Prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God, in perfect community, look now on us who look to you.... and hear our prayer for our community.
Where there is falseness...... Smother it by your truth;
Where there is any coldness..... Kindle the flame of your love;
Where there is joy and hope..... Free us to share it together;
Where there is anything we will not do for ourselves..... Make us discontent until it is done.
And make us one.... As you are one. Amen. (a prayer from the Iona Community.)
Hymn God We Praise You for the Morning #415VU
Commissioning: You whom God has called, keep listening.
You whom Christ has fed, live simply.
You whom the Spirit has filled, love completely,
And receive the blessing that awaits you. (by Eric Fairbrother of Aotearoa/ New Zealand
This week in Howick, we will be celebrating a Service of Confirmation for three new members: Blake Chan, Kelsey Sylvester, and Nash Templeton. We are delighted to welcome them into our congregation and as members of the United Church of Canada.
The deadline for applying for the Hugh Duncan and the IFE bursaries offered through the Nakonhaka Regional Council is June 2, 2021. Application forms are available on the region’s website, nakonhakaucc.ca. Bursaries are available for college students (IFE) as well as university students (Hugh Duncan) who are confirmed members of a United Church congregation.
Happy Pentecost! Or is it Joyful Pentecost? Maybe Blessed Pentecost? We may not think of Pentecost one of the great holy days of the Christian calendar, but it is in fact. It has its roots in a Jewish festival, Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, it celebrates an important moment in the life of the Christian church, and we sometimes call it the birthday of the church. So let’s celebrate! Let’s celebrate God’s gift of the Spirit that makes us aware of God’s presence, that unites us as a people and a church, that comforts, strengthens and renews us, and that enables us to follow in the way of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ.
Hymn Breathe on Me Breath of God #382VU
Scripture Lessons: Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34 p.p.827 pt 2VU
Hymn With the Wings of our Mind #698VU
Prayer: O God, we praise and thank you for the gift of the Spirit, the spirit who may be known as the Wind of Change, the Flame of Love, and the Breath of Life. We can experience you as the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Power, and the Spirit of Peace, as Advocate, as Teacher, as Helper, as Comforter and Sustainer. The list of names and experiences can go on and on, because wherever we go, whatever we do, and however we serve you are there, guiding and leading and helping us, in whatever way we need. Today we pray that your spirit will unite us in mind and spirit, so we may be truly your servants and your servants and Christ’s church, a gathering of faithful, hopeful people, who support and encourage one another. Help us to truly be your church and your people, witnesses to your love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. We pray in the name of our crucified and risen Saviour, who reveals the power and greatness of your Holy Spirit to us. Amen.
Hymn Love Divine #333VU
We were saddened to hear of the death of Joyce McKell this past week. We hold her family, friends, and neighbours in our thoughts and prayers. We celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year and we give thanks for her long life and the love she shared throughout that long life.
We were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Morris Craig this week as well. We pray for his family, friends, and neighbours as well as those who responded to the accident that led to his death. We pray for strength and healing for them all.
Looking for a way to celebrate Pentecost with your family? There is a website offering crafts and activities offered by some United Church personnel, including Shana Bernier, our youth and families staff person. It can be found at jesusglueandglitter.wordpress.com. Take a look and see what can be found there!
The United Spirit Camp will be online this year, for 3 weeks, June28-July 16th. You can sign up and receive a home kit and participate mornings and/or afternoons or evenings as is convenient for you. The theme is Dreaming Dreams. You can register to receive your at home package and more information at the region’s website, nakonhakaucc.ca, or on Facebook.
(I imagine that Pentecost calls us to be like dandelions, that spreads its seeds, bends and bows before the mower, and pops up again to add colour and life to our world.)
I seem to have missed that this past week was National Nursing Week. Certainly during this pandemic we have seen the need and importance of nursing care. We are thankful for the many essential workers who have served and worked faithfully throughout this pandemic including nurses who use their knowledge, skill and compassion to make a difference.
Hymn Praise the Lord His Glories Show #875VU
Scripture Lessons: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1 p.724VU
Prayer: Praised be the living God for the multitude of women, men and children who throughout the world are searching, striving, and giving their lives in order to be bearers of good news. Through the repentance of our hearts, and the spirit of simplicity of the gospel, you clothe us with joy, as with a garment. Enable us to welcome the realities of following in Christ’s way with a childlike heart, and to discover your will, which is love and nothing else. Amen.
Lord Christ, had we faith enough to move mountains, without love, what would we be? But you love us. Without your Spirit who lives in our hearts, what would we be? But you love us. Taking everything upon yourself, you open for us a way towards the peace of God. Spirit of the Risen Christ, Spirit of compassion, Spirit of praise, your love for each one of us will never fail, and we thank you. Amen.
(Prayers adapted from the Taize Community, printed in Praying Together in word and song.)
Hymn Revive Us Again
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Israel, and Palestine and the safety and security of all their peoples, remembering that peace without justice is not peace and does not last. May their leaders have the courage to work for peace for all the peoples of this region.
I see that the Canadian Food Grains Bank has launched a special appeal for India in the midst of the crisis created by the pandemic. No word from the United Church (yet?) but we can remember that the effects of the pandemic are being felt around the world as well as at home. Donations can be made online on their website at foodgrainsbank.ca.
The deadline is approaching for the IFE and Hugh Duncan bursaries offered by the Nakonhaka Regional Council to confirmed members of the United Church who are students in either college or university. The application form is available on the region’s website nakonhakaucc.ca or you can ask Barbara to supply you with one. The deadline for applying is June 4, 2021.
The United Church will be holding a Union Day service, celebrating the church’s 96th anniversary on June 10th at 7pm EDT live streamed on the United Church’s YouTube channel. Take a look, if you would like.
Happy Mother’s Day! (aka Christian Family Sunday) Good wishes to mothers and grandmothers, to godmothers and aunties, to whole families and singles who have to look after themselves. May this day be a day to give thanks for those who have cared for us and for the chance to take care of others.
Hymn Joyful, Joyful #232VU
Prayer: Holy One, you who give me life, I come to you as a child, holding your hand, walking through days and nights, through seasons of joy and sadness, busyness and quiet, crowds and solitude. I am held in the hands once crucified, healed in the loving arms embracing me in eternal love that whispers, “You are my child, in whom I am well pleased.” Blessed be. Amen. (A prayer by Sue Henley printed in Marin and Maria Tirabassi’s Before the Amen.)
Scripture Lessons: Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98 p.818VU
Hymn Praise our Maker #316VU
Prayer: Loving God, in the Bible we find many kinds of families, and we learn that your love has no boundaries. Just as you called Peter to recognize the God-given worth in all people, so help us to affirm all of the families and homes in our community. Singles, couples, people with and without children, groups large and small, people who are related and those who have simply found each other: we pray that you would bless them all, and help us to make room at the table of our hearts for all of your children. May homes and families -of all shapes and sizes- model your unconditional love, be places of safety and trust, nurture and laughter, so that, grounded in their love, we may reach out in love to all of our sisters and brothers - your family. Amen. (from Seasons of the Spirit 2004)
Hymn For the Beauty of the Earth #226VU
Benediction: Go into all the world: you are a sister to hope; you are a brother to peace; you are the parent of love in the world. Go, for you are a child of God, and the world is waiting. (Written by Robin Wardlaw, printed in Gathering, LEP2009.)
Still looking for a gift for your mother, or someone else who is as a mother to you, or someone who might be missing their mother this weekend? The United Church offers a gift to the Mission and Service fund in support of families in Canada and around the world. An e-card can be sent to let the person you are giving for know what you have done on their behalf.
Please let CEGEP and university students who are confirmed members of the United Church in this region, know that bursaries are available. Application forms are available on the region’s website (nakonhakaucc.ca) or let Barbara know and she can get a form to you.
This afternoon at 3:00EDT there will be a service of apology and lament for the church’s role in coerced adoptions. The Moderator will offer an apology on behalf of the church. The service can be found on the church’s YouTube page.