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  • Karen Chandler

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Last week Jesus announced that he was the Good Shepherd leading and guiding the flock, nurturing them, and providing safety and comfort.


Today we hear in the Gospel of John another Jesus "I am" statement - Jesus said, "I am the vine, and you are the branches."


Each week we are getting to know Jesus more, and with him and through him, know God better. The good news remains that we are all welcome at the table and will be fed in the worship of God.


Let us pray:


God of love, you have invited us to this time and space.

We lift our hearts in thanksgiving and joyful praise

for the gift of your love.

God of life, you have invited us here

to place all that we have and all that we are in you.

Through the power of your Holy Spirit,

guide us to not only lift up our hearts in worship,

but to offer our hearts in love. Amen.


Hymn: Voices United #703, In the Bulb There Is a Flower


Lighting of the Christ Candle

In lighting this candle, we are reminded of the light and life of Christ

who told the disciples, "I am the vine, and you are the branches."

Joined to Christ in this way is a gift and comfort.

Let us welcome the light of Christ this day and always.

Amen.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 22:25-31, Praise God who has heard our call (CEV)

Hymn: Voices United #371, Open My Eyes, That I May See


Scripture Reading: John 15:1-8, Jesus is the true vine (CEV)

and

Sermon: Optimal Connectivity, by Karen Chandler



Instrumental Reflection

A time to reflect on the scripture and the message during a moment of instrumental reflection.


Offering Invitation

O God, as you tend the garden of our lives

and bestow upon us your love and tender care,

we offer you now all that we are, and all that we have

to support and bear more fruit on the vine.


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 continues:

  • Drop your envelope (cheque or cash) at the church;

  • Mail your cheque to the church;

  • Go on PAR (call the church 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).


Offertory Hymn: Voices United #236, Now Thank We All Our God


Offering Dedication


Accept these our gifts, O God.

Bless them, for they are fruits of our love for you.

May they be used for your ministry in this church, in this community,

and find their way to support all those in need.

Amen.


Prayers of the People


Lord of all,

we thank you for the beauty of springtime

the tulips poking out of the ground,

the smell of cut grass,

the sizzle of barbecues as they are used for the first time this year.

For these things we are thankful.

We come before you today in prayer for,

All leaders at the federal, provincial and municipal levels,

as they strive to quickly secure enough vaccine for all Canadians,

as they coordinate pop-up vaccine locations for those in hard-hit

communities, and

as they schedule vaccination appointments for all those that wish a

vaccine.

Lord, hear our prayer,

and in your love answer.

The friends and family of the 45 people who died in the stampede in Israel

this week.

Adonai, grant them solace in their grief and strength for the coming weeks

as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Lord, hear our prayer,

and in your love answer.


The 18 COVID-19 patients in western India that died of a fire that broke out

at the hospital where they were receiving treatment. May their souls

rest in peace and rise in glory.

Lord, hear our prayer,

and in your love answer.


All of those who are sick and battling COVID-19 and other perilous

diseases,

those who are depressed, anxious, in pain, grieving, and lonely.

And, we name now others on our mind and in our hearts that need your

tender care and love.


Amen.


The Lord's Prayer


And of all the prayers silent and spoken, we pray the one prayer that unites us in Your presence, O Lord (you can sing with the video or recite the words below):

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed by thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


Hymn: You Are The Vine; We Are The Branches


You may not be familiar with this hymn, but it is easy to pick-up

and follow along lyrically, and is a lovely closing hymn for today's service.

If you don't wish to sing it, feel free to close your eyes and listen.

Sending Forth

Hymn: Go Now in Peace


Food for the Journey


With all this talk today about feasts, being fed and grapes, I’d like to share with you a recipe from ‘the veggie fix’ for a Spinach & Grape Salad with Walnuts & Goat Cheese. As you enjoy this salad, be mindful of all that comes from the rich, dark soil, the various flavours, and textures - truly a gift from God.

Source: https://theveggiefix.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/spinach-grape-salad-with-walnuts-goat-cheese


Closing Notes

  • Don’t forget to extinguish your candle(s).

  • Rev. Debbie Johnson has joined St. Paul's to provide some Pastoral Care to our congregation on a part-time basis. If you would like a call or email from Rev. Debbie, please contact the office at 416-261-4222. More information and a video from Rev. Debbie can be found on our church homepage.

  • Please join us today for Zoom Coffee Time starting at 11:30 am.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8294323094.

Meeting ID: 829 432 3094

Dial in: +1 647 558 0588

  • Note that portions of this service are drawn and adapted from various resources:

o The Opening Prayer (p. 102) and Sending Forth (p. 106) are from The

Abingdon Worship Annual 2018, Contemporary and Traditional Resources

for Worship Leaders, Edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu. Copyright

2017 by Abingdon Press. Written by Laura Jaquith Bartlett. Used by

permission.

  • Thank you to:

  • Aowyn McLaren for reading Psalm 22:25-31 today.

  • Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our YouTube videos work.

  • PNGWNG.com and Canva.com websites for the images and backgrounds.

  • And, thank you to all of the artists whose music and videos were used in the service:

o Bells Corners United Church Music

o Golden Ears United Church

o Andrian Alfarezel

o Christian Sermons and Audio Books

o Haewook Kim

o Divine Hymns

o Tina Vanderpol Melodium75

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