First United Church, Wetaskiwin – June 28, 2020
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.
 
All music used in this service is copyright and used with permission under One License A-605619. 
The liturgy is original and shared with permission.
 
A link for a video of this service is provided below and on our Facebook page
 
 
WELCOME & NEWS OF INTEREST
 
COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT You’re invited to take a deep breath and make space for the Spirit…
 
HYMN #145 More Voices “Draw the Circle Wide” verses 1 & 2
Refrain Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still, let this be our song,
No one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide.
 
God the still-point of the circle, ‘round whom all creation turns;
Nothing lost, but held forever, in God’s gracious arms. Refrain
 

Let our hearts touch far horizons, so encompass great and small;
Let our loving know no borders, faithful to God’s call. Refrain.

CALL TO WORSHIP
God says: Welcome one another!
If you’re over 90, under 9, or in between God says: Welcome one another!
If you’re a regular, reluctant, just visiting, or not sure, God says: Welcome one another!
If you’d rather be golfing, or camping, or sleeping in God says: Welcome one another!
In this time and place, as people of the One Creator, we gather to worship, to pause in the swirls or silence of our lives and know ourselves beloved and part of the company of saints. We come because God calls us, and God says: Welcome one another!

OPENING PRAYER
Well-spring of Joy, overflow our lives with hope. In this time of worship may we drink deeply of Your refreshing welcome. Wash away our weariness. Feed us with Your Word. Lighten the burden of cares that weigh upon us. May we carry Your welcome into the world, bearing the face of Christ to those we meet. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE READINGS Acts 18:1 – 11
Matthew 10:1, 5 – 14, 40 – 42

HYMN #600 Voices United “When I Needed a Neighbour” verses 1, 2 & 4
When I needed a neighbour were you there? Were you there?
When I needed a neighbour were you there?

Refrain And the creed, and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there?
 
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there? Were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there? Refrain
 
When I needed a healer were you there? Were you there?
When I needed a healer were you there? Refrain
 
GOOD NEWS “Sent out in Jesus’ Name”
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
God of mercy .. teach us to love.
God of open doors and boundless grace, you reach out to welcome us. Forgive us when we take for granted the invitation, the blessing; when we forget the abundance of creation is a gift, or abuse our place within it. Thank you for the times grace has opened up new possibilities for us. May we offer it to others as a means of hope.
God of mercy .. teach us to love.
Christ you come to us, asking to be included, to share in our joys and sorrows, in the everyday moments of our week, holidays and work time. Thank you for the gifts of compassion and hope. We pray especially for those who grieve. Help us offer comfort to one another, listen for those who are hurting, reach out to those who are lonely or lost. Create in us a humble and open heart.
God of mercy .. teach us to love.
Spirit of life, move throughout the world. We pray for the people who build peace, who work and long for justice, renew their strength. Disturb the powerful with your compassion that they might use their power to enrich life rather than destroy it. We remember the soldiers and peacekeepers, aid workers and volunteers, emergency services who choose to trust in the midst of fear, who seek to make the forgotten places in our world a safe and welcome home.
God of mercy .. teach us to love.
In the silence of this time, we offer to you the joys and cares of our living, inviting your guidance as we seek to live faithfully…
Time for silent prayer.
God of mercy … teach us to love.
Holy mystery, beyond all understanding, but as close as a friend’s embrace, hear our prayers. May we be open to your response and invitation this day and all days, in the name of Christ who calls us to heal, liberate and proclaim your love, we pray, 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 “A Safe Home”
Down a long road behind a large fence in Nairobi, Kenya, is a safe house for LGBTQIA and Two-Spirit refugees from Uganda, Somalia, and South Sudan, supported by Mission & Service partner Pembizo Christian Council. The refugees who live here, dream of a day they are resettled in Canada or another country where they can live freely without fear of imprisonment. As they wait for resettlement, they have named themselves the Nature Network and create art, movies, dance, or vlogs to post on Facebook.
In 2017, a small group of Mission & Service pilgrims visited the safe house, and received a warm welcome. When some of the visitors shared that they were LGBTQIA and Two Spirit and able to live openly in relationships, the residents cheered. This is what they pray will be possible for themselves one day.
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 who offer hospitality and sanctuary – hospice and home care workers, emergency evacuation sites, soup kitchens and missions, Neighbours Outreach Wetaskiwin and the Foodbank, Horizons, Touchstone Café and Boys & Girls Club. We keep their staff and volunteers in our prayers as they seek to enrich our communities.
 
HYMN #593 Voices United “Jesu, Jesu, Fill us with Your Love” verses 1 & 2
Refrain Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
Show us how to serve the neighbours we have from you.
 
