Bulletin – May 29, 2022 with announcements

Sunday May 29 2022 – Seventh Sunday of Easter

Pulpit Supply: Rev. Anne Hepburn

†= stand as you are able

† GATHERING MUSIC: VU #642 v. 1 “Be Thou My Vision” (Words: Irish, ca 8th century)

Be thou my vision, O joy of my heart; naught be all else to me save that thou art,

thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping thy presence my light.

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS (Unison)

We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishnabeg/Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where I am, 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 and reconciliation with all our relations.

† HYMN: VU #575 “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” (African-American spiritual)

I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Greetings to our brothers and sisters in the faith.

We come to celebrate God’s presence,

And God’s love expressed through Jesus Christ.

We come remembering Christ’s life and ministry

and the life we are called to live.

We come as a pilgrim people searching for ways to live out our faith.

We come seeking the strength to carry on our journey.

Let us rejoice in God’s gift to us!

OPENING PRAYER (Unison)

God of promise and endless possibilities, we are astounded when crocuses and snow drops poke their heads up through the cold ground while snow nestles beside them.

Where once we witnessed desolation now we observe loveliness.  We pay attention and notice the many colours of beauty in the faces of siblings.

All praise be to you that we are united in faith and conviction.  May your reckless love embrace each one of us that we might with courage proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.  In his name we pray.  Amen

OFFERING

While we can’t take up the offering as we used to, we very much appreciate your generosity.

Let us pray.

OFFERTORY PRAYER 

Holy One, we thank you for all we have been given through our community.  May these gifts reflect Christ’s mission to care for all. Amen

FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

SCRIPTURE READINGS:

Acts 16:16-34 Paul & Silas are freed from prison (read by Jackie S.)

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a female slave who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17 While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you[a] the way of salvation.” 18 She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men, these Jews, are disturbing our city 21 and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us, being Romans, to adopt or observe.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 The jailer[b] called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord[c] to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34 He brought them up into the house and set food before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

New Testament John 17:20-26 Jesus prays that they all may be one

20 “I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,[a] so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them.”

† HYMN: VU #567 “Will You Come and Follow Me” (Words: The Iona Community)

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?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?

Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?

Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?

Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?

Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?

Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen,

and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide if I but call your name?

Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?

Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,

through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Christ, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.

Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.

In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.

Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

MESSAGE:  “What Prison Do You Need To Be Freed From?”

Some years ago I think I spoke to you about neighbours whose family seemed “out there”.  The parents were always in a rush and they had a sense of entitlement that irritated the neighbours.  The father worked from home and was often seen outdoors talking animatedly on the phone.  I did not know much about any of them except from our next door neighbours who said he was often very rude to people.

He may have had no social filter. That was what I surmised because comments he was alleged to have made were so inappropriate that the investment bank he worked for wouldn’t have wanted him in the office.  They eventually moved to California.

However it later turned out that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes.

Morrie Tobin was running a stock scam – a classic pump and dump that involved stocks for companies he controlled.

His house was raided and when he flew to Boston a few weeks later it was to trade info on the college admission bribery scam that he had also been involved in.

 His info was a bid to obtain leniency and it did work. He implicated two men one of whom the agents had never heard of- Rick Singer and Rudy Meredith. His plan worked and to the best of my understanding Tobin was sentenced to a year in prison and a $4 Million dollar fine for securities fraud and conspiracy. It could have been a lot worse because the level of his securities fraud was such that 8-10 years would have been normal.

As I read the passage for today from Acts 16 I thought about people in prison and what they did to go there. Poverty traps a lot of people into bad choices.

The passage tells us that Paul & Silas were moving freely throughout a town when they were followed and verbally harassed by a woman with the gift of spiritual discernment. She called out to them and others about their behaviour.

Paul rightly figured  out that she was inhabited by a spirit with special talents and he called it out of her.

But her owners were angry because her gift of seeing things made them a lot of money.  They took Paul & Silas in front of magistrates and had them charged, beaten and imprisoned.

That very night in prison they sang and prayed and worshipped late into the evening.

Suddenly the building was struck by an earthquake and all the stocks and doors opened.

The prison owner/manager was terrified and ready to kill himself for the shame of escaped prisoners. Paul called out to him that no one had left.  He was convinced by the actions of Paul & Silas that they were righteous and true Christians and elected to have his whole household baptized.  

Presumably at this point he liberated Paul and Silas.

I thought about people incarcerated for crimes they did not commit like Paul & Silas-

About those committed when they should get mental health care or addictions treatment instead.

People who committed crimes but were harshly judged and sentenced. Much more than others because of the colour of their skin or their indigenous background.

