Grace United Church Grace United Church
Grace United Church is live
October 11, 2020 Thanksgiving Worship
Phyllis Fleming
Phyllis Fleming
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Service and Hymns
Loading chat...

October 11, 2020 ~ 10:30 am ~ Thanksgiving Sunday

Leading us today in Worship
Lay Leader / Guest Preacher: Phyllis Fleming
Minister: Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Scripture Readers: Heather Dickson, George Dickson    
~ Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics  

PRELUDE  Adagietto          J.S. Bach  

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 Scripture (included in service themes, not read today): Luke 17 :11-19 Ten healed, one returns to offer thanks.    

CALL TO WORSHIP based on Psalm 65 Praise is due to you, O God in all the earth! By your awesome deeds, you answer us; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. You have done many great and wonderful things; you have assured your people of your continued presence. You crown the year with your bounty; our lives overflow with abundance. People of God, gather to hear the glorious deeds of God and the wonders of what God has done. We gather to offer praise and thanksgiving for God’s abundant, unconditional love, mercy, and grace. Let us shout and sing together for joy!  

SINGING: MV 182 Grateful Refrain
Grateful for the life you give us, thankful for your Holy Son, joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of Love. Grateful for the Bread of Heaven, thankful for your Holy Word, joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.  

God-of-All, we have set aside this day of thanksgiving, because we sometimes have difficulty remembering to live our thanks-giving. We sometimes have difficulty remembering to be thanks-giving. So—thank you, for everything! Open our hearts to realize where thanks need to be given. Open our spirits to share the words. Open our lives to be your love. As disciples of Jesus, we ask this. May it be so. Amen.  

HYMN   VU 516 Come, You Thankful People Come
1. Come, you thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest-home! All is safely gathered in, safe before the storms begin; God, our maker, does provide for our needs to be supplied: come to God's own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home!  
2. All the world is God's own field, harvests for God's praise to yield; wheat and weeds together sown, here for joy or sorrow grown; first the blade, and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear: Harvest-giver, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.  
3. For our God, one day, shall come, and shall take this harvest home; from the field shall in that day all offences purge away; giving angels charge at last in the fire the weeds to cast; but the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore.  
4. Even so, God, quickly come to your final harvest-home! Gather all your people in, free from sorrow, free from sin; therefore ever purified, in your presence to abide; come, with all your angels, come, raise the glorious harvest-home.                                                                                   

PRAYER OF CONFESSION You, Desire of All Nations, as we gather this day, our nation celebrates its festival of Thanksgiving. Many will feast greatly; many will be unable to feast. Isn’t there a place at the table for everyone? Once the day was focused on giving thanks to you, yet today is there a place for you at the table? Forgive us for the times we have failed to share the bread of life, in all its forms. Help us to change, to give, to share, that all may know the love you offer and have their hunger filled. Forgive us for the times we have failed to set a place for you; be welcome again at our tables. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

WORDS OF ASSURANCE In opening our souls to God’s nurturing grace, we are freed and reborn. In opening ourselves to Christ’s healing power, we are freed for self-giving. In opening our hearts to the Spirit’s inspiration, we are freed for mission. We are, therefore, blessed by our transformation. Thanks be to God!  

MEMORIAL PRAYER- In memory of Bruce Woodhouse O God before whom the generations rise and pass away; we praise you for all your servants who, having lived this life in faith, now live eternally with you. Especially we thank you for your servant Bruce Woodhouse,  now gone from among us. We praise you for the gift of his life, for all in him that was kind and good, for the grace you gave him that kindled the love of your ways,  and enabled him to serve you faithfully. We thank you that for him death is past and pain ended, and that he has now entered the joy you have prepared, in your eternal love.  Amen.  
MEMORIAL HYMN VU 238 How Great Thou Art, Verses 1 and 4 1. O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder Consider all the works thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed: Refrain Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!   4. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!” Refrain Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!  

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION                                                       
As we prepare to listen for what the Bible is saying to us, let us pray: God of long ago, God of present day, God in whom the future lies: We come seeking a word for the day, a light for our way, and bread for the journey. Fill us with your word and nourish us at your table of grace, so that we can become the people we are called to be. Amen.

NEW TESTAMENT READING 2 Corinthians 9 :6-15 God loves a cheerful giver.

Psalm 65 (VU 782)
Refrain Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion.  
Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; to you shall vows be performed.      You give heed to prayer; to you all mortals shall come. The burden of our sins is too great for us,      but you will purge them away.
Refrain Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion.  
Blessed are the people you choose and bring to dwell in your courts,      We shall be filled with the blessings of your house,      your holy temple. With awesome deeds you answer our prayers for deliveerance, O God our saviour ---      you that are the hope of all the ends of the earth      and of the far-off seas. By your strength you make fast the mountains,      and gird yourself round with power, You still the raging of the seas,      and the roaring of the waves, the tumult of the peoples. Those who dwell at earth's farthest bounds are awed by your wonders;      the gateways of both morning and evening      shout for joy.
Refrain Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion.  
You visit the earth and water it,      you make it very fruitful. The waters of heaven brim over their banks,      providing us with grain,      for so you have prepared the land, drenching its furrows, settling its ridges,      softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with goodness,      and your paths overflow with plenty. The pastures of the wilderness abound with grass,      and the hills are girded with joy. The fields are clothed with sheep;      the valleys are decked with wheat,      so that they shout and sing for joy.
Refrain Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion.  