Kneels at the feet of his friends, silent washes their feet,
Master who acts as a slave to them. Refrain
 
Neighbours are rich and poor, varried in colour and race,
Neighbours are near and far away. Refrain
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the light of Pentecost goes with you.
 
SENDING FORTH
When our path is unclear, Christ is with us to show us the way.
When the demands we face are greater than our response,
Christ is for us to give us courage and strength.
When we feel alone, or the future looks bleak,
Christ is beside us offering assurance and hope.
Go in peace, as a family gathered by the Sender of Love,
Upheld by the One who came in Love,
Sent out in the Power of Love. Amen.
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – June 21, 2020
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.
 
All music used in this service is copyright and used with permission under One License A-605619. 
The liturgy is original and shared with permission.
 
A link for a video of this service is provided below.
 
 
WELCOME & NEWS OF INTEREST
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples day, a time to give thanks and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Peoples. We remember with gratitude, the original inhabitants of this vast land, known to some Indigenous People as Turtle Island. We thank them for their stewardship of air, land, water and the creatures with whom they shared this land we call home. This service comes to you from Treaty 6 Territory and Metis Region 4. Ayhay.
 
COMING CLOSE TO THE LIGHT You’re invited to take a deep breath and make space for the Spirit…
 
HYMN #1 More Voices “Let Us Build a House” Verses 1 & 5
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely life,
A place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions: All are welcome, All are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.
 
Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of grace;
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: All are welcome, All are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.
 
CALL TO WORSHIP
When our lives are comfortable and predictable, 
God offers us opportunities to change and grow.
When we think we have it all “figured out”,
God surprises us with new understanding of how to live each day.
When the way forward is unclear and we feel threatened,
God inspires us to respond in creative and life-giving ways.
When we are confused or judging the actions of others,
God guides us to respectful and gentle response.
When we feel excluded or undervalued,
God invites us to the conversation.
When our relationship with creation collides with our self-serving desires,
God delights in our decisions to act with care and compassion.
 
OPENING PRAYER
Holy Companion, you walk with us in all times and places. Your love surrounds us in familiar and unexpected ways. You cheer us on as we move forward and grow- and you rest with us awhile when we retreat from life’s uncertainties. In times of anxious living, encourage us to share your love boldly. In this time of worship, and throughout our days, open our hearts to welcome the unfamiliar. Confident in your guidance and constant love, we pray. Amen
 
HYMN #371 Voices United “Open My Eyes”
Open my eyes that I may see, visions of truth thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key, that shall unclasp and set me free.
 
Refrain Silently now, I wait for thee. Ready my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine.
 
Open my ears that I may hear, voices of truth thou sendest clear
And while the waves notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear Refrain
 
Open my mouth and let me bear, gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare, love with thy children thus to share. Refrain
 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Psalm 20. Page 742 VU with refrain
Acts 10: 1-20
 
GOOD NEWS
 
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE & THE LORD’S PRAYER
Creator God, Great Spirit… Hear our prayer and guide our actions from this moment on. Thank You for long days and the warmth of sunshine, for rain that nourishes and refreshes. Thank you for all the caregivers of the land; for those who prepare the land and plant seeds in fields and gardens. In this growing season, remind us that small seeds produce abundant harvests. We pray that all we say and do would be seeds in your garden.
Creator God, Great Spirit,
Hear our prayer and guide our actions from this moment on. On this Indigenous Day of Prayer we open our hearts to the hurts and needs of this world. You call us to be your presence in this world, in this time and in this place. You call us to seek justice for all people and to show respect for all of your creation. We pray for insight and sensitivity to recognize injustices. Grant us courage to speak up when prejudice and bias influence the words or actions of those around us. When our culture and customs limit our understanding of love, broaden our vision to include all of your creation.
Creator God, Great Spirit…
Hear our prayer and guide our actions from this moment on. In these uncertain times, we pray for all those who feel lonely, or misunderstood, or anxious; for those who are grieving; for our young people who look to an unknown future; for our elders who have much wisdom to share. Pour out Your Spirit of resilience on us. We would follow in the path of Jesus, in whose name we pray, 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
 
HYMN #144 More Voices “Like a Healing Stream”
Like a healing stream in a barren desert, Spirit water bringing life to dusty earth;
God is trickling through lives as in a dream unfolding,
Promising revival and rebirth… like a healing stream.
 
Like a gentle rain on a thirsty garden, Spirit water come to nourish tiny seed,
God is bubbling through the soil to coax a new creation,
Yearning for an end to want and need … like a gentle rain.
 
