Video links for these services will be posted below on the respective Sunday and on our Facebook page https://facebook.com/firstunitedwetaskiwin/
 
Thank you for worshiping with us. If you’d like to know more about First United, you can call our office at 780-352-2157; check us out on Facebook at First United, Wetaskiwin or at https:/firstunitedwetaskiwin.ca

First United Church is a  registered charitable organization. This ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people like you! Tax receipts are issued for all contributions to this ministry.
 
July 5, 2020 – First United Church – 5th Sunday after Pentecost
 
God calls us to create a community of faith where all are welcome and encouraged to participate fully: no matter where you’re from, when you were born, how you self-identify,
whom you love, or what you believe.
Permission to post the music in this service has been obtained from One License with license A-605619
All liturgy is original and permission is given for it to be shared.
Thanks to Gaie Goin for leading worship!
 
A link for this service is provided below.
 
 
WELCOME
We live among and to the north of the People of the Plains, the People of the Sundance Culture. As people arrived from other continents, they said, “Come in, you are welcome here, there’s room for all.” Those who have come to this land and their descendants have much to learn from the people who were here long before we arrived. We all have things to learn from each other. We have learned that the most effective way we can be good neighbours, true partners with one another, is to live with sensitivity for both the gifts we all bring, and the burdens we all bear, as people of Creator.
 
COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT You are invited to breathe deeply, and make space for the Spirit.
 
GATHERING MUSIC #395 Voices United “Come In, Come in” vs. 1, 2,and 4
Refrain Come in, come in and sit down, You are a part of the family.
We are lost and we are found. And we are a part of the family.
 
You know the reason why you came, Yet no reason can explain.
So share in the laughter and cry in the pain, For we are a part of the family. Refrain
 
God is with us in this place, like a mother’s warm embrace. We’re all forgiven by God’s grace,
For we are a part of the family. Refrain
 
There’s rest for the weary and health for us all;
There’s a yoke that is easy and a burden that’s small.
So come in and worship and answer God’s call, For we are a part of the family. Refrain
 
CALL TO WORSHIP
In the songs of birds and the warmth of sunshine, We welcome the presence of God.
In fields of grain, gardens growing and flowers blooming, We welcome the presence of God.
In the wave of a neighbour and the phone call of a friend, We welcome the presence of God.
In the bustle of the day and the quiet of the evening, We welcome the presence of God.
In the work we do and the games we play, We welcome the presence of God.
In the lessons we’ve learned and the opportunities to come,  We welcome the presence of God.
In the memories we hold and the love we have known,  We give thanks for the presence of God.
 
OPENING PRAYER
Holy Companion, You are with us in all we think, say and do. You offer guidance in the decisions we make. You teach us to love. You open doors to broaden our understanding. You awaken us to speak out and to stand up for justice when it is denied. You call us in many ways to be Your voice. We are thankful. We become who we are because of who You are. Draw us always closer to Your vision as we seek to “trust love” in all we do. Amen.
 
HYMN #296 Voices United “This is God’s wondrous world’
This is God’s wondrous world, and to my listening ears,
All nature sings and round me rings, the music of the spheres.
This is God’s wondrous world, I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
God’s hand the wonders wrought.
 
This is God’s wondrous worlds, the birds their carols raise.
The morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise.
This is God’s wondrous world, God shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass or mountain pass, God’s voice speaks everywhere.
 
This is God’s wondrous world, o let me ne’er forget.
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is God’s wondrous world, why should my heart be sad?
Let voices sing, let the heavens sing, God reigns, let earth be glad.
 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Psalm 45 p.769 Voices United
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
 
GOOD NEWS “Good Questions” [Email copy available from office uchurch@incentre.net]
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
Ever faithful, ever loving God, Teach us to respond with love
Your vision of love brought all of Your creation into being. Your example of love walked among us and showed us how to care for creation and for one another. Your wisdom calls us to You when we stray and embraces us with Your promise to forgive and walk with us.
Ever faithful, ever loving God, Teach us to respond with love.
We pray today for all who are feeling lonely or are yearning for the company of loved ones. We pray for those who are grieving, who may not have had the opportunity to offer or receive the comfort of hugs and gentle caring in times of deep sorrow. In these days of isolation and separation, open our hearts to reach out with a wave or a call, reminding others that You are our Ever faithful, ever loving God,
Teach us to respond with love.
We pray for all who feel vulnerable. When voices cry out for justice, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. We pray for those who are hungry, or needing shelter and clothing; by our actions, help us to change their world.
Ever faithful, ever loving God,… Teach us to respond with love.
You call us to serve in many ways. We turn to You with all our uncertainties, seeking to live as You would have us live and love as You would have us love. We ask these and all our prayers in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kin-dom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kin-dom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
 
HYMN #424 Voices United  “May the God of Hope Go with Us”
May the God of hope go with us every day, Filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way. Bringing light and hope to every land and race.
 
Refrain Praying, let us work for peace, Singing, share our joy with all,
Working, for a world that’s new, Faithful when we hear Christ’s call.
 
May the God of healing free the earth from fear, Freeing us for peace, both treasured and pursued.
May the God of love keep our commitment clear, To a world restored, to human life renewed. Refrain
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the light of Love goes with you
 
SENDING FORTH
Go confidently – God loves you! Go courageously – Jesus will guide you!
Go compassionately – The Spirit will show you the way! Go in peace – to heal our hurting world.
Amen and amen!
 
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – July 12, 2020, 6th Sunday after Pentecost
God calls us to create a community of faith where all are welcome and encouraged to participate fully: no matter where you’re from, when you were born, however you self-identify,
whom you love, or what you believe.
 
A link for this service is provided below.
 
 
WELCOME & NEWS OF INTEREST
 
COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT You’re invited to take a deep breath and make space for the Spirit…
 
HYMN #226 Voices United  “For the Beauty of the Earth” (Tune #81 Voices United) verses 1 & 2
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies,
God of all to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
 
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light,
God of all to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP
We turn from spreading ourselves too thinly, Hoping that You, O God will spread Your grace.
We turn from cultivating affluence, Hoping that You, O Spirit will cultivate Your passion in us.
We turn from making a living, Hoping that You, O Christ, will live in us this morning.
Grow in us and through us to bless this world You love.

 

OPENING PRAYER
God of seeds and soil, our time is in Your hands. Till our lives and soften our hearts. Sift the stony places of our soul till there is room to grow. Pour out Your Spirit upon us in this time of worship. Together may we create a places where all are welcome, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Psalm 119 p. 841 Voices United, Parts 1 & 2 with Refrain #5
Matthew 13:1 – 9
 
HYMN 307 Voices United   “Touch the Earth Lightly” Verses 1 & 4
Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
Nourish the life of the world in our care;
Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender, trust for the children tomorrow will bear.
 
God of all living, God of all loving, God of the seedling, the snow and the sun,
Teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us, using us gently and making us one.
 
GOOD NEWS  “A Sower went out to Sow”
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
God of Grace … Root us in Your love.
Tiller of Soil, You breathe into life its goodness, we give thanks that we are still breathing. We give thanks for the rains and sun, for lightness of heart, the warmth of another’s touch, the tang of fresh air.
God of Grace … Root us in Your love.
Christ you call us to sow seeds in your name. We give thanks for the parents and teachers, elders and sages of our communities who share their faith so generously. We give thanks for volunteers who bring meals, make phone calls, knit prayer shawls and mittens, who visit and sing your praise in all they do. When we think only of ourselves, when we hoard your gifts. God of Grace … Root us in Your love.
Spirit disturb our world with your peace. We pray for those who are imprisoned or held hostage, for the disappeared, for the refugees and silently forgotten children of war and the sex trade. For all those who grieve, who look to the future without hope. We pray for the people who try to make a difference, who offer shelter, clothing, food, and understanding. When we are tempted to despair,
God of Grace … Root us in Your love.
Compassionate God, the needs are many, but greater still is your love. We offer our prayers to you in the name of the living Christ, who daily intercedes on our behalf. Who calls us by name and teaches us to pray together saying, Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be Your names. Your kin-dom come. Your 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kin-dom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen
 
MINUTE FOR MISSION “Community Ministries Make a Difference”
“Partnership” can describe a wide range of relationships. In the United Church, it means working with others – sometimes other churches, denominations and faiths; and sometimes other community based organizations: camps, campus ministries, community and social justice ministries. There are over 60 community ministries. These ministries call the church to risk new forms of life and membership, to be willing to be transformed by those on the margins of society, and to join the as the place where God is present and active. Through partner relationships, the church engages in advocacy and justice, research and policy, education and theological reflection, congregational engagement in justice-making and community support.
If Mission & Service is already a regular part of your life, thank you! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of Mission & Service.
 
