November 8, 2020: “Your Steadfast Love is Better Than Life”

Preparing for Worship

Sketch by Margie H.

In our second Fall worship series we are looking to the ancient prayer book of God’s people, the Psalms, to see what we can learn about prayer, about God, about ourselves, about praying both as individuals and as God’s people together. This is also Peace Sunday, when we reflect in a special way upon God’s call for us to be peacemakers.

As you join in worship this morning, consider lighting a candle to represent God’s presence with you and among us all.

Call to Worship

Elsie W. welcomes us and calls us to worship together:

Songs of Praise

Join in singing STJ 56 Make Me A Channel of Your Peace, accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You may use the song book or just follow the lyrics below.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord.
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, only light.
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving of ourselves that we receive,
and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Let’s continue singing our praise with HWB 12 Come, Let Us All Unite to Sing, accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below. You may notice that this is different than the song listed in the bulletin. That’s because we have not been able to record that song yet.

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

Thank you for your faithful giving over the past months! Please continue this act of worship in support of the church’s ongoing ministries. For online giving, 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:

  • Pray for peace. Pray for those who are dealing with inner turmoil—worries, fears, anger—and need peace within themselves. Pray for those who are dealing with external conflict—old quarrels, family tensions, workplace disputes—and need peace in their relationships. Pray for those who are dealing with violence or threats of violence, and need peace through protection and justice in their homes, communities, and nations.
  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, both directly and indirectly, both locally and around the world. May God bring protection, provision, and healing to those most in need.
  • 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: “May we have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19).

Elsie W. offers this prayer for us today:

Prayer Song

Continue in prayer as we sing STS 121 Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God, accompanied by Lora B., Andrea T., Erin K., Larissa P., Joel K., and Michael P. You can use the song book or follow along below.

Nothing is lost on the breath of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God’s breath is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine,
no flower too brief in its glory,
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
but is counted and told in God’s story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever.
God sees with love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking and finding.

Nothing is lost to the heart of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God’s heart is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fullness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon,
but is gathered and known in its goodness.

Scripture Reading

Our Scripture reading this morning is Psalm 63:1-8, read for us by Elsie W. 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 Todd Parr, produced by Mrs. Shelton’s Read Aloud’s, called “The Peace Book.”

Meditation

Michael P. shares this meditation on our Scripture text for us today, called “Your Steadfast Love is Better Than Life.”

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

Join in singing STJ 49 Rain Down, accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P.  You can use the songbook or follow the lyrics below.

Rain down, rain down, rain down your love on your people.
Rain down, rain down, rain down your love, God of life.

Faithful and true is the word of our God.
All of God’s works are so worthy of trust.
God’s mercy falls on the just and the right;
full of God’s love is the earth.

We who revere and find hope in our God
live in the kindness and joy of God’s wing.
God will protect us from darkness and death;
God will not leave us to starve.

God of creation, we long for your truth;
you are the water of life that we thirst.
Grant that your love and your peace touch our hearts,
all of our hope lies in you.

Benediction

Receive this benediction by Elsie W. as we leave this time of worship together.

Sending Song

Join in singing Now May the Lord of Peace, accompanied by Joel, Erin, Milo, and Jude K.  You can follow the lyrics below.

Now may the Lord of peace
Give to you peace always
In every way, in every place
God is with you.

Graceful birds in the sky
Mighty trees to us cry
Of God’s love and God’s presence with us
And we answer that call
When we care for them all
And reflect back the love that we must

In the days that go by
We are all called to try
To be kind and make choices for peace
Though we sometimes choose wrong
God is with us and will
be with us on the road all along

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: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (Text: Prayer of St. Francis; adapted by Sebastian Temple; Music: Sebastian Temple; arranged by Felipe Blycker J. ; ©1967, 1975, 1980 OCP Publications; arrangement ©1968 OCP Publications. Used with permission); Come, Let Us All Unite to Sing (Howard Kingsbury & Edmund S. Lorenz; public domain); Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God (Text Colin Gibson; Music: Colin Gibson) ©1996 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission); Rain Down (Jaime Cortez © 1992 Jaime Cortez, OCP Publications); Now May the Lord of Peace (©2018, Camps with Meaning, camps@mennochurch.mb.ca, http://www.campswithmeaning.org)
CCLI 491687/ One License A-714686
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