1 October 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 and all sharing their gifts of music, our scripture reader Gord, our greeter Dora-Lee, and we have Charlotte Taylor on live streaming and projection, with John on sound. Thank you everyone!
- If you like reading and discussions this is a great time for you! Unreconciled is our next Booked For Lunch Book
- And on November 2nd Ann and I will be having a discussion about climate grief, hope and resiliency – looking at book How To Live In A Chaotic Climate 0 great and hopeful book, great discussion ahead!
Today is World Wide Communion Sunday and we will be celebrating the sacrament of communion together today. Because of the ongoing threat of covid we continue using celebration cups. (demonstrate)
- 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. During this season of creation we recognize that 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
Hundreds of millions of Christians all over the world come to places of worship today just like us:
Where young and older can sit side by side,
Where heaven and earth embrace in communion,
Where God has been, God is, and God always will be.
We come to this place:
Where we can see God’s steadfast love,
Where we can hear the tender voice of Jesus,
Where we can sing our thankful songs.
We come to gather around this table, Christ’s table:
Where we can bring our hunger and be fed,
Where we can bring our emptiness and be filled,
Where we can bring ourselves and be loved.
Let us come, and worship God.
*Hymn: We Are One VU 402
Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer
We thank you God for bringing us together today in this place,
people from different backgrounds, different experiences,
descended from different cultures, carrying different stories.
But together in this place we are united in our desire to draw nearer to you,
we are united in our common calling, a common purpose,
to live as your disciples.
Together, in this place we share one common story,
the gospel story of your love and hope for our world.
God, may this time fill us with energy to face the week ahead,
may comfort be brought where it is needed,
energy infuse the tired places
and courage overwhelm the fearful.
And may we carry the joy from this worship into the world beyond these doors.
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: Gather Us In
Prayer of Confession
Creator God, we stand before you today
as the disciples stood before Jesus.
We know that we don’t always live up to your hopes for us,
We are sorry for all the times that we have doubted your love for us
for the times we’ve not shown love to others.
Help us to begin again,
help us to have truly repentant hearts
and to live with hearts open to the needs of others,
not only focused on ourselves.
Sung Response: May God’s Sheltering Wings. MV 214
Assurance of Pardon
We are a loved and forgiven people. Live into the hope and peace that this brings and share it with others. Amen.
We Share the Sacrament of Communion
Christ invites us all to this Holy Feast.
As we gather this morning,
we remember our sisters and brothers
from above and below the equator,
from the North and from Down Under,
from every time zone around the globe.
As today’s sunlight inches across land and sea
Christians gather to celebrate their place in God’s family.
All are invited and all are welcome.
Prayer of Great Thanksgiving
Loving and gracious God
who summons galaxies into being,
we give thanks and blessings to you.
We bless you for our world.
The diversity of our planet amazes us
from the prairies and pampas of the Americas
to the dusty deserts of Africa and Asia,
from the majestic mountains of Europe
to the vast outback of Australia.
We give you thanks
for the multiplicity of humanity
with our complexity of color and culture
yet called into oneness-of-being through Christ.
Mighty and tender God, in Jesus of Nazareth
we recognize the fullness of your grace:
light, life, and love, revealed
in words that confront and comfort us,
in teachings that challenge and change us,
in compassion that heals and frees us.
And now we gather at this table to remember
and to be filled with such longing for your realm,
that we may rise together
to turn our worship into witness
and to follow in your way.
Sanctus and Benedictus (MV 203)
We remember that when Jesus ate with his friends,
he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it,
he broke it and gave it to them, saying:
“Take, eat. This is my body, given for you.
Each time you do this, remember me.”
Then, he took a cup, and after giving thanks,
passed it to his friends, saying:
“Drink. This cup that is poured out for you
is the promise of God, made in my blood.
Whenever you drink it, remember me.”
At this time, we also remember
all 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 . . .
for all whom the world counts as last and least . . . .
We pray for the church and its varied ministries . . .
for nations as they strive for peace and justice . . .
for all our families and friends . . . .
Loving God, we rejoice in the gift of your grace,
remembering Christ’s life and death,
proclaiming his resurrection,
waiting in hope for his coming again.
Grant that, in praise and thanksgiving,
we may so offer ourselves to you
that our lives may proclaim the mystery of faith:
Memorial Acclamation (MV 204)
Send, O God, your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts,
that all who share in this loaf and cup
may be the body of Christ:
light, life, and love in the world.
In this hope and as your people, we praise you.
Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory is yours, God most holy,
now and forever.
Great Amen (MV 205)
Blessing of the Elements
God, may this bread connect us more closely with you
and with our neighbors near and far.
Bless this bread, we pray.
May this fruit of the vine remind us
of the inter-connectedness of people
around the world.
Bless this cup, we pray.
May this simple meal bring us into union with you,
your people and your world
united in the One Body of Christ.
Prayer after Communion
On this World Communion Sunday, give us eyes to recognize your reflection in the eyes of Christians everywhere.
Give us a mind to accept and celebrate our differences.
Give us a heart big enough to love your children everywhere.
We thank you for setting a table with space enough for us all! Amen.
The Word of God Proclaimed
Prayer of Illumination (Gord Penley)
God of all creation,
send your Holy Spirit among us this day,
that the seed of your Word might take root in our hearts,
and bear the fruits of peace, love, and justice for all.
Reading: Job 1:1, 2:1-10 pages 453 and 454 of your pew bibles in the Old Testament
There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
One day the heavenly beings[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and the accuser[b] also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to the accuser,[c] “Where have you come from?” The accuser[d]answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it.” 3 The Lord said to the accuser,[e] “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” 4 Then the accuser[f] answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that the man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 The Lord said to the accuser,[g] “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”
7 So the accuser[h] went out from the presence of the Lordand inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 Job[i] took a potsherd with which to scrape himself and sat among the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse[j] God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive good from God and not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Struggling with the Mystery
Hymn: Like A Healing Stream. MV 144
Our Response to God
In response to your grace in our lives God we offer you what we can. Take these gifts and our whole lives and turn them into instruments of healing and grace in your world. With gratitude and love we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Offering Hymn: Take Up His Song. MV 213
Prayers of the People
Loving God on this World Wide communion Sunday we give you thanks for the people of faith surrounding us,
Not just those in the pews next to us but those around the world,
Those who worship in ways that are different from us,
In languages unfamiliar to us
With music that we have not yet heard,
And breads of different textures
But which all point to the love and hope that we find in you God,
Which all point to the desire we have as a global Christian community to draw nearer to you through the love and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Help us God to learn more about each other in the process.
Help us to build bridges of peace and reconciliation as we focus on these important values and beliefs common to our different communities.
While we celebrate the joy of this day, the join of unity and shared communion,
We recognize that our world and our communities are hurting and strained.
Comfort us God and bring us strength when the realities of life have weakened our foundation.
Heal us when we are weakened and sick
Comfort us when we are grieving
Have patience with us when we are in conflict.
Bring us hope for our future
And help us to look less to ourselves, less at ourselves, and more to you and those around us.
Keep us ever mindful and sensitive to the needs of others.
Shape us and reshape us until we are the disciples that you know we can be.
In Christ’s name.
*Hymn: For the Healing of the Nations VU 678
Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace