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August 23, 2020 Worship Service
The Rev. Thérèse  Samuel
The Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Sunday, August 23, 2020
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  Aug. 23, 2020 ~ 10:30 AM ~ 12th Sunday after Pentecost

Leading us today in Worship
Minister: Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader:  Phyllis Fleming  
Readers:       Paul and Marilyn Parkin

~ Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics  

PRELUDE  Kinderstück - F. Mendelssohn  

GREETING (2 Cor 13:14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.  

WELCOME     Additional Scriptures (included in service themes, not read today): Exodus 1 :8-2 :10 The baby Moses is adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”    

CENTERING WORDS and INTENTION-SETTING           
Seek the living God, who rescues and saves us in times of trial. Seek the living God, who renews, transforms, and strengthens us in our hour of need. brief silence to set our intention for this time of worship  

CALL TO WORSHIP 
We step off the streets, away from places of work, shopping malls, billboards, and news broadcasts, to stand before the living God. Our help is in the name of the living God, maker of heaven and earth. We turn away from the world and the patterns of power that too often hurt, trap, and swallow us up. We stand before our helper, the God of mercy, who rescues and renews us. We come to this worship seeking the living God, maker of heaven and earth. We present ourselves to the living God, who is compassionate and merciful, as a living and pleasing sacrifice.  

OPENING PRAYER  
Maker of heaven and earth, we come from different places with our own place on the journey. Some of us have succeeded and found favour. Some of us have failed and seek reassurance. Some of us feel trapped and helpless. Some of us have escaped peril and feel great relief. But no matter what our experience has been, we come here today to meet you in worship. Remind us of your power and mercy. Replenish our courage and vision. Renew our identity as your people. Reinvigorate our holy work in this world, for our help is in your name alone, Holy God, maker of heaven and earth. Amen.  

HYMN   VU 696 Homeless People, Will You Listen
1. "Homeless people, will you listen? I, too, was a refugee. Poor and hungry of my family, I was born in poverty." So speaks Jesus to our sisters, offering love and hope and peace. In this man our God has met us with a love that does not cease.  
2. "Anxious people, can you hear me? I was torn and hurt by fear. Sick and suffering, maimed and wounded, I knew doubt and bitter tear. So speaks Jesus to our brothers, offering love and hope and peace. In this man our God has met us with a love that does not cease.  
3. "Homeless people, will you listen? I was also refugee. Poor and hungry of my family, I was born in poverty." So speaks Jesus to his followers friends of his must learn to give. Life is ours to share with others. We are bound with all who live.  
4. Anxious people, can you hear me? I was torn and hurt by fear. Sick and suffering, maimed and wounded, I knew doubt and bitter tear." So speaks Jesus to his followers, friends of his must learn to give. Life is ours to share with others. We are bound with all who live.  

PRAYER OF CONFESSION God of mercy and grace, it is hard to hold onto hope. We see people handed over as food for the enemies’ teeth, or as prey for the hunters’ traps. Sometimes we are the food and the prey. Sometimes we are the enemy and the hunter. Sometimes we are merely bystanders, too afraid or powerless to act as we should. Forgive us, O God, when we accept things as they are. Maker of heaven and earth, giver of hope, saviour of the distressed, fill our imaginations and our hearts with your splendid vision for our world. Transform and renew our minds, that we may discern what is good and pleasing to you in this world you love so deeply. Amen.      

WORDS OF ASSURANCE Jesus promised that the gates of the underworld would not be able to stand against the Church. Each of us is part of this Church, this body of Christ. Each of us has unique gifts and our own unique calling. Know that through God’s mercies, you are forgiven. Know that God will bless you with new imaginings, new thoughts, new hopes, and new courage, that we too may stand against the gates of the underworld.    

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION                                                        As we prepare to listen for what the Bible is saying to us, let us pray: Holy and living God, you promise that our minds, so easily molded in the ways of our world, can be transformed in your grace, and that our lives may be renewed in this transformation. Open our minds, imaginations, hearts, and wills, that we may be made new as beloved members of your Church. Amen.

