Christ Church Gabriola
A Collaborative Anglican – United Church
Open to All
November 19, 2023
Twenty-Fifth After Pentecost
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 (Linda Unger)
“Our relationship with [God] is the most basic relationship we have. To the degree that we draw near to [God], we also draw near to our brothers and sisters, and in drawing near to our brothers and sisters, we draw near to [God].”
(invitation to sit in silence)
Introit: [God] Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary x3 MV #18
[God,] prepare me to be a sanctuary,
pure and holy, tried and true;
with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
sanctuary for you.
Lighting of the Christ Candle
One: Christ is our Light.
All: Thanks be to God!
(the Christ Candle is lit)
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 (Judy Wellington, “Holiness and the Feminine Spirit”)
One: The Giver of life knows all creation as family.
All: How then can any clan, tribe, or nation be more valuable than
One: How can any part of creation be seen as merely a resource for human consumption?
All: How can we claim priorities that undermine relationships of
One: All creation is a gift and all families bear the mark of the Creator’s
All: Will we take the time to see it?
Hymn: Praise with Joy the World’s Creator VU #312
Opening Prayer (Timothy Joyce, “Celtic Christianity,” adapted)
One: Prayer needs to be not just part of us but all of us.
All: We need to pray with the whole of ourselves, our full persons
in harmony with all creation, not just with words but going
beyond words, using heart, images, and body.
One: This tradition is a call to return to our roots in the clay of the earth
from which we come and to the Spirit of God in whom we dwell.
All: If we can do this, we will find our prayer is our life and our life
is our prayer.
One: May it be so. Amen.
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
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NRSV) Reader: Corinne Carlson
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Gospel Reading Reader: Angela Nutter
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 Matthew
All: Glory to you, Christ Jesus.
‘For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five
talents; see, I have made five more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.
All: Praise be to Jesus Christ
Reflection: “To Tear Down or Build Up?”
Hymn: Christ Has No Body Now But Yours MV #171
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.
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
Offering Prayer (Michael Morwood, “Praying a New Story”)
One: May we open our minds and hearts to the presence of God in us.
All: May God-in-us, the “everywhere God,” find generous and courageous expression in our words and actions as we undertake to make the reign of God evident in our World.
Prayers of the People Tim Leadem
One: We pray for peace and understanding,
All: Hear Our Prayer
The Prayer of Jesus VU #959 Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kin-dom 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 kin-dom, the power
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Hymn: Let Us Build a House MV #1
Blessing (Virgil Elizondo, “Charity,” adapted)
One: The only true measure of human success is love, and without it even the ones who appear to be the most successful are nothing
more than the cloud that appears great and powerful in the morning but has disappeared by the afternoon.
All: The only true basis of lasting happiness is love, and without
it isolated moments of happiness quickly fade into sweet
memories of the past.
One: The divine love that we experience in our hearts is not just the beautiful love of one person for another; it is the love of God within us that now animates and guides every moment of our lives
All: May this love grow in us from this day forward.
Amen and Allelujah!
The liturgy for today’s service is gleaned from “A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration: Readings for Every Day of the Year,” Michael Leach and Doris Goodnough, Editors.