Bulletin and Announcements for July 9, 2023
Dunsford United Church
July 9, 2023
Presider: Carol Cunday – LLWL
†= stand as you are able
WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS (Birthdays/Anniversaries, etc.)
(Announcements are done after the Choral Response)
† GATHERING HYMN: “Come and Find the Quiet Center” VU #374
LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE AND THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION CANDLE (Lit by Llew)
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 – Responsive
One: Jesus says, “Come to me,”
All: We come, tired and weary from life’s daily activities
One: Jesus says, “Come to me,”
All: We come carrying burdens of all kinds
One: Jesus invites “Come to me, and find rest,”
All: We come, finding rest for our souls.
One: Come, let us worship.
† HYMN: “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” VU #344
Welcoming and Loving God, we come today, at the beginning of the summer season. This should be a time relaxation and restoration, but it’s been quite a week for some, filled with busyness and exciting activities; for others it has been a long and lonely week. Still others have experienced troubles and frustrations, sorrows and sadness. Throughout all these and at all times, you are with each one of us, giving us strength, calming our spirits and calling each of us to come to you. AMEN
INVITATION TO GIVE: (Kathy or Lois will bring the plate forward and remain until the offertory prayer is said. The plate is place on the Communion table)
Let us bring forward the offering.
† HYMN OF DEDICATION: VU #541 (Words: Thomas Ken)
STORY AND PRAYERS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART
CHILDREN LEAVE FOR JUNIOR CHURCH
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
Epistle Reading: Romans 7:15-25 (Read by Llew)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[b] a slave to the law of sin.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 (Read by Carol)
16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
† HYMN: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” VU #664
MESSAGE: “Come to Me”
Jesus invites the disciples and us “Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” He further invites the disciples and us to learn from him, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
But Jesus isn’t inviting the disciples and us to a life of ease. Following him will be full of risks and challenges, and he has made that abundantly clear.
The last few weeks we have heard about Jesus sending the disciples out with the powers to heal, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, and even raise the dead. Jesus continues to tell them that he is sending them out like sheep into the midst of wolves and Jesus has also prepared the disciples for the possibility that they may not be welcomed every where they go. They will face arrests and beatings, and will be dragged before the governors and kings because of Jesus. In their mission of following him they will face rejection, hatred, threats, name calling, suffering and for some even death. Matthew 10:24-39
This is the world into which Jesus is sending his disciples out into. The risks and challenges are high for the disciples who humbly follow Jesus’ way of love and compassion. The stress, the worries and the burdens they must have felt, would be overwhelming for them.
But Jesus gives them encouragement and hope, Jesus says “come to me all who are tired and weary, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is telling them that he will be with them always and he will help them carry their heavy burdens, and he also say’s “learn from me, my burdens are easy and light. They don’t have to feel like they are alone and doing it all by themselves. Jesus is with them and us always saying “come to me and I will give you rest, for Jesus is gentle and humble at heart.”
It seems stress and or burdens and life goes hand in hand at times. All of us carry heavy burdens of many and various kinds at some point in our lives and at times it can seem like we are carrying the weight of the world around on our shoulders.
We are weighed down with worries, fears and stress at various times in our lives whether it be physical disabilities, when our health situation changes, when we are hurting and it seems that we are all alone, emotional stress can drain us, when we experience the death of a loved one and the burden we carry around with us when this happens is tremendous, when we feel the effects of financial strain, when we feel anxious or depressed, when we are troubled and angered by something that has happened in the world around us.
The burdens, the fears, the worries, the stress we carry around with us can make us tired and weary. And like the disciples, we can be overwhelmed by it, and there are times in our lives when we find it hard to lay down our burdens and we think we can do it all by ourselves.
There is no reason for us to struggle with heavy burdens. God’s word is full of promises to help us in times of trouble. “Don’t be afraid, I am with you.” Genesis 26:24, “I’ll give you strength,” Psalm 28:7, “I’m with you in times of trouble.” Psalm 34:6. These words of hope and encouragement are just what we need to hear, when we are weighed down with worries, fears and stress at various times in our lives.
Jesus doesn’t want us to struggle and carry around the heavy burdens all by our selves, he is calling us to give our burdens, our worries, our fears, and stress to him.
Jesus say’s “Come to me, all that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
I invite you to close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so and imagine for a moment that you are holding a stone. This stone is holding all of your stress, all of your worries, all of your fears, all of your anxiety, all of your burdens, all that feels heavy and weighing you down, all that is making you tired and weary.
Does it feel like it is getting heavier now?
This is what I imagine it is like when we carry our burdens around with us, we are tired and weary, we feel miserable, there is no bounce in our step, we feel overwhelmed, and we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders.
Now, I invite you to imagine offering to Jesus, this stone that is filled with your burdens, your fears, your worries, your stress and anxiety, all that is making you tired and weary, all that feels heavy and weighing you down. Do you feel lighter now? Jesus say’s “come to me, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus isn’t inviting the disciples and us to a life of ease. There will be challenges, there will be risk, and there will be times that we will be overwhelmed, and we feel that our burdens are weighing us down and we are all alone.
But God promises to help us in times of trouble. “Don’t be afraid, I am with you. I’ll give you strength, “I’m with you in times of trouble.”
Jesus gives the disciples then and us now hope and encouragement.
Jesus is telling the disciples and us that he will be with us always and he doesn’t want us to struggle by ourselves carrying our heavy burdens, our fears, our worries, and our stress. Jesus is with us always saying “come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” for Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light.”
When we hand over our burdens, our fears and our worries that weigh us down to Jesus then we can receive the love, the joy, the hope, and the rest we need, and there will be a spring in our step as we humbly follow Jesus. AMEN.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE: Please keep Kristen, Emma, Mary Lou, Linda, Donna, Patrick and Abigail and family, and CL’s Dad, Bill, in your prayers.
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
WE ARE SENT OUT IN FAITH TO SERVE
COMMISSIONING AND BLESSING
† CHORAL RESPONSE: “Go Now in Peace”
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Any from the congregation?
STEWARDSHIP SECOND: Good stewardship is about caring for and sharing the resources God has provided. Good stewardship nourishes communities and in turn nourishes our spiritual health.
DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH
Office Hours: Wed. Office 9-5 † Tel: 705-793-2511