Sunday, April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday Bulletin and Announcements

Dunsford United Church

Sunday, April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Rev. Anne Hepburn

Slideshow: Carol E.

Scripture Reader: Sylvia V.

Ministries of Music: Christena-Lynn E., and Sylvia V.

†= stand as you are able

† GATHERING HYMN: VU #161 “Welcome Happy Morning” (J. Ellerton)

1          Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say;

            hell today is vanquished, heaven is won today:

            come then, True and Faithful, now fulfil your word;

            this is your third morning: rise, O buried Lord!

                        Welcome, happy morning! age to age shall say;

                        hell today is vanquished, heaven is won today!

2          Earth with joyful welcome clothes itself for spring;

            greets with life reviving our returning king:

            flowers in every pasture, leaves on every bough,

            speak of sorrows ended; Jesus triumphs now!  R

3          Author and sustainer, source of life and breath;

            you for our salvation trod the path of death:

Jesus Christ is living, God for evermore!

            Now let all creation hail him and adore.  R

4          Loose our souls imprisoned, bound with Satan’s chain;

            all that now is fallen, raise to life again!

            Show your face in brightness, shine the whole world through;

            hope returns with daybreak, life returns with you.  R

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

We gather as people who follow the light.

Whether we wait for the sun’s rising or light a candle in the night, or experience the light in a loved one’s heart, we seek light by which we may live.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world”.

May His light burn warmly within us and shine brightly out from us for all the world to recognize.

Written by Bob Root, Gatherings 2023, p. 43.  Used with permission.

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

In a garden, in the gloom before dawn we have received a truth for all the ages.

He is not here but has risen.

Christ has risen over death, risen for each one of us today.

Risen in our hearts, risen in our lives.

We proclaim our joy for all the ages.

Hallelujah! Christ has risen!

Written by Gill Le Fevre, Gatherings 2023, p.44.  Used with permission.

† HYMN: VU #173 “Thine is the Glory” (Words: Edmond L. Budry)

1          Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son:

            endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

            Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,

            kept the folded grave-clothes where the body lay.

                        Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son:

                        endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.

2          Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb!

            Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.

            Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,

            for the Lord now liveth: death hath lost its sting.  R

3          No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;

            life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife;

            make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love;

            bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.  R

OPENING PRAYER

Holy One, we gather in your name to celebrate new beginnings.

We give thanks for the abundance of gifts in our midst.

May we use all these gifts wisely and well, that we may witness to your love for the world.

Guide our steps in the way of Jesus, who calls us to be his disciples.

By your spirit that is holy, empower us to live into your realm of justice and peace. Amen

Written by Cindy Randall, Gatherings, 2023, p. 46. Used with permission.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “They Could Not” Sylvia V.

INVITATION TO GIVE:  Let us bring forward the offering.

† HYMN OF DEDICATION:  VU #541 “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” (Words: Thomas Ken)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise God, all creatures high and low;
give thanks to God in love made known: Creator, Word and Spirit, One.

OFFERTORY PRAYER

We are not powerless.   We can do something.

We have been called to make a difference, both here and around the world.

Let us then offer our gifts as one way to offer God’s healing grace to a hurting world. Amen

Written by Beth W. Johnston Gatherings 2023, p. 49.  Used with permission.

STORY AND PRAYERS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

Easter Hats parade

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Acts 10:34-43 Peter’s account of Jesus’ death and Resurrection (Sylvia)

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every people anyone who fears him and practices righteousness[a] is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Gospel of John  20 :1-18  Mary and the Empty Tomb (Anne)

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’s head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed, for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb, 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir,[b] if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[c] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she told them that he had said these things to her. 

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “Alive – Mary Magdalene” Christena-Lynn E.

SERMON: “New Trust in Jesus, New Trust in Us”

A couple of weeks ago and only 2 days after wearing them, I noticed that a new Christmas gift pair of my earrings were missing from the top of my bureau.  This was significant because the cleaning crew that I use had just been there.  I immediately texted the leader who has been cleaning for me for several years now.

She checked with the other two gals and replied saying that they were tidied on top of that same bureau.  I texted back saying that I had looked and she replied asking if maybe the vacuum cleaner swallowed them.  That is a possibility because I had already looked all over and pulled the dresser out from the wall and checked underneath.

It was all very clean- no evidence of the earrings and plenty that the vacuum had done its job.

We have a central vac so told my husband that we should sift through the dust in it when it was time to empty it.

I don’t know how you respond to such situations but I was deeply uncomfortable.

I hate hearing that people are accused of theft when its possible that the homeowner might have forgotten where they put something.

And it’s especially bad because many of the accused are vulnerable whether by socio-economic or immigration status.

So I wrestled with my feelings. Because I KNEW where they had been left. And I have always felt that I could trust these gals. 

Trust is important isn’t it?

I decided to wait and see what turned up next time they were here and to check the central vac when I had someone who could help me.

In our text this morning from the Gospel of John, we heard that early on the morning after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found the stone rolled away from the opening.

She was startled because that was not expected. After the traumatizing events of Friday, she trusted that at the very least, Jesus’ body would be safe in the tomb. So when she found the stone rolled away her sense of certainty must have been seriously shaken. Without even trying to look inside she ran back and told the disciples.

When they ran to the tomb and looked in, they saw that the linens that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body and head were left in the tomb.

Simon Peter and the other disciple left and went back to their lodgings.

It said in the text that the other disciple saw and believed. He did not know that Jesus must rise from the dead but he trusted also that whatever happened was meant to happen.

