Ebenezer eNews and Worship eService

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This Story is Awesome
Don't miss today's Inspiration below featuring an amazing story of how the people of Rwanda have risen up from the devastation of genocide and have helped foster the growth of an innovative technology company called Zipline that save lives by delivering medical supplies in minutes and could be delivering food and products right to your backyard soon.
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Keeping in Touch

with Ebenezer United Church

Our worship service at Ebenezer as well on Zoom is led by Jacquelin Lovell, Diane McLean, and Rev. Nicholas Forrester with Christine Hanson, Margaret Tribe, and our choir for the musical accompaniment, Diane McLean with her helper for Sunday School, Susan Ryman for the slides, and James Tribe, Shaun Balasubramaniam, and yours truly for our audiovisual and broadcast support.

Special thanks to Margaret Tribe for today's Prayers of the People.

Scripture Readings (NIV): 
1 Samuel 16:1-13 Samuel Anoints David
John 9:1-12, 35-41 Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

Sermon: “Spiritual Blindness!” Rev. Nicholas Forrester

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

Wishing a Happy Birthday to
Danielle Mark, March 23
Vernon Clarke, March 23
Susan Ryman, March 24
Coffee & Treats Please stay following the service for fellowship and refreshments in the narthex generously prepared by Valerie Clarke and Mae Belvett.
Book Club – will be meeting tomorrow Monday, March 20 via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the book “HOMES a refugee story”. Everyone is welcome to the discussion and there is still one copy in the office available to read. The Book Club collects funds to support Kiva Loans. For more information, please speak with Diane Saunders via email:
Invitation: Lenten Study, March 21 - April 9, 2023
I am inviting you to share in a Lenten Study entitled, “The Purpose Driven Life” that will be based on a book written by Pastor Rick Warren with the same title.
The Lenten Study will be on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., continuing March 21, 2023, and ending on April 4, 2023. This study will be on Zoom.
You may get a copy of the book at or check with your local library that may have a copy. You may also check with other local bookstores. There is an accompanying material that you may want to consider, called the Purpose Driven Life Journal.
Below, you will find the Zoom link for the Lenten Study.
I am looking forward to seeing you there. ~ Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 890 2160 1928 Passcode: 618900
Family News: A graveside service and reception is planned for the late John and Dorothy Grant on Monday, May 1st at 11 a.m. Please RSVP by April 3rd if you are available to come to the service. Thank you.

Office Hours: Susan will be working in-office Wed. and Friday
10 a.m.- 2 p.m. and from home Tuesday and Thursday
MondayBook Club meeting 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
TuesdayOut of the Cold program by BlueDoor & volunteers
Lenten StudyThe Purpose Driven Life” – via Zoom 6 p.m.
Wed.Out 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.
Sunday – In-person/Zoom at 10 a.m. with Rev. Nicholas Forrester for the 5th Sunday in Lent. Prayers of the People by Vernon Clarke. There will be a Sunday School program in classrooms 1&2 with Diane and a “Helper”. We like doing ministry together, please join us in service.
Notes on organ music: The organ prelude is by Marcel Dupré, one of the most important French composers. He was organist of the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris from 1916 to 1920, and in 1934 succeeded Charles-Marie Widor as the organist at the Saint-Sulpice.

Notes on choir anthem: The choir anthem is the well-loved classic, Worthy is The Lamb, powerful and contemporary meditation of the Easter story based on Revelation 5:12.
April 2 Palm Sunday 10 a.m.
April 6 Maundy Thursday 7 p.m.
April 7 Good Friday 10 a.m.
April 9 Easter Sunday 10 a.m.

“Musical Theatre and Movie Music” Concert
Who: Susan Ryman, Murphy Hung, Jane Loewen, Holly and Landon!
When: Friday March 24 at 7:00 p.m. (Susan’s birthday!)
Where: Wesley United Church (404 Aurora Road and Woodbine)
Birthday reception downstairs following the concert. All are invited.
Men of Note and Claidhmor Spring Concerts
Men of Note is performing a joint concert with Claidhmor.
Saturday May 13 at Port Perry United Church, 294 Queen St.,
Port Perry 3:00 pm start and 8:30 pm start
Sunday May 14 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 59 Toronto St. S., Uxbridge 3:00 pm start
Ticket Prices:   $25.00 adult, $20.00 seniors and children under 16
Tickets Available at:, The Wee Tartan Shop (177 Queen St., Port Perry)), and Woods Clothing (70 Brock St. W., Uxbridge), and at the door.
Men of Note Spring Concerts
Saturday May 27 at the Stouffville United Church 2:30 pm start
Room to let a Tyndale University student is looking for a room to let for 16 months during her study period beginning August 2023 through to December 2024.  She has her own car. If anyone knows of a family willing to host a 23-year-old graduate student, please inform Susan 416-892-4433.  Thank you for your consideration.
Have a wonderful week,

