Ebenezer eNews and Worship eService

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Image: United Church of Canada
Thanks to Vernon Clarke for his weekly message outside
Last week, Valarie and Mae paused after cleaning up. We thank them and thank all of you for this Sunday's pot luck lunch as well.
Prayers for Turkey and Syria
See this week's links from the United Church of Canada to read more.
Lent begins on February 22nd. Jackie Lovell has provided a 2023 Lenten Discipleship Calendar to use over the Lenten period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. All donations raised and food collected will be picked up on Easter Sunday and donated to the foodbanks. Please let Susan know if you would like a printed copy of the 2023 Lenten Discipleship Calendar. Click here to download it in PDF.

Keeping in Touch

with Ebenezer United Church

Today is the 6th Sunday After Epiphany & our 171st Anniversary with pot luck lunch after the service.

Our worship service at Ebenezer as well on Zoom is led by Margaret Tribe and Rev. Nicholas Forrester. We welcome back accompanist Murphy Hung, Margaret Tribe, and our choir for providing the musical accompaniment, Diane McLean with Joyce Ovens for Sunday School, Susan Ryman for the slides, and James Tribe, Clyde Harris, Shaun Balasubramaniam, and yours truly for our audiovisual and broadcast support.

We also thank Ina York for her Anniversary Reflection as well as the Trio with Murphy for today's postlude called "He Touched Me" by William J. Gaither.

Scripture Reading (NIV): Matthew 5:21–37 Murder

Sermon: The Best Is Yet to Come!

Here're links from the United Church of Canada this week:

Annual Reports are now being received in the office or by email at until February 15, 2023.  Annual Reports should be ready for distribution February 26, 2023. Annual General Meeting is scheduled March 12, 2023 after service.

Wishing a Happy Anniversary to
Ebenezer United Church as we celebrate 171 years of ministry
Wishing a Happy Birthday to
Michele Gillette, February 13
Xavier Balasubramaniam, February 16
Annie Kotian, February 19
Potluck Lunch Please stay following the service for fellowship and a Potluck Lunch planned by Mae Belvett and Valerie Clarke and prepared by members of the Ebenezer community of faith.
Thank you We are grateful to have Murphy Hung with us today as our guest musician while Christine Hanson is on holiday. 
Thank you to Ina York for being our special guest speaker today on this 171st Anniversary of Ebenezer United Church.
Order your Gift Cards today in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers-to-Grandmothers. Order forms are available in the narthex. Requests for cards may be emailed to Jacquelin Lovell
Payment may be made by cheque to the church or by e-transfer to Thank you for your ongoing support.
Stained Glass Window in the Narthex:
A big thank you is extended to Jim Ovens, Renwick Lovell and Fitz Ricketts, for moving furniture in the narthex, so that we can now see the beautiful stained glass window that is mounted there. This window, and the accompanying plaque, was a gift to Ebenezer from Woodgreen United Church downtown, when their building was replaced in the 1960’s. The window was created by artisans at Robert McCausland Ltd, who also created the two beautiful windows in the sanctuary, and was commissioned by William Gooderham, of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery Company. The window, over one hundred years old, dates from between 1910 and 1918. We are grateful that we can once again see and appreciate this beautiful creation in its entirety. The plaque reads as follows:

The Gift of William Gooderham
Offering envelopes for 2023
This year we have discontinued the individual sets of offering
envelopes. Very few of you have been using them, even pre-COVID,
and it no longer made sense to order the minimum 25 sets when only
about 10 of us use them. Most of us are on PAR (pre-authorized remittance), or send weekly or monthly e-transfers.
We now have generic envelopes - take a lot or take a few, and get
more when you need them. Just be sure to put you name on them.
Or better yet - sign up for PAR or do e-transfers. Speak to Joan if you want to know more about PAR. Thanks for supporting Ebenezer.
Something Old is made New! Thank you to Margaret Tribe for arranging to have the old drum set renewed and brought back into the sanctuary.  We look forward to hearing the encouraging rhythm of the drum that calls us all to join together with uplifted hearts.

