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April 21, 2024: Sunday Service
Rev Dr John Smith
Rev Dr John Smith
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Service and Hymns
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April 21st, 2024

4th Sunday 0f Easter

Earth Sunday

Find this service at

Leading us today in Worship:

Minister: Rev. Dr. John Greg. Smith

Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton

Scripture Reader: Jim Oliver

Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics.

Asterisk * Indicates when the congregation may stand if able.


We Gather Together in Community



“Album Leaf” - C. Debussy





Today we light the Christ candle as a sign and symbol of God’s great light,

A light that shines in our hearts and in our church.

In this season of Easter, let us pause to remember

That there is nothing on earth, or in life or death,

That can extinguish the light of Christ.

It is this truth that gives us hope and courage for the living of these days!   Amen!


We believe all people are made in the image of God and are entitled to dignity and respect.  At Grace United Church we try to offer a safer, inclusive and generous space for all who are seeking a faith community.  We offer full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, all races, ages and abilities in the life and work of the ministry.


Grace United Church is situated on the traditional territories of

the Anishinaabek, Petun, Huron-Wendat, and Mississauga

peoples, located within the boundary of Treaty 18 region of

  1. We humbly acknowledge the First Nations, Metis and Inuit

peoples of Canada as traditional stewards of the land on

which we work and worship and are committed to working

actively toward genuine restitution and reconciliation.



Behold how good and pleasant it is to worship the Creator of Life and Love!

The Maker of all delights in our praise!

The Maker of all shares in our joy!

The Maker of all shines forth in every little thing!

We think of the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth;

We remember the green and the blue around us,

The fantastical colours of flourishing life!

We think of the millions of species on land and in the sea;

The whales and the spider mites,

The cardinals and the giraffes,

The gorillas and the dogs and cats,

The worms and the frogs and the fish and the osprey:

All form a chorus of praise to the Maker of all.

On this Earth Sunday, let us praise the One who made all that is:

And let us remember, we are nature too.

We are of the Earth, what a great place to call home!


* HYMN:  MV #30

It’s A Song of Praise to the Maker”

1. It’s a song of praise to the Maker,

  • the thrush sings high in the tree.
  • It’s a song of praise to the Maker,
  • The gray whale sings in the sea,
  • Refrain:
  • And by the Spirit
  • you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
  • and sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.
  1. It’s a call of life to the Giver
  • when waves and waterfalls roar.
  • It’s a call of life to the Giver
  • when high tides break on the shore,
  • Refrain:
  • And by the Spirit
  • you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
  • and sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.
  1. It’s a hymn of love to the Lover;
  • the bumblebees hum along.
  • It’s a hymn of love to the Lover,
  • the summer breeze joins the song,
  • Refrain:
  • And by the Spirit
  • you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
  • and sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.
  1. It’s the chorus of all creation;
  • it’s sung by all living things.
  • It’s the chorus of all creation;
  • a song the universe sings,
  • Refrain:
  • And by the Spirit
  • you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
  • and sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.



(rain stick sings)

As we gather together on this Earth Sunday,

Let us remember the things which give us joy:

The gentle falling rain,

The beautiful trees as they green up with buds,

The shouts of the daffodils,

The songs and cackles of the birds in our yards.


Oh God, help us to remember to shout your praise too.

Every day!

And help us to remember we are held in your highest esteem.


Let us consider the times in which we live.

Let us consider how so many take the earth for granted.

While we love our earth-home, it is easy to become self-absorbed with our own needs.

Let us consider how very much it takes to satisfy them.


Oh God, help us to remember we are part of nature,  not outside it.

Help us to remember we are stewards of each and every part

Of your delicious and glorious and voluptuous world!


Let us consider the future, at least seven generations from now.

Let us consider our actions and the impacts they may have.

Let us remember the kind of earth we wish for our children.

Let us pledge our hearts and minds to the earth’s future,

And bring the depth of our combined wisdom to this community

which cares so very deeply.


Oh God, help us to know you have given everything we need to save the earth.

Help us to bring our own gifts to the table,

That we might create a new earth, in Your Name!    AMEN


(rain stick sings)


*HYMN:  VU #296 

This is God’s Wondrous World”


  1. This is God’s wondrous world,

and to my listening ears

all nature sings, and round me rings

the music of the spheres.

This is God’s wondrous world;

I rest me in the thought

of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,

God’s hand the wonders wrought.


  1. This is God’s wondrous world:

the birds their carols raise;

the morning light, the lily white,

declare their Maker’s praise.

This is God’s wondrous world:

God shines in all that’s fair;

in the rustling grass or mountain pass,

God’s voice speaks everywhere.


