Thursday, 28 January 2021

Presentation of the Lord -- January 31, 2021

Being Love and Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome  (Adapted from

A Candle is Lit

Gathering Hymn From East to West (Common Praise 155)

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

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

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

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

Gathering of the Community 
(from Re-Worship blog @

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

Collect for Candlemas (from NZ

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

Proclamation of the Word

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit

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

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

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

Gospel Acclamation 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit 

Gospel Acclamation 

Homily      (Susan Smandych)

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

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

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit

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

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit

Intercessions  (Adapted from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Candle is Lit

The Lord’s Prayer 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Postlude      Refiner's Fire

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

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

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

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

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

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


Thursday, 21 January 2021

The Conversion of Paul -- January 24, 2021

Prelude    Old Sage  (Steve Bell)


Gathering Hymn    432 Jesus Calls us Over the Tumult

Jesus calls us o'er the tumult
of our life's wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
saying "Christian, follow me."

As, of old, apostles 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,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.

Let us worship God, whose Word brings life and light
God's Word is awesome and amazing. We can rely on God's Word.
Let us worship God, whose Word is good
God's Word is brighter than diamonds and worth more than gold. We will receive God's Word today, and worship our Rock and our Redeemer.

Collect for the Anniversary of the Church
Almighty God, watchful and caring, our source and our end, all that we are and all that we have are yours. Accept us now, as we give thanks to you for this place where we have come to praise your name, to ask your forgiveness, to know your healing power, to hear your word, and to be nourished by the body and blood of your Son. Be present always to guide and to judge, to illumine and to bless your people. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Proclamation of the Word 

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 26.9–23

‘Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.

‘With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.” I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

‘After that, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.’

Listen to the Leading of the Spirit              R: Thanks be to God

Canticle 16      A Song of Creation 3      Song of the Three 35–36, 61–65 


Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.


Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord,
* praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians 1.11–24

For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, ‘The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God because of me.

Listen to the Leading of the Spirit          R: Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn      Keep Calling Me 

Christ you stand before us all
Christ you come and Christ you call
leave it all behind and join my journey
Come with me and find your life
Live my love and shine my light
Leave it all behind you
Come and follow

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
Come and follow

You keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
and I will follow

You beckon us to walk your way
Your kingdom come on earth this day
To lose our life yet find it in the rising
Find it in your love for all
Find it in compassion's call
to seek the lost
to whom your grace is calling

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
Come and follow

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me 
and I will follow

You keep calling me
and I will follow                                                                                       

David MacGregor 
(C) 2014 Willow Publishing

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew 10:16-22 

‘See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 


Offering Hymn    All Will Finish Well    (Tune In!   Dave Brown) 
You in all our worries, you offer peace, you of the ages. 
In this world where injustice reigns, you are in the midst of pain 
You are the life. 
We long for your justice, wait for the day all will be mended. 
In this world you’re the cry of rage, 
the silence of the unmarked grave, you are the right. 

You’re the start, the voice inside the heart, 
calling us to take the risk of life. 
You’ve been there, from lonely to despair, 
in our tears for loss and love. 
All will finish well 

You break into history blessing the poor, you of the powerless. 
In this world where the leaders lie, you’re the truth that will surprise. 
You are the love 
We downcast and dubious, throw out our nets, already doubting. 
In this world we are lost alone. You’re the word that brings us home. 
You are the north 

You’re the start, the voice inside the heart, 
calling us to take the risk of life. 
You’ve been there, from lonely to despair, 
 in our tears for loss and love. 
All will finish well 

You’re the start, the voice inside the heart, 
calling us to take the risk of life. 
You’re the name that sets us free from shame. 
In our tears for loss and love 
all will finish well one day.             

