February 14, 2021 ~ 10:30 AM ~ Transfiguration Sunday
Find this service at www.graceunitedthornbury.ca/live
Leading us today in Worship
Lay Leader and Scripture Reader: Margaret Tirpkoff
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Guest Preacher: Phyllis Fleming
~ Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics
Excerpts from “Water Music” G.F. Handel
(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.
SUNG VERSE VU 82 A Light is Gleaming (refrain only)
A light is gleaming, spreading its arms throughout the night, living in the light. Come share its gladness, God’s radiant love is burning bright, living in the light.
“In the brightness God has given,” we worship.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Who is Jesus for us? The continuation of the covenant. The promise of something new. The presence of God’s love. Who are we for him? The continuation of the covenant. The promise of something new. The presence of God’s love. In God’s love— he was changed, transfigured, and transformed. In God’s love— we are changed, given hope, made new. As people changed and changing, as disciples of Christ, as followers of Jesus’ Way— We worship God!
God of power and wonder, we are awestruck by the glory of your presence. We rejoice at what we can see; we marvel at what we cannot see. You dazzle us with your brightness; you overshadow us as with a great cloud. Loving, protecting, challenging, nurturing, you strengthen and transform us. May we love and serve you, in all that we are and do. Glory be to you. Amen.
HYMN Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies (VU 336)
1.Christ whose glory fills the skies, Christ the true, the only light, sun of righteousness, arise, triumph o'er the shades of night. Dayspring from on high, be near; daystar, in my heart appear.
2.Dark and cheerless is the morn unaccompanied by thee; joyless is the day's return, till thy mercy's beams I see, till they inward light impart, glad my eyes and warm my heart.
3.Visit then this soul of mine, pierce the gloom of sin and grief; fill me, radiancy divine, scatter all my unbelief; more and more thyself display, shining to the perfect day.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
To love you, to love one another, yes, even to love ourselves. This sounds so simple, but it is not—it is very hard, O God! Help us to realize that only when we know and receive and live in your love can we do what you’ve asked. Forgive our feeble attempts at loving, relying only on our own strength. Fill us with your love! Thank you for your love that never runs out, your love that never fails. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
When we gather with a good heart, seeking to follow the way of love, God is with us. We may not always get it right, but God’s love never misses. Know that God’s love lives deep within you and blesses you for the life to which you are called. Thanks be to God!
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
As we prepare to listen for what the Bible is saying to us, let us pray: Creator, we pray, as we ponder your word, bless us with your wisdom and grace that we may join your Spirit’s dance, and be moved to live in the way of your Christ. Amen.
2 Kings 2:1–12 Elijah is taken up into heaven.
2:1 Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2:2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel. 2:3 The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?" And he said, "Yes, I know; keep silent." 2:4 Elijah said to him, "Elisha, stay here; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho." But he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they came to Jericho. 2:5 The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?" And he answered, "Yes, I know; be silent." 2:6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." But he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on. 2:7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 2:8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. 2:9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you." Elisha said, "Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit." 2:10 He responded, "You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not." 2:11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 2:12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, "Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Psalm 50 (VU 775) God summons the earth.
Refrain The mighty one, God the Sovereign, speaks and summons the earth.
God, the Almighty, has spoken; and summoned the world from the rising of the sun to its setting. God shines out from Zion, a city perfect in beauty. Our God appears, and will not keep silence.
Refrain The mighty one, God the Sovereign, speaks and summons the earth.
Before you, God, runs a consuming fire, and a mighty tempest rages about you. You call on the heavens above, and on the earth below, to witness the judgment of your people: "Gather my people before me, the people who made covenant with me by sacrifice." The heavens proclaim your justice, for you yourself are judge.
Refrain The mighty one, God the Sovereign, speaks and summons the earth.
Mark 9:2–9 The transfiguration of Jesus.
9:2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 9:3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 9:4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 9:5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 9:6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 9:7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" 9:8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. 9:9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
RESPONSE: The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
SERMON “To build, or not to build?”
HYMN We Have Come at Christ's Own Bidding (VU 104)
1. We have come at Christ's own bidding to this high and holy place, where we wait with hope and longing for some token of God's grace. Here we pray for new assurance that our faith is not in vain, searching like those first disciples for a sign both clear and plain.
2. Light breaks in upon our darkness; splendour bathes the flesh-joined Word; Moses and Elijah marvel as the heavenly voice is heard. Eyes and hearts behold with wonder how the Law and Prophets meet: Christ, with garments drenched in brightness, stands transfigured and complete.
3. Strengthened by this glimpse of glory, fearful lest our faith decline, we like Peter find it tempting to remain and build a shrine. But true worship gives us courage to proclaim what we profess, that our daily lives may prove us people of the God we bless.
