Dunsford United Church Transcript Service – Sunday January 24, 2021
Third 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:Fishers of Men – children’s version of the Bible Story.
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.
PRAYER OF APPROACH (based on Psalm 62: 5-12)
Let all that we are, wait quietly, our soul is quiet. We wait for God alone, our hope comes from our God. God alone is our rock, our salvation, our fortress.
We will not be shaken. Our being is safe, our honour rests with God.
God is our refuge, our safe place, our strength. We pour our hearts before God, our shelter. We are dust in the wind before God. The powerful. The meek.
We put our hope in God, live in faith and goodness. God speaks to our hearts plainly.
We have heard that familiar voice many times. God’s unfailing love speaks mercy and grace. We are in debt of God’s goodness. AMEN!
HYMN: “Will You Come and Follow Me” VU #567
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me? (Words: The Iona Community)
We gather our hearts together and let the Holy Spirit guide. We join our hearts to pray.
Holy Spirit of a loving and living God, we give you praise, as we are part of the love you give to us, a part of Christ, by the grace we receive from you daily. We pray with heart, soul and mind, bring us into your presence, and reconcile others to us through the witness of Christ. A love in the teachings, actions and words that reconciled people to God. Remind us we are all members of the body of Christ, that if one member suffers, we all suffer. May we as part of the community of believers, a faith community among a host of witnesses, declare the love of Christ in our actions, words and teachings to those needing that love in our world today. We give thanks, and rejoice as a community of Christ, given gifts of the Spirit, to share will all peoples. Accept our adoration and praise for these great gifts, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “I Will Stand as a Witness of Christ”
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
1 Corinthians 7:29–31 The time is short for the present form of the world.
Contemporary English Version
My friends, what I mean is that the Lord will soon come, and it won’t matter if you are married or not. It will be all the same if you are crying or laughing, or if you are buying or are completely broke. It won’t make any difference how much good you are getting from this world or how much you like it. This world as we know it is now passing away.
Mark 1:14–20 Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John.
Contemporary English Version
Jesus Begins His Work
After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God. He said, “The time has come! God’s kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!”
Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen
As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and were casting their nets into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.
Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.
Questions for Reflection
What words or scripture sentences call to your heart or your faith?
In the silence, where is God calling you?
In your faith and God’s calling to you, what ways do you see the current world passing away?
HYMN: “I See A New Heaven” VU #713
I see a new heaven. I see a new earth as the old one will pass away, where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land. There, there on the banks of a river bright and free, yielding her fruit, firm in her root, the Tree of Life will be.
(Words: Carolyn McDade)
How are we comfortable with silence? How do we wait on God?
As I look at the scripture readings and ponder them, in the midst of contemplation, life goes on.
We live in a world where everything wants our attention, we are blitzed by an overload of information.
If we carry a cell phone, we know we are connected to the world through the device we hold in our hands, some say we are slaves to that device.
We get a constant barrage of media through the apps and pages we subscribe to, where everyone is constantly talking to YOU!
Every article, every video, every ad, every image is aimed at YOU for YOUR attention
And even if we don’t have a phone, our world is a constant stream of opinions, points of view, knowledge and wisdom through signs, television, newspapers, radio, and every other form of media wanting ATTENTION!
And then I saw this quote, well I didn’t just really just randomly see it, I was seeking it, shutting out all the other white noise of the world, screaming at me for attention.
I was seeking out silence, and what role it plays in God communicating with ME!
And here is what it said:
“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
― Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers
This quote is the true words of Mother Teresa and I left the quote, in its original form, knowing the emphasis on the masculine connotation of God, only because it is a direct quote.
God comes to us in the silence of our contemplations of life.
It is in times of prayer and seeking God, that we look for silence to truly listen for God’s voice speaking to us.
God will be patient with us and wait for us to come, in that silence that wraps us like a warm blanket and shields us from the coldness of the world.
In that time, we are alone with God and our thoughts, to give our concerns, our questions, our fears, our problems and share them with God and look for answers in that time of silence and prayer.
We need that time of silence to connect with ourselves, we need to get comfortable with silence, to be alone, to be comfortable with ourselves.
Research shows that those who seek out times of silence, self-care to rejuvenate, are healthier, focusing on the wholistic being that we are, body, mind and soul.
Modern medicine focuses on the physical health and the mental health of the individual as overall wellbeing, but if the well being of the soul is missed, it can cause anxiety, that leads to mental and physical ailments.
There is much to be said about prayer for the follower of Christ, or meditation for the health of our soul.
It is in that time we sit in silence or take a walk, in silent contemplation that we begin to come before God, and this can bring us to a place of seeing ourselves and the world differently.
Our scriptures speak to us this morning of God calling to us to contemplate our role as witnesses in this changing world.
Jesus goes looking for disciples, and instead of seeking out, the wisest, the well-spoken, the scribes or religious authorities to follow him, he goes looking for fishermen.
Those who fish, know what it means to wait in silent contemplation for something to happen.
Those who fish are patient in the process, relying on their senses to tell them where and when to drop the nets, or cast the line, and have faith that eventually they will be rewarded with the catch.
Those who fish, connect themselves in patience, contemplation, and faith to seek the reward, and are comfortable to rely on their instincts to tell them what is right based upon what their senses are telling them.
And these fishermen would be faithful to God, relying on the goodness of God’s mercy to provide them with their catch.
Jesus comes to the lakeshore to find disciples, and it is in those moments of quiet contemplation after he looks in their eyes and says ‘follow me’ that God comes and speaks to each of those fishers to tell them, that this is their path in life.
Those fishers are changed forever, no longer just ordinary fishers but fishers of people.
And this metaphor gives us a meaning of who these disciples are to be and all who they ‘fish’ for.
The metaphor is one of death, to the fish, it means the death of the fish, and this metaphor of fisher of people means that it is a symbolic death to the ways of the world, and the new life in Christ.
Paul speaks of the passing of the world from its current form, in a seemingly apocalyptic view, and many may see this as Paul talking about the end of the world.
And maybe Paul had this in mind when he wrote this passage, Paul believed in his mind that Christ was coming back any day and all should be ready for that time, to be prepared for that day.
So, these words that Paul writes we read, can be true, that the world is passing away, it is ending, and we should be ready for Christ’s return. We don’t know when though.
It is in our life in Christ that we prepare ourselves to go and change the world, to make the old world pass away by being God’s people in the world, making a difference everyday in action and words.
We are called as witnesses to God’s love and Christ’s teachings to change the values of the world, to fight the injustices of the world, to share our gifts with the poor, the dispossessed, the excluded as Christ did in his day, only in this way will we see the old world pass away.
How do we begin this process?
Sit in silence with God.
Contemplate our needs, our fears, our concerns, and allow God to come to that place to rejuvenate your soul.
When we do this, we let ourselves be filled with that presence to give us strength and courage, wisdom and guidance, love and compassion for the journey ahead of us.
Like the Hymn says to us:
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide; And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul, Each thought and each motive beneath His control. Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above. (Author: William D. Longstaff)
Take time to be Holy, sit in silence and speak to God and let God speak to you, you will find benefits to your life and your faith.
In a life of faith and in Christ, the voices of the world will become quieter, fears will dissolve, concerns will fade, and you will have peace in your heart, trusting in God to guide your next steps.
God will be your console in everything you do.
I challenge you to allow yourself 10 minutes everyday to just sit in silence with yourself, no technology, no music, or go for a walk alone and let your thoughts come and be your company.
There God will be as well, give yourself time to be with that presence, and God will speak to how you can be Holy in your day.
HYMN: “Go Make A Difference” MV #209
Go make a diff’rence. We can make a diff’rence. Go make a diff’rence in the world. (2x)
We are the salt of the earth, called to let the people see the love of God for you and me.
We are the light of the world, not to be hidden but be seen. Go make a diff’rence in the world.
(Words: Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek)
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Eternal Creator, we are not altogether convinced that evil is a thing of the past. Many people in this world of ours feel their world is one of bleakness and gloom. Pressures crowd in upon us and get us down.
The causes are varied: bereavement, illness, money, worries about family, trouble at work or not having work, drugs, drink, boredom, doubt, weariness, futility.
Then there are the world issues: war, poverty, climate change, disease, unfair trade and so on. It does not help when we feel that as Christians, we should be doing so much better than we are. Gracious and loving God, we rejoice that you are with us in our troubles, you know us, and you love us – always.
Even though we have made a mess of things personally and collectively you remain faithful. We rejoice that your Son came not to a perfect world, but to a broken world, our world.
We pray for our bleak and dreary world, a world in need – in need not just of a technical fix, but in need of love and grace, forgiveness and new life, hope, peace and fellowship, in need of renewal, in need of YOU.
We pray that you would come alongside us and all those for whom we pray, that you would show us Jesus, the light of the world, the one who came (and who comes) to rid us of sin, to give us life and health and peace, peace that passes all understanding – not a temporary respite from trouble but the strength to overcome it and ultimately to receive life eternal.
You don’t wave a magic wand for everything to sorted instantly – you require us to exercise our faith and to respond to your call to preach the gospel and to seek to live it out, to look to you for the strength that we need to share your love and grace. Help us to share the good news in word and action – the same good news that the fishermen were called to proclaim that there is a Saviour, a merciful king who loves us and whom we can love and adore.
We have been set free. Enable us to use our freedom to share in bringing in the kingdom. In the light of this we have something to celebrate, something to shout about – for even in our trouble and pain, even in our loss, we know that Jesus is with us.
Hear the names on our hearts of those of our community who need our prayers and may your light be a presence, your light with them.
The Lord is our light and our salvation. Hear our prayers, Lord, spoken and unspoken and answer them for Jesus’ sake, as we pray together:
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, for ever and ever.
HYMN: “Go Now in Peace” VU #964
Go now in peace, never be afraid, God will go with you each hour of every day. Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do. Go now in love, and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see. God will be there watching from above. Go now in peace, in faith, and in love. Amen.
(Words: Don Besig/Nancy Price)
WE ARE SENT OUT IN FAITH TO SERVE
Scripture for next week
Deuteronomy 18:15–20 God will raise up a prophet after Moses.
Psalm 111 (VU p. 833) The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
1 Corinthians 8:1–13 Concerning food offered to idols.
Mark 1:21–28 A man with an unclean spirit is healed in Capernaum.
A Big Thank You to Brenda Shield for music and videos
Bible passages: https://www.biblegateway.com/
Pastoral Prayer: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/
Hymn Reference: https://hymnary.org/text/take_time_to_be_holy
DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH
Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5
Visit our new website: www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com
Worship Minister (Supply): Kevin Fitzpatrick 705-340-0973 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Director: Brenda Shield 1-705-748-9875 or email@example.com
Envelope Steward: Kathy