December 4, 2016 – Advent 2

Links of Interest/Bibliography:
Text Week
Working Preacher
Stewardship of Life: Return, Rend & Receive

Hymn It Came Upon A Midnight Clear VU 44

Words of Welcome and Announcements
Welcome to St. Luke’s, a proud congregation of the United Church of Canada. If this is your first time with us, please be sure to come across the hall for coffee/tea and snacks after worship. We have visitor offering envelopes available from the greeters, as well as a “Welcome Brochure” outlining our contact information. If you have come looking to speak to someone, please be sure to find one of our Pastoral Care Volunteers wearing an “I am here to listen” nametag.

Lighting the Advent Wreath & Centering
Advent Chant (on the screen) Phil Porter

Call to Worship:
One: Two small flames flicker and grow. Reminding us to keep seeking hope, and that hope can grow into personal peace. When each of us nurtures our peace, it can’t help but grow.
All: A single candle offers us hope. Two candles inspire peace.

Hymn Ring a Bell for Peace VU 65

Opening Prayer:
We pray that this hour might be filled with peace and compassion. May your spirit’s presence surround us today and travel with us this week as we remember this time. Amen.

Theme Conversation The Jesse Tree: Another Seven Days
Spin Me A Story AGCS #17 v.1

Readings Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 (3:1-2)

Hymn Spirit, Spirit Gentleness VU 375

Reflection Visions & Dreams
Prophesy, visions and dreams.  Today’s gift from the lectionary reeks of peace.  Dreams come from ideals.  They are lofty and wishful.  Dreams still can be achievable, even if they are lofty. World Peace is lofty and wishful, but it’s probably more achievable than me becoming a millionaire.   Visions are dreams that come with some wisdom.  Having a vision about World Peace probably includes the knowledge that before you can have peace with others, you must have peace with yourself.  If you have your own internal conflict, how can you possibly be peaceful with others?  Prophecy is the public or vocal reminder that our dreams and visions need to be for the greater good.   We hear lots of prophetic voices on a regular basis:  advocates against child poverty and homelessness, mental health advocates, literacy advocates, lgbtq+ issues, and human rights issues.  We hear lots of “you’re doing it wrong” too, but let’s be clear: simply telling someone they are doing it wrong isn’t prophecy – that’s just getting in the way.

Bob and I have been watching a show all fall called “The Great Indoors”.  The main character in the show is a new supervisor to a group of people he simply doesn’t understand.  Sometimes he feels they are speaking another language.  He tells them they are wrong and often insinuates, if not outright says, they are stupid.  And he wonders why they have no faith in his leadership.  And it’s true.  They have great respect for him, but no faith that he has any idea about the world and what makes it tick.  In his mind, his underlings are so clueless about life in general, it is offensive to him.  I just want to sit him down and somehow find the words to explain to him that he’s never going to get anywhere using that kind of strategy.

Dreams, visions and prophecy, neither one of the three can be successful without the other two.  Dreams aren’t successful unless there’s a path to get there.  Visions and prophecy together supply that path.  Visions aren’t successful unless they are accompanied by the energy that dreams and prophecy supply.  And prophecy can’t be successful without the hope that comes from dreams and visions together.

A church is a community of people who work together on common dreams, visions and prophecies.  What are our dreams as a community of faith?  Do we have any visions?  Who are our prophets?  What are they saying? Are we ready to listen? Are we ready to share our wisdom? Are we ready to dream?

Hymn Spirit, Spirit Gentleness VU 375

Minute for Mission Brunswick St Executive Director Sandra Nicholas

Offering Invitation Peace is ours to share, it is up to us to find the best way to share it.

Offertory What Can I Do? MV 191

Offering Prayer May these gifts and those given through PAR inspire peace, in our congregation, in our community, and beyond. Amen

Prayer Music Make Me A Channel of Your Peace Music Ministry

Prayers of the People Heather Starr-Williams

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing Hope Is A Candle Linnea Good

November 28, 2016 – Advent 1

Links of Interest/Bibliography:

Printable Advent Calendars:
Cute Donkey
Advent Unwrapped
Advent Thoughts
Praying in Color

Advent in General:
Advent Unwrapped
Patheos: What is Advent?
Proost
Rachel Held Evans: 26 Ideas for Advent
The Liturgists: Oh Light!

Narrative Lectionary:
The Working Preacher

On Advent 1:
Kathy And the World
RevGalsBlogPals: Lions and Tigers and Prayers, oh my!
Steve Thomason: Feeling Trapped?
Awesome Daniel Video
Seasons of the Nativity by Sybil MacBeth
Rex Hunt

St. Luke’s United Church
November 27th, 2016
Hope
Hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel VU v1, 4 & 7

Words of Welcome and Announcements
Welcome to St. Luke’s, a proud congregation of the United Church of Canada. If this is your first time with us, please be sure to come across the hall for coffee/tea and snacks after worship. We have visitor offering envelopes available from the greeters, as well as a “Welcome Brochure” outlining our contact information. If you have come looking to speak to someone, please be sure to find one of our Pastoral Care Volunteers wearing an “I am here to listen” nametag.

Lighting the Advent Wreath & Centering
Advent Chant Phil Porter (from Seasons of the Nativity)

Call to Worship:
One: We start the new year with a small light. It flickers and glows, struggling against the odds. These are days where we need all the hope we can find.
All: A single candle offers us hope.

Opening Prayer:
Spirit of Hope
May we see your presence in unexpected places and faces. We pray that we fill each other with hope and renewing our spirits. Encourage us to take the hope we receive today and share it with others. Amen.