OLD  TESTAMENT READING Deuteronomy 8 :7-18 God will bring you to a bountiful land.

RESPONSE: The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.  


SERMON “Thanks… for What?”                                                                           

HYMN   VU 227 For the Fruit of All Creation 1. For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God. For the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God. For the ploughing, sowing reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, future needs in earth's safekeeping, thanks be to God.  
2. In the just reward of labour, God's will is done. In the help we give our neighbour, God's will is done. In our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, in the harvests we are sharing, God's will is done.  
3. For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God. For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God. For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us, most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.   We Join God in the World

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   Elizabeth, Countess of Craven 1750-1828

RESPONSE: When I say, For All of life, please respond, we give you thanks.

For all of life, we give you thanks.  

We thank you, God, that we have lived in this great world and known its many joys. For all of life, we give you thanks.   Remembering the song of birds, the strong, sweet scent of hay, and cooling breezes in the secret dusk, the flaming sunset at the close of day. For all of life, we give you thanks.   Remembering the lonely hills, music at night and moonlight on the sea, the beat of waves on the rocky shore, and wild, white spray flung high. For all of life, we give you thanks.   Remembering the love of kin and the support of friends, and all that makes life dear and beautiful; remembering that there has come a little sorrow, and sometime defeat, a little heartache, and the loneliness that comes with parting, and the word “Goodbye.” For all of life, we give you thanks.   Remembering the breaking dawn after dreary hours of pain, the discovery that night’s gloom yields, and morning light breaks through again. For all of life, we give you thanks.   Because of these and other blessings poured unasked upon our heads; because there waits an even richer and more glorious life; and most of all, because your only Son once sacrificed life’s loveliness for us, we thank you, God, that we have lived in this great world and known its many joys. For all of life, we give you thanks.  Amen.  

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 You are generous, God, never holding back your glory, never scrimping on light, saying: “That’s enough for one day”; never cutting short your feast of delicate blessings and small wonders. You are generous, God. You never keep track of sunset’s prodigal scarlet or dawn’s promise that everything is possible with you. You are generous, God, as we wonder what to ask, what to pray, what to give into this immense goodness and unfathomable grace. Bless these gifts we bring. Amen.  
OFFERTORY   Pavane              W. Byrd A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts. Donate online:,  select “Give”  


HYMN   VU 242 Let All Things Now Living
1. Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God our Creator triumphantly raise; who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us, by guiding us on to the end of our days. God's banners are o'er us, pure light goes before us, a pillar of fire shining forth in the night; till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished, as forward we travel from light into Light.  
2. By law God enforces, the stars in their courses and sun in its orbit obediently shine; the hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains, the depths of the ocean proclaim God divine. We, too, should be voicing our love and rejoicing; with glad adoration a song let us raise; till all things living unite in thanksgiving, to God in the highest, hosanna and praise.  

And now we give a final word of thanks: thanks to the One who is Creator and Creating. Be aware of what is around you and know that God is with you, in water, land, air, and sky. Know that God is continually creating within you. Never stop learning about this world that is ours as stewards, that is God’s gift to us and to all of creation. Know this earth as an expression of God’s love and live in gratitude. Amen.  

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  Waltz in A flat   F. Schubert      

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

LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission: - Affirmation of Faith: “A New Creed,” The United Church of Canada, General Council 1968, alt. 1998 - Sermon by Phyllis Fleming, 2020  - Memorial Prayer (p458, alt.); Prayers of the People (p46-47) from  Celebrate God’s Presence - Call to Worship, written by Susan McAllister; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p46 - Opening Prayer, written by Richard Bott; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p46 - Prayer of Confession, written by Ryan McNally; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p47 - Words of Assurance, written by Gord Dunbar; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p40 - Prayer for Illumination, by Beth W Johnston; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p41 - Prayer of Dedication, written by Wendy MacLean; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p47 - Sending, written by Peter Chynoweth; from Gathering, Pentecost 1 2020 p47  

HYMNS and SUNG VERSES - “Come, You Thankful People, Come.” Words: Henry Alford 1844. Music: George Job Elvey 1858. 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.   - “Grateful.” Words and music: Tom Tomaszek, 2003; arr. Sarah Hart and Tom Tomaszek, 2003 Words and music © 2003. Tom Tomaszek. Used by permission, One License #608577     - “How Great Thou Art.”  Words: Carl Gustav Boberg ca 1885. Music Swedish Melody, arr. Stuart K Hine, 1949. English trans. Stuart k. Hine ca 1939. English words © 1953. Tune: © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO. All Canadian rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. Used by permission, One License #608577     - “Let All Things Now Living.”  Words: Katherine K. Davis 1939, alt. Music: Welsh folk melody; desc. Katherine K. Davis 1938 Words and descant © 1939, 1966 E.C. Schirmer music Co. Used by permission, One License #608577     - Psalm response “Praise is Due to You.” Eleanor Daly; © 1994 Eleanor Daley. Permission pending..  

SCRIPTURE PASSAGES Deuteronomy and 2 Corinthians readings from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.  

PRELUDE: Adagietto  ~  J.S. Bach  (Public Domain)
OFFERTORY: Pavane   ~ W. Byrd   (Public Domain)
POSTLUDE: Waltz in A flat  ~  F. Schubert   (Public Domain)