Thursday, 4 February 2021

Epiphany 5 -- February 7, 2021


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

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

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

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

Gathering Hymn     Praise the Lord (CP 382)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Proclamation of the Word 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ

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

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

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


Offering Hymn  Comfort My People  (Steve Bell)

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

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

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


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

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

Affirmation of Faith (Iona Community)

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

Prayers of the People  (~ written by Rick Morley, and posted on A Garden Path.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord’s Prayer (
Gathering our prayers together we pray:

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

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

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

We pray the Collect of the Day together

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

Amen. May it be so

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

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