Worship at Kamloops United Church
Proper 14 – Year A August 7, 2011
We Gather as People of God
Meditation for Personal Preparation
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
~ John Wesley
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”
~ Dwight L. Moody
“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
~ John Wesley
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 of the Christ Candle & Procession of our Prayers with Music for Centering:
Call to Worship & Gathering Prayer:
We call upon God‟s many names, in our moments of despair and fear;
And God calls us by name and says, “Come”.
We call upon God‟s many names, in our moments of gratitude and joy;
And God calls us by name and says, “Serve.”
We call upon God‟s many names, in our moments of rage and loneliness;
And God calls us by name and says, “Peace.”
We call upon God‟s many names, in our moments of love and wholeness;
And God calls us by name, and says, “Give.”
Holy One, we have answered your call to step from the comfort and security of our individual lives to be here today in your presence, and in the company of your people. May this time of worship and song, prayer and reflection, communion and wonder, be what we need it to be: an answer to questions; a source of questions; a healing balm to wounds visible and invisible; a push in the right direction; a reconciling, restorative moment in time; an affirmation; a catalyst; a reason for Being; a place to give thanks; a place to leave a heavy burden; a welcome home. May we never lose the capacity, or the will, to call your name or hear your voice and answer. Amen.
Hymn: VU#409 “Morning has Broken”
Prayer for Healing & Renewal:
Source of Love and Life, Creator God, Holy of Holies, we live in a time when admitting we are a person of faith; when admitting we go to church, is judged as foolish, misguided, dangerous, barely tolerable. Discussing the subject of religion is as welcome as talking about politics and colonoscopies over dinner.
Though you ask us not to hide your light; not to deny your presence in our lives, we only talk about you in safe places – and sometimes, not even then. Sometimes, we act as though we are carrying on a love affair that we don‟t want anyone to find out about – you are our secret; to openly talk about sharing a relationship with you would be too risky, too embarrassing, too awkward; especially if shared in the company of those who have never glimpsed your beauty, heard the melody of your voice, felt the healing in your touch, knew the potential and promise of your present and your future. They just wouldn‟t understand. But then, we rarely try to help them understand.
Maybe we don‟t talk about you, out there, outside of our ship of fools, because we just don‟t have the words – give us the words and we‟ll use them. But what if words did come easy, and talking about your love, your glory was a piece of cake? God, we couldn‟t risk being painted with the dreaded „evangelical‟ brush. They already think we‟re out in left field.
Is it enough to speak with our actions, our responses, our attitudes and welcome? Is it enough to speak with our commitment to seek, promote and serve justice with compassion; mercy with love; forgiveness without end; hospitality without strings; honesty without compromise? Maybe this is a good place to start. Holy One, with your help, may we speak with hands, hearts, minds and tongues in equal measure. And where we don‟t measure up, forgive us and let us try again to bring good news to your world. And the people say, Amen.
Sung Response: VU#649 “Walk With Me” – tune Chorus
Walk with me; I will walk with you
and build a land that God has planned
where love shines through.
Walk with Love; let us walk in Light
Come hold my hand, let’s join the band;
sing God’s delight.
Here the good news: the Creator believes in us even when we don‟t believe in God; God is faithful in all ways to us, even when we struggle keeping our commitment to God; God loves us, though we aren‟t feeling it for God, and when we live as though loving others, creation, and even our own selves, is the last thing we want to do; and, thankfully God forgives, even when we have trouble forgiving ourselves, others and God. For this and so much more we say,
Thanks be to God! Amen.
We Listen for God’s Word
Time with the People of God: “Walk, Sink or Swim? You Choose”
Song of Blessing: VU#660 “How Firm a Foundation”
Epistle Reading: Romans 10:5-15
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Response: Thanks be to God!
Reflection: “Shhh…C‟mere! You Got Any Faith?” ~ Rev. Teri Meyer
Hymn of Reflection: MV#30 “It‟s a Song of Praise to the Maker”
We Respond in Faith
Passing of the Peace:
Before we gather around the Sacred table to share a sacred meal, we are urged to be reconciled with one another; that we let go of our burdens, our grudges; that we set aside our misgivings, our fears and hurts, and be at peace with ourselves, with the world, with God and each other. In this moment, we aren‟t just shaking hands, we are transforming hearts.
May the Peace of Christ be with you all…
…And also with you.
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#541 “Praise God From Whom..”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise God, all creatures high and low;
give thanks to God in love made known:
Creator, Word and Spirit, One.
Prayer of Dedication:
Bless, O Holy Love, the gifts we offer today and through the week: our time, skills and talents, prayers, wisdom, love and money, that they be used to feed; to house; to heal; to challenge; to teach and to reach. Bless, O God, this juice and these loaves, that in sharing it with our friends, we feel connected to every generation which risked everything to gather in your name; and connected to every generation that will come after us eager to make real your realm of justice and peace on earth. Amen.
The Great Thanksgiving Prayer:
The Sacred One be with you!
And also with you!
Open your hearts.
We open them to Love.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is good to offer our thanks and praise.
Let us pray:
Ground of Being; Source of Life and of Love;
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer; Mother and Father of us all;
You who cannot be contained in any box, by any name:
From Emptiness and Chaos, you continue to birth new stars, planets, heavenly bodies of such beauty we can‟t even imagine. With artistic essence, with Wisdom‟s brush, life of all shapes and sizes, visible and invisible, came into BEingness. And you gave it all a name:
It was Good!
