Bulletin and Announcements for June 25, 2023

Dunsford United Church

Sunday June 25, 2023 – Pride Sunday

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Rev. Anne Hepburn

†= stand as you are able

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS: Any birthdays or anniversaries?

Announcements are done after the Choral Response

† GATHERING HYMN: VU#282 “Long Before the Night”

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE AND THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION CANDLE

As we light the candles we remember all who felt unaccepted in church for centuries due to their sexual orientation.  May we in lighting these candles demonstrate a welcome and acceptance to all.  Amen 

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 we are.  We acknowledge 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 are an amazing, talented, fabulous, diverse group of people!

Together we bring many skills and gifts.  Praise God!

We are one body in Christ, beloved and blessed.

God has made each one of us unique and special, empowering us to enhance the world with our presence.

In faithfulness, let us offer ourselves during this time of worship.

We worship, praising God. Alleluia!

Written by Laura Turnbull  Gatherings 2023, p. 32. Used with permission.

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

OPENING PRAYER (unison)

Loving God, you teach us to love outrageously.

With the fulness of our being, we seek to live mercy.

Encourage us to include all brothers, sisters and siblings as your beloved.

May our love be all encompassing.

We commit ourselves to your radical way of devotion. Amen.

Written by Laura Turnbull Gatherings 2023 p. 32.  Used with permission.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “How Long Has it Been” Sylvia Van Belle with accompaniment by Llew Sheppard

INVITATION TO OFFERING: Let us bring forward the offering.

† HYMN OF DEDICATION:  VU #541 (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

Generous God whose love knows no boundaries work in us to remove the limits of our love.

Bless this offering that it may bring healing to those who have been repelled as untouchable, rejected as undeserving, and dismissed as incomprehensible.

Expand our love and our offering so that others may experience your love in the world and we may serve you in our lives. Amen

STORY AND PRAYERS FOR THE YOUNG AND THE YOUNG AT HEART

What is it like to feel left out?

Children leave for Junior Church

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Genesis 21:8-21 Hagar and Ishmael sent away (Read by Myrna)

The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.[a] 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. 13 As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Matthew 10:24-39  Discipleship; lose your life to find it. (Read by Anne)

24 “A disciple is not above the teacher nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

Whom to Fear

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[a] 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 “Everyone, therefore, who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword.

35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

† HYMN: MV #161 “I Have Called You By Your Name”

SERMON: Pride Sunday

SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

The Holy One be with you.

And also with you.

Open your hearts to the One who is Love.

We open our hearts to you, O God.

Let us give thanks to God, our Creator.

For the courage of the Holy that lives in us, we give thanks.

Bold and Beloved One, throughout history you have revealed yourself to us in ways that surprise and disrupt. You shocked the world when you came to be with us as a vulnerable baby born into a family fleeing political persecution.

Though the scandal of your embodiment in Jesus led to crucifixion, still your Spirit of New Life is birthed anew among the marginalized.

You live among us today:

In the lives of black trans women whose experiences of violence are dismissed and ignored.

Among bisexual people living with HIV/AIDS.

As babies born into the care of lesbian women.

You wander school halls as trans children and navigate the streets as queer couples walking hand-in-hand.

You come to us as LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit youth with no home.

You are embodied by Two-Spirit people, still fighting against the impacts of colonization, erasure, and stolen land.

At times, we are offended by your self-expression. You take on flesh in people, places, and ideas we have been taught to fear or despise. And so we struggle. Our hearts harden. Our hospitality recoils.

But still, your love persists. Through beauty, compassion, and truth, you lure us into laying down our need to control. You move us. Free us. Embrace us.

By your grace, we are brought into the sacred labours of justice and transformation. We become free in Christ to reject all evil and oppression.

Like those who gathered with Jesus on the night of his arrest, we come in need of grace. After feasting with his companions, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to all of them and said:

“This is my body which is given for you.

Take, eat, and remember me.”

After the supper, he did the same with the cup, saying:

“This is a symbol of the new covenant. Drink in remembrance of me.”

In remembering the life of Jesus, we remember what he showed us:

The love of God is public.

The love of God is intentional.

The love of God is explicit.

And so we pray, pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup, O God. Through these gifts, open our hearts to encounters with Christ in the strange and the ordinary. May the bread of life and the cup of blessing strengthen us in our courage to live as Jesus lived. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE: Please keep Kristen, Emma, Mary Lou, Linda, Donna B, Patrick and Abigail C and family, and CL’s Dad, Bill, in your prayers.

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

Let us go from here to proclaim the good news:

God takes on flesh in the strange and surprising.

Love liberates from the margins.

Together, we have what we need to resist evil and oppression.

With a renewed commitment to solidarity with God and all LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit people, may the Spirit lead us from this place with peace.

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

STEWARDSHIP SECOND: Our gifts are part of God’s answer to those who cry out in distress.

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

FROM THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

Embracing the Spirit: Renewal at Cowan Heights United, The Curiosity Sessions—Words and Music, and more! 🎶 (mailchi.mp)

E-ssentials: Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, Advocating for Refugees, and more! (mailchi.mp)

POSTLUDE


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