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October 25, 2020 Anniversary Service
The Rev. Thérèse  Samuel
The Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Oct 25, 2020 ~ 10:30am ~ 21st Sunday after Pentecost 140th Anniversary Sunday

Leading us today in Worship
Minister: Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader:  Phyllis Fleming    
~ Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics  

PRELUDE  Moment Musical #6  F. Schubert  

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     Anniversary Sunday.    

CENTERING and INTENTION-SETTING   3 Mindful and Grounding Breaths – Honouring the present, one honouring the past and one in hope for the future. brief silence to set our intention for this time of worship  

CALL TO WORSHIP MV 182 Grateful (refrain only) * SINGING  Grateful (MV 182)
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.  

140 years at 140 Bruce and now Online! Come, let us worship the God who has been with us and who promises to be with us.  

OPENING PRAYER  
God, you have created us for relationship. The ancestors through the ages have been here to point us to you. The apostle Paul’s ministry to the Philippians continues to ground us. Jesus’ ministry to his disciples and curious followers, to the Pharisees and Sadducees, continues to guide us. And Moses’ faithful listening and leading the people to the promised land, continues to inspire us. Our more recent ancestors have been here to point us to you. The faithful people who founded this church and built this building, continue to shelter us in ministry.   The ancestors who transitioned this church from the Methodist denomination to Grace United Church, and the ancestors who closed country churches and merged into Grace and other United Churches continue to show us that not only can change be survived, but with you as our guide our spirits can thrive.   And so in song and prayer, in sharing and reflection, we give you praise and glory. As we listen to your word in scripture. as we reflect on your message to us in the words of scripture and the stories of our church: God of grace and glory, be our strength for the journey, Christ our saviour, be our guide for the way. Spirit of life, draw us together in faith and goodwill. Ground us. Move us, Humble us. Strengthen us. As we connect to the past, as we honour  the present, and as we look to the future, draw us nearer to you. For it is in pleasing you that we find our heart’s desire. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

EPISTLE READING 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
You created us for relationship. Even when separated by social distancing protocols, our need for social connection draws us together. Relationships are a gift from you, O God, but sometimes we let our relationships with one another get in the way of what is truly important. Pleasing people, ourselves and others, is an important part of relationships, but it is only good and right when it is in harmony with what is pleasing to you. Receiving praise from humans at times can guide us, but at other times can lead us astray. The highest praise is a nod of approval from you, our God who shows us right from wrong.    For those times that we seek to please people around us at the expense of pleasing you, forgive us we pray. For the times that we try to make peace by silencing your truth, forgive us, we pray. For the times we try to gain praise by sidestepping your grace, forgive us, we pray. And in a moment of silent prayer, we offer our personal confession.   silent prayer   Grant us your mercy, we pray. Amen.  

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
As often as we turn to God, God sends us grace and peace in the good news of Jesus Christ. Not only are we forgiven, but we are loved beyond measure by a God who seeks us out and calls us in. We are freed to know grace beyond measure and love beyond understanding. We are freed to live in the fullness of goodness. Thanks be to God.    

HYMN VU 602 Blest Be the Tie that Binds
1. Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the unity of heart and mind is like to that above.  
2. Before our Maker's throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.  
3. We share each other's woes, each other's burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.    
4. This glorious hope revives our courage on the way; that we shall live in perfect love in God's eternal day.

OLD TESTAMENT READING Deuteronomy 34:1-12 (NRSV)  

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

TIME OF PREPARATION In the sermon time, our shared task is not to listen to what the preacher has to say, but to listen for what God is saying to us and through us as we reflect on scripture.  Let us pause, and invite the Spirit in silent prayer.  

SERMON “Making It to the Promised Land”                                                                           

HYMN  VU p. 806 O God, Our Help in Ages Past Ps. 90    

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.    

