Welcome to Worship at Kamloops United Church
Proper 17 – Year A, August 28, 2011
Meditation for Personal Preparation:
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is
devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.
When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be
great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul,
as clemency and readiness to forgive.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
We Gather as People of God
Hymn Sing & Welcome
Life & Work of the KUC Community
Happy Birthday to you; in Jesus be true.
May all of God’s Blessings, descend upon you.
Lighting the Christ Candle & Procession of our Prayers with Music for Centering
Call to Worship & Gathering Prayer:
Gracious and Loving God, we come before you
with hearts and minds open wide.
We have answered your call to gather in community, and as a community,
may we feel the presence of your Spirit.
Sacred Spirit, move us in prayer, in word, in song, in silence.
And in our time together, in our time apart,
let our love be genuine;
may we hold fast to what is good and beautiful;
may our words and actions speak of grace, compassion, courage and hope;
may our dreams be your dreams;
may our prayers be gentle and just;
may our tears and laughter be shared.
Thank you Source of Life, for the willingness and the ability to gather in your name, for your sake, for Christ’s sake, for our sake, for the sake of our neighbour’s and for the sake of your world.
And the people say,…Amen.
Hymn: MV#12 “Come Touch Our Hearts”
Prayer for Healing & Renewal:
Holy One, when we look at our world, big and little picture, it seems so very clear our way is not often your way. You call us to be gentle of spirit; generous of heart; courageous and compassionate in the face of evil, of injustice. You remind us that just because we follow you, doesn’t mean life and love will be any gentler upon our hearts. Even the Child of Light didn’t have an easy time of it. You remind us that, no matter what happens around us, to us, it is our task to humbly love and serve our neighbours and enemies alike; to seek reconciliation; to nurture community; to build up the body and to leave the judgment, the smiting, the vengeance to you.
And that is so hard to do – especially when our egos have been bruised; when we feel that an injustice has been done to us; when we are scared, angry, stressed-out – when our hearts, dear God, our broken.
Too often our words are filled with judgment – self-judgment and judgment of others. Too often our own impatience, our own ignorance, frustrations, laziness, fear and hurt blind us to our own unhealthy or unhelpful contribution to a difficult situation. It is everyone else’s fault – even your fault. Sometimes, our love is imperfect; our generosity conditional; our mercy inconsistent; our participation in the establishment of your realm on earth inadequate at best, antithetical at worst.
God, forgive us. Stretch us. Heal us. Help us to speak the truth in love. Help us to be the bearers of Good News. Help us to be the people you created us, and loved us, and blessed us to be.
And the people say, Amen.
Sung Response: VU#684 “Make Me Channel of Your Peace”
Know that God’s love is more powerful than anything we can build, manufacture, dream up, buy or sell. And it is ours. And God’s love let loose in the world and in our souls can do such much. And no matter who we are, what we’ve done or not done, that love is ours to access and to share, just because God IS. It is never too late to say, “Yes” to God and start fresh – reconciled and made new.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
We Listen for God’s Word
Time with the People of God: “What, Who, How, Where, When, Why…in God’s Name?”
Song of Blessing: MV#161 “I Have Called You By Your Name”
Epistle Reading: Romans 12:9-21
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:21-28
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Response: Thanks be to God!
Reflection: “If We Were In Charge of the World” ~ Rev. Teri Meyer
Hymn of Reflection: VU#678 “For the Healing of the Nations”
We Respond in Faith
Prayers of the People and the Lord`s Prayer (VU#959):
World: Libya, Horn of Africa, Caribbean (hurricane), we pray for our enemies that one day the world knows peace – real peace;
Country: Jack Layton’s family – for folks who will continue to work for justice and equity; for leaders: compassionate; hopeful; courageous; standard bearer for the people – the marginalized, the voiceless.
Faith Community: for the various groups offering ministry within and outside of the congregation; for the folks on Vision 421; for folks within our congregation who are hurting, who are lost; who are preparing for surgery; who are healing body, mind and spirit; for those who are traveling; may we celebrate with those who have cause to be joyful; may we weep with those who are weeping, holding each other in our hearts.
Especially today, we pray for and with: (prayers that have been placed in the prayerbox are shared)
In silence, Holy Light, we give to you our thanks, our burdens, our questions, our love…
…All this we pray in the name of our Guiding Light, the Glory of God, who taught us to pray together the prayer we sing now… (the Lord’s Prayer, VU #959)
Passing of the Peace:
Let us rise as we are able, as sisters and brothers in and with Christ; blessing and being blessed;
together sharing the peace that surpasses all understanding. May the Peace of Christ be with you
…And also with you.
Offering: Let us now prepare the work of our hands for the life of this church and Christ’s church in the world. The offering shall now be received.
Presentation Song: VU#238 “How Great Thou Art” v.1
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee, How great thou art! How great thou art!
Prayer of Dedication:
Loving God, as Children of the Living God, we have received so many blessings: the experience, the love and support of family and friends; joy and peace from Creation’s wonders; the lessons we learn about ourselves, about the world, about you, when we try new things, travel to new places, meet new people, sing new songs; the prayers that have been answered, and even the ones that weren’t answered in the ways we hoped for; the grace you extend to us every moment of everyday.
You give so much to us; you entrust us with so much. You give that we may share your light and love with others. May what we offer today and throughout the week, in your name, for the sake of your world, be blessed. May our financial gifts, our payers, our efforts and intentions, our words, bring you glory; bring hope; bring new life and abiding love. And the people say…Amen!
Hymn of Thanksgiving: VU#399 “God, Whose Love Is *Ever With Us”
We Are Sent Forth
Commissioning & Benediction:
Go into the world, my friends, remembering that
“love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.” ~ Jack Layton, Aug 21/11 – NDP Leader of the Opposition
before he died.
God bless you and keep you;
The Light of Christ shine from within you and all around you;
The Passion of the Spirit infuse you and move you,
now and always…and the people say, Amen.
Choral Closing: VU#298 “When You Walk from Here” (x3)
When you walk from here, when you walk from here,
Walk with justice, walk with mercy, walk with God’s humble care.
Participating in today’s service:
Rev. Teri Meyer
Reader: Sandy Baird
Music: Gordon Britton