6th Sunday after Epiphany
WE GATHER AS PEOPLE OF GOD
Quotations for Pondering
“The simplest formula for a fulfilled life is: God + Wisdom + Industry. God is the source of your destiny and purpose; Wisdom is the potential God gives to you to make right choices; your Industry reveals your responsibility to release whatever the God of your purpose introduced to you by your divine thoughts and imagination.” (Israelmore Ayivor – Ghanian author)
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” (Albert Einstein – German physicist)
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” (Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experiences to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” (Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady)
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. (Helen Keller, deaf and blind American author)
* Please stand if you are able.
Hymn Sing and Welcome
Music for Centering, Procession of the Prayer Box and Lighting of the Christ Candle
– solo – Fraser Griffith (Spleen – words Paul Verlaine, music by Guichet)
* Call to Worship: (adapted from Psalm 119: 1-8)
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless and who live with spiritual integrity.
Blessed are those seek God with their whole heart, and follow the way of God, enfolding the world with love and walking on peaceful paths.
God has shown us the way of truth that leads to freedom.
May we reflect God’s light, surrender ourselves into God’s hands, and know inner peace. Let us praise God with grateful hearts and loving spirits.
Let us worship God with our praise, our songs, our words, our actions.
* Opening Prayer
Holy God, we come in worship this day, to hear your word and be equipped for your service. May we hear your expectations of us, be open to the changes you require, and respond in ways that bring life. Choosing life and working together, may we be and become your community of spiritual people who have something special to offer to each other and to the world beyond these walls. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
* Hymn of Praise: VU #224 Sing a Happy Hallelujah
Prayer for Grace
Holy One, you set choices before us, but too often we ignore those choices, or make poor choices. Hear us now as we name choices we have made or are making which are not life giving …Silence…
You call us to accept responsibility for our choices, yet sometimes we opt out of the responsibilities. Hear us now as we name times when we have blamed others, or shirked our responsibilities …Silence …
You call us to look forward, to embrace spiritual growth, to serve God and to work together for the common good. Hear us now as we name how we have lived in the past, avoided spiritual growth and servanthood, or failed to work together …Silence …
You call this community of faith to remain faithful, to move forward even when the future is not clear, to embrace life in all that we do and are. Hear us as we remember how we have failed to be a life-giving congregation to each other and to the world. ….Silence ….
Loving God, you know our shortcomings. Remind us again of what you require of us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Sung: VU# 701 What does the Lord require of you? Men: What does the Lord require of you?
Men: What does the Lord require of you? What does the Lord require of you?
Altos: Justice, kindness,
Walk humbly with your God.
Sopranos: To seek justice, and love kindness, And walk humbly with your God.
Words of Assurance
Friends in Christ, the Holy One, the Source of All, knows our weaknesses, our shortcomings, and our good but failed intentions. God wants us to change, and calls us forward into a new way of being. New life is indeed offered to us. Our task is to accept the divine grace offered, and say “yes! “yes! yes”.
Time for All Ages: George Johnson
Hymn: VU #577 I’ve Got Peace Like a River
Yes indeed! Praise be to God. Amen.
WE LISTEN FOR GOD’S LIVING WORD
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 Through Moses, God tells the people to choose life.
1 Corinthians 3: 1-9 Paul speaks to a divided church, saying all are God’s servants.
Hear to what the Spirit is saying to us, the church. Thanks be to God.
Reflection on the Word: Choose Life
A quiet moment for silent reflection
WE RESPOND IN FAITH
* Hymn: MV #150 Spirit God, Be Our Breath
* Passing of the Peace of Christ
Recognize the Spirit of Christ within us all, and greet one another with that Spirit; recognize it is that Spirit which gives us breath and life, which speaks from our depths. As we pass the Peace of Christ, may God’s Spirit within us greet God’s Spirit in the other.
The Peace of Christ be with you… and also with you.
