Dunsford United Church – Bulletin – Transcript Service – February 21, 2021

Kevin Fitzpatrick -Liturgy

Brenda Shield – Liturgical Music and Media

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“Holy Spirit Rain Down” (Hillsong)

Holy Spirit, reign down, reign down Oh, comforter and friend. Come we need your touch again.
Holy Spirit reign down, reign down.  Let your power fall, let your voice be heard.
Come and change our hearts, as we stand on your word. Holy Spirit, reign down.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard. No mind can know, what God has in store.
So open up Heaven, open it wide over your church, and Over our lives.
Holy Spirit, reign down, reign down. Oh, comforter and friend. Come we need your touch again.


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

Generous God

who fills the earth with abundance–

oceans and skies full of water,

fields that yield food,

flowers and birdsong and beauty of all sorts–

may we live with generous hearts, with open hands.

Humble God

who became flesh and entered into our humanity–

who touched the untouchable,

spoke to the outcasts,

washed the disciples feet–

May we live with humble hearts,

looking always to the needs of others.

Righteous God

who longs for us to be in relationship with you–

through sincere prayer, fasting,

worship, scripture reading, fellowship–

May we love you with all of our hearts, minds, and souls.

Walk with us on this Lenten journey, Lord.

Give us eyes to see the path you would have us take.

Give us ears to hear the truth you would speak to us.

Give us the wisdom to store our treasure with you,

so that our hearts may abide in your perfect peace.

HYMN: “Standing on The Promises of God”

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,

Through eternal ages let His praises ring,

Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,

  Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,

Standing on the promises of God my Savior;

Standing, standing,

I’m standing on the promises of God.

(Words: Russell K. Carter, Public Domain)

OPENING PRAYER

Lent calls us to journey, this and every day,

following Jesus wherever he leads us.

Lent calls us to journey:

to the place where God covenants with us,

to receive the new names we are given.

Lent calls us to worship together,

to tell future generations the good news.

Lent calls us to practice justice,

to bring God’s hope to all people.

Lent calls us to faithful living,

to trust the One who gives us life.

Lent calls each of us to take up our cross,

to trust the One who bears it with us.

Lent calls us to journey with God.

Let us worship God, who walks with us,

this and every day.

 ~ written by Thom Shuman and posted on Lectionary Liturgies. http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.ca/

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “Beside the Still Waters” (Words: Ted Silva)

Beside the still waters in pastures of green, The Shepherd is leading where all is serene;

By day and by night He will always be seen, beside the still waters of peace.

For He’s the Good Shepherd who died for the sheep; His own He has promised to keep.

He lovingly watches and guards while they sleep, beside the still waters of peace.

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

Genesis 9:8–17 Living Bible Translation

The covenant between God and Noah.

8 Then God told Noah and his sons, 9-11 “I solemnly promise you and your children[a] and the animals you brought with you—all these birds and cattle and wild animals—that I will never again send another flood to destroy the earth. 12 And I seal this promise with this sign: 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds as a sign of my promise until the end of time, to you and to all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my promise to you and to every being, that never again will the floods come and destroy all life. 16-17 For I will see the rainbow in the cloud and remember my eternal promise to every living being on the earth.”

Mark 1:9–15 Living Bible Translation

The baptism, temptation, and mission of Jesus.

9 Then one day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John there in the Jordan River. 10 The moment Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens open and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending on him, 11 and a voice from heaven said, “You are my beloved Son; you are my Delight.”

12-13 Immediately the Holy Spirit urged Jesus into the desert. There, for forty days, alone except for desert animals, he was subjected to Satan’s temptations to sin. And afterwards[a] the angels came and cared for him.

14 Later on, after John was arrested by King Herod,[b] Jesus went to Galilee to preach God’s Good News.

15 “At last the time has come!” he announced. “God’s Kingdom is near! Turn from your sins and act on this glorious news!”

FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART: “Rainbow Connection”

Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog from The Muppet Movie – YouTube

REFLECTION: Rainbow Connections of Covenant

Water is the element of life, and in the scriptures, and all through this service, it takes precedence and is in the middle of creation.

The rainbow is the refracted water droplets that appear in the sky after the rain or storm has passed.

In the story of Noah, it is God’s promise, the covenant that God would never again cause a flood, to destroy every living creature on earth.

Brenda included for us, our young at heart moment, and of course what better song could she choose then The Rainbow Connection as Kermit the Frog sings from his place in the swamp, surrounded by water, the element of rainbows and life!

Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher wrote the song for Jim Henson for The Muppet Movie and the rest of the musical score.

In an interview Williams says that the vision came from Henson, a song that Kermit would sing as he rested on a lily pad, as any frog would, and they put together this wonderful song about rainbows, visions but illusions, with nothing to hide, taking the mystery out of rainbows.

And then they bring the mystery back, Williams states in the interview the whole message of the song hinges on one line:

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on the morning star?

Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it.  Look what it’s done so far.

Songwriters: Ascher Kenneth Lee / Williams Paul H

The Rainbow Connection lyrics © Fuzzy Muppet Songs

Williams says that Kermit is saying that “we don’t have all the answers, and the essence of the philosophy in the song is that there is immense power in faith. That there is more beauty in the questions than there are in the answers, someday we’ll find it… that if you have the element of faith involved, we can do anything”

You can watch the whole interview here:

Jim Henson trusted Williams and Ascher to write this whole musical score for this movie, hearing it for the first time in studio, Henson had faith in these two song writers to share his vision.

Henson’s whole philosophy in life was to make a difference, to convey a positive message to generations of kids and reach beyond the kids to their parents and a wider audience.

“If our message is anything,” he once said, “it’s a positive approach to life. That life is basically good. People are basically good.”  

Jim Henson

https://www.looktothestars.org/news/11000-jim-henson-how-one-man-and-a-frog-made-a-difference

In our scriptures this morning, God makes covenants with the people, because we are inherently good, God is our Creator, how could we not be good?!

We enter this season of Lent, and these next 40 days of preparation and reflection before the celebration of Easter, our scriptures will examine the faults of our humanness and the divine wisdom of the covenant of our Creator God.

In the promises of the scriptures, God will keep nurturing us and protecting us in our temptations, God will give us spiritual food, manna for the journey in our times of fasting in the wilderness of life, we need to remember our covenants, that God is there, the promise for all creation.

As I write this, I think of Ash Wednesday, and the start of the Lenten season, where many Christians around the world are marked with the sign of the cross.

Burned palm leaves from the previous Palm Sunday make up the ashes, and this Lent seems strange, we seem to have been in a wilderness of Lent during this pandemic, a pandemic that was declared during the season of Lent last year on March 12, 2020, and we have given up a lot with social distancing, self-isolation and all the protocols and restrictions that are supposed to keep us safe.

The 40 days of Lent we spend in what we are to be in reflection and penitence to remember Jesus’ temptations, ministry and sacrifice, and to ‘give up’ the luxuries of life to represent that sacrifice, have multiplied in the fact that we have lived that 9 times in the past year thanks to COVID.

We live in hope that we will weather the storm in our safe bubbles and the promise of hope comes in the form of the rainbow of returning to life where we can gather again with other people, neighbours, loved ones, church family, and we will see that rainbow!

As the rainbow was a promise of hope to Noah, his family and all creation that was safe on the Ark, it is still to us today, a radical promise of inclusivity, the covenant of God between all flesh, and any living thing we can trace to life, that water touches, in rain, in mist, fog, dew droplets, in streams, in rivers, in oceans, in everything!

In that covenant, the promise of faith to those who believe that God is the creator of all things, and all things (including people) are inherently good, no man made label; gender, race, creed, religion, nationality, ethnicity, or category can separate them from the promise of God’s love in their creation, if we believe this as Christians, who follow a Christ who preached love and inclusivity as he practiced in his ministry, we must live it in our lives.

Jesus’ baptism comes as maybe an anomaly to us, how could Jesus be baptized, the people were coming to John to be forgiven of sins and transgressions.

Here was Jesus being baptized, if he was God, what sins could he have?

But in Jesus’ baptism, he joins creation, the heavens open for the Spirit to descend upon him and as a covenant to all creation that God is among the creation created and will journey with creation, understanding its limits and will open up the Realm of God to all who seek it.

And in Water, that Love and promise are sealed, that covenant of promise is open for all, and as siblings of this covenant we are to hold love and understanding, acceptance and reconciliation for that inclusive gift of this covenant that extends to everything water touches.

In this Lenten season, examine what it means to live with water, know that everything that lives needs water to survive, a basic need.

Think of the water of baptism, a link to the promise of God’s love in our community and our connections to Jesus’ ministry, a Ministry of Love that was inclusive to all, that we may live in the same way, including all in God’s love.

The rainbow, and the covenant of love to Noah and all creation, that in those colours, the colours of all the earth, together, we are to be in unity will all creation and do our best to work towards unity with peoples and creation on this earth where we live together, and should learn to at least co-exist, and at the most find ways to live inclusively.

I leave you with a Rainbow prayer, pray on the different colours, it could be a practice of Lent this year, to remember that God is in each colour, in each living entity, the origin of each element including the water of life.

My Rainbow Prayer – by Helen Kinnett

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, we all know,

The spectrum of colours, an arc, a rainbow,

So listen, be still and be aware,

Share with me now, my rainbow prayer.

Red – A symbol of God’s eternal love, a heart,

I will never leave you, we’ll never be apart,

A love so great, Jesus died for me,

A love so great, for all to see.

Orange – All the good fruits, of all the earth,

Crucifixion of Jesus, unmeasurable worth,

A golden sun, in the sky, light unfurled,

A candle flame, Jesus, Light of the World.

Yellow – The Lent Lily, showing God’s creation skills,

A field of yellow, a field of daffodils,

The pale moon and the stars so bright,

God, by His hand, created light.

Green – Shoots, plants and a gentle, serene mood,

Growing and sowing, our seeds, our food,

Blades of grass, a new leaf and buds on the trees,

Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays on His knees.

Blue – Bluebells in woods, shadows on snow,

Signs of new life are starting to grow,

Oceans and streams, the clear summer sky,

Jesus, the Living Water, to you and I.

Indigo – Berries, butterflies and mountains covered in heather,

All the colours of the sky, in stormy weather,

The purple robe, worn by kings from their birth,

The royal symbol, a cloth of great worth.

Violet – A gentle perfume, fragrant and sweet,

Parma Violets, a treat to eat,

A tiny, beautiful, delicate flower,

God always with us, hour by hour.

A rainbow of colours, in the dark, rainy sky,

Reveals God’s great love, He sent Jesus to die,

A rainbow of colours, placed in the sunny sky above,

Shows us the promise, of God’s unending love.

https://www.strattonmethodist.org.uk/poem.htm

AMEN!

HYMN: “Like A Mighty River Flowing” VU #267 (Words: Michael A. Perry)

Like a mighty river flowing, like a flower in beauty growing, far beyond all human knowing is the perfect peace of God.

Like the hills serene and even, like the coursing clouds of heaven, like the heart that’s been forgiven is the perfect peace of God.

Like the summer breezes playing, like the tall trees softly swaying, like the lips of silent praying

is the perfect peace of God.

Like the morning sun ascended, like the scents of evening blended, like a friendship never ended is the perfect peace of God.

Like the azure ocean swelling, like the jewel all-excelling, far beyond our human telling is the perfect peace of God.

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 who need our prayers.

We lift them up to you…

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…

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: “Water Flowing from the Mountains” MV #87 (Words: Jim Hannah)

Water flowing from the mountains.  Water flowing o’er the earth.

Water comes to us so precious.  Living water gives us birth.

Drink deep this source of life.  Drink deep and know.

For living water sings, and living water brings the love that makes our spirit grow.

Water rushing down the rivers.  Water rushing to the sea.

Water comes to us, so precious.  Living water makes us free.

Drink deep this source of life.  Drink deep and know. 

For living water sings, and living water brings the love that makes our spirit grow.

Water springing from the dry place.  Water springing in the sun.
Water comes to us, so precious. Living water for each one.

Drink deep this source of life.  Drink deep and know. 

For living water sings, and living water brings the love that makes our spirit grow.

Scripture for Next Week

Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16

The covenant between Abram, Sarai, and God.

Psalm 22:23–31 (VU p. 746 Parts Three and Four)

You have not hidden your face, O God.

Romans 4:13–25

God’s promise rests on grace and faith.

Mark 8:31–38

Those who lose their life for the gospel will save it

Resources:

A Big Thank You to Brenda Shield for music and videos

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

Prayer of Approach https://re-worship.blogspot.com/

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

Pastoral Prayer : ~ written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on Kir-shalom. http://www.spirit-net.ca/sermons/b-or02sm.phphttps://re-worship.blogspot.com/

 Rainbow Poem: https://www.strattonmethodist.org.uk/poem.htm

DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH

Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5 Tel: 705-793-2511

Email: dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

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

Music Director: Brenda Shield

Envelope Steward: Kathy   

CCLI License #11197107

Visit our new website: http://dunsfordunitedchurch.com          


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