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  • Centered in Song – Toronto 2018

    An invitation from The Centre For Congregational Song

    to learn about this groundbreaking resource centre. You will hear from some of Toronto’s top song leaders and hymnologists and sing together in a “Big Sing,” celebrating the diversity of the church’s song.

    September 29, 2018

    9:30 am

    310 Danforth Ave, Toronto

    The price is right – FREE – but please register to ensure the venue has enough space for everyone.

    For more information and to register:  Centered in Song – Toronto 2018


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  • Free Webinar: All Hands In: Drumming the Biblical Narrative Vol. II

    Led by Mark Burrows and Brian Hehn


    The exciting sequel to All Hands In is here! And here’s your chance to learn from composers Mark Burrows and Brian Hehn as they lead this webinar hosted by Sacred Choral Editor Katie Houts. Mark and Brian will show you how to maximize your use of drumming resources in fun and creative ways. Join the session live at noon (central) Thursday, Aug. 30.

    Click on this link to register:  REGISTER

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  • Season of Creation

    Sovereign of the universe,

    your first covenant of mercy was with every living creature.  When your beloved Son came among us, the waters of the river welcomed him, the heavens opened to greet his arrival, the animals of the wilderness drew near as his companions. With all the world’s people, may we who are washed into new life through baptism seek the way of your new creation, the way of justice and care, mercy and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  (EvLW, p. 81, Prayer for Creation and new creation)

    From September 1 to October 4, Christians from around the world unite to pray and care for creation.  It’s the Season of Creation.  The theme this year is “Walking Together.”

    Resources are available from many of our ecumenical partners, including those that have been created within the Eastern Synod.  Follow the various links to find resources appropriate to your community and context.  I encourage to share how your congregation remembered the Season of Creation.


    From this link find resources for:

    Liturgies: Including the Eastern Synod 2016 Assembly Creation Not For Sale liturgies. The Thanksgiving Prayer, written by Rev. Dr. Kimber McNabb is also included in this resource;  and the Right to Water Liturgy used on Parliament Hill during the 2013 Joint National Assembly

    Hymns, Prayers, Studies (including a Blessing of the Animals liturgy), Suggested Activities and links to other ecumenical resources.


    Here you will find lectionary notes based on the Revised Common Lectionary, Hymn Suggestions using a variety of hymnal resources (unfortunately not including Evangelical Lutheran Worship), and a Sample Liturgy.

    Season of Creation:

    This is the main page for knowing what is happening internationally, and for finding a “Season of Creation” 2018 Celebration Guide, produced in partnership with many of our international ecumenical partners, including Lutheran World Relief and the World Council of Churches.  A further explanation of this year’s theme is available, as well as additional worship and prayer materials, and a blessing for pilgrims.  The guide is online, and as well there is a downloadable PDF version available.

    Sing the Circle Wide:  The Inshallah songbook published in 2016 contains a number of songs suitable for using during the Season of Creation, including “The Earth does not belong to us”, “To God our thanks we give”, and “For the Beauty of the Earth,” traditional words set to a Chinese folk tune melody.

    Blessing of the Animals:  The Season of Creation ends on October 4, The Feast Day of St. Francis.  It has been traditional in some communities to celebrate a “Blessing of the Animals” on or around this date.  See the posting of May 22, 2018 for a service of Pet Blessing prepared by Rev. Janaki Bandara and a sample certificate that can be used for people to remember the day.  In addition, refer to the Blessing of the Animals liturgy mentioned above available on the ELCIC website.

    May we grow more mindful of the world we have been entrusted with during this Season of Creation.



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  • Relationships with God

    In the following sermon, Deacon Scott Knarr writes

    about his call to diaconal ministry, using imagery of consecration and covenant, especially the covenant we share with the Haudenosaunee people.  Scott has provided us words to ponder and a way to live in hope and in relationship with all of God’s creation.  Thank you, Scott, for sharing this sermon with us, which was first preached at the February 28, 2018 Open Door service at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

    Knarr – SermonFeb282018

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  • Where Two or Three Are Gathered: worship for Small Assemblies – Time after Pentecost – Summer

    The Program Committee for Worship of the ELCIC

    has commissioned Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies, a series of worship outlines for the seasons of the church year using Evangelical Lutheran Worship as the primary resource.  Each weeks’ worship orders include options for Holy Communion and Service of the Word.  Resources for the Time after Pentecost – Summer were prepared by Sean Bell, the PCW representative from the Saskatchewan Synod.

    Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies – Time after Pentecost – Summer




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  • Blessing of the Animals

    Francis of Assisi, renewer of the church,

    is recognized on October 4.  He is a popular saint, one recognized by both Christian and non-Christians.  Often, statues of St. Francis portray him in a garden speaking with the birds.  He had a love of nature, reflected in his “Canticle of Brother Sun.”  EvLW #835, “All creatures worship God most high,”  is a hymn text based on this canticle.

    One the years, in honour of St. Francis, the tradition of “The Blessing of the Animals” is observed in many communities.  Churches, parks, and front lawns become a welcoming place for those animals that we care for or have cared for and are no longer with us.  Pastor Janaki Bandara, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Cambridge, has written a blessing that can be used in a variety of settings, opening up the church doors to the community.  She has shared her liturgy with us here, along with a “Certificate of Blessing” so that people may have a physical reminder of the day.

    Although many people will find this service helpful to use on or around October 4, others communities will find that  springtime is more suitable.  Thank you Pastor Janaki for your gift.

    service of blessing for pets 2018

    pet blessing certificate 2018

    Editor’s Note:  If you would like a template of the Pet Blessing Certificate that you adjust for your own use, please contact me at, and I will be happy to send you a copy.  Kathryn Smith

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  • Choral Reading Session

    Attention Choir directors and Choir members

    Join us for a reading of 12 anthems presented by members of the Waterloo-Wellington chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

    –        Explore music that is being sung in our local churches that represents a wide variety of styles and voicings –  including some by local composers!

    –        Connect with other church choir members

    –        See how the lectionary can be used for music planning

    –        Take some new ideas home with you

    Join us May 26 from  10:30-noon at All Saints Lutheran Anglican Church, 210 Silvercreek Pkwy, Guelph

    Please let Peter West know if you are coming:

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  • Worship and Music Conference – Crieff Hills

    “Toward (Un)Common Ground: Music, Worship and Reconciliation”

    is the theme of the 4th Annual Worship and Music Conference being held at Crieff Hill Retreat and Conference Centre on Friday, June 1, 2018.  All the leaders for the day have a special interest in this topic, and the day promises to be both engaging and enlightening.  See the attached poster for more details and information about registering for the day.

    Crieff Poster 2018


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  • Hearts – Hands – Voices


    Sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, check out this great opportunity to this four day gathering of church musicians.  Conducting, choral leadership, assembly song, and keyboard leadership are just some of the topics that will be covered by a wide variety of musicians and worship leaders.

    Hearts – Hands – Voices


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  • Responding to Tragedy

    Events, such as bus crash of the 

    Humboldt Broncos hockey team and the van attack on the sidewalks of Toronto which took so many lives, can leave one reeling from the magnitude of the tragedy.  As people of God, we share int the pain and sorrow of others and lament and look for ways to express ourselves in our prayers and worship.

    It is interesting to note that the theme of the 2018 National Worship Conference Responding to Disaster: Payer, Song, Presence was set many months before these two events took place, and yet speak to the need people have to craft and hear both words of lament and words of comfort.  Looking at how we respond to both natural disasters and those of human making, the conference will help us give “language and song to the emotions people experience” (words taken from publicity poster).

    The local planning committee for the National Worship Conference has extended the deadline for early registration to MAY 15.
    Here are some responses that others are sharing with the wider community.
    A Lament for Yonge Street, Toronto

    Allan Baer, the composer of the song, Songs for times of violence: “When Peaceful Lives are Shaken” recently shared it on the Music United Facebook page.  He writes, “The topic of human violence is hard to find in current church hymnals, and is often missing from our worship as well – other than to offer a few words of prayer as a nod to its existence. It seems so difficult to explain, let alone deal with such evil that we often just ignore it. That makes healing more difficult.”  You will find more background by clicking on the website link titled “The story behind the song.”

    When you have experienced disaster or tragedy in your community, what has been your response.  Please let me know at and I will share your responses.

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