Welcome to Worship at Kamloops United Church
The Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 6, 2014
We Gather as People of God
Hymn Sing and Welcome
Centering Music with the Lighting of the Christ and Lenten Candles
and the Procession of the Prayer Box
Call to Worship: (based on Psalm 130)
Wait and watch for God!
Even when we feel in the depths of death and despair?
Wait and watch for God!
Even when life seems like a night that never ends?
Wait and watch for God!
In God there is constant love and kindness.
We will wait and watch with hope.
O Loving God, on this Fifth Sunday in the season of Lent we come before you. As we continue our journey to Jerusalem, help us to walk with Jesus the Christ every step of the way. Open us to the movement of your Spirit, within us and around us, beyond us and yet closer than our very next breath. Help us to know you and to praise your Holy presence this hour and always. Amen.
Singing: More Voices # 30 ‘It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker’
A Lenten Candle Liturgy
Conversations and consolation…a situation without hope. Or is it?
God summons us beyond the here and now.
The redeeming love of God is never beyond reach.
Let us journey through the shadows toward the light.
(a candle is extinguished)
Sung Response: V. U. # 108 ‘Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights’ verse 5
Prayer of Confession
Life-giving God, your creative love and energy surrounds us.
With springtime new life rises up and we praise your world of beauty.
Yet, we are also confronted by death: accidents and disease separate us from loved ones,
natural areas and habitat are harmed by industry and development,
cultures and languages disappear.
We acknowledge the grief and anger that are often part of our loss,
We wrestle with unanswered questions and feelings of despair,
We recognize those times when we give up on faith when life no longer makes sense.
Come, O Spirit….Bring us comfort and courage in the midst of death.
Come, O Spirit…Give us strength to resist despair that undermines life.
Come, O Spirit….as we sing together…
Singing: More Voices # 85 ‘Take, O Take Me As I Am’
An Assurance of God’s Love
My friends, God does not abandon us to death and despair.
Whatever our past, whatever our fears for the future, we are surrounded by God’s compassion and steadfast love. In God we find forgiveness and mercy.
May the Spirit of Christ within you bring you new life.
The Folk of Note Anthem: ‘Give Us A Vision’ by Joseph Martin
We Listen for God’s Living Word
The Book of Ezekiel 37:1-14 ‘The Valley of Dry Bones’
A Dramatic Reading: ‘Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ based on the Gospel of John 11:1-45
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Thanks be to God!
Reflection: ‘L’Chaim – To Life! – Rev. D. Bruce Comrie
We Respond in Faith
Singing: More Voices # 130 ‘Rise Up, Rise Up, Rise Up’ (3x) (prayer box)
Pastoral Prayers followed by the Lord’s Prayer (Voices United # 959)
O Spirit of Life, to you we say, L’Chaim. Dispel our despair. Open us we pray to your wind, breath and spirit…Unbind us and bring us back to life….
O Creator God, we pray for your creation and all that you have entrusted to our care…
O Compassionate Christ, we pray for people around our world who are suffering from war and oppression. Today, we especially pray for the people of Syria. We hold them and many others before you…
O Holy One, we give thanks for the church and today we especially give thanks for Naari Kir and all the youth and the leaders here today. Be with them in their faith and friendship….
O Sustaining Spirit, we give thanks for times of celebration, for the many God-given moments that grace our lives. In all our joys and sorrows we come before you. Today, we pray for those who are ill, for those who are grieving, for those who are going through tough times and for those named through our prayer box…
We offer all our prayers to you in the name of Jesus the Christ who taught us to pray as we sing together….
May the Peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
Doxology: More Voices # 115 ‘Behold, Behold, I Make All Things New’
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication
We Celebrate the Sacrament of Communion
Let’s greet one another:
God be with you!
And also with you!
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God!
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.
Let us pray:
Blessed are you, gracious God,
Creator of light, Giver of all life, Source of love.
Your song of wisdom rang out before the world began;
your ancient love still touches us and stirs within us.
Even when we turn away from you, you keep faith with us.
You send messengers,
to prepare the way through the wilderness of our living,
to guide us in the path of wholeness, to call us to repent.
In Mary, woman of your promise
you showed us courage and faith.
In the fullness of time, you sent us your greatest gift,
Jesus, the Christ, our prince of peace and herald of hope.
So it is that we praise you, singing,
(Voices United # 951 “Holy, Holy, Holy”)
Holy, holy, holy, my heart, my heart adores you!
My heart is glad to say the words: You are holy, God!
Santo, santo, santo. Mi corazon te adora!
Mi corazon te sabe decir: Santo eres Dios!
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, 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, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you, this is the new covenant in my blood. Each time you do this, remember me.”
By remembering Jesus in this way now, we claim our common heritage as we proclaim the mystery of faith…
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 justice and compassion will be the way we live according to the Holy One we seek.
O Holy Spirit, be poured out upon us and these gifts. Unite us and strengthen us to live the resurrected life of Christ in the world.
Praise be to God, the Source of Love!
Praise be to Christ, Love incarnate!
Praise be to the Spirit, Love’s power!
Praise be to God! Amen
My friends, these are the gifts of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!
During the receiving of the elements you are invited to sing from Voices United # 471 ‘Eat this Bread and Never Hunger’ and # 469 ‘We Gather Here.’
At this time, I am going to ask the servers to please come forward.
Come, for all is now prepared!
Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.
Jesus Christ, the Cup of Blessing.
Prayer after Communion
Eternal God, we thank you that you have called your people from east and west, and north and south, to feast at the table of Jesus Christ. Keep us faithful to your will. Go with us to the streets, to our homes, and to our places of labour and leisure- that whether we are gathered or scattered, we may serve with peace in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
We Are Sent Forth to Serve
Hymn: Voices United # 402 ‘We Are One’
Announcements and Celebrations of the KUC Community
Commissioning and Benediction
In the name of the Creator, L’Chaim – to Life!
In the name of the Christ, L’Chaim – to Life!
In the name of the Spirit, L’Chaim – to Life!
Go forth from here to life in all its’ fullness.
Let’s go singing…
Sung Closing: More Voices # 209 ‘Go, Make a Diff’rence’
(Parts of today’s service were adapted from SeasonsFusion Lent/Easter 2014 and Gathering L/E 2014. Used with permission.)