Bulletin and Announcements for July 31, 2022

Dunsford United Church

July 31, 2022

Pulpit Supply: Evelyn Chambers, LLWL

†= stand as you are able

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS

We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishinaabe/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.

CALL TO WORSHIP

We come from the fields and pastures, from summer homes and campgrounds, from back decks and air-conditioned residences to this place of peace, of sanctuary and of holy neighbourhood with God.

We come to worship- to sing and pray and to give thanks as we hear the word of God. How good it is to be here. Let us lift up our voices in worship. Let us worship God.

† HYMN: MV #1 “Let Us Build a House” (Words: Marty Haugen)

Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true,

where all God’s children dare to seek to dream God’s reign anew.

Here the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of God’s grace;
here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine and wheat;
a banquet hall on holy ground, where peace and justice meet.

Here the love of God, through Jesus, is revealed in time and space;
as we share in Christ the feast that frees us:

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond the wood

and stone to heal and strengthen, serve and teach, and live the Word they’ve known. Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God’s face;
let us bring an end to fear and danger:

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.

Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of grace;
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: 

All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

OPENING PRAYER (based on Hosea 11:1-11)

Every beat of God’s heart enfolds us with love. Every day, as we grow and mature and age, God nuzzles us with kisses and cooing words, treasuring who we are from within.

Even so, God doesn’t speak to us in baby talk but in words of challenge through faith.

We rebelled, turning away to other attractions. We wanted to be sure we could do it on our own.

Even then, despite our disdain, when we fell and skinned our news in the striving, God healed our cuts and bruises with loving kisses.

Still we turned away toward the bright lights, the seduction of selfishness and of greed. We became imprisoned, blinded by ambition, unable to perceive the freedom offered in Jesus.

God didn’t waver but called us to listen.

We are listening, O God, and we are ashamed. You birthed us for love, but we so often choose power. You nurtured us for relationship, but we so often choose ‘protected’ separation.

Forgive us and heal us, we pray, that we might become closer to you once more.

(silent prayer) Amen

WORDS OF ASSURANCE

Our God is a God of opportunities. We are invited again and again to be about God’s work in this world. God knows our weaknesses and seeks to work with us. God forgives our failings and gives us strength for the journey.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC

OFFERING

We acknowledge and thank you all for your contributions to the church whether via PAR or other means.  Offering envelopes may be left on the plate as you leave the Sanctuary.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION: Giving God, we bring to you a portion of what our labour has gained in thankful praise for the abundance that we have. We offer you these gifts in response to the gifts you have given us. Accept these gives as signs of love and faithfulness to you. Amen

HYMN: VU #271 “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (public domain)

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;

there’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven;

there is no place where earth’s failings have such gracious judgement given.

There is plentiful redemption in the blood that Christ has shed;

there is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.

Troubled souls, why will you scatter like a crowd of frightened sheep?

Foolish hearts, why will you wander from a love so true and deep?

For the love of God is broader than the measures of the mind,

and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.

STORY AND PRAYERS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

SCRIPTURE READINGS:

Colossians 3:1-11

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Luke 12:13-21

The Parable of the Rich Fool

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”   Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

† HYMN: VU #507 “Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples” (Words: H. Kenn Carmichael)

Today we all are called to be disciples of the Lord,

to help to set the captive free, make ploughshare out of sword,

to feed the hungry, quench their thirst, make love and peace our fast,

to serve the poor and homeless first, our ease and comfort last.

God made the world and at its birth ordained our human race

to live as stewards of the earth, responding to God’s grace.

But we are vain and sadly proud, we sow not peace but strife,

our discord spreads a deadly cloud that threatens all of life.

Pray justice may come rolling down as in a mighty stream,

with righteousness in field and town to cleanse us and redeem.

For God is longing to restore an earth where conflicts cease,

a world that was created for a harmony of peace.

May we in service to our God act out the living Word,

and walk the road the saints have trod till all have seen and heard.

As stewards of the earth may we give thanks in one accord

to God who calls us all to be disciples of the Lord.

MESSAGE: Giving the “I” in Life

Luke 12:13-21

I want to share with you a story. You may have already heard it before but bear with me.

There was a massive flood and people were asked to evacuate their homes. Police came door to door warning people to evacuate. One man politely thanked them for their concern but was confident he would be safe-the man had God watching over him. The flood waters continued to climb and the man was forced to the second story of his house. He sat on the window ledge and watched the water rising around him. Along came a rescue worker in a row boat. “Come with me”, the rescue worker said. The man politely refused. “I will be fine. God will save me”. A little while later the man has to climb to the attic to avoid the flood waters. Looking out the small window he saw a motor boat slow down and more rescue workers call out to him “Come with us, We will get you to safety.” Again the man refused saying “I will be fine. God will save me”. Well the water continued to rise and the man was forced to the roof top. Along came a helicopter. A rescue worker lowered himself via a rope ladder. “Sir, you have to leave. This is the last rescue mission we can do before darkness fall. Come with us.” Once again the man refused saying “I will be fine”.  Well suffice to say the floodwaters continued to rise and the man succumbed to the elements. He got to the pearly gates and was met by God. The man was distraught. “God”, he said. “How could  you let this happen to me? You were suppose to save me.” The Lord replied. “Save you- who do you think sent the police, the rowboat, the motorboat and the helicopter?”

Sometimes we don’t even see what is right before us. We are so caught up in the ‘I’ of life we forget what it means to reach out to others.

In our scripture reading from Luke Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool.

He tells us about a man whose land produced a bumper crop.  The man was “rich” and had “land” and was fabulously rich (for his day) and continued to have abundant yields. So much wheat that the barns he already has will not store what the land has produced.  We are talking a barn-bursting extravaganza! 

The man takes the drastic step of tearing down the barns he already has and building new ones to house “the mucho grande” that is now “his”.

Now from many people’s perspective the man is doing nothing wrong.  There’s been no crime or theft, no mistreatment of workers.  The guy is not a crook.  One could easily argue that the rich man is a wise and responsible person. He has a thriving farming business. His land has produced so abundantly that he does not have enough storage space in his barns. So he plans to pull down his barns and build bigger ones to store all his grain and goods. Then he will have ample savings set aside for the future and will be all set to enjoy his golden years.

Isn’t this what we are encouraged to strive for? Isn’t it wise and responsible to save for the future? The rich farmer would probably be a good financial advisor. He seems to have things figured out. He has worked hard and saved wisely. Now he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of his labor, right? As a farmer’s daughter I can attest to the importance of storing crops, of keeping on hand a supply of feed to use during times of draught or flooding.

The rich farmer is a fool not because he is wealthy or because he saves for the future, but because he appears to live only for himself, and because he believes that he can secure his life with his abundant possessions.

When the rich man talks in this parable, he talks only to himself, and the only person he refers to is himself: “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry”.

The rich man’s land has produced abundantly, yet he expresses no sense of gratitude to the workers who have helped him plant and harvest this bumper crop or to God for producing it. The man has more grain and goods in storage than he could ever hope to use, yet seems to have no thought of sharing it with others, and no thought of what God might require of him. He is blind to the fact that his life is not his own to secure, that his life belongs to God.

And in believing this he has missed the meaning of what has been gifted to him, much like the man in the flood.  For the rich fool- there was no appreciation of the abundance of life he had received.

If we let ourselves be realistic, in today’s fast paced world, where bigger is better and more means wealth and security, many get caught in the same web as the rich man. Society pressures us to have more, own more and be more. It’s an ‘I’ want, ‘I’ deserve and all for me attitude, and for some this means stopping for nothing to accumulate all that can be ours at any cost. Similar to the rich farmer, we begin to think that the blessing we have been given is ours and ours alone. We are solely responsible for it. We become wrapped up in ourselves that we forget about others who have helped us along the way. Like the rich fool we miss the meaning of what is intended with the abundance to which we have been blessed.

Our scripture reading speaks of a harvest well-beyond even the man’s own wildest expectations. It reminds Jesus listeners and us that the abundance we enjoy- be it crops, wealth, material possessions, neighbours, friends, family are blessings, miracles, true gifts from God. Gifts that are to be recognized, valued and shared. The man in the flood didn’t recognize the gifts of rescue that were sent to him, nor did the rich foolish farmer recognize the gifts the abundance granted to him. Both were so self-absorbed in themselves that they failed to recognize what God was providing for them. How different, how fuller, how richer would their lives have been if they had only recognized the gifts God gave them.

Several years ago in Sault St. Marie, a congregation engaged in reverse offering. As the story goes the church treasurer was opposed to this idea and refused to use church funds for it. Being a responsible person the treasurer felt that to give away hard earned church money was irresponsible. The stewards of the church each put in $150 dollars for a total initial investment of $750. One Sunday instead of collecting the offering the congregants received an envelope marked reverse offering. Each envelope contained a five dollar bill. The congregation was then encouraged to take the five dollars and do something with and then return the investment in the form of an offering at a later date. Some of the youth invested the money in gas for their lawnmowers and went cutting lawns while others invested in a babysitting course and then returned their earnings as babysitters. One woman bought baking ingredients and made items for a bake sale, while another bought yarn and knit articles that were then sold. Others simply took the five dollars and returned $10 to the offering plate. When all was said and done, the $750 investment yielded $30,000. Through the acceptance and sharing of a simple gift the congregation realized a return 40 times over. But the abundance went beyond the financial return. People realized talents and skills in their fellow parishioners they didn’t know and started reaching out to others for their gifts of talents. There was renewed belief and strength and stewardship that flowed through each of them, through their community, through their church and through God. 

How much more living would the man in the flood had had if he had recognized and accepted the gift of rescue sent to him? How much richer and alive would the farmer had been if he had recognized the origin of his wealth and shared it with others verse rewarding only himself. How much stronger and richer are we when we use what we are given to grow an abundance not for ourselves but for others.

This is perhaps the message that Jesus brings to the scripture. Our wealth whether it is financial, material, or emotional or spiritual is not ours to hoard, to own, to keep building upon. It is ours to share with others. This is the only way by which both creation and God are honoured; and that is to recognize that there is no mine or yours any more than there is just you or just me.  We are in this together; the rescue workers, the farm hands, the giving stewards. If we ever hope to learn what it truly means to belong to one another, then it will happen not by seeing how much we can continue to store up for ourselves and ourselves alone but how we need to recognize and accept and most importantly share the abundance with which we have been blessed.

Praise be the one who accepts us, values us and grants us abundance through the gift of life, death and resurrection of an only son, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God. Amen

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

THE LORD’S PRAYER (Unison)

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: VU #371 “Open My Eyes, That I May See” (public domain)

Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me;

place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear;

and while the wavenotes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear. 

Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see.

Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere;

open my heart and let me prepare love with thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see.

Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

COMMISSIONING AND BLESSING

We have worshipped, joining together in praise of God, Creator, Christ and Spirit.

Let us depart, challenged to live by the Spirit of Christ.

May the love of God and love of neighbour show forth in all we are and all we do as we go forth to serve. Amen

† 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

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Prayers: Please continue to pray for: Emma; Tracie; Kristen; Mary Lou; Marg; Marilyn and Claude, Beryl and Murray, Bob T.

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.

Stewardship Second: How we spend our money reflects our priorities. It is not only voting with our wallet; where we place our treasure reflects our spiritual priorities too.

© 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.

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

FROM UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

General Council 44: The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne Elected 44th Moderator

The United Church of Canada has elected the Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Kwisa’lakw, 47, as its 44th Moderator. She will be the church’s spiritual leader for the next three years.

In articulating her vision for The United Church of Canada, the Rev. Dr. Lansdowne speaks of a church committed: “To build new connections and rebuild old ones. To work towards social change that sees a world cared for, and human dignity honoured. To walk together every day in repentance and reconciliation. To march and fight and change unjust systems together. To pray together. To sing together. To discern together.”

Get to know the 44th Moderator by reading her full biography and statement of vision, watching her message on YouTube, and following her on Facebook

You are invited to the installation of the new Moderator on Sunday, August 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. PDT/ 4:00 p.m. EDT/ 5:30 p.m. NDT. Attend in person, or watch online on YouTube Livestream.

