Thursday, 25 February 2021

Lent 2 -- February 28, 2021

 




Grounded in Faith, Led by Hope, Called to Action

Today's Service is compiled by Susan Smandych, Intern at St. Paul


Prelude      Down to the River to Pray (Spiritual from ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’)

Land Acknowledgement 

Welcome


Welcome home to St Paul’s Fort Garry on this second Sunday of Lent. Today, February 28th, also marks the end of Black History Month across Canada. Every February during Black History Month, Canadians are invited to celebrate the many achievements, contributions and the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities who have, throughout history, done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. Although Black people have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, in the early 1600s, Black history in Canada has not always been celebrated - or even mentioned at all…

For example, there is little mention that some of the Loyalists who settled in the Maritimes after the American Revolution were people of African descent, and little mention of the many sacrifices made in wartime by soldiers of African descent, as far back as the War of 1812. Canadians are not always aware of the fact that Black people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada - or how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation for the diverse and inclusive society within Canada.

Black History Month is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards an even more inclusive and diverse Canada. In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada, following a motion introduced by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament. Around the same time, there was an impetus to recognize and to celebrate Black Heritage within the Anglican Church of Canada. Today’s variety of music selections will help us to mark the 26th annual celebration of Black History Month.

Gathering Hymn 577 God of Grace and God of Glory (Steel Drums)

God of grace and God of glory,
on your people pour your pow'r,
crown your ancient church's story;
bring its bud to glorious flow'r.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo! The hosts of evil round us
scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

Cure your children's warring madness;
bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss your kingdom's goal,
lest we miss your kingdom's goal.

Set our feet on lofty places;
gird our lives that they may be
armoured with all Christ like graces
in the fight for liberty.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
lest we fail ourselves and thee,
lest we fail ourselves and thee.

Gathering of the Community
(adapted from St Michael and All Angel’s Anti-Racism/End to Racial Harassment service June 21st, 2020)

We come into this worship as people blessed by the presence of God and by God’s grace and glory; as people who have been born into a variety of cultural backgrounds; as people who have been wounded by racism, and as people who have benefited from privilege; and as people serving the Kingdom of God.
God, be with us.

We come into this worship, with our hearts open to increasing our awareness, acknowledgement, healing, reconciliation and transformation; and with a willingness to challenge, and to be challenged.
Christ, come near us.

We come into this worship to spend time with the Scriptures; to become more aware of racial prejudice and of privilege; to appreciate our cultural diversity, and to encourage each other to action.
Holy Spirit, bless our time together.  Amen.


Collect  (significantly adapted the Collect for Lent 2)
Almighty God, You who created all people, of all races, across all nations, in your image of goodness.
We acknowledge that among the diverse peoples of your church and the world, people are hurting.
May the need to recognize, to understand, and to stop this hurt, continue to grow within us.
May your desire for all people’s spirits to blossom, and for justice to thrive, come to life through us.
May the gift of your vision for healing and reconciliation, prompt us to deeper dialogue.
Give us faith to perceive Your glory, and that being strengthened by Your grace,
We may be transformed into the likeness of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.    Amen

Lenten Cross Liturgy (Four purple candles, pink candle and Christ candle are lit prior to worship)

Last Sunday, we put out the first candle, reminding us of how we hurt God's creation. Today, we will put out the second candle, as we remember those times when we have not trusted fully in God's promises.

We think of Abraham and Sarah who trusted in God's promise that they would have many descendants, even though they seemed to be past their child-bearing years. When Isaac was born, he became known as the child of promise. His name means laughter. All children are signs of God's promise. Like Abraham and Sarah, let us trust God and be filled with laughter.

We put out the second candle as we reflect upon how often we fail to live up to our calling as God's covenant people. We ignore the sign of God's promise in our midst, trust in our own strength alone, and forget how to laugh with joy.

(2nd candle is extinguished.)

Let us pray:
O God, we confess that we have put our hope in many things - our families, our jobs, our friends, our possessions. Help us to put our trust in you. May your constant love be with us and fill our lives with healing laughter. Amen.


Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the Book of Genesis: 17:1-7, 15-16 

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

The word of the Lord.                            Thanks be to God.


Psalm 22:22-30
(from the Inclusive Language Liturgical Psalter, available online from the Anglican Church of Canada Synod 2016: https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/GS2016-Liturgical-Psalter-2016-05-04.pdf)

I will declare your name to my kindred; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Praise the Lord, you that fear God; stand in awe of God, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.
For God does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither turns away from them; when they cry to the Lord, they are heard.
My praise is of God in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship the Lord.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall give praise:
 “May your heart live for ever!” All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow before God.
For sovereignty belongs to the Lord, who rules over the nations.
To God alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before God.
My soul shall live for God; my descendants shall serve God; they shall be known as the Lord’s for ever.


A Reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans: 4:13-25 
“For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”

He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore, his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.”

The word of the Lord.                            Thanks be to God.

Gradual Hymn 431 Take Up Your Cross

Take up your cross, the Savior said,
if you would my disciple be;
take up your cross with willing heart,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up your cross; let not its weight
fill your weak spirit with alarm;
Christ's strength shall bear your spirit up
and brace your heart and nerve your arm.

Take up your cross; heed not the shame,
and let your foolish pride be still;
the Lord for you accepted death
upon a cross, on Calvary's hill.

Take up your cross, then, in Christ's strength,
and calmly every danger brave:
it guides you to abundant life
and leads to victory o'er the grave.

Take up your cross and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down; 
for only those who bear the cross
make hope to wear the glorious crown.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark 2:22-40

“Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

The Gospel of Christ.                    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily 

Offertory Hymn      I Will Not Die (text and music Tom Conry TEAM Publications)

I will not die before I've lived to see that land;
firm as the earth, your own promise
I'll not go until I've held it in my hand;
that word of hope, and gentle laughter

I will not rest until your dawn is in my eyes;
that fragile light; new like morning.
I will not sleep before I've wakened to the sunrise;
and all the world knows your glory.

For your right hand has delivered us from death;
you have regarded our tears,
you who are goodness and grace


And I will breathe in that mighty wind of justice
I'll know my name and rise up singing.
And I will call until my words bring on thunder;
washed in the rain, then I'll know you

You will stand up for the poor and the needy;
you'll break the chains that bind your people.
For you are home for the lost and desp'rate
your strong hand

For your right hand has delivered us from death;
you have regarded our tears,
you who are goodness and grace


Prayer over the offering  (from BAS Propers 288)

God of wisdom, may the light of the eternal Word, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, guide us to your glory.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Peace  
(adapted from  http://www.notesfromsusie.com/blog/2017/2/7/6i8xgkpy7d4mwflyczhljkaa69jety)
May we be the body of Christ to those who may feel separated, who have suffered wrong, and who have been turned away. Let us exchange a socially distanced sign of peace with our friends in Christ.
Amen.

 

An Affirmation of Faith (adapted from St Michael and All Angel’s Anti-Racism/End to Racial Harassment service June 21st, 2020)

We believe in God, Creator of the World and of all people; and in Jesus Christ, incarnate among us, who died and rose again; and in the Holy Spirit, present with us to guide, strengthen, and comfort.
We believe; God, help our unbelief.

We rejoice in every sign of God’s kingdom: in the upholding of human dignity and community, in every expression of love, justice and reconciliation; in each act of self-giving towards others, in the abundance of God’s gifts entrusted to us that all may have enough; in the responsible use of the earth’s resources.
Glory to God on high; and on earth, peace.

We acknowledge our sin, individual and collective, by silence or by action; through the violation of human dignity based on race, class, age, sex, identity, nation, or faith; through the misuse of power in personal, communal, national, and international contexts; and through the search for security through military and economic forces, that threaten human existence and freedom, and reinforce systems of oppression.
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

We commit ourselves individually and as a community to the way of Christ: to take up our cross, to seek abundant life for all humanity, to struggle for peace with justice and freedom, to be brave enough to be the light of Christ, and to risk ourselves in faith, hope, and love, praying that God’s kingdom may come.
Thy kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven.   Amen.

Intercessions (Adapted from SMAA Jun 21st Service)

To the Creator of all peoples, who loves each of us for our uniqueness, we offer our prayers of petition:
That each of us may be respected and valued as a child of God, we pray,
Lord of all, hear our prayer.

That the Church may be a witness and a universal sign of unity among all peoples, we pray,
Lord of all, hear our prayer.

That each of us may acknowledge our part in mistakes and sins of the past pertaining to discrimination, racism, and misuse of privilege we pray,
Lord of all, hear our prayer.

That the Church will continue to strive to make every element of human life correspond to the true dignity of the human person, we pray,
Lord of all, hear our prayer.

That each of us may work to influence the attitudes of others by expressly rejecting racial stereotypes, slurs, and be affirming of the cultural contributions of every racial group in our world, we pray,
Lord of all, hear our prayer.

That we as the Church, may make personal and collective commitments to abolish social structures which inhibit the economic, educational, and social advancement of the oppressed, and advocate for decent working conditions, adequate income, housing, education, and health care for all people, we pray,   Lord of all, hear our prayer. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer (Nigerian version)

Closing Hymn     Let Us Break Bread Together 
(African-American Spiritual copyright 1971 F. R. C. Clarke)

Let us break bread together on our knees.
Let us break bread together on our knees.

Refrain:
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord have mercy on me.


Let us drink wine together on our knees.
Let us drink wine together on our knees.    Refrain

Let us praise God together on our knees.
Let us praise God together on our knees.    Refrain


Blessing and Dismissal (adapted from WORDS by RUTH DUCK, 1991, GIA PUBLICATIONS, INC.)

Diverse in culture, nation, and race,
we have come together by Your grace.
God, as we go out today, let us be a meeting ground
where hope and healing love may be found.

God, let us be a bridge of care
connecting people everywhere.
Help us to confront all fear and hate
and lust for power that separate.

When gaps widen, and storms arise,
O Holy Spirit, make us wise.
Let our resolve, like steel, be strong
to stand with those who suffer wrong.

God, let us be a table spread
with gifts of love and broken bread,
where all find welcome, grace attends,
and enemies arise as friends.


Postlude          Black National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing (Steel Drums)



Friday, 19 February 2021

What Brings You Joy?




Sometimes the strangest thoughts pop in my mind while I am outside walking with my golden retriever.  Unlike my last golden this guy likes to be out and about for a walk.  We meander along various streets and side streets so that it does not become mundane -- for either of us.

Different times of day highlight different things to see and enjoy.  Early morning, these days, the night sky is shifting to gentle dawn as we walk really early.  Bunnies are often out looking for breakfast.  There is the odd coyote that runs away, thankfully!  Midday brings its own enjoyments and sights.  The ornaments that continue to dangle from trees and my golden thinking he can climb the snowbank and grab one of those tempting dangling glittering treats, but so far he remains unsuccessful.  The evening brings shadows and the beginning of sunsets.  All of which adds to the joy of the walk that we are on.

Today the temperature was slightly warmer minus 12 (minus 16 with the windchill) made for a gorgeous day to take three walks.  It was so much better than the 40+below of the last two weeks.  Sure it was practically balmy --slight exaggeration here!

There is a joy to be had in the outdoors, fresh air, sunshine, and a golden romping along with a stick bouncing in snowbanks definitely brings a smile.  How can I not enjoy this time and the joy that can be experienced in such simple little things.  Given the year that we have had with the pandemic and the limitations that we all have to endure finding these moments are more important than ever.  It is not always easy but it is intentional.  Sometimes in order to find joy, I do have to look for it as it is not always obvious.  

Occasionally there are other small joys to be found as well.  Greeting a neighbour, bunny watching with my curious golden and today an ice sculpture of sorts made from, I assume, balloons and food colouring.  Yes indeed, it is a good day!  A good day to enjoy life, sunshine, puppies, bunnies and walks in the crisp cool outdoors.  

So enjoy something you love, find what brings you joy and indulge in the feelings that it unleashes in you.  Find your joy and then quite simply enjoy it.





Thursday, 18 February 2021

Lent 1 -- February 21, 2021

 




Acknowledgement of the Land (An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.
We acknowledge the Indigenous People of Canada and their stewardship
of this land and its resources throughout the ages.

St. Paul’s is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


Welcome

Here, among our every day places,
here, among our ordinary lives
is the emerging of grace.

Watch, watch for the signs of the Holy.
In this time, in every time we hold our breath in awe for the wonder of Christ


Welcome to our time of worship here at St. Paul Fort Garry,

 Gathering Hymn    WAYFARING STRANGER

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger a traveling through the world of woe.
But there’s no sickness toil or danger in that bright land to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father I’m going there no more to roam.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.

I know dark clouds will gather ‘round me I know my way is rough and steep.
Yet golden fields lie just before me Where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep.
I’m going there to see my mother She said she’ll meet me when I come.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory When I get home to that good land.
I want to shout salvation’s story In concert with the blood washed band.
I’m going there to meet my Saviour, To sing God’s praise forever more.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.


Gathering


As darkness gives way to light and winter sleep to fresh beginnings,
We come today to be reminded of God's love for us.

Like the green shoots of renewed life, stirring beneath the soil,
We welcome an awakening of God's word in our lives.

In this time of reflection and repentance,
We affirm our identity, we claim our security, as children of God.

~ written by Gill Le Fevre

Prayer for the Start of Lent
God of revelation, unveil your Kingdom in our midst.
Show us who we truly are in you: expose the illusions that distort our vision,
deliver us from temptations that contort our living, open our eyes in this time of trial –
that resistance may be the secret of our joy and our joy a sign of your shalom. Amen.

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.
 http://www.christianaid.org.uk/


Lenten Cross Liturgy

(Five purple candles, pink candle and Christ candle are lit prior to worship)

We are people of the Covenant. During this new Season of Lent we will be looking at the promises God has made to each one of us - promises of love and forgiveness; promises of wholeness for all creation; promises of life beyond death. We will also look at the promises we have made, in response to God's great love for us. On this first Sunday of Lent, we reflect upon the covenant God has made with the whole creation of which we are a part.

We put out the first candle today as we remember the beauty of God's creation and how we continue to do things that hurt our world. (1st candle is extinguished)

We think today especially of God's promise to Noah and to all creation. With sadness we acknowledge that creation is threatened by pollution and our mismanagement of the earth's resources. Our choices have not always been wise ones. Let us pray:

Creator God, we come before you as creatures within your creation. We confess that we have fallen into the way of ease, and lack of concern for future generations. We have not been good stewards of your world. Gracious God, forgive our weakness. Strengthen and encourage us during this Lenten Season.

Song     THE LONE WILD BIRD

The lone wild bird in lofty flight is still with thee, nor leaves thy sight,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

The ends of the Earth are in thy hand, the sea’s dark deep and far off land,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

The lone wild bird in lofty flight is still with thee, nor leaves thy sight,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

Each secret thought is known to you, the path I walk my whole life through,
My days my deeds my hopes my fears my deepest joys my silent tears.

The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the book Genesis (9.8–17) 

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church                              R: Thanks be to God

Psalm 25.1–9 
Refrain: The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes. Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting. Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Gracious and upright are you, O Lord; therefore you teach sinners in your way. You guide the humble in doing right and teach your way to the lowly.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

A Reading from the first letter of Peter (3.18–22)

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.

And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church                      R: Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn  I WILL SET MY BOW IN THE CLOUDS

I will set my bow in the clouds as a sign of my love for you;
as a sign of my promise to all the earth
Visible where gray sky meets blue.

