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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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  • Earth Day

    This coming Sunday is Earth Day.  Here are a few

    ideas that you can integrate this week, and will spark your imagination going forward.  Although the UN has set aside  this one day as International Earth Day, we are called to be stewards of creation each and every day.

    God spoke and the world was created:  “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

    In our Prayers of Intercession:  “With the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, let us pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s creation.”

    Earth Day is a reminder to be intentional about creation each and every day.

    From the ELCIC and ACC:

    From the United Church of Canada:

    The article on Acknowledging the Territory, along with the work of Eastern Synod Biennium Reconciliation Initiative

    may get you thinking of different ways your congregation can recognize the land on which we live.

    Song and Hymn Suggestions

    Singing Our Prayer:  A Companion to Holden Prayer Around the Cross

    Deep Peace #7

    For the Healing of Creation #12b

    Sing the Circle Wide:  Songs of faith from around the World

    La paz de la tierra (The peace of the earth) #25

    The Earth does not belong to us #27

    Evangelical Lutheran Worship

    See hymns 730 – 740, as well as many others, including:

    Many and Great #837

    Soli Deo Gloria #878

    How does your congregation recognize Earth Day and creation every day?


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  • Seniors and Shut-ins Communion and Lunch

    Pastoral care of our seniors and shut-ins by visiting

    them regularly is a valued ministry of our churches and congregations.  There is often an effort to specifically visit around Easter and Christmas, and to ensure that all those that wish to commune are able to.  This can create added stress to an already busy schedule.  But instead of going and visiting each person individually, what about bringing as many of the people together for a service of Holy Communion?  This has been tried at All Saints Lutheran Church in Guelph three times now and already has become a valued ministry.

    The idea is simple – invite all of your seniors and shut-ins to a worship service that is held around lunch time.  After the service, serve a light lunch, where they can continue their fellowship with each other.

    The order for worship is simple and encourages participation of everyone.  Use hymns that are familiar and even those who have difficulty holding a book or reading the words will be able to sing or hum along.  Some people may want to participate by singing a special song, playing the organ for a hymn, reading a lesson or leading a prayer.  At our most recent communion and lunch, one gentleman sang a beautiful rendition of “The Holy City” a cappella.  Inviting everyone to pray the Prayer of the Day and the Post Communion Prayer together makes all feel included.  Here is the order of service that was used – adapt this to your own local context:

    Gathering Song


    Prayer of the Day (said by all)

    Scripture Reading


    Hymn of the Day


    Words of Institution

    Lord’s Prayer

    Distribution of Holy Communion

    Prayer after Communion (said by all)


    Sending Song

    After the Sending Song, the Table Grace was said, before the people moved to their lunch. Here are a few more practical considerations to think about:


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  • Worship As Journey: A Day of Learning and Renewal

    Worship as Journey: A Day of Learning and Renewal

    Saturday, April 28, 2018
    Calvin Presbyterian Church  

    Toronto, Ontario

    This day-long conference is for everyone interested in worship and music. Presenters include Steve Bell, Ken Medema and others.

    Sponsored by Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church, the Presbyterian Church of Canada, the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Reformed Worship magazine, and Interlude.

    Learn more and register:

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