Our Pastoral Prayers (followed by paraphrase of the prayer of Jesus from the New Zealand Prayer Book – page 916 VU)
Holy God, Divine Source, Giver of Life and Love, we give thanks that you have called us to this place, called us to follow you and to be disciples of Jesus the Christ. May we heed that call in all that we do and are. May we indeed as individuals, as a community of faith, as faithful Christians, choose life and make life-giving decisions. We trust you are with us in our uncertainty, in our hesitation to change, in our doubt about the future. We trust you are with us as we step out to take risks, as we let go of what is familiar, as we fully engage in this process and this path of living the Christian life. Speak to us, push us, prod us, challenge us, invite us, and give us the strength that we may indeed answer with a big yes to life.
Compassionate God, with all the news of the Olympics, much of the world’s trouble has dropped from our radar screen. Yet, we remember the on-going conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Pakistan and other parts of the world. We hold in our hearts and minds the thousands killed, injured, maimed, displaced and grieving as a result of these conflicts. Be with those who suffer and those who perpetuate suffering so they may know your compassion and see more clearly. We think of those in eastern Canada and the US once more battered by severe winter weather that has caused deaths, economic losses, and power failures. We offer thanks that the Olympics in Sochi are proceeding without disruptions or threats. For those athletes injured, we offer healing prayers; for those athletes disappointed by their performance, we offer encouragement; for all athletes, we offer support and gratitude. On the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we offer prayers for the churches and people of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malta.
This day we especially remember Kamloops-Okanagan Presbytery as its clergy and lay delegates meet in Kelowna this weekend. May your Spirit and Wisdom move about and among those present to inform them and guide them. We offer prayers for those who are hurting and in need in our communities and families – those who are ill, grieving, depressed, lonely, fearful, addicted, abused, incarcerated, homeless, and hungry. On the Prayer Cycle of K-O Presbytery, we pray for the congregation of Oliver United Church and their spiritual leader, the Rev. Heather Burton. Too O God, we offer prayers for those named in our hearts and through our prayer box…
Gather all our prayers together Loving God, and receive them in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus who led us in saying a prayer similar to this one:
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be.
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your common wealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Offering
Offering: Bells of Note and Percussionists (Calypso on He Leadeth Me by W. Bradbury; arr by Tammy Waldrop)
* Hymn MV #191 (2x)
What can I do? What can I bring?
What can I say? What can I sing?
I’ll sing with joy. I’ll say a prayer.
I’ll bring my love. I’ll do my share.
* Prayers of Thanksgiving and Dedication
God of abundance, generosity and giving, this day we bring forth our offerings and tithes. What we give here represents our loyalties, our priorities, our commitments, our faith. Receive these offerings, given through our loving spirits. Use them, use us to spread your good news, to celebrate life, to make the ordinary sacred and to bring hope to those beyond these walls. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
WE ARE SENT FORTH IN THE NAME OF GOD
* Hymn: MV #176 Three Things I Promise
* Commissioning (adapted from Prayers to Share by David Sparks)
We have choices before us as we leave this place of worship.
May we choose the life that is joyful and fulfilling.
May we choose the life beyond well-known borders, the life that requires some risk. May we choose the life that seeks the way of peace and reconciliation.
May we choose the life that contributes to the well-being and building-up of this community of faith.
May we choose the life that shares itself with generosity and love. May we choose the life that is lived as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
* Departing Chorus (looking at each other)
Walk with me, I will walk with you.
And build the land that God has planned,
where love shines through.
Sharing in Leadership Today:
Minister: Rev. Dawne Taylor
Sharing their vision: Chuck Anderson, Alan Hodgson, George Johnson, Marcia Julian, MaryAnn
Milobar, Dawne Taylor, Marg Waldon
Time for all Ages: George Johnson
Music: June Routledge and the Bells of Note, Gail Ovington, Syd Griffith, Fraser Griffith; Skye Griffth, Alex Ward
Reader: Marie Allen
With the Children: Nina Johnson