I will place a child in your womb as a sign of my love to you;
When you laugh at the wonder remember this:
Abraham and Sarah did too

I will give to Moses my law as a sign of my love for you;
Be a part of my justice in all the earth;
Covenant to do what is true.

I will offer pardon to all as a sign of my love for you;
When the vow has been broken and trust destroyed,
I will offer pardon to you.

I will write my law in your heart as a sign of my love for you;
Love compels us to follow the Christ, my child:
Covenant restored and renewed.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark (1.9–15) 
Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

The Gospel of Christ                      R: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Homily

Offering Hymn          DRIVE US OUT

When the carpenter’s son went to Jordan, was baptised by John,
You came down in the form of a dove;
“This is my son” said a voice from above.
After you blessed him, you drove him and tested him, forty days wandering far from the town.
Would he seek power and fame? Would he just play the game?
Trusting in your word he stared temptation down.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

The he spread the good news; God’s reign approaching for Gentiles and Jews;
“Follow me” Both women and men, children and sinners and out casts his friends.
Your loved flowed out from him, healing forgiving sin,
Challenging rules that kept people apart.
Your holy fire drove him, clearing the temple den,
Making a house of true prayer would need a new start.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

When Jesus had gone, died and then risen then lifted beyond,
You came down, like a great rushing wind;
Set them a fire your church begin
Give us the words to say, here in our worked today,
Just like the twelve in Jerusalem then
Advocate for us now, guide us and show us help us to witness to love again an again.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

Offering

Let us offer our gifts as a sign of our commitment to Christ and the world

Let us praise God. O God, who calls us from death to life we give ourselves to you and with the church through all ages, we thank you for your saving love in Jesus Christ. Amen



Affirmation of Faith (Liturgies for the Journey of Life by D. McRae-McMahon)

In response to the word, let us affirm our faith together

In desert and forest, mountain and water, we see the signs that God is with us.
In grass that grows through cities of concrete, we see the signs that God is with us.
In the faces of the people whom God so loves, we see the signs that God is with us.
In our brokenness, there is the hope of wholeness.
In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths, lies the hope of resurrection life.
This is the Word in Christ to us.
The flame of the Holy Spirit lives in this place and travels with us. Amen


Prayers of Intercession (Liturgies for the Journey of Life by D. McRae- McMahon)

Let us Pray
O God, who looked upon the city of Jerusalem and wept over it, stand with us as we look at our city and our world
For we long to see a new heaven and a new earth

We see the pain and the struggle of the people bowed down by exploitation and conflict. We hear the groaning of the creation as it waits for new life and hope
Make us part of your new creation, O God

We see our city and our communities and hear its sounds around us (SILENCE)

We picture its skyline and landscape in all its beauty and feel the pulse of its life moving and stopping, despairing and hoping, laughing and crying, with all its possibilities for alienation. We love our city and our communities, gracious God.
Be with us at its heart and reveal to us the signs of your presence

We see your church, in all its humanness, standing in divided witness still, struggling to understand the gospel for this day and this place
Recreate us, O God, and send us your liberating Spirit

Each one of us, in our own place, O God, sees the need and hears the cry of humanity. Let those who will lift up their prayers for the church and the world

(Silence is observed for people to be able to pray where they are for the concerns that they have)

We see ourselves, O God, people of faith and faithlessness dancing in the sun one day and overwhelmed by our realities on the next, joyfully announcing the gospel sometimes and then trembling in our uncertainty. We see the hope that lies among us the hope that we would care and live in the community with each other and the world.
Give life to this hope in us, God of community. Bring to us a celebration of all that is, in its ambiguity, its frailty and its costliness. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer (www.rexaehuntprogressive.com)
Gathering our prayers together we pray:

God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you.
To create what you want for us here on earth.

Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offences,
just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.

Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power
to make our world whole. Amen.

We pray the Collect of the Day together


Almighty God, whose Son fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are but did not sin, give us grace to discipline ourselves in submission to your Spirit, that as you know our weakness, so we may know your power to save; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Hymn     WHAT KING WOULD WADE

What king would wade through murky streams
And bow beneath the wave,
Ignoring how the world esteems
The powerful and the brave?

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Christ gleams with water brown with clay
From the land the prophets trod.
Above him, while the clouds give way, descends the dove of God.

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Come bow with Christ beneath the wave.
He stands here at your side
And raises you, as from the grave
God raised him crucified.

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Blessing     (by Dr. Robert Vyle)

Be tender in the face of pain
Be fierce in the face of injustice
Be mischievous in the face of resistance
And may the God of love, compassion and hope journey with you in all that you do.

Dismissal
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place. As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world... We go out from this place to continue our daily journey through life.
As we do, may we fashion relationships of inclusion and reconciliation, and a life-style that loves and treats people and the earth gently. Amen

 






Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Transfiguration -- February 14. 2021


 The Service today is from the Book of Alternative Services led by the Rev. Helen Holbrook

Prelude Jesu Joy Instrumental 


Gathering of the Community
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
And also with you.

