Hilary Plowright
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Home Church 23rd Sunday after Pentecost November 8, 2020 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.

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    

Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her,and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

Opening Prayer  Read the prayer slowly.                                            

Holy God, we hear echoes of your Wisdom in Christ Jesus, the

One you sent to dwell in our midst and lead us to abundant life. Keep us alert to your movement in our midst and aware of your

call to action. Help us to be ready to respond with justice and joy in your holy moment. Amen

Hymn: We Praise You O God    VU #218

1 We praise you, O God, our Redeemer, Creator;

in grateful devotion our tribute we bring.

We lay it before you; we kneel and adore you;

we bless your holy name: glad praises we sing.

2 We worship you, God of our mothers and fathers,

through trial and tempest, companion and guide.

When perils o'ertake us, you will not forsake us,

but faithful to your promise, you walk by our side.

3 With voices united our praises we offer,

and gladly our songs of thanksgiving we raise.

Our sins now confessing, we pray for your blessing,

to you, our great Redeemer, forever be praise!

Prayer of Confession Walter Brueggemann

One:    We long for you, O God, and we are here. In this moment,

            in this space, and we thank you that you are here with us.

All:      You know us, God; we do not have to pretend with you.

One:    In the silence of your love, we bring to you the things that trouble us, that harm us, that make us feel ashamed or afraid, that we have not been able to say aloud.

Silent prayer of confession

One:    God have mercy on us

All:      Christ have mercy on us

One:    God have mercy on us


Assurance of Grace

When we turn toward God we find God already embracing us with

God’s grace and love. Let us receive what God offers us so freely.

Peace of Christ

The peace Christ brings is wholeness through reconciliation. It’s the peace that comes when we know we are ok in ourselves, in relationship with others, and with God. Let us celebrate this peace with one another in a spirit of reconciliation.

              One:  The Peace of Christ be with you!

              All:    And also with you!

First Reading: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25   Christine Blackburn

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; ‘Now, therefore, revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’ Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God. But Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.’ And the people said to Joshua, ‘No, we will serve the Lord!’ Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.’ And they said, ‘We are witnesses.’ He said, ‘Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.’ The people said to Joshua, ‘The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.’ So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

Gospel Reading                                   

One:      God be with you.       

All:        And also with you

One:      The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

All:        Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 25:1-13  Charlie Blackburn

‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

              One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

              All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Reflection:  Rev Karen Hollis (see attached)     

Silent Reflection

A New Creed: Let us affirm our faith . . .

We are not alone,

    we live in God’s world.

 We believe in God:

    who has created and is creating,

    who has come in Jesus,

       the Word made flesh,

       to reconcile and make new,

    who works in us and others

       by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:

    to celebrate God’s presence,

    to live with respect in Creation,

    to love and serve others,

    to seek justice and resist evil,

    to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,

       our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,

    God is with us.

We are not alone.

    Thanks be to God.

Prayers of the People  Susan Brockley  (see attached)                   

One:    Gracious God

All:      Hear Our Prayer

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   Alex McConnell

Let us pray . . .

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.

Hymn: Seek Ye First    VU #356

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

and God’s righteousness,

and all these things shall be added unto you.

Hallelu, hallelujah

Ask and it shall be given unto you,

seek and you shall find; knock

and the door shall be opened unto you.

Hallelu, hallelujah

We do not live by bread alone,

but by every word

that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Hallelu, hallelujah

Descant v. 3:   Hal – le – lu – jah,

hal – le – lu – jah,

hal – le – lu – jah,

hal – le – lu – jah.

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.

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

A-M:      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!