April 19th, 2020 ~ 10:30 AM ~ Earth Sunday ~ 2nd Sunday of Easter
Leading us today in Worship Minister: Rev. Thérèse Samuel
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader: Phyllis Fleming
PRELUDE Sheep May Safely Graze ~ 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.
CALL TO WORSHIP We are connected. We are one in Spirit. We are different, unique, yet we are one in the body of Christ. We belong to one tree of life. We are one people on one planet, called by God to be caretakers of this earth. Come, let us worship in unity with all creation.
O God, on mountaintops and riverbanks, in city streets and wilderness campgrounds, on islands and peninsulas, headlands and heartlands, people have awakened this morning to new life.
It’s all around us— confirmed by the community and commotion of gathered people, written in the hustle and bustle of birds and animals, in the streams of runoff that tell of the springtime melt for us in this northern place, in the smell of dying vegetation, in the rains that come with regularity for the people in southern and tropical places.
You promise new life for us, but sometimes we have to strain our minds, our hearts, and ourselves to believe, receive, or feel it.
But on this day, O God, it bursts open for us with cries of alleluia.
We are here, O God, and so are you! Once again? No! Still. The mystery of resurrection is once again ours! Praise be to you, Creator God, Great Spirit God, God of Life and Living.
EARTH SUNDAY HYMN Touch the Earth Lightly (VU307)
1. Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently, nourish the life of the world in our care: gift of great wonder, ours to surrender, must for the children tomorrow will bear.
2. We who endanger, who create hunger, agents of death for all creatures that live, we who would foster clouds of disaster, God of our planet, forestall and forgive!
3. Let there be greening, birth from the burning, water that blesses and air that is sweet, health in God’s garden, hope in God’s children, regeneration that peace will complete.
4. God of all living, God of all loving, God of the seedling, the snow and the sun, teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us, using us gently and making us one.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION Ancient One, forgive us for the times we have turned away from you because we did not understand. Forgive us for the times we blamed you when it was our own or humanity’s weakness and greed. Forgive us for responding with our easy answers to creation’s suffering instead of with a compassionate response. Ancient and Loving One, give us hearts and minds of love that we may follow you and care for all of your creation. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE As the sun melts the ice in spring, as blossoms burst forth on dry branches— so God’s warmth heals and transforms the deadness and brokenness within us. In Christ we are a forgiven people! Thanks be to God!
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION As we prepare to listen for what the Bible is saying to us, let us pray: Gracious God, open us to receive anew the bounty of your word. Bless our senses so we too may say, like the disciples of old, “We have experienced Jesus! We know the risen Christ.” Amen.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 16 (VU 738) In you, God, I take refuge. John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to the disciples and to Thomas (NRSV)
Additional Scriptures (included in service themes, not read today): Acts 2 :14a, 22-32 Peter preaches on Pentecost. 1 Peter 1:3-9 Salvation is the outcome of faithfulness. RESPONSE: The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God. TIME OF PREPARATION In silence we prepare to reflect on God’s word.
SERMON “Real Truth vs Fake News”
HYMN Thine Is the Glory (VU 173)
1. Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son: endless is the victory thou over death hast won. Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave clothes where the body lay.
Refrain: Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son: endless is the victory thou over death hast won.
2. Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb! Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom. Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for the Lord now liveth: death hast lost its sting. Refrain.
3. No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life, life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife; make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love; bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. Refrain.
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.
EARTH SUNDAY PRAYERS
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
Receive our gifts, O God: fruits of your gifts of creation, signs of our gratitude, given in faith that you will use them and us to bring healing and joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
OFFERTORY Prelude on the name “Haydn” ~ M. Ravel A single stone placed in the offering plate honours all our gifts.
APRIL BIRTHDAYS Sylvia M (60) / Rafa (1) / Norine
SENDING HYMN The Day of Resurrection (VU 164)
1. The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad, the Passover of gladness, the Passover of God! From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky, our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory.
2. Our hearts be free of evil, that we may see aright the Christ in rays eternal of resurrection light, and, listening to the accents, may hear so calm and plain Christ’s own “All hail!” And, hearing, may raise the victor strain.
3. Now let the heavens be joyful, let earth its song begin, the round world keep high triumph, and all that is therein, let all things seen and unseen their notes of gladness blend, for Christ indeed is risen, our Joy that has no end.
SENDING AND BLESSING
CHORAL AMEN (VU 967) Amen, amen, amen.
POSTLUDE Sonata in E-Flat Major 3rd Mov’t~ J. Haydn All who wish are invited to remain and listen to the postlude.
COFFEE HOUR Join Tea at Two on Thursday via Zoom for community time. Bring your own refreshments!
SOURCES: The following are used with permission
“A New Creed,” The United Church of Canada, General Council 1968, alt. 1998 / Call to Worship: Jani Francis. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2020, p 52 / Opening Prayer: Peter Chynoweth. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2020, p 52-53. / Prayer of Confession: Susan Girard. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2020, p 53 / Words of Assurance from Celebrate God’s Presence, page 197. / Prayer for Illumination: Jani Francis. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2020, p 48 / Earth Sunday Prayer & Offering Prayer: Thérèse Samuel, 2020. / Sending and Blessing: Elaine Bidgood Sveet . From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2020, p 53
HYMNS: “Thine Is the Glory,” Words Edmund Louis Budry 1884; trans. Richard Birch Hoyle 1923. Music: Harmonica Sacra ca 1753; arr. from George Frideric Handel 1747. / “The Day of Resurrection.” Words by John of Damascus ca 750; trans. John Mason Neale 1862. Music by Gesangbuch der Herzogl. Wirtembergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle 1784; alt 1868. / “Touch the Earth Lightly.” Words by Shirley Erena Murray. Music Colin Gibson. Words and music © 1992 Hope Publishing Company. Used with permission One License #608577. / "Protect me, God" (Psalm response) M. Christian T. Strover © 1973 Hope Publishing Company. Used with permission One License #608577.