Opening Hymn:         397CP  Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness
Praise the one who breaks the darkness
with a liberating light.
Praise the one who frees the prisoners,
turning blindness into sight.
Praise the one who preached the Gospel,
healing every dread disease,
calming storms and feeding thousands
with the very bread of peace.

Praise the one who blessed the children
with a strong yet gentle word.
Praise the one who drove out demons
with a piercing two-edged sword.
Praise the one who brings cool water
to the desert’s burning sand.
From this well comes living water,
quenching thirst in every land.

Praise the one true love incarnate:
Christ who suffered in our place.
Jesus died and rose for many
that we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness,
seeing what our God has done.
Praise the one redeeming glory,
praise the One who makes us one.


Almighty God,

To you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of you Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Collect of the Day
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Proclamation of the Word

A reading from the book of Kings

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets[a] who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets[b] who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets[c] also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 


 Amanda Gorman’s Poem 

Gradual Hymn: 465 Here in This Place

Here in this place, new light is streaming,
now is the darkness vanished away.
See, in this space, our fears and our dreamings,
brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in - the lost and forsaken,
gather us in - the blind and the lame.
Call to us now, and we shall awaken,
we shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young - our lives are a mystery,
we are the old - who yearn for your face.
We have been sung throughout all of history,
called to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in - the rich and the haughty,
gather us in - the proud and the strong.
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly,
give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we will take the wine and the water,
here we will take the bread of new birth.
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters,
call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassion,
give us to eat the bread that is you.
Nourish us well, and teach us to fashion
lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not in the dark of buildings confining,
not in some heaven, light years away,
but here in this place, the new light is shining;
now is the Kingdom, now is the day.
Gather us in - and hold us forever,
gather us in - and make us your own.
Gather us in - all peoples together,
fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

A reading from the Gospel of Mark

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one[a] on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings,[b] one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved;[c] listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

The Word of the Lord                         R: Thanks be to God 

Sermon

Apostles Creed


I believe in God, our Creator almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Creator.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen

Prayers of the People:

Prayer #1: For the world

Creator inform and guide our world leaders to do what is best for their citizens so that those with few financial resources may have access to food, shelter, education, health, vaccines, mental health supports, and work.

Sung Response:      O Lord hear our prayer,
                                 O Lord hear our prayer.
                                 When I call, Answer me.


Prayer #2: For our Country

Creator may we admit and take responsibility for any inequality due to racism, sexism, or any bias that has wounded so many and devalues people. May we see everyone as you see them and support government decisions and programs that help people heal and empower them to act justly.

Sung Response:         O Lord hear our prayer,
                                    O Lord hear our prayer.
                                    Come and listen to me.


Prayer #3 : For our Bishop, Priests, Deacons, and Lay leaders

Creator you have called many to serve in your Church may our Bishop Geoff and our priest Karen along with all lay leaders take care of themselves under this COVID time. May they be given your gift of wisdom and love and they share the light of Christ in our world.

Sung Response:       O Lord hear my prayer,
                                  O Lord, hear my prayer
                                  When I call answer me.


Prayer #4: For the intentions of St. Paul’s

Creator we lift up the prayers of the people of St. Paul’s. We ask that you answer all their prayers according to your will. We offer up those who have died and we pray for those who mourn, may they be comforted by your love and those who journey with them.

Sung Response:     O Lord, hear my prayer,
                                O Lord, hear my prayer,
                                Come and listen to me.


Prayer #5: For our prayers

Creator this week we will begin our Lenten journey, may we be provided with resources and time for reflection. May we have the courage to grow and use the gifts you have given us to become who we truly are without fear of rejection.

Sung Response:       O Lord, hear my prayer,
                                  O Lord, hear my prayer.
                                  When I call answer me.


Confession and Absolution

Dear friends in Christ, God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy;
He welcomes sinners
And invites them to his table.
Let us confess our sins,
Confident in God’s forgiveness.

Silence is kept


Most merciful God
We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, By what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk-in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen

Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you
And also with you.

Hymn Invitation (from Tune In) Shawn Whelan © 2006

God has laid a feasting table 
All her guests are gathered ‘round 
From the highways and the byways 
All the lost have now been found 

When we hear the invitation 
Will we lay our burdens down? (repeat) 

At this table all are welcome 
No-one need be left behind 
God is greater than our difference 
Christ can see where we are blind 

When we hear the invitation 
Will we love all humankind? (repeat) 

God is crying out for justice 
Christ is weeping in the street 
When will be the time for laughter? 
When will all have food to eat? 

When we hear the invitation 
Will we make God’s will complete? (repeat)

Eucharistic Prayer II

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks and praise, almighty God, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. He is your living Word, through whom you have created all things. By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh of the woman Mary and shared our human nature. He lived and died as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Creator of all. In fulfilment of your will he stretched out his hands in suffering, to bring release to those who place their hope in you; and so he won for you a holy people. He chose to bear our griefs and sorrows, and to give up his life on the cross, that he might shatter the chains of evil and death, and banish the darkness of sin and despair. By his resurrection he brings us into the light of your presence. Now with all creation we raise our voices to proclaim the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,  heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy and gracious God, accept our praise, through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; who on the night he was handed over to suffering and death, took bread and gave you thanks, saying, “Take, and eat: this is my body which is broken for you.” In the same way he took the cup, saying, “This is my blood which is shed for you. When you do this, you do it in memory of me.” Remembering, therefore, his death and resurrection, we offer you this bread and this cup, giving thanks that you have made us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.