An Affirmation of Faith     (The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears by Dorothy McRae-McMahon)

In response to the word, let us celebrate our faith:
We celebrate the miracles of grace which change us,
Born from the womb of God
And the deeply respected struggles
Of our bodies, minds, hearts and souls,
Surrounded by costliness,
Yet free for us in the journey toward abundant life.
We celebrate
the moments when we are turned around
and look on ourselves and the world
as though we make a new entry
and a different start
with living water for our thirst
and life-giving bread for our hunger.
We celebrate
the wonder of a creation
in which nothing is limited
to our horizons of sight
or boundaries of energy, courage or hope
but which leaps forth
in amazing surprises of good
and endless transformations
towards its true fullness
in the imagination of God.

Intercessions: Litany for the Unity of the Church

Upon these joint feasts of Saints Peter and Paul, let us remember in prayer that Christ prayed that all might be one, and lift up to Almighty God our petitions for Christian unity.

O God, the Creator of the world, who established and sustains the Church of Jesus Christ: 
Have mercy and hear us.

O God, in whom we share a variety of gifts and a variety of service, and yet in whom we confess with one voice: Have mercy and hear us.

O God, the Source of all truth and goodness, who is the same God working in us all: Have mercy and hear us.

We, your servants, pray that you would help us to break down the walls that divide us and to keep us from discord, disunion and division; from the guilt of schism and the sin of separation: O Lord, save your Church

Spare us from envy and strife, from pride and prejudice, from sectarianism and stubbornness, and from whatever may hinder godly union and concord: O Lord, save your Church

Deliver us from lust of power and friendship with a godless world; and forgive us for forsaking our first love, for unfaithfulness and toleration of untruth, for failure to hold fast to your Word and the things you have committed to us, and for being apathetic in our mission:
O Lord, save your Church

We humbly pray that you would strengthen us with your uniting love so that in union with you we might purge the Church from all error and unbelief, that it may be the pillar and ground of the truth:
Make us one in the likeness of Christ.

That your Church may preach the Gospel to every creature, set forth the truth that frees all humanity, and so lift up your love that every nation and people may be drawn together into your glory:
Make us one in the likeness of Christ.

That your Church may remember the sheep that are not of the fold, seek out the wandering and the lost, proclaim the forgiveness of sins to the penitent, keep a heart of compassion for all people, and defend the cause of the poor and the oppressed:
Make us one in the likeness of Christ.

That your Church may remember to listen to your Word and to follow your will, so that we may teach what we learn; and that we may follow Christ and be an example of what we would commend to the world:
Make us one in the likeness of Christ.

Gracious God, heavenly Father, accept these prayers for your Holy Church. You have built the Church upon a rock. You have given to us the gifts of your Spirit. Grant, we pray, all that we ask, that your Church may grow and prosper in the good news of the Gospel. And bring us at the last to a perfect union with you in your heavenly kingdom. For we ask it in the name of him who is the Rock and the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Collect for St. Paul

Almighty God, by the preaching of your servant Paul you caused the light of the gospel to shine throughout the world. May we who celebrate his wonderful conversion follow him in bearing witness to your truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Closing Hymn     Will You Come and Follow Me     (John Bell and Graham Maule)
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 my 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 man 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 that 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.

The Spirit is upon us, so go out into the world, for we have been anointed:
to share the good news with everyone we meet, to bring freedom to those held captive, to bring hope to those who have been displaced, to tear down all structures of oppression, to declare that this is God’s time. Amen! Alleluia!!

Post    Jesus Saw them Fishing

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity -- January 17

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service is from the Canadian Council of Churches and prepared this year by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland

Prelude      Simple Gifts          Traditional Shaker Hymn – arr. Hal Leonard

This year the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, chosen by the sisters of the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland, is: “Abide in my love... you shall bear much fruit.”

It is the great desire of God, expressed by Jesus, that we might come to him and abide in him. He waits for us tirelessly, hoping that, united to him in love, we will bear fruit that will bring life to all. Faced with the difference of “the other”, we risk withdrawing into ourselves and seeing only that which separates us. But let us listen to how Christ calls us to abide in his love, and so bear much fruit.

