October 11, 2020: “Pursuing Goodness, Beauty, and Truth”

Preparing for Worship

Welcome to our online worship service! We are glad you have joined us. Note that we have resumed in-person services as well. If you would like to join us in person next week, please see the information here.

On this Thanksgiving Sunday we give thanks to God for God’s good gifts to us, given for our provision and enjoyment. God is good! We also conclude our first Fall worship series: “Finding Joy in Community,” reflecting on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. How can we create and nurture Christian community among us as Morden Mennonite Church? How can we find joy in community with each other?

May we (re)discover the joy of the Lord through the Spirit as we worship together in gratitude for God’s overflowing love for us!

Call to Worship

Lawrence S. welcomes us and calls us to worship together:

Songs of Praise

Join in singing or listen along to STS 1 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness, accompanied by Dianne H. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below.

Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light;
praise the One who frees the pris’ners, turning blindness into sight.
Praise the One who preached the gospel, healing ev’ry dread disease,
calming storms and feeding thousands with the very bread of peace.

Praise the One who blessed the children with a strong yet gentle word;
praise the One who drove out demons with a piercing, two-edged sword.
Praise the One who brings cool water to the desert’s burning sand;
from this well comes living water quenching thirst in ev’ry land.

Praise the One true love incarnate: Christ, who suffered in our place;
Jesus died and rose for many that we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness, seeing what our God has done.
Praise the one redeeming glory; praise the One who makes us one.

Let’s continue singing our praise to God with HWB 96 We Plow the Fields and Scatter, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. You may notice that this is different than the song in the bulletin. That’s because we have not yet recorded that song.

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand.
God sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us are sent from heav’n above.
We thank you, Lord, we thank you, Lord, for all your love.

Agatha M.’s summer flowers

You only are the Maker of all things near and far.
You paint the wayside flower, you light the evening star.
The winds and waves obey you, by you the birds are fed;
much more to us, your children, you give our daily bread.

We thank you, then Creator, for all things bright and good,
the seedtime and the harvest, our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer, for all you love imparts,
and what you most would welcome, our humble, thankful hearts.

Offering

Thank you for your faithful giving over the past months! Because of your generosity we as a church have remained in a good position, able to continue our core ministries even through the pandemic. Please continue this act of worship in support of the church’s ongoing ministries even though we are not yet 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

For announcements related to our church community, please see the eBulletin emailed to those on the church email list. You can also stay updated by checking the church Facebook page and this website.

This week in our prayers we especially remember:

  • On this Thanksgiving Weekend, we give thanks to God for the good things God provides for our nourishment and enjoyment. We also know that not all have those good things, and we continue to pray for God to give us “our daily bread”—all of us, all around the world. May our gratitude to God fuel our generosity toward others.
  • Church Council as they lead us in discernment related to the search for a new lead pastor. May they have wisdom and courage as they lead. May we as a congregation have faith and hope as we look to the future and trust in the faithful God to lead us there in love.
  • Those among us facing difficult challenges, and those among us celebrating good things. May each one know God’s gracious presence, and may we show the empathy and compassion of Christ as we “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15).
  • Us as a church, that each day we would seek out “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise”—and set our hearts and minds on these things (Phil 4:8).

Lawrence S. offers this prayer for us today:

Prayer Song

Continue in prayer as we sing HWB 362 Help Us to Help Each Other, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You may use the hymn book or follow along with the lyrics below.

Help us to help each other, Lord,
each other’s load to bear,
that all may live in true accord,
our joys and pains to share.

Help us to build each other up,
your strength within us prove.
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
and fill us with your love.

Together make us free indeed
your life within us show,
and into you, our living Head,
let us in all things grow.

Drawn by the magnet of your love
we find our hearts made new.
Nearer each other let us move,
and nearer still to you.

Scripture Reading

Our Scripture reading this morning is Philippians 4:1-9, read for us by Lawrence S. 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.

Children’s Focus

If you are a kid (or a kid at heart!) you might enjoy this story by Margaret Sutherland and Sonja Lamut, called “Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks.”

Meditation

Michael P. shares this meditation on our Scripture texts for us today, called “Pursuing Beauty, Goodness, and Truth”:

Moment of Reflection

Spend a few moments reflecting on our Scripture text and its interpretation among us. The good news of God has been proclaimed among us this morning.

  • How have you heard God’s good news for you? for others in your life? for our world?
  • What will you do this week to live out God’s good news?

Song of Response

Listen or sing along to HWB 89 For the Beauty of the Earth, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below.

Our 2020 Thanksgiving display – harvest bounty!

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies

Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flow’r,
sun and moon and stars of light

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild

For thy church that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
off’ring up on ev’ry shore
her purse sacrifice of love

Benediction

Receive this benediction offered by Lawrence S. as we leave this time of worship together:

Sending Song

We go with a song of thanksgiving on our lips! Join in singing HWB 86 Now Thank We All Our God, accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. You may notice that this is different than the song in the bulletin. That’s because we have not yet recorded that song.

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices,
who, from our mother’s arms, has bless’d us on our way
with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us,
and keep us safe in grace, and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
the Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven –
the one eternal God, whom earth and heav’n adore,
for thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

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. Grace and peace to you this week!

Songs: Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (Text: Rusty Edwards; © 1987 Hope Publishing Co.; Music: American folk melody, J. Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music); We Plow the Fields and Scatter (Text: Matthias Claudius, “Wir plfügen und wir streuen,” Paul Erdmann’s Fest, 1782; tr. Jane M. Campbell, Garland of Song, 1861; Music: attributed to Johann A. P. Schulz, Lieder für Volksschulen mit Musik, 1800); Help Us to Help Each Other (Text: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1742; revised in Hymns for Today’s Church, 1982; Copyright ©1982 Hope Publishing Co.; Music: Francois H. Barthelemon; adapted by Robert Simpson, A Collection of Original…Sacred Music, 1833); For the Beauty of the Earth (Text: Folliott S. Pierpoint, Lyra Eucharistica, 1864; Music: Conrad Kocher, Stimmen aus dem Reiche Gottes, 1838; adapted by William H. Monk, Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861); Now Thank We All Our God (Text: Martin Rinckart, Jesu Hertz-Buchlein, 1636; tr. Catherine Winkworth, Lyra Germanica, Series II, 1858; Music: Johann Grüger, Praxis Pietatis Melica, 4th ed., 1647; harmonized by Felix Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang, Opos 52, 1840)
CCLI 20348932 / One License A-714686
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