Hymn When You See a Rainbow

The Jesse Tree: the First Seven Days

Readings Daniel 6:6-27
Luke 23:1-5

Daniel
Routinely, I sweat choosing hymns. There’s a whole process you see. If it’s a regular Sunday, there are three hymns and three choruses. Everything has to match the theme, which usually comes from the readings, but on days like today you also have to include seasonal themes. So I’m working with Daniel and Hope. But these aren’t the only guidelines that I have to work with. I do try to be respectful of the wide variety of preference that exists amongst you all. I pick one hymn from Voices United, one from More Voices, one of which needs to be upbeat and one slower. Then I make sure that there is one that was written before 1950. Do you know how many hymns exist in all of the books that Dana and I looked at that deal with Hope? How about Daniel? I’ll give you a hint – there were none that dealt with both. Two lines of a hymn, in the recesses of my memory about Daniel, one Linnea Good piece about Daniel’s friends, and very few that met the other criteria. It’s a shame really. We need more hymns about hope. There are plenty of secular songs, but not many hymns. At this time, in our particular society we need to be constantly singing songs and hymns of hope. None of this – and by this I mean any bit of Christianity, is possible without hope. Hope that we can create a world where people can live and love as their best selves without worrying. We’ve got a whole book, it’s called the Bible, of these stories…so why do we have more secular songs about hope than hymns?
We’ve heard a decent number of stories about hope this morning: the creation story, Noah, Sarah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and even Joseph’s brothers were all hoping for something. So now we’re up to Daniel, our lectionary gift today. The Book of Daniel is an apocalyptic book, that means it’s a book with visions – kind of like a Biblical Sci-Fi.
The point of the book of Daniel is to offer hope to those who feel hopeless. When we feel ourselves being sucked in, tricked and trapped by empire, to avoid the power struggle. To realize that one person cannot control everything. It’s even true in our families. I suspect that everyone knows someone, who needs to have everything their particular version of perfect. They are upset when the children are noisy or messy, they are upset if the potatoes are a bit burned, they are upset if the big gift they ordered online has not come in, they are upset if they can’t find their favorite Christmas carol with the “right” words in the hymn book, they are upset if the light bulbs that you’ve put on the Christmas Tree for the last ten years suddenly don’t work and you can no longer purchase multi-coloured Christmas lights that don’t have blue. Christmas is bigger than all that. God is bigger than Christmas. It’s not just about who hosts the annual dinner, it’s about God’s presence in your Christmas celebrations. It’s not even about the words you use to describe God, I mean really, if there were a correct and one true way to describe God, do you really think the Bible would be as long as it is with as many books as it has? God is evident when we recognize the patterns and realize that we need to commit ourselves to breaking those patterns as we see them. I see God in so many places…in the truth and reconciliation process and in those who recognize that re-victimization that can happen when people testify. I see God in the people who have decided to stay in the US and speak up for the persecuted. I see God in the people who keep challenging us to have a dialogue about what we, as a United Church mean when we use the word “God”. I see God in our struggle as a congregation to balance tradition with the desire to model diversity and welcome all.
The passage from Daniel today reminds us that it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to step out in faith, because if you truly step out in faith, acting for the greater good, much like Daniel in coming out of the night in the den, you’ll find there’s someone else who is rooting for you and your success and will likely join you next time, if not sooner. Amen.

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
Hope comes to us in many forms. I invite you to consider how you might offer hope to others.

Offertory Grant Us, God, the Grace VU 540

Offering Prayer
May these gifts and those given through PAR become signs of hope for others. Amen.

Communion Hymn As We Gather at Your Table VU 457
Communion this morning will be served in small groups. When the time comes, you are invited to gather your chairs in 8 circles. Communion elements will be distributed to each circle where you will be invited to serve each other. (Communion Liturgy created by Rex Hunt, adapted)
Welcome
One: May Love be with you.
All: And also with you!
One: May our hearts be opened.
All: We open ourselves to life.
One: Creator of light, Bearer of life, Source of love,
All: your ancient love stirs within us.
Passing the Peace
During the Passing of the Peace, consent is a must. You should not feel guilty if you are unable to receive someone’s gift of peace, nor should you feel guilty if your gift of peace is not received. Please be aware of body language and the variety of needs in regards to personal space.
Thanksgiving
The sacred emerges for us everywhere:
in the rhythm of the oceans
in the magnificence of the stars,
in the beauty of all beings.
All: We are grateful for the gifts of our story.
In this season, we listen for the voices crying in the wilderness.
We sing the song of angels who quiet our fears.
We find ourselves in the company of shepherds and magi
who search for what is coming to birth
in unlikely places among unlikely people.
In the company of courageous parents,
we dare to birth the holy among us.
In the divine, we live and move and have our being.
For all that is born of a sacred love,
we give our thanks and praise.
The advent of the holy is among us in every moment.
All: In Jesus of Nazareth, we see new possibilities,
new ways of being in the world.
He was moved by the plight of the poor.
He made his home with the homeless
and shared his table with those
who could not command a seat at any table.
He dreamed of a world where enemies learned to love one another,
where the abundance of creation was shared fairly,
and where love was the law of every land.
The Story
Near the end of his life,
Jesus shared a sacred tradition of his people
and shaped it into something new.
Around a simple table, he celebrated
the liberating story of Passover.
He dreamed of another revolution:
a world without a Pharaoh or a Caesar;
a world governed by the love which brought it into being.
Together with his friends,
Jesus offered the bread of hope
and the cup of compassion.
Breaking the Bread of Hope
In silence
Pouring the Cup of Compassion
In silence
The Invitation
Come from loneliness into the welcome of this table.
All: Come from anxiety into the peace of this table.
Come from tensions into the joy of this table.
All: Come from conflict into the love of this table.
Come and share the bread which leavens our hope.
All: Come and share the cup which strengthens our compassion.
Come to enliven our capacity to work for transformation.
All: Come, let us lay aside those things that shield our hearts.
Let us be open to the holy we meet
in the manger, and in the mirror.
Sharing the Bread and the Cup
The Bread and the Cup are shared with the blessing:
Bread of Hope
Cup of Compassion
After the Sharing (Adapted.Nancy L.Steeves, 2008)
Spirit of life, though we live in a world of need:
Here we have tasted hope and hunger for a world more just.
Here we have glimpsed the dream of creation renewed.
All: May we have the courage to be bread and wine for one another.

