Read Along Service for June 28

Order of Service

Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church

Bethel-St. Andrew’s United Church

June 28, 2020

Worship Leaders: Rev. James Murray,  Rev. Dr. Christine Johnson, Mike McCormick

Guest soloist: David Rowat

Welcome and Introductions

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that this worship service is being held on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people and we pay our respect to Elders both past, present and future.


Canada is a big place. It’s not only large geographically, it is large in terms of ideas and diversity. Our worship today doesn’t set out to offer any one perspective on what it means to live in a country like Canada. It’s more a kaleidoscope of different voices and images. We hear the plaintive sounds of the song Four Strong Winds, talking about moving out west to Alberta and all the disruption that entails.We listen to the voice of Mohawk writer, Pauline Johnson, whose poetry evokes the beauty of our land while highlighting cultural paradoxes. We take a trip across the Ottawa Valley by train, from Pembroke to Ottawa, knowing that in 1942 the train derailed in Almonte. We sing about the Northwest passage and imagine a car trip across Canada. And finally, we join together in one of the greatest Canadian gospel tunes ever written: Put your Hand in the Hand. Canada is a big place. Canada is a big idea. God keep our land glorious and free for every person that abides here.    


“Four Strong Winds” is a song written by Ian Tyson and recorded by him and his wife, Sylvia.  Tyson wrote the song in 1961, at the height of the folk revival.  The song is a melancholy reflection on a failing romantic relationship with Alberta as its location.  In 2005, CBC listeners votes this song as the greatest Canadian song of all time. 

Four Strong Winds Ian Tyson

Think I’ll go out to Alberta, weather’s good there in the fall

I got some friends that I could go to working for

Still I wish you’d change your mind,

If I asked you one more time

But we’ve been through this a hundred times or more

Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

If the good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.

If I get there before the snow flies, and if things are looking good

You could meet me if I sent you down the fare

But by then it would be winter, not too much for you to do

And those winds sure can blow cold way out there

Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

If the good times are all gone, so I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.

Still I wish you’d change your mind,

If I asked you one more time

But we’ve been through that a hundred times or more

Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

If the good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.

I’ll look for you if I’m ever pass this way


Call To Worship

One: O Canada, our home and native land

Two: Today we celebrate the birthday of this country called Canada.

One: True patriot love in all of us command.

Two: With a mix of music and poetry, we explore what it means to be Canadian.

One: With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!

Two: Yet, even as we celebrate, we know the Indigenous peoples of this continent paid a terrible price for the sake of European expansion.

One: From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Two: It’s also true that slavery was part of our early history and anti-black racism continues to this day.

One: God keep our land glorious and free!

Two: With honesty about our past, what kind of Canada is God calling us to be in the future?

One: O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Two: O Canada, be a place of justice for all.  Be a place of freedom and equality for all.  Be a place where kindness and mercy are at the heart of who we are.

One: O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Two: O God, help us to tell the truth and stand up courageously for the sake of our neighbours.



One of our most famous Canadian poets was the daughter of a Mohawk chief and English woman.  In this poem, she foreshadows the power of the European settlers to completely change the landscape.

Joe By  Pauline Johnson

An Etching

A meadow brown; across the yonder edge

A zigzag fence is ambling; here a wedge

Of underbush has cleft its course in twain,

Till where beyond it staggers up again;

The long, grey rails stretch in a broken line

Their ragged length of rough, split forest pine,

And in their zigzag tottering have reeled

In drunken efforts to enclose the field,

Which carries on its breast, September born,

A patch of rustling, yellow, Indian corn.

Beyond its shrivelled tassels, perched upon

The topmost rail, sits Joe, the settler’s son,

A little semi-savage boy of nine.

Now dozing in the warmth of Nature’s wine,

His face the sun has tampered with, and wrought,

By heated kisses, mischief, and has brought

Some vagrant freckles, while from here and there

A few wild locks of vagabond brown hair

Escape the old straw hat the sun looks through,

And blinks to meet his Irish eyes of blue.

Barefooted, innocent of coat or vest,

His grey checked shirt unbuttoned at his chest,

Both hardy hands within their usual nest—   

His breeches pockets — so, he waits to rest

His little fingers, somewhat tired and worn,

That all day long were husking Indian corn.