 Following the format of the service offered for the beginning of this week of Prayer for Christian Unity we will have three moments of prayer, we remember the call of Christ, we turn to his love, to him who is the center of our life. For the path of unity begins in our intimate relationship with God. Abiding in his love strengthens the desire to seek unity and reconciliation with others. God opens us up to those who are different from us. This is an important fruit, a gift of healing for the divisions within us, between us, and in the world.

Gathering Hymn      You are Near
Yahweh, I know you are near, standing always at my side.
You guard me from the foe, and you lead me in ways everlasting.

Lord, you have searched my heart
And you know when I sit and when I stand.
Your hand is upon me, protecting me from death,
Keeping me from harm.


Where can I run from your love?
If I climb to the heavens you are there;
If I fly to the sunrise or sail beyond the sea,
Still I’d find you there.


You know my heart and its ways,
You who formed me before I was born,
In the secret of darkness before I saw the sun,
In my mother’s womb.


Marvelous to me are your works;
How profound are your thoughts, my Lord. 
Even if I could count them, they number as the stars,
You would still be there.



Too often we take the wonders of creation for granted
We welcome this opportunity to make a joyful noise before you

We come to bring worship and praise to our Creator, giving thanks for the beauty around us
But joyful noises are not easy for everyone because of our various situations and lifestyles

Speak to us all, God, in the stillness of this time and remind us or Your presence and love for all of creation.
We offer this time of worship O God. Let it reflect our praise and thanksgiving for the gifts of creation 

Together we pray

Lord, you are the vinedresser who cares for us with love. You call on us to see the beauty of each branch united to the vine, the beauty of each person. And yet, too often the differences in others makes us afraid. We withdraw into ourselves. Our trust in you is forsaken. Enmity develops between us. Come and direct our hearts toward you once again. Grant us to live from your forgiveness so that we may be together and praise your name. Amen

Litany of Praise 

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you!
We sing your praise in the midst of the world and among all peoples. 
We sing your praise in the midst of creation and among all creatures. 

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you! 
We sing your praise among suffering and tears. 
We sing your praise among promises and achievements. 

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you
We sing your praise in the places of conflict and misunderstanding. 
We sing your praise in the places of encounter and reconciliation. 

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you! 
We sing your praise in the midst of rifts and divisions. 
We sing your praise in the midst of life and death, the birth of a new heaven and a new earth. 

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you! 

First Vigil     Abiding in Christ: The unity of the whole person

Psalm: 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.

As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word.
Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will.
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Reading: John 15:1-17    

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 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.

God of love, through Christ you said to us: “You did not choose me but I chose you.” You seek us, you invite us to receive your friendship and abide in it. Teach us to respond more deeply to this invitation, and grow in a life that is ever more complete.
The joy of our heart is in God.

God of life, you call us to be praise in the midst of the world and to welcome one another as a gift of your grace. May your loving gaze, which rests upon each person, open us to receive each other just as we are.
The joy of our heart is in God.

God who gathers, you knit us together as one vine in your Son Jesus. May your loving Spirit abide in us at parish meetings and local ecumenical gatherings. Grant that together we might celebrate you with joy.
The joy of our heart is in God.

God of the one vineyard, you call us to abide in your love in all we do and say. Touched by your goodness, grant us to be a reflection of that love in our homes and workplaces. May we pave the way for bridging rivalries and overcoming tensions.
The joy of our heart is in God.

A time of silence

Very often we think of prayer as some- thing we do, an activity of our own. In this short time we are invited to an interior silence, and to turn aside from all the noise and concerns of our lives and thoughts. In this silence the action belongs to God. We are simply called to abide in God’s love, to rest in God.


Hymn      I have called you by your Name (MV 161)

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. 

Second Vigil           The visible unity of Christians

Psalm: 85

Lord, you were favourable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin.
You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation towards us.
Will you be angry with us for ever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13a               

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul’, or ‘I belong to Apollos’, or ‘I belong to Cephas’, or ‘I belong to Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? 


Holy Spirit, you create and re-create the Church in all places. Come and whisper in our hearts the prayer which Jesus addressed to his Father on the eve of his passion: “that they may all be that the world may believe.”
Lord have mercy.

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, light the fire of your love in us so that suspicions, contempt and misunderstanding cease in the Church. May the walls that separate us fall.
Lord have mercy.

Holy Spirit, Consoler of all, open our hearts to forgiveness and reconciliation and bring us back from our wanderings.
Lord have mercy.

Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, give us poverty of spirit so that we may welcome the unexpectedness of your grace.
Lord have mercy.

Holy Spirit, you never abandon the men, women and children who are persecuted for their fidelity to the gospel. Give them strength and courage, and support those who help them.
Lord have mercy.

Sharing a Sign of Peace

The Lord calls us to be united among ourselves. He gives us his peace and invites us to share it. Let us exchange a socially distanced sign of his peace with our neighbors.

Hymn Living Christ bring us Love (VU 599)

Living Christ, bring us love,
Love for every stranger;
Living Christ, bring us love,
Love from cross and manger.

Living Christ, bring us joy,
Joy of earth and heaven;
Living Christ, bring us joy,
Joy of sin forgiven.

Living Christ, bring us peace,
Peace with God and neighbour;
Living Christ, bring us peace,
Peace in all our labour.

Living Christ, bring us love,
Love shared at your table;
Living Christ, bring us love,
Love from cross and stable.

Living Christ, lead us out,
Out to tell the story;
Living Christ, lead us out,
Out to show your glory.

Third Vigil          The unity of all peoples and all creation
Psalm: 96

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendour; tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.’
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Reading: Revelation 7:9-12 

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,
‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’


Short Silence

Intercessions      Inspired by a text of Dorotheus of Gaza 

We are called to be ministers of God’s healing and reconciling love. This work can only be fruitful when we abide in God, as branches of the true vine which is Jesus Christ. As we come closer to God we draw closer to one another. Imagine a circle drawn on the ground. Imagine that this circle is the world.

The center represents God, and the paths to the center are different ways people live. When people living in this world, desiring to draw closer to God, walk toward the center of the circle... the extent that they move closer to the center, to God, the move closer to one another. And the closer they come to one another...

...the closer they come to God.

(keep a time of prayer in silence.)

The Lord’s Prayer
With the words that Jesus taught us, let us now pray together:

Our Father...

Hymn      I was there to hear your Borning Cry (VU 644)

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell.

When you heard the wonder of the word I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk to rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.
When the evening gently closes in and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold; to see your life unfold.

Spirituality and solidarity are inseparably linked. Prayer and action belong together. When we abide in Christ, we receive the Spirit of courage and wisdom to act against all injustice and oppression. We say together:

Pray and work that God may reign. Throughout your day let the Word of God breathe life into work and rest. Maintain inner silence in all things so as to dwell in Christ. Be filled with the spirit of the Beatitudes: joy, simplicity, mercy. 
  These words are recited daily by the Sisters of the Grandchamp Community.


Be one, so that the world may believe! Abide in God’s love, go into the world and bear the fruits of this love.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in faith, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Post lude      We are one      Music by Tom Snow, Lyrics by Marty Panzer and Jack Feldman


Thursday, 7 January 2021

January 10, 2021 -- Baptism of the Lord


The Book of Alternative Service
NRSV Bible
A Wee Worship Book (Wild Goose Worship Group)
New Zealand Prayer Book (Baptism Liturgy)

YouTube Channel found here

PreLude      Let There Be Peace On Earth – Kaylene, Olexa and EJ Blackwood

Acknowledgement of Land      (An act towards reconciliation)

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

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


A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping with us virtually at St. Paul for the first time, have returned after an absence or are here weekly. Your presence both enriches us, and this time of celebration together

So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life in the presence of God

Gathering Song   Nothing but a Child – Trish Steadman

Once upon a time in a far off land,
Wisemen saw a sign and set out cross the sand.
Songs of praise to sing they travelled day and night
Precious gifts to bring, they were guided by the light.

They chased a brand new star ever towards the West.
Across the mountains far but when it came to rest,
They scarce believed their eyes. They’d come so many miles.
The miracle they prized was nothing but a child.

Nothing but a child could wash those tears away
Or guide a weary world into the light of day.
Nothing but a child could help erase those miles
So once again we all can be children for a while.

Now all around the world in every little town
Every day is heard a precious little sound.
And every mother, kind, and every father, proud,
Looks down in awe to find another chance allowed.


Nothing but a little baby.
Nothing but a little baby. Nothing but a child.
The Gathering
We are called to worship, not just by words spoken, but also by miracles recalled:
a baby's first cry, the petals of a rose, mist-covered hills, the restless tides of the seas, human love, human hope.
We respond:
with gratitude, with joy, with wonder, at life's boundless possibilities.

Prayer of the day together:
As we gather in this place of worship, challenge us, O God, with your truth and inspire us with your love.  Then as we return to our worlds of work and learning and living, enlighten us with your wisdom, and empower us with your strength. Amen.

Collect of the Day together:
Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit, keep your children, born of water and the Spirit, faithful to their calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the book Genesis
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (1:1-5)

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

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendour.
The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’
The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace

 A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them. (19:1-7)

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

Gradual Hymn    45 Down Galilee’s Slow Roadways

Down Galilee’s slow roadways, a stranger travelled on
From Nazareth to Jordan to be baptized by John.
He went down to the waters with solider, scribe and slave,
But there within the river the sign was birth and grave.

Arising from the river, he saw the heavens torn;
It seemed the sky was open to show the Spirit’s form.
The holy dove descended; he heard a glorious voice:
“You are my own beloved – my child, my heart, my choice.”

We too have found a roadway; it led us to this place.
We all have had to travel in search of hope and grace.
But now beside this water again a voice is heard:
“You are my own, my chosen, beloved of your Lord.”

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (1:4-11)

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

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

The Homily

The Renewal of Baptismal Vows          (New Zealand Prayer Book and BAS)

God is love; God gives us life.
We love because God first loves us.
In baptism God declares that love; in Christ God calls us to respond.

Welcome as you come to reaffirm your faith.
At your baptism you were made a disciple of Christ, and we signed you with the cross.
Come now for prayer, to strengthen you for the work of God’s kingdom.

The Affirmation

Praise to God who has given us life.
Blessed be God for the gift of love.

Praise to God who forgives our sin.
Blessed be God who sets us free.

Praise to God who kindles our faith.
Blessed be God, our strength, our hope.

Let us, the baptised, affirm that we renounce evil and commit our lives to Christ.
Blessed be God, JESUS IS LORD!

What is your faith?

I believe and trust in
God the Creator,
maker and sustainer
of all things;
and in God the Son,
my Saviour Jesus Christ;
and in God the Holy Spirit,
giver of life and truth.
This is my faith.

Those who are baptised are called to worship and serve God. From the beginning, believers have continued in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?
I will, with God’s help.

Let us rejoice, commit ourselves to Christ, and celebrate the faith of our baptism.

Do you believe in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the woman 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.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

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.

Creator Spirit, rekindle in us your gifts of grace, renew our lives in Christ and bring to completion all that your calling has begun. Amen.

Living God, empower your disciples to bring life to the world
Amen! May we and they together be found in Christ and Christ in us.

Offertory Hymn    VU 17 O Ancient Love

O ancient love, processing through the ages;
O hidden love, revealed in human form;
O promised love, the dream of seers and sages;
O living Love, within our hearts be born.
O living Love, within our hearts be borne.

O homeless love, that dwells among the stranger;
O lowly love, that knows the mighty’s scorn;
O hungry love, that lay within a manger:
O living Love, within our hearts be born,
O living Love, within our hearts be borne.

O gentle love, caressing those in sorrow;
O tender love, that comforts those forlorn;
O hopeful love, that promises tomorrow:
O living Love, within our hearts be born,
O living Love, within our hearts be borne.

