Dunsford United Church Transcript Service – January 17, 2021

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Kevin Fitzpatrick and Brenda Shield

Mission Statement: We are a diverse, intentional, inclusive, compassionate, hope-filled Christian family of faith, seeking to respect everyone’s individuality and dignity as Jesus modelled, creating safe space, to demonstrate the spirit of God’s love through worship, work, growth, and respect for all creation. We celebrate and value people of every age, health, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family configuration, background, ability, interest, culture, economic circumstance and faith journey. All are encouraged to be in full participation in the life and work of all ministries. We endeavor to be aware of, and responsive to, the needs in our community and beyond.       

* GATHERING: Video “Samuel Boy Prophet”

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

In the name of a message of love and compassion in the world we know as Jesus Christ, we are guided by the Holy Spirit. God leads us here.

Wherever you are, God is with you, God is with me.

And God is in creation in all forms, everything good.

God is where God needs to be.

We come and celebrate together, our milestones, our successes, anniversaries, birthdays, and God celebrates with us!

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

If you have a candle, I invite you to light it, or hold the light of God in your heart, knowing, that the light of God, burns brightly inside of you and glows and shines on those around you, when you are the hands and feet of God in the world.

We come today, knowing our Light has come, we light the Christ Candle, representing Christ in our lives, and that light that shines in our community. We take that light into our community and carry that light and do Gods work here as the light and the hands of God. And we carry our light out into the world, looking for other messages of love and light in the world, our neighbours, and the light shines brighter, to mend the world.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS:

We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishnabeg/Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where we are, and we acknowledge also and give thanks for the lands and people of treaties and unceded territories of all who are worshiping. It is up to all of us to live into truth, respect, reconciliation and right relations.

CALL TO WORSHIP:

Cosmic Creator, creator of the wonders of the universe,

and mysteries still hidden, alive in creation! 

Be our guide in this modern, fast paced, complex and changing world.

Help us to pause, listen and reflect on Your wonder,

Your mystery, your everlasting grace and mercy.

May we seek stillness to listen, for your voice speaking to us like Samuel, we are never alone.

AMEN

HYMN: “I, The Lord of Sea and Sky (Here I Am Lord)” VU# 509                                                                                                       

OPENING PRAYER:

We gather our hearts together, feel the Spirit move in us and open our hearts to prayer.

Call to us, Lord of all Creation, call to us as you did with Moses from the dancing flame that lights the hearth, and in the burning bush, the flame of the Spirit. Call to us from the stars that hang in the heavens as you did with Abraham, lead us under your cosmos, speak to us as we travel our journey of faith as you promise to journey with us as your people.

Call to us through our dreams and visions, give us comfort and peace, reassure us in our fears as Your voice consoles, brings us solace, reassures us as you say, “fear not.”

In the struggles and hardships of our lives, as we sometimes wrestle with You as with Jacob, help us to recognize You in our calamities and chaos, console us in our troubles anoint us to be your people, name us as your servants, to be Your witnesses to Your love, Your hands, and feet in the world. Call to us in the whispers of our quiet, wake us from our slumbers, speak to our hearts, show us where we are to be Your voice in the world. AMEN!

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “He Knows My Name”

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

1 Samuel 3:1–20 The Living Bible – God calls Samuel.

Meanwhile little Samuel was helping the Lord by assisting Eli. Messages from the Lord were very rare in those days, 2-3 but one night after Eli had gone to bed (he was almost blind with age by now), and Samuel was sleeping in the Temple near the Ark, 4-5 the Lord called out, “Samuel! Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He jumped up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. What do you want?” he asked.

“I didn’t call you,” Eli said. “Go on back to bed.” So he did. 6 Then the Lord called again, “Samuel!” And again Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli.

“Yes?” he asked. “What do you need?”

“No, I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go on back to bed.”

7 (Samuel had never had a message from Jehovah before.) 8 So now the Lord called the third time, and once more Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli.

“Yes?” he asked. “What do you need?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who had spoken to the child. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if he calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, I’m listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.

10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Yes, I’m listening.”

11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am going to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to do all of the dreadful things I warned Eli about. 13 I have continually threatened him and his entire family with punishment because his sons are blaspheming God, and he doesn’t stop them. 14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and of his sons shall never be forgiven by sacrifices and offerings.”

15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then opened the doors of the Temple as usual, for he was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. 16-17 But Eli called him.

“My son,” he said, “what did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God punish you if you hide anything from me!”

18 So Samuel told him what the Lord had said.

“It is the Lord’s will,” Eli replied; “let him do what he thinks best.”

19 As Samuel grew, the Lord was with him and people listened carefully to his advice. 20 And all Israel from one end of the land to the other knew that Samuel was going to be a prophet of the Lord.

Psalm 139:1–6, 13–18 (VU p. 861) – God has searched and known me.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. 4 You know what I am going to say before I even say it. 5 You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe!

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.[a] And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

Question for Reflection

What words or scripture sentences call to your heart or your faith?

HYMN: “Lead Me Lord”

REFLECTION: “Call Waiting!”

We live in a world with instant messaging, we can instantaneously have a conversation with anyone, anywhere in the world.

There is no limit to reaching out to someone through the various methods we have available to us.

And we never have to miss a message. If we are connected with the right tools and software, we can receive messages and calls on our phone and computer, tablet, smart watch and devices as such.

We can set all our devices up so that the messages we receive are displayed there on that linked network, we can be ‘synced’ so we never miss a message on our devices again.

On our phones we have call waiting, call forwarding, call messaging, to stay connected.

We can video chat with Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Discord, Adobe Connect, FaceTime, Periscope, Facebook Live, among hundreds of others.

We have no excuse not to miss another call…

But what about God’s call?

In the scriptures this morning we see another form of communication, young Samuel and Eli, preparing for sleep and God’s voice beckons to Samuel, and thinking it’s Eli, Samuel goes to Eli, and Eli figures out what is happening.

God is calling to Samuel and God is calling Samuel to be a prophet, and Samuel with help from Eli responds to God. 

Once Samuel recognizes God’s call, the responsibility to be open to what God is asking of his life. God was patient though and called him and called him until Samuel answered.

God would make Samuel a very important prophet, giving guidance to Samuel, opening his heart to what God wanted Samuel to accomplish as a prophet, giving wisdom, courage, and strength, God was with Samuel and knows Samuel’s heart and how open and pure it is and how faithful.

Maybe we can fill in this sentence:

I am too ______________ to be called by God.

We are all called to do God’s work, but sometimes we undervalue ourselves, deceive ourselves, make excuses, deny or ignore the voice calling to us.

We may think we are too old. God called Abraham who was an old man. God told Abraham to leave his home and go to where God would lead and where Abraham was led by God, there would be the home of many generations of Abrahams descendants.

Sarah was old, but God promised a child and God made his promise known and come to fruition and Sarah had a child, and through Isaac and Ishmael, the descendants of Abraham were more than the grains of sand in the desert as God promised.

We may think we are not worthy enough, or someone else can take the lead, and yet God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses maybe had doubts, low self-esteem, but God was with Moses, and knew the people around Moses such as his siblings Miriam and Aaron, they would help Moses see his value in God’s vision.

We may think we are not mature enough to do the work God is calling us to do, but then God chose David, a shepherd’s son and a boy for Samuel to anoint as King of Israel, David is said to have been ‘the man after God’s own heart’ who established the kingdom of Israel.

And Samuel is just a boy, and has to give hard news to Eli that God has shared, that Eli and his family will be punished for turning away from God, and Eli accepts God’s will.

Samuel grows and learns to open his heart to God’s will. God nurtures the gifts that have been provided to Samuel to lead the people and discern God’s path of faith for Samuel and the people.

God looks at the gifts of ordinary people, guides and nurtures those gifts.  Our Bible is filled with stories of ordinary people that God chose and called and with their gifts changed the world.

Gifts that God has provided to us all and through open hearts, guidance, nurturing, discerning our call through prayer and scripture, we can answer the call of God.

To follow God’s call, we have to be ready for justice to be served, and accept what God is asking us to do or face.  In our call, it will be a journey of hardships but also affirmation.

My call speaks to this, I was hesitant to God’s call. Fear, anxiety, uncertainty all were spectres that tried to dissuade me from my path of faith, but it was God’s voice through different avenues of media that I kept hearing God’s voice to continue, nurturing, guiding, persuading me to continue on this path and kept reaffirming my call at each step of the journey.

And my call involves being a voice for God, an advocate for justice and righteousness in the world, and I would not and will not be popular in those moments where I stand up against the crowd, but God is with me, the voice calls to provide me strength and courage in those times and this gives me comfort and solace during those times.

Our call involves listening to the cries of injustice in the world, and we are called as the people of God to cry out against the injustice and abuse of power in the world, and to respond with humility to God’s message of being the righteous witnesses of God in our own practices, to be humble and honest, to practice benevolence and lift up the poor and meek in our world that they have shares in what is provided by God for all.

Eli knew the consequences of the actions of his family who were not faithful to God and accepts what God tells Samuel that Eli is about to face. This is Old Testament language, where God was a God of punishment.  If we read on, we read that Eli lives to an old age, and I think it really was a way God said to Eli to remain faithful although the trials and whatever he may face, because God still loved Eli and would hold Eli in that love throughout all the trials and tribulations that Eli faced.

Each one of us is called by God, each in our own way, and we can point to times in our lives when we have heard God’s call to us.  You may have been called when you joined the church.  You may have been called when you got involved in a committee or action group.  You may have been called through volunteering for something that was important for you to do. You are called every time you do as Jesus teaches, helping those around you, your friends, your family, those in the community who are needy and looking for, in any way that makes the Holy Spirit jumps for joy in you.

How do we listen for God? How do we keep our eyes open for God’s message? How do we feel when our God is with us?

