Bulletin and Announcements for August 13, 2023

Dunsford United Church

August 13, 2023

Presider: Carol Cunday, LLWL

†= stand as you are able

WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS

† GATHERING HYMN: VU #396 “Jesus, Stand Among Us”

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE AND THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION CANDLE

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: “When the storms of life are raging,” Jesus calls,

All:  “Come, get out of the boat. Take that step of faith.”
One: “When the world is tossing us like a ship upon the sea, Jesus calls,

All: Over the turbulent waves in our lives “Come, be my disciples.”
One: God stands with you in bright sunshine and deepest storm and Jesus calls, “Come be my disciples.”
All: We respond, “Here I am, Lord.”

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

OPENING PRAYER: Let us join our hearts together in our opening prayer.

INVITATION TO GIVE: 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

STORY AND PRAYERS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART

CHILDREN LEAVE FOR JUNIOR CHURCH

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Epistle Reading: Romans 10:5-15

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[a] But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[g]

Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

† HYMN: VU #675 “Will Your Anchor Hold”

MESSAGE: “Stepping Out of the Boat”

Let us pray,

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight O God, our strength, our rock, our redeemer? AMEN.

Jesus had been healing and teaching around the countryside of Galilee and crowds of people had been following Jesus. They followed him to the lakeside where he was teaching to the crowds in parables throughout the day and when evening came Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the crowd of about five thousand with five loaves and two fish and there were twelve basketfuls left over. 

Immediately after this Jesus sent his disciples out in the boat, to go on ahead of him to the other side of the lake, while he dismissed the crowds and then went up the mountain alone to pray.

The disciples being seasoned fishermen would have known the lake they were going to cross was subjected to sudden and violent storms (even today storms suddenly stir up on the lake and arrive without warning) and it could be dangerous especially crossing at night. But they don’t hesitate or question or show any concern at all when Jesus sent them out into the boat across the lake ahead of him.

As they are sailing out across the lake, suddenly a violent windstorm occurred. The violent wind created huge waves which battered the boat and now they are far from land.

They would have been tired and drained of energy from battling this storm all night, and they probably think they are hallucinating when they suddenly see Jesus, walking on the water towards them in the morning and they are terrified and cried out in fear. Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid, it is I.”

Peter who questioned Jesus, said “if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus replied, “come.”

Peter had the courage and faith to step out of the boat and was walking on the water towards Jesus, then he noticed how strong the wind was, then he began to doubt, he was afraid, and he was beginning to sink. He called out to Jesus, “save me!” and immediately Jesus reached out and lifted him up.

How many of us would have the courage and faith that Peter had, to take that first step, to step out of the boat without knowing what would happen?

As I was reflecting on this scripture passage, I began to think about my oldest daughter, who has felt called to a change in her career path, she has the courage and faith to step out of the boat.

She is a nurse who for the last sixteen years has worked full time at Belleville Hospital in the ICU unit, recovery unit and as an OR nurse. In a couple of weeks, she will go to casual.

She has felt called to step out of the boat and to explore the opportunity to do Northern Outpost Nursing at Cross Lake Native community in northern Manitoba, through the Indigenous Services of Canada.

She will fly out for two weeks and back for two weeks starting in September.

The hiring process took six months and here she is just a couple of weeks from starting this new major change in her career path.

It will not only be a major change in her career but also a major adjustment to how she is used to living, not to mention the weather in the wintertime.

She has listed a mix of emotions that she is feeling, excitement, anticipation, anxiety and nervous, but doubt or being afraid is not one of them. 

I believe she has the same courage and faith as Peter to step out of the boat, without knowing to some degree, how much of a change it will be for her.

I have to say, I was not overly thrilled when she first told me that she was going to do this, and I kept hoping that she would give up with all the red tape, the leaps and hurdles that she had to jump through during the hiring process. I had told a friend that she was going to do this, and they could sense that I was really not ok with it.

But they said to me, she is called to do this! Immediately I felt a sense of relief. Yes, she is called to do this. And like Peter, Jesus reached out to me through a friend and lifted me up, so that I can be excited and happy for her.

I am proud of her for taking this leap of faith, to step out of the boat and to embark on this journey that she feels she is called to do.

How many of us would have the courage and faith, to take that first step, to step out of the boat.

Maybe instead of focusing on the wind, doubting and fear like Peter, we should be focusing on how powerful and present God is through it all, both comforting us in the midst of difficultly and challenging us to remember that Jesus is in our lives, reaching out and lifting us up.

When we realize Jesus is right there with us calming our fears and lifting us up and when we reflect on the storms in our lives that Jesus has already brought us through, we realize that we aren’t going to sink because Jesus is with us lifting us up and saying, “have faith.”

And when we are going through the difficult times in our life and uncertainty and we question and doubt, we will have the courage and faith, to take that first step, to step out of the boat and we will hear Jesus say, “have faith, I am right here with you, you are not alone,” and we will feel Jesus reaching out and lifting us up. May it be so? Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE: Please keep Kristen, Emma, Mary Lou, Linda, Donna B, Diane, Abigail, Elias and the family of the late Patrick C, 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”


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