Office Hours: Susan will be working in-office Wednesday and Friday
10 a.m.- 2 p.m. and from home Tuesday and Thursday
TuesdayOut of the Cold program by BlueDoor & volunteers
WednesdayOut of the Cold program by BlueDoor & volunteers
ThursdayOut of the Cold program by BlueDoor & volunteers
Choir Practice - Come early on Sunday morning 9 a.m. practice.
Sunday – In-person/Zoom with Rev. Nicholas Forrester at 10 a.m. as we celebrate Transfiguration Sunday. Please sign up today to be the Worship Leader. There will be a Sunday School program in classrooms 1&2 with Diane McLean and Jane Smyth.

Prayers of the People Rev.Forrester and the Worship team are seeking to restart the Prayers of the People team.  If you are interested in volunteering to serve by occasionally writing and delivering the Prayers of the People, please speak to Rev. Forrester or any member of the Worship team
Ebenezer Rocks is back!  (see below)
Black History Month - February 26th we welcome our guest speaker Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae is a professor at University of Waterloo.  She holds a PhD in Theatre Studies (York University), an MFA in Theatre (York University) and a BA with distinction (Concordia University).

Her areas of research and teaching expertise are race, gender and performance. Dr. Keleta-Mae’s current artistic and research project is called “Black and Free” with a focus on Black expressive culture and it is funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the University of Waterloo. She has appeared as a media commentator for the BBC, CBC, CTV, The Canadian Press, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and The Fader and written op-eds for The Globe and Mail and Vice Network. She is also an award-winning poet, recording artist, and playwright who has performed in Canada, France, Jamaica, and South Africa. Click here to read her full profile.
Book Clubnext meeting March 20 via Zoom at 7:30 p.m.
The book is a work of creative nonfiction entitled “Homes, a refugee story” written by Winnie Yeung as told to her by Syrian refugee, Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and his family.  Copies are in the office for you to pick up today. (Even if you don’t come to book club, this is an insightful book to read. Please return copies by March 22 during office hours or March 23 choir practice.)
Learn more about the work done by the Ebenezer Book Club as they support
In the Community

Personal Safety in Public and Protecting the LOSS of Your Home
See below
The Face of Poverty, Recognition and Response.
Markham Baptist Church is extending and invitation into the community for a series of Zoom discussions on The Face of Poverty, Recognition and Response; focusing on the Markham-Unionville community.
Session dates: Tuesday evenings on Zoom, February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11, April 25, May 9 from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
To register, in order to enter the Zoom meeting, please email: or call 905-294-5830
Ebenezer Rocks is back!  Calling all members of Ebenezer, friends, and family. On Saturday February 25, 2023 at 2 p.m. we will be walking  in support of Blue Door.  The funds raised will be used to support Blue Door housing programs including the Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold program that operates from Ebenezer three nights per week. Here are the details and different ways to participate:
  1. Please go to If you were part of the fundraiser last year, you can login.  OR there is a tab to register to fundraisedonate, or find your location.  Our location is Richmond Hill (Blue Door).
  2. If you do not wish to walk, please consider donating to the team. OR You may  give your donation to Jane, (with your address information for your tax receipt) and she will post it to the team for you.
  3. If you prefer to fundraise with the team, yet prefer to walk on your own, that is great too!
  4. Everyone who raises $150.00 or more (per participant) will receive the sporty grey and white toque!
  5. Marilyn and Jane will have  drinks and snacks for everyone who would like to walk, fundraise, and for all who would like to come out and support the team!! An Ebenezer event for all!
  6. We will depart the church at 2 p.m. and walk to 14th Avenue and then return. (Same route as last year)
Please contact Jane at or 416-292-9995 with questions.
We hope you will join us and look forward to walking with you in support of Blue Door.
~Marilyn and Jane- Ebenezer Outreach Team 
Have a wonderful week and stay safe,

Doug Mark
PS Please always remember to support your Ebenezer United Church by giving your time and talents as well as through your offerings. Click here to learn more from our website and remember we accept Interac e-Transfers to Thank-you!
PPS Click here to check our our new CanadaHelps donation link found on our website as well.  