SCRIPTURE:            Psalm 124 (VU 848, Refrain 2) If God had not been at our side! Refrain Our help comes from God the maker of heaven and earth.   "If God had not been at our side,"      now let Israel say: "If God had not been at our side when mortals rose up against us,      then they would have swallowed us alive,      when their fury was roused against us. Then the flood would have swept us away and the torrent would have covered us.      Then the raging waters      would have gone right over our heads." Refrain Our help comes from God the maker of heaven and earth.   But praised be God: who has not given us as a prey to their teeth.      We have escaped like a bird      from the hunter's snare;      the snare is broken and we are free. Refrain Our help comes from God the maker of heaven and earth.   Romans 12:1-8 Present yourselves as a living, holy sacrifice to God. (NRSV)  

SERMON “A Time to Be Transformed”                                                                           

HYMN   VU 575 I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me  
1.
I'm gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I'm gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
2.
I'm gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I'm gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!   
3.
I'm gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I'm gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!  
4.
I'm gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime! I'm gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!          We Respond to God’s Grace…  

PROFESSION OF FAITH A New Creed
We are not alone, we live in God’s world.   We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.   We trust in God. We are called to be the Church: to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus,    crucified and risen,    our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.  

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE   VU 910-11

THE LORD’S PRAYER (Spoken, traditional words, VU 921)  

PASSING THE PEACE OF CHRIST The Peace of Christ be with you.          And also with you.  

OFFERING  We honour all the ways we give as we dedicate our offering.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION OF GIFTS AND SELF
O God, maker of heaven and earth, you are our help in the midst of need and danger. Bless our gifts this day, that they may find their way to those who feel hopeless and without resource. May our gifts be a sign of your hope and love, and may the people we help find their way to safety. Amen.
OFFERTORY   Ave, Verum Corpus -  W.A. Mozart
A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts.

ANNOUNCEMENTS Join us by Zoom following this service for:
Coffee Hour- Link sent out by e-blast. Phone me now you need the contact information.  

HYMN   VU 120 O Jesus, I Have Promised  
1. O Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end; remain for ever near me, my Saviour and my friend: I shall not fear the journey if you are by my side, nor wander from the pathway if you will be my guide.  
2. O let me feel you near me: the world is ever near; I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear; my foes are ever near me, around me and within; but, Jesus, then draw nearer and shield my sould from sin.  
3. O let me hear you speaking in accents clear and still, above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will; O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control; now speak, and make me listen, O guardian of my soul.  
4. O Jesus you have promised to all who follow you, that where you are in glory your servant shall be too. And Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end; O give me grace to follow, my Saviour and my friend.  

SENDING
No matter how the world has treated us, whether we are powerful or powerless, God renews our vision and energy, calling us to works of transformation by reflecting God’s love and justice. With God’s power, we will stand against the powers of destruction in our world. With God’s wisdom, let us resist the seductive forces that lead us to shut down and give in. With God’s eye on the powerless, we will cry out on behalf of those caught in the teeth of their enemies. With God’s mercy, let us pull to safety those caught in the raging waters. With God’s justice, we will stand with those who are enslaved and beaten down. For it is none other than Jesus, the Messiah, Son of the Living God, who has built the Church, and the gates of the underworld will never conquer God and God’s Church. Amen and amen.  

SUNG BLESSING Go Now in Peace
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 God 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, * within, around, above. Go now in peace, in faith and in love. Amen, amen, amen.   * alternate words: watching from above  

POSTLUDE Pink & Crimson, from Sketches in Color - R. Starer    

COFFEE HOUR Join us via  Zoom for community time. The Zoom Link was sent in the eblast.  

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LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission:
- Centring Words, Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Words of Assurance, Prayer for Illumination, Invitation to the Peace, Invitation to the Offering, Prayer of Dedication, Sending: by Rebecca Gaudino, from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020, © Abingdon Press. - Affirmation of Faith: “A New Creed,” The United Church of Canada, General Council 1968, alt. 1998  

HYMNS and SUNG VERSES
- Psalm response “Our Help Comes from God.” Music Michael Joncas 1978 Music copyright 1979 G.I.A. Publications, Inc. Used by permission, One License #608577   .- “Homeless People, Will You Listen.” Words: Walter Farquharson 1977 Music: Ron Klusmeier 1977 Words copyright 1977 Walter Farquharson Music copyright 1977 Ron Klusmeier Used by permission, One License #608577   - “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me.” Words: African-American spiritual Music: African-American spiritual, arr. Wendell Whalum Arrangement copyright 1987 Estate of Wendell Whalum Used by permission, One License #608577   - “O Jesus, I Have Promised.” Words: John Ernest Bode ca 1866, alt. Music: James William Elliott 1874. Public Domain. - “Go Now in Peace.” Words by Don Besig and Nancy Price. © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, Inc. Alternate words used with permission. Reproduced with permission, One License, #608577.  

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE

NRSV: Romans 12:1-8 Scripture Passage from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.