Hilary Plowright
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Hybrid Worship, March 10, 2024, Lent IV

 The Gift of Getting Lost

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



Hymn: Great God Your Love Has Called Us Here                   CP #442

Acknowledgement of the Land

Threshold to the Dark Woods

There’s a path

there’s a path

though it winds its way through darkness 

We would choose 

we would choose

to avoid it if we could 

We awake

we awake

to an unexpected calling 

God says, “come

God says, “come

there are gifts in the Dark Wood” 

Lighting the Candles

God’s unexpected light and love enters our lives and opens us to the gifts residing deep within the Holy Shadows of our lives. God walk with us, speak to us, calls to us.

We are here. God is here

This place is sacred ground.

Opening Prayer

Hymn: God In The Darkness                                                     MV #17

Litany of Confession and Forgiveness

God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ. 

Let us return to the One

who is full of compassion.

For plunging ahead without listening to you,

Forgive and restore us, O God.

For not recognizing your still small voice within us,

Forgive and restore us, O God.

For forgetting that you are closer to us than our breathing,

Forgive and restore us, O God.

Silent prayers…

Hear these words of assurance:

God dwells with us, no matter how sure or unsure we are.

God is not uncertain about whether or not 

we are worthy of love. God is with us, 

forgiving and restoring us to wholeheartedness

Through the grace of Jesus Christ, 

who poured out his love, so us might live.

Thanks be to God for a loved like that! Amen!

First Reading: Psalm 42 (NRSV)                                            Reader: Mona Smart

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the crowd and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your torrents; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?” As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

This is the Word of God.

Thanks be to God for this word today.                                          3

Gospel Reading                                                       Reader: George Westarp

As is your custom, please stand or sit for the reading of the gospel. 

God be with you. 

And also with you 

The Good News of Jesus the Christ according to John

Glory to you, Christ Jesus.

John 3:14-21 (The Message)

God so loved the world…

No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Human One. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Human One to be lifted up - and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending the Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. God came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but people everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

This is the Gospel of Christ.

We give thanks for Good news today!

Word: The Gift of Getting Lost

A Time For Reflection:

Jesus, You Fill Our Hearts                MV #101

Life and Work of the Church

Prayers of the People                                                         Paddy Waymark

For those we care about,

            Hear our Prayers.


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

Holy Communion


God be with you

and also with you. 

We have been invited us to come to this table. 
We have come from many places and experiences; 
We have come with all our differences; 
We have come to the place where journeys meet. 
We have been called into the heart of God. 

On the night that Jesus was betrayed he told us to prepare a place for him. And then he offered us a sign. A sign of how he would give himself to us to give us new life. He had always loved us, and now he showed us how perfect his love was. 

While his disciples were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread in his hands, like this, and he blessed it: Blessed are you God of all creation; 
through your goodness we have this bread to offer, 
which earth has given and human hands have made. 

It will become for us the bread of life. And then he said to them: 
This is my body broken for you, do this is in remembrance of me. 


And then Jesus took a cup of wine, like this, and gave you thanks: 
Blessed are you God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become for us the cup of salvation. And then he said to them: Drink this, all of you, this is my poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. ‘

Do this in remembrance of me. 


Loving God, breathe your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and wine that they may be life-giving food - renewing, transforming, sustaining and making us whole, so that we may be your body on earth, loving and caring for your creation, where all are welcome and the poorest are fed. 

Bless the earth, heal the sick, let the oppressed go free, 
and fill each one of us with your love. 
Gather your people from the ends of the earth
to feast at your table with all your saints.

Our Father, who art in heaven, 

hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; 

thy will be done; 

on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;

 but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, 

the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Look, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, is broken for the life of the world. 
The gifts of God for the people of God. 

Jesus, Bread of life, Bread on the edge, 

Bread for the world. 

Communion is Shared

Thanksgiving Prayer After Communion
God of hope, in bread and wine, you have restored us to relationship with you. Show us how to be a people that live your reconciling love in the world, so that we may recognise your presence in those we meet, and our hearts like those first disciples may burn within us upon the road. 

Jesus, Christ,
You are the Word for us to speak;
You are the Truth for us to tell; 
You are the Light for us to light in the darkness. 
You are the Bread of Life for us to share. 

Now all of us must go out into the world and live God’s love there. 
Look for Christ in the oppressed and burdened. 
Look for Christ in those who have lost hope. 
Look for Christ among the poor in heart. 
Among the merciful. Among the peacemakers. 
Look for Christ on the edges of life.

May it be so. Amen.

Hymn: Will You Come And Follow Me (vs. 1,2,4,5)                 VU #567


 The peace of Christ be with you always. 

And also with you. 

May the Spirit of the Living God, 

Made known to us most fully within life’s Dark Wood: 

Go before you 

to show you the way; 

Go above you 

to watch over you; 

Go behind you 

to push you into places you may not 

necessarily go yourself; 

Go beneath you 

to uphold and uplift you; 

Go beside you 

to be your strong and constant companion; 

And dwell within you to remind you that you are surely not alone, 

And may the fire of God’s blessing burn brightly Upon you, and within you, Now and always. 

Amen.                                                                                               7

Benediction Song

There’s a path

there’s a path

and it leads us out together 

To the wood 

to the wood

where the darkness hovers still 

We are sent 

we are sent

and the Spirit goes before us

God says, “go 
God says, go

be my presence in the world.”