 I thought about our existential prisons -outside the box- because it seems to me that much of our experience with being trapped is like a prison.

People who are trapped by poverty.

People who are trapped by abusive relationships.

People who are trapped by their behaviour and thinking that puts them at risk in social or work settings.

People who are greedy

People who feel inadequate

People who have disabilities that are not accommodated and can’t progress academically.

There are so many ways that we can feel entrapped or imprisoned

When I think about the college admission scandal and the lives of those who bought into the need to participate. I think that they too were in a prison of sorts long before being imprisoned for their role in it. And their children were too by extension.

The well known actress Julia Roberts said it best.

“the sad part of what these parents did was show how little they trusted their own kids to achieve on their own”

 The world of elite colleges is highly competitive and so is the wealthy world of high powered executives. The pressure to look good and have perfect children and images must be suffocating.

Is that not a form of prison?

I recall meeting people who were imprisoned by shame.

It was not always an obvious issue- one well dressed woman told me that she never finished high school.

I would never have guessed- she was a successful property manager for a family owned firm that owned many properties. She was elegant and smart and confident- until I scratched the surface one day. Then she confessed that her grandson was flunking out of high school. She would not admit that she had not finished because she thought he would look down on her.

I suggested that it would make her more approachable.

She disagreed.

I have never forgotten how scared she was of that loss of status.

But I also wondered what was more important- her image or her relationship with him.

We live in a complicated world and I would imagine that a lot of folks are quietly unhappy- trapped even in a prison of their own making or a situation that they feel powerless to change.

It is an existential conundrum I suppose.

Looking back at the bible passage,  I found myself wondering about the slave whose spiritual divinations yielded her owners a living. Did she enjoy what her spirit allowed her to do?

Was she dismayed to have it removed summarily by Paul?

Did he ask permission?  Was she mistreated by her owners afterwards?

And what of the jailer and his family?  Did they understand the implications of placing Silas and Paul in stocks? Did they question the magistrates putting them in jail or were they paid to operate the jail like some around North America?

Finally with respect to Silas and Paul, why did they react to the slave girls words? Were they threatened?

And if so was it fragile male ego? I think that is a prison of its own.

Finally, if I may I would like to address the tragic deadly shootings in Uvalde Texas. I am sorry that the gunman was killed although the lone officer was justified in trying to limit the damage.

I wish they could pick his brain so to speak to find out why.  But the bigger prison image is the Gun lobby holding Republicans hostage through financial pressures. They all need to be exposed…

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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. Amen

COMMISSIONING AND BLESSING

Go out to the world as Christ would have you to serve and liberate others with renewed appreciation for his wisdom and example. And as you go may the love of God be with you always.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Update from the chair:

Another significant weather event, this time striking in our own neighbourhoods. I hope you have little or no damage and did not have to deal with too long of a power outage. These are times when we take a moment to thank God for our many blessings and give of our time and talents to assist others in need. Have extra water jugs on hand, propane for your BBQ and gas in your car. Prepare for the unexpected. Stay safe!

Sincerely, Carol

Sunday Worship Leader/Media booth

May 29 – Anne Hepburn/Helen (refreshments after service)

June 5 – Darlene Hallett/Carol – Pentecost Sunday

June 12 – Anne Hepburn/Helen – Trinity Sunday

June 19 – Anne Hepburn – Father’s Day; Communion; Potluck; Outdoor Service

(The elements for Communion will be provided)

June 26 – Darlene Hallett – Canada Day Service

Sign-up sheets for the media booth; scripture readers; and Ministry of Music; are on the table behind the last pew. 

Please continue to pray for: Emma; Tracie; Kristen; Mary Lou; Marg; Marilyn and Claude, Henry, Beryl and Murray, Mary C’s family.

Cheer Ministry: Please call Mary M when a church member/family needs to be remembered with a card: thinking of you; get well; or special birthday/anniversary wishes.

A Stewardship Second: Look around you and see Creation’s broken places. How are you called to mend them?

© 2022 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ca.

Christmas Day Service: Under the direction of the Mission Board, the Worship Team is surveying the congregation to determine potential attendance at a service on Christmas Day.  You may email your response to dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca or provide your answer to a Worship Team member (Helen, Mary Lou, Abigail or Gloria) on Sundays until the end of May.  Thank you for your participation.

Dunsford Community Food Bank: Contact Fay Carslake 705-341-3699 or faycarslake@hotmail.com

† CHORAL RESPONSE: “Go Now in Peace” (Words: Don Besig and Nancy Price)

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, Amen, Amen

DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH

Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

Tel: 705-793-2511

Email: dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

Visit our new website: www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com


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