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 God, whose glory the heavens are telling, we praise you for light leaping across northern skies and for the joys of blade upon ice, ski upon snow, fire in the hearth, and friends for celebration. We praise you also for your continuing presence in a world where wealth has so much say, and the wicked prosper, and relationships go sour, and hearts and dreams are broken. In laughter and tears alike we praise you. We pray: for those who make decisions about the resources of the earth, that we may use your gifts responsibly; for those who work on the land and sea, in city and in industry, that all may enjoy the fruits of their labours and marvel at your creation; for artists, scientists, and visionaries, that through their work we may see creation afresh. (silence)
We thank you for giving us life; for all who enrich our experience. We pray: for all who through their own or others’ actions are deprived of fullness of life; for prisoners, refugees, those differently able, and all who are sick; for those in politics, medical science, social and relief work, and for your Church; for all who seek to bring life to others. (silence)
We thank you that you have called us to celebrate your creation. Give us reverence for life in your world. We thank you for your redeeming love; may your Word and Sacrament strengthen us to love as you love us. (silence)
God, our Creator, bring us new life. Jesus, Redeemer, renew us. Holy Spirit, strengthen and guide us. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER (Spoken, traditional words, VU 921)
As a child turns to a loving caregiver who watches over them, we turn in prayer to you, O God, who are our heavenly parent, our mother, Our Father, who art in Heaven…
PASSING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
The Peace of Christ be with you. And also with you. Think of one person with whom you would like to share the peace of Christ. You can also share the peace by typing in the chat box.
MUSIC for PASSING the PEACE Clair de Lune C. Debussy
We honour all the ways we give as we dedicate our offering.
INVITATION TO OFFERING
With an offering stone to honour all the ways we give as we dedicate our offering let us pray:
PRAYER OF DEDICATION OF GIFTS AND SELF
Mysterious God, we are transformed by the awe and delight of encountering you. We are radiant as we offer our gifts of time, talent, and treasure. May we always be filled with amazement as we commit ourselves to sharing our gifts. We give in the name of the transfigured Christ. Amen.
A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts.
Donate online: www.graceunitedthornbury.ca, select “Give” or contact the office by email: [email protected]
Join us by Zoom following this service for Coffee Hour (link sent out by e-blast).
2nd Official Announcement re Annual Congregational Meeting, Feb 28 2021
HYMN Jesus Bids Us Shine (VU 585)
1. Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light, like a little candle burning in the night. In this world is darkness, so let us shine, you in your small corner, and I in mine.
2. Jesus bids us shine first of all for him; well he sees and knows it if our light grows dim: Jesus walks beside us to help us shine, you in your small corner, and I in mine.
3. Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around; many kinds of darkness in the world are found: sin, and want and sorrow; so we must shine, you in your small corner, and I in mine.
BENEDICTION/BLESSING: Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
SUNG BLESSING Go, Make a Diff'rence (MV 209, chorus)
Go, make a diff'rence. We can make a difference. Go make a diff'rence in the world. Go, make a diff'rence. We can make a difference. Go make a diff'rence in the world. In response to congregation feedback, the Worship Committee has decided that, a sending or blessing other than Go Now in Peace will be sung one Sunday a Month.
POSTLUDE: Gigue from “English Suite” #3 J.S. Bach
Join us via Zoom for community time. The Zoom Link was sent in the eblast.
Video and Audio recording : John Hunter and Orleen Anderson
RESOURCES USED: LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission: - Prayer for Illumination written by Thérèse Samuel, 2020 - Affirmation of Faith: “A New Creed,” The United Church of Canada, General Council 1968, alt. 1998 - Opening Prayer, from Celebrate God’s Presence page 126 - Prayers of the People, from Celebrate God’s Presence pages 58 & 59 - Call to Worship, written by Richard Bott, Vancouver, B.C.; from Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2020-2021 - Prayer of Confession, written by Mavis Peddle Peters, St. Andrew's U.C.m Esterhazy, SK; from Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2020-2021 - Words of Assurance, written by Bob Root, Peterborough, Ont.; from Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2020-2021 - Prayer of Dedication, written by Laura Turnbull, Penticton, B.C.; from Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2020-2021
HYMNS and SUNG VERSES - Psalm response: Eleanor Daley; © 1994 Eleanor Daley - “A Light Is Gleaming.” Words: Linnea Good 1992 Music LIVING IN THE LIGHT: Linnea Good 1992 Words and music copyright 1992 Borealis Music Used by permission, One License #608577 - “Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies.” words by Charles Wesley 1740, alt; music by Conrad Kocher 1838, adapted by William H. Monk 1861; both Public Domain - “We Have Come at Christ's Own Bidding.” words by Carl P. Daw, Jr.; © 1988 Hope Publishing Company; music by Cyril Vincent Taylor 1941, © 1942 (renewl) Hope Publishing Company; Used by permission, One License #608577 - “Jesus Bids Us Shine.” words by Susan Warner 1868, alt.; music by Edwin O. Excell; both Public Domain - “Go Make a Diff’rence,” by Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek © 1997 spiritandsong.com. Used by permission, One License, #608577. Scripture Passages 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.