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing Hope Is A Candle The Good Book #18

November 20, 2016

The last of the missing bibliography weeks.  Sorry about that.  Good thing I’ve been working on a new way of tracking that sort of stuff.  No sermon, larger than usual theme conversation about learning the stories of our faith.

Links to the history on Jesse Trees:

Wikipedia

Loyola Press

Catholicculture.org

Myjessetree.com

St. Luke’s United Church
November 20th, 2016
Hymn My Lighthouse Rend Collective

Words of Welcome and Announcements
Welcome to St. Luke’s, a proud congregation of the United Church of Canada. If this is your first time with us, please be sure to come across the hall for coffee/tea and snacks after worship. We have visitor offering envelopes available from the greeters, as well as a “Welcome Brochure” outlining our contact information. If you have come looking to speak to someone, please be sure to find one of our Pastoral Care Volunteers wearing a special nametag.
Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Call to Worship:
One: Are you ready to worship?
Children: We are ready.
Adults: We are ready.
One: Are you ready to listen attentively?
Children: We are ready.
Adults: We are ready.
One: Are you ready to share openly and honestly?
Children: We are ready.
Adults: We are ready.
One: Are you ready to celebrate God and the movement of the Spirit?
Children: We are ready
Adults: We are ready.
All: Let us worship!

Opening Prayer: (Rex Hunt,
Adapted)
We have come to this quiet space
to think about our lives,
to pray for ourselves and others, and
to begin to understand each other.

May we enjoy this time together.
May it be so.
Hymn Jesus Love Me VU 365
The History of Our Faith

Readings Ruth 4:13-17

Hymn Forever Young Rod Stewart

Shoots from Roots

Our Own Outreach- St. Luke’s Community Players

Offering Invitation
Gifts can be more than money. Whatever you have to offer, your gift is special, and we appreciate it.

Offertory Ev’ry day Is a Day of Thannksgiving MV 185

Offering Prayer
For these gifts and those given through PAR we give thanks. May those who gave the gifts know that we appreciate them. Amen.

Prayer Music Lord Listen to Your Children Praying VU 400

Prayers of the People
Ending with the traditional Prayer of Jesus, found in Voices United, pg 921 or on the screen.
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 916-927.
Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing Go Make a Difference MV 209

November 13, 2016

Still in the land of the lost bibliography.  🙁  The Baptism liturgy was adapted from Rex Hunt’s website.

St. Luke’s United Church
November 13th, 2016
Hymn How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place MV 29

Words of Welcome and Announcements

Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Call to Worship: StAndrew’s, Auckland, adapted.
One: We gather here as the human ones of creation.
All: We name ourselves threads in the web of life.
One: We give thanks for connection,
that we are all part of one another
and that we are part of the sacred.
All: So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Opening Prayer: The Buddha, adapted.
The thought becomes the word.
The word becomes the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
And habit harden into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care.
And let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings.
Hymn I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry VU 644
Baptism & Transfer
In grateful response to God’s abundant love,
we bear in mind our integral connection
to the earth and one another;
we participate in God’s work of healing and mending creation.
To point to the presence of the holy in the world,
the church receives, consecrates, and shares visible signs of the grace of God.
In company with the churches
of the Reformed and Methodist traditions,
we celebrate two sacraments as gifts of Christ:
baptism and holy communion.
In these sacraments the ordinary things of life
—water, bread, wine—
point beyond themselves to God and God’s love,
teaching us to be alert
to the sacred in the midst of life.
Before conscious thought or action on our part,
we are born into the brokenness of this world.
Before conscious thought or action on our part,
we are surrounded by God’s redeeming love.
Baptism by water in the name of the Holy Trinity
is the means by which we are received, at any age,
into the covenanted community of the church.
It is the ritual that signifies our rebirth in faith
and cleansing by the power of God.
Baptism signifies the nurturing, sustaining,
and transforming power of God’s love
and our grateful response to that grace.

Presentation of Candidates
On behalf of the congregation of St. Luke’s United Church,
I present the following person for initiation into the body of Christ through baptism:
Barrett Michael Kelly

Do you believe in God, Source of love;
in Jesus Christ, love incarnate;
and in the Holy Spirit, love’s power.
I do, by the grace of God.

Will you follow in the way of Jesus Christ, resisting oppression and evil, seeking justice, and witnessing to God’s love for all creation?
I will, God being my helper.

Will you join with your brothers and sisters in this community of faith to celebrate God’s presence, live with respect in creation, and love and serve others?
I will, God being my helper.

Will you share your faith with Barrett
growing with him in faith, hope, and love?
I will, God being my helper.

Commitment of Godparents
Recognizing that many persons nurture and influence the life of a child, will you support Barrett and his parents as they grow in faith?
I will, God being my helper.

Each of us knows the need for support and care as we share in a journey of faith.
As this family gathers around this font and this water,
symbols of belonging and community,
let us pledge our care for them.
All: We stand as witnesses to the commitment this family has made this day.
And we pledge ourselves to their support and care
as they discover the ways that the Spirit
unfolds for them. (G Vosper)

Pouring & Blessing the Water
Gracious and Holy God,
we bless you for the gift of life,
and, within it, the gift of water.
Over its unshaped promise your Spirit hovered at creation.
By water, comes the growth of the earth.
Through water, you led the children of Israel to freedom.
In the waters of the Jordan your Child Jesus was baptized.
Now may your Spirit be upon us and what we do, that this water may be a sign for all of new life in Christ,
in whose name we pray.
Amen.

Barrett Michael Kelly, I baptize you
in the name of the Father, Mother, the Source of Love
and of the Son, the Christ, the Beloved One
and of the Holy Spirit, Wisdom, the Power of Love
Amen.
May the blessing of Love be with you today and always.
Amen.
Barrett, I mark you with the cross, a sign of the Power of Love.
Amen.

Laying On of Hands
Barrett, may the Holy Spirit, Love’s power, guide you, inspire you, and work within you, all the days of your life.
Amen.

Presentation of Candle and Scarf

Transferring Membership
Mindy, will you join with us
as together we celebrate God’s presence,
live with respect in creation,
love and serve others,
seek justice and resist evil?
I will, with God’s help.

