What is this thing called Ascension anyways?
7th Sunday After Easter, Sunday, May 24h, 2020.
Preamble / info.
Welcome, Church! In these times we are reminded more than ever, that the church is not a building but the people who come together in Jesus’ name. Therefore, I’m not saying, “Welcome to church,” but, “Welcome Church!”
In the light of the good advice from health authorities that we practice ‘physical distancing’ during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not worshiping in person at the church building.
However, Jesus promises that where two or three are gathered, He will be there. So, we can gather in spirit, sharing the Word, hymns, and prayers that bind us together as followers of Jesus and People of God.
We may not be in the same room, and we may not even be doing this at the same moment in time; but, along with millions of people around the world in any number of languages, we are worshiping God and caring for one another.
In preparation, you may want to have a candle handy (either a real candle or one of those little battery-operated ones). We always light candles in church because they remind us of the presence and beauty of God.
God be with you!
A Prayer (feel free to read this aloud -- take your time):
Oh God of these extraordinary days and these ordinary times. We come today and bring our praises and our prayers to you. We do not ask that you be with us because you are always present. Instead, we ask that you help us be aware of your abiding presence. Instill in us the grace that opens our eyes to the many ways your grace graces our lives. It is so easy in these extraordinary times to feel that we are lost, that the world is lost, and indeed we have lost you. Surprise us once again, Oh God, by rolling away the stones of our doubts and fears so that your light can take away the shadows.
Music: An introit from Emma: Ad te Jesu Christe.
"Ad te Jesu Christe" is a repetitive song used for prayer, created in the Taize community of France. Translation: To you, Jesus Christ, I lift up my soul. Saviour of the world, I have put my hope in you.
Lighting of the candle.
In the light of the Risen Christ we light a candle, celebrating our faith that God raised Jesus from death to life. We confess, in the truth of the resurrection, that no darkness can overcome God’s light in the world. Thanks be to God!
Introduction to today’s theme: Today is Ascension Sunday, just a few short days away from the end of the Easter season. So we continue with Easter, celebrating the Resurrection and the miracle of Jesus’ presence in the world and in our lives.
Acts 1: 6 – 14, The Ascension of Jesus, read by Barb.
Sermon / Reflection. What do you believe?
Music Great is Thy Faithfulness:
In Easter God promises that life will triumph over death, good over evil, love over hate, and faith over fear. This is the Good News, given by Jesus, shared with one another. It is both a gift and a birthright of those who follow Christ.
Our offering is both a practical and symbolic act of our commitment to serve Christ and build His church. Although we can’t actually ‘pass the plate’ online, you are encouraged to continue your gift to the church, as the work of the St Paul’s and the staff continue:
· Drop your envelope (cheque or cash) at the church;
· Mail your cheque to the church;
· Go on PAR (call Rosie for details);
· Use the Donate button at the top of the page (it will take you to SPUC’s Canada Helps page where you can donate online and get an instant tax receipt).
May my gifts of time, talent, and treasure generously and lovingly offered be used faithfully to do build God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven!
Music: “It is Well with My Soul,” sung by the Catibog Family accompanied by Emma.
Your generous financial gifts support not only the life and ministry of St. Paul’s, but the work of The United Church of Canada around the world. This video features stories of the many community ministries across Canada that are supported by the church.
Let us go into the world with a daring and tender heart; let us go in peace, the world is waiting.
And whatever we do, may we do it as a Resurrection People: followers of Jesus, bearers of God’s Light, and living signs of the Spirit’s fellowship. Amen!
A hymn to take us into the world.
One Last Thought.
Don’t forget to extinguish your candle!
As an exercise in keeping in touch with your SPUC family, we’re inviting everyone to open their Church Directory, find your own name and then count up the list by 26 names and call that person. They might be a good friend, they might be a casual acquaintance at church, or they may be someone you don’t know. Give them a call and wish them peace in the name of Christ, and just see how they’re doing.
I'm grateful for Barb's eloquent reading of Scripture today, and for the beautiful recording of 'It is Well with My Soul' by the Catibogs accompanied by Emma.
Remember to Zoom in for coffee with your friends after church on Sunday morning at 11:30, and for Emma’s hymn-a-long on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
Rev. Daniel Benson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: After Church Coffee
Time: May 17, 2020 11:30 AM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 829 432 3094
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+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
Meeting ID: 829 432 3094
Emma Wallace is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: St Paul's Hymn Sing-a-long Time: May 17, 2020 02:00 PM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6088759725 Meeting ID: 608 875 9725 One tap mobile +14388097799,,6088759725# Canada +15873281099,,6088759725# Canada Dial by your location +1 438 809 7799 Canada +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada +1 778 907 2071 Canada Meeting ID: 608 875 9725
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