Hybrid Church , September 17, 2023
“Season of Creation – Let Justice and Peace Flow”
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 (Hildegard of Bingen)
“Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings. Now, think. What delight God gives to humankind with all these things. All nature is at the disposal of humankind. We are to work with it. For without it we cannot survive.”
(invitation to sit in silence)
Introit: River vs 4 MV #3
River, flow a-down where you ran before,
River, source of clearer view.
River, as I walk your rocky shore,
River, see my journey through.
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 (David Orr)
One: Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up as something we do in daily practice, not just something that we wish for or talk about. All: It is a discipline requiring skill, competence, steadiness, and courage.
One: It is practical. It bonds us to each other, and to real places, animals, trees, waters, and landscapes.
All: The hopeful are patient, not passive. They are creators of the gyres of positive change that could, in time, redeem the human prospect.
One: They are people who will know how to connect us to better possibilities waiting to be born.
Hymn: God of the Bible
1God of the Bible, God in the Gospel, hope seen in Jesus, hope yet to come, you are our centre, daylight or darkness, freedom or prison, you are our home.
Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise, God always faithful, you do not change.
2God in our struggles, God in our hunger, suffering with us, taking our part, still you empow’r us, mothering Spirit, feeding, sustaining, from your own heart. R
3Those without status, those who are nothing, you have made royal, gifted with rights, chosen as partners, midwives of justice, birthing new systems, lighting new lights. R
4Not by your finger, not by your anger will our world order change in a day, but by your people, fearless and faithful, small paper lanterns, lighting the way. R
5Hope we must carry, shining and certain through all our turmoil, terror and loss, bonding us gladly one to the other,
till our world changes facing the Cross. R
Opening Prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr)
One: Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; All: therefore we must be saved by hope.
One: Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; All: therefore we must be saved by faith.
One: Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; All: therefore we must be saved by love.
One: No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint.
All: Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.
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 14:19-31 (NRSV) Reader: Don Butt
The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord, in the pillar of fire and cloud, looked down on the Egyptian army and threw the Egyptian army into a panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty.
The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
Psalm 103 VU #825
Refrain: Come, bless God, O my soul, and never forget all God’s blessings.
Bless God, my soul, and all my being, bless God’s holy name.
Bless God, my soul, and forget not all God has done for you.
Bless God, who forgives all your sin,
who heals you in all your infirmities,
who redeems your life from the grave and crowns you with mercy and love,
who fills your life with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s,
who works righteousness
and justice for all who are wronged.
R O God, you showed your ways to Moses, your deeds to the children of Israel.
You are compassionate and merciful. slow to anger and extravagant in love. You will not always accuse nor do you keep your anger for ever.
You have not dealt with us according to our sins nor punished us according to our wickedness. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is your steadfast love toward those who fear you. As far as the east is from the west, so far have you put away our sins from us. As a father has compassion for his children, so you have compassion for those who fear you. As a mother comforts her child, so you comfort us, O God.
For you know how we were made.
You remember that we are dust.
Bless God, O my soul. R
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.
Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.
All: Praise be to Jesus Christ
Reflection: “Can You Forgive Us?”
Hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness VU #288
1Great is thy faithfulness, God our Creator, there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou has been thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided -- great is thy faithfulness, ever to me! 2Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. R
3Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow -- wondrous the portion thy blessings provide. R
Affirming Our Relationship with God and Creation
One: We humans are bound to God and to one another in a cosmic covenant that also includes all the other living creatures on the face of the earth:
All: ‘I will make for you a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground.’
One: We humans are not saved from the world but with the world; and that means, with the animals. Moreover, this cosmic covenant is not something that we humans have devised, but it has its source in the divine realm.
All: It is conferred upon us as a gift by God.
(Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia)
Offertory VU #450
Grant Us, God, the Grace
Grant us, God, the grace of giving, with a spirit large and free, that ourselves and all our living we may offer faithfully.
Offering Prayer (Called to be God’s partners in the care of the planet)
Bountiful God, you call us to labor with you in tending the earth: Where we lack love, open our hearts to the world; where we waste, give us discipline to conserve; where we neglect, awaken our minds and wills to insight and care. May we with all your creatures honor and serve you in all things. Amen.
Prayers of the People Betty Schultze
One: Loving God,
All: Hear Our Prayers
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 See a New Heaven VU #713
1I see a new heaven. I see a new earth as the old one will pass away, where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land.
There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,
yielding her fruit, firm in her root, the Tree of Life will be. R
2There, there where death dies and our lives are born again, body and soul, struggling but whole like flowers after the rain. R
3There, there where the darkness brings visions from above. There where the night, bearing new light, reveals the promise of love. R
4There, there where we work with the love of healing hands. Labour we must, true to our trust
to build a promised new land. R
One: Go forth now to care for God’s world. Use resources wisely. Share your knowledge. Sacrifice where necessary.
All: Let us live in harmony with all creation.
One: Go out into all the world as prophets of a new way of living and preach good news to all.
All: May the blessing of the Creator God, Christ-Among-Us, and the Enlivening Spirit bless us that we might be a blessing to others today and always. Allelujah and Amen!
The liturgy for today’s service is drawn from “Season of Creation: A Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes (2023),” a resource of the Anglican Communion Environmental
Network. Some has