Let us pledge to Mindy our support and care.
All: As your brothers and sisters in Christ,
we rejoice in the gifts you bring to us.
We pledge to you our love and our support.
We will together live out
the mission and ministry of the Church.

Symbol of Welcome

Congregational Welcome
All: By one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body.
We are children of the one God,
Mother and Father of us all.
We welcome you into the community of faith.

In celebration of all that has happened today, let’s join together in an Affirmation of Faith:
Affirmation of Faith (taken from A Song of Faith)
Divine creation does not cease
until all things have found wholeness, union, and integration
with the common ground of all being.
As children of the Timeless One,
our time-bound lives will find completion
in the all-embracing Creator.
In the meantime, we embrace the present,
embodying hope, loving our enemies,
caring for the earth,
choosing life.

Grateful for God’s loving action,
we cannot keep from singing.
Creating and seeking relationship,
in awe and trust,
we witness to Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love.
Amen.

Blessing: May God’s Sheltering Wings MV 214

Readings Isaiah 65:17-25

Hymn I See A New Heaven VU 713

A Vision of Peace
God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. Courage to change the things we can, And the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
This particular passage from Isaiah reminds me that it is possible, it is within our reach to create heaven – right here on earth. All we need to do is change the way we think about things. You see, the realm of God as described in this passage is made of common things, things that exist here on earth. People wanting what they have and having what they want – because it’s not extravagant.
This passage along with the understanding that even in situations of extreme poverty, people can still find happiness, has shaped my understanding of the realm of God: that supposedly far off place that we as Christians are constantly working for. You can be a lamb and live happily with a lion – if you are willing to trust the lion and offer the lion respect. Similarly, you can be a lion and live with a lamb – if you value the lamb as a being and offer the lamb respect. You don’t have to stop being a lion, you just need to have more respect for other beings than usual.
I don’t know about you, but often I look in the mirror and see a lamb, when really I should be seeing a lion. It’s easy to feel sorry for myself, but I have to remember that even though I might not have the largest bank account or the most powerful position, I am still capable of a lot.
There’s a cartoon online that has gone viral in the last couple of days. It gives a step by step account of how to help someone being harassed or bullied in a non-confrontational way, in a very lion laying down with a lamb kind of way. The cartoon itself is specific to Islamophobia, but could easily be adapted to any phobia. In four simple steps, the helper doesn’t engage the perpetrator at all. Instead the helper treats the victim as they would a friend. This seems to be a particularly relevant cartoon this week as things to the South of us seem to be escalating. While I might be a lion, I’m certainly not the bravest lion. But this non-confrontational method might actually be do-able. In the follow up, post US election mindlessness, it has also been suggested that if you are unable to engage in a conversation, to at least record the incident and report it.
A lot happened this past week. Some good, some not so good. As Christians, as followers of The Way, we’re called to work towards the kindom, the realm of God, in everything we do. Lamb or Lion, there is always something that you can do. This is my own personal trick: figure out the least I can do, and go from there. Sometimes it turns out to be a lot, and often it turns out to be the least but even something small is better than nothing. So what small steps can you take towards the realm of God? What is the least you can do to help Lions and Lambs get along? When are you a Lion, offering dignity and respect? When are you a Lamb, offering trust and respect? Can you see the new heaven yet? May it be so.

Music Ministry

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
We are each called to give according to our gifts. Each person’s gifts are different, and for that we give thanks.

Offertory Ev’ry day Is a Day of Thannksgiving MV 185

Offering Prayer
For these gifts and those given through PAR, we give thanks. May they help us to continue the journey of peace we pray. Amen.

Prayer Music And When You Call for Me MV 96

Prayers of the People
Ending with ‘A Paraphrase’, found in Voices United, pg 916 or on the screen.
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 916-927.
Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be.
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen.
Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing You Shall Go Out With Joy VU 884

November 6, 2016

I can’t believe I lost at least 4 weeks worth of Bibliography. I’ll try to add what I can reconstruct…

St. Luke’s United Church
November 6th, 2016

Hymn And On This Path MV 8

Words of Welcome and Announcements

Lighting the A Candle for Peace & placing a Remembrance Wreath

Hymn Down By the Riverside Joyful Noise 123

Call to Worship:
One: God calls us to worship.
All: God calls us to live our lives with compassion.
One: God calls us to worship.
All: God calls us to walk the Path of Peace together.
One: God calls us to worship, as we pray…

Opening Prayer (Rex Hunt, adapted)
Spirit of life and love, we have gathered in this place, again.
May we create here a circle of love, ever expanding, ever growing.
A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of peace.
A place of hope.
May it be so!

What does the Path to Peace look like?

Music Ministry

Readings: Micah 4:1-6
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Path to Peace