If you want to be added to our Ebenezer eNews list, click here to subscribe and feel free to share this link with others.
Ebenezer United Church
6th Sunday After Epiphany
Our 171st Anniversary

February 12, 2023
Prelude  “Sanna, Sannanina” by N. Williams arr. by M. Hung VU 128
Lighting of the Christ Candle & Fellowship Candles
(Lighting by Sunday School, reading by Worship Leader)
The Christ Candle is a sign to us that Jesus Christ has come into this world as the Eternal Light. The Fellowship Candles remind us that Jesus’ people are the people of Light in this world. As we light the Christ Candle, let us hear the voice of Jesus say, “I am the Light of the World.” And, as we light the Fellowship Candles, let us also hear the voice of Jesus say, “You are the light of the world.”
Welcome & Announcements                             Margaret Tribe
Chimes                                                             Margaret Tribe
*Call to Worship (Responsive) (Please stand as you are able)
L/   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P/   And also, with you.
L/   How blessed are we when we keep God’s law and meditate on God’s justice;
P/   when we desire God with all our hearts and all our minds.
L/   Then let us praise the Lord with upright hearts and open minds.
A/   As we come to worship this day, we will seek God’s path and listen for God’s call.
Hymn of Praise “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” tune VU 559
Anniversary Reflection                             Ina York
Prayers of Adoration & Invocation (Together) (Led by Worship Leader)
Eternal and ever-living God: you who are the Alpha and the Omega – the God who was, who is, and who is to come – how excellent is your name in all the earth. The heavens declare your righteousness and the skies show forth the work of your hands. As we come before you today, we pray that you will help us to be open to your presence among us and within us. Pour out your Spirit upon us and cause us to be enraptured in your glory. Make us attentive to your Word and committed to walk in your commandments. We ask these things through Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end, amen.
Choir Anthem “Seek Ye The Lord” by J. Varley Roberts
Accompanied by Murphy Hung with choir soloist Margaret Tribe
Prayer of Confession (Responsive) (Led by Worship Leader)
L/   Loving God, you call us to walk in your ways and love you as you       have loved us.
P/   Yet we turn aside to follow other paths: we take the easy way       out, listening to the world’s call rather than your call to       commitment;
L/   we quarrel with one another, letting differences divide us; we     cherish our resentments, shutting off our Hearts from forgiveness      and reconciliation; we cling to petty jealousies, bitterness, and     rancour.
A/   Forgive us, O God, when we flee from your holy precepts for        us. Wash and cleanse us in the blood of the Lamb again, that         we may reclaim our purpose and grow in the grace and      knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in whose   glorious and powerful name we pray, amen!
Assurance of Pardon
M/  Beloved in the Lord, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all       Acceptance: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious…       abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or  repay us according to our iniquities. For, as high as the heavens         are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as
      far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our       transgressions from us.” To all who turn to the Lord then, he says,       “your sins are forgiven.” He also says, “Follow me.”
A/   Thanks be to God!

