April 19, 2020: “You show me the path of life”

Welcome!

Ideally, we would gather together in worship, catching up on each other’s lives, being encouraged by each other’s smiles, weeping with each other in our tears, joining our voices in songs of faith and lament and hope and praise, lifting up our prayers to God, hearing God’s voice to us through Scripture and story and thoughtful reflection. However, since we cannot gather in person at this time, let us join together in spirit in this online service of worship.

Call to Worship

Here is the Call to Worship led by Elsie W. Please participate by reading along below as you listen.

Welcome…

Leader: In the darkness and emptiness of much we call life,
the Spirit moves among us,
calling us into new being.

People: We are here to seek light amid the shadows,
fulfillment out of hollowness and despair.

Leader: From separation and bitterness, apathy and hatred,
God calls us to steadfast love and reconciliation.

People: We have come to find healing and peace,
to experience forgiveness, acceptance, and purpose.

Leader: Let us gather in God’s presence,
singing songs of praise and joy with the people of God
in every place and time.

Let us pray…

Songs of Praise

Join in singing along to HWB 1 “What Is This Place” (by Huub Oosterhuis), accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. This is a good reminder that the place where we gather is not as important as the people we are gathering with in the Spirit!

What is this place where we are meeting?
Only a house, the earth its floor,
walls and a roof, sheltering people,
windows for light, an open door.
Yet it becomes a body that lives when we are gathered here,
and know our God is near.

Word from afar, stars that are falling,
sparks that are sown in us like seed.
Names for our God, dreams, signs, and wonders
sent from the past are what we need.
We in this place remember and speak again what we have heard:
God’s free, redeeming Word.

And we accept bread at his table,
broken and shared, a living sign.
Here in this world, dying and living,
we are each other’s bread and wine.
This is the place where we can receive what we need to increase:
God’s justice and God’s peace.

Now let’s join together in singing HWB 12 “Come, Let Us All Unite to Sing” (attr. to Howard Kingsbury), accompanied by Irene S. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. Sing out those harmonies!

Come, let us all unite to sing, God is love.
Let heav’n and earth their praises bring, God is love.
Let ev’ry soul from sin awake,
let ev’ry heart sweet music make,
and sing with us for Jesus’ sake, for God is love.

God is love! (God is love!) God is love! (God is love!)
Come, let us all unite to sing that God is love!

O tell to earth’s remotest bound, God is love.
In Christ we have redemption found, God is love.
Jesus has cast our sins away,
his Spirit turned our night to day,
and now we can rejoice to say that God is love.

How happy is our portion here, God is love.
His promises our spirits cheer, God is love.
He is our sun and shield by day,
our help, our hope, our strength and stay;
he will be with us all the way, our God is love.

Offering

You can continue this act of worship in support of the church’s ongoing ministries even though we are not meeting in person. You can mail a cheque to the church office. You can contact the church office or Randy S. and he will come pick it up. Also, you can donate as a bill payment if you have an Access Credit Union account, either in person at the credit union or online. For online giving in this way, please see the information here.

Community Life & Prayer

Next week is our Mission Sunday. Jeanette Hanson, Interim Director of Mennonite Church Canada Witness, will be sharing a video message with us, including an update on our International Witness partners Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park. We will also have a “Potluck Lite”: those who have set up Zoom (or who wish to by next Sunday) are invited to send an email to Michael, and he will pair you up with another household to share lunch or dessert via Zoom next Sunday. See your email or the bulletin for more info.

For other announcements related to our church community, please see the eBulletin emailed to those on the church email list.

This week in our prayers we especially remember:

  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray for those directly affected, and for all of us indirectly affected in different ways. Pray for wisdom and courage for those in leadership as they make difficult decisions during this time. Pray for our church and our community. May God have mercy upon us.
  • Our Business Administration Committee: Steve K. (chair), Randy & Irene S. (treasurers), Henry F., Kevin T., Curtis W. Pray for them as they oversee the finances and facilities of our church through these times of challenge and change.
  • Those facing significant personal challenges, both concerns share publicly and burdens borne privately. Let us “weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15) and “cast all our burdens upon the Lord, for God cares for us” (1 Pet 5:7).
  • Those with special reasons to rejoice, even in the midst of difficult times. Let us “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom 12:15), and may we all experience bright moments of joy in these uncertain times.
  • Us as a church this ongoing Easter season, that we would mine the Scriptures for words of encouragement to share with others, and for invitations to faith, hope, and love in the way of Jesus. God has “made known to us the path of life” (Ps 16:11; Acts 2:28) through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Let’s join Elsie W. as she leads us in congregational prayer.

Prayer Song

“Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.” Let’s continue in a spirit of prayer by singing HWB 377 “Healer of Our Every Ill” (by Marty Haugen), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow along the lyrics below.

Healer of our ev’ry ill, Light of each tomorrow,
give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

You who know our fears and sadness,
grace us with your peace and gladness.
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts.

In the pain and joy beholding
how your grace is still unfolding,
give us all your vision, God of love.

Give us strength to love each other,
ev’ry sister, ev’ry brother.
Spirit of all kindness, be our guide.

You who know each thought and feeling,
teach us all your way of healing.
Spirit of compassion, fill each heart.

Scripture Reading

Our first Scripture reading this morning is Psalm 16, read for us in the NRSV by Irene S. This is followed by Acts 2:14, 22-32, read by Randy S.

Children’s Focus

Today Pastor Michael is going to talk about how we can read the Bible to be encouraged to trust in God and show Jesus’ love to others. We can also look around us to find examples of people trusting in God and showing Jesus’ love. Enjoy this video of children showing us all how to show kindness and compassion to others. (You might want to turn the volume down for this after listening to other things in our service, and then turn it back up again after watching this video!)

You can be an encouragement to people around us who are helping others. Here is a colouring page saying “thank you” to doctors and nurses and hospital staff; here’s one for grocery store and pharmacy workers; and here’s one for food bank teams like The Hub which uses our church building to deliver food to people who need it. There are others at this website to choose from. Parents or other adults, you can colour one of these also!

If you colour a page, we’d like to see it! Take a picture of your coloured page and send it by text or email to Pastor Michael in the next couple of days. Then consider posting it in your window for others to see, or even sending it to someone you know who is a doctor or nurse or grocery worker or food bank helper!

Meditation

Here is Michael’s meditation on our Scripture texts: “You Show Me the Path of Life.”

The article by K. M. Weiland which Michael cites in his sermon is available here. Thanks to Larry D. for the suggestion! And here are the Bible passages about the “gospel” or “good news/tidings” (same word group in Greek, euangel-) which Michael refers to in his sermon: Isa 40:9-11; 52:7-10; 61:1-4; Mark 1:1, 14-15; Luke 4:16-21; Rom 1:1-5; 1 Cor 1:17-25; 1 Cor 15:1-5; 2 Tim 2:8.

Song of Response

Sing along to HWB 546 “Guide My Feet,” accompanied by Joel, Erin, Milo, and Jude K. You can use the song book or follow the lyrics below. Thanks to Alex M. for the suggestion!

Guide my feet while I run this race (yes, my Lord!)
Guide my feet while I run this race (yes, my Lord!)
Guide my feet while I run this race,
for I don’t want to run this race in vain! (race in vain!)

Hold my hand…

Stand by me…

I’m your child…

Search my heart…

Benediction

Elsie W. offers this benediction for us as we leave this time of worship together.

Sending Song

Join in singing HWB 430 “God Be with You” (by Jeremiah Rankin, Ralph Vaughan Williams), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You may use the song book or follow the lyrics below. God is with us till we meet again!

God be with you till we meet again;
loving counsels guide, uphold you,
may the Shepherd’s care enfold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
unseen wings, protecting, hide you,
daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
when life’s perils thick confound you,
put unfailing arms around you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
smite death’s threat’ning wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.

In the Week Ahead

Check the church website and church Facebook page regularly for resources for staying connected and for spiritual growth during this time. If you want specific info about our Zoom Sharing & Prayer and Drop-in-Bible-Study times, please contact Pastor Michael. Don’t forget to email Michael if you want to participate in next Sunday’s “Potluck Lite” via Zoom. Grace and peace to you this week!

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