Swords to ploughshares and a time for everything. The classic passages for peace. So often repeated that I bet many of you have them, or at least parts of them, memorized. So for those of you who may not have heard these before, a quick background:
Ecclesiastes is a book that we, as Christians, share with of Hebrew predecessors. It is a book of wisdom, that is a book that describes wisdom as something bigger than we are, but something that is a part of our lives. This particular passage, is a study of life as wisdom…or maybe it’s a study of wisdom as life. It’s most likely a little of both. This particular passage reminds us of the cycle of life that balances us in the constant evolution that is life. They might sound familiar to you as if they are lyrics to a song. The Byrd’s took this particular passage and made it famous with the song “Turn, Turn, Turn”.
Micah is also a book that we share with our Hebrew predecessors. It is a prophetic book calling us to act for the sake of a beautiful future for everyone. This particular section happens to be about how the future will be rebuilt on a desire to live in peace. The idea of taking weapons and turning them into tools to end hunger is powerful, as is the idea that nations will gather and sort out their differences peacefully and live by the rules.
Neither of these passages suggest that peace is accomplished by the flip of a switch. I think most, if not many people would agree that we have been through and might still be in a time of war. We can choose to remain in this time of war, this time of hierarchy, empire, bullying and fascism, or we can choose to take steps towards the time of peace. That’s what the Micah passage is about: Consciously choosing to make choices that move us in the direction of peace.
Creating a culture of peace takes generations and hope that is strong enough to pass from one generation to the next. Similar to the hope that would keep fans in the stands for 107 years, buying tickets to games that never seem to be in their favor, wearing the jersey of a losing team. There is no one alive that remembers the last time the Cubs won the World Series, but they still had fans, who still wore the jerseys and still bought the seats. The fans kept buying the tickets and wearing the jerseys because they still had hope. Each trade, each pick the managers made, the fans saw as a step in the right direction. Each time at bat, every strike, one step closer.
I don’t live with a Cubs fan, but I do live with 3 Red Sox fans. So I do know something about that unwavering hope. In our house, there’s never a bad day to wear a Red Sox jersey, t-shirt or hat. The Green Monster, the iconic wall in the Red Sox’s home, is just as exciting to visit as the Westminster Abbey. The hope is so strong that the game isn’t over until the last possible strike. I suspect that someone or something in our family, at some point, will be named “Ortiz” in Big Papi’s (pronounced Poppy) honour. It was a sleepless night in our house the last time the Red Sox won the World Series. I suspect the same kind of hope and celebration exists in loyal Cubs fan’s homes too.
It took 107 years of hoping for the Cubs to win. All the fans could do is be loyal and keep offering hope. How long will it take for peace to win when we are all hoping, all remaining loyal to the dream of peace and all taking whatever small steps we can? Amen.

Hymn We Are Pilgrims VU 595

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
Small steps can lead to great things. Similarly, all gifts can lead to great things. We are thankful for whatever you can offer.

Offertory Ev’ry Day Is a Day of Thanksgiving MV 185

Offering Prayer
May these gifts and those given through PAR become steps along the path to Peace. Amen.

Communion Hymn Bread for the Journey MV 202

A word about the Importance of Consent
During the Passing of the Peace, consent is a must. You should not feel guilty if you are unable to receive someone’s gift of peace, nor should you feel guilty if your gift of peace is not received. Please be aware of body language and the variety of needs in regards to personal space.
Communion will be served to you, with the liturgy provided on the screen. Please indicate to your server if you need gluten free bread. Please hold on to your bread and juice for communal consumption. Liturgy by David Galston, adapted.

Welcome to this banqueting table.
This is a table of hospitality,
of sharing, and of celebration.
We break bread and fill the cup
because these are the gifts that strengthen
our journey together.
Let’s begin this journey by passing the Peace of Christ.

Remembering our Common Humanity…
We remember and honour the justice imperative
that is the biblical heritage:
justice is not belief but action,
not silence but voice,
not tolerance but compassion.
A banquet reminds us of our common humanity
and our common need for just relationships.
All: Jesus said, “If you love those who love you,
what merit is there in that?
An outlaw can do the same thing.
And if you give only to those who give back to you,
do you really expect congratulations?
Rather, love your enemies, do good,
and lend without expecting anything in return.”
Bread and Wine
The call to follow justice is easy to issue,
but the resolve to follow justice is difficult to muster.
Together, let us be a community
that not only issues the word
but follows the dictate.
May our community be one that holds
the strength of compassion and the resolve to act.
May we be a people who unites
our words with our deeds.
All: For the dignity of life and the hope of humanity,
may it be so.
Remembering the night that Jesus gathered his friends together, giving thanks for each of them and all they had accomplished together,
We break bread as an act of solidarity.
We fill the cup as an act of sharing.
Welcome to this banquet celebration.

Bread of solidarity.
Cup of sharing.

Music Ministry – Lauren Parks

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing I am Walking a Path of Peace MV

 

October 30th, 2016

Once again, my bibliography is gone.  🙁  I thought I had posted a months worth of Sundays that I didn’t.  I’ll post what I can remember.

Lost Sheep – Zac the Taxman
Textweek.com – Proper 26
Working Preacher – Zaccheaus and the Reformation
Wikipedia – Zaccheaus

St. Luke’s United Church
October 30 th, 2016

Hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus VU 664

Words of Welcome and Announcements

Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Hymn When Hands Reach Out and Finger Trace MV 136
Call to Worship:
One: We come each with our own fears and insecurities.
All: We come looking to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
One: We come searching for meaning in the everyday.
All: We come to celebrate our diversity.
One: We gather as individuals, working toward community.
All: We gather in worship.

Opening Prayer (Rex Hunt)
Loving God, we gather in this place,
coming from our varied concerns and competing views,
yet seeking our common humanity.

May our eyes be opened,
May our hearts be touched,
May our wills be empowered… now.
May it be so. Amen.

