Bulletin for Sept 20, 2020
Services will be recorded and uploaded to our
St Paul’s YouTube channel
(barring any technical difficulties) each Sunday afternoon as soon as they are edited for viewing.
Through Faith, we walk on the path Jesus set for us.
The People of St. Paul’s Belong… Believe…Love ..Listen… Lead
WE APPROACH OUR GRACIOUS GOD
LIFE & WORK OF THE CONGREGATION
CALL TO WORSHIP
May the Peace of Christ be with you!
And also with you!
We have been called and we have come,
but where are we, where are we going?
We find ourselves in a wilderness time, and the future is uncertain,
will we have everything we need? Were we better off before?
We need hope, we need faith, we need trust.
God has brought us here, God will take us forward, let us worship the God of the journey.
LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE
As the candle flame flickers to life then burns with a steady glow
So may the Spirit move in and around us so that God’s light would shine through us.
Gathered as Spirit-filled disciples of Christ, we quiet our hearts for worship
God of the desert, the urban jungle, the wilderness places, we come together again in worship.
During this time of prayer and listening and reflection reawaken in us the hope of the unknown.
May this time together empower us to go forward boldly even when we want to go back to the familiar. Amen.
Gathering Hymn VU #650 O God of Bethel
WE SHARE AS GOD’S CHILDREN THE BIBLE’S STORY IN WORD AND IN SONG:
A TIME FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART
PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Guiding God, you lead us into the wilderness, with a promise of new life on the other side.
And to be honest we are not always willing to go.
We mourn for what we leave behind, what we have lost.
We want to go back to the comfortable, the known, the familiar.
Gracious God, in this COVID-tide season,
we carry grief and anxiety, we wish we could go back to a more comfortable place.
Feed and sustain us in our desert time, we pray.
Hear our cries and share our grief.
Then, when the time comes, lead us into a future with a mix of familiar and new ways of being
Gracious God, when we chafe against the changes and chances of life,
strengthen us, embolden us, and forgive our doubting that this is the path of promise.
…time of silent prayer…
In Grace God leads us into the wilderness, in Grace God sustains us in the wilderness, with Grace God hears our griefs and complaints and anxieties in the wilderness. Still God leads us into the future, sharing a promise of life renewed.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Psalm 78 (VU p.792)
CONTEMPORARY READING: “For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing.” (John O’Donohue)
(trusting that God is at work in our midst we allow the words we have heard to settle and stir in our souls)
SERMON Can We Go Back?
Hymn MV #150 Spirit God, Be Our Breath
WE EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO GOD AND PREPARE FOR MINISTRY IN THE WORLD
Sharing of Celebrations and Concerns
Prayers of the People
Hymn VU #647 Travel On, Travel On
As our worship concludes, we go out into the world to live and love and serve.
We carry with us our hopes for the future, but also our grief for what we have lost.
In the midst of hope and fear and grief and possibilities we meet God,
the one who continues to sustain us, the one who feeds with us in the desert.
And so we can share the promise that there is hope beyond the grief, even if we can’t go back to where we once were.
Thanks be to God who leads and sustains us into a new way of being.
Sung Benediction: VU #884 You Shall Go Out with Joy
~ ~ ~ HAVE A GREAT WEEK ~ ~ ~
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