24 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 Dr. Deborah Henry and Eran Rozen, our choir, our scripture reader Bob, our greeters Bob and Linda, Alex leading our children and youth program and we have Charlotte Taylor on live streaming and projection, with Mike on sound. Thank you everyone!
Messy church will start up again October 21. If you are able to help Alex please let her know.
- Booked for Lunch resumes this Tuesday – The Spoon Stealer
WE are in the Season of Creation in our worship calendar. As part of that we have some events coming up that I think will be of interest to a lot of you. First is
- Pollinator Garden event on Thursday at 4 pm, come meet Ann and I at the garden
- And on November 2nd Ann and I will be having a discussion about climate grief, hope and resiliency – looking at the book How To Live In A Chaotic Climate 0 great and hopeful book, great discussion ahead!
Next Sunday is World Wide Communion Sunday and we will be celebrating the sacrament of communion together that day.
- 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, the Attawandaron and the Haudenosaunee. These are the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have respectfully lived with the natural world, and have a deep connection to the land, water, and ecosystems that are central to their cultures, languages, and livelihoods. Through this intergenerational experience and observation, Indigenous peoples were amongst the first to notice climate change and also have critical knowledges for navigating and adapting to it. During this season of Creation, as we commit to be climate leaders ourselves, we respectfully acknowledge our need to listen and learn from the indigenous peoples of this land.
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
God, we assemble with all your creatures in this circle of life.
We ask you to join our circle and celebrate with us.
God, as we join in celebration with you and all creation,
We ask for your blessing, your shalom,
on the people present here and joining us from home
and on all creatures who share this planet with us
In the name of God, who creates all life,
In the name of Jesus Christ, who redeems all life,
And in the name of the Great Spirit who renews all life,
We cry with the circle of life:
May your blessing come!
*Hymn: This Is God’s Wondrous World. VU 296
Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer
God of creation we give you thanks for this new day, for the changing seasons, the golden leaves, the changing winds and migrating birds and butterflies. As we worship you, we pray that your spirit will enter our hearts and challenge us to experience you in new ways and to honour you in all we do, including our relationships with others and with our planet. Fill us with your spirit, challenge us and encourage us. In the name of Christ and in the words he taught us we pray
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: Creating God Your Fingers Trace (Pelz)
Children leave for Light Connection with Alex
Prayer of Confession
Creating God, in this season of creation we turn to you with grief and worry about the changing climate.
We acknowledge our role in the increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and the injury and death of so many of the people, plants and animals that share this world with us.
Help us God.
Forgive us for our mistakes.
Forgive us for our greed.
Help us to have courage to make changes and look to the future with hope,
Knowing that with you, we can make real change.
Send us out God, into the world, with wisdom
to work for the healing of our planet.
Sung Response: May God’s Sheltering Wings. MV 214
Assurance of Pardon
It is easy to be overcome with grief by the impact of the climate emergency. But there is hope. We have time to begin again, to make changes in our own lives, and help repair the world that God has created.
Despite our mistakes, we are forgiven. We are God’s beloved creation. Receive this opportunity to begin again.
The Word of God Proclaimed
Prayer of Illumination (Bob Cooper)
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: John 3:1-16 on page 93 of the New Testament in your pew Bibles
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with that person.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”[b] 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[c] must be born from above.’[d] 8 The wind[e] blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you[f] do not receive our testimony.12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[g] 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[h]
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Renewing Creation, Revealing New Life
Hymn: Through Devastating Storms (see handout)
Our Response to God
Loving and encouraging God, bless these offerings, our lives and our community that we may work together to bring hope and partnerships into this world, so that others may clearly see you at work through the work that we do. Amen.
Offering Hymn: Take Up His Song. MV 213
Prayers of the People
Creator God we give you thanks for this Earthly home you have given us
This planet that gives us air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, shelter and pleasure.
It is a miracle that we have this place to live and grow and have our being,
A miracle that we too often overlook.
We pray that you will fill us with courage, like Nicodemus
To say when things are not working for us or our world,
Give us courage to stand against the status quo
And make changes that will improve our lives and the health of this Earth.
We give thanks for all who speak up, who take a stand, who make decisions to protect our climate, all around the world.
We give thanks for those who speak to us and teach us and who make a point of learning and sharing
We give thanks for all who do not deny the problems our climate is facing,
And our responsibility in it.
And while there is much grief, we find courage and hope in our ability to build resilience, to work together, to learn more
We find hope in big steps and small steps each of us can make
And conversations we can have.
We give thanks for all who seek to make change, both in their own lives and in our wider society.
We pray for our governments, that they may seriously address the issues of climate change facing us.
May they have the wisdom and the courage to invest in alternative energy and explore new ways of powering our world.
May they commit beyond tomorrow.
We pray this day for the forests, lakes, rivers and oceans,
For the birds, butterflies, and many animals that we share this planet with.
Bless them. And help us protect them.
We pray for all who are feeling threatened and at risk.
God, hear our prayers not only for our environment but for the people who share this world with …
For all who are struggling with failing health, all awaiting medical testing, all whose lives are turned upside down,
All who are on a healing journey.
We pray for all who are living on the streets, in substandard housing, for those who can’t afford their housing and those who must make decisions between utilities and food.
For all who are facing new beginnings. Happy or sad.
All who are grieving.
All who are scared.
All who are in the midst of war.
God may all who are in need feel your presence with them this day. May they be given courage and strength.
May we all be given courage and strength to face the challenges before our world this day.
In Christ name we pray,
*Hymn: Touch the Earth Lightly. VU 307
Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace