Watch this week’s service on YouTube by clicking:

March 3 Worship Service Video


Join us for Worship Sunday at 10:00 AM followed by fellowship and refreshments in the HeBrews Café


  • The next Senior’s Fellowship event is a Bowling and Pizza Supper on Saturday, March 16 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Coronation Lanes. Tickets ($30) for the bowling event are on sale after church on Sundays. While this event is being planned by the Senior’s Fellowship Team it is absolutely open to anyone of any age!!!


  • World Day of Prayer is on Friday, March 1. While the local inter-church committee has not been reconstituted following the pandemic we are pleased to once more offer a link to the online national service: https://youtu.be/QzruEM-91Rs?si=nO2NO7KwzWMBB1ip . This year’s service has been prepared by Christian women in Palestine.


  • Mark your calendar:      


                             Sunday, March 10           Annual Meeting in the Van Roon Community Hall immediately following worship

                             Saturday, March 16         Bowling and Pizza Night

                             Friday, March 29              11:00 AM Good Friday Service

                             Sunday, March 31           10:00 AM  Easter Sunday

                             Saturday, April 6              Quiz Night (Roof Project Fundraiser – tickets go on sale this week)

                             Saturday, April 13            Rummage Sale (volunteers needed)

                             Saturday, April 20            “SoulCollage” Spirituality Workshop

                            Tuesday, April 23             Bridge Luncheon (Roof Project Fundraiser – tickets are now available)


  • For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work


Dear Friends

Welcome to worship for Sunday, March 3, 2024.

I don’t think I am going out on a limb when I say that there are some bible texts that need to be taken more seriously than others. The Bible itself says, all inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living (1 Timothy 3:16). But any discerning reader can sense that some texts demand our attention more than others.

An example can be found in the two texts I was working with this week. On Tuesday morning Seekers Bible Study was reading and discussing the parable of the sower in the Gospel of Mark. I love the parable of the sower! Seed scattered on pathways and rocky ground, among thorns and good soil all provided as though there was an endless supply. If the seed is God’s love, there is. We had a wonderful, wide-ranging, and insightful conversation.

But then Tuesday afternoon I sat down with the appointed Gospel reading for this Sunday, John’s version of Jesus turning over the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple. This isn’t a light-hearted parable, this is a narrative of high drama. There really isn’t any tension or intensity in the parable of the sower but the same can not be said of the Temple table turning. It is a text that demands our attention and asks much of us.

John’s version of this story is intriguing. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all say that Jesus went to the Jerusalem Temple once, on the same day of the triumphal entry that we celebrate on Palm Sunday. In those versions Jesus turns the tables literally on the moneychangers who were exacting a fee from pilgrims who wanted to make a sacrifice of atonement as part of their Passover observance. The chaos caused by Jesus is ostensibly the crime for which he was arrested four days later.

However, in John this incident takes place near the beginning, in chapter 2. Unlike the others John says that Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover on three separate occasions, the reason some scholars believe that the ministry of Jesus likely lasted three years. So he was not arrested mere days after this event but rather John uses it as the signature reason the authorities became suspicious of Jesus and drew their ire. They had their eye on him in the years that followed.

This difference, occurring at the outset of his ministry or at its end, is not what makes the story so significant. It is what it says about Jesus and the place of religion in our lives and in the world. It reveals that though he was constantly at odds with religious authorities, in his heart he had deep affection for his tradition. One does not become infuriated by the treatment of something that is devoid of meaning. Jesus’ passion for the Temple reflects his passionate love for the God whose house this reportedly was. And his ‘love of neighbour’ finds expression in the anger Jesus demonstrates about the practice of authorities to insert themselves, and profit from, the worship of God’s people.

It is a story that demands a lot from us as we seek to understand it in light of the teachings of Jesus. Let it be said that authentic religion can never justify violence, against anyone. Religion should only encourage our commonalities and never our differences. It takes a close reading to see that Jesus drove out the animals from the Temple, and turned the tables to spill the coins, but no mention is made of bringing harm to another person. It is the authorities who are separating people and Jesus who seeks to bring unity.

Whether in John or the other gospels, this is a story we read in Lent as we reflect upon the meaning of following Jesus to the cross. Jesus was, an is, a profound threat to the power and corruption of the world. He stands in opposition to all that would divide us one from the other. He is the embodiment of loving the neighbour as oneself. Anything less than this is what we need saving from.


Grace and peace,




  • Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit: https://charleswoodunited.org/support/  Thank you for your generous support.


  • The annual Crowdfunder campaign for the Winnipeg Free Press Faith in the News Project has launched. You may be aware that CUC includes support of this initiative in our church budget. Individuals who would like to learn more about it can visit: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/support-faith


  • Through the United Church of Canada’s membership in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an appeal for donations has been issued for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East. For more information and to donate please visit:  Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East Appeal