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Christ Church Gabriola

A Collaborative Anglican – United Church

Open to All




                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo by Don Butt


Hybrid Church

October 8, 2023
Thanksgiving Sunday


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                                                                              Psalm 65:12-13 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.


                                                (invitation to sit in silence)


Introit: For the Fruit of All Creation vs 1                                                       VU #227

 For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God.
 For the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God.

 For the ploughing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, 
 future needs in earth’s safe keeping, thanks be to God.


Lighting of the Christ Candle  

One:  Hope of the earth; 
All:    fount of joy;

One:  light of our thanksgiving!


(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                                                                                                         (Richard Bott, adapted)

One:  Thanksgiving!

All:    It’s not just a moment.

          It’s not just a day.

One:  Thanksgiving!

All:    It’s not just a season.
          Is an action, to be lived always, and to be lived all-ways.

One:  Thanksgiving!

All:    Is an attitude.  Is a promise.  Is a life.

One:  So let us enter this place—

All:    thanks giving!

One:  Giving thanks—

All:    to one another, to all creation, and to the Creator of All!


Hymn: We Plough the Fields                                                                                VU #520


Opening Prayer                                                                                                                          (Richard Bott)

One:  For all that is…
All:    we bless you, God!

One:  For joy fulfilled…

All:    we bless you, God!

One:  For sorrow survived…

All:    we bless you, God!

One:  For grain from the earth, for rain from the sky, for our nights                          and our days…

All:    we bless you, God!

One:  With words that say, “Thank you!” With songs that shout,                               “Amen!” With our prayer and our gathering in community this              morning…

All:    we bless you, God!

One:  Alleluia!

All:    Alleluia!  Amen!


Passing of the Peace

One:  The Peace of Christ be with you all! 

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:                                                                           Reader: Pat Armstrong

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


Psalm 19                                            (From The Message by Eugene Peterson)

One:  God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the 

All:    Madame Day holds classes every morning,
          Professor Night lectures each evening.

One:  Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded,
All:    But their silence fills the earth:  unspoken truth is spoken                       everywhere.

One:  God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome!
All:    The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his 

          honeymoon bed,
One:  The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.

All:    That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise     to sunset,
One:  Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.


All:    The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
One:  The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
All:    The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
One:  The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
All:    God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime                       guarantee.
One:  The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.

All:    God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond                  set between emeralds.
One:  You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red,                       ripe strawberries.

All:    There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us 

          to hidden treasure.
One:  Otherwise how will we find our way?  Or know when we play the 

All:    Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!  Keep me 

          from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your         work;
One:  Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the  grime 

          of sin.
All:    These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on                   and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning 

One:  O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.


Gospel Reading:                                                                               Reader: Mona Smart

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.


Matthew 21:33-46                              (From The Message by Eugene Peterson)

“Here’s another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits.  “The farmhands grabbed the first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his rope. He decided to send his son. ‘Surely,’ he thought, ‘they will respect my son.’  “But when the farmhands saw the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all for ourselves.’ They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed him.  “Now, when the owner of the vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the  4   farmhands?”  “He’ll kill them—a rotten bunch, and good riddance,” they answered. “Then he’ll assign the vineyard to farmhands who will hand over the profits when it’s time.”  Jesus said, “Right—and you can read it for yourselves in your Bibles:  The stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone.  This is God’s work; we rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it!  “This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.”   When the religious leaders heard this story, they knew it was aimed at them. They wanted to arrest Jesus and put him in jail, but, intimidated by public opinion, they held back. Most people held him to be a prophet of God.


Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.   

All:                   Praise be to Jesus Christ       


Reflection:                     “A Harvest of Thanksgiving”


Hymn: It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker                                                 MV #30




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                                                                                                    (Richard Bott, adapted)

One:  Holy One, with all that we have, with all that we are, we come to 

          you …

All:    knowing that all of it is blessed by your love!


Prayers of the People                                                              Tim Leadem                                                                                                  

One:  And so we say to our God in gratitude

All:    Thank you, God! Alleluia!


