Isaiah has chosen to follow God.
When that happens there is an empowerment that takes place. For some it is a physical event, for others it is just a courage.
Society often has problems with that empowerment because your guide is no longer the rules of the establishment. The popular word to discredit someone is to say they have become possessed. The term conjures up all kinds of evil images.
That possession puts you in a dilemma.
The first question is to discern if it is the Spirit of God. It is a fairly easy thing to identify. If the voices call you to do good then it is from God. If it calls you to do harm then it is not from God.
But you still have a dilemma
Do you act on this new awareness?
I sometimes wonder how many women there were before Mary who chose not to carry Jesus. I wonder how many people could have accomplished much but they were afraid.
How many people are distracted from the message of Christmas by the commercialism of Christmas
Welcoming the Spirit is like gassing up the car. It doesn’t do you any good if you don’t drive it.
A quote I ran across was
“It is better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.”
We are really good at hesitation. Right from the time we were in school when the teacher asked a question, we hesitated because we were afraid of being judged when we gave the wrong answer.
Throughout life we hesitate because we are afraid of failure.
You may really want to ask someone for help but you hesitate because you don’t want to look weak.
It is at this point that you ask the Spirit to guide you. As one theologian said” You grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and throw yourself off the throne and put God there
In the nativity story Joseph knew what he as a first century man had to do. He had to divorce Mary. But he took himself off that throne and put God there and took Mary to Bethlehem.
In the passage in Isaiah he knows what has to be done.
-take good news to the oppressed
-bind up the broken-hearted
-proclaim liberty to the captives
-release to the prisoners
-proclaim the year of Jubilee
We also know what has to be done
As much as Christmas for kids is a wonderful outreach
-as much as foodbanks and shelters and handouts are essential, we
should not be living in a society where they are needed.
We should not be in a society that promotes war, violence and injustice.
Christmas reminds us that the Spirit is present
Christmas reminds us that the Spirit is available
May the celebration of the birth of Christ inspire you to open that door
May the spirit of the lord be upon you and may you and others recognize it by your actions.
PRAYER God this is such a powerful time of year. We think often of your son, his birth and his life and even his death. We are reminded of his message of peace and love. We remember that he chose to live his life in spite of the obstacles and we pray that we might have the same courage. We remember that he was born to all of the human race. He was born as a child. Just as a child knows no hatred or prejudice, may we be like the Christ child. May we find places where we can raise up those in need whatever that need may be. May we have the courage to bring change to this world.
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 Dec 13
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers
The Quilting group made and delivered
over 400 quilts to the Christmas For Kids
Opening Prayer
Lighting of the Advent Candle
Hymn – In the Bleak Mid-winter 55
Scripture Isaiah 61: 1-3
Reflection Spirit Guide
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Gentle Mary Laid her child 46
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 06 Dec 2020

THE TOUCH OF GOD Isa 40:3-8

I ran across an article by a man named James Fallow. He was a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. He says that the North American culture sends out a confusing message about Christmas. He was visiting a department store in Japan a few years ago and he found Santa holding baby Jesus in sleigh pulled by seven dwarfs.
Even for ourselves, Christmas may seem confusing. I smile when people tell me that they can’t believe in religion because it has too many discrepancies, but they are ok with eight reindeer landing on the roof, a fat man sliding down the chimney in every house in the world in 4.3 seconds?
Christmas has so many traditions and variations. It has so many expectations, but no matter how many variations there are, the central message is that Christ was born. The central message is that God has not vacated the premises. The word Emmanuel means God is always with us. No matter how confused or confusing life and the world may seem, that Spirit that sustains us is with us.
Often God meets us in our uncertainty.
So much poetry. literature and hymns have been written about the idea that God carries us when we are weak.
The poem “Footprints” surfaces every so often. It is about a man at end of his life. He looks back and sees two sets of footprints in the sand, portraying his life’s journey. God explains that that is because God walked beside him. The man notices that at the worst times there is only one set of prints. He asks God “why did you abandon me” God replies that in the times of difficulty – “I carried you”.
In today’s scripture Isaiah is calling for a time when God will re-enter the world, to sort out mess that has developed. He is saying to the people, “Prepare a highway in the desert for our God” In other words prepare yourself for God’s return. Be open to God’s interference.
The Old Testament focal point is the story from Exodus where the Israelites are freed by God from the Egyptians. It is also the story of Passover. A time when they believe God stepped into history. It was a time of severe struggle and immense suffering. God had always been present but at that point God stepped into their history and led them to freedom.
Then as their world and nation developed, God became more obscure. They changed from a faith based nation to a politically based system. Politics took over and religion was relegated to the back. The prophets, which can be found in the latter half of the Old Testament began to voice their objection.
This is where Isaiah comes in. He is concerned about the welfare of his nation. He recognizes the need for God. There are many prophets. You can read their books but beware, they have some pretty brutal opinions of their nation.
Many get killed off because they object to the direction of the government. But to little avail. Their words are not listened to. And the Israel nation plunges into what we would consider a wilderness.
It’s at that point that Jesus enters the scene. God hasn’t given up.
Often through history and our own personal life, God meets us at our lowest ebb. God meets us in our wilderness
Throughout the bible the wilderness has been a powerful symbol of brokenness and regeneration.
After their freedom from Egypt the Jews went into the wilderness for forty years to meet with God and try to understand the goals for them
Moses spent time tending sheep in the wilderness and that is where he met the flaming bush and heard God’s instructions
Jesus went to wilderness to meet with God.
John has just came in from wilderness when he meets with Jesus
Saul/ Paul was in a spiritual wilderness when he was on the Road to Damascus. He was on the wrong road in life.
We have all had a new experience of wilderness THIS year. The rate of suicide and mental illness has skyrocketed. People in long-term care homes and hospitals are unable to have visitors. Everyone has a story of frustration and isolation.
There are multiple examples of financial struggle.
In a normal year Christmas is often a time of happiness and joy BUT there is also an added awareness of difficulty and loneliness for many. That is why usually we have the Blue Service
Add into that usual reasons for upset like bankruptcy; separation, death, disease, depression; and you realise that the world isn’t as happy as it might be.
There are lots of reasons why life didn’t work out the way you thought it would.
That is the time you begin to search
That is when the meaning of Christmas shifts from buying presents to understanding the presence of Christ.
Christ came as a baby, not as a dictator, because the idea of moving out of the wilderness into a different and loving world is one that must grow with you and not be forced.
A man by the name of Howard Rice was asked, how he became so wise. He replied, “Multiple sclerosis” “I was a minister. I was good at it. I was told I preached well. MS took away my mobility and eventually my job. But I learned to live on trust. God did not give me MS – but together we used it to help me find my way.
The first thing Isaiah had to do was convince his nation that they were in fact in the wilderness. Our nation is in a wilderness but many will not recognize that because it would affect their lifestyle in a negative way.
When you leave the wilderness – you also must leave some things behind.
Our world is in a wilderness. The second Sunday of Advent is Peace Sunday. Maybe we have to leave war behind.
For many in Isaiah’s time the glamour of opulence hid the emptiness. For many the commercialism of Christmas hides the meaning.
We need to not only recognize that we, others and our world is in a wilderness but we also need to prepare a way
God is trying to reach us
We need to be open to new roads that we walk with God
There is a way out of the wilderness.
PRAYER
God we live on the edge of vastness. On one side is the endless expanse of commercialism and emptiness. On the other is the endless expanse of your love. Help us to build a road that leads out of the coldness into the warmth. Help us to recognize that we are a long way from perfect, yet you are willing to work with us and not condemn us. Help us to see how you continue to reach out to each of us in so many ways. Help us to open our hearts and minds to the power of love. We give you thanks for people who have led us. For people who have taught us and for people who have loved us. We give you thanks for the original birth of your son and for the yearly reminder.
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 Dec 6
Announcements
1) Etransfer info at bottom of page
2) Thanks to helpers today, Aubrey, Chelsea and Cheryl
3) Services to continue – I think.
4) Don Ferrier passed away and his funeral is to be in spring
5) Gilford Window – Dale decorated it – drive by
Opening Prayer
God on this second Sunday of our Advent Calendar we come to you to worship the Prince of Peace. As we gather let us clear our minds and hearts of all anger, revenge and malice so that we might hear the words of forgiveness and peace
Lighting of Advent Candle 2
Hymn – 6, verses 1-4
Scripture Isaiah 40: 3-8
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 20 Omit verse 3
Benediction
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen
Info about contributing
The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)
Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill
or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks

Sermon for 29 Nov 2020

HOPELESS PREDICTIONS Mark 13: 24-37

Some of you will remember Roy Bonisteel. He started in a show called Checkpoint which was a national TV Show produced by the United Church and went on to be the anchor at Man Alive which was a CBC talkshow.
In one of his stories he relates that he saw farm for sale in paper. He knew it was a good farm. So he went to see the farmer and asked why he was selling. The farmer replied that the end of the world was coming so he didn’t need the farm. Roy stated that the farm was worth five times what he was asking but the farmer assured him that it was enough money to live on until the end. Roy tried to dissuade him. He couldn’t, so he bought the farm.
This is the story of two men. For the farmer, the future, disabled his actions. For Roy his actions enabled his future.
There has been much time and energy predicting the future. On many accounts the world is supposed to have already ended.
In the year 999 on Dec 31, thousands of people climbed to top of Mt Zion to welcome Jesus. Obviously Jesus didn’t get the memo.
In 1998 we were told that the world would end because Jesus lived 1998 weeks. Then in 1999 a man named Criswell said that the world would end because a magnetic force would suck up all the oxygen. Obviously it didn’t suck up his!
The Elisabeth Clare Prophet had people moving into bunkers due to upcoming nuclear war.
Of course then we had Y2K, which predicted that the world would end due to the 2000 year mark. Of course most people were unaware that our calendar are not accurate. They are out by about 4 years.
Not to let you think that the predictions ended in 2000. The Mayan calendar said it would happen on Dec 21, 2012. However new info has been discovered that states it will be Dec 21 of 2020.
There are lots of other doomsday prophets.
There is a thing called the “Seersucker Theory”. That is that no matter how much evidence to prove the predictions are wrong. Every seer can find a sucker. The only thing they have proven is that they are all wrong. Even Jesus says no one knows the time of his coming.
None of us knows what lies ahead in our own personal lives. How often have I heard people say “I had no idea this would happen to me” Whether it was a job loss, a divorce, a death or the opposite: falling in love, winning the lottery, whatever. Life can take many roads. We can cower in fear or we can enable the growth.
No one knows what lies ahead for our world. Maybe it will blow up on Dec 21 but probably not. We can live in fear or we can enable the growth of our world.
This is the Season of Advent. The four weeks leading up the Christmas. According to my chocolate advent calendar we only have two days to go to Christmas.
It is a time of anticipation. We wait for the celebration of Christ’s birth. There are two ways of waiting for X
There is the passive, where we simply wait and when Jesus comes he will fix everything. There are so many theories on how that is going to happen it is mind-boggling.
For some there will be a thousand years of bad times. For some there will be a thousand years of good times. Regardless of the timing everyone believes they will be in the group that is preserved.
But that group is not motivated to heal the world. They are not motivated to repair anything. There is no pressure to make the world better for future generations.
Often this group is the people who advocate for some event to quicken the end-times; like asking the President of the USA to push the nuclear button.
Then there is the other point of view.
The people who believe that we should prepare for the coming of God’s kindom (purposely misspelled) by working at fixing the world.
If you are part of the group that believes God will fix everything then Jesus life was really pointless. He came to help us heal the world but if that is going to happen anyway then why was he here?
I believe he was here to draw a contrast between the world and the vison of God.
I believe he was here to show us what needs to be done and to empower us to proceed.
He gave us challenges like: feed the hungry; clothe the naked; visit the sick and shut-in.
He called us to bring justice and love to all people.
Would Jesus be impressed with the way our world is?
Right now there are 2825 billionaires in the world.
Jeff Bezos the wealthiest makes $1200per second. If you compare that to an essential worker in a long-term care home, making $18 per hour, he makes their entire years net income in 28 seconds.
If you are full time on minimum wage he makes your yearly income in 22 seconds.
This is not a condemnation of this man but it is a call to awareness of where our world has gone.
We have a lot of things that need attention.
Try booking anyone into a mental health facility. Often the first available appointment is months away.
We need to look at the growing concern about clean water for all people.
There are so many issues that Jesus would question us on. Both in Canada and throughout the world.
In Anticipation -we are called to action – not to waiting
In the United Church’s statement of faith from 2006 called the Song of Faith we read
As children of the timeless one.
Our time-bound lives will find completion,
in the all-embracing Creator.
In the meantime, we embrace the present, embodying the hope,
loving our enemies, caring for the earth; choosing life.
Waiting is a verb not a noun.
A man stopped to ask Socrates which way to Mt Olympus. Socrates replied “Make every step you take go, in that direction”
Let us make every step in direction of the kindom.
PRAYER God, as the anticipation of Christmas starts to build,; as the malls start to fill; as Amazon gets busier; as requests are made; help us to understand and realize the opportunity this season brings. Not just to share presents but to share life.
Help us to find the places where pain and injustice reside. Help us not to just expose but also to heal
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 Nov 29
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers
Gilford Drive through Supper 192 dinners were packed & picked up
in a timely fashion. There was no long wait for anyone — quite different than the Tim Horton’s drive-thru!
After all expenses were paid there was a profit of $2,703.00
Opening Prayer
Hymn – 18 There’s a Voice in the Wilderness
Lighting the Advent Candle 1
Scripture Mark 13: 24-37
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 43 Go Tell it on the Mountain
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 22 Nov 2020

