Ebenezer eNews and Worship eService

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Image: United Church of Canada
There is no place like home....but, seeing our daughter Danielle after 3 years at Walt Disney World and having dinner in EPCOT's Space 220 Restaurant was heavenly!

Keeping in Touch

with Ebenezer United Church

Our worship service at Ebenezer as well on Zoom is led by Joan Chinnery and Rev. Nicholas Forrester. We thank Diane McLean for Sunday School, Christine Hanson, Margaret Tribe, and our choir for providing the musical accompaniment, Susan Ryman for the slides, and James Tribe, Clyde Harris, Shaun Balasubramaniam, and yours truly for our audiovisual and broadcast support.

Scripture Readings (NIV):
Isaiah 49:1–7 - The Servant of the Lord
John 1:29–42 - John Testifies About Jesus

Sermon: “Irresistible”

Jesus, You Have Come to the Lakeshore VU563
Seek Ye First the Kingdom VU356
Grant Us, God, the Grace VU540
When Jesus Comes to be Baptized VU100
Go Now in Peace

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



Coffee Time Please stay and meet with us in the narthex following the service for a time of fellowship and refreshments thoughtfully prepared by Valerie, Lily, Xavier Balasubramaniam.
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.  If writing the prayer is something new to you, guidance is available.  The hope is that this will start on the first Sunday of Lent, February 26, 2023.
Annual Reports are now being received in the office or by email at until February 15, 2023.  Please be sure to celebrate and highlight your groups activities in 2022.

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 7-9 p.m. in the main sanctuary. Come sing! Please use the side door entrance from the parking lot to the sanctuary.
Sunday – In-person/Zoom with Rev. Nicholas Forrester and worship Leader, Clyde Harris at 10 a.m. as we celebrate 3rd Sunday after Epiphany. There will be a Sunday School program in classrooms 1&2 with Diane McLean and Marilyn Tankard.
In the Community

Choral Reading – Messiah Please see the poster below for the Choral Reading of Handel's Messiah January 21 from 10am-3pm at 2333 Victoria Park Ave.  $30 per person, bring your own lunch, with conductor, Richard Heinzle:
Canada Revenue Agency Information on Tax Benefits and Credits (Zoom and In-person Sessions 3333 Finch Ave East)
January 17 Tuesday 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – Seniors 65+ (Taxes, Benefits and Credits for Seniors)
January 24 Tues. 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – Caregivers Tax Benefits (Tax Credits for Family Caregivers)
January 31 Tues. 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. – Scams (Protect Yourself from Fraudulent CRA Calls & Messages)
To Register or for more information call 416-493-3333 ext. 305
or email:
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.  

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Ebenezer United Church
2nd Sunday After Epiphany
January 15, 2023
Prelude “Meditation on Divinum Mysterium”            by Larry Visser
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                                   ~ Joan Chinnery
Chimes                                                              ~ Margaret Tribe
*Call to Worship (Responsive) (Please stand as you are able)
Liturgist: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
              and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
People:  And also, with you.
Liturgist: O Lord, open our lips and our mouths shall declare your praise.
People:  O Lord, open our eyes, so that we may behold your presence with us.
Liturgist: O Lord, open our ears, so that we may hear your call to follow.
All:        O Lord, open our hearts, so that we may offer you worship in love and in the beauty of holiness.
Hymn of Praise “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”          VU 264
Prayers of Adoration & Invocation (Together with Worship Leader)
Most Gracious God, we thank and praise you for your Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, and the abundant new life you give us in him. You call us to follow Christ, so that we may bring your light and your hope to the world you love. We thank and praise you for your Holy Spirit who brings the light of the Gospel into our lives. Through your generous gift of the Holy Spirit, we lack no spiritual gift. In your Holy Spirit, we find strength and courage to face every challenge, until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ arrives. We praise you for all your acts of goodness and pray that as we worship you this day, we might grow in righteousness and love. Grant that we might be a people who bless your name by all that we do, both in this sanctuary and in the world beyond it. In Jesus' name we pray, amen!
Choir Anthem “Grace Alone”
Words & Music: Scott Wesley Brown, Jeff Nelson, James Koerts  