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
4th Sunday in Lent
March 19, 2023
Prelude “Antiphon III” by Marcel Dupré 
Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge this land on which Ebenezer United Church serves our community. For thousands of years, this land has been on the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to worship, pray, and practice our faith on this land.
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  ~ Jacquelin Lovell
Chimes ~ Margaret Tribe
*Call to Worship (Adapted from Joel 12:12-14)
(Worship Leader, People, All)
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/   “Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.
P/   Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God,
L/   for (God) is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”
A/   Come, let us worship the Lord!
Lighting of the Lenten Candles (Marilyn and Cayleigh)
“Seeing Differently”
Voice 1: On this fourth Sunday of Lent we remember with joy …
that God’s ways are not our ways and that God’s ways will challenge all our well-laid plans.
Voice 2: (Lighting the fourth candle – the pink candle) 
God helps us to see what is really important.
All:     Compassionate God,
Help us to see with your eyes and to love with your heart. Amen.
Hymn of Praise “Jesus Christ Is Waiting”                       VU #: 117
Invocation (Together) (Led by Worship Leader)
Most Holy and Righteous God – the One who covenants with us, in the glory of the cross your Son, Jesus Christ conquered the power of death and broke its hold over all who believe and put their trust in him. In this time of worship, draw us to you, that we who confess Jesus as Lord may put aside the deeds of death and accept the life of your Kingdom. Through Christ, our Lord we pray, amen!
Choir Anthem “Worthy Is The Lamb” by Stephen Leddy
Confession and Lament (Worship Leader, People, All)
L/   God of mercy, we confess that we often attribute your miracles in our lives to our own abilities.
P/   We confess that we promised to trust you but turned to our own way when your response did not come soon enough or in the way we expected.
L/   We confess that we put our own understandings above your wisdom, and we resist your command to live according to your holy Word.
A/   Forgive us, O God and remake us according to your image and likeness. Through Jesus our Saviour, we pray, amen!
Assurance of Pardon (Minister, All)
M/  Beloved in the Lord, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance:Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit...
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Ps. 32:1,2,5). 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 (In unison)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on 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; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Song for the Young “Are You a Shepherd?”                  MV #: 126
A Time with Our Children ~ Diane McLean
(Children are welcome to go with Diane McLean and “Helper” to classrooms 1&2 for a Sunday School program.)
Prayer for Understanding (Worship Leader)
Light of the world, your Word brings new vision and hope. Let your Holy Spirit rest upon us as we listen to the Scriptures. Open our eyes to see your Word at work in the world and show us the path to follow your Son, Jesus Christ, your Living Word, in whose glorious and powerful name we pray, amen.

Scripture Readings                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 16:1–13 (NIV) (read by Jacquelin Lovell)
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
New Testament: John 9:1–12, 35–41 (NIV) (read by Rev. Forrester)
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
R/   This is the word of the Lord!
A/   Thanks be to God!
Sermon “Spiritual Blindness!”        Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Hymn of Reflection “Open My Eyes, That I May See”    VU #: 371
Prayers of the People (with Margaret)
One: In your goodness and mercy,
All: hear the prayers of our hearts.
Choral Response  “Great Amen”                                MV #: 205
Invitation to the Offering (Worship Leader)
As our Shepherd, God calms our fears and tends our needs. We offer our gifts in gratitude for God’s goodness, trusting that we can share that goodness in a world often filled with fear and need.
Offering Our Gifts
Offertory Hymn “We Give Thee but Thine Own”             VU #: 543
Prayer of Dedication (Minister)
Benevolent God, we thank for your faithfulness. Thank you that we can always trust in you. You are an abundant God and out of your great mercy you have given us so much. We give you this offering today. With it we worship you and give our whole selves to you. Please now take it and use it for your Kingdom and your glory. Extend and multiply its reach and influence. May it be a great blessing to many. We ask all this in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
Closing Hymn “I Heard the Voice of Jesus”                    VU #: 626
 *Benediction (Rev. Forrester) (Please stand as you are able)
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,your vindication like the noonday sun” (Ps. 37:3-6). Go with God, my friends. Amen!
“Go Now in Peace” by Nancy Price and Don Besig
Postlude “Were You There?” by Dale Wood
Respectfully adapted from the following resources:
The United Church of Canada @;
The Presbyterian Church in Canada @;
United Church of Christ Worship Ways @;
Spirit Networks @;
and The United Methodist Church Ministry Matters @
Last week's sermon "Give Us the Living Water!" by Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Prayer of the Week
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Food for Thought
An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like. 
from Doug Mark
Amazing Invention
This Drone Will Change Everything
by Mark Rober

Isn't it amazing how the Rwandan people have been transformed into an amazing people after the genocide of so many people?

This is the same fellow who has made intricate squirrel obstacle courses in a backyard and more. 
Heavenly Humour
by Lily Balasubramaniam
Lily made us a new reminder sticky note to record our Sunday Services during Zoom for our YouTube channel. It works great! (Usually) Thank-you Lily!! 
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