So they decided to return to bed perhaps- it WAS early- still dark.

But we read that Mary, who had returned to the tomb and garden, stood there crying. At this point she did bend down to look into the tomb and saw the angels there. They asked why she was weeping and she then asked them “where have they put my Lord?”

More evidence of trust here- the angels know what they are there for presumably but they did not appear to the disciples- only to Mary.

And Mary must have trusted them too-she spoke of her Lord to strangers in a hostile city- for Jerusalem had  turned from joyful and celebratory to murderous. How could she trust these strangers or even say the words?

Then we hear that Jesus, unrecognizable in his appearance, called her name.  At first she thought he was the gardener and asked if her knew where the body had been moved.  But turning to his very familiar voice she calls him “Rabbouni”.

Trusting in his voice, she feels safe to address him as “teacher”.

Then he tells her what to do and she leaves, trusting again in what is happening.

Trust is important in our lives.

Relationships depend upon it and fail when trust is broken.

So when I was wrestling with the loss of those earrings it was not about them so much as the fear that my good relationship with the cleaning crew was in jeopardy.

Imagine my surprise last Sunday when I noticed a little silver box on my bureau and shook it. It had been sitting there empty for some time and had been right under my eyes!  There was a rattle and so I opened it to find the missing earrings!!

I was so thrilled to find them safely tucked away,

And more than that I was relieved that the trust I had held was not breached.

I immediately texted the team leader to tell her the news and she replied back quite quickly.

I had the sense that she was stressing about the same issue. How could SHE be trusted when something has gone missing?

Curiously I had noted that there was no instant denial nor any defensiveness- that was a positive clue but, until I found the missing items, I had not reflected on it much.

As we move into Easter Sunday and celebrate the resurrection of Christ, let us be wise enough to trust in the promises made to us.

And then may we be wise enough to trust our relationships and patiently await the outcomes that puzzle us at first.

Hallelujah!!

† HYMN: VU #155 “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” (Words: Lyra Davidica)

1          Jesus Christ is risen today, hallelujah!

Our triumphant holy day, hallelujah!

            Who did once, upon the cross, hallelujah!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Hallelujah!

2          Hymns of praise then let us sing hallelujah! 

Unto Christ, our heavenly King, hallelujah! 

Who endured the cross and grave, hallelujah! 

Sinners to redeem and save. Hallelujah!

3          But the pains which he endured, hallelujah! 

Our salvation have procured; hallelujah! 

Now above the sky he’s King, hallelujah!

Where the angels ever sing. Hallelujah!

4          Sing we to our God above, hallelujah! 

Praise eternal as God’s love; hallelujah!

Praise our God, ye heavenly host, hallelujah! 

Praise the Son and Holy Ghost. Hallelujah!

COMMUNION PRAYER (Prayer D, Celebrate God’s Presence p.252)

God be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift up our hearts in prayer.

Let us give thanks to God.

It is good to give God thanks and praise.

Loving God, source of all.

We thank and praise you with our lips and our lives,

That, having created us and all things through your word,

you welcome our prayer and praise.

For the goodness of creation, and the glory of redemption, we praise you.

For the law of holiness inviting our obedience,

and the call of prophets, rebuking our disobedience, we praise you.

Therefore with all that is seen and unseen, and with all the faithful of every time and place, we join in this hymn of praise and thanksgiving:

Holy holy, holy God,

Power of light and love,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory!

Hosanna through the ages!

Blest is the one who comes to bring your justice to earth!

Loving God, Holy one

We offer you praise and thanksgiving over this bread and cup,

Because in Jesus Christ, your only son,

You have joined yourself forever to us uniting heaven and earth.

Now, therefore, gratefully we remember Jesus’ birth into our humanity.

Baptism for our sin, compassion for our suffering,

Intimacy with our frailty,

Rebuke of our pride, bearing of the cross with its death,

And rising from the tomb by the power of God.

On the night before he died, it was Jesus who took a loaf of bread, gave you thanks, broke it and said

“Take and eat, whenever you do this, remember me.”

Likewise, after supper, he took the cup, saying

“This is the new covenant, remember me.” 

We proclaim Jesus,

Crucified and risen,

our judge and our hope.

Loving God, creative power, blessing your name, we seek your Spirit.

Come to us and bless these gifts of bread and wine,

That they may be for us the body and blood of Christ;

The sign and seal of our forgiveness in him,

And our adoption as the children of God.

As we eat and drink together make us one with Christ and one in Christ,

a sign of his eternal reign in all the world.

This sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving we offer you loving God,

Through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit

one God, forever and ever. 

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

Some notes from the Annual Meeting

2023 Mission and Service Fund Goal: $6,000

Employment and Social Development Canada Grant: On Nov. 1/22, the church applied for a grant to obtain funding to install accessible doors. On March 7th, we were advised that the church had not been awarded any funding. (There were numerous applications.)

There are vacancies on the board. Volunteers are always welcome.

MILK BAG MINISTRY: Would you like to help make milk bag mats?  Come to the church on Wednesdays at 10 AM.  Contact Shirley W to let her know.

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

Please keep in your prayers: Mary Lou; Emma J; Abigail.

STEWARDSHIP SECOND: The stone has been rolled away! Hope is unleashed in the world! Share with abandon!

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

FROM THE UNITED CHURCH

https://mailchi.mp/united-church/es230321-1051808?e=037f904864

E-ssentials: An Easter Message from Moderator Carmen Lansdowne and Mission & Service. (mailchi.mp)

POSTLUDE


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