Bulletin and Announcements for August 20, 2023

Dunsford United Church

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Presider: Rev. Anne Hepburn

† = stand as you are able

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS: Birthdays/Anniversaries, etc.

(Announcements are after the Choral Response)

† GATHERING HYMN: VU #395 “Come In, Come In and Sit Down”



We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishinaabe / Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where we are.  We acknowledge 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.


For God is here, calling us to be present and awake.

Calling us to a life restored and renewed in the Spirit.

Encouraging us through word, silence and song.

Collected we come with skills and talents, needs and questions, willing to

experience this Holy time once again.

Then let us worship God.

Written by Jim McKean Gatherings 2023, p. 37.  Used with permission.

† HYMN: “Deep in Our Hearts” MV #154 


Meet us here, Holy One, in this sanctuary that we have set apart in our


It is an opening for your spirit into our hearts and homes.

In a world that is aching and divided, may our prayers be a soothing gift.

They are offered in your name and in the spirit of your gathered ones,

across time and space.  Amen

Written by Wendy MacLean, Gatherings 2023. P.39. Used with permission.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “Then and There” Christena-Lynn

INVITATION TO OFFERING:  Let us bring forward the offering.

† HYMN OF DEDICATION:  VU #541 (Words: Thomas Ken)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise God, all creatures high and low; give thanks to God in love made known: Creator, Word and Spirit, One.


Gracious God, we bring our gifts this morning, amazed and gratified that they

are considered worthy of your use.

Bless these gifts O God, and bless us in the giving. Amen  

Written by Fern Gibbard, Gatherings 2023, p. 50. Used with permission.


Family Reunions




Genesis 45:1-15 Joseph is reunited with his brothers (Read by Fay)

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me; do not delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 I will provide for you there, since there are five more years of famine to come, so that you and your household and all that you have will not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them, and after that his brothers talked to him.

Matthew 15:21-28 A Canaanite Mother challenges Jesus (Read by Anne)

21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’[f] table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that moment.

† HYMN: “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” VU #602

MESSAGE: Family!

As I was sitting down to write this I remembered that I had not been in touch with one of my favourite uncles.  We keep trying to facetime but his energy is low.

I sent out a reminder and I am waiting to hear.

Families can be awfully complicated.  I have been privileged to be surrounded by generally great relatives all my life and I am grateful.

However, and I think this speaks to inter-generational trauma, my mom’s side is not as close as my dad’s.  A lot of people have similar splits from what I hear.  Certainly many speak of part of their family being close and affectionate and part not so much.

The ones looking on the close ones probably think they are not troubled by conflict or differences of opinion.

I think that is incorrect:  happy families usually have a way of settling issues without big trouble.  Unhappy families may not have the skills to do that.

Happy families usually have a balanced way of appreciating each other.  Unhappy families may have favourites and scapegoats.

I believe that a lot of happy families are led by parents with emotional intelligence.  That’s what helps them to feel for others and look at issues from another perspective.  Unhappy imbalanced families may have less wisdom about treating people equally.  The parents may have bad personal history that unwittingly gets played out in the next generation.

Today’s reading is about Josph and his brothers.  An unhappy family at its most obvious.
You remember the story of Jacob who cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright and then was cheated by his Father-in-Law and married the two sisters.  He is father to Joseph and his brothers.  
Joseph was the second youngest of twelve brothers born to Jacob, who was called Israel.  In Genesis 37:3–4 we read, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”  The same passage also discusses two dreams Joseph had that angered his brothers; the dreams indicated his brothers would someday bow to him.  Joseph’s brothers also despised him due to their father’s overt favoritism toward him.

One day, Joseph traveled to check on his brothers while they were watching their sheep.  His brothers plotted against him, threw him in an empty well, and later sold him as a slave to some traveling Midianites.  Applying animal blood to his “ornate robe,” they returned home and made Jacob believe his son had been killed by wild animals.
In the meantime, Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to the captain of the guard, Potiphar, as a household slave.  Joseph was later falsely accused of attempting to rape Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.  While in prison, Joseph accurately interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants, who were also incarcerated.  Later, Pharaoh had a disturbing dream no one could interpret.  One of the servants Joseph had previously helped then suggested to Pharaoh that Joseph could interpret the dream. Joseph was summoned from prison, and he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream in such a powerful way that he was appointed second-in-command over Egypt.
Pharaoh’s dream predicted seven years of famine.  During the famine, Joseph’s older brothers came to Egypt to buy food.  They did not recognize Joseph, now twenty years older, and he treated them harshly, pretending that he thought they were spies. Joseph kept one brother in prison until the others brought their youngest brother, Benjamin, back to Egypt to prove they were not spies.  They brought Benjamin with them on a return trip, and, after a series of twists that included his brothers bowing before him—in fulfillment of Joseph’s dream of long ago—Joseph revealed himself to his brothers.  They were shocked, yet soon glad to be reunited.  Joseph sent word for the entire family to join them in Egypt until after the famine.
Later, when their father, Jacob, died, Joseph’s brothers feared that Joseph would take revenge against them for their prior treatment of him.  They came to Joseph and begged for his forgiveness, appealing to a request their father had made before he died (Genesis 50:16–17) Joseph wept when he heard their appeal.  Revenge was the last thing on his mind.  Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

This story speaks to us of many themes: forgiveness, trust in God and repentance.

But it also goes to show that having favourites is as bad for them as it is for the ones unfavoured.  Its like being picked on by a bully.  Its bad for the victim but its also bad for those who see it.  Being fearful that you would be next if you said anything is not conducive to speaking up.

I have spoken to many people often during the course of funeral preparation, who spoke of the pain of being scapegoats or the less loved or favoured in a family.  Even senior citizens will say that they still feel the sting of being treated unfairly.    

They feel immature even admitting it some 40-50 years later!!  I say that they are heroes for being willing to acknowledge this long felt pain.

So we read the story of Joseph and his story with his family and we trace back to the father who having cheated and been cheated, carried it forward to his sons.

Not learning from his experience and not choosing to change his path forward.  That’s how family dysfunction keeps on going.  May we be wise enough to see that what happened to us does not have to continue even though it was not fair.  Amen


Please keep Kristen, Emma, Mary Lou, Donna B, Diane, Abigail, Elias Campbell and The Campbell Family in your prayers.

O Loving God, receive our prayers.

We bring our whole lives before you today,

especially our failures and our inattentiveness to your word and ways.

Time of silence

We bring broken relationships with you and with family.

Time of silence

We rejoice in the perfect colours of summer but cry out to you when we

realize the destruction humans are causing to this home you have given


Time of silence

Holy God, we come to your house seeking healing for our brokenness

and strength in our weakness.

We ask forgiveness for the times we have chosen our path rather than


Time of silence

Holy God we wait for you and put our trust in you.  Amen

Written by Jeanne Wilson Gatherings 2023, p. 47.  Used with permission.


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, for ever and ever.  Amen



Go out into the world, treating everyone as family.  And as you go may God go with you. Amen

† CHORAL RESPONSE: “Go Now in Peace”


MINISTRY OF MUSIC: Share your gift, whether it’s singing or playing an instrument.  Sign up sheets are on the table behind the last pew.  

STEWARDSHIP SECOND: Feeling anxious, worried or fearful? Giving and gratitude are antidotes for an anxious brain and a news cycle that tells us there is never enough.

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