GRATITUDES Whatever the growing conditions, regardless of the harvest, God calls us to live with respect in creation. Through your care and generousity, you support sustainable and just living conditions locally and around the world. We give thanks for the farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, conservationists, migrant workers and countless volunteers who care for the earth and its creatures.
 
HYMN #503 Voices United “When Seed Falls on Good Soil”
When seed falls on good soil, it’s born through quiet toil,
Where soul receives the earth conceives the blade, the stem, the fruit, the leaves,
Good soil, O mother earth, the womb , where seed takes birth.
 
God’s word in Christ is seed; good soil its urgent need,
For it must find in humankind the fertile soil in heart and mind.
Good soil! A human field! A hundred fold to yield.
 
Plough up the trodden way and clear the stone away; Tear out the weed, and sow the seed.
Prepare our hearts your Word to heed, that we good soil may be. Begin, O God, with me!
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the Light of goes with you.
 
SENDING FORTH
From this time, God scatters us into the world,  Like seeds upon waiting soil.
From this time, Christ calls us to reach out,  Like sun and rain upon waiting seeds.
From this time, the Spirit invites us to grow, Like fruitful trees, greening in God’s presence.
May you be rooted in God’s love, Showered with Christ’s peace, And born upon the winds of hope. Amen.
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – July 19, 2020, 7th Sunday after Pentecost
God calls us to create a community of faith where all are welcome and encouraged to participate fully: no matter where you’re from, when you were born, however you self-identify, 
whom you love, or what you believe.
A link for this service is provided below.
 
 
WELCOME & NEWS OF INTEREST

COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT You’re invited to take a deep breath and make space for the Spirit…

HYMN #608 Voices United  “Dear God, who Loves all Humankind” verses 1, 2, & 4
Dear God who loves all humankind, forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives they service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like, them with out a word
Rise up, and follow the.
 
Drop thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
 

CALL TO WORSHIP
Listen…Can you hear it? God is here.
Listen…Can you hear it? In the space between our breathing,
Listen…Can you hear it? In the music of the seasons,
Listen…Can you hear it? In the love that holds and frees us,
Listen…Can you hear it? God is calling us to worship.
Listen…Can you hear it? We are ready to grow with God!
Listen…Can you hear it?

OPENING PRAYER
O God, this is a very different summer than we imagined, but we are grateful that we are still here to enjoy the warmth of sunshine, the smell of fresh cut grass and sounds of rain refreshing the earth. Thank you for reminding us that despite the forces beyond our control, the seasons continue their cycle, crops ripen and gardens grow, babies are born and people die. Be with us in the tears and laughter. Pour out Your Spirit upon us that we might live in the assurance that love and life can transform hatred and death. It is still your world, and we live in it with joy. Amen.

 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Psalm 128 “Everyday Psalms” by James Taylor
Joy belongs to those who belong to the Lord, to those who live in harmony with God.
The gardens you tend will grow lush with life; they will feed you richly; you will count yourself fortunate.
Your family will grow like shoots in springtime.
They will grow tall and straight, holding their heads high.
Through all your days, your partner will spread peace Like dew on a summer morn.
Your days will be filled with sunshine if you love the Lord.
May God bless you; may your good fortune rub off On everyone you meet,
So that your distant descendants recognize the legacy
You left them, the lingering gift of good will.
Joy belongs to those who belong to the Lord, To those who live in harmony with God.
 
Matthew 13:24 – 30
 
HYMN #69 All God’s Children Sing   “Growing in God’s Way” verses 1, 2 & 4
My how you’ve grown the woman said, as she smiled and patted the top of my head.
But I’m growing in ways that she didn’t see, God’s love is growing, Deep down inside me.
 
