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First Sunday of Lent

Sunday, February 21st, 2021



Welcome to Lent. Lent began this week with Ash Wednesday and extends for 40 days to April 3rd. Throughout this time we journey with Christ to the cross and we will discover and delve into biblical covenants and promises were made, relationships that were built, and how they shape our promises and relationships with one another and with God now.


This journey is not a short trip or a weekend away, but as mentioned in the Ash Wednesday video this week, it is an extended trip and we should pack light. We will gather and collect things along the way and pack them in our suitcase or backpack to remember.


After the flood, God's tears mingled with ours

and God choked, "Never again."

God promised, "Never again,"

and from light and the mist of those mingled tears,

God made a rainbow.

A bow in the sky to draw us out beyond our sorrow

and remember the promise of all we do not notice:

the holy ephemerals of our common humanity

and the God-given colours of love.


Opening Hymn: More Voices #135, "Called by earth and sky"


Lighting of the Christ Candle.


Lent may seem like a dark time of year. I can feel like we too have been cast into the wilderness. But as these dark days lengthen and allow more light through our windows, onto our faces, and into our hearts, we become more hopeful, feel more hopeful.


In Luke 12:46, Jesus says, "I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness."


As I light this candle, please light your candles at home and may it remind us all that Jesus is the light for the journey; a flame that burns steadfast and strong. Let us welcome the light of Christ this day and always.


Let us walk with Christ.


Scripture Reading: Stan reads Genesis 9:8-17 - The covenant between God and Noah.


Hymn: More Voices #138, "My Love Colours Outside the Lines"


Scripture Reading: Mark 1:9-15 - The baptism, temptation, and mission of Jesus.

Sermon: God Does Not Need Google Maps, by Karen Chandler


Musical Reflection: Taizé, "Nada te turbe"

This music is meant to be a moment of reflection following the message.


The poem "Nada te turbe" was written by St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) a Spanish Carmelite nun and it was set to music in the link below. The words in English are provided below, should you wish to sing them:

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things pass away:

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things.

He who has God

Finds he lacks nothing:

God alone suffices.



Offering Invitation

God is at work within us and around us. We are called to be part of God's work in the world; to help feed the hungry, find shelter for the homeless, help the weary find rest, be a friend to those who are alone, and work for justice. As we are able, let us give to support this vital work and ministry.


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: More Voices #182, "Grateful"


Offering Dedication


Take these gifts of time, talent, and treasure as a sign of our covenant with you, O God. Bless them so they may become blessings for others.


Amen.


Prayers of the People


God of hope and promise,

listen to your children who feel unloved and left abandoned, uncared for and unwanted.

Bring love and kindness into their lives so they may know your abiding love too.

Merciful God, hear our prayer.


God of hope and promise,

listen to your children who cry out for peace and justice in a world of hurt, violence and suffering.

Bring these issues to the policy-makers, the law-makers, and the advocates who can enact change that support and ease the hurt.

Merciful God, hear our prayer.


God of hope and promise,

listen to your children who weep not only for the death

of people close to them, but for the state of our environment and world.

Bless all those who minister to the sick and dying and watch over all those who work in dangerous professions.

Bring comfort, solace, and strength to all in need.

Merciful God, hear our prayer.


God of hope and promise,

we thank you for the rainbow given to us so long ago, a symbol of your continued love for us all.

In the name of your son, Jesus Christ who died for us. Amen.


Hymn: More Voices #144, "Like a healing stream"

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 be 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,

for ever and ever. Amen.

Closing Hymn: "Go Now in Peace"


Benediction

Go and testify to God's faithful promises made through an everlasting covenant; dwell under the rainbow of God's love. We are blessed. Go now and proclaim God's good news.


Amen.


Food for the Journey


Closing notes:

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

  • Note that portions of this service are drawn and adapted from 'Gathering,' a worship resource published by The United Church of Canada. In this service, the Call to Worship was provided by Sandra L. Stickney as found in Gathering, Lent/Easter 2021, page 33. Used with permission.

  • Thanks to Stan for reading Scripture today, and Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our Youtube videos work.

  • Thanks as well to the following artists of worship music that was used in the service:

- Haewook Kim

- Golden Ears United Church

- Evangeliodelucas22

- Red Deer Lake United Church

- Tina Vanderpol Melodium75


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