Hilary Plowright
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Hybrid Church, Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 26, 2023, Presider: The Rev. Deborah van der Goes

Musician: Dorothy Dittrich

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

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey,

you are welcome here!

The Gathering of the Community

Welcome & Announcements  

Whether you are gathering in person, on zoom or worshipping at home with the bulletin, welcome! We are one community, one in the body of Christ. 

“Bell Changes” (traditional)               arranged by Larry Sue – The Bell Ringers

“Carillon on Nettleton”                 arranged by Danny Lyons – The Bell Ringers

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

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

All:     And also with you

Celebrant: Almighty God,

All:    to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no 

          secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the

          inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, 

and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ 

our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing                              VU #326

1 O for a thousand tongues to sing

my great Redeemer's praise,

the glories of my God and king,

the triumphs of God's grace.

2 Jesus! the name that charms our fears,

that bids our sorrows cease;

'tis music in the sinner's ears,

'tis life and health and peace.

3 He speaks, and listening to his voice,

new life the dead receive,

the mournful broken hearts rejoice,

the humble poor believe.

4 Hear him, you deaf, you voiceless ones,

your tongues again employ;

you blind, behold your Saviour comes,

and leap, you lame, for joy!

5 My gracious Master and my God,

assist me to proclaim,

to spread through all the earth abroad

the honours of your name.

The Collect

(a prayer which collects the themes of the day)

Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us from sin and death.  Breathe upon us with the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ, and serve you in holiness and righteousness all our days: through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Proclamation of the Word

Reader: By the gift of your Spirit, calm and quiet our souls that we may hear your Word today and be lifted up to walk with you. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)                                 Reader: Shelagh Huston

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’

Psalm 130: Up from the Depths I Cry to God                                VU #852 

Up from the depths I cry to God:.

O listen, Lord, to me;

O hear my voice in this distress,

this mire of misery.


I wait for God with all my heart,

my hope is in his word;

and more than watchmen for the dawn

I’m longing for you, God.

2 If you, my God, should measure guilt

who then could ever stand?

But those who fear your name will find

forgiveness from your hand. [Refrain]

3 O Israel, set you hope in God

whose mercy is supreme:

the nation mourning for its sin

God surely will redeem. [Refrain]

Epistle Reading: Romans 8:6-11                                   Reader: David Soy
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law-- indeed it cannot, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45                                            Deacon: Shelagh Huston

As is your custom, please stand or sit for the reading of the gospel. 

Reader: God be with you.  

All: And also with you

Reader: The Good News of Jesus the Christ according to John

All:  Glory to you, Christ Jesus.

John 11:1-45 (NRSV) 

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, 

‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.   

All: Praise be to Jesus Christ       

Reflection:                         “I believe….or do I?”

Lenten Theme: Forward in Faith – Step by Step “Faith Rings Out”

In the name of the Holy One, our call to ministry is achieved step by step.  Our Lenten journey places us one step after another on a pathway towards the unfolding of God’s “Kin-dom Come.”  Christ Church Gabriola is on the journey.  Our ministries bear witness to our discipleship and following in Jesus’ way.  This Fifth Sunday of Lent is a sounding.  The bells ring, and as one “More Voices” hymn rings out:  “the bells of peace shall sound.”  There are many ways to resoundingly declare our connection with the Divine.  Today we make the connection note by note with the sound of hand bells.  After a hiatus forced by the Covid pandemic, the Bell Ringers have resumed their weekly practices.  Note by note they make beautiful music together, lifting their bells to make “heavenly” music.  It is a ministry of purposeful community…a community of friends with shared intent that love making a joyful noise together.  As you will hear today, the Bell Ringers (Barbara Harling spokesperson, Margaret Taylor group lead) really do play for the joy of it and we are blessed in our receiving of their collective sounding out.  At the conclusion of their Lenten “story,” a stepping stone representing the joy and purpose of this ministry will be placed at the front of the church.  

“Faith Rings Out”                                                                                  Barbara Harling

The Apostles’ Creed (please stand) 

Celebrant: Let us confess the faith of our baptism, as we say,

  All:   I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and 

           earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He 

          was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the

          Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, 

          died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third 

          day he rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at 

          the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the 

          living and the dead.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen. 

Prayers of the People     (attached)                                      
            One:  God, our Redeemer,                                                            Susan Brockley                                                                 All:    Hear Our Prayer.                                                                                            

Confession and Absolution

Celebrant: During this season of Lent, we remember that we are formed 

out of the dust and by the grace of God we are known and loved 

despite our human frailties.  So let us come to God as the one from whom no secrets are hidden, to ask for forgiveness and peace. 

All:    Almighty God, you create us from nothing and give us life.  

You give your faithful people new life in your grace and love. 

You do not turn your face from us, nor cast us aside. We confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbour:  in what we have thought, in what we have said and done, through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We have wounded your love and marred your image in us.  Restore us for the sake of your Son, and bring us to heavenly joy, in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Celebrant: Now the Father of all mercies cleanse you from your sins, 

and restore you in his image to the praise and glory of his name, 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Peace 

You are invited to turn to those directly around you and share Christ’s peace. Those on zoom, please unmute and share with one another.

