8 October 2023
God Invites Us To Gather
Words of Welcome
- Welcome to worship here at Maple Grove United and happy thanksgiving!
- 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 Bob Cooper, our greeters Linda and Bob Cooper, and we have Charlotte Taylor on live streaming and projection, with John on sound. Thank you everyone!
- I missed you all last week. Thank you to Barb for organizing pulpit supply. Our booked for lunch group will be looking at The Spoon Stealer this month, so if you haven’t read it yet there is still time!
- 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 – great and hopeful book, great discussion ahead!
Having missed communion last week we will celebrate it 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
The world is filled with the glory of God, and we say,
The hills and valleys are filled with colour, and we say,
The vines and trees are filled with fruit, and we say,
Our life is filled with love of family and friends, and we say,
We fill this house of God with our voices, saying,
Let us with hearts filled with joy and thanksgiving worship our God!
*Hymn: Come You Thankful People Come. VU 516
Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer
We come to you, O God,
in thanksgiving for the gift of our beautiful land,
a land whose harvest feeds us and can feed the world.
We come to you in thanksgiving for the gift of faith,
the faith that reminds us that we are not alone,
the faith that can sustain us when we face challenges
the faith that gives us hope for tomorrow.
We thank you God for the lessons and stories of our faith that remind us that there is new life coming out of darkness,
that there is hope,
that we are not alone.
This we pray in the name of Jesus who taught us these stories, and lived this hope, and who taught us to pray saying
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
Prayer of Confession
God, so often we take you for granted.
We take for granted that you will answer our prayers,
in exactly the way that we want
that you will heal us and make us whole
in exactly the way that we expect.
And when it doesn’t work out exactly as we wanted,
Forgive us for not appreciating
your grace and presence in our lives.
Forgive us for not seeing the many ways you are at work.
Help us to be more thankful.
Give us faith to see you in everything
and everyone around us,
so that we may be truly grateful.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Sung Response: May God’s Sheltering Wings. MV 214
Assurance of Pardon
Really hear this good news: God is abundance – abundant love, abundant mercy. On this day of Thanksgiving, be filled with joy in the fact that God is here, God is active and loving, providing us with opportunities to begin again. We are a forgiven people. Thanks be to God.
We Share the Sacrament of Communion
Jesus said: I am the bread of life.
All who come to me shall not hunger,
and all who believe in me shall not thirst.
And so we come as community, we come as friends to share this meal.
Jesus invites you here to be part of the people of God.
Come to the table humbly,
not because you have earned a place here,
but because you hear a call, because you need strength, because you seek hope.
Come because you love God, and want to love God more.
Come because Jesus first loved us, and gave himself for us.
Come because you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Come because you want to experience the mystery of God’s grace.
All are welcome here.
Prayer of Great Thanksgiving
Loving and gracious God
we give thanks and blessings to you
on this day of thanksgiving.
We bless you for our world.
For the diversity of our planet that amazes us
For the bounty that we can grow that sustains us
For the many gifts you have given us and the many ways you have come to us
through the ages, in others and in creation.
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)
Feeling God’s Spirit strong among us this morning, we ask that God fill us with hope for the future and love for one another. May this small meal remind us of the community we share and the call we have to mend this world, care for creation and share love and hope with others.
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 Thanksgiving Sunday, we say thank you. Thank you for your love, thank you for your call, thank you for this community and the relationships and love shared that reminds us of You.
We thank you for setting a table with space enough for us all and ask that you will help us to do likewise as we go into this world. Amen.
Hymn: Long Ago and Far Away MV 195
The Word of God Proclaimed
Prayer of Illumination (Bob Cooper)
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: 1 Timothy 2:1-6 p. 208 in pew bibles
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and acceptable before God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For
there is one God;
there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human,
6 who gave himself a ransom for all
Matthew 6:25-33 p. 6 New Testament in your pew bibles
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your span of life?[b]28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the gentiles who seek all these things, and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God[c] and his[d] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: When Worry Whispers
Hymn: We Plough the Fields. VU 520
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
Gracious God on this thanksgiving weekend most of all we bring your our prayers of thank you,
We give you thanks for our lives in this country of freedom and peace,
Of opportunities and abundant resources.
We give you thanks for the crops that have been planted and cared for,
Thanks for the land in which it grows
The sun and the rain and the gentle winds that nourish and sustain those who grow our food, and the land upon which it grows.
We also give you thanks God for this community and for your churches in every place
We pray that you will give us continued strength, determination and vision
To be your hands and heart in this constantly changing world of ours.
Help us to work together to be a strong and hopeful presence in this town,
Helps us to work with partner organizations to seek justice and help fill the many gaps in our social support network so that all may experience hope.
We also acknowledge God that there are many among us,
Both in this community and throughout our world who are facing great struggles.
You know what they are God – poor health, worries, financial concerns, relationship upheaval, weakness in body or in mind, transitions and disappointments, depression and addictions,
You know that this world is in war and conflict and sometimes God is feels like it will never end,
We are facing a climate crisis unlike anything we have experienced before,
A pandemic that seems unending
And changed economic realities that are putting pressure on so many families.
Help us God. Give us wisdom to find paths forward to protect one another and our planet
Help us to be peace makers and hope sharers in this uncertain time.
May gratitude and thanksgiving be foremost in our hearts and on our lips today God.
But when worries whisper, help us to remember that we are not alone, and give us the strength we need to face tomorrow with hope.
In the name of Christ we pray.
*Hymn: Now Thank We All our God. VU 236
We began this worship-event with thanksgiving.
I call on you now to move out into the world with thanksgiving.
With the blessing of God, creator, redeemer and Sustainer upon you ….
Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace