June 7, 2020

Trinity Sunday. A special celebration of the 125 years of Dedication of our Church Building!

Preacher:
Passage: 1st Corinthians 13:1-10, 12-13

Bible Text: 1st Corinthians 13:1-10, 12-13 | Preacher: Rev. Bruce W. Kemp | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87bfO17iTrQ

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

Welcome to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Ontario. This was to be our Anniversary Service. It was on June 2nd 1895 that this building was dedicated to the glory of God and became the congregation’s home. Since that time, the people have faithfully met for worship, study, and fellowship. Today the church building itself appears to be empty as we have been encouraged to stay home and stay safe. But I know that even when the people are not present, the building is never empty for the spirit of our God is ever within these walls. I invite you to come in and commune with us in this sacred space.

I love to sing. The people here know how much – sometimes too much. As you enter, I would like to sing for you a song of invitation from our Book of Praise #474, verses 1,3,4.

The love of God comes close where stands an open door
To let the stranger in, to mingle rich and poor
The love of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The love of God is here to stay.

The joy of God comes close where faith encounters fears
Where heights and depths of life are found through smiles and tears
The joy of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The joy of God is here to stay.

The grace of God comes close to those whose grace is spent,
When hearts are tried or sore and hope is bruised and bent
The grace of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The grace of God is here to stay.

CCLI license: 1963748

Back in 1895 most people listened for the sound of the church bell to let them know that it was time to gather for worship. As we will be praying and singing and meditating on the words of God for the people of God, let us pause here to ring the bell. Now I know that you folks are not able to be here physically, but you are with me with your eyes and your ears and your hearts and minds, so consider yourselves called to worship.

Right through this door we find the choir room. Here is where we find those people brave enough to stand in front of the congregation and lead the hymns and special music. Today we have 1 member of the choir who has joined me – Heather (Heather is helping by recording our time here).Soon we’ll see our organist Arlene. We always have a brief prayer before entering, so let us pray:
O Lord our God, we enter this holy space with open hearts and open minds.
Receive us and bless us. AMEN

Now let us step into the sanctuary. Look around at this holy space.Note how this space has been designed. Note the roundness of the walls. The space was designed to encourage the people to feel the embrace of God and the embrace of each other. The windows are finished in stained glass. Some of them have images from the life of Christ and special memorial inscriptions which give us a sense of the history of this community. Cast a glance to the ceiling and observe the intricate woodwork and the high windows letting in the light. Now feel the slope of the floor from the back of the church to the front – subtle enough to not cause you to lose your balance yet significant enough to enable you to sense that you are being drawn to the centre. I encourage you to centre yourself as we imagine the community gathered and called to prayer:

Creator God,
we gather with joyful hearts to remember all you have done for us
and to seek your holy presence.
You spoke, and the world came into being,
In loving partnership, you made humankind in your image
and called us to walk with you in creation.
When we wandered away,
You came to us in Christ, to show us how to live in this world
and how to love you and each other more fully.
Your Holy Spirit keeps coming to us,
to guide us in the work of your kingdom.
In all ways and for all time, you are with us,
and so, we worship you in love and gratitude,
trusting you will never leave us, ever Three and ever One. Amen.

If we could have the whole choir here, I know they would sing something joyous and uplifting. Fortunately, we have Arlene and she will play for us It’s a Wonderful World.

Hymn #471 in our Book of Praise – We are one in the Spirit

This is the time when we have our Family hymn. This is a hymn that everyone can sing quite easily. I learned this one when I was a teenager. I would like to encourage you to sing with me the wonderful hymn by Peter Scholes called We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the word that God is in our land
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father from whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus, who is God’s only Son
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

CCLI license: 1963748

In our fellowship here, we are blessed with a whole new generation of children. On Sunday morning while the children are with us in this space it is not a quiet space like it is today but there is a great joy in knowing that this space is welcoming of all ages and that together – young and old and everything in between we are a family. In spite of the fact that I turn 65 this week I am still thankful and grateful that I can kneel because that is what I do when I gather the children around me for a story.

Today I want to invite you to a simple tale about a building. Once upon a time, there was a tired old church in the country that had not seen anyone come through its doors for a long time. The doors stuck, there were cobwebs everywhere, the paint was peeling, and the carpet had holes in it. Some new families had moved into the area and wanted to have a place where they could worship together. When they saw the old church, they immediately loved it. They fixed the doors; they swept and cleaned the benches; they repaired the old organ and repainted the wall; they put new carpet on the floor. The old church looked marvelous. The new families were so happy that they wanted to share their new worship space. They sent invitations to everyone around. The next Sunday the old church was filled with people. The sounds coming from within made the old church building feel young again.

That’s how all of us feel knowing that we have so many young people here to share our old church building. The building may be 125 years old but with all of you here it feels young again.

At this point the boys and girls go with their teachers for a time of fun and learning in the church hall. I’ll show you that later.

Let’s continue our time together in this sacred space by joining in prayer:

Eternal God help us to hear your Word in these words; to listen and understand. May we embrace your truth, which you give us in Jesus Christ, through the patience of your guiding Spirit. Amen.

A Reading from 1st Corinthians 13:1-10, 12-13 – The Gift of Love

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

One thing we learn through this life is that people remember how we respond to them far more than any gift we may give them. Paul knew that none of the special abilities that he had been given by God, no powers of prophecy or no understanding of mysteries, no knowledge – not even the greatest amount of faith – none of that would matter at all if not for love. Paul knew that to be knowledgeable, to be understanding of mysteries, to be a great prophet meant nothing if those gifts and abilities were not exercised from a base of love. Love puts all things in perspective and prevents us from believing ourselves to be greater than we are.

Paul knows that only three things can truly make a real difference in our lives: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. Try to live Paul’s vision of love; it is God’s vision that he is reflecting, and it is that vision of love that motivated him throughout the time that he spent preaching and teaching. As we are in this sacred space with the One who is the author of love, let us feel the embrace of a love from God that is patient with us, that is kind, that is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude; that does not insist on its own way; is not irritable or resentful and does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.

Let us feel the love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Thanks be to this God. AMEN

Within this sacred space, we have two other special places. One is where we bring our children to be baptized, to receive them by faith into the family of God – our Baptismal font. The old font has been here an awfully long time and the bowl that has been used for some many years is showing its age. In fact, there have been so many baptisms here over the years that the bowl has a hole in it. We now put a clear bowl inside so the water will still be there when it is time for a new child or adult to come and receive the blessing of God and the support of the community.
As we reflect on the significance of our own baptism, let us sing #519 from our Book of Praise – Jesus, friend so kind and gentle

Jesus, friend so kind and gentle, bring we these beloved ones
May they know your kindest blessing, now enfold them in your arms
May your goodness be around them; keep them free from all that harms.

You received the little children to yourself so tenderly
Give to us who teach and guide them wisdom and humility
Vision true, with joy and patience, love to serve them faithfully.

Grant to us a deep compassion for your children everywhere
May we see our human family free from sorrow and despair
May your reign of love and glory dwell among us, bright and fair.

CCLI license: 1963748

The second special place is our communion table. While we do not physically gather around the table, we symbolically gather as the elders take the bread and wine to the people in the pews. When we celebrate together, we are reminded of the sacrifice our God made us in the person of Jesus Christ and we are reminded of the love of God that is so deep and real.

Hymn # 548 from our Book of Praise – Let us Break Bread Together

As we gather for these times of remembrance, we sing Let us Break Bread Together

Let us break bread together on our knees
Let us break bread together on our knees
When I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees
Let us drink wine together on our knees
When I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun
O Lord, have mercy on me.

CCLI license: 1963748

When we are gathered in this sacred space, we remember three more things: 1) to give back to God an offering in thankfulness for the gift of life and love; 2) to remember the many blessings that we have in our life; and 3) to pray for others. So, let us now come in prayer, let us pray:

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Generous God, we bless you for your gift of life renewed through Christ’s love. Bless us and the gifts we bring so that our lives may reflect the hope and renewal we have found in Christ, throughout our community and in the world you love, in Jesus’ name.

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope,
We come before you with grateful hearts,
trusting that you walk with us through all the times of our lives,
including this strange time of illness and isolation.
You are still the God of our history and God of the world you love,
so hear us as we pray for your world and the people around us.

We remember today those who face danger and despair in these times:
Those who suffer the effects of coronavirus in their lives and in the lives of loved ones;
those living with hunger while the world is distracted,
those caught up in unrest and violence despite the pandemic,
and all whose lives are directed by forces beyond their control…

(Keep silence for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all those working to relieve suffering of many different kinds
and bring justice and peace to those most vulnerable.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

We pray for all those facing fear or frustration,
and those wrestling with sorrow or discouragement.
We remember those who live with illness, disability or pain day by day,
and all who know the grief and change of bereavement…

(Silence is kept for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all those who work to bring healing and comfort to those who suffer,
remembering those who put their own health and life at risk during the pandemic.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

We pray for all who feel helpless or hopeless in this present time of such uncertainty:
For those facing unemployment or struggling to make ends meet,
For those caught up in misunderstanding or broken relationships
And for those working through situations of conflict at home or at work…

(Silence is kept for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all who offer guidance and support in the midst of such difficulties.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope,
the General Assembly was supposed to gather today in Waterloo, Ontario,
yet our church has had to respond to the pandemic,
cancelling large gatherings and holding others through technological means.
Hold us together in the days ahead and remind us of our common faith in Christ.
Help us learn from the challenges we are going through new ways of living out our faith.
Support our denomination and our local churches to engage questions and choices
with respect and faithfulness, trusting that you can do new things for us and with us.
Keep us loving and gracious, in the example of Jesus, our Lord and friend,
who pray taught us to pray together:

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

Hymm# 484 from the Book of Praise – The church is wherever God’s people

Before we leave this sacred space for a time of fellowship in the church hall, let us join for one more hymn. Let’s sing #484 from the Book of Praise. It’s called: The church is wherever God’s people.

The church is wherever God’s people are praising
Singing God’s goodness for joy on this day
The church is wherever disciples of Jesus
Remember his story and walk in his way

The church is wherever God’s people are helping
Caring for neighbours in sickness and need
The church is wherever God’s people are sharing
The words of the Bible in gift and in deed.

CCLI license: 1963748

We are now going to leave this sacred space. As we do let us share a blessing:

May God lead us to places of rest and renewal
May Christ accompany us on the journey
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with joy and generosity
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, descend upon us and dwell in our hearts this day and always. AMEN

Join me in the hall and we will see where the children have been and where all the good cookies are kept.

God bless!

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

Welcome to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Ontario. This was to be our Anniversary Service. It was on June 2nd 1895 that this building was dedicated to the glory of God and became the congregation’s home. Since that time, the people have faithfully met for worship, study, and fellowship. Today the church building itself appears to be empty as we have been encouraged to stay home and stay safe. But I know that even when the people are not present, the building is never empty for the spirit of our God is ever within these walls. I invite you to come in and commune with us in this sacred space.

I love to sing. The people here know how much – sometimes too much. As you enter, I would like to sing for you a song of invitation from our Book of Praise #474, verses 1,3,4.

The love of God comes close where stands an open door
To let the stranger in, to mingle rich and poor
The love of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The love of God is here to stay.

The joy of God comes close where faith encounters fears
Where heights and depths of life are found through smiles and tears
The joy of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The joy of God is here to stay.

The grace of God comes close to those whose grace is spent,
When hearts are tried or sore and hope is bruised and bent
The grace of God is here to stay, embracing those who walk the Way
The grace of God is here to stay.

CCLI license: 1963748

Back in 1895 most people listened for the sound of the church bell to let them know that it was time to gather for worship. As we will be praying and singing and meditating on the words of God for the people of God, let us pause here to ring the bell. Now I know that you folks are not able to be here physically, but you are with me with your eyes and your ears and your hearts and minds, so consider yourselves called to worship.

Right through this door we find the choir room. Here is where we find those people brave enough to stand in front of the congregation and lead the hymns and special music. Today we have 1 member of the choir who has joined me – Heather (Heather is helping by recording our time here).Soon we’ll see our organist Arlene. We always have a brief prayer before entering, so let us pray:
O Lord our God, we enter this holy space with open hearts and open minds.
Receive us and bless us. AMEN

Now let us step into the sanctuary. Look around at this holy space.Note how this space has been designed. Note the roundness of the walls. The space was designed to encourage the people to feel the embrace of God and the embrace of each other. The windows are finished in stained glass. Some of them have images from the life of Christ and special memorial inscriptions which give us a sense of the history of this community. Cast a glance to the ceiling and observe the intricate woodwork and the high windows letting in the light. Now feel the slope of the floor from the back of the church to the front - subtle enough to not cause you to lose your balance yet significant enough to enable you to sense that you are being drawn to the centre. I encourage you to centre yourself as we imagine the community gathered and called to prayer:

Creator God,
we gather with joyful hearts to remember all you have done for us
and to seek your holy presence.
You spoke, and the world came into being,
In loving partnership, you made humankind in your image
and called us to walk with you in creation.
When we wandered away,
You came to us in Christ, to show us how to live in this world
and how to love you and each other more fully.
Your Holy Spirit keeps coming to us,
to guide us in the work of your kingdom.
In all ways and for all time, you are with us,
and so, we worship you in love and gratitude,
trusting you will never leave us, ever Three and ever One. Amen.

If we could have the whole choir here, I know they would sing something joyous and uplifting. Fortunately, we have Arlene and she will play for us It’s a Wonderful World.

Hymn #471 in our Book of Praise - We are one in the Spirit

This is the time when we have our Family hymn. This is a hymn that everyone can sing quite easily. I learned this one when I was a teenager. I would like to encourage you to sing with me the wonderful hymn by Peter Scholes called We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the word that God is in our land
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father from whom all things come
And all praise to Christ Jesus, who is God’s only Son
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

CCLI license: 1963748

In our fellowship here, we are blessed with a whole new generation of children. On Sunday morning while the children are with us in this space it is not a quiet space like it is today but there is a great joy in knowing that this space is welcoming of all ages and that together – young and old and everything in between we are a family. In spite of the fact that I turn 65 this week I am still thankful and grateful that I can kneel because that is what I do when I gather the children around me for a story.

Today I want to invite you to a simple tale about a building. Once upon a time, there was a tired old church in the country that had not seen anyone come through its doors for a long time. The doors stuck, there were cobwebs everywhere, the paint was peeling, and the carpet had holes in it. Some new families had moved into the area and wanted to have a place where they could worship together. When they saw the old church, they immediately loved it. They fixed the doors; they swept and cleaned the benches; they repaired the old organ and repainted the wall; they put new carpet on the floor. The old church looked marvelous. The new families were so happy that they wanted to share their new worship space. They sent invitations to everyone around. The next Sunday the old church was filled with people. The sounds coming from within made the old church building feel young again.

That’s how all of us feel knowing that we have so many young people here to share our old church building. The building may be 125 years old but with all of you here it feels young again.

At this point the boys and girls go with their teachers for a time of fun and learning in the church hall. I’ll show you that later.

Let’s continue our time together in this sacred space by joining in prayer:

Eternal God help us to hear your Word in these words; to listen and understand. May we embrace your truth, which you give us in Jesus Christ, through the patience of your guiding Spirit. Amen.

A Reading from 1st Corinthians 13:1-10, 12-13 – The Gift of Love

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

One thing we learn through this life is that people remember how we respond to them far more than any gift we may give them. Paul knew that none of the special abilities that he had been given by God, no powers of prophecy or no understanding of mysteries, no knowledge – not even the greatest amount of faith – none of that would matter at all if not for love. Paul knew that to be knowledgeable, to be understanding of mysteries, to be a great prophet meant nothing if those gifts and abilities were not exercised from a base of love. Love puts all things in perspective and prevents us from believing ourselves to be greater than we are.

Paul knows that only three things can truly make a real difference in our lives: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. Try to live Paul’s vision of love; it is God’s vision that he is reflecting, and it is that vision of love that motivated him throughout the time that he spent preaching and teaching. As we are in this sacred space with the One who is the author of love, let us feel the embrace of a love from God that is patient with us, that is kind, that is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude; that does not insist on its own way; is not irritable or resentful and does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.

Let us feel the love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Thanks be to this God. AMEN

Within this sacred space, we have two other special places. One is where we bring our children to be baptized, to receive them by faith into the family of God – our Baptismal font. The old font has been here an awfully long time and the bowl that has been used for some many years is showing its age. In fact, there have been so many baptisms here over the years that the bowl has a hole in it. We now put a clear bowl inside so the water will still be there when it is time for a new child or adult to come and receive the blessing of God and the support of the community.
As we reflect on the significance of our own baptism, let us sing #519 from our Book of Praise – Jesus, friend so kind and gentle

Jesus, friend so kind and gentle, bring we these beloved ones
May they know your kindest blessing, now enfold them in your arms
May your goodness be around them; keep them free from all that harms.

You received the little children to yourself so tenderly
Give to us who teach and guide them wisdom and humility
Vision true, with joy and patience, love to serve them faithfully.

Grant to us a deep compassion for your children everywhere
May we see our human family free from sorrow and despair
May your reign of love and glory dwell among us, bright and fair.

CCLI license: 1963748

The second special place is our communion table. While we do not physically gather around the table, we symbolically gather as the elders take the bread and wine to the people in the pews. When we celebrate together, we are reminded of the sacrifice our God made us in the person of Jesus Christ and we are reminded of the love of God that is so deep and real.

Hymn # 548 from our Book of Praise - Let us Break Bread Together

As we gather for these times of remembrance, we sing Let us Break Bread Together

Let us break bread together on our knees
Let us break bread together on our knees
When I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees
Let us drink wine together on our knees
When I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun
O Lord, have mercy on me.

CCLI license: 1963748

When we are gathered in this sacred space, we remember three more things: 1) to give back to God an offering in thankfulness for the gift of life and love; 2) to remember the many blessings that we have in our life; and 3) to pray for others. So, let us now come in prayer, let us pray:

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Generous God, we bless you for your gift of life renewed through Christ’s love. Bless us and the gifts we bring so that our lives may reflect the hope and renewal we have found in Christ, throughout our community and in the world you love, in Jesus’ name.

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope,
We come before you with grateful hearts,
trusting that you walk with us through all the times of our lives,
including this strange time of illness and isolation.
You are still the God of our history and God of the world you love,
so hear us as we pray for your world and the people around us.

We remember today those who face danger and despair in these times:
Those who suffer the effects of coronavirus in their lives and in the lives of loved ones;
those living with hunger while the world is distracted,
those caught up in unrest and violence despite the pandemic,
and all whose lives are directed by forces beyond their control…

(Keep silence for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all those working to relieve suffering of many different kinds
and bring justice and peace to those most vulnerable.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

We pray for all those facing fear or frustration,
and those wrestling with sorrow or discouragement.
We remember those who live with illness, disability or pain day by day,
and all who know the grief and change of bereavement…

(Silence is kept for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all those who work to bring healing and comfort to those who suffer,
remembering those who put their own health and life at risk during the pandemic.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

We pray for all who feel helpless or hopeless in this present time of such uncertainty:
For those facing unemployment or struggling to make ends meet,
For those caught up in misunderstanding or broken relationships
And for those working through situations of conflict at home or at work…

(Silence is kept for at least 10 seconds)

We pray for all who offer guidance and support in the midst of such difficulties.
God, in your mercy,

All: HEAR OUR PRAYER

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope,
the General Assembly was supposed to gather today in Waterloo, Ontario,
yet our church has had to respond to the pandemic,
cancelling large gatherings and holding others through technological means.
Hold us together in the days ahead and remind us of our common faith in Christ.
Help us learn from the challenges we are going through new ways of living out our faith.
Support our denomination and our local churches to engage questions and choices
with respect and faithfulness, trusting that you can do new things for us and with us.
Keep us loving and gracious, in the example of Jesus, our Lord and friend,
who pray taught us to pray together:

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

Hymm# 484 from the Book of Praise - The church is wherever God’s people

Before we leave this sacred space for a time of fellowship in the church hall, let us join for one more hymn. Let’s sing #484 from the Book of Praise. It’s called: The church is wherever God’s people.

The church is wherever God’s people are praising
Singing God’s goodness for joy on this day
The church is wherever disciples of Jesus
Remember his story and walk in his way

The church is wherever God’s people are helping
Caring for neighbours in sickness and need
The church is wherever God’s people are sharing
The words of the Bible in gift and in deed.

CCLI license: 1963748

We are now going to leave this sacred space. As we do let us share a blessing:

May God lead us to places of rest and renewal
May Christ accompany us on the journey
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with joy and generosity
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, descend upon us and dwell in our hearts this day and always. AMEN

Join me in the hall and we will see where the children have been and where all the good cookies are kept.

God bless!