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March 14, 2021 Sunday Worship
Rev. Leslie Searles
Rev. Leslie Searles
Sunday, March 14, 2021
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March 14th, 2021 ~ 10:30 AM ~ 4th Sunday in Lent

Find this service at www.graceunitedthornbury.ca/live

Leading us today in Worship
Minister: Rev. Leslie Searles
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader and Scripture Reader: Carol Clarke
Soloist: John Thompson           

PRELUDE   
Allemande  J.S. Bach    

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

WELCOME  

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Coffee Hour Please join us via ZOOM for community time. The link was sent in the e-blast.  

CALL TO WORSHIP            
God so loves us …            
that even in the wilderness,
we are not without a guide.            
God so loves us…            
that even in the darkness,
we are not without light.            
God so loves us …            
that even in our stubbornness,

we are not without grace.    

Opening Prayer
Holy One, we come into your presence seeking a refuge from the stresses of our lives. Busyness longs for quietness. Emptiness calls for meaning. Sadness aches for consolation. Deep in our hearts, we long to feel your love reassuring, restoring, and renewing a sense of balance in us, enabling us to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to life. Amen.    

Hymn #374 VU Come and Find the Quiet Centre
Come and find the quiet centre
in the crowded lives we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed;
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace and simply be.  

Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
knows our being, face to face,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we’re shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun.  

In the spirit let us travel,
open to each other’s pain,
let our loves and fears unravel,
celebrate the space we gain:
there’s a place for deepest dreaming,
there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming
there is always room to spare!    

PRAYER OF CONFESSION        
Holy One, in a world that venerates perfection, we hide our flaws. In a world that reveres strength, we hide our weaknesses. In a world that values productivity, we hide our dreams. But nothing is hidden from your sight. Look and see us. And when our faith falters and hope evaporates, come to us. When love is lost and fear takes hold, comfort us. When evil accumulates and worlds collapse, forgive us. When hearts break and dreams shatter, stay with us.  

WORDS OF ASSURANCE The Lord is with us and knows the challenges of our lives. God understands our limitations, believes in our potential, sees past what we try to hide, and restores us to wholeness with redemptive love that transcends our understanding. Grace and peace to you, in the name of the Lord. Amen.        

SCRIPTURE  
Numbers 21:4-9 (NRSV)
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” 
Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.  

Gospel Reading John 3:14-21 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” 

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

MEDITATION  

MUSICAL INTERLUDE
Prelude in e minor   F. Chopin  

OFFERING 
We  honour all the ways we give as we dedicate our offering.  

INVITATION  

PRAYER OF DEDICATION Bless these our offerings, O God. May they help to bring hope where there is despair, comfort where there is fear, freedom where there is oppression, and light where there is darkness. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.  
Donate online:   www.graceunitedthornbury.ca,  select “Give” or contact the office by email: [email protected]    

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE and THE LORD’S PRAYER  

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 
Gnossienne  E. Satie  

HYMN   #333 Love Divine
Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou are all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.  

Come, almighty, to deliver;
let us thy grace receive;
suddenly return and never,
never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee,
without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.  

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee,
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.  

BENEDICTION  

Choral Amen  

POSTLUDE 
Notturno   E Grieg  

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RESOURCES USED: 
LITURGY SOURCES: The following are used with permission:
  Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Words of Assurance,   Prayer of Dedication, Prayers of the People, and Benediction written by Rev.Leslie Searles
HYMNS and SUNG VERSES
- “Come and Find the Quiet Centre”-.Words: Shirley Erena Murray, alt. 1989. Music: attrib. Benjamin Franklin White 1844; harm. Ronald A. Nelson 1978. Words copyright ©1992 Hope Publishing Company. Harmony copyright © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress. One license #608577
- “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling- Words: Charles Wesley 1774. Music: Rowland Huw Prichard ca. 1831. Used by permission One license # 608577
-“Choral Amen” Danish  Used by permission One license #608577
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: “Allemande”   J.S. Bach   
Interlude: “Prelude in e minor”   F. Chopin
Music for Passing the Peace: “Gnossienne”   E. Satie    
Postlude:Notturno” E. Grieg
All in Public Domain.