Saturday, 29 August 2020

Pentecost 13 -- August 30--No distance is too great


May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us. (See Ephesians 1.17, 18) 

Watch the Service Here


Many are the Lightbeams

Many are the lightbeams from the one light.
Our one light is Jesus.
Many are the lightbeams from the one light;
we are one in Christ.

Many are the branches of the one tree.
Our one tree is Jesus.
Many are the branches of the one tree;
we are one in Christ.

Many are the gifts giv’n, love is all one.
Love’s the gift of Jesus.
Many are the gifts giv’n, love is all one;
we are one in Christ.

Many ways to serve God, the Spirit is one,
Servant spirit of Jesus.
Many ways to serve God, the Spirit is one,
we are one in Christ.

Many are the members, the body is one,
Members all of Jesus.
Many are the members, the body is one,
we are one in Christ.

Let us open our hearts to the sunshine of God’s love
Let us open our souls to the gentle wind of God’s Spirit
We have gathered to hear the good news of Jesus Christ
A word that renews us again and again

Loving God, we thank you for your child who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord. Amen

As the scriptures are read, we allow God’s word to speak to us, and ponder its meaning in our lives.
Let us hear the words of scripture:

A Reading from the Book, Exodus (3:1-15)  Read by Denise McRae
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.

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

Psalm 105 (1-6, 23-26, 45c)  Read by Karen Watson
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.
And the Lord made his people very fruitful, and made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he then turned to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.
He sent his servant Moses, and Aaron whom he had chosen.
Praise the Lord!

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans (12:9-21)  Read by Joel Odegun

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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

179 Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery

Tree of Life and awesome mystery, in your death we are reborn;
Though you die in all of history, still you rise with every morn,
Still you rise with every morn.

Seed that dies to rise in glory, may we see ourselves in you;
If we learn to live your story we may die to rise anew,
We many die to rise anew.

We remember truth once spoken, love passed on through act and word;
Every person lost and broken wears the body of our Lord,
Wears the body of our Lord.

Gentle Jesus, mighty Spirit, come in flame our hearts anew.
We many all your joy inherit if we bear the cross with you,
If we bear the cross with you.

Christ, you lead and we shall follow, stumbling though our steps may be
One with you in joy and sorrow, we the river, you the sea, 
We the river, you the sea.

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew (16:21-28)  Read by Chris Trott

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

Then Jesus told his disciples, “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 will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

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


Here I Am Lord 

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Chorus         Here I am, Lord.
                     Is it I, Lord?
                     I have heard You calling in the night.
                     I will go, Lord,
                     If You lead me.
                     I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?                         Chorus
I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them
Whom shall I send?                         Chorus

Prayer over the gifts and blessing of the School Supplies

Today, we have before us school supplies to be carried to and from school by the children and youth.

These school supplies will contain work to be done, work that's been returned, books to be studied, tools to complete homework. Notebooks, pencils, pens, protractors, compasses, crayons, rules, scissors, glue sticks and other items used for school work will find their way in and out of the hands of the young people.

Some days, the student may carry so many supplies that they find it difficult to walk. Other days, their load will be lighter and their backpacks nearly empty. But on each and every day, these supplies represent work required of the students. And, as in every aspect of our life, we bring these before God for blessing at this time.

Let us pray together:
Gracious God, we lift to you today, all students.
Where ever they are gathered today give them your blessing as they commit themselves to study and learn in the school year ahead. We ask your blessing on each of them.
Further, we ask your blessing on these school supplies. They will hold the school work of each student and will be carried from home to school and back again. As these students use these supplies, may they be reminded of the love and care of this congregation that surrounds them each school day.
We pray as well for the teachers and administrators in our schools. May they also be sustained by your blessing. May they be reminded that this congregation embraces their call to teaching and learning and surrounds them with love and care as well.
We pray in the name of Jesus who we seek to follow day by day. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

Let us affirm the life among us

We affirm that we see and experience
This life in our midst.
it invites other life in us,
It gives life to people beyond us

We affirm that here in this place
Life can be sustained,
That in us new life can emerge and grow
And that hope for life is to be cherished everyday.

We celebrate the God who conquered death.
We hold ourselves open to a new creation in us.
We believe that in every child of God
The spirit breathes a thousand, thousand gracious possibilities. Amen
(Celebrations along the Way –Dorothy McRae-McMahon)

435 Take My Life, and Let it Be

Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
swift and purposeful for thee.

Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee;
Take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is thine own;
It shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love: my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be 
ever, only, all for thee.

Prayers of the People  Led by  Mark Moote

Collect of the Day
Author and Giver of all good things, graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us in all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

Lord’s Prayer



As we go out into the world May the Christ be revealed in wonderful ways,
may our eyes be opened to see this blessing and our faith be lifted up in joy. Thanks be to God. Alleluia

Jesus Saw Them Fishing

Jesus saw them fishing by the shore of Galilee,
Casting out their nets into the sea.
Simon Peter, Andrew and the sons of Zebedee,
Waiting in their boats
So patiently.

Chorus        And Jesus said,
                   “Oh, come and follow me.
                    Oh, leave behind your nets. I call you.
                    Oh, come and fish with me,
                    And your life will never be the same again.”

A rich young person came to Jesus looking for advice.
“How can I  obtain eternal life?”
Jesus told him, “Honour the commandments of the Lord.
Then sell off all your riches
For the poor.”                                     Chorus

“If you want to follow me, deny your very self.
Take up your cross and walk the walk with me.
This might seem a hardship, an impossibility,
But nothing is impossible
With God.”                                         Chorus

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Pentecost 12


Sentence of the Day
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
                                                                                                Matthew 16.16

Gathering Music

Gathering of the Community
Leader: Before we got up this morning and decided to come to church,
All: God was waiting for us, to welcome us with grace.
Leader: When we are unsure of what to do; when we falter before the next step,
All: we come to listen to God's voice, to learn from the One who teaches us all we ever need to know.
Leader: When we are surrounded by cruelty and injustice; when our fears cripple our souls,
All: God delivers us with steadfast love; we are set free to be God's sons and daughters.

Prayer of the Day Together
Dear God, there are times when we feel defeated useless, unloved and unlovable. Life can be disappointing. We give up, and think nothing matters. And even in those times, you come to us. You touch us, lift us up, smile, and tell us you love us. No matter what is going on, you are with us. You love us. Thank you, God, for caring for us so much, for never giving up on us, for giving us new life! Amen.

The Collect together
Almighty God, we are taught by your word that all our doings without love are worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

The Proclamation of the Word 

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (12:1-8)

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

Gradual Music

The Lord be with you                      R: And also with you
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (16:13-20)

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

The Homily

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his 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 Father.
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.

Prayer of Intercession (inspired by Jeremiah 1: 4-10)

Let us pray to our God saying Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Holy God, you knew us before we took our first breath. You uttered your living Word and brought forth light, love, and life. You gathered us from the dust of the earth and called us your people. You sent us into the world to proclaim your mighty and wondrous deeds. You are with us even now as we continue our call. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Mighty God, you have done great things; who is like you? You alone are our rock of refuge. You alone are our strong fortress. You alone are our hope and in you alone is our trust.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Merciful God, your love never ends. We confess to you that we do not always share your love as we should. Where you have called us to live as one body, we exist as divided members. Where you have called us to give our Spirit-given gifts, we ignore your call. Where you have called us to forgive, we have forgotten your mercy. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Gracious God, do not be far from us! Strengthen us that we might be givers of your grace and may your steadfast love be known to all of your children. Send your Holy Spirit to empower our hands to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and love all as you have first loved us.
Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Loving God, hear today the prayers that we lift up to you. Be with those of us who worship here at St. Paul’s. Give us hearts of courage and songs of your grace to tell others of your righteous acts and deeds of salvation. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Abundant God, be with those of us that yearn for your restoration and healing. Today, we ask your blessing upon [list names of those in need of healing]. We also lift up to you those who we bring before you with our lips or within our hearts… Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Faithful God, your power and your righteousness reach the heavens. Hear us, your servants, as we follow you to the day when faith, hope, and love will be upon the lips of all of us, your children.
These things we pray in the name of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

~ written by Stephen M. Fearing, and posted on Wild and Precious Life.

Confession and Absolution

Presider      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.

Presider         Most merciful God,

All      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.

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

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

The Celebration of the Eucharist
The Preparation of the Gifts
The Offering Music

Prayer over the gifts together

God of glory, receive all we offer this day as a symbol of our love, and increase in us that true and perfect gift. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Great Thanksgiving Eucharistic Prayer 5
Presider      The Lord be with you.
People      And also with you.
Presider      Lift up your hearts.
People      We lift them to the Lord.
Presider      Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People      It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks and praise, almighty God, for the gift of a world full of wonder, and for our life which comes from you. By your power you sustain the universe.
People      Glory to you for ever and ever.

You created us to love you with all our heart, and to love each other as ourselves, but we rebel against you by the evil that we do. In Jesus, your Son, you bring healing to our world and gather us into one great family. Therefore, with all who serve you on earth and in heaven, we praise your wonderful name, as we sing (say),
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We give you thanks and praise, loving Father, because in sending Jesus, your Son, to us you showed us how much you love us. He cares for the poor and the hungry. He suffers with the sick and the rejected. Betrayed and forsaken, he did not strike back but overcame hatred with love. On the cross he defeated the power of sin and death. By raising him from the dead you show us the power of your love to bring new life to all your people.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

On the night before he gave up his life for us, Jesus, at supper with his friends, took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which is given for you.” After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, said the blessing, gave it to his friends, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which is shed for you and for many, so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Gracious God, with this bread and wine we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we offer ourselves to you in him. Send your Holy Spirit on us and on these gifts, that we may know the presence of Jesus in the breaking of bread, and share in the life of the family of your children.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Father, you call us to be your servants; fill us with the courage and love of Jesus, that all the world may gather in joy at the table of your kingdom. We sing your praise, almighty Father, through Jesus, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

 We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
We, being many, are one body, for we all share in the one bread.

The Communion
Music during Communion

Prayer after Communion 
Living God, increase in us the healing power of your love. Guide and direct us that we may please you in all things, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord

 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.

The Blessing

The Dismissal

Leader: Leave this house of prayer and get ready to serve the world that God loves.
All: We will enjoy doing the things we are good at, we will cheerfully undertake those things that we find boring, and we will courageously tackle those difficult things we have been avoiding. Thanks be to God, Alleluia

Closing Music

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Pentecost 11 -- August 16 2020 Race, Racism, Racist, Racialized and ... Reptile?