GOSPEL READING  Matthew 22:34-40 (NRSV)  

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE Prayers of the People
This is a responsive prayer: when I say "We celebrate their faithfulness and witness", please respond with "and give you thanks".
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.  
Let us unite our hearts in prayer, let us pray: Eternal God, on this 140th Anniversary Sunday we give thanks for Grace's ancestors in faith. We look back to the early 1850's and remember the Methodists who formed Bethel-Dawns congregation, later known as Bethel.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
We look back to the 1860's and remember the Presbyterians who founded Banks congregation, which voted to become part of the United Church of Canada in 1925 and was part of the Beaver Valley Pastoral Charge formed in 1951.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
We remember with gratitude the seven Methodist congregations which became United Churches and were part of the Beaver Valley Pastoral Charge: Epping, Heathcote, Kimberley, Ravenna, Redwing, Union, and Whites.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
We remember Victoria congregation, which along with Grace congregation made up Thornbury Pastoral Charge in the middle of the last century.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
We remember our ancestors of faith in the other congregations which are part of Grace's heritage: Carmel, Duncan, Hurlburts, Kolapore, and Sandhill.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
We remember all of the faithful members and adherents of Grace who have gone before us in more recent times; whose participation in Grace's activities lives on in our hearts and whose voices we remember.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
But O God, Grace's witness does not end in the past! Today we also give thanks for our current Grace family, who have learned new ways to worship together, pray together, serve together, and be there for each other in this time of pandemic.
We celebrate their faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
With full hearts we pray, O God, that you continue to bless us as we find new ways to be a bold, nurturing, liberal Christian witness in your world.
We celebrate our faithfulness and witness, and give you thanks.
For our faithfulness and witness are a response to your love and faithfulness, O eternal God. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER (Spoken, traditional words, VU 921) And we join together in the prayer that Jesus taught that had been spoken Sunday after Sunday by all of the congregations that we celebrate today:
Our Father…  

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.
VIDEO – Les Beattie, Stewardship & Finance Committee
PRAYER OF DEDICATION OF GIFTS AND SELF
You give all good gifts: all we have and all we are for us and our neighbours to be blessed equally. We offer our gifts of time and talent of care and compassion of materials and money. We gather the gifts of our church and offer them for the good of our neighbours. Use these gifts, and use this church to spread love, the kind of love that brings peace and justice, comfort and hope in our lives, in your church and in your world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
OFFERTORY   Little Prelude in E minor. J.S. Bach
A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts.  

ANNOUNCEMENTS W

HYMN   MV 171 Christ Has No Body Now But Yours  
Refrain Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours. Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.  
1. No hands but yours to heal the wounded world, no hands but yours to soothe all its suffering, no touch but yours to bind the broken hopeof the people of God.
Refrain Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours. Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.  
2. No eyes but yours to see as Christ would see, to find the lost, to gaze with compassion, no eyes but yours to glimpse the holy joy of the city of God.
Refrain Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours. Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.  
3. No feet but yours to journey with the poor, to walk this world with mercy and justice. Yours are the steps to build a lasting peace for the children of God.
Refrain Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours. Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.  
4. Through every gift, give back to those in need: as Christ has blessed, so now be his blessing, with every gift a benediction, be to the people of God.
Refrain Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours. Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.    

BLESSING
Go, as disciples of Christ, rooted in now, grounded in then, and living in hope for when God’s love will be known fully. Go. Love God, love yourself, love your neighbour. And may the love of God in Christ be known in who you are and how you live.  

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  Prelude in B minor, Opus 28 #6   F. Chopin                    

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: - Affirmation of Faith: “A New Creed,” The United Church of Canada, General Council 1968, alt. 1998 - Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Words of Assurance, Sermon, Prayer of Dedication, and Sending written by Thérèse Samuel, 2020  - Prayers of the People written by Phyllis Fleming, 2020.  

HYMNS and SUNG VERSES - “Grateful,” by Tom Tomaszek; © 2003 spiritandsong.com. Used by permission, One License #608577   - “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” Words: John Fawcett 1782, alt. Music: attrib. Johann G. Nägeli 1728; arr. Lowell Mason 1845 - “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” Words: Isaac Watts 1719, alt. Music: attrib. William Croft 1708 - “Christ Has No Body Now but Yours.” Words: Adapted by Stephen C. Warner, 2003, from St. Teresa of Avila. Music: Rick Gunn, 2006 Words copyright 2003, World Library Publications. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Music copyright 2006 by Rick Gunn. Used by permission. Used by permission, One License #608577   - “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 PASSAGES 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.    

Prelude:  Moment Musical #6  F. Schubert
Offertory: Little Prelude in E minor. J.S. Bach
Postlude:  Prelude in B minor, Opus 28 #6   F. Chopin
Public Domain