Like a river strong, with a restless current, Spirit water rushing on to distant shore,
God is carving out a channel in a new direction,
Calling for and to hate and war … Like a river strong.
 
Like a mighty sea reaching far horizons, Spirit water with a love both deep and wide,
God is working in our hearts to shape a new tomorrow:
God will always challenge and provide! Like a mighty sea…
Like a river strong, like a gentle rain, like a healing stream.
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the Light goes with you.
 
BLESSING FOR THE WAY
God invites us into this world God loves,
To east and south, west and north, we are going.
Let us thank and praise God for our gifts of diversity!
We go to live into right relations.
Remember the Creator, upon whose earth we move,
Whose air we breathe and into whose kin-dom we now go. Amen and Amen!
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – June 14, 2020
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.
 
All music used in this service is copyright and used with permission under One License A-605619. 
The liturgy is original and shared with permission.
 
A link for a video of 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 #12 More Voices “Come Touch Our Hearts” vss 1 & 3
Come touch our hearts that we may know compassion,
From failing embers build a blazing fire;
Love strong enough to overturn injustice,
To seek a world more gracious,
Come touch and bless our hearts.
 
Come touch our minds and teach us how to reason,
Set free our thoughts to wonder and to dream;
Help us to open doors of understanding,
To welcome truth and wisdom,
Come touch and bless our minds.
 
CALL TO WORSHIP
We gather in Christ’s name –
Who gives rest to the weary, healing to the sick,
Who comforts the afflicted, and afflicts the comfortable.
God calls us together in the Spirit.
Praise be to Creator who summons the dawn;
Whose love is fresh as the morning and sure as the sunrise.
 
OPENING PRAYER
Baker-woman God take hold of us. Your memory stretches far beyond the reach of time. No one is lost to You. We come to You today, full of memories, tangled in our own emotions. Knead our lives and soften our hearts. Roll out Your Spirit upon us in this time of worship. Stir in us the welcome You offer to all creation. Together may we share the bread of life with all those who hunger. Amen.
 
SCRIPTURE READINGS Romans 5:1 – 5,  Matthew 9:35 – 10:1
 
GIVING THANKS – SAINTS PAST Candle-lighting and Naming of those who have died in the past year… … We remember, and we give thanks!
 
HYMN #12 More Voices “Come Touch Our Hearts” vss 4 & 5
Come touch us in the moments we are fragile,
And in our weakness your great strength reveal;
That we may rise to follow and to serve,
Steady now our nerve, Come touch and bless our wills.
 
Come touch us now, this people who are gathered,
To break the bread and share the cup of peace;
That we may love you with our heart, our soul,
Our mind, our strength, our all, Come touch us with your grace.
 
GIVING THANKS – SAINTS PRESENT     Invitation to Covenant – Local Representatives of Northern Spirit Regional Council of the United Church of Canada
 
Local NSRC Representative:
Will you, the people of First United commit yourselves anew to being a community of faith within the Northern Spirit Regional Council of The United Church of Canada?
 
ALL: We will, God being our helper.
 
Local NSRC Representative:
Will you, the people of First United covenant with the Northern Spirit Regional Council, representing The United Church of Canada, to be in ministry together and to fulfill the responsibilities of a community of faith as outlined in The Manual of The United Church of Canada and as expressed in our community plans and profiles.
 
ALL: We will, God being our helper.
 
Prayer:
Creator God, You are a God of covenant and renewal. We are people called to a journey as part of a larger body of faith and life. In making a covenant today with the Northern Spirit Regional Council, we commit to working together with respect, compassion and encouragement so that we may be renewed in faith and hope.
We pray for the life and ministry of our community of faith, and for United Church communities of faith and United Church leadership everywhere.
Where there is struggle and anxiety, may there also be courage. Where there is complacency and convention, may wisdom arise. And where there is renewal and reconciliation, may there be fresh expressions of joy. This we pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.
 
GIVING THANKS – SAINTS FUTURE    Presentation of Quilts to our graduates – Aspen, Ethan & Wesley
 
WELCOME TO THE TABLE
Gathered round a table is where Jesus so often met people.
Gathered round the table of Matthew, the table of Zaccheus, the table of Martha and Mary and Lazarus.
Gathered round a table where he could see people face to face, listen to their stories, share their laughter.
And here we are – gathered round a virtual table, because Jesus has promised to meet us here. And wherever we are gathered he listens to our stories, sees us face to face.
So accept his invitation and feel welcome at this table,  in our stories, in our meeting, in our sharing this feast, we share a taste of holy love.
The peace of Christ be with you.  And also with you.
 