Refrain And we’re growing, growing, growing every day.
Yes we’re growing, growing, growing in God’s way.
 
Family and friends can sure make you mad, Loving is hard even for mom and dad.
So we come together to learn and to pray, Helping each other grow in God’s way. Refrain
 
We all make mistakes and then start anew,  There’s always much more to learn and to do.
So that God’s great Shalom will come shining through, Remember God’s counting on me and on you, Refrain
 
GOOD NEWS 
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
Ancient of Days, Teach us Your wisdom.
Teach us the wisdom of gratitude, that invites us to notice what we have, rather than what we have not; that softens our anxiety opening us to new possibilities; that energizes our care for this earth and our mindfulness of all the relations with whom we share it. Ancient of Days, Teach us Your wisdom.
Teach us the wisdom of working collaboratively more than competitively; of valuing difference; of listening to seek understanding; of accepting the distinctions between need and want; of living simply that others might simply live. Ancient of Days, Teach us Your wisdom.
Teach us the wisdom that comes from suffering that we might be more kind; that comes from humility that we might be more generous; that comes from You that we might be more just and more faithful. Ancient of Days, Teach us Your wisdom.
We are listening … Time for silent prayer…
 
We give voice to the wisdom our ancestors in faith, gathering our hearts and voices together in the
words Jesus taught his friends, Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be Your names. Your kin-dom come. Your 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kin-dom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen
 
MINUTE FOR MISSION “Protecting the Children”
Imagine growing up in a place of conflict where you live in constant fear of violence. This is what it is like to grow up in Gaza. As a church family our hearts cry out for those who live in fear every day. Mission & Service supports Defense for Children International-Palestine, which offers programs for children in that region.
Members of the Abu Arar family were on their land across the street from their residence in the Zeitoun neighbourhood in northern Gaza. Around 6 pm a rocket struck the area. Their 19 month old child died from injuries related to the explosion as did an aunt who was pregnant. A 3 year old sister and other family members sustained injuries. Incidents like this one happen often in Gaza. We give thanks for the Defense for Children International-Palestine which offers programs for children to express in art what they are experiencing, and activities that help them just be children.
If Mission & Service is already a regular part of your life, thank you! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of Mission & Service.
 
GRATITUDES We have much for which to be thankful. This week we remember the many people and places where violence and fear are a part of life. In our homes and down the street, in refugee camps, shelters, conflict zones. We are grateful to live in a country that is mostly at peace, and for the peace that God offers. We give thanks for all those who work and sacrifice that peace might become a way of life for all.
 
HYMN #143 More Voices “We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky” Verses 1 & 3
We cannot own the sunlit sky, the moon, the wildflow’rs growing,
For we are part of all that is within life’s river flowing.
With open hands receive and share, the gifts of God’s creation,
That all may have abundant life in ev’ry earthly nation.
 
God calls humanity to join as partners in creating
A future free from want or fear, life’s goodness celebrating,
That new world beckons from afar, invites our shared endeavour,
That all may have abundant life, and peace endure forever.
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the light goes with you.
 
SENDING FORTH
Go into the world as signs of God’s blessing.
We are ordinary people with an extraordinary calling.
May we accept the grace to be like fruitful trees, greening in God’s presence,
Rooted in Christ’s life-giving water, and bearing fruit by the Spirit’s power. Amen.
 
 
July 26, 2020 – First United Church – 8th Sunday after Pentecost
 
God calls us to create a community of faith where all are welcome and encouraged to participate fully: no matter where you’re from, when you were born, how you self-identify,
whom you love, or what you believe.
Permission to post the music in this service has been obtained from One License with license A-605619 Thanks to Susan Silverthorne for leading worship!
 
A video link for this service is provided below.
 
 
WELCOME
We live among and to the north of the People of the Plains, the People of the Sundance Culture. As people arrived from other continents, they said, “Come in, you are welcome here, there’s room for all.” Those who have come to this land and their descendants have much to learn from the people who were here long before we arrived. We all have things to learn from each other. We have learned that the most effective way we can be good neighbours, true partners with one another, is to live with sensitivity for both the gifts we all bring, and the burdens we all bear, as people of Creator.
 
COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT  You are invited to breathe deeply, and make space for the Spirit.
 
POURING OF THE WATER
 
MUSIC #395 Voices United “Come In, Come in” vs. 1 and 4
Refrain Come in, come in and sit down, You are a part of the family.
We are lost and we are found. And we are a part of the family.
 
You know the reason why you came, Yet no reason can explain.
So share in the laughter and cry in the pain, For we are a part of the family. Refrain
 
There’s rest for the weary and health for us all;
There’s a yoke that is easy and a burden that’s small.
So come in and worship and answer God’s call, For we are a part of the family. Refrain
 

CALL TO WORSHIP
In the vastness of a star-studded sky, May we remember Your presence and Your promise.
In the midst of growing crops and glowing yellow fields of canola,
May we remember Your presence and Your promise.
In the warmth of connection with family, friends and our faith community,
May we remember Your presence and Your promise
In the times that we listen to Christ’s stories and wonder at their meaning and their message,
May we remember Your presence and Your promise.
In the times that we are tempted to worry and imagine the worst,
May we remember Your presence and Your promise.
Hearing Your word that the kingdom of God is vast beyond our understanding,
May we remember Your presence and Your promise that we are Yours eternally.

 

OPENING PRAYER “Spirit of the Living God” #376 Voices United
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. [Repeat]
Melt me, mold me, fill me use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

 
Spirit of the Living God, move among us all.
Make us one in heart and mind, Make us one in love.
Humble, caring, selfless, sharing.
Spirit of the Living God, fill our hearts with love.
 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Psalm 105 p. 828 Voices United with Refrain, Part 1
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-5;
 
HYMN #333 Voices United “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” verses 1 & 3.
Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven to earth come down.
Fix in us thy humble dwelling, all they faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation, enter every trembling heart.
 
Finish then thy new creation, pure, and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place.
Till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.
 
GOOD NEWS  “Planting Seeds”
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER ALTERNATE VERSION
Hear our prayer, Spirit of God, mold me; use me.
Creator, we come to you today, yearning for a sense of peace and hope and at the same time we are thankful for the sparks of joy with which you grace us. We pray that you will make your presence known and hold in the palm of your hand those who are grieving from injury or the loss of loved ones as a result of violence, Covid 19 and other causes. Wanting these individuals to be wrapped in your warm cloak of love and compassion, help us see how we might show your presence in the world.
Hear our prayer, Spirit of God, mold me; use me.
We pray for those who struggle with food security in our country and across the world. We confess that we may not take the time and make the effort to show compassion to others and take action to help relieve suffering within our own and the global community. We ask that you prod us that we might help to bring relief.  Hear our prayer, Spirit of God, mold me; use me.
We pray today for the health of mother earth. Help us to be conscious of how our actions and habits harm or nurture the earth. Give us the fortitude to act in ways that support a healthy environment.
Hear our prayer, Spirit of God, mold me; use me.
As we come to you today we know that each person has burdens and/or gratitude to bring to you. You’re invited to take some time in silent prayer …
 
Let us join together in a alternate version of the prayer that Jesus taught us. This version comes to us from our partners in faith of the United Church of Christ, and is found on page 916 of Voices United, [Copyright 1995 The Pilgrim Press]
Our Father-Mother, how is in the heavens, may your name be made holy,
may your dominion come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread we need; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors;
And do not put us to the test, but rescue us from evil.
For yours in the dominion, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.
 
HYMN #703 Voices United “In the Bulb There is a Flower” 
In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed an apple tree;
In cocoons a hidden promise, butterflies will soon be free.
In the cold and snow of winter lies a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
 
There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody.
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future, what it holds a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
 
In our end is our beginning, in our time infinity.
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection, at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT We remember that the light of Christ is one that endures forever.
 
SENDING FORTH
Creator we thank you for planted seeds that grow into amazing results.
Come touch our hearts that we might rise and follow.
Come bless our hearts that seeds of compassion, love, and a yearning for justice will result in places of shelter for those in need.  Work in us through the spirit.
As we carry on with our lives in the coming week living with a new normal and striving for a sense of resiliency, may God guide us with her grace. Amen and amen!