Notes on the anthem:
The anthem 'Grace Alone' has a contemporary harmonic colour, and the chorus articulates the foundations of our Christian faith. The grace that God grants us is a gift in every area of our lives.
Prayer of Confession (Responsive) (Led by Worship Leader)
Liturgist: Merciful God, you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost but we confess that we often choose the next new thing over your gift of new life.
People:  We seek love and approval in the wrong places, and so, according to the trends of our culture.
Liturgist: We rely on our own strength and wit rather than your goodness, power, and wisdom.
All:         In your mercy and your grace, wash us in the blood of the Lamb and make us pure and holy in your sight again, and present us faultless before your throne of grace. In Jesus’ we pray, amen!
Assurance of Pardon
Minister: Beloved in the Lord, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: “… having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). To all who turn to the Lord then, he says, “your sins are forgiven.” He also says, “Follow me.” Thanks be to God!
The Lord’s Prayer (Sung Together)                                  VU 960
Song for the Young “Seek Ye First the Kingdom”              VU 356
A Time with Our Children
(Children are welcome to go with Diane McLean and Marla Tankard to classrooms 1&2 for a Sunday School program.)
Prayer for Understanding (Worship Leader)
Holy God, from age to age you have blessed your people with wisdom. We turn to scripture, seeking learning and insight. Send your Holy Spirit to guide us so that we might hear your wisdom in the words read and proclaimed this day, in Jesus Christ, your Living Word, in whose glorious and powerful name we pray, amen.
Scripture Readings (read by Worship Leader)                                

Old Testament: Isaiah 49:1–7 (NIV)
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” This is what the Lord says—the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”  
New Testament: John 1:29–42 (NIV)
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So, they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Reader:  This is the word of the Lord!
All:         Thanks be to God!
Sermon “Irresistible”    Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Hymn of Reflection
“Jesus, You Have Come to the Lakeshore”                            VU 563
Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercession, and Supplication
Minister: God in whom we live and move and have our being, today we join with Christians everywhere to pray for peace and unity, for justice and mercy in your fragile creation. We remember before you today, people living face to face with war and violence, especially those places where ancient hatreds burn.
People: God, speak to us a word of peace.
              Embrace us with your love.
Minister: We remember before you today, people living with economic uncertainty, those who have lost their jobs, their savings, their homes or businesses.
People: God, speak to us a word of reassurance.
              Embrace us with your love.
Minister: We remember before you today, people who suffer discrimination and social prejudice, …
              those who are bullied by others, and all those who are made to feel ashamed of who they are.
People:  God, speak to us a word of dignity.
              Embrace us with your love.
Minister: We remember before you today, people living with illness and suffering, those struggling with disability, and those who know grief or fear.
People: God, speak to us a word of healing.
              Embrace us with your love.
Minister: We remember before you today, people of different creeds and faiths, those who seek understanding and co-operation among different religious traditions, and those who show love to their neighbours, whatever their creed.
All:        God, speak to us a word of wisdom and hope. Embrace us with your love. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!
Invitation to the Offering (Worship Leader)
God has given us a new song in our hearts, a song of thankfulness and praise. So, we bring our gifts with thanksgiving, with hearts cheered by God’s goodness. Your tithes and offerings will now be received.
Offering Our Gifts
Offertory Hymn “Grant Us, God, the Grace”                       VU 540
Prayer of Dedication (Worship Leader)
              Gracious God, we offer you our gifts with humble hearts. We give what we can and each gift seems small on its own. So, bless each one and the gifts of all your people, throughout the Church. Through the work of your Holy Spirit, amaze us with all that our gifts can accomplish, blessed in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whose name we pray, amen.
Closing Hymn “When Jesus Comes to Be Baptized”          VU 100
*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
“Menuet Gothique from Suite Gothique”                by Léon Boëllmann

Notes on organ postlude:
The postlude this week is the third movement from Suite Gothique by Léon Boëllmann. The organ prelude for the November 13 service was from this same suite. Boëllmann's composition is re-imagining of the minuet, a social dance originating in France.
Sung by Susan Ryman with accompaniment by Murphy Hung.
Last week's sermon by Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Verse of the Week
John 8:31-32 (NIV)
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Food for Thought
To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.
from Doug Mark
(-71°C, -96°F)
Why people live here?
Heavenly Humour
from Doug Mark
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