February 4, 2024

4 February 2024

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, Pat McKee on guitar, our choir, our scripture reader Brenda Lewis, our greeter Dar Morden, Charlotte Taylor on live streaming, with John Duffin on sound. Thank you everyone!
  • Welcome to those who are joining us online today. We are so glad that you chose to join worship in the Grove today!  Please if you have time, drop us a line at the church and introduce yourself.
  • Save the dates for our Lenten activities – Feb 14 we’ll have a time of conversation, prayers and scripture – as well as receiving ashes at 1 pm in chapel
  • Lenten study group begins Feb 29 at 1 pm in the chapel
  • If you would like to make an offering to the work of this church there is a plate as you came in, and offerings can also be made through electronic transfer, cheque dropped off to the church, and through Canada Helps.  

Acknowledgment of the Land – 

This is Algonquin land.  It is said that 

“As long as the sun will shine,

As long as the rivers will flow,

As long as the grass will grow

The Anishnabe life would continue to circle forever.”

We thank them, the first nations of this land, for their care of this creation and commit to working together to care for this land into our shared future.

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. 

We thank you, O God, for the gift of this day.

For this beautiful space, for the warm hearts that greet us.

We thank you, O God, for the ability to come together to worship.

For songs and prayers that sustain us not only in this hour, but in the days that unfold.

We thank you, God, for the blessings in our lives and in our world.  We thank you for this gift of community.

May we lift our voices in thanks, as we worship You.

Let us worship our God.

*Hymn: Sing Your Praise to God Eternal. VU 244

Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer 

Loving God, into this sacred time in our week, may we brought closer to the mystery that is you.  May we be moved to open our heart just a little, to imagine the vastness beyond our knowing and beyond our seeing. May this time of worship be a true Sabbath rest.  May we be energized and renewed, may our purpose be made clearer and may we truly feel reconnection with you, the source of all life. May the mystery that surrounds us and the mystery that is you, prove a source of comfort to us as we move through the regular activities of our lives.

In Jesus’ name and in the words he taught us we pray

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:  Jesu the Very Thought of Thee

Prayer of Confession

God of sacred rest,

of time to breathe
… to nurture our souls you have given us this day,

this time,

this community,
an opportunity to rest from the busy-ness of our work
and to remember that your voice still speaks to us.
But we confess that we have often distorted it to fit our purposes.
It has been hard for us to reconnect to you.
We seek rest for our bodies but not our spirits.
We find talking easy and listening harder,

Our to do lists fill our minds

We find it hard to live in this moment with you

We think we can be nurtured by the stuff that keeps us busy

Rather than seeking your love.

Forgive us God

Help us listen,

Help us breathe,

Help us make time for what matters.


Sung Response:  Like A Rock. MV 92

Assurance of Pardon

It is hard to shift our priorities and step aside from the busy-ness to nourish our souls.  Create these moments of peace in your everyday.  Begin again. Care for yourself, for others, for your relationship with God, and be made well.  We are loved and we are forgiven. Amen.

The Word of God Proclaimed

Prayer of Illumination (Brenda Lewis)

God, as we hear the scripture read this morning

open our ears, open our hearts, open our minds.

Help us to hear a new and nourishing message for our lives.

May this time inspire us, challenge us and encourage us

and may we take your message of love and hope into our world.


Reading: Mark 1:32-39 p. 35 in the New Testament of your pew bibles

 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him,37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Thanks be to God.

Sermon: Time That Matters

Hymn: Long Before the Night. VU 282

Our Response to God

Offering: We take time to recognize and dedicate all that has been offered to our church this week, gifts of money to help us pay our bills and keep this building safe and warm for our user groups and activities, gifts of time, your talents and skills, and of course your prayers.  Let’s stay seated and sing …

Offering Hymn:  What Can I Do MV 191

Offering Prayer

Loving God, we are part of your work in this world.  We make our offerings in the expectation that they will be used to strengthen our community and serve the world in faith beyond these doors.  Bless this offering, and us to your service.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Meditative Music

Prayers of the People

Awesome God, we have been born into a world that is constantly growing and learning.

In many ways this has been a blessing to us

as we make use of scientific developments that extend life and treat diseases,

as we learn and experience corners of our world that lived only in the imaginations of generations that preceded us.

We have opportunities and knowledge within our grasp that is awesome and wonderful.

But at the same time, it seems that there is something important that we have lost.

In our busy-ness and the demands of this life we have lost our sense of Sabbath rest, we have lost the collective memory of purposefully connecting with you.

We have lost the love of mystery that is you.

May we be moved to recognize how your love and your energy can renew us and put us on track,

may we believe that our spirits are in need of nourishment and rest as much as our bodies and minds,

may we believe it is important to find you in the everyday moments of our life.

In our difficult moments, our stressful moments, in our peaceful moments and in our ordinary routine, may we find comfort in the fact you are here and active in our lives, speaking to us still.

We turn over to you all of the prayers of our hearts – those that are known to this community and those that are known only to us individually.

We pray for all who are dealing with challenging circumstances that they will have their feet steadied, their hearts comforted and hope revealed.

We pray for our world, that we may be led to respond to issues of global warming and climate change with wisdom and determination, so that future generations may experience their own certainty and stability, and joy in your creation.

We pray for communities in our world shaken by conflict, economic distress, environmental disaster, and violence.  

We pray for those who are dealing with health challenges, recovering from treatments, injuries and surgery, and those preparing for surgery

Those who are filled with anxiety and those who are grieving.

Finally God, we pray for ourselves.  

As winter lingers may our hearts be renewed and our spirits lifted.

May the courage and hope in your promise of transformation and new life

echo into the darkest corners of our life.

May we be strengthened with the comfort that your promise to each one of us is one of continuing love and active presence,

and new life and new beginnings.

In the name of Jesus we pray.


*Hymn: How Firm a Foundation VU 660


Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace