Thursday, 26 November 2020

Advent 1 -- HOPE


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Sources used for the Service:
Liturgies for the Journey of Life (Dorothy McRae-McMahon)
NRSV Bible
Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada

Pre-lude Music/Song         Come Thou Long Expected Jesus


It doesn’t matter whether or not you have faith; whether or not you are cynical or despairing, hope-filled or hope-less: what matters to God is simply that you are here.

In the church we are entering the time of Advent. Advent reminds us that if God is to be born again in the most ordinary parts of our world and our lives that we need prepare for it.

We need to make space in our lives where love might be born.

Welcome to this tiny corner of a harsh and dark world a corner where we find hope together. And together we practice getting ready to be receptive to the message of God, practice our faith with the hope that better days are coming. That amidst the uncertainty and fear Christ will come. We enter our Advent celebrations with HOPE

Gathering Song     In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there;
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But his mother only in her maiden bliss
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wiseman, I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give him – give my heart.


Among us the Spirit of God conceives new life,
and we feel that life within us.

In our history the Christ makes gentle entry,
and we see the light before us.

Within our dreams the truth of God is revealed;
We await the hope of the world.

Wreath Lighting
ADVENT 1 - HOPE     (Based on Psalm 80) (from the

We light our first Advent candle, a symbol of Hope.      Light first candle

Like a single candle lit in the darkness, hope can sometimes be a fragile, flickering thing…
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

In a world that sometimes feels like there is no hope, in a year that sometimes feels like all hope has been lost, stir up your might, O God, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

God, we trust that you are with us, fanning our flicker of hope into a flame that can light up the whole world.
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Let us never turn away from you, let us proclaim the truth to the ends of the earth, we have hope because God is with us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Candle lighting Song.         Like a Candle

Like a candle burning wildly,
Raging soft against the night,
Spark that leaps to clear the shadows
Sending warm, disturbing night.

We are called to live the passion,
Hope stands strong against all pain.
For it’s only in the burning
That the candle shows its flame.

Like a river running freely,
Rapids swirl beside our feet,
Swiftly lowing from the highland
Comes to rest, still waters meet.

All our journeys rising, falling,
Making turns we least expect,
When the Spirit churns within us,
Know God’s power through the test.

Like an angel walking lightly
On this fragile earth of clay,
Touching folk with raw compassion,
Laughing, playing on the way.

Freely living every moment
In the mystery of grace.
Giving, dying, living, rising
See the beauty of God’s face.

See the hope that burns in darkness,
Show compassion, strong and kind,
Bind the hurt and broken hearted,
Be God’s hands and voice and eyes.

Sing a new song every sunrise,
Climb to places out of reach,
Walk in freedom of God’s Spirit,
As we die so we shall live.

We are called to live the passion,
Hope stands strong against all pain.
For it’s only in the burning
That the candle shows its flame.

Collect for the first Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility, that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Proclaiming the Word

A Reading from the prophet Isaiah (64:1-9)

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity for ever. Now consider, we are all your people.

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

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Refrain: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us the scorn of our neighbours; our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

A Reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians (1:3-9)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

Gradual Hymn     Drawing Nearer

Even in the midst of all of this,
Trouble on the news, no peace within,
Still there is a light in the distance
Drawing nearer, drawing nearer.

So, open up our eyes to see your light,
Open up our arms, they’re clenched so tightly,
Come in like a thief and steal our hearts
Like a baby, like a baby.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark (13:24-37)
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

‘But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

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

The Homily

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe in God who lives and speaks in sunsets,
in love wrapped gifts, and fleeting butterflies;
in people weeping softly for stillborn dreams and hopes they never conceived.
We believe in God, indwelling wholly, in suffering and celebration.

We believe in Christ, harbouring our humanness,
who took nourishment from a woman’s breasts;
who climbed trees, skinned knees;
who laughed and cried, loved and wept, bled and died.
We believe in the Christ, sanctifying life and death.

We believe in the Spirit, mystically joining us to peoples everywhere;
who intercedes with sighs and groans too deep for words;
a shared consuming struggle bending our will to God.
We believe in the Holy Spirit incorporating us into Christ.

We believe in the church, being and becoming,
Chosen as God’s presence in the world despite its frailty,
Its foolishness, its failings.
We believe in the church, seeking, however imperfectly,
to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. Amen

Prayers of Intercession
Let us join together in our prayers of intercession.

Our loving Parent, grant us the ability to be constantly aware that we are always in your presence.
You are the Ground of our Being

We thank you for your presence in the world that in our pain and anguish, dance and song, you are there.
You are the Ground of our Being. Everything that is.

We remember those for whom life seems unbearable; for those whose spirit weighs them down near death. May they find in you a hope that will sustain them.
You are the Ground of our Being. Everything that is-is because of you.

We thank you for the gift which enables us to see and hear to think and feel – the suffering, the poverty and oppression of our brothers and our sisters everywhere. May your Spirit ever move us to bring their lives before you in love, in action, and in prayer
You are the Ground of our Being. Everything that is-is because of you. May we ever be the expression of your presence in the world.

And now, let those who will, life up their prayers for the church and the world (People offer their prayers)

O God, we have come before you bringing our hopes and our fears. We have come because you have called us that we might experience afresh your grace and peace. Amen

Let us bring our offering before God – the offering of our hope, talents and gifts

Offering Hymn         Northern Advent

November feels so final – the trees so bleak and stark,
The land so cold and silent, our hearts November dark.
Like land that waits for sunrise, shivering till the dawn,
Keeping watch this Northern Advent, we sing out life’s true song.

We are not the morning, we are not the dawn.
We are just the land that waits the first light of the sun.

Winter holds us in her pocket, snow covers life in drifts,
The frost shapes patterns on the glass showing every human rift.
The poor, the frail, the lonely wait in winter’s deep despair,
Keeping watch this Northern Advent for the birthcry of your care.

We are not the morning, we are not the dawn.
We are just the land that waits the first light of the sun.

In our November ending, winter fears of grief and loss,
Keep all that’s human, holy, through your Advent, Birth and Cross.
Sun’s low on the horizon, our nights outlast our days,
Keeping watch this Northern Advent, we await your coming Grace.

We are not the morning, we are not the dawn.
We are just the land that waits the first light of the sun

Dedication of our Gifts
As Mary offered herself in her humanness, we offer our gifts to you, O God. We brin them in faith. We bring them in gratitude for all that we have received. Amen

Prayer of Hospitality for the Sending of Mary, Joseph and their Donkey

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn     People Look East

People look east! The time is near of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.
People look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad! Though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish.
People look east and sing today: Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build, guard the nest that must be filled;
Even the hour when wings are frozen God for fledging time has chosen.
People look east and sing today: Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch: when night is dim one more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together.
People look east and sing today: Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming.
People look east and sing today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Blessing and Dismissal
Rejoice in Bethlehem, two thousand years ago.
Rejoice in the life that was conceived, lived and given for us.
Go in peace to love and serve the world. And may your waiting be in hope,
Each day lived in faith and the love in Christmas be moving toward you. Amen

Postlude   The Trumpet Child

The Trumpet Child will blow His horn, will blast the sky til it’s reborn.
With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace, He will surprise the human race.
The trumpet He will use to blow is being fashion out of fire:
The mouthpiece is a glowing coal, the bell a burst of wild desire.

The Trumpet Child will riff on love Thelonious notes from up above,
He’ll improvise a kingdom come, accompanied by a different drum.
The Trumpet Child will banquet here until the lost are truly found;
A thousand days, a thousand years- nobody knows for sure how long.

The rich forget about their gold; the meek and mild are strangely bold;
A lion lies beside a lamb, and licks a murderer’s outstretched hand.
The Trumpet Child will lift a glass, His bride now leaning in at last;
His final aim, to fill with joy the earth that Man all but destroyed.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

November 22 -- The Reign of Christ

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Opening Hymn: King of Glory, King of Peace

King of glory, King of peace, I will love thee;
And that love may never cease, I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request, thou hast heard me;
Thou didst note my working breast, thou has spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art I will sing thee,
And the cream of all my heart I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried, thou didst clear me;
And alone, when they replied, thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee;
In my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort to enrol thee:
Even eternity’s too short to extol thee.   

Opening Responses:

Among the poor, among the proud, among the persecuted, among the privileged,
Christ is coming to make all things new.
In the private house, in the public place, in the wedding feast, in the judgement hall,
Christ is coming to make all things new.
With a gentle touch, with an angry word, with a clear conscience, with a burning love,
Christ is coming to make all things new.
That the kingdom might come, that the world might believe, that the powerful might stumble, that the hidden might be seen, 
Christ is coming to make all things new.

Collect (Said together)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, our Lord and King, grant that the peoples of the earth, now divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his gentle and loving rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading A reading from the Book of Ezekiel 34:11-16

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord
All ye, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord, the Lord with gladness
Come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord is God,
It is God that hath made us,
And not we, we ourselves,
We are the people and the sheep of God’s pastures.

Enter into God’s gates with thanksgiving
And into God’s courts with praise.
Be thankful unto God
And bless God’s holy name, and bless God’s holy name.

For the Lord, the Lord is good,
And God’s mercy is everlasting.
God’s truth, God’s truth endureth
Endureth to all generations.

Hallelujah, glory hallelujah
Hallelujah, glory hallelujah
Hallelujah, glory hallelujah
Hallelujah, glory hallelujah

Second Reading A reading of the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, 1:15-23

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gradual Hymn: 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 soften 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 in sorrow, you shared in my loss;
Mocked or insulted, you shouldered my cross.
Now enter into the home of Creator.                Chorus

Gospel: The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew: 25:31-46

Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Homily: The Nations Gather before the Son of God

Offertory     Are You a Shepherd

Are you a shepherd, good shepherd who leads us
Safely through danger, while calming our fears?
Are you a father who shelters and feeds us,
Shares in our laughter and wipes away tears?

Yes, you are shepherd, parent and teacher,
But you are greater than all that we know.
Holy and living, loving and giving,
God, you are with us wherever we go.

Are you a mother, good mother who bears us,
Comforts, protects us and helps us to rest?
Are you a teacher who daily prepares us,
Challenging students to offer their best?        Chorus

Great, gentle shepherd, forever beside us,
Lead all your children in paths that are right.
Great, loving parent, wise teacher, you guide us.
We want to love you and bring you delight.        Chorus

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

In trust let us pray to the one coming into our hearts to awaken holiness in our midst...

Let us offer thanksgiving for all the blessings of this life...      (Silence)

Let us pray for the world, especially where there is conflict, poverty, hunger.      (Silence)

Let us pray for those who suffer in mind or body, for prisoners, for those in despair, for those who mourn and for those who wait.      (Silence)

Let us pray for the transformation of systems and bureaucracies, of gender relations, of race relations, of class divisions, of age and ability stereotypes.      (Silence)

Let us pray for ourselves, opening ourselves to healing and risk, to the power to let go and the courage to take on. (Silence)

And let us pray together,

God our Mother, Living Water, River of Mercy, Source of Life.
In whom we live and move and have our being.
Who quenches our thirst, refreshes our weariness,
Bathes and washes and cleanses our wounds.
Be for always a fountain of life and for all the world, a river of hope
Springing up in the midst of the deserts of despair.
Honour and blessing, glory and praise to you forever.   Amen         (Miriam Therese Winter, 1987)

The Lord’s Prayer (Cameron)

Blessing and Dismissal

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.

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     When I Needed a Neighbour

When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty, were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there?

I was cold, I was naked, were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there?

When I needed a healer, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there?

Wherever you travel I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
Wherever you travel I’ll be there.
And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, I’ll be there.

Special thanks to all those who made today’s service possible, our readers, Rachel and Doug and Rick, And the wonderful technology of ZOOM and You Tube!

Friday, 13 November 2020

November 15 Service of Worship


The Service for Pentecost 24 is provided by Rev. Tim Sale for St. Paul's Anglican Church Fort Garry Winnipeg

Acknowledgement of The Land 

Opening: God Whose Giving

God, whose giving knows no ending, from your rich and endless store
Nature’s wonder, Jesus’ wisdom, costly cross, grave’s shattered door
Gifted by you, we turn to you, offering up ourselves in praise;
Thankful song shall rise forever, gracious Donor of our days.

Skills and time are ours for pressing toward the goals of Christ, your Son:
All at peace in health and freedom, races joined, the church made one.
Now direct our daily labour, lest we strive for self alone.
Born with talents, make us servants fit to answer at your throne.

Treasure, too, you have entrusted, gain through powers your grace conferred,
Ours to use for home and kindred, and to spread the gospel word.
Open wide our hands in sharing, as we heed Christ’s ageless call, 
Healing, teaching, and reclaiming, serving you by loving all.