  1. This is God’s wondrous world:

O let me ne’er forget

that though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is God’s wondrous world:

why should my heart be sad?

Let voices sing, let the heavens ring:

God reigns, let earth be glad!


A Story:  Protecting the Tree


We Listen Together



John 10:   7 - 21       (Contemporary English Version)

 Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep.  Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them.  I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.

 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully.  I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don't own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. Hired workers run away because they don't care about the sheep.

  I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me.  Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must also bring them together, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.

 The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so I may receive it back again. No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.

 The people took sides because of what Jesus had told them.  Many of them said, “He has a demon in him! He is crazy! Why listen to him?”

 But others said, “How could anyone with a demon in him say these things? No one like this could give sight to a blind person!”


These words from scripture are meant to guide us,  nurture us, and teach us.

Thanks be to God!



“Sing Alleluia, Allelu!” - A. Beck



“Saving the Singing Heart of the World”

We Respond to God’s Word


*HYMN: MV #27

“Creator God You Gave Us Life”

  1. Creator God you gave us life,
  • your image formed within our souls,
  • yet through the mist of time and space,
  • we search for that which makes us whole.


Through hands that paint majestic skies,

and voices chanting melody,

  • with words that reach beyond the page,
  • we comprehend your mystery.
  1. In ev’ry flow’r and ev’ry tree,
  • we see your great diversity,
  • yet greater still we see your love,
  • expressed in our humanity.


  • Through hands that paint majestic skies,
  • and voices chanting melody,
  • with words that reach beyond the page,
  • we comprehend your mystery.
  1. When with our hearts, our hands our minds,
  • we share our gifts with all the world,
  • our spirits soar beyond the veil,
  • to touch the very face of God.


  • Through hands that paint majestic skies,
  • and voices chanting melody,
  • with words that reach beyond the page,
  • we comprehend your mystery.


The work of creating a world that works for all,

Requires many gifts, many talents, many resources.

We bring all that we have, our courage, our strength,

Our prayers and our dreams,

Our gifts of time and treasure,

And all the love and acceptance we embody,

To create God’s world of justice and joy.

Thanks be to God.



        Donate online:,  select “Give”

or contact the office by email: or  phone: 519-599-2438 to arrange a cheque pick-up, or an e-transfer

Mail: Grace UC, 140 Bruce St. S. PO Box 219, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0

or Offering Plate at the back of the sanctuary.

Care, Prayer, Share




What’s Up at Grace?


                                    We Go Out to Serve


*HYMN: VU #427   

 “To Show by Touch and Word”


  1. To show by touch and word devotion to the earth,

to hold in full regard all life that comes to birth,

we need, O God, the will to find

the good you had of old in mind.


  1. Renew our minds to choose the things that matter most,

our hearts to long for truth till pride of self is lost.

For every challenge that we face

we need your guidance and your grace.


  1. Let love from day to day be yardstick, rule, and norm,

and let our lives portray your word in human form.

Now come with us that we may have

your wits about us where we live.





In All of my Life


In all of my life

In all of my ways

In all my priorities

Through all of my days

In all that I choose

In all that I say:

May love be supreme in my life

This I pray.


In all of our life

In all of our ways

In all our priorities

Through all of our days:

In all that we choose

In all that we say:

May love be supreme in our lives

This I pray!



 “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” Spiritual - arr. by C. Burton



LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission:

Call to Worship and all prayers are written by Rev. Dr. John G. Smith



-“It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker:” Words: Ruth Duck, 1992. Music: Ron Klusmeier, 1992

Words copyright © 1992 by GIA Publications, Inc. 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638. 800-442-1358. Music copyright © 1992 by Ron Klusmeier, One License #608577

-“This is God’s Wondrous World:” Words: Malthie Davenport Babcock 1901.

Music: English traditional melody, adapted by Franklin L. Sheppard, adapted by

Stanley Oliver. Public domain.

-“Creator God You Gave Us Life:” Words and music: Judith Snowdon, 2004. Words and music

 copyright © 2004 by Judith Snowdon.Public Domain

-“To Show by Touch and Word:” Words: Fred Kaan 1974 © 1975 Hope Publishing Company.

All rights reserved. Used by permission. Music: © 1974 Ron Klusmeier.  Words: Hope Publishing

Company, Music: Ron Klusmeier. One License #608577

-“In All My Life:” Sung Benediction - Used with permission, © 2005 Scott Kearns.     



SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Contemporary English version


Prelude:Album Leaf” C. Debussy

Anthem: “Sing Alleluia, Allelu!”  A. Beck Copyright © MMIV by Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.   OneLicense #608577

Postlude:  “Every Time I Feel the Spirit “   Spiritual -   arr. by C. Burton