Zacchaeus

Readings: Luke 19:1-10
Hymn I Saw the Rich Ones MV 127

Reflection

What’s the point of this story? As a child, it always seemed that the story about Zacchaeus was about a short man, who was a bit of a push-over as the crowd kept getting in front of him. Then Jesus yells at him and invites himself to Zacchaeus’s house. Zacchaeus then admits to do bad things a Jesus forgives him. But every three years when this reading comes around, I find yet another new spin on it.
The last time around I came across the story of Zac the Tax Man. The idea of Zacchaeus being bullied certainly hit home. It’s not just the suggestion that perhaps Zacchaeus was bullied as a child, it’s also the fact that adults bully each other. It only takes a few moments of election coverage, especially South of the border. But it’s not just in the election. Adults can be overly competitive or shame each other into submission. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who constantly one-upped you? Or, as many new moms can attest to – mommy shaming – especially over things such as breast feeding, co-sleeping, vaccinations and even post-partum. Believe it or not, some women can be so “right” that they can’t even hear another woman’s experience. Our words and actions affect other people. Period. Intended or not, what we say and do can have an impact. So while the crowd around Jesus and Zacchaeus might not have intended to hurt his feelings, how else could Zacchaeus felt when he heard them ask “Why is Jesus going to the Sinner’s house?” How can someone so beautiful be with such a geek? Why is someone so smart with someone so stupid? Why is someone so nice going to have supper with someone so horrible? I’m going to put a disclaimer in here: there’s a fine line between minding your own business and helping someone trapped in an abusive or dangerous relationship. Do what you need to do, but don’t just stand there, pointing fingers and gossip or “tsk, tsk” about it. Bullying and shame was my lesson the last time around.
This time around, the point that hit home for me was that Zacchaeus defended himself. I was surprised when it was noted in a commentary the Zacchaeus told Jesus “I give half of my earnings to the poor. If I cheated anyone, I’ll pay them back 4 times.” There was no “will” give. It was simply give. I checked another commentary. Same thing. I read a few translations, and my most trusted one made no promise of giving earnings to the poor. Instead, it was made clear Zacchaeus was already doing it. Zacchaeus wasn’t falling for the shame act. Unexpectedly, Zacchaeus was standing up for himself with an enviable amount of courage.
I’ll admit, I bristle a bit when I get a “sin” passage turns up in the lectionary readings. It’s these passages that are often used to shame people into submission. Sin is a breakdown in a relationship. Using a Bible passage to shame people is itself a breakdown in a relationship and the whole point of Christianity is to build relationships to make the world a better place. Zacchaeus stood up for himself. He made it clear that he had no guilt. He did not cross any personal boundary about taxes. He also made it clear that he would not be consciously crossing any societal boundaries, there would be no shame on his watch. Jesus helped him to achieve his shame free goal simply by spending time with him. Jesus didn’t do what was expected of him by society. Jesus did the unexpected. Considering our society’s fascination with competition, fascism and shame this whole Zacchaeus story is unexpected. Unexpected interest. Unexpected criticism. Unexpected courage. Unexpected compassion. Unexpected grace. It’s time people. It’s time for us to see the unexpected in our midst. Amen.

Litany (from A Song of Faith and Luke 19:1-10)

God is Holy Mystery,
beyond complete knowledge,
above perfect description.

Yet,
in love,
the one eternal God seeks relationship.

Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town
when a wealthy person whose name was Zacchaeus appeared.
Zacchaeus was one of the senior tax collectors.
Zacchaeus was anxious to see what Jesus was like,
but was too short and could not see Jesus for the crowd.

So God creates the universe
and with it the possibility of being and relating.
God tends the universe,
mending the broken and reconciling the estranged.
God enlivens the universe,
guiding all things toward harmony with their Source.

Grateful for God’s loving action,
We cannot keep from singing.

Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree
to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way.
When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke:
‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’
And Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed Jesus joyfully.
They all complained when they saw what was happening.
‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house,’ they said.
We sing of the Creator,
who made humans to live and move
and have their being in God.
In and with God,
we can direct our lives toward right relationship
with each other and with God.
We can discover our place as one strand in the web of life.
We can grow in wisdom and compassion.
We can recognize all people as kin.
We can accept our mortality and finitude, not as a curse,
but as a challenge to make our lives and choices matter.

Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to Jesus, “Here and now I give half my belongings to poor people. If I’ve defrauded anyone in the least, I’ll pay them back fourfold.”
Scripture is our song for the journey, the living word
passed on from generation to generation
to guide and inspire,
that we might wrestle a holy revelation for our time and place
from the human experiences
and cultural assumptions of another era.
God calls us to be doers of the word and not hearers only.

Jesus said to the Tax Collector, “Today salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a descendant of Sarah and Abraham. The Promised One has come to search out and save what was lost.”
We sing of Jesus,
a Jew,
born to a woman in poverty
in a time of social upheaval
and political oppression.
He knew human joy and sorrow.
So filled with the Holy Spirit was he
that in him people experienced the presence of God among them.
We sing praise to God incarnate.
Jesus announced the coming of God’s reign—
a commonwealth not of domination
but of peace, justice, and reconciliation.
He healed the sick and fed the hungry.
He forgave sins and freed those held captive
by all manner of demonic powers.
He crossed barriers of race, class, culture, and gender.
He preached and practised unconditional love—
love of God, love of neighbour,
love of friend, love of enemy—
and he commanded his followers to love one another
as he had loved them.

All: We sing of God’s good news lived out,
a church with purpose:
faith nurtured and hearts comforted,
gifts shared for the good of all,
resistance to the forces that exploit and marginalize,
fierce love in the face of violence,
human dignity defended,
members of a community held and inspired by God,
corrected and comforted,
instrument of the loving Spirit of Christ,
creation’s mending.
We sing of God’s mission.
Hymn Jesus Calls Us VU 562

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
We each have different abilities and gifts. Regardless of what we have to offer, we are called to offer from the heart.

Offertory Ev’ry Day Is a Day of Thanksgiving MV 185

Offering Prayer
May the gifts and those given though PAR, empower each of us to offer from a place of deep compassion. Amen.

Prayer Music Gather Us In MV 7
Prayers of the People, ending by singing the Prayer of Jesus VU Dana’s choice
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 916-927.

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing We Will Take What You Offer MV 196

 

October 16, 2016

I’m a little disappointed.  I seem to have lost all my pages that I had saved for this date!  Ugh.  I need to get better about making notes while I research.  Here’s what still exists.

St. Luke’s United Church
October 16th, 2016

Hymn Will Your Anchor Hold VU 675

Words of Welcome and Announcements

Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Hymn You are My Vision Rend Collective
Call to Worship:
One: The ocean reminds us of God’s presence.
All: The ocean calls us to come.
One: The ocean’s waves remind us that no two moments are ever the same.
All: The ocean calls us to celebrate Love in every moment.
One: The ocean’s rhythmic roar, reminds us that we can find comfort even with the ocean’s wildness.
All: The ocean calls us to worship.

Opening Prayer
God, whose presence surrounds us like an ocean, we pray for your wisdom and comfort this day. Amen.

Jacob

Readings: Genesis 32:3-31

The Struggle is Real
#thestruggleisreal
On facebook and twitter, there is something called a hashtag. Simply put, it’s a way to quickly search for people who are talking about similar experiences or coming to particular understandings. Sometimes particular hashtags catch on becoming names of grassroots movements such as #blacklivesmatter, #firstworldproblems, #Iamthe99percent, even #messyhairdontcare for the free spirited moms and dads out there. #thestruggleisreal is one of these phrases that stick. It’s used sarcastically, it’s used to indicate a dilemma or major decision, no win situations and the best ones are stuff you never thought you’d have to deal with!
If twitter had been a thing during Jacob’s time, I’m sure it would have appeared repeatedly in his feed:
Playing tag invitro and your brother decides to be born #thestruggleisreal
Not looking anything like your twin #twinsies #thestruggleisreal
Esau gets everything! #thestruggleisreal
To obey my mom and cheat my brother, or work myself to an early grave #thestruggleisreal
To run or to face my brother’s anger. #redhairsterotype #thestruggleisreal
Dreamers can climb the corporate ladder too. #thestruggleisreal
To marry the love of your life only to wake up and find out you actually married her sister. #thestruggleisreal
Working 21 years for a cheating boss. #thestruggleisreal
Highschool reunion time. #thestruggleisreal
Asking forgiveness for childhood transgressions by giving your brother gifts. #gracegiftexchange #thestruggleisreal
Wrestling the unknown in the dark. #thestruggleisreal
Wrestling the unknown in the dark. Wrestling something we don’t know or can’t immediately recognize is never easy, nor is it comfortable. While this image can be scary or triggering and might seem a little over the top, wrestling with God feels over the top.
Have you ever wrestled with God? Have you ever had your understanding of God challenged by an experience of grace when you least expected it – a Jacob sort of moment? How do you know you are in God’s presence when you can’t see anything around you to indicate God’s presence?
Jacob came out of his fight a changed man. He was physically different. He was emotionally different. He was wiser. He even had a new name. Wrestling with God isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the pain. Struggle is a part of life. It’s what makes us stronger and wiser. But sometimes struggle is needless. Sometimes we need to take a step back and attempt to bring the opponent into perspective. Occasionally we need to realize, maybe even mid-struggle, that what we thought was an enemy really isn’t. What are you struggling with? Is God present? How do you know? Have you or will you change for the better because of the struggle?

Hymn When We Are Tested MV 65
Congregational Meeting
Hymn Spirit God, Be Our Breath MV 150
Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
Dreams can come true if we all work together. The dream of St. Luke’s to Welcome, Discern and Do is possible because of you. Amen.

Offertory Ev’ry Day Is a Day of Thanksgiving MV 185

Offering Prayer
May these gifts and those given through PAR, become small steps in the larger dream of St. Luke’s. Amen.
Prayer Music Gather Us In MV 7
Prayers of the People, ending with ‘A Translation’ VU 916
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 916-927.

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing My Lighthouse (Rend Collective) featuring David Murray

Thanksgiving October 9, 2016

Links of Interest/Bibliography:
Textweek – Psalm 100
The Work of the People:

Like a Pretty Petunia – The Gratitude Project
Worship House Media – The Thanksgiving Glass
Liturgy by TLW – A Service for the Eve of Thanksgiving
Consultants 2 Go – Daring Greatly  by Dr. Brene Brown
Mom Inspired Life – Thankful Rocks

St. Luke’s United Church
October 2nd, 2016
Hymn  Come, Let Us Sing                                    VU 222

Words of Welcome and Announcements
Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker                     MV 30

 Call to Worship:
One: We gather to celebrate the Holy.
All: We hear the Holy Cry, and raise our voices to join in Thanksgiving.
One: We celebrate the Sacred with word and actions,
All: We celebrate the Sacred! Thanks be to God!

Opening Prayer
Today we offer songs of thanksgiving and praise. In this hour of worship, may we grow in faith and celebrate the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Amen.

Hymn  For the Beauty of the Earth                   VU 226

Thanksgiving Glass

Readings: Psalm 100                                             VU 820

Gratitude Challenge

Thankful Rocks

Place a rock or two where you will be surprised to see them.  Offer a prayer of thanks each time you see the rock.

Life Saver Challenge

Pop the life saver in your mouth and start listing all of the things you are thankful for.  Don’t stop writing until your candy is gone!

Thank-you Cards

Write a thank-you card to someone you don’t know – like the cashier at Tim Horton’s, the custodian at work, the bus driver, etc.

Mini Cornucopia

We are abundant! Don’t keep this, give it to someone else 🙂

Hymn  This is the Day                                           MV 122

Minute for Mission
Offering Invitation
There are many ways to offer thanks.  The St. Luke’s community appreciates the many gifts we receive.
Offertory   Ev’ry Day Is a Day of Thanksgiving        MV 185
Offering Prayer
For all of these gifts and those given through PAR, we give thanks.  May they be a sign of our gratitude. Amen.

Prayer Music  Gather Us In                                              MV 7
Our Mother/Father….(sung – Dana’s choice for music)
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice.  A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 921-927.

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing  We Will Take What You Offer  MV 196
We will take what you offer, we will live by your word; we will love one another and be led by you God.  We will take what you offer, we will live by your word; we will love one another and be led by you God.

October 2, 2016

Links of Interest/Bibliography:
Text Week – World Communion
Jordan Rimmer – World Communion Sunday Ideas and Liturgy
A Poetic Kind of Place – A Table With No Edges
The Painted Prayerbook – The Solace of Others At the Table
Lectionary Liturgies – Liturgy w/Communion
Worshiping with Children – World Communion Sunday
Patheos – Why I Take Communion
Religion Online – A Local Display of World Communion
Rex Hunt  – Liturgies
The United Church of Canada – World Communion Sunday
Merriam-Webster’s – Faith
Becoming Wise – Episode 1
UCRD Store – Celebrate God’s Presence

St. Luke’s United Church

October 2nd, 2016
Hymn  This is God’s Wondrous World             VU 296

Words of Welcome and Announcements
Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Invitation to Worship  (Deuteronomy 16:11, 12, 15b)
One: Rejoice before God you and your children.
All: Rejoice with the stranger, the widowed, the orphan.
One:  Rejoice, you who were once enslaved.
All: Break the bread of freedom.
Drink deep from laughter’s cup.
One: Rejoice, for God has blessed us in all we produce, in all we undertake.
All:  Together, let us celebrate. 
One:  As we come to this table, we are reminded that this is not the table of this congregation; nor is it the table of The United Church of Canada, or any particular denomination. It is the table of Jesus Christ, the family feast of the whole people of God. All who seek to be nourished and sustained in the journey of faith and long to live justly and in peace with their neighbour, are welcome here.   Let us eat and drink together for our strengthening in the faith, and for the sake of the world.