Prayer of Approach

Come to the living God,
Come to stand alongside the poor,
Come to struggle with those who seek freedom
Come to resist all that offends God’s justice
Come to the living, disturbing God.

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of the world.
Free us from all that darkens and ensnares us, and bring us to eternal light and joy;
through the power of him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Psalm 123

REFRAIN Our eyes look to God, until God shows us mercy.

To you I lift up my eyes, to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to our God, until God show us mercy. R

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, and of the derision of the proud. R

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

Gradual: Awake! Awake! Fling Off the Night

Awake! Awake! Fling off the night,
For God has sent a glorious light,
And we who live in Christ’s new day
Must works of darkness put away.

Awake and sing, with praises strong,
In psalm and hymn and spirit song.
Let love our words and works renew
With all that’s good and right and true.

Let in the light; all sin expose
To Christ, whose life no darkness knows.
Before the cross expectant kneel,
That Christ may judge, and judging, heal.

Then rise as children of the light.
Be neither proud, nor hide from sight.
Be careful how you live, and wise
To sift the truth from cunning lies.

Through Christ give thanks to God, and say
To other sleepers on the way:
“Awake, and rise up from the dead
That Christ may shine on you instead!”


Jesus said, "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here; you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"


The Peril of Whistle-blowers

Today we have Matthew’s telling of the parable of the Talents. Just so you know, a talent in biblical times was worth 6,000 denarii, when the normal wage for a day was 1 denarii. The one with 10 silver talents had the equivalent of $280,000 in today’s dollars, but with much, much more purchasing power in Jesus time. For eons, this parable has been understood to be about God’s giving of resources to three senior retainers (leaders/bureaucrats) to invest in bringing God’s kingdom to fruition. Two of them meet his approved levels of return (100%), while the third simply hides the money and gives it back. He hasn’t actually done anything wrong; he didn’t steal it… just didn’t use it for gain. He gets fired, driven out, unlikely to survive in that harsh world, expect perhaps as a beggar. For years we have read that story as telling us we have to use our skills, bring home the bacon, build the kin-dom. We are warned that if we don’t, we will miss our place in the kin-dom and be cast into outer darkness. Some commentators see the parable as condemning the temple authorities who kept control of access to the faith with high prices and fees, unaffordable to the slaves and peasants, who comprised more than 90% of the population. They had corrupted the faith.

But over the years, I’ve had a hard time seeing this hard and ruthless rich man as “God” in the parable, and the third man as so evil as to be cast into outer darkness. So…………

Let Peter Globensky tell us a slightly different story; a new parable if you wish.

Once there was a very wealthy Winnipegger. He owned a lot of real estate, and had amassed a great deal of capital. He had a large bureaucracy of managers who looked after his very complex affairs. He paid them well, but also allowed them to have interests on the side, as long as these interests didn’t interfere with his affairs, or cause them to miss their annual performance targets. His targets were hard…. Five year returns of 100% on invested capital.

In his portfolio were many older buildings, in poor repair, whose occupants were usually working class poor, or new immigrants, or those on social assistance. There was also a shortage of “affordable” housing in the city and rents were high in newer buildings. Families pretty much had to have incomes of $50,000 or more to afford a 2 bedroom new apartment. He also like to speculate on land, preferably when he had “private” advance notice of what might happen near that land in future.

So this wealthy land-owner, who was about 65, decided to retire to somewhere warm, perhaps the Mediterranean, or some tax haven in the Caribbean. He wanted to golf and only wanted to come back during warm summer days every five years or so.

He trusted his bureaucrats, so he gave the most senior access to a $50M line of credit, the next $30M and a third $10M, and told them they had five years to see what they could do.

The first took 25 older properties, 5 each year, which had low assessment and low values, evicted the tenants, did cheap renovations, like putting lipstick on a pig and sold them all for a huge gain, more than 100%. He kept the excess and was a happy man.

The second quietly bribed a civic official to find out about some upcoming zoning changes, and under cover of several real estate brokers, bought nearby land that had been vacant and low-value, and when the new zoning plan went through, made a bundle, and also was a happy man.

The third man took a look at his options, thought hard, left the $10M in the line of credit, and kept about his normal duties for five long years.

