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May 5, 2024: Sunday Service
Rev Dr John Smith
Rev Dr John Smith
Sunday, May 5, 2024
Service and Hymns
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May 5th, 2024

6th Sunday of Easter

Find this service at

Leading us today in Worship:
     Minister: Rev. Dr. John Greg. Smith
     Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
     Scripture Reader: Debbie Potts
     Guest Musician: Jeremy Bell, Violin

Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics.
Asterisk * Indicates when the congregation may stand if able.

We Gather 

“Sonata in G Minor, 2nd Mov't” - E. Grieg


Where Two or Three are Gathered in My Name”

Where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there, I am there.  (X4)

As we gather together on this most glorious day,
We turn to light the candle which reminds us:
Christ’s light dances within us,
Christ’s light enlivens us, and gives us strength,
And, Christ’s light fills us, holds us, and blesses us,
For the living of these particular days.
May it be so!  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 the region of Treaty 18 of 1818. 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.

Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of God’s name:
Make your praise glorious!

All the earth bows down to its Maker!
How awesome the deeds of our Creator!
How awesome that we’ve been made in God’s image!
So we sing and praise and offer thanks to God!

Come and see what God has done;
Come and witness to the beautiful blessings God has bestowed all around us.
Come and find the most sacred places on earth;
Come and find the deepest place on earth!
Come and know the depths of God’s love for you in your hearts!

We come with the Creator’s love written in our hearts.
We come knowing our prayers have already been heard.
We come to sacrifice all that we have to the love of God.
We come to sing and praise and offer thanks to the Beloved!

Well then, let us worship God!

* HYMN: VU #226
“For the Beauty of the Earth” (tune VU #81)

1. For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
God of all, to you we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light,
God of all, to you we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

3. For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild,
God of all, to you we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For each perfect gift sublime
to our race so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
God of all, to you we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

Dearest God, creator of the universe,
Creator of our own fragile hearts,
We thank you for giving us this beautiful bountiful day.

We thank you God for creating this particular day,
For it is a day unlike any other, the first of its kind.
It is fresh and new, with no mistakes in it.  Yet!

Help us God, in and through our worship,
To make of our church a place of wholeness and new life.
Help us to nurture seeds of love and joy in each other;
Help us to nurture seeds of friendship with our neighbour.
Help us to nurture justice and peace in our relationships with one another.

Help us God to be and to become a place of safety and refuge.
May our actions match our faith.
May our words be bold, yet kind.
May all that we do today, and every day,
Be done from a place of love and light.

In our worship, let us turn to the light.
In our worship, let us turn to the love of God.
In our worship, let us be filled so that we can offer ourselves and all our gifts to others.
We pray in Christ’s name, AMEN

ANTHEM: (Chosen by Sylvia Bell)
“All in the April Evening” - H.S. Robertson

We Listen 

Mark 4: 1 – 20    (The Message)

The Story of the Scattered Seed
He went back to teaching by the sea. A crowd built up to such a great size that he had to get into an offshore boat, using the boat as a pulpit as the people pushed to the water’s edge. He taught by using stories, many stories.

 “Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
When they were off by themselves, those who were close to him, along with the Twelve, asked about the stories. He told them, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. But to those who can’t see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward a welcome awakening. These are people—Whose eyes are open but don’t see a thing,
Whose ears are open but don’t understand a word,
Who avoid making an about-face and getting forgiven.”
He continued, “Do you see how this story works? All my stories work this way.

 “The farmer plants the Word. Some people are like the seed that falls on the hardened soil of the road. No sooner do they hear the Word than Satan snatches away what has been planted in them.
“And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.
“But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.”

These words from scripture are meant to guide us,  nurture us, and teach us.
Thanks be to God!

ANTHEM:  (Chosen by Sylvia Bell)
“The Lord is My Shepherd” (Psalm 23) - H. Goodall

SERMON: The Kingdom Seed Farm”

We Respond 

Sonata in F Major "Spring" 1st Mov't - L. van Beethoven

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.  AMEN

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 

*HYMN: VU: # 510
“We Have This Ministry”

1. We have this ministry
and we are not discouraged;
it is by God’s own power
that we may live and serve.
Openly we share God’s word,
speaking truth as we believe,
praying that the shadowed world
may healing light receive.
We have this ministry, O God, receive our living.

2. O Christ, the tree of life,
our end and our beginning,
we grow to fullest flower
when rooted in your love.
Brothers, sisters, clergy, lay,
called to service by your grace,
different cultures, different gifts,
the young and old a place.
We have this ministry, O God, receive our giving.

3. The yoke of Christ is ours,
the whole world is our parish;
we daily take the cross,
the burden and the joy.
Bearing hurts of those we serve,
wounded, bruised and bowed with pain,
Holy Spirit, bread and wine,
we die and rise again.
We have this ministry, O God, receive our loving.


“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!

Danse Espagnole from "La Vida Breve" - Manuel de Falla - Fritz Kreisler

LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission:
Call to Worship and prayers are written by Rev. John G. Smith
- “Where Two or Three are Gathered:” Words and music: Bruce Harding, 2002, after Matthew 18:20. Words and music copyright © 2002 by Bruce Harding, One License #608577
- “For the Beauty of the Earth:” Words: Folliott Sandford Pierpoint 1864 Words: Folliott Sandford Pierpoint 1864. Words: Folliott Sandford Pierpoint 1864. Music: Conrad Kocher. Adapted by William H. Monk. Descant: Alan Gray. Public Domain.
 - “We Have This Ministry:” Words, Music: Jim Strathdee © 1979 Desert Flower Music. Words, Music: Desert Flower Music. One License #608577
- “In All My Life:” Sung benediction – Used with permission, © 2005 Scott Kearns.

Scripture Passages:
The Message
Prelude: “Sonata in G Minor, 2nd Mov't” - E. Grieg
Anthems: “All in the April Evening” - H.S. Robertson
                 “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Psalm 23) - H. Goodall. Theme from the BBC TV series The Vicar of Dibley.                  Copyright 2000 Faber Music Ltd.  One License #608577
Postlude: Danse Espagnole from "La Vida Breve" - Manuel de Falla - Fritz Kreisler