HYMN #468 Voices United “Let us Talents and Tongues Employ”
Let us talents and tongues employ,
Reaching out with a shout of joy;
Bread is broken, the wine is poured,
Christ is spoken and seen and heard.
 
Refrain Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,
Pass the Word around: loaves abound! (Sing twice)
 
Jesus calls us in, sends us out,
Bearing fruit in a world of doubt,
Gives us love to tell, bread to share:
God, Immanuel, every where! Refrain
 
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
God You are with us!
In this place, and wherever we journey.
Holy, holy, holy God, maker and mender of all that is,
We lift our hearts to You in thanks and praise.
Blessed are You gracious God,
In whom there is life and love and being.
Your love is like cool, refreshing water on the parched places of our lives.
Your love is like greening pastures when we hunger for justice.
You call us into community; shape us with love; mold us with grace.
And send us out in Christ’s name.
When we forget our calling,
You remind us who we are, and whose we are.
Where we let prejudice or suspicion flourish,
You invite us to the table of understanding.
When we give in to fear, You fill our cup with calm.
When we fail to listen, when we judge in haste,
Touch us with Your goodness and mercy.
Let us rejoice in the differences that strengthen us.
Let us give thanks for the faith that unites us.
Today we gather in communion with those saints who have gone before us.
We remember that Jesus invited saints and sinners to eat with him and be his friends.
Jesus invites us to this table, to taste and see, experience and remember Your love, broken and poured out for each of us.
We remember the power of Your love to change our lives,
To bring hope in despair, and new life from darkened tombs.
As we gather at this table, we remember Your promise.
We also remember all those with whom You would have us share Your feast, O God.
We pray for those who are in sorrow or in pain …
For those who are ill or alone …
For those who live with fear, discrimination, or hunger …
For all whom the world counts as last and least …
We pray for Your church and its varied ministries ….
For nations as they strive for peace and justice …
For our families and friends and neighbours …
For the healing of our lands, waters, and skies…
In the celebration of this table, may we find communion with all those who have gone before,
And the generations who will follow.
Together we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Holy Spirit, brood upon us and upon these gifts. As we share in this loaf and cup, so may we share in Christ’s work. Send us into Your world refreshed and renewed by Your grace. May we be whole and part of Creation’s healing this day. Amen and Amen.
 
SHARING AT TABLE
Jesus says, eat, drink and remember who I am.
Eat, drink, Remember who I am so you can remember who you are.
Eat, drink, Remember who I am so you can remember who you are and tell others.
Eat. Drink. Remember who I am so you can remember who you are, and tell the others, so that all God’s creation can dwell in holy communion. These are the gifts of God, for the people of God.
Thanks be to God!
Come and feast at the welcome table –
Neighbour beside neighbour, all are welcome here!
 
You’re invited to share in the cup and bread in your home or with your household.
 
PRAYER FOR THE JOURNEY & THE LORD’S PRAYER
For the bread we have eaten, for the cup we have shared, for the life we have received, we thank You Holy One. Grant us the wisdom to grow in our faith and the courage to be leaven, salt and light in the world. We pray in the words Jesus’ taught his friends saying, Our Father, who art in heaven …. Amen.
 
HYMN #84 All God’s Children Sing  “I am the Church”
Refrain   I am the church, You are the church,
We are the church together. All who follow Jesus,
All around the world, Yes! We’re the church together!
 
The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple.
The church is not a resting place, the church is the people. Refrain
 
I count if I am ninety, or nine, or just baby.
There’s one thing I am sure about, and I don’t mean maybe… Refrain
 
CHANGING THE LIGHT Now wherever you go, the light of Pentecost goes with you.
 
SENDING FORTH
God sends us into the world.  Ordinary people with an extraordinary calling.
Jesus calls us disciples. We are ready to follow.
The Spirit graces us with hope. May we share it with passion!
All the blessings of God, Maker, Mender and Minder be with us now and all our days!  Amen!
 
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – June 7th, 2020
Permission to post the music in this service has been obtained from One License with
license A-605619. All liturgy is original and is shared with permission.
Thanks to the Stewardship Team for offering leadership in worship.
 
A video link for this service is provided below.
 
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – May 31st, 2020 – Pentecost
 
A video link for this service is provided below.
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – May 24th, 2020 – 7th Sunday in Easter
Permission to post the music in this service has been obtained from One License with license A-605619.  All liturgy is shared with permission of the author.
A video link for this service is available below.
 
 
First United Church, Wetaskiwin – May 17th, 2020 – 6th Sunday in Easter
Permission to post the music in this service has been obtained from One License with license A-605619 . All liturgy is original and I give permission for it to be shared.
 
A link for this worship video is provided below.