The Lord’s Prayer “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (West Indian Version)
Song for the Young “Give Me Oil in My Lamp”               traditional
A Time with Our Children
(Children are welcome to go with Diane McLean and Joyce Ovens to classrooms 1&2 for a Sunday School program.)
Prayer for Understanding (Worship Leader)
Holy God, you are the source of wisdom and understanding for us. In the midst of our distractions, help us find stillness. In the midst of competing voices, may we hear your Word. Amid the many choices we encounter, help us discern your way, through Jesus Christ, your Living Word, in whose glorious and powerful name we pray, amen..
Scripture Reading
New Testament: Matthew 5:21–37 (NIV) (read by Rev. Forrester)
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. 31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’… 
34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
R/   This is the word of the Lord!
A/   Thanks be to God!
Sermon “The Best Is Yet to Come!”        Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Hymn of Reflection “Will You Come and See the Light”   VU #: 96
Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercession, and Supplication
M/ Almighty God, in spoken words and in the silence of our hearts, we give you thanks for all of life, for the grace you provide to all of creation, and for your loving kindness known in the details of our lives.
P/  Hear us, we pray, as we speak of matters on our hearts and       minds this day.
M/ Where people suffer in pain that is physical, emotional or spiritual;       where loss marks the beginning and ending of every day, where young people fear for the future of the planet and their elders mourn the loss of what they once assumed would last: Transform us and make all things new.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/ Where the poor and lonely find little support or comfort, where   people are tired from overwork or burdened by too much responsibility; where workers fear for their jobs in the present or the future; transform us and make all things new.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/ Where families are divided by old hurts or new tensions, where       friendships have ended through misunderstanding or jealousy, where relationships have been severed by betrayal or thoughtlessness: transform us and make all things new.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/ Where the Church is divided by squabbling and disagreement, where Christians emphasize differences instead of celebrating our diversity, where we put energy into guarding tradition at the expense of honouring new life and relationships with our neighbours: transform us and make all things new.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/ We pray for the people of Laval, Quebec, where children were killed and wounded when a bus crashed into a daycare. Comfort the wounded and cause them to recover from their injuries. Give hope to them and their parents. Also, comfort the parents, family, and friends who have lost loved ones. Give them hope and peace.  Be with the caregivers of the daycare and give them hope and peace as they grapple with this terrible tragedy. For the driver of       the bus, be with him throughout the time.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/ We pray for the people of Turkey and Syria, who are faced with the devastation left by the earthquake. Many thousands were taken from this life and are being mourned by loved ones. Many are possibly still trapped beneath the rubble, while their loved ones cling to hope that they may be rescued alive. Thank you for those who have been rescued alive and those who may yet be rescued alive. Spare as many lives as you will, oh God. Restore hope and     peace to those who are distraught, overwhelmed, in deep pain, and with great anxiety. And, help the people of Turkey and Syria put their lives back together, what is left of it.
P/   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
M/  We continue to pray for all the persons belonging or connected to this congregation, who are sick and shut-in and need your healing and helping grace. We bring before you and call by name: Roy, Janet, Michele, Cyril, and Joseph.
P/   Bless them, comfort them, and heal them, oh Lord.
M/ Also, we continue to pray for those who are connected to some of us here is some way, and for whom requests for prayers have   been made, and we call them by name: Jackie, Carole, Edwin, Jenna, Basil, Cathy, Elaine, and Andrea.
A/   Imbue them with your care and minister to them, your       extravagant love. We come to you praying for your grace about all these matters of care and concern on our hearts,   through the power of the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen!
Invitation to the Offering (Worship Leader)
God sets choices before us, choices that can bring life and blessing, or choices that lead to death and despair. When we give our gifts to God, we make a choice for life, a choice to bless others in God’s holy name. So, we give, not because we must but because we can, trusting God will bless the choice we make today.
Offering Our Gifts
Hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow”         VU #: 541
Prayer of Dedication (Minister)
Gracious and generous God, we know that you give growth to your people when we serve you faithfully. We bring our gifts to you in thanksgiving and ask you to bless and multiply what we bring. Surprise us by what your Holy Spirit will accomplish through these gifts. Bless our lives, too, so that our choices will honour you and bless the world, in Christ’s name we pray, amen.
Hymn “We Shall Go Out with Hope of Resurrection”       VU #: 586
*Benediction (Rev. Forrester) (Please stand as you are able)
Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Go with God, my friends. Amen!
“Go Now in Peace”                 by Nancy Price and Don Besig
Postlude “He Touched Me”     by William J. Gaither
Trio sung by Joan Chinnery, Marilyn Tankard, Marla Tankard
Accompanied by Murphy Hung, chimes played by Margaret Tribe
Sung by Susan Ryman with accompaniment by Murphy Hung.
Last week's sermon "The Be-Attitudes" by Rev. Nicholas Forrester
2 week's ago sermon "Fulfillment!" by Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Verse of the Week
1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 (NIV)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Food for Thought
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.
from Doug Mark
Ever wonder about The scale of the Sun's Gravity? I still can't believe this! Click here to find out on this YouTube short.
Heavenly Humour
Whoa, check out Dave's stick
from Tanya Mui
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