June 7 Pentecost – Becoming (Trinity Sunday
Partita on Nicaea P. Post
We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territories of indigenous peoples. We accept that Mother Earth and the peoples near us and around the world are all our relations. Thanks be to God.
Let us worship God together.
O lux beata Trinitas: A. Makor
O Trinity of blessed Light, O Unity of sovereign might,
as now the fiery sun departs, shed Thou Thy beams within our hearts.
To Thee our morning song of praise, to Thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thee may our glory evermore in lowly reverence adore.
All glory to God the Father be; all praise to his Eternal Son
and with the Holy Paraclete, now and evermore.
CALL TO WORSHIP
This morning we were awoken by the sound of birds singing the sun into its rising. We were greeted by the scent of ever-green trees and flowers bursting forth. We were joined on our journey by the breeze in the grass and the shudder of shrubbery.
God saw all of this and said “It is Good!”
Let us worship the God of Goodness!
Let us join Creation in singing our praise!
Holy, Holy, Holy
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of great surprises, you are constant in your love for us.
We gather to hear your promises to us.
We gather to be reminded that we are your Pentecost people.
Let the wind of your Spirit blow into our hearts.
Open the windows of our souls.
Refresh, empower and embolden us today.
LISTENING FOR THE WORD
ANTHEM: Who but the Lord: Craig Courtney
Who but the Lord can give the shadows light, can break into the dark, draw
morning from the night?
Who but the Lord will hear our cry and answer, “Here am I”?
Who but the Lord makes blinded eyes to see, gives music to the deaf, sets
the lonely captive free?
Who but the Lord will by His glory show the paths of peace?
O shine on us the brightness of Your face, to earth’s remotest end, every
people, every race.
O shine on us until to each is shown Your saving grace.
SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 18:5-24
Reader: James Fraser https://youtu.be/KDG4UA0Q_WE
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came into the wilderness where Moses was encamped at the mountain of God, bringing Moses’ sons and wife to him. 6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, with your wife and her two sons.” 7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law; he bowed down and kissed him; each asked after the other’s welfare, and they went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had beset them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9 Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in delivering them from the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from the Egyptians,[c] when they dealt arrogantly with them.” 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; 20 teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. 21 You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 22 Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.”
24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
HYMN: I Love to Tell the Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RbpQy3qCWI
REFLECTION: Rev Dave Moors
Now for something completely different: Rev Dave’s practice throughout his ministry has been to preach from notes, not a fully written text. If you know friends who would like to hear the sermon but do not have a computer we suggest that maybe you could call them on the phone and play the video of the sermon (see link below) while they listen over the phone. It will be just like the days when radio was king!
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Led by Gayle Ansley
We come to you today with hearts that are anxious, sad, uncertain, lonely, but also with hearts that are thankful.
We are thankful for the beauty of your creation for in this time when we are living more limited lives, creation is putting on a display of flowers and colour that leaves us in awe. Maybe at this time we are taking the time to notice more deeply and fully vibrant yellows, pinks, reds and white of flowers, the notes of bird song and the softness of the rain that gives life to all. We give thanks for all that nourishes us, the beauty that overloads our senses and the food grown in the field or garden.
We find this strange time of separation challenging and hope and pray that we will rejoin as a physical community worshiping together, telling our stories to each other, sharing our joys and sorrows face to face. But now, in this present time we are grateful to those that give us the opportunity to be together but apart; listening to scripture and prayers, gaining understanding from the reflection and listening to music that touches our souls. We long for the time when we will again ‘sing lustily and with good courage’ together; but this is not that time. It is right that we miss these times and we pray for a time when it will be safe to be together again.
We are grateful for all that has come before this day and it is right for us to be thankful and remember the ministry of Pamela and her kindness and compassion that reminded us that we were loved. For Jay’s ministry that guided us through the transition process along with the members of the Transition Team and our community of faith, to find that we do continue to have a place and a purpose in the world; that we are Sacred, Seeking, Shining, a community of faith of the United Church of Canada co-creating with God for a better world. That you have chosen us to become a church that will live into that mission through our worship, our connections to each other and the world, and our passion for social justice. We are thankful that our new ministers, Dave and Deb, felt your call to come to SHUC to guide and nurture us in becoming the church that you have chosen us to become. We pray that they feel welcomed into our lives and our hearts even in this challenging time. We pray that their ministry with us will bear good fruit, giving new life and energy to us and all those whom we serve.
We give thanks today for our staff, Roy and Ramona who chose meaningful music that invites us to connect more deeply with you, for Nina, who puts all this together so that we can worship ‘together’, and for Janet, keeping the finances in order. We give thanks for the care and compassion of the Pastoral care team, the guidance and leadership of those on council. We pray for all the leaders in our community for there are many people doing many things. Give them continued strength and courage to lead, and to serve.
But also God, we come to you with hearts that are aching as we witness the news and hear the stories of continued injustice and inequity experienced by people of colour in our world. The devastating events of the past two weeks have sent shock waves around the world. We pray for an end to the systemic racism experienced in many different ways. We pray that we will not be bystanders, but that we will find ways of standing together with those suffering the effects of exclusion; that we listen to their stories and hear their anger even though it makes us uncomfortable.
Now Lord, we lift to you the people in our hearts that are ill, anxious and feeling alone and separated from those they love. We pray for those who are grieving, awaiting treatment and those caring for loved ones. We pray for those who are experiencing financial difficulties and uncertain futures. In this time we speak the names of those are in our hearts.
Wrap your loving and comforting arms around them and lighten their load. Remind us that you are always with us. We are never alone and we are grateful.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus, and using the words of the Indigenous peoples of Australia.
Great Spirit, Creator of all,
from the stars to all the earth, loved and respected be your name. May it happen that all should live in your way
following your purpose for all creation.
Enable us to find what we need for today’s journey.
Forgive us when we go wrong as we forgive those who wrong us.
Have compassion on us when we are being tested.
Do not abandon us to fear and evil.
Our hope is in your new community.
You are the One who can transform all creation, making everything new, now and for all eternity. Amen.
Spirit of the Living God Fall Fresh on Me
INVITATION TO OFFERING
Much to our surprise, while we are apart one from the other and while we cannot meet and worship in our church building, the work of the church continues. God constantly calls to us, invites us, encourages us to give the best of what we have no matter where we find ourselves. This day may we remember to give with our whole selves from every corner of our lives to every corner of our world.
CHORAL ANTHEM FOR REFLECTING ON OUR OFFERING:
If Ye Love Me: P. Stopford
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious and generous God, Creator and Giver of all that is good, we thank you for our many blessings. We acknowledge that all that we have is from you. We offer you thanks and praise for the beauty of the earth, our work, our family, our loved ones, and all the gifts we have been given. Help us to hear your call to be good stewards, caretakers, and managers of all your gifts by sharing them for your purposes. Help us plan to serve our church, our community, and our world with your gifts. May we serve you and pray with a joyful spirit of mind and heart. Amen
This day way we be re-formed and renewed in our community. May the love of God continue to bless us as we are called onward together. And may the Spirit inspire, guide and comfort us as we embark on this wonderful new journey. Amen
HYMN:To God be the Glory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU&list=PL6M8stFRZ2JTLskAbIz381tnIozxSi2IR
POSTLUDE: Hymn to Freedom O. Peterson
Recognized as one of Oscar Peterson’s most significant compositions, Hymn to Freedomwas written in 1962 and was swiftly embraced by people all over the world as the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
When every heart joins every heart and together yearns for liberty,
That’s when we’ll be free.
When every hand joins every hand and together molds our destiny,
That’s when we’ll be free.
Any hour any day, the time soon will come when men will live in dignity,
That’s when we’ll be free,
When every man joins in our song and together singing harmony,
That’s when we’ll be free.