September 17, 2023

17 September 2023

God Invites Us To Gather

Words of Welcome 

  • Welcome to worship here at Maple Grove United 
  • My name is Rev. Jessica McCrae and I am so happy to be leading this time of worship with you along with our musicians Deborah and Eran, our choir, our scripture reader Arnaud, our greater Barb, Alex leading our children and youth program and we have Charlotte (and Peter?) on live streaming and projection, with John on sound.  Thank you everyone!
  • I would like to extend a special welcome to the Craig family who is here with us today to celebrate the dedication of the More Voices hymn books, with money that was given in memory of. ……

Messy church will start up again October 21.  If you are able to help Alex please let her know.

  • Booked for Lunch resumes on Sept 26 – The Spoon Stealer – will be a wonderful discussion of, among other things, the important of telling our stories (which, if you subscribe to my Reflections newsletter, you’ll know I talked about this week)
  • Pollinator Garden event on Sept 28 at 4 pm
  • If you would like to make a financial donation to the ministry of this church you can leave a donation on the plate near the back of the church, where you entered …  or you can do so online through etransfer or Canada Helps.

Acknowledgment of the Land – 

Today we are worshiping on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, to the Attawandaron and the Haudenosaunee.  These are the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit.  We acknowledge the relationship the first peoples have with the land and as a church we commit to the work of reconciliation, through listening and learning. 

Our Christ Candle is lit.  We give thanks for the light of Christ in our life and in the work and worship we do together.  If you are at home I invite you to light your own candle to celebrate the light that lives in our world.  Let us prepare our hearts and minds for our worship, as we listen to our prelude. 


Call to Worship 

When fears overwhelm us, we cry out….
God, come to us and lead us safely home!

When we feel lost and alone and we wonder if anyone cares about us, we cry out….
God, come and heal us, fill us with hope!
When worries rock our world and we find it hard to sleep at night, we cry out …
God, bring us peace!

When we need reminders we are not alone

We gather in together in worship

Singing songs of praise, supporting each other.

We are not alone.

Let us not forget this.

Let us worship our God!

*Hymn: Draw The Circle Wide MV 145

Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer 

Loving God, we come before you this day having come through a week that has brought each of us challenges and joys, as life does.  We pray that as we exhale in this space that you will fill us with the assurance of your presence, not just here in this sacred space, but in all of the ordinary days and hours of our life.

Help us to see you active, working amidst the chaos, rejoicing in the grace and bringing your children hope for tomorrow.

Bring us hope God, and helps us to never doubt your presence with us.  This we pray together in words Jesus taught us saying

Our Creator

in heaven

Hallowed be your name

Your kindom come

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread 

And forgive us our trespasses 

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

for yours is the kindom

The power and the glory

Forever and ever


Anthem:  For The Music of Creation

Children leave for Light Connection with Alex

Prayer of Confession

God, we confess that we don’t always turn to you in our troubles. Sometimes we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety. We cannot see “the light at the end of the tunnel”. And instead can become overwhelmed with the challenges ahead. 

We forget. We forget that we are not alone.

Hear us now, as we bring before you our fears, our mistakes, our worries, in the silence of our hearts. 

(silent prayer)

Fill us with your hope and love. Forgive us when we make mistakes, when we doubt, when we forget you are here. Pick us up and place us on pathways of peace and hope.  Help us to remember, we are not alone. Amen.

Sung Response:  May God’s Sheltering Wings. MV 214

Assurance of Pardon

No matter what happens in our life, whether we face it with courage or with fear, with anxiety or with hope, God is with us.  We are not alone.  And we are forgiven our mistakes, forgiven our hesitation, forgiven our doubts. 

Accept this forgiveness, and live as God’s beloved.

The Word of God Proclaimed

Prayer of Illumination (Arnaud Panvin)

Living God, as we listen to your word today
    Give our hearts the wisdom to receive
    the love that is offered.    

Send your Spirit to fill us with hope and your resurrection promise.

Reading: Genesis 50:15-21 (pg. 48 in the Old Testament in your pew Bibles)

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructionsbefore he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindlyto them.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Thanks be to God.

Sermon: Where is God in THAT?

Hymn: Called By Earth and Sky  MV 135

Our Response to God

Dedication of More Voices

Words of Thanks to Craig Family

Act of Dedication and Offering

Gracious God we thank you for the gift of song, and in it the ability to praise you and fill our lives with joy, with stories and will hope.

We give you thanks for the gift given in memory of …… Craig that enabled us to buy these hymn books to enhance our worship.  We dedicate these books to the glory of God and we ask God that you will bless these books, so that they might not only be used to worship you but also used to fill the hearts of all who sing from them with joy and hope.

We ask you too to bless all of the other offerings that have come to us this week – the time, talents and treasure of your children for the work and ministry of your church.  Bless all of this, and us to your service so that we might bring hope to the community here, and beyond these doors.

Offering Hymn:  Take Up His Song. MV 213 (3x using peace for each verse?)

Meditative Music

Prayers of the People

God, as we hear the story of Joseph and his brothers we remember how easy it is to wonder where you are in the midst of disasters, what role you have in things that challenge and change us, we can’t help but wonder why you can’t stop the bad things from happening.

But then we remember that whatever happens you are with us through it all.  That your will for us is new life, your hope for us is strength and courage, you want what is best for us.

Although we don’t have all the answers,

when we reflect on the story of Joseph and his brothers, when we reflect on our own lives

we see the places where you have brought new life out of pain, where you have reconciled hurt for healing, where you have taken difficult circumstances and from there, led us to where we needed to be.

Thank you God for being with us, and leading us, through this life.

Today as our hearts are filled with song, and this sanctuary is filled with hope,

We remember those people and places in the world were it seems the music has been silenced,

Where worry and fear are having the final say.

We pray that you will reconcile this pain for new life and healing.

We pray for the people of Morrocco following the devastating earthquake

We pray for all who are grieving, all who have lost hope, all who are in need of healing.

We pray for those struggling as a result of the current economy and facing so much uncertainty,

We pray for those living with violence in their community, in their homes, in their lives.

We pray for those missing loved ones

Those needing to begin again,

Those needing a light to shine on a new path forward.

In this season of creation God, we pray for creation.

We pray for our world heaving under the weight of the climate crisis.

We pray for wisdom in our decisions, we pray for the ability to heal and mitigate, 

we pray God that we will recognize and care about our interconnectedness with each other, with creation, with all species who call this planet home.

We thank you God for hearing our prayers and for working in our world, and in our lives to bring about healing and hope.

Help us to work with you to reconcile all things for good.


*Hymn: Come O Fount of Every Blessing. VU 559


Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace