Dunsford United Church Bulletin – Transcript Service – February 28, 2021

Dunsford United Church

February 28, 2021 – Second Sunday in Lent

Kevin Fitzpatrick -Liturgy

Brenda Shield – Liturgical Music and Media

Father Creator


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

Long before the change of name,

before the first signs of new life

showed the beginnings of promises fulfilled,

You asked Abram to make his home among foreigners,

and share the blessing that was to come.

And now, O God, you ask the same faith of us:

The faith to count ourselves among the least,

to find our place alongside the poor and broken;

The faith to trust in your mercy and your promises,

and to share what we have received;

The faith to wait expectantly for your reign of justice and equity,

together with those who most need its gifts.

Teach us to be children of Abram, sharers of the blessings we enjoy:

The blessing of plenty shared with those who have need,

The blessing of healing shared with those who are sick and wounded,

The blessing of joy shared with those who celebrate,

and of tears shared with those who grieve,

The blessing of friendship shared with those who are excluded,

and of solidarity with those who fight injustice,

The blessing of peace shared with those in conflict,

and of confrontation shared with those who bring harm;

And in some small way, may our faith and our sharing,

help to bring your promises into being

in our world.

Amen.

~ written by John van de Laar and posted on Sacredise. http://sacredise.com/prayers/type/intercession/children-of-abram/

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

HYMN: “Standing on the Promises of God” (with lyrics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVeHDun_oEQ

OPENING PRAYER

God, whom we announce You, the Ruler of all things.

God of heaven and earth, of the sea and the rivers.

God of the sun, and the moon, and all the stars.

God of the high mountains and of the low-lying valleys.

God who is above heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.

Dwelling is in heaven and earth, and the sea, and all therein. Gives breath to all. Gives life to all.

Is over all. Upholds all. Gives light to the sun.

Imparts splendour to the moon. Has made wells in the dry land, and islands in the ocean.

Has appointed the stars to serve the greater lights. The Son is co-eternal and co-equal with Godself. The Son is not younger than the Godself. And the Godself is not older than the Son.

And the Holy Ghost proceeds from them.

The Godself and the Son and the Holy Ghost are undivided.

But I desire by Faith to unite you to God, Son and Holy Ghost.  

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “He Knows My Name”

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

Genesis 17:1-8 Living Bible

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God appeared to him and told him, “I am the Almighty; obey me and live as you should. 2-4 I will prepare a contract between us, guaranteeing to make you into a mighty nation. In fact you shall be the father of not only one nation, but a multitude of nations!” Abram fell face downward in the dust as God talked with him.

5 “What’s more,” God told him, “I am changing your name. It is no longer ‘Abram’ (‘Exalted Father’), but ‘Abraham’ (‘Father of Nations’)—for that is what you will be. I have declared it. 6 I will give you millions of descendants who will form many nations! Kings shall be among your descendants! 7-8 And I will continue this agreement between us generation after generation, forever, for it shall be between me and your children as well. It is a contract that I shall be your God and the God of your posterity. And I will give all this land of Canaan to you and them, forever. And I will be your God.

Romans 4:13-25 Living Bible

13 It is clear, then, that God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was not because Abraham obeyed God’s laws but because he trusted God to keep his promise. 14 So if you still claim that God’s blessings go to those who are “good enough,” then you are saying that God’s promises to those who have faith are meaningless, and faith is foolish. 15 But the fact of the matter is this: when we try to gain God’s blessing and salvation by keeping his laws we always end up under his anger, for we always fail to keep them. The only way we can keep from breaking laws is not to have any to break!

16 So God’s blessings are given to us by faith, as a free gift; we are certain to get them whether or not we follow Jewish customs if we have faith like Abraham’s, for Abraham is the father of us all when it comes to these matters of faith. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say that God made Abraham the father of many nations. God will accept all people in every nation who trust God as Abraham did. And this promise is from God himself, who makes the dead live again and speaks of future events with as much certainty as though they were already past.

18 So, when God told Abraham that he would give him a son who would have many descendants and become a great nation, Abraham believed God even though such a promise just couldn’t come to pass! 19 And because his faith was strong, he didn’t worry about the fact that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred, and that Sarah his wife, at ninety,[a] was also much too old to have a baby.

20 But Abraham never doubted. He believed God, for his faith and trust grew ever stronger, and he praised God for this blessing even before it happened. 21 He was completely sure that God was well able to do anything he promised. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith God forgave his sins and declared him “not guilty.”

23 Now this wonderful statement—that he was accepted and approved through his faith—wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. 24 It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham—when we believe the promises of God who brought back Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God,[b] filling us with God’s goodness. 

HYMN: “Leaning on The Everlasting Arms” (with lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrJ3WKNeeRA

Questions for Reflection

How do you put your trust in God today?

What does it mean to have faith in God’s promise?

Reflection: In God We Trust!

Do you like your name?

What does you name mean to you? Why?

Do you know the meaning of your name?

I ask these questions because we may never have the choice of our name, usually conferred to us by parent or elder of our family.

We may be named after someone in our family that had an impact on the lives of our parents or the person who named us, that they had to name us after that person who made such and impact to honour us with their name.

We are the only species on Earth that distinguish ourselves through a name and thus our individual identity.

This may have something to do with our ability to communicate through human language with each other, and the identity of each individual is important to be named, and this is a personal experience for the parent and child.

Names held importance in clans and tribes of early humanity, some came with supernatural and sacred meaning, holding power and there could be a ceremony that celebrated the naming of the individual.

When my parents were looking to name me, they had a name picked out and my name would have been Andrew, but my mother had a cousin who had a little boy, and they named him Andrew, unfortunately he died as an infant, and so my mother, empathetic to how her cousin would feel, decided not to name me Andrew.

My Dad knew a boy in school, who protected him from bullies, my Dad being short and small, and this bigger boy Kevin, looked out for and stood up for my Dad, not letting anyone bother my Dad, and so I was named Kevin.

What does my name mean?

Kevin

Anglicized form of the Irish name Caoimhín meaning “handsome birth”, derived from the older Cóemgein, composed of the Old Irish elements cóem “kind, gentle, handsome” and gein “birth”. Saint Caoimhín established a monastery in Glendalough, Ireland in the 6th century and is the patron saint of Dublin. It became popular in the English-speaking world outside of Ireland in the middle of the 20th century, and elsewhere in Europe in the late 20th century.

https://www.behindthename.com/

Our name gives us meaning, identity, and maybe purpose.

Our name may be the most intimate feature of our identity, and our name may be the closest to naming who we really are, and we are our names.

Names were important to the authors of the Bible, from the first chapters in Genesis, God names everything, and nothing is completed until it has a name.

The second creation narrative had God create the earth creature who is Adam, signifying humanity coming ‘from earth’ or Adamah (Hebrew).

God gives Adam the honour of naming each creature, each plant, each bird, each living thing in the sea, rivers, lakes their moniker, the human had the power to give the power to the importance of all things living.

In our scriptures, God often changes the names to signify a radical change or emphasis of the person’s identity or God’s covenant with that person and their role to play in expanding God’s Love and message.

We can only see this in so many of our scriptures, Jacob becomes Israel, Saul becomes Paul, and Abram (exalted father) becomes Abraham (ancestor of multitudes), and Sarai becomes Sarah (Princess).

God has given them purpose.

These two, Sarah and Abraham, God choses to be mother and father of many nations to come, and in their names, they become righteous before God.

God calls Abraham and Sarah and promises them they will be the ancestors of many nations, although this passage doesn’t say, Abraham is 99 and Sarah is 91, biology says that this can’t happen, but our faith tells us all things are possible.

The parents of the heir of God’s promises, Abraham and Sarah are the integral fulfillment of the promise.

That Covenant of Trust that led Abram and Sarai from their homeland to where God was showing them, letting God lead them to the land of promise God was showing them.

And we know that when God comes and tells Abraham and Sarah that they will bear a child, this promise brings laughter from both and the child is named just that; Isaac ‘laughter’ as that erupted from both parents at the news.

The news came as may be a shock and an unreality to both at their age, and so Isaac was another part of the Covenant of Trust that Abraham and Sarah entered into with God, trust in God, no matter what logic they held, their heart had to be open to God’s promises.

Abraham and Sarah are the parents of many nations, holding equal esteem in this recognition, and they are not perfect people, but God still chooses them because of their hearts of faith and trust.

Hagar and Ishmael share in this covenant, we know that God comes to Hagar, promises to take care of her and Ishmael, and connects them to this promise of many nations.

Abraham being the ancestor of multitudes for Muslim, Jewish and Christian followers of their respective faiths.

Paul speaks to the addition of the Gentiles, those who believe in Christ, but are not from Jewish heritage as part of Abraham and Sarah’s descendants because of their faith.

Paul calls to God’s gift of righteousness is extended to Jews and Gentiles, a covenant through Jesus Christ.

Paul tells the Romans that God called Abraham, and made the amazing promises to him, of father of multitudes, an heir of his own blood, Sarah shares these promises, but there is no intrinsic quality, for God to choose them, only their trust in God and God’s promises.

And although that Abraham and Sarah were old, they believed that God would provide and give them the descendants that were spoken about many times God promised.

In our Christian understanding, the ultimate promise in that for us, is the Messiah, we know through Jesus,

 “God will accept us in the same way God accepted Abraham—when we believe the promises of God who brought back Jesus our Lord from the dead. He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God, filling us with God’s goodness.” 

Romans 4: 24-25

We count ourselves in our blessings of the Covenant promised to Abraham and Sarah, God calls our names, calls us one of God’s own, and as with Abraham and Sarah, we have purpose, no matter what our age.

We may think that we may not have the faith of Abraham or Sarah or Paul, or any who seem to put their heart in God’s trust.

And that of Abraham’s faith lies in God’s character and faithfulness to the trust Abraham has, even though Abraham had human faults, God still fulfills the promises.

Sometimes the words “just trust me” can be a double-edged sword, where we face broken promises, we are hurt by those words spoken and broken and angry at ourselves because we trusted those words.

Living a lifetime of faith, doesn’t mean we will never have moments of doubt or be free of facing pain, suffering or human experiences of promises broken, but we put our trust in God to deliver us, that no matter the circumstance, God gives us strength and courage for the moments of hardship and celebrates with us in our moments of joy.

God calls our name, and through our ancestors, gave us that name, to give us purpose in our day, no matter what our age, we are called to trust, to live in faith, to do God’s work in the world.

God is there, creating life and abundance out of barrenness and brokenness.

In this Lenten season, we need to reflect on the brokenness in this world, and we can see the hope knowing God works in places where we least expect it, we can take God at God’s word, and trust in the promises of Scripture, and Jesus Christ.

Amen!

HYMN: “Open My Eyes That I May See” VU #371

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Caught between joy and despair, we yearn for the fulfillment of God’s desire beyond the brokenness and neediness of this life. We offer thanksgiving for God’s presence with us and petitions for the transformation of the church and the world.

We remember those who suffer, from illness, loss, temptations, loneliness, oppression. Be with them as they travel that dark road, be their guide.

We look at the leaders of this world, who You have placed there. Give them guidance as they make decisions to how the world should run.

We pray for this broken world, who we have used for our own purposes. Help us to be conscious in our decisions, to be stewards and not masters of Your creation.

Help all your servants in all your churches and ministries, faiths, tribes and nations, to be whole and in unison of your purpose and help us to love one another as Jesus taught.

We hold up those names today. All who need prayer, those in our community and world, we bring them forward now, your presence with them always. We hold these names, enfold them in your love.

Those names we lift up to you for prayer and those who are written quietly on our hearts

…..be their comfort and healing.

Life-giver, Pain-bearer, Love-creator, day by day you sustain the weary with your word and gently encourage us to place our trust in you. Awaken us to the suffering of those around us; save us from hiding in denials or taunts that deepen the hurt; give us grace to share one another’s burdens in humble service.  As we do so, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught 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: “It Is No Secret What God Can Do”

Scripture for Next Week

Exodus 20:1–17 The ten commandments.

Psalm 19 (VU pp. 740–741) The heavens declare the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18–25 God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom.

John 2:13–22 Jesus clears the temple.

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

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 1-705-748-9875 or bshield@cogeco.ca

Envelope Steward: Kathy     

CCLI License #11197107

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


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