Dunsford United Church Sunday – November 7, 2021 – Remembrance Day Service

Rev. Anne Hepburn

The Poppy 100th Anniversary – Video

GATHERING MUSIC: “Draw the Circle Wide” MV #145




We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishnabeg/Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where I am, and we acknowledge also and give thanks for the lands and people of treaties and unceded territories of all who are worshiping. It is up to all of us to live into truth, respect and reconciliation with all our relations.


Who are we, gathered in this place?

We are followers of Christ, the Prince of Shalom.

And what is this Shalom?

Peace with justice, a peace that is right, God’s peace.

Why are we here?

To remind ourselves that we are an important part of shalom.

In our relationships.

In our community, in our world.

Then come, let us gather.

Let us worship the holy One and let us prepare ourselves to carry God’s peace into God’s world.

Written by Richard Bott Gatherings 2021 p. 46, used with permission.

HYMN: “Let Us Build a House” MV#1


Remember the suffering of the world.

Remember the sacrifice of the soldiers, civilians and peacemakers.

Remember the Holy Spirit, who leads us into ways of peace and light.

We celebrate your presence holy One and live for a world made Holy.

Written by Robin Wardlaw Gatherings 2021 p. 46, used with permission.



Old Testament Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17 Ruth marries Boaz and restores the family line.

3 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin;[a] and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Psalm 127 Unless God builds the house

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
    the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives sleep to his beloved.[a]

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
    his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


MESSAGE: “Where Do We Go from Here? Rev Anne Hepburn

The news recently has left me feeling cynical.

A young man is in court for stalking and killing his mom: she was struggling to pay to feed his younger siblings after leaving her wretchedly abusive husband of 30+ years. Son sides with father and says he doesn’t want his younger siblings to be wrenched away from dad.

Justin Trudeau says we need to care for indigenous people but appeals AGAIN a ruling that calls for social welfare payments and changes to them.

Doug Ford makes an announcement about a HUGE  Minimum wage hike after a paltry 10 cent raise last month. 

We are about to remember those who served and protected our country but a hospital in Kabul was bombed killing many.

Locally and internationally we are seeing hypocrisy and cheapness. Its hard to reconcile and its harder to tolerate.

When I was growing up my parents always stressed to us that we were so lucky to be born in a country like Canada. Education, safety, health care peace.

Now I should say that we were privileged.

We had more than many and we were blissfully unaware of it.

I came across a saying recently that makes the point.

“She had nothing but the best of everything and cheerfully made do” 

We were not spoiled though.

Partly because being spoiled isn’t so much about what you have but what the expectations are of behaviour and attitude.

We were not allowed to be rude or talk back or be late for meals.

Probably a lot of other stuff we couldn’t do either.

I recall vividly after a birthday party when my Dad was carpooling a bunch of kids home after and I said to one of my cousins thoughtlessly “Bye, Fattie” My dad almost tore a muscle whipping his head around to glare at me! I did not need a talking to- I learned from that reaction that what I said was unacceptable.  So politeness mattered and kindness too.

I sincerely doubt that any of us were aware that other families and friends were not as happy or safe or well cared for.

My parents however, they knew. They volunteered in places where those very concerns were prom- inent. They knew that there were rooms in the “house” as the reading goes that were not heated well or supplied with safe drinking water.

They knew that not all parents were not as capable of caring for their little ones as well as they and their neighbours were.

They knew that violence and abuse roiled a lot of familiies in despair

Poverty and disability, PTSD and mental health issues were fault lines running through the family trees of many roommates.

In our “House” the same issues coexist. Add to previously the known issues which have existed from biblical times, other issues which have probably existed all along but for which we did not have names or understanding- even vocabulary to contextualize.

LGBTQ, Transphobia, Female Genital Mutilation, Incest , there are so many new learnings from the people is our wider house and we have I think an obligation to try to understand.

Do you remember the scene is the movie about Patton, a US general who slaps a soldier really hard for crying? Patton was in a field hospital where a soldier suffering battle fatigue is weeping in despair and depression.

We would call that PTSD now but to the nurses and doctors it was as real as any other wound. Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower was so enraged by the callous treatment of the soldier that he demanded a public apology and Patton’s eventual resignation. Good on him. I bet back then there was no official name for PTSD  except battle fatigue but obviously the military knew it happened and to a certain extent they cared for and supported those who were suffering. That is remarkable given that the military is typically known for fostering a hardened attitude to any show of weakness.

Only our house is our community, our province, our country and the world.

A quote from Franklin Roosevelt surfaced on Facebook this week.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” On other words- do our housemates have a fair amount of what they need?

If we have more than them do they at least have their needs met?

This week I listened to a lecture by Cindy Blackstock a professor of social work at McGill and a speaker from the Indigenous community.

It was part of the Annual Osler Lectureship which I only became aware of recently.

Cindy talked about the fact that the schools for Indigenous students were always known to be substandard. She says that it has always been in the news and that when a new account is published in the paper there is a huge cry of anger and fury which gradually dies down until another story shocks us out of our inertia and rouses us up again.

She spoke about the fact that there was an “Indian Problem” which needed to be eliminated so settlers could colonize the whole country. So the IP were relegated to reserves that were not theirs but belonged to The Queen.

It reminds me of something I heard a long time ago-that fostered kids might not get the same care as bio kids. They are not there for permanence, they may not have a private room; they might not get as many privileges etc.

I don’t know if it is true but it sounds like the way the IP were treated. Seen as less legitimate, less deserving of care and basic health care, adequate food etc. and definitely unwanted!

When outsiders saw what is happening they may either react in horror or defend it for the status quo.

One who reacted in horror was a doctor called Peter Henderson Bryce. He blew the whistle on the horrific conditions in the residential schools but was punished for speaking up.

One who could have spoken up was another not so civil servant a Duncan Hugh Campbell who rationalized the treatment and allowed it to continue.

Our country is diminished  by this whole long saga and continues to be lesser than it could be for its continued failure to care for many as equally and fairly as those of us are treated.

Soldiers, veterans and IP are among those in our society, who have the worst rooms in the house. They have adequate care for mental health physical health and social issues. Schooling and opportunities are limited. We can’t build a house to be proud of until everyone is cared for. Amen   

† Please stand for the Remembrance Day Service

O Canada

Laying of wreath

Last Post                                                          

Lament Brian Gowan



Please be seated

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.


Gracious God, on this Remembrance Day Sunday, we acknowledge the double-sided nature of our remembering. We confess the ultimate evil of war and our part and society’ s part in the violence of the world.  And yet with real gratitude, we remember those who sacrificed health and life for freedom from this evil. Stir us O God, to hear your word this day.  Strengthen us to work at the unfinished task of proclaiming your peace in the midst of our violent world. Amen

We pray:

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, the power, and the glory forever! Amen.



While we can’t take up the offering the usual way, we do appreciate the generosity you show us. Whether by PAR or other methods the support is real and meaningful. Envelopes may be left in the offering plate on the table as you leave the Sanctuary.

HYMN: “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” VU #575


CHORAL RESPONSE: “Go Now in Peace”


Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

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