Today's Presider and Guest Blogger is Rev. Tim Sale, honorary assistant at St. Paul 
To watch the service click here

430      Will You Come and Follow Me

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let me love be shown, will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

Welcome to St. Paul’s Fort Garry Anglican Community worship on this Summer Sunday. Today, we will be celebrating the Eucharist, here in our church building, and at home wherever you are. If you would like to share in our meal together, please take a moment now to get some bread and perhaps some wine so we can share together in one spirit, even though we remain apart physically.

The Grace of our companion Jesus, the Love our Creator God and the energy of the Spirit be in you all,
Response: And also in you!

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and sent into our hearts the Spirit of your Son.
Give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that all people may know the glorious liberty
of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, "Send everyone away from me." So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come closer to me." And they came closer. He said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there - since there are five more years of famine to come - so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.' And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honoured in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here." Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

Song     Whatsoever You Do

Whatsoever you do to the least of my people
That you do unto me.

When I was hungry, you sent me your grain;
Sick or in prison, you softened my pain.
Now enter into the home of Creator.             Chorus

When I was lonely and in a strange land,
Looking for kindness, you held out your hand.
Now enter into the home of Creator.             Chorus

When I was little, you played for a. while;
When old and shut-in; you listened and smiled.
Now enter into the home of Creator.             Chorus

When I was weary you helped me find rest;
Supported and cheered me, when I was depressed.
Now enter into the home of Creator.             Chorus

Bereaved and in sorrow, you shared in my loss;
Mocked or insulted, you shouldered my cross.
Now enter into the home of Creator.             Chorus

The Gospel  of MATTHEW 15: 21-28
Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He an-swered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Race, Racism, Racist and Racialized.

We are living in a most unusual Covid-19 time. But today, I want to ask you to put Covid out of your minds for a few minutes. There is a much more basic tidal wave of movements sweeping across many societies in our world. Think of “Occupy”, the rebellion of the 99 percent against the obscene concentration of wealth in the world’s billionaires. Think of “Me Too”, the demand of women that male aggression, sexual and physical be named and stopped. “Black Lives Matter” is the demand for justice and respect for Blacks in encounters with any authority, but especially the justice system. “Idle no More” and “No more Silence” recognize the violence and injustice faced by aboriginal women. Think of the many Climate Change organizations and of Greta Thunberg. Think of our Bishop Geoff and Canada’s Anglican Bishops call, along with the calls of a multitude of others, for a Guaranteed Adequate Income. Each of these movements speaks of a demand that those in power relinquish some of their dominant power in the name of love and justice. We might say, In the name of basic human rights.

What unites each of these seemingly different movements is that they all stem from the perception and experience of power being used to oppress. Poverty, violence, oppression and exclusion are the root of each of these and of most other justice movements. And because poverty, oppression, violence and exclusion are vastly disproportionately felt by poor and marginalized people, especially people of colour, that’s why we keep hearing four words almost daily right now. Race, Racism, Racist and Racialized.

Understanding these tidal waves requires us to reach a deeper understanding of our both how our brain deals with our experiences and our resulting social structures. That’s hard, because these structures are the water we swim in; shadows on the wall, unseen yet basic assumptions that shape how we function day by day.

So here’s a fifth word… Reptile. Our wonderful brain is not ALL really human. Deep in our brain stem towards the back of our head lies our inheritance of over 300 million years of evolution from ancient critters, such as Lizards. It’s the part of the brain that controls our basic systems… breathing, heart beat, sleeping, swallowing and movement. It’s our “Flee, Freeze or Fight” brain. It gets its cues from a little almond-shaped structure called the Amygdala which senses danger and seeks to save us from injury or death, and it’s fast… it senses danger even before our conscious brain sees it.

When we reached our current state as “Humans”, evolution had added the higher levels of brain function that let us speak, anticipate the future, plan, evaluate and imagine… in short what we broadly call our consciousness. That consciousness includes a capacity for Empathy; that ability to feel what others are experiencing; pain, rejection, pleasure, exclusion, fear.

With our consciousness came the ability to learn… to learn empathy, and sadly as well, to learn selfishness and fear of others. And that’s where race comes in with vengeance. Our fear response is wired to fear difference. If the dominant culture is white, or even if whites are in a minority, but have great power (Think South Africa and Apartheid), then “others” different ones, are non-white. They are aboriginal: Africa, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Asia, China, India. We White ones, with our power and skills and wealth (often extorted wealth), defined the rules, and made sure that these rules worked for us, and they did.

However, there have always been those whose capacity for empathy outweighed their fear of different others, of letting go of unjust power. They are the advocates, the enspirited ones, the Holy-Spirited ones who called for us to listen to our “better angels”. Jesus, Mohammed, Ghandi, Buddha Tutu, King, and a host of others through the ages. It turns out that we can help folks to increase their empathy, just as we need to help children learn empathy, to learn to respond to the feelings and needs of others.

This is the gift of the wonderful story of Joseph’s reuniting with his brothers… the brothers who beat him and forced him to leave all that he loved. Now in a position of great power in Pharaoh’s household, Joseph wept for joy at seeing his brothers, even though they did not recognize him in his handsome robes. His deep empathy flooded out, drowning his anger and hurt, and reconciliation began.

However, we can also teach fear, which is the basis of racism, and racist behaviour. Leaders who rely on fostering fear lead us to our Lizard brains; the world becomes a dangerous place full of those “Not Like US”. Those who have weak empathy and respond and react to such leadership are being primed for violence, often expressed in racist actions.