Communion Hymn: For the Fruit of All Creation                       VU #227


A Litany of Thanksgiving   (adapted from a prayer written by V. Cobb Anderson)

One:  God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace:
All:    We thank you for the gift of life:
          for the breath that sustains life,
          for the food of this earth that nurtures life,
          for the love of family and friends 
          without which there would be no life.                                                        5
One:  We thank you for the mystery of creation:
All:    for the beauty that the eye can see,
          for the joy that the ear may hear,
          for the unknown that we cannot behold, filling the                                                universe with wonder,
          for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the                                               definitions of our selves.
One:  We thank you for setting us in communities:
All:    for families who nurture our becoming,
          for friends who love us by choice,
          for companions at work who share our burdens and daily 

          for strangers who welcome us into their midst,
          for people from other lands who call us to grow in 

          for children who lighten our moments with delight,
          for the yet-to-be-born, who offer us hope for the future.
One:  We thank you for this day:
All:    for life and one more day to love,
          for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and 

          for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be 

          for your grace and one more experience of your presence,
One:  for your promise:
All:    to be with us, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
One:  For these, and all blessings,
All:    we give you thanks.  Amen.

We Celebrate at the Table

One:  God be with you all. 

All:    And also with you.

One:  Lift up your hearts;

All:    We lift them up to God.

One:  Let us give thanks to God!

All:    It is right to give God our thanks and praise!

One:  Though creation sometimes weeps,

All:    we wait lovingly for you, God.

One:  For you created the heavens, earth, and all that is in them:  you                    cast sunbeams, open flowers, and feed insects.  You are beyond 

          the galaxies, under the oceans, and inside each grain of wheat. 

          You could sustain all of your creation, 

All:    but you will not, without us.

One:  Thank-you for the wonders of creation and for your great trust in 

          us.                                                                                                6

Sanctus                                                                                                                                                            MV #203

O holy, holy holy God, O God of time and space.

All earth and sea and sky above 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.


One:  In Jesus, love incarnate, you provide us all we need for each day:  

          his words comfort the weary; his actions challenge the contented; 

          his touch heals the sick; his presence feeds the deepest hunger in 

          our souls. In Jesus and in his feast, you provide for us the 

          sustenance we need to respond to the cries of creation.

All:    The bread of life, nourishes our deprived bodies.

          The cup of blessings, revives our thirsty souls.

          The gathered community, strengthens our growing faith.

One:  Holy God, we celebrate your gracious inclusiveness, revealed in 

          this meal.


One:  Though the church sometimes weeps,

All:    we wait lovingly for you, God.

One:  For centuries, Christians of different customs have gathered to                      commune with you and each other through the sharing of this                        feast.

All:    In their partaking you have been with them, just as you are                     with us now.


Memorial Acclamation                                                                                                           MV #204

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

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


One:  And so we join with our siblings around the world by remembering 

          that on the night in which Jesus was betrayed, he took bread, 

          blessed it, broke it, (bread is broken) shared it with his disciples, 


All:    “Take eat; this is my body, given for you.  Do this for the                        remembrance of me.”

One:  After supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all 

          to drink, (wine is poured) saying: 

All:    “This cup is the new covenant, when you drink of it do this                    for the remembrance of me.”

One:  God, we remember and give thanks for Christ Jesus, and we ask 

          that you bless and pour your spirit on these simple things, bread 

          and wine:

All:    Make this broken bread whole in our taking.

          Make this full cup overflow in our sharing. 


One:  With these elements nourish and sustain us, our way, our truth,                    our life; our Creator, our Redeemer, our Sustainer.

All:    Praise be to you, now, tomorrow, and forever.


The Prayer of Jesus

One:  Our father/mother, which art earth, nurturing are thy ways.

All:    Thy web of life be woven, 
          thy way be found within, 
          as it is all around.

One:  Thank you, this day, for our daily bread.
All:    Forgive us our misuse of you, 
          as we forgive others their misuse of us.

One:  And lead us not into exploitation, 
All:    but deliver us from lording it over you,
          and over each other, 
          and over all other creatures.

One:  For thine are the waters of life, the hills, valleys and plains of                         home, the breeding, seeding, feeding ground,

All:    For now, and for as close to forever as we will ever come.                           Amen


One:  The gifts of God for the people of God. 
All:    The bread of life!

          The cup of blessing! 


(Communion is served)


Post Communion Prayer

One:  Thank you, Christ Jesus, for this feast of life. 

All:    We are fed by your love; we are strengthened by your life. 

One:  We are sent forth into this world to live into the visions God has

          laid on our hearts.  We are now commissioned to: 

All:    feed as we have been fed,

          forgive as we have been forgiven,

          love as we have been loved.

One:  Thanks be to God. 

All:    Amen.  


Hymn: You, God, Are My Firmament                                                                  VU #279


Thank You


Blessing                                                                                                                                   (Kate Crawford)

One:  Let us go now, with thanksgiving ringing in our hearts,

All:    with thanksgiving rising to our lips,

One:  with thanksgiving flowing from us to the world!