“Be Still”: A video message from Pastor Michael

It has been two months now since we last gathered together in person, and it seems we are a ways away yet from gathering in person again. It has been a strange two months. Maybe you feel like all you’ve done is “be still”! But God calls us to a different kind of “stillness,” a yieldedness to the peaceful presence of God and the lifegiving movement of God’s Spirit.

Michael leads us in a prayerful reflection on Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Thanks to Lawrence S. and Agatha M. for the prompts!

Here is the audio of the song on its own:

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Accessing the Church Library

We have some good news for the readers among us: the church library is open for business!

If you’d like to come in (or send someone) to check out books from the library, here is the protocol:

  • This general rule still applies: please do not come by the church if you have a chest cough or fever, or if you’ve been in contact recently with someone who has those symptoms or who has recently traveled out of province. For a fuller diagnostic tool check out Manitoba’s online screening tool here.
  • Please come by during Robyn’s office hours (Tuesday-Friday, 8am-1pm).
  • The front doors remain locked; please wait at the front door for Robyn to let you in.
  • Only one person is allowed in the church library at a time.
  • Please wash your hands/use sanitizer both before you go into the library and then again after you come out. You can wear a mask if you have one.

The self-check out process is the same as it usually is: sign your name in the card in the book, leave the card in the box, take a due date card from the pile to put in the book. The books out on tables are available for checking out – those are pastor recommendations.

And just so you know, books being checked in are wiped down before going back out. Bathrooms and most touched surfaces in the church are being disinfected.

We’re glad to open up the library in this way, even if it’s still not the same as usual! If you have questions about this or would like some assistance in getting books, please let us know.

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May 10, 2020: “You are forgiven”

Welcome!

Click on the video below for a welcome message from Pastor Michael.

Call to Worship

Please follow along below as Larissa P. leads us in the call to worship based on Psalm 103.

Leader: Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless God’s holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and do not forget all God’s benefits—

All: who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,

Leader: who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

All: who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Leader: The LORD works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.

All: The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Leader: God does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.

All: For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is God’s steadfast love toward those who fear God;

Leader: as far as the east is from the west,
so far God removes our transgressions from us.
As a mother has compassion for her children,
so the LORD has compassion for those who fear God.

All: The steadfast love of God is from everlasting to everlasting!

Songs of Praise

Join in singing HWB 26 Holy Spirit, Come with Power (by Anne Neufeld Rupp, B. F. White), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below.

Holy Spirit, come with power, breathe into our aching night.
We expect you this glad hour, waiting for your strength and light.
We are fearful, we are ailing, we are weak and selfish too.
Break upon your congregation, give us vigour, life a new.

Holy Spirit, come with fire, burn us with your presence new.
Let us as one mighty choir sing our hymn of praise to you.
Burn away our wasted sadness and enflame us with your love.
Burst upon your congregation, give us gladness from above.

Holy Spirit, bring your message, burn and breathe each word anew
deep into our tired living till we strive your work to do.
Teach us love and trusting kindness, lend our hands to those who hurt.
Breathe upon your congregation and inspire us with your word.

Let’s continue in singing with HWB 89 For the Beauty of the Earth (by Folliott S. Pierpoint, Conrad Kocher), accompanied by Linda P. and Michael P. You can use the hymn book or follow the lyrics below.

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:

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

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:

  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray for those directly affected, and for all of us indirectly affected in different ways. Pray that we would have patience as restrictions are being phased out. Pray for our church and our community. Pray for our country and our world. May God have mercy upon us.
  • Those among us who reside in personal care homes. We think especially of those in Tabor Home, Homestead South, and Salem Home, who are strictly isolated. Pray for them, for their health and peace of mind. Pray for care home staff as they look after them. Pray for families unable to visit them or care for them.
  • Those facing significant personal challenges, both concerns shared publicly and burdens borne privately. Let us “always persevere in supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18).
  • Those with special reasons to rejoice, even in the midst of difficult times. Let us “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16-18).
  • Us as a church, that we who wrestle with shame and guilt would fully fathom what it means to be forgiven by God’s grace, and that we would be eager show that same grace and forgiveness to others who are shackled by shame and gripped by guilt. To paraphrase Jesus: “I have come not for the self-righteous but for those who know they are sinners” (Mark 2:17).

Larissa P. offers this Mother’s Day prayer for us, written by Carol Penner:

Prayer Song

Listen to Calm Me, Lord, played by Adalynne, Matthew, and Michael P. Feel free to sing along in STS 45 if you wish!

Scripture Reading

Our Scripture reading this morning is from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, read for us by Sara L. 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

Andrea T. shares this story for our children’s time. If there are children in your household, gather them round to listen! As you listen, and as the service continues, you might want to colour one of these pages: “You are loved,” “Jesus teaches me to forgive.”  If you colour a 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 this week.

Meditation

Michael offers these reflections on the second of his “Four Things,” based on our Scripture passage: “You are forgiven.”

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

Join in singing HWB 299 New Earth, Heavens New (by Harris J. Loewen), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P. You may use the song book or follow the lyrics below.

New earth, heavens new, Spirit of God moving;
new seed, creatures new, Spirit of life moving;
new man, woman new, image of God moving.

Sing a new song to the One who has said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

New love, mercies new, Spirit of God moving;
new strength, hopefulness new, Spirit of life moving;
new hearts, spirits new, image of God moving.

New minds, wisdom new, Spirit of God moving;
new law, covenant new, Spirit of life moving;
new name, nature new, image of God moving.

New earth, heavens new, Spirit of God moving;
new birth, creatures new, Spirit of life moving;
new men, women new, image of God moving.

Benediction

Larissa P. offers this benediction for us based on Psalm 103 as we leave this time of worship together.

Sending Song

As we leave this time of worship let’s sing HWB 226 You are Salt for the Earth (by Marty Haugen), accompanied by Irene S. and Michael P.  You can use the song book or follow the lyrics below.

You are salt for the earth, O people,
salt for the kingdom of God!
Share the flavour of life, O people:
life in the kingdom of God!

Bring forth the kingdom of mercy,
bring forth the kingdom of peace.
Bring forth the kingdom of justice,
bring forth the city of God!

You are a light on the hill, O people,
light for the city of God!
Shine so holy and bright, O people,
shine for the kingdom of God!

You are a seed of the word, O people,
bring forth the kingdom of God!
Seeds of mercy and seeds of justice,
grow in the kingdom of God!

We are a bless’d and a pilgrim people,
bound for the kingdom of God!
Love our journey and love our homeland:
love is the kingdom of God!

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!

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May 3, 2020: “You are loved”

Welcome!

Click on the video below for a welcome message from Pastor Michael.

Call to Worship

Please follow along below as Kristy L. H. leads us in this call to worship from HWB 661.

Leader: We gather as pilgrims
on a journey of faith.

People: We come seeking the cloud of your presence
as we travel the way.
We come seeking your pillar of fire
to light our darkness.

All: Shine in our hearts, O God,
with the light of your love.
Make your presence known
through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Songs of Praise

Join in singing along to STS 1 “Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness” (text by Rusty Edwards), 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.

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.

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

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:

  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray for those directly affected, and for all of us indirectly affected in different ways. Pray that we would have patience as restrictions are being phased out. Pray for our church and our community. Pray for our country and our world. May God have mercy upon us.
  • The HUB, which has begun delivering food hampers throughout Morden from our church building. The need for hampers has grown in recent weeks. We are grateful to God for their work and that we can partner with them in this way. May we all be attentive to the needs around us in our community and seek to help as we can.
  • 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, that we would truly comprehend the deep and abiding love of God for each one of us, and that we would be generous in sharing that unconditional love with others. “The love of Christ compels us” (2 Cor 5:14).

Steve K. offers this congregational prayer for us today, reflecting on God’s love for us and our call to love others:

Prayer Song

Listen to STS 49 “I Will Come to You in the Silence,” played by Adalynne, Matthew, and Michael P. Feel free to sing along if you wish!

Scripture Reading

Our Scripture reading this morning is from Ephesians 3:14-21, read for us by Aidan, Sam, and Thomas K. 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

Kristy L. H. shares this story for our children’s time. It’s one of their favourite stories as a family. If there are children in your household, gather them round to listen! As you listen, and as the service continues, you might want to colour this page: “You are loved.”

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.

Meditation

Listen to Pastor Michael’s reflections on the first of his “Four Things”: “You are loved.”

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

Join in singing STS 39 “Will You Come and Follow Me” (by John L. Bell and Graham Maule), accompanied by Dianne H. and Michael P. You may use the song book or follow the lyrics below.

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

Benediction

Steve K. offers this benediction for us as we leave this time of worship together.

Sending Song

Let’s leave this time of worship with this song in our hearts: STJ 49 “Rain Down” (by Jaime Cortez), accompanied by Loretta T. and Michael P.  You can use the song book 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.

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!

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April 26, 2020: Mission Sunday

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 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.

Special Music

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.”

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

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:

  • 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.

Prayer Song

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!

Scripture Reading

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.

Children’s Focus

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!)

Meditation

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.

Benediction

Michael P. offers this benediction for us as we leave this time of worship together.

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!

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“Lament, Gratitude, and Trust”: A video message from Pastor Michael

The Psalms point us to some spiritual practices that are good for us in these days of physical distancing and other restrictions. Lament: naming our losses, disappointments, hurts, and fears before God. Gratitude: stating what we’re thankful for to God. And trust: expressing our reliance upon God. Try these out as daily practices!

(Below you’ll find the audio of the song by itself.)

Here is the audio of the song, STS 45 “Calm Me, Lord”:

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Mission Sunday and “Potluck Lite”

This coming Sunday is our annual church Mission Sunday. This is still happening in spite of COVID-19, though it will look different than originally planned!

Jeanette Hanson, Director of Mennonite Church Canada International Witness,  will be sharing with us about our collective Witness ministry around the world. She will also share specifically about the work of our church’s Witness partners in South Korea, Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park.

Normally on the last Sunday of April we also have our Spring Dinner, a special fundraiser with a chicken dinner and cream puffs. We are holding off on the fundraising portion of that, looking at creative ways down the road to raise funds for our local, regional, and international mission ministries. We are also, of course, holding off on the shared congregational meal part of that. We look forward to a time when we can all eat together again!

However, we are going to try a “Potluck Lite” this Sunday. It’s an opportunity for you to share a meal or dessert time with another household from our church community, via Zoom. If you are interested in trying this out, please email Pastor Michael with your Zoom email by Thursday noon. He will then match you up with another household and communicate that to both households. Then you can arrange a time on Sunday when you can “meet” to share a meal or a dessert together and just talk together—kind of like sharing a table together at an actual potluck in the church hall. You may even want to share a recipe for cream puffs before then so you can eat cream puffs together just like our normal Spring Dinner (even though the cream puffs might not be quite the same!).

If you don’t have Zoom installed on your computer or other device but you’d like to, please check out the information on this page. If you still have difficulties, please contact Michael.

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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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A Morden Mennonite Quarantine Playlist

Dear Morden Mennonite Church family,

To paraphrase the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:5, “Though we are absent in body, yet we are together in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.”

I do rejoice to see your faith in Christ, persevering through change and challenge! I rejoice to see the way you are encouraging each other to persist in difficult measures for the common good!

I’ve put together a playlist for us, to help keep up our spirits in the face of COVID-19 and the physical distancing restrictions we are under. These are ten songs of prayer and peace from our first few weeks of this: from our Sunday online worship services, our Maundy Thursday service, and my video messages to the church. May these songs encourage you in the days ahead, lifting up your morale and firming up your faith!

Grace and peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Michael


“My Life Flows On (How Can I Keep from Singing?)” (HWB 580; by Robert Lowry; played by Linda P. and Michael P.)

“Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” (HWB 353; by Ken Medema; played by Michael P.)

“O God in Heaven” (STJ 53; by Elena G. Maquiso; played by Joel, Erin, Milo, and Jude K.)

“Longing for Light” (STJ 54; by Bernadette Farrell; played by Dianne H. and Michael P.)

“Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley” (played by Dianne H.)

“Peace Before Us” (STS 16; by David Haas, played by Michael P.)

“Be Still and Know” (played by Linda P.)

“Healer of Our Every Ill” (HWB 377; by Marty Haugen; played by Loretta T. and Michael P.)

“Felix Culpa (God Who Watches Over You)” (by Alana Levandoski; played by Michael P.)

“The Peace of the Earth Be with You” (STJ 77; played by Joel and Erin K.)

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“Lord, Listen to Your Children!”: A video message from Pastor Michael

This is getting long, this physical distancing… Jesus encourages us “to pray always and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Let’s persist in hopeful prayer!

(Below you’ll find the audio of the song by itself.)

Here is the audio of the song, HWB 353 “Lord, Listen to Your Children”:

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