O suffering love, that bears our human weakness;
O boundless love, that rises with the morn;
O mighty love, concealed in infant meekness:
O living Love, within our hearts be born,
O living Love, within our hearts be borne.

Prayer over the Gifts
God of life and freedom, we celebrate the revelation of Jesus as the Christ who makes all creation new. Accept all we offer you this day and make us new in him, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen

The Great Thanksgiving         (from Wee Worship Book)

The Invitation

He was always the guest. In the homes of Peter and Jarius, Martha and Mary, Joanna and Susanna, he was always the guest.
At the meal tables of the wealthy where he pled the case of the poor, he was always the guest.
Upsetting polite company, befriending isolated people, welcoming the stranger, he was always the guest.

But here, at our tables, he is the host.
Those who wish to serve him must first be served by him, those who want to follow him must first be fed by him, those who would wash his feet must first let him make them clean.
For this is the table where God intends us to be nourished; this is the time when Christ can make us new.
So come, you who hunger and thirst for a deeper faith, for a better life, for a fairer world.

Jesus Christ sits at our tables

Song as the gifts of bread and wine are prepared    572 Let there be light

The Story

What we do here, we do in imitation of what Christ did. To his followers in every age Jesus gave us an example and command rooted in the experience he shared with his disciples in an upstairs room in Jerusalem.

On the night on which we he was betrayed, and as they were sitting at a meal, Jesus took a piece of bread and broke it. He gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body. It is broken for you. Do this to remember me.” Later, after they had eaten, he took a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Drink this all of you, to remember me.”

So, now we do as Jesus did. We take this bread and this wine, the produce of the earth and fruit of human labour.
In these, Jesus has promised to be present; through these, Christ can make us whole.

Eucharistic Prayer

Let us Pray
The Lord be with you
And also with you

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord

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

It is indeed right, for you made us, and before us, you made the world we inhabit, and before the world, you made the eternal home in which, through Christ, we have a place.

All that is spectacular, all that is plain have their origin in you; all that is lovely, all who are loving point to you as their fulfillment.
And grateful as we are for the world we know and the universe beyond our ken, we particularly praise you, whom eternity cannot contain, for coming to earth and entering time in Jesus.

For his life which informs our living, for his compassion which changes our hearts, for his clear speaking which contradicts our harmless generalities, for his disturbing presence, his innocent suffering, his fearless dying, his rising to life breathing forgiveness. We praise you and we worship him.
Here too our gratitude rises for the promise of the Holy Spirit, who even yet, even now, confronts us with your claims and attracts us to your goodness.

Therefore we gladly join our voices to the son of the church on earth and in heaven:

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

And now, lest we believe that our praise alone fulfils your purpose we fall silent and remember him who came because words weren’t enough.
Setting our wisdom, our will, our words aside, emptying our hearts, and bringing nothing in our hands, we yearn for the healing, the holding, the accepting, the forgiving which Christ alone can offer


Merciful God, send now, in kindness, your Holy Spirit to settle on this bread and wine and fill them with the fullness of Jesus.
And let that same Spirit rest on us, converting us from the patterns of this passing world, until we conform to the shape of him whose food we now share. Amen
Among friends gathered around a table, Jesus took bread, and broke it, and said, “This is my body – broken for you.”
Later he took a cup of wine and said “This is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Take it, all of you, to remember me.”

Jesus , firstborn of Mary
Have mercy on us

Jesus Saviour of the world
Have mercy on us

Jesus, monarch of heaven
Have mercy on us

He who has suffered for our injustices is now present in this bread. He whose body was hung on a cross is now offered to us in this cup.
So take this bread and this wine. In them God comes to us so that we may come to God.

The sharing of the bread and the wine
Communion: 635 Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song

The Peace

Christ who has nourished us, is our peace.
Strangers and friends, male and female, old and young, he has broken down the barriers to bind us to him and to each other. Having tasted his goodness, let us share his peace.

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

Concluding Prayer

Let us pray

In gratitude, in deep gratitude for this moment, this meal, these people, we give ourselves to you. Take us out to live as changed people because we have shared the Living Bread and cannot remain the same.
Ask much of us, expect much from us, enable much by us, encourage many through us.
So, Lord, may we live to your glory, both as inhabitants of earth and citizens of the commonwealth of heaven. Amen

Closing Hymn    I Am the Light of the World

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love,
You’ll learn the mystery of what you were meant to do and be.

When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the shepherds have found their way home
The work of Christmas is begun:


To find the lost and lonely one,
To heal the broken soul with love,
To feed hungry children with warmth and good food,
To feel the earth below the sky above!


To free the prisoners from their chains,
To make the powerful care,
To rebuild the nations with strength of good will,
To call a man your brother everywhere!


To bring hope to every task you do,
To dance at a baby’s new birth,
To make music in an old woman’s heart,
And sing to the colours of the earth!


The Blessing

May God’s wisdom guide you wherever you walk in this world.
May God’s wisdom encourage you in your daily work.
May God’s wisdom work in you like yeast, and rise in you like hope!

May you taste and see God’s goodness and may God’s wisdom be your delight now, this day, and for evermore. Amen.

Words of Mission
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world...

As we prepare to leave this sacred place of celebration, may we live lives of hope, be nurturers of a vision of wholeness, and serve as healers in a wounded world.
Grant us wisdom.
Grant us courage.
Grant us peace.
                                 (Adapt. Leland-Mayer UUA worship web)

Post:     In Dulci Jubilio     – Mikaela Oldenkamp

Saturday, 2 January 2021

January 3, 2021 -- Epiphany


Prelude      Silent Night arr for Piano/Organ by Bruce Carlson

Sentence of the Day:

We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him
Matthew 2.2 

Gathering Hymn     Twas in the Moon of Wintertime

Twas in the moon of wintertime, when all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim, and wandering hunters heard the hymn:
Jesus your king is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round.
But as the hunter braves drew nigh, the angel song ran loud and high:
Jesus your king is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gift of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your king is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, beloved of Manitou,
The holy child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come, kneel before the radian boy, who brings you beauty, peace and joy:
Jesus your king is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Gathering of the Community
A new day has dawned, a new year begun
O Lord, call us so we may hear Your voice
The world turns to hopes and dreams of the future
O Lord, keep us in Your ways and on Your path
We enter this new year with hope and excitement
O Lord, remind us that You lead us
O Lord, guide us as look to You, and worship You. Amen.
written by Rev. Mindi and posted on her Rev-o-lution blog. 

Prayer of the Day (together) (inspired by Matthew 2:1-12)
Dear Jesus, as You led the Magi to You by the light of a star, please draw us ever closer to You by the light of faith. Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. Amen. 

Canticle: Gloria

Glorious are you, Mystery of Life,
essence of all creation.
You are the symphony of stars and planets.
You are the music of the atoms within us.
You are the dawn on mountain peaks,
the moonlight on evening seas.
Forest and farm, the rush of the city,
everything is embraced in your love.
We rejoice as we sing our gratitude.

Glorious are you, O Jesus Christ,
Cosmic love in human flesh.
You graced the smallness of time and place
to teach us to dance to the music.
You walk on our seas and heal in our streets.
You make your home in our lives,
revealing that cross and resurrection
are one on the road to freedom.
We rejoice as we sing our gratitude.

Glorious are you, O Spirit of Truth,
wisdom and breath of our being.
You are the wind that sweeps our senses.
You are the fire that burns in our hearts.
You are the needle of the inner compass,
always pointing to true North,
guiding us on the sacred dance
into the Mystery of Life.
We rejoice as we sing our gratitude.
— written by Joy Cowley, and posted on the Liturgy that Works website. 

A reading from the prophet Isaiah (60:1-6)

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

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

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
All nations will serve him.

May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
All nations will serve him.

May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
All nations will serve him.

For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
All nations will serve him.

A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians (3:1-12)

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

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

Gradual Hymn     There’s a New Kid in Town

We’re looking for the king, the new Messiah.
We’re following the star, shining brighter.
Old man, won’t you help us if you can?
He shook his head but he pointed his hand.

There’s a new kid in town, and He’s lying in a manger down the road.
There’s a new kid in town, but He’s just another baby, I suppose.
Heaven knows there’s a new kid in town, here in Bethlehem.

I see you’ve traveled far bearing treasures.
You say these gifts are for the new King’s pleasures.
I’ve heard that a King might come, but up til now there hasn’t been one.     Chorus

There’s a new kid in town, and He’s lying in a manger down the road.
There’s a new kid in town, but He’s just another baby, I suppose.
Heaven knows there’s a new kid in town, here in Bethlehem.         Chorus

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew     (2:1-12)
R: Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

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


Offering Hymn    Wexford Carol

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind,
What our good God for us has done,
In sending This beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day;
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God’s angels did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
“Prepare and go,” the angels said.
“To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you’ll find, this happy morn,
A Princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the Babe to find,
And as God’s angels had foretold,
They did our Saviour Christ behold.
Within a manger he was laid,
And by His side the lowly maid,
Attending on the Lord of life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Prayer of Commitment for Epiphany

God of revelation and epiphany—
Through the words of the prophets
You have shown us the world of your dreaming and longing:
A world built on justice, overflowing with plenty, and crowned with joy.

And through the coming of Emmanuel –
his living and loving, his words and actions—
you have shown us how such a world might be fashioned.

Help us to take, hold and grow into these understandings;
and, like Jesus, may we always be ready
to live generously, love expansively, speak boldly and act courageously,
that the Kingdom of your dreaming, with its justice, abundance and joy,
may become the present reality of all the peoples of this world.
~ originally posted on the Monthly Prayers (now Weekly Worship) page of the Christian Aid website

Intercessions and Thanksgivings

Bright Star, Holy One Hear our prayer.
From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
Be with those who suffer, struggle, cry out, weep, are in pain of heart or soul or mind. From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
Fill the hearts of leaders, nations, cities, and faith communities with wisdom and grace may the glory of God arise! From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
Lead our leaders in your way, your hope your love and your peace enlighten the pathways with the Glory of God, arise! From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
laugh with those who laugh this day, lift up our joys, our hope is found in You, May the Glory of God arise. From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
help us in all we do, and say, and are to be your love shining forth – may the glory of God arise. From the darkness may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One hear our prayer. Amen.
~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPal’s A Place for Prayer. 

Collect of the Day together
Eternal God, who by a star led wise men to the worship of your Son. Guide by your light the nations of the earth, that the whole world may know your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn    What Child is This?          featuring Amalia Hickerson

What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the king, who shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.         Chorus

So bring him incense, gold and myrrh; come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone him.         Chorus

The Dismissal (inspired by Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18-19)
The Spirit of the Lord is upon us! We have been called, we have been anointed; we have been given a task.
So let us go out from this place into the mission field that is the world.
We go carrying Good News to the world: news about freedom from oppression and healing for the afflicted.
The time of the Lord's favour is now! Thanks be to God, Hallelujah! Amen.
~ posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings.

Post:     Set the Sun Dancing

Set the sun dancing! New life has begun!
Star you must fade, for your journey is done;
New Year rides onward now, Christmas is gone,
Carry the light with us as we move on,

For the light that is shining is our light to hold,
Facing, embracing the darkness and cold,
Light that’s not hidden where Good News is told:
The hold that is born with Christ Jesus!

Wise men with riches of knowledge and thought
Found greater treasure than ever they brought,
Rose from their knees and were clothed in this light-
New understanding of power and right,                         Chorus

We are the company, foolish and wise,
Rich in a faith that all reason defies,
Crossing the borders of culture and race,
Leading by lifestyle, forgiveness and grace.                 Chorus

Peace is not born at the end of a gun,
Peace is a family gathered as one,
Here is Epiphany, wrapped in a shawl,
Christ who is Light, who is wiser than all,                     Chorus