Ebenezer eNews and Worship eService

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Image: United Church of Canada

Keeping in Touch

with Ebenezer United Church

Our worship service at Ebenezer as well on Zoom is led by Clyde Harris and Rev. Nicholas Forrester. We thank Diane McLean for Children's Story Time and 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 9:1–4 
Matthew 4:12-23 Jesus Begins to Preach

Sermon: “Jesus Calls Us!”

Come, O Fount of Every Blessing VU559
The Lord’s Prayer VU960
I Have Decided to Follow Jesus celebration Hymnal 602
I Heard the Voice of Jesus VU626
Grant Us, God, the Grace VU540
O Jesus, I Have Promised VU120
Go Now in Peace

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



We wish a Happy Birthday to:
Godwin Kotian, January 23
Gabrielle Forrester, January 28
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, Jackie Lovell at 10 a.m. as we celebrate 4th Sunday after Epiphany. The children will be singing “Clap Your Hands” during A Time with Our Children lead by Marla Tankard. There will be a Sunday School program in classrooms 1&2 with Diane McLean and Marla Tankard.

Worship Leaders Training Rev. Forrester would like to invite you to a worship leaders’ training for an hour on Sunday, February 5 after the worship service. At the training, we will have discussions around worship order and why we do what we do in worship, the sacraments, prayers, and general preparation for worship.
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. 
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.
Ebenezer 171st Anniversary Sunday Join us as we celebrate the ministry and fellowship of Ebenezer United Church during service at 10 a.m. on February 12, 2023. Please invite your family, friends, and neighbours to come for this special anniversary.

Ebenezer Rocks is back!  See details below.

Gift Cards in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers-to-Grandmothers. February 5-12 is the time to place your orders for merchandise/gift cards. 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.
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.
In the Community 

Canada Revenue Agency Information on Tax Benefits and Credits (Zoom and In-person Sessions 3333 Finch Ave East) Details 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 
Canada Revenue Agency Information on Tax Benefits and Credits (Zoom and In-person Sessions 3333 Finch Ave East)
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:
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
3rd Sunday After Epiphany
January 22, 2023
Prelude “My Song Is Love Unknown”                  by Gerhard Krapf
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                                                    ~ Clyde Harris
Chimes                                                              ~ Margaret Tribe
*Call to Worship (Worship Leader & People) (Please stand)
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:   Behold the beauty of the Lord! God is our light and our salvation;     whom shall we fear?
P:   The Lord is the stronghold of our life; of whom shall we be     afraid?
L:   God will shelter us in the day of trouble and set us high upon a rock. Let God’s people shout for joy!
All: For Christ calls us and claims us as his own. We have to rejoice and worship God together!
Hymn of Praise “Come, O Fount of Every Blessing”            VU 559
Prayers of Adoration & Invocation (Together) (Led by Worship Leader)
Gracious God, you are light in our darkness and loving companionship in our loneliness. You shepherd us by still waters, inviting us to new life. You guide us along paths of peace. Even under the shadows of death, you send your comfort and courage to dry our tears and calm our fears. We know you are always with us.  You call us together as your people to offer you praise. Receive our worship this day in the name of Christ, your Son and our Saviour, and empower us by your Spirit to follow him, in whose name we pray, amen!
Choir Anthem “I Am Resolved”
Words: Palmer Hartsough Music: James H. Fillmore, arr. Stan Pethel  
Prayer of Confession (Worship Leader & People)
L:   Merciful God, we confess that we often turn away from your call. You call us to follow your way of compassion and grace but too often we choose to criticize and condemn.
P:   You call us to follow your way of peace but too often we     remain in strife and divided.
L:   You call us to trust you but too often our fears and doubts       overwhelm us.
All: Forgive us, O God of our many sins spoken and unspoken.       Grant us your grace to strengthen our commitment to follow       your ways and not ours. In Jesus’ we pray, amen!
Assurance of Pardon
M:  Beloved in the Lord, this is a faithful saying and worthy of all       Acceptance:For God so loved the world that He gave His only       begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but       have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world
      to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Jn 3:16-17). To all who turn to the Lord then, he says,          “your sins are forgiven.” He also says, “Follow me.”
All: Thanks be to God!
The Lord’s Prayer (Sung Together)                                      VU 960
Song for the Young “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”           OHP
A Time with Our Children with Diane McLean
(Children are welcome to go with Diane McLean and Marilyn Tankard to classrooms 1&2 for a Sunday School program.)
Prayer for Understanding (Worship Leader)
Holy God, pour out your Spirit upon us now as we listen to your Holy Scriptures. Open our hearts and minds to hear your word for us, and grant us grace to follow your leading, in Jesus Christ, your Living Word, in whose glorious and powerful name we pray, amen.
Scripture Readings
Old Testament: Isaiah 9:1–4 (NIV) (read by Worship Leader)
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.   
New Testament: Matthew 4:12–23 (NIV) (read by Minister)
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
L:   This is the word of the Lord!
All: Thanks be to God!