From dust, from the tiniest little particles of the earth‟s elements, brought together in relationship, tissues and sinews woven together, lovingly shaped, you created humans. You moved over waters, in blood, and breathed into your vision and you gave it all a name:
It was Good!
It was so good, we celebrate with all that is goodness and beauty in the universe singing (VU#951):
Santo, santo, santo. Mi Corazon te adora!
Mi Corazon te sabe decir: Santo eres Dios!
Holy, holy, holy, my heart, my heart adores you!
My heart is glad to say the words: You are Holy, God!
But we humans separated ourselves from your creation. We walked, some ran. We thought we could dream bigger dreams; envision life more beautifully; make the world run more efficiently, produce more of the things only we could benefit from. Like and expanding universe, we pulled ourselves further away from our sacred centre; we pull away from each other. In our departure from your sacred centre, we become more removed even from our own selves.
So you sent us prophets (you still send us prophets): female and male of all ages, of all races and creeds who came to call us back into relationship with you and with each other, in the midst of God`s shining Creation.
But we would not listen.
So Life`s Essence was infused into every cell of a child born into the world that would be the prophet of all prophets; a teacher of all teachers; a healer of all healers; a host of all hosts; a justice-seeker of all who seek justice; a calmer of storms; a rocker of boats and realities. Into the midst of chaos and fear, was born a Guiding Light; a beacon of Hope.
But we would not listen.
Not everyone could see the light. Some refused to look. Yet, despite our worst human efforts: betrayal, jealousy, greed, apathy, deception, threat, violence, execution, that Light still shines, even today; and it will shine tomorrow for those lost in the darkness; in spite of the darkness.
Today, we remember that on the last night he spent with his friends, Jesus took an age-old tradition of his people and transformed it into something new. He took bread, staple food of his land, gave thanks, blessed and broke it, and gave it to those around him saying,
“Take, eat, this is my body, broken for you. Whenever you do this, remember me.”
After supper he took a cup of wine, common drink of his people, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying,
“Drink this, all of you, this is cup of the new covenant. Each time you do this, remember me.”
By remembering Jesus in this way, we claim our common heritage as we proclaim the mystery of faith as we say together…
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
By these signs of bread and wine, we recognize the longing of our hearts for a time when all humanity will be one family – when equitable justice, compassion and unconditional love and respect will be the way we live according to the Holy One we seek.
Prayers of the People and the Lord`s Prayer:
At this time, as we prepare to share in the mystery of your sacred meal, we bring to the table all with whom you would have us share this meal, all those who could not be here with us today – we bring in our hearts the yearnings of the entire creation;
- an end to suffering of all kinds – imposed on others; inflicted upon the earth and all life it sustains; inflicted upon self.
- All those who struggle under extreme weather conditions; natural and unnatural disasters;
- All those who are living with chronic illness and life threatening conditions; who are awaiting surgery; and the families and care professionals who support them;
- All who are lonely; who feel forgotten; who are isolated, imprisoned for any reason;
- All who are surviving rather than living – those who are one pay-cheque, one illness, one mistake away from the street; those who are on the streets; those who must choose between rent and food – rent and a promised outing; those who live or work in abusive conditions.
- All whose faith has been broken; whose experience of `Church` has been wounding rather than healing; marginalizing rather than welcoming; oppressive rather than liberating.
- All who struggle with truth – recognizing it, speaking or living it; who live in denial; who live in made up worlds because reality is sometimes too hard to face;
In this moment, we pray especially for: (-prayers are said for those persons and situations that people have placed in the prayerbox)
And we take this moment to offer the prayers of our hearts to you…All this we ask; all this we give thanks for in the name of our Guiding Light, the Glory of God, who taught us to pray together the prayer we pray now…
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory,
forever and forever, Amen.
Prayer Over the Elements:
Ground of Being, pour out your glory upon us and these gifts. May your loving light, your life giving energy, soak into every cell, every molecule, every atom that we are, so that we, your Body, may be united in Spirit, in vision, in compassion and justice; and filled with your love, your light. And the People Say! Amen
My friends, these are the gifts of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!
Songs During Communion:
MV#202 “Bread for the Journey”
Bread for the journey, food for the way.
Cup of God’s blessing, tomorrow today.
MV#194 “Bread of Life, Feed My Soul”
Prayer after Communion:
Eternal God, we thank you that you have called your people from valleys and mountain tops to gather around your table to share in the mystery; to share in the love; to share your living, dying, rising again. May all of us who have answered your invitation to eat, to drink, to follow and to serve remain committed to establishing your realm on earth; a realm where no one is turned away from the table, the door, the embrace; a realm built upon God’s merciful, equitable justice; and imbued with peace.
Hymn of Thanksgiving: VU#401 “Worship the Lord”
We Are Sent Forth
Commissioning & Benediction:
Having answered the call to be here today; having been fed both body and soul, we go into the world with the name of God upon our lips and the experience of God within our hearts. Let‟s be daring and share it with the world.
Now, may Love bless you and keep you;
May Holy Light shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may Love‟s face turn towards you and give you peace.
Choral Closing: MV#122 “This is the Day”
This is the day that God has made;
we will rejoice and be glad! (x2)
Singing hallelu, singing hallelu, singing hallelu!
We will rejoice and be glad! (x2)
Participating in today’s service:
Rev. Teri Meyer
Reader: Jean Toby