Bulletin and Announcements for Jan. 15, 2023

Dunsford United Church

Sunday January 15, 2023

Rev. Anne Hepburn

†= stand as you are able

† GATHERING MUSIC: VU #567 “Will You Come and Follow Me”

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS (Unison):

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

Listen you people to the Call of God.

We listen to the word of God.

You were formed in the womb to be God’s servant.

We are called to be light to the nations.

The Holy One of Israel has chosen you.

God is our cause and our strength.

Written by Wanda Winfield Gatherings 2022/23 p.43. Used with permission.

OPENING PRAYER

Holy God, source and creator of all life,

as we gather this day to offer our worship,

may we discover a faith like Andrew, the first called Apostle.

Just as he experienced the fullness of your divine presence,

as he encountered Jesus, immediately proclaiming Jesus as Messiah,

may we also be aware of your presence with us here today,

through your holy spirit as we gather to “come and see”.

We pray in your name O God, Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Written by Taylor Croissant, Gatherings 2022/23, p.45. Used with permission.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child” Sylvia

OFFERING

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

OFFERTORY PRAYER

We do offer our whole lives to you O God.

Like Simon Peter and Andrew,

Like Philip and Nathanael,

we want to go to Jesus and discover what you are doing through him.

Accept these our gifts today that they might support the discipleship and discovery of this congregation.

We pray in the name of the one we follow, Jesus our Messiah,

Amen

Written by Kate Gregory Gatherings 2022/3 p.49. Used with permission.

FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART: Where do we look for the divine?

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Old Testament  Isaiah 49:1-7 (Sylvia)

Listen to me, O coastlands;
    pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born;
    while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord
    and my reward with my God.”

And now the Lord says,
    who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
    and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
    and my God has become my strength—
he says,
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
    the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up;
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

New Testament   John 1:29-42  Simon & Andrew become Disciples (Anne)

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because I the Lord of sea & sky was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Chosen One.”[a]

The First Disciples of Jesus

35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed[b]). 42 He brought Simon[c] to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas”[d] (which is translated Peter[e]).

† HYMN: VU #509 “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky”

SERMON: Epiphany – what does it mean?

I have often heard the word Epiphany used by folks both clergy and non.

And the peculiar thing is that most use it for one or the other of its meanings. Rarely both.

the first meaning of “Epiphany’ is that there is a revelation.

A revelation is usually a revealing of something previously un-thought, unknown or unseen.

People often speak of a revelation as a new understanding: a new way to do something or look at things.

The second meaning of “Epiphany” is the recognition of something or someone divine.

So as you can imagine we can use one or the other on their own but unless we specify what we are speaking about it may not be fully correct. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary an epiphany is  a(1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something

There is no mention of the divine but essential nature or meaning certainly tips it in that direction.

So the real meaning of the word requires both – revealing and recognizing the Holy.

What is the season of Epiphany?

Epiphany is the celebration in the Christian church of the revelation that Christ was divine.

Those revelations occur in several spots in the Gospel.

The visit of the Magi and their recognition that Baby Jesus was special/holy/divine.

The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan-when the holy spirit comes down and alights on him.

The wedding at CANA when he changes water into wine and the disciples recognize that he is divine because he could do that miraculous deed.

Epiphany is one of the three principal and oldest festival days of the Christian church (the other two are

Easter and Christmas). Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other Western churches observe the feast on January 6, while some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany on January 19, since their Christmas Eve falls on January 6.

Just as the definition of Epiphany has 2 meanings there is also a sense of 2 participants in the revelation of divinity.

Clearly the revelation involves someone being revealed as holy but also requires receptiveness on the part of the observer.  For instance, John the Baptizer recognizes that Jesus is divine and indeed more important than he himself.

And the disciples recognize that Jesus is divine.

And, in the story of the wedding at Cana, it was the disciples who realized what had happened when Jesus changed the water into wine.

In each instance the people who recognized the divine in Jesus were his followers:

The Magi saw it, John the Baptizer recognized it and the disciples figured it out too! It does seem that these folks were primed to recognize the divine in Jesus.

The Magi were specifically sent to find the holy child.

John the Baptizer was already an ascetic; living a sparse and puritanical life.

When he baptized Jesus he was prepared to be baptized himself. But Jesus said that John needed to baptize him instead.

And the disciples saw in him someone to follow and were watching him and trying to be good and faithful learners of his ways.

They were all present, willing to look and see that Jesus was different.

Is that not the key here?

Similar to a tree falling when no one is around to hear it, the signs of divinity are perhaps hidden from those not present.

But what if we were missing them because we were not paying attention?

What if we simply did not pick up on them because we were not looking?

What, indeed, should we be primed to hear and see? 

One of my mentors spoke on occasion of “God moments” where she saw people helping others.  She said it always filled her with hope when she watched people reaching out to assist others.

She was a minister too- but being a minister is not required to be aware of divine moments. 

Think of what you notice during a normal day and what happens when you see something special happen between people.  

Think of what hap pens when you put someone else’s needs ahead of yours.

Think of what happens when you donate to a cause that doesn’t affect you but you know it matters to someone else.

I think that seeing the divine requires us to be attentive to the connections between our faith and the world. We need to consider the values we hold as Christians, what Jesus taught us to do to those around us.

Feed the hungry, help the needy, treat the sick; these directions are no less important now than in his time.

Our behaviour is necessarily different in some ways however:

Patience is a virtue in traffic. Jesus had no knowledge of honking at slow cars in an intersection.  Or paying it forward at Tim Hortons! Or listening to someone’s story in an uncomfortable place. 

But the personal virtues of patience and kindness are very much linked to his example. As were; compassion for others, sharing food and clothing, teaching important lessons and other gestures of generosity.

I think that the more we do what Jesus did, the more we will be tuned into the divine. Following him made the disciples more aware of his divinity and it will probably help us too.

Amen

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Source of Light,

You call us out of night’s darkness

to live in the radiance of your love.

You have sent Jesus, Sun of Righteousness to illuminate the way.

You have trusted us to be reflectors of your light in all the world.

But forgive us God:

Too often we have chosen shadow rather than the light of day;

Too often we have chosen other stars to follow;

Too often, we have heard the promises of Herod,

and believed them to our peril and the peril of the world.

Forgive us God, and fill us once again with the radiant promise of Epiphany.

Amen

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

† 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

Mission Board Meeting: Thurs. Feb. 9 at 7 pm, which will be by zoom.

ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: Sun. March 26, 2023

(Since Grace United is having their AGM on March 5th, we will have to delay our meeting so that Rev. Andrew Macpherson, DUC’s Supervising Minister, can be with us.)

Annual Reports for 2022 are requested from the following: Minister (Anne), Chair of the Board, Management Team, Trustees, Ministry and Personnel, Worship Team, Junior Church, UCW with financial report, VIBE, Christmas Cookie Sale Fundraiser, Treasurer, Nominating Committee.  They are due on or before Wed. February 1, 2023. 

Please send to dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

Please keep in your prayers: Tracie; Kristen; Mary Lou; Beryl and Murray; Emma J; Margaret S.

CHEER MINISTRY: Linda has taken over this important Ministry from Mary M.  Please call Linda when a church member/family needs to be remembered with a card: thinking of you; get well; special birthday/anniversary wishes, or sympathy.

We thank Mary for her thoughtfulness and caring while she was the Cheer Minister.

STEWARDSHIP SECOND: In order for you to grow closer to God, what do you need to give away?

https://united-church.ca/sites/default/files/2022-12/stewardship-seconds_jan-june-2023.docx

UCC E-ssentials: https://mailchi.mp/united-church/es231220-1051180?e=037f904864


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