Sunday, February 28th, 2021
We have reached a milestone in our journey through Lent. We are at day 10, one-quarter of the way through Lent, and for those of you that are following a practice of prayer, fasting, and or almsgiving (or giving to those in need) now is a good time to check-in. As you reflect on what has been easy to take up and what has been very challenging, remember that prayer can be healing and guiding, and talking to God can help clear away the cobwebs (so to speak!).
As mentioned in the Ash Wednesday video, Lent is an extended trip and we should pack light because we will be gathering things along the way and pack them in our suitcase or backpack.
From Lent 1 we collected a rainbow, a reminder that “God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Let’s see what God has in store for us this week.
On this second Sunday of Lent,
we come seeking God.
In this time of uncertainty in our lives,
we come seeking God.
Quieting our minds, opening our hearts,
and waiting for the divine mystery to make itself known,
we come to worship God.
Hymn: Will You Come and Follow Me
Lighting of the Christ Candle
As I light this candle, please light your candles at home.
May this light set a flame in our hearts and encircle us in the light and love of Christ. Let us welcome the light of Christ this day and always. Amen.
Let us walk with Christ.
Scripture Reading: Fern reads Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 - The covenant between Abram, Sarai, and God.
Hymn: Take Up Your Cross
Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-38 - Those who lose their life for the gospel will save it.
Sermon: Say, "yes!" to God, by Karen Chandler
Hymn: Blessed Assurance
We live out our covenant with God by offering all that we are, all that we do, and all that we have. Let us give generously as we are able.
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: Take My Life and Let It Be
O God, we have difficulty denying ourselves, our wants, and desires. We humbly ask that you bless these gifts that they used in love and mercy for the work of your kingdom. In Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Almighty and ever-living God,
For the Church around the world, and where persecution exists based on a person's religious beliefs, we ask that you dwell deep within their hearts to extend the love we have for all who continue in your ministry and who have born this cross of suffering and pain. God hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.
For world leaders both in Canada and around the globe, we pray that you guide them in managing the issues in their countries as they deal with the pandemic. Especially guide the leaders in Myanmar who are dealing with political and military issues, and Nigerian families as they grapple with the abduction of their children and fight for their safe return. God hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.
Many we know are sick and suffering, grieving, lonely or depressed. We pray God, that you will gather all under your wings to provide shelter and comfort. God hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.
O God, we bring to you our deepest hurts and concerns both for ourselves and others. We offer them to you now... God hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.
We thank you for walking with us on this journey through Lent and also as we bear the sometimes difficult burdens of our own crosses.
We pray all this in Jesus' name. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Let us continue in prayer. Please join me.
And of all the prayers silent and spoken, we pray the one prayer that unites us in Your presence, O Lord, saying,
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: "Go Now in Peace"
Go from here to be the people of God:
God in the knowledge and love of God
to tell the good news of a new covenant.
With God in our hearts,
we will live Christ's reign of peace and justice.
Food for the Journey
I offer you this food for your journey this week - it is a contemporary version of a hymn from my childhood. I hope that some of you remember it too. It is called, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", and is appropriate for today's message. If this song takes you back in time as well, please sing along, the lyrics have been included onscreen by the artist. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to extinguish your candle(s).
Zoom Coffee Time today has been cancelled due to some technical difficulties. They will be sorted out this week so that we can enjoy Zoom Coffee Time together next week. We apologize for the confusion.
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 Catherine Tovell, and the Commissioning was provided by Robin Wardlaw as found in Gathering, Lent/Easter 2021, pages 33 and 37 respectively. Used with permission.
Thanks to Fern for reading Scripture today, and Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our YouTube videos work.
Thanks as well to the artists of worship music that was used in the service.