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 Michael P. and Coral W. Coral’s reading is from Psalm 100.
Songs of Praise
Join in singing along to HWB 53 “God of the Earth, the Sky, the Sea” (by Samuel Longfellow and Henri F. Hemy), accompanied by Irene S. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. Let’s make a joyful noise to the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth!
God of the earth, the sky, the sea!
Maker of all above, below!
Creation lives and moves in thee,
thy present life through all doth flow.
We give thee thanks, thy name we sing!
Almighty God, our praise we bring.
Thy love is in the sunshine’s glow,
Thy life is in the quick’ning air.
When lightnings flash and stormwinds blow,
There is thy pow’r; thy law is there.
We feel thy calm at evening’s hour,
thy grandeur in the march of night,
and when thy morning breaks in pow’r,
we hear thy word, “Let there be light.”
But higher far, and far more clear,
thee in our spirit we behold;
thine image and thyself are there,
th’indwelling God, proclaimed of old.
Now let’s join together in singing HWB 145 “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (by Frederick W. Faber and Lizzie S. Tourjée), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below.
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good.
there is mercy with the Saviour,
there is healing in his blood
But we make God’s love too narrow
by false limits of our own,
and we magnify its strictness
with a zeal God will not own.
For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind,
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more simple
we should rest upon God’s word,
and our lives would be illumined
by the presence of our Lord.
In this same spirit of praise and thanksgiving for God’s rich mercies, enjoy Linda P. playing this rendition of HWB 100 “Praise Him, Praise Him.”
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
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.
- The families and communities impacted by the shootings in Nova Scotia this past week. May they have the peace and strength of the risen Christ as they grieve and recover from this senseless act of evil.
- Our work collectively as Mennonite Church Canada in International Witness. Pray for the various ministries around the world doing work in church planting, disciple making, peace building, and more. Pray for Jeanette Hanson in her role as Director of International Witness. Pray for Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, our church Witness partners in South Korea.
- Those facing significant personal challenges, both concerns shared 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 follow in the footsteps of our risen Lord Jesus, who “preached peace” and “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:36-39).
Let’s join Michael P. as he leads us in praying “The Lord’s Prayer for All People.” You can simply listen, or you can pray along with the words below.
Our Father in heaven,
in whose image
all people have been created,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
your kingdom without borders,
your will for justice and peace,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
all of us throughout the world,
just what we need,
just when we need it,
grace to give when we have more,
grace to receive when we have less.
Forgive us our sins,
each of us, both us and them,
as we forgive those who sin against us,
every one, neighbour and enemy.
Save us all—but especially the vulnerable—
from the time of trial,
the sufferings of this life,
and deliver us all—but especially the innocent—
from the evil
that plagues our world.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
—not ours, never ours—
now and for ever. Amen.
Let’s continue in a spirit of prayer by singing HWB 353 “Lord, Listen to Your Children” (by Ken Medema), accompanied by Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow along the lyrics below.
Lord, listen to your children praying,
Lord, send your Spirit in this place.
Lord, listen to your children praying,
Send us love, send us power, send us grace!
Our Scripture reading this morning is from Ephesians 2:17-22, read for us by Ian F. As we listen to our Scripture reading, and as we reflect on it together in our children’s focus and meditation, may we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us as a church.
Today we have a special guest speaker, Jeanette Hanson. She is going to talk about how followers of Jesus together are like a banyan tree. You’ll see in the video what one of these trees looks like. As you watch and listen you can colour this picture of a banyan tree.
If you colour the page, we’d like to see it! Parents, take a picture of your child’s coloured page and send it by text or email to Pastor Michael in the next couple of days. Check out the submitted colouring pages from last week on our church Facebook page. (And you can still submit your pages for last week if you wish!)
We are pleased to have Jeanette Hanson sharing with us today. Jeanette is Director of International Witness with Mennonite Church Canada. Her meditation this morning based on our Scripture text is called, “The Banyan Tree.” In it we will also hear from our church’s Witness partners in South Korea, Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park. Special thanks also to Darryl Neustaedter Barg for his work on producing these videos.
Moment of Reflection
Let’s spend a few moments reflecting on our Scripture text and its interpretation among us.
- How have we heard God’s good news to us? for others around us? for our world?
- What will we do this week to live out God’s good news in our lives? in our life together as a community of faith?
Song of Response
Sing along to STJ 72 “One is the Body” (by John Bell), accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the song book or follow the lyrics below.
One is the body and one is the Head,
one is the Spirit by whom we are led;
one God and Father, one faith and one call for all.
Christ who ascended to heaven above
is the same Jesus whose nature is love,
who once descended to bring to this earth new birth.
Gifts have been given well suited to each,
some to be prophets, to pastor or preach,
some, through the Gospel, to challenge, convert and teach.
Called to his service are women and men
so that his body might ever again
witness through worship, through deed and through word
to Christ our Lord.
Michael P. offers this benediction for us as we leave this time of worship together.
Join in singing HWB 322 “For We Are Strangers No More” (by Kenneth I. Morse and Dianne Huffman Morningstar), accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You may use the song book or follow the lyrics below.
For we are strangers no more, but members of one family;
strangers no more, but part of one humanity;
strangers no more, we’re neighbours to each other now;
strangers no more, we’re sisters and we’re brothers now.
Come, walk with me, we’ll praise the Lord together,
as we join song to song and prayer to prayer.
Come, take my hand, and we will work together
by lifting all the burdens we can share.
Where diff’ring cultures meet we’ll serve together.
Where hatred rages we will strive for peace.
Come, take my hand, and we will pray together
that justice come and strife and warfare cease.
There is a love that binds the world together;
a love that seeks the last, the lost, the least.
One day that love will bring us all together
in Christ from south and north, from west and east.
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. Grace and peace to you this week!