Hilary Plowright
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Home Church, 18th Sunday after Pentecost,September 26, 2021,Rev. Karen Hollis

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Preparing the Space Around Us

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. I invite you to prepare the space around you so that for the next hour you can be fully in this worship experience, not to keep out the realities of the world, rather to focus us in the midst of it all on God. If you need to go and get something or shift something around you, feel free. Today we are observing Truth and Reconciliation day; you are invited to wear an orange shirt for this service.

Preparing the Space within Us

Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need from this time of worship. 

One:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, 

          and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

All:    And also with you       

Opening Words                                                                Iona Abbey Worship Book

One:  The world belongs to God

All:    The Earth and all its people.

One:  How good it is, how wonderful,

All:    To live together in unity.

One:  Love and faith come together,

All:    justice and peace join hands.

One:  If Christ’s disciples keep silent

All:    these stones would shout aloud.

One:  Open our lips, O God,

All:    and our mouths shall proclaim your praise.

Opening Prayer                                                        Iona Abbey Worship Book

God of all times and all places, God of all peoples of the earth, you share our joys and sorrows, you hear our laughter and our cries for justice, you fill the hungry and set free the oppressed. We honour and praise you as we gather this morning. We come to you in prayer for the end to all injustice. Inspire us with your all-embracing love, challenge us with the sacrificial love of Jesus, empower us with the transforming love of the Spirit, that all may live and be free. Amen.

Hymn: Bring Many Names                                                           VU #268

1 Bring many names, beautiful and good,

celebrate, in parable and story,

holiness in glory, living, loving God:

Hail and Hosanna! Bring many names!

2 Strong mother God, working night and day,

planning all the wonders of creation,

setting each equation, genius at play:

Hail and Hosanna, strong mother God!

3 Warm father God, hugging every child,

feeling all the strains of human living,

caring and forgiving till we're reconciled:

Hail and Hosanna, warm father God!

4 Old, aching God, grey with endless care,

calmly piercing evil's new disguises,

glad of good surprises, wiser than despair:

Hail and Hosanna, old, aching God!

5 Young, growing God, eager, on the move,

saying no to falsehood and unkindness,

crying out for justice, giving all you have:

Hail and Hosanna, young, growing God!

6 Great, living God, never fully known,

joyful darkness far beyond our seeing,

closer yet than breathing, everlasting home:

Hail and Hosanna, great, living God!

Prayer of Confession            

On this day where we acknowledge the need for truth and reconciliation in our country, we come before you, O God, a people in need of transformation.

Have mercy on us, O God, when we avoid the topic of reconciliation live with a blind eye to this injustice.

Have mercy on us, O God, when we think we understand and believe we have the full picture of the healing that is needed.

Have mercy on us, O God, when we look to Indigenous People to teach us about the work of the non-Indigenous.

Have mercy on us, O God, when we feel our resistance to change and push away ideas of how we might live differently.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Grace                                     

God’s love for us is not based on our goodness or the things we do right. Whoever you are and wherever you are on the journey of reconciliation, God is with you and God’s grace will continue to be made known to us until all things are made well.

Peace of Christ 

Christ came to teach us about God's love, about wholeness, about justice, about reconciliation and transformation. This is God's work in the world, so especially when we acknowledge God's presence, this is our work, as well. We get to practice this posture each week as we pass the peace of Christ with one another. Let us continue our practice by passing the peace this morning . . . let us say together:

            A-M: The Peace of Christ be with you!

            N-Z:  And also with you!

First Reading: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22                      Christine Blackburn 

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, ‘What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’ Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have won your favour, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.’ Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?’ Esther said, ‘A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!’ Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, ‘Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.’ And the king said, ‘Hang him on that.’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Mordecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same month, year by year, as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor.

Psalm 124                                                          Voices United  George Westarp

“If God had not been at our side,”

       now let Israel say:

“If God had not been at our side when mortals rose up against us,

       then they would have swallowed us alive,

       when their fury was roused against us.

Then the flood would have swept us away,

and the torrent would have covered us.

       Then the raging waters would have gone right over our heads.”

But praised be God: who has not given us as a prey to their teeth.

       We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s snare;

       the snare is broken and we are free.

Gospel Reading                                                                     George Westarp

One:  God be with you.            

All:    And also with you.

One:  The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Mark;

All:    Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 9:38-50                                                                                      NRSV

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

One: This is the Gospel of Christ; 

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ


Silent Reflection

The Iona Creed

Let us affirm our faith . . . 

We believe that God is present

in the darkness before dawn;

in the waiting and uncertainty

where fear and courage join hands,

conflict and caring link arms,

and the sun rises over barbed wire.

We believe in a with-us God

who sits down in our midst

to share our humanity.

We affirm a faith

that takes us beyond a safe place:

into action, into vulnerability

and into the streets.

We commit ourselves to work for change

and put ourselves on the line;

to bear responsibility, take risks,

live powerfully and face humiliation;

to stand with those on the edge;

to choose life 

and be used by the Spirit

for God’s new community of hope.  


Prayers of the People                                                                      Paddy Waymark

One:  Patient God,

All:    Hear Our Prayers.

Lord’s Prayer                                                                   Ecumenical Version

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, 

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.

Offering                                                          Hilary Plowright - Communications

Offering Prayer 

Loving God, just as the Apostle Paul stayed connected with communities through letters, we rely on our modern technology not only to keep us connected as a community, but to reach beyond our walls. We give thanks for email, for websites and newsletters, for words and pictures. We give thanks for the detailed, technical and artistic work of the communications committee that works in service of everyone staying informed and up to date; we give thanks zoom and for those who work behind the scenes to support our worship environment. Thank you, God, that even in these days, we have this ministry to foster our connections as a community. Amen

Hymn: My Soul Cries Out                                                           MV #120

1 My soul cries out with a joyful shout

that the God of my heart is great,

And my spirit sings of the wondrous things

that you bring to the one who waits.

You fixed your sight on the servant's plight,

and my weakness you did not spurn,

So from east to west shall my name be blest.

Could the world be about to turn?


My heart shall sing of the day you bring.

Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears,

For the dawn draws near,

And the world is about to turn.

2 Though I am small, my God, my all,

you work great things in me.

And your mercy will last from the depths of the past

to the end of the age to be.

Your very name puts the proud to shame,

and those who would for you yearn, 

You will show your might, put the strong to flight,

for the world is about to turn.  Refrain

3 From the halls of power to the fortress tower,

not a stone will be left on stone.

Let the king beware for your justice tears

every tyrant from his throne.

The hungry poor shall weep no more,

for the food they can never earn;

These are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,

for the world is about to turn.  Refrain

4 Though the nations rage from age to age,

we remember who holds us fast:

God's mercy must deliver us

from the conqueror's crushing grasp.

This saving word that our forbears heard

is the promise that holds us bound,

'Til the spear and rod be crushed by God,

who is turning the world around.        Refrain

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessing                                                                                Iona Community

If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:  The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey,           guiding you, cherishing you.

A-M:  The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories,            feeding you, challenging you.

N-Z:   The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom,           comforting you, disturbing you.

All:    The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living,  guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a           community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:  Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:    Thanks be to God! Alleluia!



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