Many voices compete for our attention, and how can we say we truly know God’s voice, the word of God in all that chatter?

One thing we do know, the value and presence of the witnesses and prophets who came before us, who spoke of a God who has no tolerance for those who manipulate and prey on the weak, who abuse their powers, and eat to their fill while others go hungry.

Our first step is opening our hearts to God and starting the relationship through prayer, our talking with God, and it is strengthened through trust, and humility and faithfulness, reading God’s word and when we open ourselves up to these things and listening to the Holy Spirit in our heart.

When we are open to letting God into our heart, we hear God’s voice in the world around us through people, experiences, places, in events, even through the media, television, the internet, social media, even on our computers and smartphones.

I leave you with a poem that speaks to how we turn to God with everything, to discern our call.

God’s Telephone

Hello God, I called tonight

To talk a little while

I need a friend who’ll listen

To my anxiety and trial.

You see, I can’t quite make it

Through a day just on my own…

I need your love to guide me

So I’ll never feel alone.

I want to ask you please to keep

My family safe and sound.

Come and fill their lives with confidence

For whatever fate they’re bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face

Each hour throughout the day,

And not to worry over things

I can’t change in any way.

I thank you God for being home

And listening to my call,

For giving me such good advice

When I stumble and fall.. !!!!!!!

Your number, God, is the only one

That answers every time.

I never get a busy signal,

Never had to pay a dime.

So thank you, God, for listening

To my troubles and my sorrow.

Good night, God, I love You, too,

And I’ll call again tomorrow!

P.S. Please bless all my friends and family too.

It’s through our faithfulness and our relationship with God that we start to hear God’s voice in our world, and we are called to be God’s disciples, apostles and prophets in this world.

Once we let the love that God offers and Jesus teaches, we can hear Jesus’ words “follow me” and we live our ministry where God calls and God knows our gifts and talents because they are blessings given to us by God, use them compassionately, use them for God’s goodness and build the relationship God wants to have with us and talk often with God. Amen!

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Eternal God,

you are the maker of us all, and we are your creation,

people formed in your image, as individuals, as community;

formed and fed and furnished with understanding of who you are and of who and whose we are.

We worship you today in recognition of your calling,

of your communicating,

of your caring to invite us to share in your creative and healing work.

We are here because we have heard you speak in us and through others.

Help us, dear Lord, to ever respond to you

and your invitation to your grace…

Lord hear our prayer…

God of all our moments, of our days and our nights,

you speak and you act in the world around us,

not only to call all people to you,

but also to direct and guide us

in the way of healing and wholeness.

Awaken us Lord, to hear what you would say to us.

Help us to open our ears, our eyes,

and our hearts to your presence.

Help us to know when it is your voice we are hearing

and it when it is our prejudices and desires

to which we are paying heed….

Lord hear our prayer…

Lord, we pray that your church may rise up

 with renewed commitment

in answer to your call,

that your people may be instruments

of your grace and love….

Lord hear our prayer….

We pray for those who consider themselves inadequate

and dismiss or avoid your calling in their lives.

Give them a new vision,

a vision in which you are their strength and their hope…

Lord hear our prayer….

We pray for those who, in answering your call,

must leave the known for the unknown,

the oasis for the desert, the comfortable for the uncertain.

Grant them courage and steadfast faith…

Lord hear our prayer….

We pray too, today, O Lord, for those in want and need –

for those of us and of the larger community

who suffer in body or in soul.

We remember before you all of those

written on our hearts…

Be their strength, their courage, their guidance,

 their comfort, their peace, their healing….

Lord, hear our prayer…..

Loving Father, bless us all with an abundant faith,

a fruitful ministry, a joyful life.

Bless us and all those who gather together

 to continue the work of Jesus,

who came to heal, save, and deliver us all,

and who taught us to pray as one family, saying The Lord’s Prayer…

~ written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on Kir-shalom. http://www.spirit-net.ca/sermons/b-or02sm.php

LORD’S PRAYER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=3IGN6Fq_mlU

Our Father, who art in heaven,  hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy 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 thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

WE ARE SENT OUT IN FAITH TO SERVE

HYMN: “Jesus Bids Us Shine” VU #585

Scripture for next week

Jonah 3:1–5, 10 Jonah calls Nineveh to repent.

Psalm 62:5–12 (VU pp. 779–780) Be still, my soul, and wait for God.

1 Corinthians 7:29–31 The time is short for the present form of the world.

Mark 1:14–20 Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John.

Resources:

A Big Thank You to Brenda Shield for music and videos

Bible passages : https://www.biblegateway.com/

Pastoral Prayer : https://re-worship.blogspot.com/

DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH

Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca   www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com

Worship Minister (Supply): Kevin Fitzpatrick 705-340-0973 / mk.fitzy@sympatico.ca

Music Director: Brenda Shield 1-705-748-9875 or bshield@cogeco.ca

Envelope Steward: Kathy    

Visit our website: http://dunsfordunitedchurch.com       CCLI License #11197107  


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