Hymn:   Let Us Build A House                                         MV 1

Call to Give Thanks
One: May God be with us.
All: God is here among us.
One: Let us open our hearts to God.
All: We open them to God and to one another.
One: Let us give thanks to God.
All: It is right to give thanks and praise.

Passing the Peace
A word about the Importance of Consent
During the Passing of the Peace, consent is a must.  You should not feel guilty if you are unable to receive someone’s gift of peace, nor should you feel guilty if your gift of peace is not received.  Please be aware of body language and the variety of needs in regards to personal space.

Eternal God, Maker of heaven and earth, we join with all your people to give you thanks and praise. You formed the universe in your wisdom and created all things by your grace. We praise you for all your good gifts: the witness of saints and prophets; the work of faithful women and men; this earth in all its blessing and promise; and this bread, once scattered, now brought together and made one. In the hope that your people may be brought together from the ends of the earth into your reign of justice and compassion, we gather with those of every time and every place to give you praise and glory:
Hymn  Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus et Benedictus)           VU 944

Mustard Seeds

Readings: Luke 17:5-10

The Power of Love
I don’t know how Jesus did it.  He was able to say some pretty outrageous things to his followers and while he may have offended some, he still managed to gain a following.  Translation, I suspect, doesn’t help much though.  My hunch is that today’s passage from Luke is far less inflammatory in its original language of Greek or the Hebrew that Jesus likely spoke.  Essentially, Jesus is telling his most loyal followers that their spirituality isn’t the problem.  It’s their lack of faith.

Accusing someone of not having enough faith is a pretty big deal, and I’m glad that many churches are beginning to move away from that.  Your faith comes from your life experience and hope – according to my favorite psychologist, is born of struggle.  Faith and hope are nearly impossible to separate.  Faith is strengthened by hope and defined by experience.  The technical definition of faith is “trust or belief in something”.  Faith isn’t what you believe, but the act of believing itself.  Faith – mislabeled as belief – is a hot topic in the United Church these days.  While this has given us many great conversations, we seem to forget that faith isn’t the belief itself, but the act of believing.

Communion is a symbolic act of faith.  It’s an act of remembering Jesus’ ministry.  Remembering the small acts that inspired a large movement.  Communion is a demonstration of putting the love of relationships ahead of your own personal gain.  It’s an equalizer – everyone who comes to the table is offered the same meal, regardless of their age, status, background or ability.  Communion builds community and calls us back to our original purpose of unity, justice and peace for all.  World Communion is the opportunity for us to acknowledge that even though we have different ways of saying it and sometimes even living it, all followers of Jesus have the same goal of unity, justice and peace for all.

So today, as we share in the bread and the cup, use it as an opportunity to recommit to the purpose of the original Jesus followers.  Recommit to using your power and privilege for the good of the whole people of God.  Recommit to holding relationships as sacred and more important than anything else.  Recommit to dignity and justice.  Recommit to the greater sense of Love.  Amen.

Hymn  Bread of Life, Feed My Soul                           MV 194

Minute for Mission
Offering Invitation
We each have an obligation to do what we can for the Good of the Whole.  Together we can make a difference.
Offertory   Called by Earth and Sky         MV 135 (ref, v4, ref)
Offering Prayer
Bless these gifts and those given through PAR.  May they be symbols of our commitment to each other and to your vision of what is to come.  Amen.

The Institution
One: Let us remember together that vision of God’s reign shown to us in Jesus at table:
All: he shared food with followers and friends,
One: with saints and sinners,
All: with crowds of thousands on the hillside,
One: and a few friends in an upper room.
All: On the night before he died, he had supper with his companions.
One: He took a loaf of bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying:
All: “Take, eat. Do this in remembrance of me.”
One:  Then, he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he passed it among them, saying:
All: “Drink this. Do this in remembrance of me.” 
One: Through this loaf and cup, Jesus lives within us.
All:  In word and deed, Jesus lives among us.
One: Remembering your boundless love for us in Jesus Christ, we offer you our praise, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
We remember Jesus Christ, who is, who was, and who is to come. (based on Revelation. 1:8)
Holy Spirit, unite us at this table and strengthen us to live the resurrected life of Christ in the world. (from Celebrate God’s Presence)
At this time, we also remember all those with whom you would have us share your feast.
We pray for all who are in sorrow or in pain . . .
all who are ill or alone . . . all who live with fear, oppression, or hunger . . . all whom the world counts as last and least . . . We pray for your church and its varied ministries . . . for the nations as they strive for peace and justice . . . for the earth, and the fragile web of life we share . . . for our families and friends
Praise be to God, the Source of love!
Praise be to Christ, Love incarnate!
Praise be to the Spirit, Love’s power!
With Jesus, we pray together, saying:
Our Mother/Father….
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice.  A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 921-927.

The bread of freedom.
The cup of solidarity.
All:  Thanks be to God.
Come, for all things are now ready.

Distribution
Our communion this morning is by intinction, an act of solidarity with our Christian sisters and brothers.  After the choir has been served, an usher will indicate to your row an invitation to move toward the front to receive the elements.  If you have mobility issues or require gluten free, please inform the usher.  We would be happy to serve you.

Music Ministry (during Distribution)

Prayer after Communion
Gracious God,
may your gifts of love transform and enliven us that we may live lives of thanksgiving. May your presence among us provoke such longing for your realm, that we will never be satisfied until the whole earth knows your justice, your peace, and your love.
In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Commissioning and Benediction
Musical Blessing  Spirit God, Be Our Breath     MV 150, v4