Hilary Plowright
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Hybrid Church, Fourth Sunday in Lent 

Theme:  “Home-cooked Hospitality” March 19, 2023 

Rev. Sally Bullas 

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! 

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.  

Centering & Stillness                                                                          (Ted Loder) 

Gentle me, Holy One, into an unclenched moment, a deep breath, a letting go of heavy expectations, of shriveling anxieties, of dead certainties, that, softened by the silence, surrounded by the light, and open to the mystery, I may be found by wholeness, upheld by the unfathomable, entranced by the simple, and filled with joy that is you. 

(invitation to sit in silence) 

Introit: All Who Hunger                                                   VU #460 vs.1 

All who hunger gather gladly; holy manna is our bread. 

Come from wilderness and wandering. 

Here, in truth, we will be fed. You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food. 

Taste and see the grace eternal. 

Taste and see that God is good.  

The Christ Candle is Lit  

One: Love and light of Christ… 

All: make us whole, body and soul. 


One:  The grace of Christ Jesus, the love of God,     and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 

All:  And also with you 

Opening Words                                                                               (Ted Loder, adapted)

One: Sometimes, One-With-Us, it just seems to be too much: 

All: too much violence, too much fear;   too much of demands and problems; 

One: too much of broken dreams and broken lives;   too much of war and slums and dying; All: too much of greed and squishy fatness          and the sounds of people devouring each other      and the earth; 

One: too much of stale routines and quarrels, unpaid bills and dead              ends;  

            too much of words lobbed in to explode and leaving shredded               hearts and lacerated souls; 

All:  too much of turned-away backs and yellow silence, red rage    and the bitter taste of ashes in our mouths. 

One: Sometimes the very air seems scorched by threats and rejection           and decay until there is nothing but to inhale pain and exhale              confusion. 

All:  Too much of darkness, Lord, too much cruelty and      selfishness and indifference… 

One: Or is it too little, too little of compassion, 

All:  of daring, of persistence, of sacrifice;  too little of music and laughter and celebration? 

Hymn:  Bread of Life                                                              MV #194 
1Bread of life, feed my soul, as the presence of the Spirit makes me whole. Bread of life, fill my heart with the grace and mercy you impart. 

2I have heard your voice calling, 

“Come my friend, and share in the feast that is laid out for you to show how much I care”. 

3Bread of life, help me live a life as pure and true as Jesus did. Bread of life, help me see the boundless love of Christ for you and me. 

4I have heard your voice calling, 

“Come my friend, and share in the feast that is laid out for you to show how much I care”. 

5Bread of life, feed my soul, as the presence of the Spirit makes me whole. Bread of life, fill my heart with the grace and mercy you impart. 

Opening Prayer                                                         (Ted Loder, adapted)  

One: O God, make of us some nourishment for these starved times, 

All:  some food for our brothers and sisters who are hungry for  gladness and hope,  

One: that, being bread for them, we may also be fed and be full. 

(time to reflect)

Passing of the Peace 

One:  The peace of Christ be with you!  

           All:       And also with you! 

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. 

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: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NRSV)   Reader: Nancy Hetherington-Peirce The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’ Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.’ Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ He said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. 

Psalm 23                                                                                  VU #749 
Refrain 2 

The God of love my shepherd is; what can I want or need.                    

God is my shepherd,   there is nothing I shall lack. 

You, God, make me lie down in green pastures, 

          you lead me beside peaceful waters; 

you revive my spirit, 

            you guide me in right pathways for your name’s sake.   R Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me.          your rod and your staff are my comfort. 

You spread a table for me in the sight of my enemies;              you anoint my head with oil, my cup is overflowing. 

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,      and I will dwell in God’s house my whole life long.    R 

Gospel Reading                                     Reader: Nancy Hetherington-Peirce 

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 9:1-41 (NRSV) 
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, ‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’ They said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’ They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.’ Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?’ And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, ‘What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’ 

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’ 

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, ‘Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ Then they reviled him, saying, ‘You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man answered, ‘Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’ They answered him, ‘You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?’ And they drove him out. Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ 

And he worshipped him. Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.’ Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, ‘Surely we are not blind, are we?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see”, your sin remains. Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.    

                       All: Praise be to Jesus Christ 

Reflection:                   “An Astonishing Thing” 

Silent Reflection

Lenten Theme: Forward in Faith – Step by Step 

Third Sunday in Lent: “Home-cooked Hospitality” 

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 Fourth Sunday of Lent invites us to taste and see…to experience both the nourishment of the Spirit and the sustenance of good food that gives energy to our bodies.  CCG’s Friday Soup Lunch Program (Betty Schultze) provides weekly home-cooked hospitality to everyone who is looking for a tasty meal and good company.   All are welcomed, and food is freely given.  An added bonus, is the option to choose food from an open table to take home courtesy of the Food Recovery Program.  As a ministry of food and sustenance shared in community with others, the Friday Soup Lunch Program is an outreach ministry that offers nourishment in so many ways.  At the conclusion of today’s Lenten “story,” a stepping stone representing the home-cooked hospitality of this ministry will be placed at the front of the church.   

Hymn: Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ                       VU #468 
1Let 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. 


Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again, pass the Word around: 

loaves abound! 

2Christ is able to make us one, at the table he sets the tone, teaching people to live to bless, 

love in word and in deed express. [Refrain] 

3Jesus calls us in, sends us out bearing fruit in a world of doubt, gives us love to tell, bread to share. 

God (Immanuel) everywhere! [Refrain] 

A Statement of Faith                                           (Daniel Sire, progressivechristianity.org) I believe in God, the source of all life, wholeness, and love. I believe that God is revealed in Jesus Christ. 

I believe that in his life, Jesus reveals God in grace, mercy, forgiveness, and justice. 

I believe that in his death, Jesus reveals God’s determined presence in the world even in the face of hatred, violence, and pain. 

I believe that in his resurrection, Jesus reveals God calling us to abundant life both now and forever; life beyond our fearful and fragile imaginations. 

I believe that God lives among us, within us, and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I believe that God moves us to be together in communities of faith, hope, and love. 

I believe these things not out of certainty but out of faith; as one who trusts in the reality of God revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. 

Offering Invitation 

Offertory                                                                                 MV #191 

What can I do?  What can I bring? 

What can I say?  What can I sing? I’ll sing with joy.  I’ll say a prayer. I’ll bring my love.  I’ll do my share. 

Offering Prayer                                          (Jim Burklo, worshipwords.co.uk)       

One: Let us feast on simple pleasures,  

All: and fast from all that gets our bodies and souls out of    balance. 

One: Let us feast on kindness,  All: and fast from sarcasm. 

One: Let us feast on compassion, All: and fast from holding grudges. One: Let us feast on patience,  All: and fast from anxiety. 

One: Let us feast on peace,  

All: and fast from stirring up needless conflict. One: Let us feast on acceptance,  All: and fast from judgment. 

One: Let us feast on joy,  All: and fast from jealousy. One: Let us feast on faith,  All: and fast from fear. 

One: Let us feast on creativity,  

All: and fast from all that deadens our souls. 

One: Let us feast on social justice,  

All: and let us fast from negligence of the most vulnerable. One: Let us feast on service to others,  All: and fast from selfishness. 

One: Let us feast on delight,  All: and fast from despair. 

One: Let us feast on bread and wine in spiritual communion, All: and fast from all that keeps us from communing deeply             with each other and with God. 

One: So that our lives might be sufficient, fulfilled, complete, whole,               enough. 

Prayers of the People                                                         Paddy Waymark        

One:  Loving Saviour, 

All:  Hear Our Prayers 

The Prayer of Jesus                                  (an adaptation by Parker Palmer) 

(in unison) 

   Heavenly Mother, heavenly Father,    Holy and blessed is your true name. 

   We pray for your reign of peace to come,    We pray that your good will be done,    Let heaven and earth become one.    Give us this day the bread we need,    Give it to those who have none. 

   Let forgiveness flow like a river through us,    From each one to each one to each one. 

   Lead us to holy innocence 

   Beyond the evil of our days, 

   Come swiftly Mother, Father, come! 

   For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy—    Forever your name is All in One.   

Benediction                                                               (Ted Loder, adapted)  

Generous God, we believe our lives are touched by you, that you want something for us, and of us.  Give us ears to hear you, eyes to see the tracing of your finger, and a heart quickened by the motions of your Spirit. 


Hymn: Praise with Joy the World’s Creator                         VU #312 
1Praise with joy the world's creator, God of justice, love and peace, source and end of human knowledge, God whose grace whall never cease. Celebrate the Maker's glory, power to rescue and release. 

2Praise to Christ who feeds the hungry, 

frees the captive, finds the lost, heals the sick, upsets religion, fearless both of fate and cost. Celebrate Christ's constant presence, friend and stranger, guest and host. 

3Praise the Spirit sent among us, liberating truth from pride, forging bonds where race or gender, age or nation dare divide. Celebrate the Spirit's treasure, foolishness none dare deride. 

4Praise the Maker, Christ and Spirit, 

one God in community, Calling Christians to embody oneness and diversity. 

This the world shall see reflected, God is One and One in Three. 

Thank You 

Blessing                                                                    (Celtic Oral Tradition) 

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

One: May God grant you and yours the peace of all things calm, Right/Zoom: the place to hide from harm, the light that shines in    dark, the heart’s eternal spark. 

One: A door that’s open wide to the guest who waits outside. Left: Hospitality, warmth and cheer by your hearth, no matter              where 

One: O, oft and oft and oft, goes Christ in the stranger’s guise. 

All:  Christ is the light, the truth, the way.  May Christ be with us  this very day. 

All are invited to enjoy a soup lunch in the hall immediately after the service courtesy of the Friday Soup Lunch Program.  Thank you to the Soup Lunch volunteers for providing us with this opportunity to enjoy home-cooked hospitality.