We ask you to send your Holy Spirit upon the offering of your holy Church. Gather into one all who share in these sacred mysteries, filling them with the Holy Spirit and confirming their faith in the truth, that together we may praise you and give you glory through your Servant, Jesus Christ. All glory and honour are yours, Creator and Son, with the Holy Spirit in the holy Church, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread 
“I am the bread of life,” says the Lord. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are they who trust in him! 

The gifts of God for the People of God. 
Thanks be to God.

Communion Hymn: All Through the Night (instrumental)

Prayer after Communion:


Glory to God,
whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Blessing:

Closing Hymn: 460 Shine Jesus Shine
Lord, the Light of Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine, Jesus shine,
Fill this land with the Father's glory.
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river flow,
Flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth Your word,
Lord and let there be light.

Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance.
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness.
Shine on me. Shine on me.

As we gaze on Your kindly brightness.
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Dismissal

Go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit
Thanks be to God

Postlude

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Epiphany 5 -- February 7, 2021


 


Entry into the Celebration (Shick, S. M. Consider the Lilies Meditations. Boston. Skinner House Books, 2004)
The bowl is sounded three times

Here we have gathered the elements of our lives and brought them to this place –
the joy of waking and living,
the blush of health,
the pain of illness,
the grief of loss,
the gift of love.

Some of these we have carried a long way.
All we have carried through the seasons of our lives
has brought us here to this place
which we make sacred
by coming together.

Come, you are welcome here at St. Paul Fort Garry as we prepare to worship together

Gathering Hymn     Praise the Lord (CP 382)

Praise to the Lord, all of you, God’s servants.
Blessed be the name of our God now and ever.
From the rising up of the sun
May the Lord be praised,
Praise to the name of the Lord

There is none like our God
In the Heavens and earth,
Who lifts the weak out of dust,
Placing them with the mighty,
Who stoops to raise the weak and low:
May the Lord be praised!
Praise to the name of the Lord!

Praise to the Lord, all of you, God’s servants.
Blessed be the name of our God now and ever.
From the rising up of the sun
May the Lord be praised,
Praise to the name of the Lord

Gathering (based on Psalm 147, Isaiah 40) — written by Mary J. Scifres, and posted on the Ministry Matters website.

Gather us in, the broken-hearted and the joyful.
Gather us in, the weak and the strong.
Gather us in, the fearful and the brave.
Gather us in, the young and the old.
Gather us in, to sing of God’s works.
Gather us in, to praise Jesus Christ.
Gather us in, to worship and wonder.
Gather us in, to know of God’s love.

Gracious God, hear our songs. Gather us in as one people, that we may worship you as one body.  Heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds, that we may come into your presence healthy and whole. As we seek your wisdom, help us to discern your greatness, as we honour the power and glory of your love. Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word 

A READING FROM THE PROPHET, ISAIAH (40:21-31)

Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Listen for the leading of the Spirit                              R: Thanks be to God

Psalm 147 (1-11, 20c) Refrain:     Praise the Lord who heals the brokenhearted

Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! How pleasant it is to honour God with praise! The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem and gathers the exiles of Israel. Praise the Lord who heals the brokenhearted

The Lord heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. The Lord counts the number of stars and calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; there is no limit to the wisdom of God. The Lord lifts up the lowly, but casts the wicked to the ground. Praise the Lord who heals the brokenhearted

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the harp. 8The Lord covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth, making grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve humankind. Praise the Lord who heals the brokenhearted

The Lord provides food for flocks and herds and for the young ravens when they cry. The Lord is not impressed by the might of a horse and has no pleasure in human strength, but finds pleasure in those who fear God, in those who await the gracious favour of the Lord. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord who heals the brokenhearted

A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS (9:16-23)

If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

Listen for the leading of the Spirit                      R: Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn     From Miles Around (words and music Jane Marshall: Hope Publishing)

From miles around
the sick ones came
in hope that one they heard was Lord
would make their souls
and bodies well
with healing touch or saving word.

And still they come,
New preys of plague,
While often in their rooms of prayer
God’s people worship
Safe and sound
Unheeding even unaware.

Recall us to
Our mission, Lord,
To reach for those cut off, in pain;
To offer friendship, strength and peace
and be a faithful Church again.

THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO ST. MARK (1:29-39)
Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

The Gospel of Christ                          R: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Homily

Offering Hymn  Comfort My People  (Steve Bell)

Do you know, have you not heard
Has it been told you from the first
Have you not understood
From the forming of the earth
He sits enthroned above the world
And spreads the heavens like a tent
A place for us to live in, A place for all to live

Chorus
Who has measured the waters in
The hollow of his hand
Do you know
Who has marked off the heavens
With the breath of his word
Do you know
Comfort my people, comfort my people, comfort my people
Says the Lord

He brought out the starry host
One by one he called them by name
Why do you still complain
That he doesn’t know your ways
Lift your eyes
And look to see
Who created all of these
And never more complain
That he doesn’t know your ways

Chorus

Prayer at the offering time (www.rexaehuntprogressive.com) 
As a river without an outlet becomes stagnant, so life which receives but does not give becomes polluted and sour.

As we give, we know we will be refreshed and cleansed as well as being a blessing to others. Amen 


Affirmation of Faith (Iona Community)

We believe that God is present
in the darkness before dawn;
in the waiting and uncertainty
where fear and courage join hands,
conflict and caring link arms,
and the sun rises over barbed wire.
We believe in a with-us God
Who sits down in our midst
to share our humanity.
We affirm a faith
That takes us beyond the safe place 
into action, into vulnerability.
and into the streets.
We commit ourselves to work for change
and put us on the line;
to bear responsibility, to take risks,
live powerfully and face humiliation;
to stand with those on the edge;
to chose life
and be used by the Spirit
for God’s new community of hope.
Amen

Prayers of the People  (~ written by Rick Morley, and posted on A Garden Path. http://www.rickmorley.com/)

Let us pray to God, who is made manifest in Jesus Christ.

As the prophet Isaiah rang out, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”; empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As a star rose high into the nighttime sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As John the Baptist guided throngs of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Like the Magi who travelled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Savior’s birth; we pray for this community, and for those who celebrate their own birthdays and anniversaries; especially _______.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As Jesus climbed the mountaintop and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed, the poor and the lame. We especially pray for _____. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats, and follow him; we pray for those we love and who have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom. Give them your peace.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light, and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer (www.rexaehuntprogressive.com)
Gathering our prayers together we pray:

God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you.
To create what you want for us here on earth.

Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offences,
just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.

Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power
to make our world whole. Amen.

We pray the Collect of the Day together

Merciful Lord, grant to your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 

Closing Hymn City of God (Daniel Schute: New Dawn Music)

Awake from your slumber!
Arise from your sleep!
A new day is dawning for all those who weep.
The people in darkness
Have seen a great light
The Lord of our longing
Has conquered the night

CHORUS
Let us build the city of God.
May our tears be turned into dancing!
For the Lord, our light and our love
Has turned the night into day!

We are sons of the morning!
We are daughters of day.
The one who has loved us
Has brightened our way.
The Lord of all kindness
Has called us to be
A light for all people
To set their hearts free

CHORUS

God is light
In God there is no darkness.
Let us walk in the light
The children one and all
O comfort my people;
Make gentle your words.
Proclaim to my city
The day of her birth.

CHORUS

O city of gladness
Now lift up your voice!
Proclaim the good tidings
That all may rejoice

CHORUS

Blessing 
The peace of this ancient earth to you...of the high blue heavens which embrace it,
and the winds which blow freely over it.

The peace of splintered light sparkling on the ground covered with fresh snow,
and gentle snow falling to blanket and renew the earth. 


The peace of star-jewelled skies and full-orbed moons,
of breathless dawns and splendid dying suns.
And the peace of the God of Peace to you.

Amen. May it be so

Dismissal
God our creator we leave this time of worship renewed and strengthened to go out into the mission field to minister to all that you guide us towards
Help us, Lord, to be all that you call us to be. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Presentation of the Lord -- January 31, 2021


Being Love and Light


This order of service has been compiled by R. Susan Smandych, a student intern with the Congregation of St. Paul Fort Garry, Winnipeg




Prelude The God That I Know     (In Tune, p. 25)

He comes with his arms open wide,
a sheltering place I can hide
and my deepest fears, questions and tears
I can face with his strength as my guide.

She comes with a smile on her face,
loving kindness my wrongs to erase
and my company she keeps, for the pleasure it reaps
my life she will renew with her grace.

Both father and mother to me,
more loving than parents can be
the God that I know, is a stranger no more,
but the place where I find myself free.

As I walk this earth on my own,
I carry a promise that I’m not alone
a gift that is mine, for all of my time,
love that lets me know that I am home,
love that lets me know that I am home,
love that lets me know that I am home.

Welcome  (Adapted from https://www.churchsp.org/candlemascelebrated/)

A Candle is Lit

Gathering Hymn From East to West (Common Praise 155)

From east to west, from shore to shore
Let ev'ry heart awake and sing
The holy child whom Mary bore,
The Christ, the everlasting king.

For this how wondrously He wrought!
A maiden, in her lowly place,
Became, in ways beyond all thought,
The chosen vessel of His grace.

Assenting to the angel’s word,
She chose what God the Spirit willed,
And suddenly the promised Lord
That pure and hallowed temple filled.

And while the angels in the sky
Sang praise above the silent field,
To shepherds poor the Lord Most High,
the one great Shepherd, was revealed.

Gathering of the Community 
(from Re-Worship blog @ https://re-worship.blogspot.com/search/label/Epiphany%204%20B)

God comes into a world filled with uncertainties and darkness.
God seeks out the voids of belief and conviction.
God embraces the wounded and broken.
God knocks down the walls of division and strife.
God is the candle shining in the darkness of our days.
God is the light of our lives.
God is the one who makes all things new.
Praise be to God, now and forevermore!

Collect for Candlemas (from NZ https://liturgy.co.nz/rethinking-candlemas)

Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the Prophet Malachi  (3:1-4) 

“See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.”

The word of the Lord.             R: Thanks be to God.