Celebrant: The peace of Christ be always with you. 

All:    And also with you.

In which we “Take Bread”, Give Thanks, Break Bread, and Share Communion

Offertory Hymn x3 (while the altar is being prepared)                         CP #563

In God alone my soul can find rest and peace, 

in God, my peace and joy.  

Only in God my soul can find its rest, 

find its rest and peace.

Doxology                                                                                                                                         CP #669

Praise God the Source of life and birth,

Praise God the Word, who came to earth.

Praise God the Spirit, holy flame.

All Glory, honour to God’s name.

Prayer over the Gifts 

Celebrant: Giver of life, your Son has destroyed the power of death for all those who believe in him.  Accept all we offer you this day and strengthen us in faith and hope: through Jesus Christ, the Lord of all the Living.       

The Call to Give Thanks (Sursum Corda)

Celebrant: May God be with you. 

All:    and also with you. 

Celebrant: Lift up your hearts. 

All:    We lift them up to God 

Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

All:    It is right to give our thanks and praise. 

The Thanksgiving (Preface)

Celebrant: Holy God, Lover of creation, we give you thanks and praise 

for in the ocean of your steadfast love you bear us and place the song of your Spirit in our hearts. When we turn from your love and defile the earth, you do not abandon us. Your Spirit speaks through Huldah and Micah, through prophets, sages, and saints in every age, to confront our sin and reveal the vision of your new creation. Joining in the song of the universe we proclaim your glory singing…

The Song of Creation (Sanctus-Benedictus)

All together singing (MV #203)    

O Holy, holy, holy God, O God of time and space.                
All earth and sea and sky bear witness to your grace
Hosanna in the highest heav’n, creation sings your praise.
And blessed is the One who comes and bears your name always

Prayer of Self-Giving (Anamnesis-Oblation) 

Celebrant: Gracious God, in the fullness of time you sent Jesus the Christ to share our fragile humanity. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection you open the path from brokenness to health, from fear to trust, from pride and conceit to reverence for you. 

Remembering Jesus at Table (Institution Narrative)

Rejected by a world that could not bear the Gospel of life, Jesus knew death was near.  His head anointed for burial by an unknown woman, Jesus gathered together those who loved him.  He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it and gave it to his friends, saying, “Take and eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, gave you thanks, and said “Drink this all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many. Whenever you drink it, 
do this for the remembrance of me.” And now we gather at this table in response to his commandment, to share the bread and cup of Christ’s undying love, and to proclaim our faith. 

Affirmation of Memory and Hope

All together singing (MV #204):   

Christ has died and Christ is risen, Christ will come again! 

Christ has died and Christ is risen, Christ will come again! 

Prayer for Transformation (Epiclesis)

Breathe your Holy Spirit, the wisdom of the universe, upon these gifts 

that we bring to you: this bread, this cup, ourselves, our souls and 

bodies, that we may be signs of your love for all the world and ministers 

of your transforming purpose.  

Concluding Praise 

Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, Creator of all, and we bless your holy name for ever. 

The Amen

All:    Amen.  So be it.  Make it so.  Amen

Prayer of Jesus

We all sing (VU #959)

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.

The Breaking of the Bread                                                                    

Celebrant: We break this bread,

All:    Communion in Christ’s body once broken.

Celebrant: Let your Church be the wheat which bears its fruit in dying.

All:    If we have died with him, we shall live with him;
if we hold firm, we shall reign with him.

The Communion      

All are welcome to receive communion or a blessing at God’s table

Celebrant: The gifts of God for the People of God.

All:    Thanks be to God.

Communion Hymn:  Breathe on Me Breath of God                VU #382

1 Breathe on me, breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

2 Breathe on me, breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with thine,
to do and to endure.

3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

4 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die;
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.

Prayer after Communion (please stand)

All:    God of hope, in this Eucharist we have tasted the promise of 

          your heavenly banquet and the richness of eternal life.  May 

          we who bear witness to the death of your Son, also proclaim 

          the glory of his resurrection, for he is Lord for ever and ever.  


We are Sent Forth

Celebrant: Glory to God

All:    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. 


For those of you at home, on Zoom, if you are with another person, you are invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

Celebrant: The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, 

on your journey,           guiding you, cherishing you.

Left/Zoom: The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and 

          stories feeding you, challenging you.

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

All:    Divine blessing be ours, on our homes, on our living,           guarding us, encouraging us. Let us walk together, a           community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

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

All:    Thanks be to God! 

Closing Hymn: Come Down, O Love Divine                            VU #367   

1 Come down, O love divine,

seek now this soul of mine,

and visit it with your own ardour glowing.

O Comforter, draw near,

within my heart appear,

and kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.

2 O let it freely burn,

till earthly passions turn

to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

and let your glorious light

shine ever on my sight,

and clothe me round, my onward path illuming.

3 And so the yearning strong

with which the soul will long

shall far outpass the power of human telling;

for none can guess its grace,

till Love create the place

wherein the Holy Spirit makes its dwelling.              


Deacon: Go in peace. Remember the poor

All:    Thanks be to God. Amen.