Sermon – Enlightenment and Wisdom

Paul says: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope.
I like to fact check. I like to check and see if the information someone states is actually true. It is not that easy in today’s world but it is interesting to see the differences.
During the Afghan war I had a contact in Germany. The account of the war was entirely different in Germany than it was here.
Sometimes the discrepancy is obvious
I heard recently that Stalin had been sighted in Brazil a few weeks ago. Stalin would be 142 years old this year. Somehow I have doubts
Last week I was looking at illustrations about this passage of scripture from Ephesians. I ran across a story about a Prince in Grenada who had been locked away in a horrible prison for 33 years until he died. The prison was called the “Place of the Skull” because no one ever came out alive. The only book he was allowed was the bible. As you can imagine he read it hundreds of times.
What was interesting is the account of his reading. Apparently he wrote on the sandstone wall with a nail. He wrote facts about the bible. Some of those facts were that:
Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible;
Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet except the letter J; and the 9th verse of the 8th chapter of Esther is the longest verse in the Bible.
There were other facts but this is where the difference appears.
The first story is by an evangelical preacher in the states who had a narrow view of the requirements for salvation. He claimed that the Prince wasted his life because he never got to the part where he was to turn his life over to Jesus. .
The second account is simply by a historian who recorded all the writings on the wall. He agrees about the passages already quoted but goes on with more information. The historian says that the Prince writes that everyone should read certain passages that talk about how to live this life and get along with people. Often it says if you turn to God you will find comfort for your difficulties.
The evangelical preacher claims that the Prince never reached salvation. After reading the historical account I would say that the Prince may never have reached the preachers definition of salvation but he did reach wisdom and enlightenment.
Paul in this passage encourages us to reach wisdom and enlightenment.
Wisdom was a critical part of the Greek culture. As far back as the 6thcentury BC the Greeks were heavily involved with the pursuit of philosophy. Some of their understandings came from the ancient near-east. When the Romans captured Greece then wisdom and philosophy became a large part of the Roman world also.
Philosophywas used to make sense out of the world by using reason. It dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, mathematics, political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, logic, biology, rhetoricand aesthetics.
In the Old Testament, wisdom has the name of Sophia. Sophia was the partner of God in the creation process often interchanged with Logos or the Word of God. (By the way Sofia was the most popular girl’s name from 2011 to 2013 and also the name of the new humanoid robot.) Wisdom
When Jesus was preaching he was hugely influenced by both these.
Into that we add Jesus unique relation with God.
Some will say that Paul was referring to the wisdom only found in the New Testament. The problem with that is that the New Testament had not been written by that time.
Some will say that we should not pay attention to any wisdom that is not in the bible because it doesn’t come from God but I believe that all knowledge and wisdom comes from God. Some people will say that certain wisdom doesn’t come from God because it doesn’t match their needs, but I think all wisdom comes from God and we have to grow in our understanding.
The church had trouble with Galileo’s theory that the earth was not the center of the universe. Some said his idea came from some devil. Now we look back at it and realize that it was valid, just different.
What we need to do is temper our wisdom with the filter of love.
We are constantly discovering new information and new ideas. We are constantly finding new ways to both save and destroy the world we live in.
We need to raise these ideas up in the light of God.
There was a neat story recently which is similar to an old children’s story about an airplane and a rat, but this one is about an eagle and a crow. The crow is the only bird that will attack an eagle. It does this by landing on the eagles back and biting at its neck. The eagle knows enough to fly higher in altitude until the crow has too much difficulty breathing and falls away.
We need to do the same with our wisdom. Lift it up until it stops doing damage – if it in fact is. If we place all our wisdom in the light of Jesus love then we gain a better world and a better life.
This is Reign of Christ Sunday. It is the Sunday when we take time to discern the relevance of Christ in our lives and in the world around us. It is the time when we make Christ more prevalent in our world,
We have a long history of Jesus being rammed down people’s throats and consequently rejected. It is time for us to bring the positive influence of Christ back into the discussion and the wisdom we have discovered.
Paul later says that there is no good or bad wisdom. It is what we do with it.
Putting Jesus into the equation of our knowledge is like putting a drop of food colouring in a bowl of water. It colours the whole thing.
I do not believe that Paul was opposed to the vast amounts of wisdom that he was exposed to. I think he just wanted us to use it in line with Christ.
Sounds like a good idea to me.
PRAYER God, open our minds to see you in every situation and every learning moment. Teach us to be able to discern between truth and falsehood, between information and false news; between positive and negative directions, between selfish and selfless motivations. You have given the human race so much wisdom and yet there is still much more to learn and discover. Help us as we deal with the questions of life and death, of abundance and poverty, of justice and injustice. Give us insights into the way we can filter all the gifts you have given us through the focus of love that Christ tried to share, that this world may grow toward a perfect reflection of your vision.
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 Nov 22
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers
Opening Prayer
Hymn – 213 Rejoice the Lord is King
Scripture Ephesians 1: 15-23
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 211 Crown him with many Crowns
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