Finally, the owner came for his profits, landing in Winnipeg one fine summer day. He gathered a big meeting of all the bureaucrats and all the other staff to hear the results. At the reports of the first 2 senior managers, he was a happy camper, and promised more capital in future to work with. But then the third one spoke, saying “Boss, I know you are a hard man, relentless in your search for profit. You want rewards where you’ve not really worked for them, and you don’t care how they come, or what we have to do to get them, as long as it’s borderline legal, or we don’t get caught.” Of course, the Boss fired him on the spot and said “No reference letter for you… you’ll never get another job in this town!!!”.

As you can tell, there are a couple of major changes in my story. First, the “boss” is a miserable profiteer, with no scruples. He exploits where he can, and the poor are readily available to exploit.

No “God” figure for sure. The other change is a little harder to see. In my story, the third bureaucrat lays bare the morals and ethics of the rich man in front of all his staff. They all knew this was his way, but none dared say the words until now. He is, in the words of one scholar, a whistle-blower. However, even with his courageous speech, he is alone. No one else joined him, and he paid the price of telling uncomfortable truth to power. He is actually more of a Jesus figure, in contrast to the rest of the cast.

In this parable, Jesus unmasks once again, the oppression of both the Temple rule and the corresponding exploitive rule of landowners and local elite. Both use “retainers”, Scribes and Pharisees, and senior slaves-bureaucrats. Both are in it for themselves alone. Both are heedless of the prophetic call for justice. Jesus’s hearers, the peasants and lower classes knew clearly what the story meant, but in the face of military might and temple authority they were powerless to act. All they could do was witness a coming crucifixion, an organized murder of an inconvenient prophet.

It is lonely speaking truth to power. We need a community of support to lay bare the realities of oppression and injustice, and a movement undergirding that community. Those times when our world has been turned from injustice all had powerful movements driving their cause. That’s why we need to align ourselves with such movements in working for justice and peace. Prophets get killed, as do whistle-blowers. Their testimony can be powerful motivators, forming a movement, alone, they often find themselves on a cross.

Affirmation of Faith:
We believe in light beyond our seeing, flowing forth from the flame of life in God
Who goes on creating in us down through the ages.

We believe in healing beyond our knowing from the Christ whose robe stands close
To the reach of our hand and the pain of our struggle, beyond the end of time

We believe in the energy of God's spirit, stirring in our being With a rhythm of courage and passion,
Moving our feet to risk Christ's way again
As those who are always called to be the humble, human witnesses to the faithfulness of God.
(from The Glory of Blood Sweat & Tears by Dorothy McRae-McMahon, p. 74)

Offertory: We Come to the Hungry Feast

We come to the hungry feast, hungry for the word of peace.
To hungry hearts unsatisfied the love of God is not denied.
We come, we come to the hungry feast.

We come to the hungry feast, hungry for a world released
From hungry people of every kind; the poor in body, poor in mind.
We come, we come to the hungry feast.

We come to the hungry feast, hungry that the hunger cease,
And knowing, though we eat out fill, the hunger will stay with us: still,
We come, we come to the hungry feast.


Let us offer thanksgiving for all the blessings of this life... (Silence)

Let us remember those who suffer from illness, from painful memories, from torture, from victimization, especially those hurt by the church or its members... (Silence)

Let us pray for the outcasts, the prisoners, the hungry, the homeless, the poor, the unemployed, the exploited... (Silence)

Let us pray for the coming of justice in the world, for peace that is a just reconciliation, for the earth on which we walk and to which we will one day return... (Silence)

Let us pray for ourselves, trusting in God's wisdom and compassion... (Silence)

For all our prayers, spoken and unspoken, in your Mercy answer. Amen

The Prayer of Jesus from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain Bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God in Whom is heaven:

The hallowing of Your Name echo through the universe;
The way of Your justice be followed by the peoples of the world;
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings;
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
Sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trial too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that us evil, free us.
for You reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen.

Closing  Sent Out in Jesus’ Name

Sent out in Jesus’ name, our hands are ready now
To make the world the place in which the kingdom comes.

The angels cannot change a world of hurt and pain
In to a world of love, of justice and of peace.
The task is our to do, to really set it free.
O, help us to obey, and carry out your will.

The Blessing:

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.
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.

A special thanks to our readers and singers, and to all of you for joining us at home.

Please join us again next week to meet with…..

The Sheep and the Goats!