A Candle is Lit


Psalm 24   Let The King of Glory Come     (based on Psalm 24, from Glory and Praise)

Refrain
Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches:
Let the King of glory come!
Lift up your hearts and sing, you people:
Let the King of glory come!


Who is the King of glory?
Our God, holy and strong!
Who is the Lord of majesty?
Our God, mighty and strong!

Come, O come, Emmanuel;
Come and dwell with us!
Come, O come, you Lord of might;
Banish death and fear!

Come, O come, bright Wisdom;
Come and make us wise!
Come, O come, you Dayspring;
Love, unclose our eyes!

Come, you Key of David, come;
Open our heavenly home!
Come, Desire of nations, come;
Bring us into your peace!

A Reading from the letter to the Hebrews (2:14-18) 

“Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”

The word of the Lord.             R: Thanks be to God.

A Candle is Lit


Gradual Hymn      A Mother's Labour Bears Her Child     (Common Praise 623)

A mother’s labour bears her child. She shares creation’s agony.
The water’s break anticipates the hour of her delivery.
And by the labour of our cross our mother Christ has brought to birth
In His own eternal life, the sons and daughters of the earth.

A mother’s body nourishes her child she comforts at her breast;
And Jesus feeds us of Himself, in His own life our living blessed.
And by the labour of our cross our mother Christ has brought to birth
In His own eternal life, the sons and daughters of the earth.

Gospel Acclamation 

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke (2:22-40) 

“When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”

The Gospel of Christ.             R: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

A Candle is Lit 

Gospel Acclamation 


Homily      (Susan Smandych)

Offertory Hymn      Love Divine All Loves Excelling (Common Praise 486)

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev'ry trembling heart.

Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never,
nevermore they temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
true and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.

Prayer over the offering      (from BAS Propers 401 and ‘For All the Saints’)
Almighty God, accept the joyful offering of your Church, and grant that your Son may shine in us as the light that lightens every nation.  We ask this in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Candle is Lit

Peace (Adapted from: Pray Without Ceasing Prepared by the Ven. Dr. Richard Leggett for the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee of the ACoC Authorized by General Synod of The ACoC, 2019)

God of steadfast love, you sent your Son to be the light of the world. As Anna gave thanks for the freedom He would bring and Simeon saw in Him the dawn of redemption, complete your purpose once made known in Him, within us. Make us vessels of His light, so that all the world may glory in the splendour of your peace. Let us exchange a socially distanced sign of peace with our neighbours.  Amen.

An Affirmation of Faith   (Adapted from “Liturgies for the Journey of Life” by Dorothy McRae-McMahon)

Let us affirm our faith in God:
We believe in God
Who created and is creating the earth,
Who so loved the world,
That Christ was sent to live life with us
And the Spirit to be our strength.
God has favoured us and appointed us
To be a light to the people
And a beacon for the nations;
To open eyes that are blind,
And release captives from the prisons, where they live in darkness.
In solidarity with the people of God
Around the world,
And in company with our churches,
We name ourselves as those who, in Jesus Christ,
Are enough to do the task
In this time and in this place.
We have heard the call of Christ
To follow in the way of the cross.
In faith we lay down our fear,
Our weakness and our lack of worth
And announce again with those who have gone before us that,
‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’


A Candle is Lit

Intercessions  (Adapted from http://vicarofwadley.blogspot.ca/)

Let us pray that we may know and share the light of Christ.

Lord of love and light, Shine into our lives and bring your love into our souls.
Remind us of the amazing ways you have loved us,

Even when we turned our backs on you.
Open our hearts to receive your loving spirit.
Open our minds to receive your wisdom.
Open our hands to show others your loving compassion.
Holy One, shine upon us and hear us.

Lord of love and light,
We hold in our hearts those around us who feel unloved.
We bring them to you for you to shine your love into their lives.
We hold in our minds those who are overwhelmed by their needs and difficulties.
We hold in our hands your loving compassion to give them.
Holy One, shine upon us and hear us.

Lord of love and light,
There are people and places that are dark 
And in the dark about your love.
Shine forth your light and love in their lives and in those places.
Holy One, shine upon us and hear us.

There are people and places that have closed their minds to you,
To others, to new and fresh ideas.
Shine forth your light and love to open their minds to you,
To others, to new and fresh ideas.
Holy One, shine upon us and hear us.

There are people and places that need our hands
Reaching out to them with your loving compassion.
May our reaching out to them with your love and compassion,

Shine forth your light and love.
Holy One, shine upon us and hear us.   Amen

A Candle is Lit

The Lord’s Prayer 

Closing Hymn      Lord Let Your Servant Go in Peace (Common Praise 266)

Lord, let your servant go in peace:
Your promises have been fulfilled;
Your saving power has been displayed
Before the face of all the world.

My eyes have seen salvation’s dawn:
The Sun of life ascending bright;
Your people’s glory evermore,
The nations’ everlasting light.

Dismissal     (from ‘For All the Saints’ and Canticle 20 The Song of Simeon)

God for whom we wait, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon, who did not die till he had welcomed the Messiah.
Complete in us your perfect will, that we in Christ may share in your eternal kingdom; for he is Lord for ever and ever.

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; * your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation * which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
a light to reveal you to the nations *  and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.   Amen! Alleluia!!


Postlude      Refiner's Fire

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy

Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy