October 15, 2023
“Twentieth 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 (Dr. John Micaleff)
The blessing of no regrets
The grace of peace,
The solace of family,
The unfolding of happiness,
An unexpected moment of love that lasts forever.”
(invitation to sit in silence)
Introit: Joy Comes with the Dawn vs. 3 VU #16
Joy comes with the dawn;
joy comes with the morning sun;
joy springs from the tomb
and scatters the night with her song,
joy comes with the dawn.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice, and give praise,
to the One who brings us grace. (R)
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 (Enfleshed) One: Beloved community, let us assemble with purpose.
All: In the presence of God, let us find grounding and renewal.
One: We embrace the holy gift of joy, both personal and political.
All: Joy connects us to each other.
Joy calls us to build a better world.
Joy keeps our hearts open and alive:
One: a friend to righteous anger and determination,
All: a companion in sorrow and struggle.
One: Let us worship the One who is Joy! 2
Hymn: Give to Us Laughter VU #624
Opening Prayer (Enfleshed)
One: Spirit of Life, grant us the discernment to distinguish between shallow positivity and the riches of joy that surround us:
All: Joy that neither shies away from pain nor pacifies us with short-term distraction.
One: But joy that gives us the courage to face the struggles of our shared lives with the sustenance we need.
All: May laughter and pleasure, beauty and the freedom you have
given us be a source of strength, empathy, and creativity in all we do.
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
Exodus 32:1-14 (NRSV) Reader: Angela Nutter
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have
cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.’
But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.
Psalm 106 VU #830
Refrain: O give thanks to God, whose love endures forever.
Gospel Reading: Reader: Paddy Waymark
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.
Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready;
come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered
all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’
Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.
All: Praise be to Jesus Christ
Reflection: “What is this thing called Joy?”
Hymn: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You VU #232
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 (Enfleshed)
One: Holy One, we often feel like we have to choose between remaining attuned to the pain of the world around us and keeping our spirits afloat. Between being serious about our convictions and accessing ease and delight.
All: You, O God, promise us a more integrated way.
One: Teach us how to protect the full breadth of our humanity and that
of our neighbors.
All: That the full spectrum of life may flourish. Amen.
Prayers of the People Susan Brockley
One: God our Saviour
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: I Can Feel You Near Me God MV #48
Blessing (Dr. John Micaleff, adapted)
One: For the warmth of kindness that has revived our hope, and taught us to feel gratitude…
All: Thank you!
One: For now we know that all was well when all seemed wrong.
All: For teaching us to wait and learning to enjoy such happiness as we feel now in this present moment…
One: Thank you!
All: The joy you give us we give back incessantly.
One: As we think, write, meditate, breathe, and sleep…
All: May our time be an act of thanks! Allelujah and Amen!