Our Gospel of the Canaanite woman crying for healing for her daughter, exposed the racism of the disciples, and perhaps of Jesus himself. She is “other”, a non-Jew. “Send her away” the disciples said. Jesus said "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.", implying that he saw her as a dog, not his concern… he was sent only to the “lost sheep of Israel”. But she confronted Jesus, and he heard and relented, and healing happened. Most importantly, this the amazing turning point when Jesus’ understanding of his ministry broadened to embrace a wider community… a call for love and justice for all - the whole of humanity.

Leaders who rely on building empathy call on our capacity for empathy in return, and we become a more inclusive nation, more generous and caring community. We nurture and care for our young and old, we share our wealth, we embrace restorative justice, we care for our world’s capacity to nurture us and we are colour-blind.

For there is only one Race; the Human Race. That’s why the character of leadership really, really matters.

Ultimately, we choose our way… in leadership, and in community building. It is a choice, a deliberate choice. So as the writer of Deuteronomy says;

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. Choose Life.

MV 138     My Love Colours Outside the Lines 

My love colours outside the lines, 
Exploring paths that few could ever find; 
And takes me into places where I’ve never been before, 
And opens doors to worlds outside the lines. 

My Lord colours outside the lines, 
Turns wounds to blessings, water into wine; 
And takes me into places where I’ve never been before 
And opens doors to worlds outside the lines. 

We’ll never walk on water if we’re not prepared to drown, 
Body and soul need a soaking from time to time. 
And we’ll never move the gravestones if we’re not prepared to die, 
And realize there are worlds outside the lines. 

My soul longs to colour outside the lines, 
Tear back the curtains, sun, come in and shine; 
I want to walk beyond the boundaries where I’ve never been before, 
Throw open doors to worlds outside the lines. 

We’ll never walk on water if we’re not prepared to drown, 
Body and soul need a soaking from time to time. 
And we’ll never move the gravestones if we’re not prepared to die, 
And realize there are worlds outside the lines. 

My soul longs to colour outside the lines, 
Tear back the curtains, sun, come in and shine; 
I want to walk beyond the boundaries where I’ve never been before, 
Throw open doors to worlds outside the lines. 

Prayers of the People:         Brook Jones

As we make our offering this morning, take a moment to put into the plate your worries; for your family, for yourself, for the world and all its worries, and offer them up, let them go, if only for a few minutes and be at peace.

Offering Hymn      484 In Christ there is no East or West

In Christ there is no east or west,
In Christ no south or north,
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find,
Whose service is the golden cord
Close binding humankind.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
Whate’er your race may be;
Who serves my God in truth and love
is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west,
In Christ meet south and north;
All faithful souls are joined in one
Throughout the whole wide earth.

The Eucharistic prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayer After Communion
Eternal God, May we who have been nourished by holy things live as faithful heirs of your promised kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


As we have been gathered, so must we be sown back into the world to witness to the power of God's
transforming love, to support and challenge each other, to bring healing and justice to the world around us.

Said together here and at home:

And now may the God who shakes heaven and earth, whom death could not contain,
Who lives to disturb and heal us bless us with the power to go forth and proclaim the gospel.  Amen.

Closing Hymn         418 Draw the Circle Wide

Chorus             Draw the circle wide.
                        Draw it wider still.
                        Let this be our song, no one stands alone,
                        Standing side by side,
                        Draw the circle wide.

God the still point of the circle,
Round whom all creation turns;
Nothing lost, but held forever,
In God’s gracious arms.                         Chorus

Let our hearts touch far horizons,
So encompass great and small;
Let our loving know no borders,
Faithful to God’s call.                             Chorus

Let the dreams we dream be larger,
Than we’ve ever dreamed before; 
Let the dream of Christ be in us, 
Open every door.                                 Chorus x2

Thanks to our readers and singers, and to all of you out there joining us this Holy Day. Please be safe, love each other and your neighbours and come together again with us next week when we will worship together outside, and enjoy the wonderful music of steel drums!

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Staycation Part 2

Aslan ready to roll, he likes the windows down, 
a breeze in the face and the wind in his hair!

I've actually been back  to work for a week but somehow didn't get around to writing the second week of the holiday in the blog.  There were a few more day trips, just my pup and I.  My DH was working on the submission of a paper for the PhD program that he is in and had a deadline.  Aslan and I were as free as the birds and so we slept late (most days it was at least 8 am), decided if we'd veg out in the air conditioned house or explore another road.

We explored another road and had some fun.  Problem was it was hard to drive and snap pictures.  There was a beautiful one of a train coming down the line at a great distance and since we were more to the side you could appreciate just how long it was.  But we were in a construction area and it was too hard to pull off and find a side road and then get back in the madness so I admired it from the car but wishing and hoping that I'd have another opportunity.  So far no luck.

We saw beautiful fields of hay

An Automobile Museum in Headingly

Sadly it was closed for the summer but we found a  Roastery it was open and I scored some green coffee beans for roasting and in my excitement I forgot to get a picture

Beautiful fields on the way to Elie

The church of the Blessed Sacrament (Elie MB)

Added to that there was a long weekend and most places were closed so less exploration and of course my furry friend would have been too hot in the car since the temperature was in the 30's daily.  We didn't go out everyday though because then my Christmas gifts would not be completed and we couldn't have that.  Too bad I personalized most and can't offer a sneak peek!  But I will say that they turned out lovely! Yes. I know it's too early to talk about Christmas . . . but when you want to hand make things you need a head start!  

My furry friend and I hope to have another road trip soon and you never know my DH just might be free to join us and get the wind in his hair and enjoy the scenery too

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Wastefulness, Fearfulness, Indifference

Some months ago I went on facebook and was utterly annoyed at a post that a friend had shared.  Knowing the friend very well I suspected that they had read the post and then hit share thinking it was humour and wanted to pass along the joke but in reality it was degrading and insulting.  The post suggested that a new Canadian was walking in a city, thanking those encountered for the opportunity to live in this great country.  The new Canadian encountered others who were also from visible minorities  and when the question was raised where the Canadians were the response was that all the Canadians were at work.

I was appaled, I was angry.  My first reaction was to report the post to facebook but previous attempts at this causes even greater frustration when I am told that it is "deemed to be within the guidelnes."  When did an attempt to shame people become acceptable?  When did it become "ok" to be so unwelcoming and so protectionist?

So I had a choice, I knew facebook would not do anything so I made a comment on the post.  It was less than gracious and certainly not diplomatic and yes I admit I wrote in anger.  I wrote "WOW, I am shocked.  Many new Canadians add to and enrich the Canadian fabric, are hard working, contributing members who work and pay taxes.  Just WOW!"  Happily I noticed (yes I purposely went back to look) the post was removed.

So after sitting with this in my head all day (because unlike the Disney song, Let it Go, I could not) I reached a conclusion.  I can sit and stew or I can challenge the thinking.  When I see such negative shares or comments, when a negative light gets shed on those in a minority I have a responsibility to challenge it and to speak against it.  Several friends have already discovered this and happily they still speak to me.

Social media is a means for me to stay in touch with friends, but if I have to read these kinds of posts then I seriously question why I hold on to this relationship in any capacity.  I also wonder if it is facebooks purpose to help feed dissention and hatred for the "other" the minority.  We have forgotten how to welcome the stranger, we are reluctant to welcome those who flee for safety to another country, we have forgotten the lost and the neglected.  We are quick to blame, complain and point the finger.  We have lost the very essence of who we are and how to take care of each other.  We have become intolerant of any who might be "different" and somehow we think that is fine.  

So for a time (many months have now passed) I was hurt and disgusted but this is another day and another time.  One in which to stand against injustice, racial slurs and the slighting of others because of the differences that lay on the surface.  Mother Teresa said "At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done."  We will be judged by the hospitality that we extended, the cup that we offered, and the injustice that we refused to perpetuate.  

It is time to re-evaluate the intolerance that lies just below the surface, that gets passed off as a joke, that is systemic in our society and insitiutions and deemed acceptable or the "way we've always done it."  It is time to realize we have a challenge to face to become better human beings because ALL can't matter when minorities continue to be overlooked, ill treated and deemed the lesser children of God.  ALL can't matter if the minorities are not valued and treated equally.

Monday, 10 August 2020

An Obsession with . . . Perfection

Every morning without fail; rain or shine, unbearably hot or unbearably cold, I walk.  Now don't be too impressed, my DH and I have a beautiful Golden Retriever and he is a big walker.  So Aslan and I walk 6-10 kms a day.  Yes we walk a lot throughout the day.  It is not an obsession but my 10,000 steps a day are and there is only one way to acquire them!

On these walks along the streets of Winnipeg I notice a lot of things.  Pretty chalk drawings on the sidewalk, decorative windows, rabbits (lots and lots of them), other people (yes I talk to strangers), gardens and especially lawns.  Winnipeg summers, at least in the eight years my DH and I have lived here, are hot and dry.  This is not at all conducive to lawn growth.  So, I really notice lawns!  Some, these days, are yellow and crisp from lack of water and others are lush and green.  On those walks I marvel at the number of lawns that are regularly watered with the sprinklers flowing freely in the morning and again in the evening.  I marvel for a number of reasons, one is the cost since we all have water meters and the second is the waste.  (I likely won't win friends for that one)  

Water is a precious commodity and yet day after day I watch (and yes get annoyed) as the water is used so freely and wastefully (entirely my opinion).  The Lawn is not my obsession, but I do wonder why there does not seem to be a ban or a limit on this kind of wastefulness in the city.  My DH and I have lived in many places, both large and small towns, and there always seemed to be a watering ban for lawns.  So for my DH and I this free flow is a weird concept.  

The other thing that I've noticed on my walks are the number of totally weedless gardens (poor bees and butterflies)  This mystery has been solved.  We have weeds and a neighbour suggested we use weed killer.  Not the environmentally friendly kind (is there any such thing?) either but Weed be Gone and Round Up so that it will kill everything.  These are used regularly and can be easily bought.  Again we wonder at this because the majority of places we have lived have banned the use of herbicides and pesticides. 

So as our lawn, despite new soil and seeds (and yes watering) refused to grow and is bare spots and weeds, and a perfect mess.  We have decided to go minimalist, the front yard is tilled to mud, a dozen shrubs have gone in, small paths about the yard installed, a little garden left for blooming flowers to feed the bees and butterflies and all that is left is an edging and the mulch. 

Feeling pretty proud of the work that we had done, a neighbour soon deflated the afterglow of all the hard work when were asked about the patch of grass we share (about two feet wide) because the weeds are "encroaching" on the perfect lawn!  Oh the things we obsess and my 10,000 steps and others with the prefection of the green lawn...

You are an obsession, you're my obsession... 
(ft. Nate Dogg & Animotion)


Thursday, 6 August 2020

Pentecost 10 August 9, 2020 -- do not fear...only believe

… But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath (his feet,) he lost his nerve … 
(Mt 14:30 The Message Translation) 

Gathering Song – Jacob and Sons

Way way back many centuries ago, not long after the Bible began
Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, a fine example of a family man 
Jacob, Jacob and sons, depended on farming to earn their keep
Jacob, Jacob and sons, spent all of their days in the fields with sheep

Jacob was the founder of a whole new nation,
Thanks to the number of children he'd had
He was also known as Israel but most of the time
His sons and his wives used to call him dad
Jacob, Jacob and sons, men of the soil, of the sheaf and crook
Jacob, Jacob and sons, a remarkable family in anyone's book

Reuben was the eldest of the children of Israel,
With Simeon and Levi the next in line
Napthali and Isaachar with Asher and Dan,
Zebulun and Gad took the total to nine
Jacob, Jacob and sons, Benjamin and Judah, which leaves only one
Jacob, Jacob and sons, Joseph -- Jacob's favorite son

Jacob, Jacob and sons
Jacob, Jacob and sons
Jacob, Jacob and sons 
Jacob, Jacob, Jacob, Jacob and sons.

Gathering         (based on Psalm 105)

Give thanks to the Lord,
We call upon God and share the stories of all the wonderful things God has done

We will sing praises about the glory of God
And about the abundance that God offers and we will continually seek God’s presence and love in our lives

Even when we turn away reconciliation is made possible through God who continues to protect us
Praise the Lord

Together we Pray
Loving God, you have taught us through the ages that you are always with us and seek to keep us protected. We do not always appreciate the way you work in and through us. We rebel and you patiently wait for our return. Help us to come to a better understanding of your love in our lives and help us to be open to you working through us. Amen

Collect of the Day
Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

A Reading from the book Genesis (37:1-28)

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words. He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’“ So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him” —that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father.

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Hear what the spirit is saying        R: Thanks be to God

Gradual Song - 174 Eternal Lord of Love 
Eternal Lord of love, behold your church
Walking once more the pilgrim way of hope,
Led by your cloud by day, by night your fire,
Moved by your love and toward your presence bent;
Far off yet here- the goal of all desire.

So daily dying to the way of self,
So daily living to your way of love,
We walk the road, Lord Jesus, that you trod,
Knowing ourselves baptized into your death;
So we are dead and live with you in God.

If dead in you, so in you we arise,
You the firstborn of all the faithful dead;
And as through stony ground the green shoots break,
Glorious in springtime dress of leaf and flower,
So in Creator’s glory shall we wake.

The Lord be with you          R: And also with you
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew (14:22-33)
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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

The Homily ( A reflection from 2017 is further along in the blog, you can find it under the title Stick to the Boat)

Post Homily Song – MV 161 I Have Called You by Your Name
I have called you by your name, you are mine;
I have gifted you and ask you now to shine.
I will not abandon you; all my promises are true.
You are gifted, called and chosen; you are mine.

I will help you learn my name as you go;
Read it written in my people, help them grow.
Pour the water in my name, speak the word your soul can claim,
Offer Jesus’ body given long ago.

I know you will need my touch as you go;
Feel it pulsing in creation’s ebb and flow.
Like the woman reaching out, choosing faith in spite of doubt,
Hold the hem of Jesus’ robe, then let it go.

I have given you a name, it is mine;
I have given you my Spirit as a sign.
With my wonder in your soul, make my wounded children whole;
Go and tell my precious people they are mine.

Affirmation of Faith

We believe in God: omnipresent, in every time, and in every place, generating and sustaining all life, nurturing relationship with Creation.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who lived and loved, taught and died; the One who conquered death and who surprises us with grace, when we least expect or deserve it.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us and makes our faith possible, in every situation and every circumstance.

We believe that every place we pause to recognize the mystery of our Triune God, is a sacred place, from sanctuaries on North Drive to the majesty of sunrises over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Surely, God is with us in every time and in every place, and we are grateful.

by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA) 
 *Loosely based on Gen 28:10-19 

Prayers of the People
Our response to the prayers today is Holy One, in your love and mercy: hear our prayer.

Holy One, creation was envisioned by you and is sustained by you;
in gratitude we pray for the world:
that its riches and resources be used responsibly and fairly;
that its rulers and leaders may govern with justice, compassion and humility;
that humankind may live with understanding and respect, noticing what unites us;
In your love and mercy: hear our prayer.

