Hilary Plowright

Hybrid Worship, February 4, 2 024, Epiphany V

Rev. Suzanna Bates

Music Director: 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!

Words for Worship

Words in bold italics, please say together           

Prelude: Morning Prayer                                    P. Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)


Hymn: Come Touch Our Hearts                                                 MV #12

1Come touch our hearts 

that we may know compassion,

from failing embers build a blazing fire;

love strong enough to overturn injustice,

to seek a world more gracious, 

come touch and bless our hearts.

2Come touch our souls 

that we may know and love you,

your quiet presence all our fears dispel;

create a space for spirit to grow in us,

let life and beauty fill us, 

come touch and bless our souls.

3Come touch our minds 

and teach us how to reason,

set free our thoughts to wonder and to dream;

help us to open doors of understanding,

to welcome truth and wisdom, 

come touch and bless our minds.

4Come touch us 

in the moments we are fragile,

and in our weakness your great strength reveal;

that we may rise to follow and to serve,

steady now our nerve, 

come touch and bless our wills.

5Come touch us now, 

this people who are gathered,

to break the bread and share the cup of peace;

that we may love you with our heart, our soul,

our mind, our strength, our all, 

come touch us with your grace.

Acknowledgement of the Land

Lighting the Candles

As we light this candle, 

may love grasp us when we feel we are only just holding on. 

May God’s voice call us when we seek other pleasures or pain. 

May God’s story heal us when ours is too sore to tell. 

May God’s patience wait for us
when we are not yet ready to hear. 

May God’s spirit fill us when we have been emptied by life. 

And may all our living find its source in God.

We are here. God is here.

This space is holy ground.

Opening Prayer: Psalm 147                                   VU# 868–869 Part 1

How good it is to sing praise to God,

            how pleasant to laud the Most High.

You are building Jerusalem, O God,

and gathering the scattered exiles of Israel.

            You are healing the broken-hearted,

            and binding up their wounds,

You count the number of stars,

and call them all by their names.

            Great are you, O God, and mighty your power;

            yes, and your wisdom is infinite.

You raise up the lowly.

            and bring down the wicked to dust.    

Sing to God in thanksgiving;

make music on the harp to our God,

            who covers the sky with clouds,

            who prepares rain for the earth,

            who makes the hills green with grass.

You give the cattle their food,

and the young ravens when they cry.

            You set no store by the power of a horse,

            nor by the strength of a warrior’s thighs.

But your delight is in those who rever you.

            in those who rely on your mercy.

Hymn: I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry                       VU# 644 

1I was there to hear your borning cry,

I’ll be there when you are old.

I rejoiced the day you were baptized,

to see your life unfold.

2I was there when you were but a child,

with a faith to suit you well;

in a blaze of light you wandered off

to find where demons dwell.

3When you heard the wonder of the word,

I was there to cheer you on;

you were raise to praise the living Lord,

to whom you now belong.

4If you find someone to share your time

and you join your hearts as one,

I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme

from dusk till rising sun.

5In the middle ages of your life,

not too old, no longer young.

I’ll be there to guide you through the night,

complete what I’ve begun.

6When the evening gently closes in

and you shut your weary eyes,

I’ll be there as I have always been

with just one more surprise.

7I was there to hear your borning cry,

I’ll be there when you are old.

I rejoice the day you were baptized,

to see your life unfold.

Prayer Before the Reading of Scripture

We long to hear you, O God.

We long to hear your truth. 

We long to know your love. 

Open our hearts and minds. 

We are listening. Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 40:21–31 (The Message)                        Reader: Don Butt

Those who wait upon God shall renew their strength. 

Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven’t you heard these stories all your life? Don’t you understand the foundation of all things? God sits high above the round sphere of earth. The people look like mere ants. God stretches out the skies like a canvas— yes, like a tent canvas to live under. God ignores what all the rulers say and do. The rulers of the earth count for nothing. They don’t amount to much. Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, They shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind.

“So—who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy One. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name - so magnificent! so powerful - and never overlooks a single one? Why would you ever complain, my people, saying, “God has lost track of me. God doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God is eternal.

God is Creator of all you can see or imagine. God doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch breath. And God knows everything, inside and out; energizes those who are weary; gives fresh strength to those who are worn out. For even young people tire and fall, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God receive fresh strength.

They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t fall behind.

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 Mark

All:      Glory to you, Christ Jesus.

Mark 1:29–39 (The Message)

Simon’s mother-in-law and many others healed. Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up preparing dinner for them. That evening, after the sun was down, they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits. Because the demons knew his true identity, he didn’t let them say a word. While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, “Everybody’s looking for you.” Jesus said, “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.” He went to their meeting places all through Galilee, preaching and throwing out the demons.

This is the Gospel of Christ.

We give thanks for Good News today!

Word: “I’m So Tired”

Hymn: God In The Darkness                                                      MV #17

1God in the darkness, God beyond our knowing,

patient creator, seed in secret growing, 

rock of the living, water ever flowing, 

come and renew us.

2God in the darkness, God in all our grieving, 

friend of our tears, companion never leaving, 

drawing us past the limits of believing,

 come and renew us.

3God in the darkness, God of holy dreaming, 

giver of hope, and pledge of our redeeming,

Spirit of truth, our memory and meaning, 

come and renew us.

A New Creed  (sung... see attached)

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, live with respect in Creation,

to love and serve others, seek justice resist evil,

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.

Prayers of the People                                                                                         Betty Schultze

Loving God,

      Hear our Prayers.

Life & Work of the Church


Offertory Response: Take, O Take Me As I Am                        MV #85

Take, O take me as I am;

summon out what I shall be;

Set your seal upon my heart

and live in me. 

Prayer of Dedication

We make the offerings of our lives, with the hope and confidence that all we do, all we offer, all we say, all we think, and all we hope will take root in this world and be the source of new expressions of God’s love, of God’s justice, of God’s healing and of God’s beauty.

May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven – 

through us, alongside us, despite us and for us. Amen.

Hymn: Deep In Our Hearts                                                        MV #154

1Deep in our hearts there is a common vision;

deep in our hearts there is a common song;

deep in our hearts there is a common story,

telling Creation that we are one.

2 Deep in our hearts there is a common purpose;

deep in our hearts there is a common goal;

deep in our hearts there is a sacred message,

justice and peace in harmony.

3Deep in our hearts there is a common longing;

deep in our hearts there is a common theme;

deep in our hearts there is a common current,

flowing to freedom like a stream.

4Deep in our hearts there is a common vision;

deep in our hearts there is a common song;

deep in our hearts there is a common story,

telling Creation that we are one


May you find grace in the moments you need it most. 

May renewal wrap itself around you and lead you on. 

May you hear the Word speak your name into every silence. 

And may God fill you with love, breathe into you, peace, and renew your strength. Amen. 

The peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.

Postlude: Light                                                                 N. Faber (1960 - )