Welcome to Heart Lake United Church

At Heart Lake United Church you will find people with diverse backgrounds and experiences all coming together to share our faith and build a caring, inclusive community. Everyone belongs!

Our Mission: To live an active faith connecting God, people and community.

These are not easy times. As we begin to ‘open up’ we may be feeling relieved or maybe even more uncertain and vulnerable. The early followers of Jesus were not living in easy times either. They faced disease, economic uncertainty, great income disparity and injustice maintained by force.

Jesus knew that standing up for justice and protecting the rights and the lives of the vulnerable during such a time is not easy. Yet Jesus encouraged his followers to do just that.  He told his first disciples “I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves.” He advised them to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

With so much information coming at us and so many expert opinions being shared, we all need to use our own wisdom to sort through it all. We need to seek reliable sources and trust our own common sense. We need to put the care of others before our own comfort. We need to speak out for justice, but do it gently, firmly but gently, so that when we come through this time we will have built a more just and peaceful society for everyone. 

Jesus has more advice for being faithful witnesses to the gospel during challenging times. Join our online worship. 

  Heart Lake United Church is a model of diversity and living in harmony.   
  • all ages,
  • all genders,
  • all races,
  • all religious experiences

Everyone is important to Christ so everyone is important to us.

We all belong.

Heart Lake United Church reaches out through various programs and there is something for everyone.

On Sunday mornings  at 10:30 we worship with inspiring singing led by our music team, sermons that make the Bible relevant to today, and through sincere prayer.

We have a BLAST program for younger kids and SURGE program for youth. Our infants and toddlers are cared for by a trained ECE worker.

 

Sermon: Called to service

Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. January 30th

Prayer: Merciful God, you called each one of us by name. Help us to follow in your ways. May we recognize your presence among us as we journey together? Amen

The reading from the prophet Jeremiah reminds me of my ordination celebration in the year 1993, in Guyana. It was a joyful worship service. The sanctuary was beautiful decorated with red altar linens for the celebration. The atmosphere reflected jubilee. On the altar was the sacrament of Holy Communion with the symbols of everlasting life among the people gathered in community. The church was filled beyond capacity. People came from my rural hometown, people from the current congregation where I served, family and friends from other countries graced the occasion. Something great beyond our understanding was happening among God’s people.

Sermon: Catch of the day

Sermon: Catch of the day. February 6th. Luke 5:1-11

Prayer: Gracious God and Creator your majesty extends beyond all we can imagine. Yet you are as close as our very breath. Surprise us with your holiness. Fill us with your joy and help us to love others as you first loved us. Amen

For those who are seafood lovers whenever you are at a restaurant and you open the menu you would find out what is the catch of the day. Sometimes it is sea bass, salmon, tilapia, or a mixture of seafood. If the catch of the day suits your appetite then you are ready to order and dig in deep.
Many of us have fishing stories to tell our friends, children and grandchildren. Some of you love fishing as a hobby and perhaps some of you have been part of the fishing business for your livelihood. I do not like fishing. I don’t have the patience to hold a line out or go out into the deep waters with a net. But I love seafood and grew up eating lots of it because my dad was a fisherman. Guyana is known as the land of many waters so lots of fishing happens everywhere.

The fun about fishing stories is that each time someone tells this exciting tale of one’s catch of the day you kind of open your hands wider. The first time you told or heard the story the fish was ten inches long or weighed ten pounds. The next time the story is told the fish grew to twenty inches and so on and on. Fishing brings a great deal of satisfaction to people. They feel refresh, calms their tiredness and relaxes the mind. Fishing could be a time of personal reflection and the solitude breathes new life.


My late dad fished in the rivers and tributaries but not out into the sea. His years of fishing included aquarium fish for export in the early years of my childhood. He caught all kinds of fish. Fishing was part of his livelihood and I remembered many of those stories.
One of my favourite memories is the time when my dad brought home a Himara fish that weighed thirty-two pounds. The Himara is a freshwater fish and it is rare and is a delicacy People would go deep into the jungle-rivers of Guyana to find this fish. But the significant memory of this story is that my dad did not catch this fish with bait and hook or a trap or a net. My dad speared this fish. It takes precision, patience and balance to stand in a canoe and hold this huge fish down in the water.


I recalled the excitement that night as the community gathered to hear the story-telling over and over again. I told this story at my dad’s funeral and some of his younger friends who were there said to me this story is still a legend in that part of the rural community. I want to believe that this is not so much of a legend because the fish are caught before they can grow to that size these days. Also, like everywhere across the world the hazards in our environment lead to the declining of the natural order to creation.


Today’s story is about fishing with Jesus in the deep waters. Jesus used an everyday experience of ordinary people to lead us into the kingdom of God. The story invites us to discover with Jesus what is the catch of the day? One way to interpret the catch of the day is to "bring people" to an encounter with Jesus. We could think of ourselves as the ones casting the nets. We spread the word far and wide hoping that we will bring in another huge catch like the one that day at Gennesaret.

Or we could think of ourselves as the net. We are God’s channels intertwined with gifts and the voices to gather others into relationship with Jesus. Yet another thought is to consider ourselves as bait. We know that many decades ago the church grew when babies were born into the fellowship. New disciples are brought into the life of the church through existing families. Sometimes new disciples become part of the fellowship because something attracts them. Is it some kind of bait? What is it? Often it is you and me.

Four out of five new church members say they decided to join the community for worship because a friend or a relative first invited them. Consider we are the bait, good or ill. Jesus invites us to launch out into the deep but make sure the water is warm! We are prepared to share the good news that God’s love and grace is for everyone.


All are welcome into worship! We know there are people who are hurting and people who want to hear some good news from us.

Last Sunday morning I made a follow-up call with Sally. During our conversation she told me that one of her co-workers listened to the funeral service that was live-streamed for her late husband Larry. Her friend confessed that she had not been to church for a very long time. But after listening to the service, prayers, music, God’s word written and spoken, she was moved by the Spirit. She acknowledged it is time to return to her community. Sometimes God uses us in situations that we can never imagine exist. I believe that even in deep waters such as death and sorrow, God’s word is the catch of the day.


Throughout Christian history we understood that our call is to people. We are entrusted with a ministry of building relationship with God. The spiritual practices of prayers, sacraments, and Word are to save lives. These practices keep us connected with the warmth of God’s love. We are to help someone to find that spiritual renewal with God.


Do you remember a time when you felt like you have been fishing in murky waters? Life was filled with uncertainties that you cannot see a clear spot to cast a net out. You recall a time when the waters are so deep you thought the boat you are traveling in will sink. The financial situation seems difficult and God seems to set you adrift out into the deep. Perhaps you have seen someone hit ground bottom due to addiction, illness or financial loss.


Simon Peter said we have been fishing all day and night and caught nothing. What else can we do? He was reluctant but somehow the voice of Jesus stirred his heart to try again. Have you noticed that two boats went out into the sea and two boats were filled with fish beyond imagination?


Our personal and community situations may seem hopeless at times but just when we think we have tried it all, exhausted from trying and want to run away. Jesus interrupts and surprises us. Out of nothing something new begins bubbling, multiplying, expanding, growing, producing and creating into something only God knows. The disciples were willing to take the risk and to trust God’s grace. With Jesus presence there is no scarcity only abundance. Hear the good news: “If you say so Jesus,” we surrender to the catch of the day-the heavenly food prepared at table. Come and taste the goodness of God then go and invite others to do the same. Amen

 

Contacts

Heart Lake United Church
85 Sandalwood Pkwy East
Brampton ON L6Z 4S3
Tel: 905 846 7314
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.hluc.ca

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