His drowsy lids snap at some trivial sound,

With lazy yawns he slips towards the ground,

Then with an idle whistle lifts his load

And shambles home along the country road

That stretches on fringed out with stumps and weeds,

And finally unto the backwoods leads,

Where forests wait with giant trunk and bough

The axe of pioneer, the settler’s plough.


Prayer of Approach

O God, bless this country and it’s people. We thank you for the mighty Ottawa River that flows through hills and valleys. We celebrate the Bonnechere River that flows through fields and towns.  We thank you for the Mississippi River that winds its long way through forests and farmland. We celebrate the Carp River that flows from Kanata to Galetta and beyond. We are in awe of the Madawaska River that begins in Algonquin Park and empties at Arnprior.  We pray this landscape inspires and uplifts us with its beauty.  The blessings we receive from its richness are incalculable.  Thank you for our piece of Canada, and for the entire country from sea to sea to sea.  Amen.


Mac Beattie was born in Arnprior and is known for his songs about the Ottawa Valley.  Together with his band the Ottawa Valley Melodiers, Beattie sang about the land he knew the best. 

Train Wreck at Almonte  by Mac Beattie

In the year of ’42 in the last week of December

on a stormy winter’s night when the wind blew cold and raw

And the passengers and crew aboard the Pembroke local

fresh from Christmas celebrations destination Ottawa


O the cold wind was blowing down the track they were going

And the locomotive laboured hard the heavy load to draw

And how little did they know that disaster lay at Almonte

All aboard the Pembroke local destination Ottawa


It’s a hundred miles or more from Ottawa to Pembroke

The engineer was trying his best to make up time.

He was losing all the while with the long stops at each station

and gaining far behind him in the troop train down the line.  Chorus

O the coaches were all filled as they pulled out of Arnprior

they were packed into the aisles any place where they could jam

And the lonesome whistle shrilled as the fireman stoked the fire

they were cruising but still losing as they went through Pakenham. Chorus

They had entered Almonte town and pulled up at the station

when around the curve behind them came a piercing whistle scream

With the mighty rushing sound the troop train was upon them

through the noise of crashing coaches you could hear the dying scream. Chorus

There were heroes made that night from courageous Almonte people

As they worked among the living, the dead and dying too.

There were many killed that night Valley people will remember

On that fateful Almonte train wreck in December ’42.  Chorus


Scripture Matthew 10: 40-42

Reflection The Road Back Home Again


Music: Northwest Passage  by Stan Rogers

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage

To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea

Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage

And make a Northwest Passage to the sea


Westward from the Davis Strait ’tis there ’twas said to lie

The sea route to the Orient for which so many died

Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones

And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones


Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland

In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his Sea of Flowers began

Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again

This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain


And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west

I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest

Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me

To race the roaring Fraser to the sea


How then am I so different from the first men through this way?

Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away

To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men

To find there but the road back home again



Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer


Gene MacLellan was a Canadian singer-songwriter from Prince Edward Island. Among his compositions were “Snowbird”, made famous by Anne Murray, “Put Your Hand in the Hand”, “The Call”, “Pages of Time” and “Thorn in My Shoe”. Elvis Presley, Lynn Anderson, Loretta Lynn, Joan Baez, and Bing Crosby were among the many artists who recorded MacLellan’s songs.

Put Your Hand in the Hand Gene MacLellan

Put your hand in the hand of the man Who stilled the water

Put your hand in the hand of the man Who calmed the sea

Take a look at yourself And you can look at others differently

Put your hand in the hand of the man From Galilee


Every time I look into the Holy Book I wanna tremble  

When I read about the part where a carpenter cleared the temple;

For the buyers and the sellers were no different fellas that what I profess to be,

And it causes me shame to know I’m not the man that I should be.


Mama taught me how to pray before i reached the age of seven;

When I’m down on my knees, that’s a when I’m close to heaven.

Daddy lived his life with two kids and a wife and he did what he could do,

And he showed me enough of what it takes to get you through. (Chorus)



One: Put your hand into the hand of Jesus

Two: and work hard to make this country a better place.

One: Put your hand into the hand of Jesus

Two: and celebrate the beauty of this land.

One: Put your hand into the hand of Jesus

Two: and walk softy, humbly and with courage,

knowing that God is with us every step of the way. Amen.