[Photo credit: Courtesy of Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne]

General Council 44: Big Changes for the Church

The Rev. Elenor Thompson after two proposals on Indigenous self-determination are passed. 
[Image credit: The United Church of Canada]
  General Council 44 took significant steps toward Indigenous self-determination and right relations, passing a motion on the autonomy of the Indigenous Church that directs the General Secretary to identify and remove all the structural barriers to developing and sustaining an autonomous Indigenous Church within The United Church of Canada, consistent with the Calls to the Church and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. There is also a call to continue the conversation of restructuring, right relations, and reparations with the National Indigenous Council; and to report back to General Council 45 on the state of the dialogue and required next steps.

A second proposal enables a “Category 3” remit to approve the new structure of the Indigenous Church and the relationship with the non-Indigenous Church, to be determined by the Indigenous Church in its own time and through its own processes, without the need for further remit approval, shortening the time for study from 24 months to 12 months. Resources will be made available to support this process.

In response, Honoured Elder the Rev. Elenor Thompson said: “Today all of me, my whole heart, loves the United Church. So very proud of the church and the people.”    

Bold New Emissions Reduction Target

The United Church of Canada has committed the whole church to the aspirational goal of an 80% decrease in carbon emissions by 2030. This bold new target was set at General Council 44, during Decision sessions. Read the full news release.

[Photo credit: Carina Cruz]      

Emancipation Day Celebrations

       Join us on Sunday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m. EDT for “Emancipated, But Still Working for Freedom,” an online panel discussion with members of the Black Clergy Network and other leaders on the significance of Emancipation Day and the struggle for equality that continues.

Also, an Emancipation Day National Worship Service, with the Black Clergy Network and others, will be shared on the United Church of Canada’s YouTube Livestream on Monday, August 1, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

[Photo credit: Timisu/Pixabay]    

Orange Shirt Week!!

[Image credit: The United Church of Canada]
Get ready to make faithful witness for Orange Shirt Day. We’ll launch most of our plans, including webinars and church-based activities, after Labour Day. Stay tuned to the United Church website.

We’ll also be hosting another Orange Shirt Day Giveaway, this time for 40 “Every Child Matters” flags, on August 30. Details will be forthcoming from the Indigenous Ministries Facebook and Twitter accounts in the next couple of weeks. So sign up and stay tuned to our social media channels! That’s Facebook Indigenous MinistriesFacebook Indigenous Justice; and Twitter.   
Gifts with Vision at Work in Ukraine

“We are grateful for any kind of help, as the people of Kharkiv have been suffering from this serious humanitarian crisis for many weeks now,” says Sergei Babin, a volunteer who is helping to deliver food and hygiene packages supported through Gifts with Vision to Ukrainian refugees. Thank you for your generous support!

[Photo credit: ACT Alliance/HIA]
United Church Bookstore: Undivided Love

A new book has arrived on the United Church Bookstore shelves! Undivided Love: Navigating Landscapes of Living Faith by author Janet Gear offers readers a sympathetic way to interpret the belief-inspired actions of those around them without assuming homogeneous understandings of God, the church, and our place in the world. Gear guides leaders in the artistry of handling shadows and strengths coexisting across five streams of lived faith: evangelical, ecclesial, missional, ecumenical, and spiritual.  [Image credit: courtesy of Janet Gear]  

Commemorate General Council 44

Commemorate a historic General Council, marking the first time that the triennial meeting was held virtually. Relive this historic event for years to come, and connect to the General Council 44 theme “Who do you say I am?” by getting your freeGC44 Merchandise Kit today(just pay the shipping!). The kit includes a prayer card, placemat, sticker sheet, unscented soy wax candle, pen, and reusable tote. Order now from the United Church Bookstore.     Papal Statement to Residential Institution Survivors
We at the United Church acknowledge the complexity of emotions brought up this week by the Papal visit and the Pope’s message to survivors of residential institutions, their families, and their communities. Only they can decide whether this was the response they wanted to TRC Call to Action 58.

We urge non-Indigenous people to continue to respectfully follow the discussion that is taking place, to listen to what is being said and why. Listen to survivors, to Indigenous activists and organizations, and to people such as the former TRC commissioners, all of whom have expressed their opinions on this. And above all, please continue to do what you can do to help fulfill the other 93 Calls to Action.    

DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH

Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

Tel: 705-793-2511

Email: dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

Visit our new website: www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com

Words to hymns used with permission. CCLI #11197107


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.