Sermon “Jesus Calls Us!”                           Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Hymn of Reflection “I Heard the Voice of Jesus”                   VU 626
Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercession, and Supplication
(Minister & People)
M:  God of Grace, we open our hearts to you in prayer, trusting in your       mercy to bear the burdens we carry. We thank you for the work       and witness of your Church, bringing your light into so many lives       throughout the earth.
P:  Today we pray for churches that are struggling financially, for       churches caught up in conflict, and for churches whose     members are tired and need your renewing Spirit. Guide them        with your grace.
M:  We thank you for the healing that comes from your hand, O God:        in times of reconciliation when we trust your forgiving love, and in       times when pain has been eased and grief has been comforted.
P:   Today we pray for those whose emotions are raw, whose    bodies are weak, and whose minds are troubled. Give them        hope for new life with you.
M:  We pray for Canada in this time when resentments simmer and       differences deepen. Send your justice to bring relief and your    peace to help understanding prevail.
P:   As the followers of Jesus, give us the courage to unite not only in prayer but in action for the needs of this world. Help       us to see with your eyes and reach out with your compassion.     Strengthen us to work together, despite our differences, so others may see what it means to follow you.
M:  Today, we pray for all the persons belonging or connected to this congregation, who are in need of your healing and helping grace.        We remember and call them by name: Roy Dixon, Janet Dunham, Michele Gillette, Cyril Harvey, Rudy Lewis, and Joseph Salins.
P:   May your healing grace attend Roy, Janet, Michelle, Cyril, Rudy, and Joseph, bringing them wholeness, peace, and comfort.
M:  We also lift up in prayer, those connected to some of us here for       whom requests for prayers have been made, and we call them by       name: Jackie, Carole, Edwin, Jenna, Basil, Cathy, Elaine, and   Andrea.
All: May your healing and/or helping grace meet Jackie, Carole,       Edwin, Jenna, Basil, Cathy, Elaine, and Andrea, and minister        to each at each of their individual point of need. We pray for         all these things and people through the power of Jesus’      name, amen!
Invitation to the Offering (Worship Leader)
Jesus called the first disciples who came, not knowing that their ministry would lead to ours so many centuries later. And so, we bring our gifts in Jesus’ name, not yet knowing whose lives will be touched, but trusting that something good will come of everything we offer to God in worship today.
Offering Our Gifts
Offertory Hymn “Grant Us, God, the Grace”                       VU 540
Prayer of Dedication (Minister)
              Gracious God, when we look at what you have done for us in Jesus Christ, our offerings seem inconsequential. So, we humbly, but readily, offer these gifts today. May they be used to spread the good news of your love – the gospel story that you want told throughout the world today, and for generations to come. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whose name we pray, amen.
Closing Hymn “O Jesus, I Have Promised”                        VU 120
*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 “Be Thou My Vision”                                    by Dale Wood
Sung by Susan Ryman with accompaniment by Murphy Hung.
Last week's sermon by Rev. Nicholas Forrester
Verse of the Week
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Food for Thought
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.
from Doug Mark
Ever wonder what the odds are that we are alive? Click here or on the image above to find out on YouTube Shorts.
Heavenly Humour
from Ina York
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