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
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,
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
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.
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