Hilary Plowright
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Hybrid Church

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 21, 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                                                                                           (Enfleshed)

Through the breath of God we are all connected.
Shaped in her image, God formed us with a purpose:
          To create
          To serve
          To tend
          To protect
          To love
That life may flourish in all its forms,
May the Spirit of the Living God be manifest in us!   

(invitation to sit in silence)

The Christ Candle is Lit 
One:  Christ is our light.
All:    Thanks be to God.

Introit: Spirit of the Living God          VU #376 

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:  We gather in the presence of God to encounter Love that sets us free.
All:    We do not come seeking crumbs of justice but a way of life that liberates.

One:  Together, we practice courage in resisting evil and rejecting the temptations of complicity and complacency.
All:    The Spirit leads us in power and truth.

One:  Our faith is placed in Love Eternal that lifts broken spirits and brings new life from places of ruin.
All:    With hope that is neither narrow nor fragile, we come to follow Christ.

Hymn: Praise God for This Holy Ground            MV #42

Opening Prayer                                                                                           (m jade kaiser, Enfleshed ) 

One:  May the love I am learning to practice not be so sentimental that it appears to lack direction.
All:    This love is moving with purpose… not toward a transcendent unity of rising above nor a god of come-together.
One:  But down into the depths of everything where power, pain, and possibility push and pull us toward or away from transformation.

All:    May there be no confusion that what I mean to say and do
          is love according to principles that set free.
One:  Literally, learning to love in the direction of abolition.  And also,   learning from love that unbinds those deep-down parts that cling fearfully to what deadens and destroys.

All:    May the love I am learning to practice be tender, yes.  But also unafraid to bite.
One:  May the sharp teeth of its determination cut through every layer             and legacy of all that has been done and undone in its name
          and fiercely declare its truth.

(a time of reflection)

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 Scripture Reading: Acts 16:6-14  (NRSV)         Reader: Corinne Carlson

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. 

We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.

Psalm 68    VU #787

Refrain: “God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.”

Gospel Reading:        Reader: Tim Leadem

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.

John 17:1-11 (NRSV)

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

Reader: This is the Gospel of Christ.   

All:        Praise be to Jesus Christ       

Reflection:   “Praying Forward”

(silent reflection)

Hymn: It Only Takes a Spark         VU #289 4

A New Creed                                                                                               

Let us affirm our faith . . . 

We are not alone,

    we live in God’s world.

 We believe in God:

    who has created and is creating,

    who has come in Jesus,

       the Word made flesh,

       to reconcile and make new,

    who works in us and others

       by the Spirit.

We trust in God. 

We are called to be the Church:

    to celebrate God’s presence,

    to live with respect in Creation,

    to love and serve others,

    to seek justice and resist evil,

    to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,

       our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,

    God is with us.

We are not alone.

    Thanks be to God.

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation

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                                                                                            (Glen E. Rainsley, adapted)
One:  Gracious God, let these gifts we offer be as living water for the church.
All:    Use them as support for this congregation’s programs and projects, as a source of energy for our outreach and wider ministry, as refreshment for our spirits in their growth toward greater generosity and compassion.
One:  May all our gifts flow forth from the deep well of faith.
All:    In Christ’s name.  Amen.

Prayers of the People   Susan Brockley                                                                                      

One:  God of All Grace,

All:    Hear Our Prayer.

The Prayer of Jesus (sung)         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.

Benediction     (m jade kaiser, Enfleshed, adapted)

Enticed by justice, called by truth, where the Spirit leads, we strive to follow.  May God bless our parting.  May God send us with courage.  May God lead us in the ways of liberation.

Hymn: You Call Us Out           VU #569

Thank You

Blessing         (Iona Community)

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

One:  The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey,   guiding you, cherishing you.

Right/The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories,
Zoom feeding you, challenging you.

Left:   The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom, comforting you, disturbing you.

All:    The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:  Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:      Thanks be to God! Alleluia!