Holy One, Teacher of Love and compassion, you lived among us to teach us and to show us by your example how to love;
in humility we pray for our siblings around the globe:
for those dehumanized by their struggle for existence, may we listen;
for those overshadowed by the constancy of death, may we notice;
for those besieged by fear, anger and relentless peril, may we show up;
for those ensnared by systems beyond their control, may we be willing to add our voices to demand change.
In your love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy One, Breath of Being, you are here – in this very moment – a constant presence and insistent voice; in gratitude we pray…with boldness we pray:
inundate the world with humanity,
overwhelm the world with truth,
flood the world with kindness and hope,
upset our indifference so that complacency comes to an end,
accelerate our action so that those who wait for justice see it take shape and happen,
fortify our resolve to continue to seek equality for all,
compel us to authentic discipleship that nurtures creation, embodies love and breathes life, hope and justice for all.
In your love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Triune and blessed Creator,
we look at our world that is full of pain and we say we want to help,
we want to stand in solidarity, we want to lend our voice and our hands and ourselves.
Remind us, walk with us and show us how to continue to be a “squeeky wheel”
so that issues of reconciliation, justice and equality do not get ignored
but are addressed in a timely manner. Let truth be spoken without fear.
In your love and mercy, hear our prayer.

approach and confession: storyteller

God, you are a storyteller, and you made us in your image. You spoke, and you still speak, through unexpected people, through silence, through your word written and proclaimed through the centuries. We come to hear your story once again, to find our place among your people and within your vision for all creation. We hear You call us to share your story in our words and in our actions, but we confess that more often our lips are sealed. We are afraid to tell your story. We think we don’t know enough, and we are afraid of offending. We prefer to keep you to ourselves.
Yet still Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Forgive us for letting the book gather dust on the shelf, and the story gather dust in our hearts.
Speak to us, and through us, Lord.
Help us to know you so well that we cannot help but love you, and to love you so much we
cannot help but serve you, sharing your good news in every place, for it is in doing your
will that we find perfect freedom.
We pray in the name of the one who is your Living Word, Jesus the Christ.
by Rev. Teri Peterson, 
St. John’s Church of Scotland, Gourock, Scotland 

May peace be with you

The Celebration of the Eucharist

Offering Hymn 432 Jesus Called Us! O’er the Tumult
Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult
of our life’ wild restless sea,
Day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
Saying “Christian, follow me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for his dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”

Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear thy call,
Give our hearts to thine obedience,
Serve and love thee best of all.

Prayer over the Gifts
Creator, receive all we offer you this day, and grant that in this eucharist we may be enriched by the gifts of the Spirit. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Supplementary Eucharistic Prayer 2 (S2)

Presider      May God be with you.
People        And also with you.

Presider      Lift up your hearts.
People        We lift them up to God.

Presider      Let us give thanks to God our Creator.
People        It is right to offer thanks and praise.

Eternal God, Source of all being, we give you thanks and praise for your faithful love. You                call us into friendship with you and one another to be your holy people, a sign of your presence in the world. When those we trust betray us, unfailingly you remain with us. When we injure others, you confront us in your love and call us to the paths of righteousness. You stand with the weak, and those, broken and alone, whom you have always welcomed home, making the first last, and the last first. Therefore we raise our voices with angels and archangels, forever praising you and saying

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.

Blessed are you, O Holy One: when Hagar was driven into the wilderness you followed her and gave her hope.
When Joseph was sold into bondage, you turned malice to your people’s good.
When you called Israel out of slavery, you brought them through the wilderness into the promised land.
When your people were taken into exile you wept with them by the river of Babylon and carried them home.
People      Restore us, O God, let your face shine!

At the right time you sent your Anointed One to stand with the poor, the outcast, and the oppressed. Jesus touched lepers, and the sick, and healed them.
He accepted water from a woman of Samaria and offered her the water of new life. Christ knew the desolation of the cross and opened the way for all humanity into the redemption of your reconciling love.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus, at supper with his friends, took bread, gave you thanks, broke the bread, gave it to them, and said, “Take and eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Loving and Holy One, recalling Christ’s death and resurrection, we offer you these gifts, longing for the bread of tomorrow and the wine of the age to come.
Therefore we proclaim our hope.

People      Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts that through them you may sustain us in our hunger for your peace. We hold before you all whose lives are marked by suffering, our sisters and brothers. When we are broken and cast aside, embrace us in your love.

People      Restore us, O God, let your face shine!

Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, O Source of all life, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Breaking of the Bread

        We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
All   We, being many, are one body, for we all share in the one bread.

The Communion
These are the gifts of God for the People of God.          Thanks be to God.

Prayer after Communion

All your works praise you, O Lord.
And your faithful servants bless you. Gracious God we thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ. May we, who share his body, live his risen life; we, who drink his cup, bring life to others; we, whom the Spirit lights, give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so that we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing
The Spirit of God inspires…listen!
The Spirit of God transforms…grow!
The Spirit of God empowers…go…and be…and do!

And may you…
those you encounter…
and those who are touched beyond that encounter…
discover and know the grace, love, and peace of God
each and every day. Amen.

by Scott Cervas, pastor 
at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church 

The Dismissal                  (based on Psalm 105:4, 7-8, The Message)
As you go from here into the week ahead,
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence.

For He is God—our God—in charge of the whole earth.
And He remembers His Covenant— for a thousand generations He’s been as good as His word.

So go with confidence and joy, knowing that God goes with you.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia

Sending Hymn – Lord Jesus of You I will Sing
Lord Jesus, of you I will sing as I journey, 
I’ll tell everybody about you wherever I go:
You alone are our life and our peace and our love.
Lord Jesus, of you I will sing as I journey.

Lord Jesus, I’ll praise you as long as I journey.
May all of my joy be a faithful reflection of you.
May the earth and the sea and the sky join my song.
Lord Jesus, I’ll praise you as long as I journey.

As long as I live, Jesus make me your servant,
To carry your cross and to share all your burdens and tears
For you saved me by giving your body and blood.
As long as I live, Jesus, make me your servant.

I fear in the dark and the doubt of my journey
But courage will come with the sound of your steps by my side.
And with all of my people you saved by your love
We’ll sing to your dawn at the end of our journey.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Pentecost 9 August 2, 2020 How will you feed them?

Opening hymn Wind in the Willows     
Author: Alan Bell      
As I went a walking
One morning in spring
I met with some travelers
On an old country lane
One was an old man
The second a maid
The third was a young boy who smiled as he said

Chorus    "With the wind in the willows
                  The birds in the sky
                  There's a bright sun to warm us wherever we lie...
                  We have bread and fishes and a jug of red wine
                  To share on our journey with all humankind".

So I asked them to tell me their names and their race
So I could remember each smile on their face
"Our names, they mean nothing...
They change throughout time
So come sit beside us and share in our wine"      CHORUS

So I sat down beside them
With flowers all around
We ate from a mantle
Spread out on the ground
They told me of prophets
And peoples and kings
And all of the one god that knows everything
"We're traveling to Glaston
Over England's green lanes
To hear of men's troubles
To hear of their pains
We travel the wide world
Over land and the sea
To tell all the people
How they can be free..."

So sadly I left them
On that old country lane
For I knew that I'd never see them again
One was an old man
The second a maid
The third was a young boy who smiled as he said...

Leader: I will sing your praises O God
All: God’s greatness is cause for celebration and thanksgiving

Leader: God is gracious and merciful
All: God is patient and compassionate

Leader: Proclaim the greatness of God and show in all we do
All: God is faithful and just, help us to strive to be the same.

Prayer for the day:
Loving God your love and compassion showed itself in and through Jesus. When people gathered, he cared for them and their needs. Help us to be more compassionate, show us how to feed those who hunger and help them find satisfaction. Amen 

Hymn     Lord you have come to the seashore            written by Cesareo Gabarain
                                                                                        performed by Tim Lewis
Listen Here
Lord, You have come to the seashore 
Neither searching for the rich nor the wise. 
Desiring only that I should follow. 

REFRAIN     O Lord, with Your eyes set upon me 
                      Gently smiling, You have spoken my name. 
                       All I longed for, I have found by the water. 
                      At Your side, I will seek other shores. 

Lord, see my goods, my possessions. 
In my boat You find no power, no wealth. 
Will You accept then my nets and labor?         REFRAIN 

Lord take my hands and direct them. 
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost. 
Returning love for the love You gave me.         REFRAIN 

Lord, as I drift on the waters 
Be the resting place of my restless heart. 
My life's companion, my friend and refuge.         REFRAIN

Leader: May God be with you     All: and also with you.
Leader: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. (
All: Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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

Song for Reflection     Kindness         Ryan Adams 
Listen Here
If you're so kind 
Can you let down your hand 
Can you let down your hand 
If you're so kind 
If you're so strong 
Can you shelter the weak 
Will you listen as the strangers speak 
Bring them calm 

Kindness don't ask for much 
But an open mind 
Kindness can cure a broken heart 
Honey are you feelin kind 
Do you believe in love 
Do you believe in love 

If you're so kind 
Can you let down your hand 
Will you try and understand 
When it goes wrong
Days come and gone 
And it's been said and been done 
I will shelter you with my love 
And my forgiveness 

Kindness don't ask for much 
But an open mind 
Kindness can cure a broken heart 
Honey are you feelin kind 
Do you believe in love 
Do you believe in love 

Kindness don't ask for much 
But an open mind 
Kindness can cure a broken heart 
Honey are you feelin kind 
Do you believe in love 
Do you believe in love

Prayers of Intercession
Sisters and brothers, God our Savior is our refuge! So let us pray to God saying, “Incline your ear to us; Hear our words.”

God our Savior, show us your face. May your Church be satisfied in your presence. May you reveal to us your ways so that we might walk in the light of your truth.
Incline your ear to us;   Hear our words.

O God, your eyes are fixed on justice. We pray for all victims of war and violence and famine. Give heed to the cries of those in need throughout the world.
Incline your ear to us;  Hear our words.

God of Abundance, you have blessed the Earth to bring forth plenty. May we recognize the abundance in our own lives and so that those with little may also have their fill.
Incline your ear to us;   Hear our words.

O God, have compassion on the people of our region. Show us your marvelous loving-kindness so that our fears may be replaced with trust in your goodness.
Incline your ear to us;    Hear our words.

God of Blessing, we call upon you, for you answer us in our need. We pray this day for all those desperate for your blessing. Moved by compassion, heal the sick and suffering ones we hold in our hearts this day.
add your own petitions and thanksgivings, followed by Silence
Incline your ear to us;  Hear our words.

The Lord's Prayer

Song         Until All Are Fed                              – Brian McFarland One Licence A-605236 

How long will be sing? How long will we pray? 
How long will we write and send? 
How long will we bring? How long will we stay? 
How long will we make amends? 

Until all are fed, we cry out. Until all on earth have the bread. 
Like the one who loves us, each and everyone… 
We serve until all are fed. 

How long will we talk? How long will we prod? 
How long must we fret and hoard? 
How long will we walk to tear down this fa├žade? 
How long? How long, oh lord? 


How can we standby and failed to be aghast? 
How long till we do what’s right? 
How could we standby and choose a lesser fast? 
How long till we see the light? 


On the green, green grass they gathered long ago, 
To hear what the master said. 
What they had they shared - some fishes and some loaves. 
They served until all were fed.