Thursday, 5 November 2020

November 8, 2020 -- Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday

Prelude        The Parting Glass


Act of Remembrance

As we remember in silence before God those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, let us commend their souls anew to God’s eternal mercy and compassion, and let us pray that God would grant us grace to serve faithfully until our life’s end, to the honor and glory of God’s Holy Name.

Roll Call of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice

One minute of silence
The National Anthem

The Veterans’ Prayer: (Together)
O Almighty God, the great Ruler and Architect of the Universe, we offer thanks for the life and health given us to carry the Torch this far, and ask Your Divine help for the future. We desire Your presence with us this day and may Your Guiding Light penetrate the hearts of all assembled here. We pray to You at this time to comfort the sick, heal the wounded and give them patience under their suffering and a happy issue out of their afflictions. Cherish the parents, those who have lost their partners, children who have lost their parents because they made the supreme sacrifice in the conflicts that have been fought. Give them strength to overcome their great loss. Be near them in their solitude and give us all the will to hold the Torch still high, to be an inspiration to the entire world that the peace of God which passes all understanding may be with us now and through Eternity. Amen.

Poem 1000 Men are Walking  (Written by Joshua Dyer 2019)

Hymn    Peace I Leave 

Peace I leave with you, my friends,
Peace the world cannot give.
Peace I leave with you, my friends,
So that your joy be ever full.

Creator’s love I come to give,
To be the hope for all of us.                  Chorus

Take God’s gift and be at peace;
The Spirit of our love I bring.              Chorus

Take my words of life to heart,
And you will live with hope and joy.      Chorus

Responsory and Candle lighting
I light this candle for the men, women, and children who have died in the violence of war, each one remembered by and known to God. (1st candle is lit)
Lord, let there be peace.

I light this candle for all members of the armed forces who are in danger this day, remembering family, friends, and all who pray for their safe return. (2nd candle is lit)
Lord, let there be peace.

I light this candle for all who bear the burden of leadership-political, military, and religious- asking for the gift of wisdom in the search for reconciliation and peace. (3rd candle is lit)
Lord, let there be peace.

I light this candle so that everyone throughout the world may know freedom and peace as we do here in Canada. (4th candle is lit)
Lord, let there be peace.

I light this candle for peacemakers and peacekeepers, who seek to keep this world secure and free. (5th candle is lit)
Lord, let there be peace.

I light this candle so that we all may be instruments of peace- in our homes and in our communities- caring, loving, and sharing. (6th candle is lit)
Praise and thanks be to God!

Prayer for Remembrance Day (Together)
Loving God, on this Remembrance Day we recognize the double-edged nature of our remembering. We acknowledge the ultimate evil of war and our society’s part in adding to the violence of our world. Yet we remember, with very real gratitude, those who sacrificed their health and their lives to resist evil. They struggled as best they could on behalf of freedom and justice in the face of a terrible tyranny. Be with us, O God, in our remembering. Strengthen us to resist evil and to work for peace with the same commitment and self-sacrifice as those whom we honour this day. Amen.

Collect for Remembrance Sunday (Together)
O God, we come to worship you today remembering your call to let justice flow down like waters. We know you rejoice in your children who are peacemakers of the world. We also know how your invitation to be a holy people requires us to fight injustice in the world. In our Remembrance Service today, we pray that we will hear the wisdom of those who have sought peace and those who paid so dearly for what we have. May Jesus Christ be our model and our teacher in this journey of remembering. Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the prophet Micah (4:1-4)

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills.  Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’  For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

Hear what the Spirit is Saying to the Church.          R: Thanks be to God

Canticle 2: Song of Peace
There shall all the nations flow;
Many peoples shall come and say
“Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may teach us his ways
That we may walk in his paths.”
For the law shall go out from Zion,
From Jerusalem the word of the Lord.
He shall judge between the nations
And decide for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares.
Their spears into pruning knives.
Nation shall not lift sword against nation.
They shall never train for war again.
O people of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

A Reading from the letter to the Hebrews 10:32-11:1

But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet ‘in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.’ But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hear what the Spirit is Saying to the Church.              R Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn     When Painful Memories
When painful memories haunt each day and dreams disturb the night,
when life is washed with shades of grey and phantoms fill our sight,
Christ stay beside us and embrace the child who dwells within:
come, Healer, touch our lives with grace; restore our lives again.

When dreams at last bring peace and rest, and fear has lost control,
when, tried by struggle, we are blessed with rightful mind and soul,
stay close beside us as before to guide us all our days.
Christ, take the lives thatyou restore and fit them for your praise.

The Gospel:

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John 15:9-17
Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

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


Remembrance Affirmation

We believe God made this world; God loves this world.
God lives in this world.
We believe God holds it and cradles it in loving hands.
Holding its pain, caring for every memory of every person in conflict.
We believe violence breaks God’s heart;
bullets tear through God’s realm; and war opposes God’s love.

But we believe that love lives longer than hatred;
hope burns away at despair;
God calls to us from the violence, 
and we can work in love for a better world. So be it.

Offertory Hymn:  Fashion for Me – Steve Bell 

Fashion for me a desert of peace
A land that is empty of endless disease
With no one to suffer, hate or appease
With nothing to covet, desire or compete
But You alone 

Grant to me Lord by Your sovereign hand
To wander forever in this boundless land
Where all of my yearnings, fears and demands
Are abandoned and lost to the great desert sands
Surrounding me 

Fashion for me a desert of peace
Where Father, Son and Spirit meet
Together as one – together release me
Free from sin to enter in
To life forevermore 

Fashion for us a city of love
Where the lamb and the lion together lie down
Where all of the wandering pilgrims are found
Rejoicing in song for the Saviour is crowned
As Lord and King 

Grant to us Lord by your sovereign hand
A city of joy in the heart of the land
A home for the weary alien man
The fatherless children, the widow whose hands
Are tired and worn 

Fashion for us a city of love
Where Father, Son and Spirit live
Together as one – together allow us
Free to take and celebrate
The life forever more 

The Prayers of the People:
With all our heart and all our mind, let us pray to God. For peace from on high and for our salvation, let us pray ... Eternal God, hear our prayer.

For the leaders of the nations, that they may seek peace and servejustice, and promote the dignity and freedom of all, let us pray ...God of justice, hear our prayer.

For those we treat as enemies, that God will bless them and deliver both them and us from all prejudice and hatred, let us pray ...Righteous God, hear our prayer.

For the poor and all who suffer, that their needs may be served by resources now spent to serve the needs of a wealthy and wasteful society, let us pray ...God of tender care, hear our prayer.

For the rich and powerful, that God may turn their hearts from the pursuit of power and make them servants of God’s gracious purpose, let us pray ...God of wisdom, hear our prayer.

For all who profit from the production of arms, that we may learn to beat our swords into plowshares and stop our plunge toward destruction, let us pray ...God of peace, hear our prayer.

For our children and all who come after us, that they may inherit a world that will treat our fragile earth, your creation, as a precious gift to be preserved and cared for, let us pray ...Creator God, hear our prayer.

For ourselves, that we may be forgiven for not always following in the way of Christ, let us pray ...
Merciful God, hear our prayer.

For the holy Church of God, that its leaders and people may speak the truth with courage and proclaim the good news of reconciliation in Christ, let us pray ... Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Ever loving God, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitudes of your mercies look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help. We remember especially today those who are sick and those who mourn. For you are gracious, O loving God, and to you we give glory to God our Creator, to our Redeemer Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Commissioning & Benediction
At the beginning of our worship, we lit candles for the victims of war,  for the hope of rebuilding broken relationships, for God’s presence with us, and for peace. Let us now light another candle for the light of Christ shining in our hearts, shining all around the world.

(The Paschal candle is lit)

As we leave, let us remember the tragedy of war.
As we remember, let us rebuild a world of peace.
As we rebuild, let us live in the light of Christ, our Guide and Saviour.
As we live in Christ’s light, let us celebrate God’s love and constant presence.
Let us go with the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, now and always. Amen.

Closing Hymn         O Day of Peace

O day of peace the dimly shines
through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth and love,
delivered from our selfish schemes.

May Swords of hate fall from our hands,
our hearts from envy find release,
till by God’s grace our warring world
shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace.

Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,
nor shall the fierce devour the small;
as beats and cattle calmly graze,
a little child shall lead them all.

Then enemies shall learn to love,
all creatures find their true accord;
the hope of peace shall be fulfilled,
for all the earth shall know the Lord.

The Dismissal
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia

Postlude    If I Die Young

A Very special thank you to all of who participated in the service today

Sing you Home (The Ennis Sisters)

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Highway of Heroes   (by the Trews)
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Ric a Dam Doo (Written by Brian Adams Performed by wives of Princess Patricia's Regiment)