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Trinity United Church
Winter 2021
Zoom Worship  

“Connection not Perfection”  


You will want your Ash Cross Tattoo, a small bowl of water and a wet facecloth.  

Acknowledgement of Territory
The United Churches of Canada repudiates
the doctrine of discovery that assumed these lands
were unoccupied when European explorers and settlers first came here. 
In humble appreciation, we acknowledge that Trinity United Church rests
on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples,
the Kwikwetlem First Nations.  


Call to Worship
Blow the trumpet in Zion;      
sound the alarm upon the holy mountain!
Let everyone tremble,      
for the day of the Lord is near.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  

Prayer of Approach:
God of Right-relationship,
you see the secret acts of our devotion
and know the hidden motives of our hearts. 

Confirm in us a spirit of humble obedience,
that without regard to earthly honour
we may live as your faithful children
and receive the treasure of eternal life
with Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  

Hymn  “O God, How We Have Wandered” VU 112  
CLICK HERE for video.

Prayer of Reconciliation and Words of Assurance:
Merciful God,
we confess that we have been a rebellious people.
We have broken your covenant,
and we have tolerated injustice in our land.

We have not shared our food with the hungry,
we have not sheltered the homeless,
and we have not aided the destitute.

We quarrel and fight among ourselves,
and we use religion to cover our deceit.
We have become a mockery of our heritage;
the world looks at us and asks,
Where is their God?

Forgive us, O God.

Subdue our rebellious hearts
and restore in us the light of salvation;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer our food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.

In the name of Jesus Christ,
know that you are forgiven and rejoice. Thanks be to God.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  


Hymn  “Throughout These Lenten” VU 108  
CLICK HERE for video.

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 6As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,    and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.  

This is the witness of the early church. Thanks be to God!  

Message: CLICK HERE for video.
By the illumination of your Holy Spirit, O God,
open our hearts that we may hear your Word
and amend our lives; through Jesus Christ.  Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  

In Corinth, "Super Apostles" are saying that Paul's message is obviously false, because he has a number of difficulties, he has been arrested in some cities and exiled from others, he experiences some physical infirmity… No, says Paul, it is not the absence of adversity that demonstrates that God is with us, but how we handle adversity that demonstrates God is with us Paul argues that his endurance through affliction, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, and hunger… he has still exercised purity, knowledge, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech and the power of God...

Despite adversity, he continues to proclaim the coming of the kingdom Despite persecution, he continues through his words and actions to witness and reveal the Good News.   What the "super apostles" claim are evidence that God has abandoned Paul, Paul argues are badges of honour!  

When we experience adversity, how do we respond? Do we throw our Holy Manners out the window and start stabbing each other in the back? Or do we take responsibility for our misdeeds, seek reconciliation, make amends and continue to reveal God's grace and mercy in our thoughts, words and actions?   It's not easy.

This is what it is to pick up our cross and follow Christ, as individuals and as communities of faith.   

Lent is our opportunity to examine how we hold up through adversity.   Trinity is participating in a Lenten Devotion based on Paul's letter to the Romans, on the theme of Holy Manners. It is easy to be kind to one another when we are well rested, feeling safe, secure, well resourced, and satisfied, But when affliction hits, how do we treat one another? That is the test of our Christian identity.   

It is our nature, to let adversity in our lives justify unholy behaviour. We get short and cross. We can raise our voices. We can gossip, triangulate. We lose our ability to listen Our capacity for empathy, compassion, patience and tolerance diminish.   It is our call to TRY… whether or not we succeed… that's why there's grace, mercy, forgiveness.   

If you think that ministers or priests are any better at navigating adversity than the rest of you, then you are the fools.   

I was not commissioned to write a devotional on Holy Manners by our Elders because I'm an expert on Holy Manners but because I walk that journey like everyone else.   

Once again, Paul would argue it is not our success that reveals God's work in us, but in our continued journey despite adversity and even failure.   

Some traditions focus on receiving the sign of the cross on Ash Wednesday as a sign of penitence and contrition and it can be associated with the expectation that we think that we are bad people It can also be worn boastfully.   

I prefer to think of receiving the sign of the cross as a sign of my commitment to the journey of self-examination, self-awareness, and commitment to TRY to be patient, tolerant, compassionate, empathetic even in the face of adversity I know I won't always succeed, but I don't give up.   

For those of us who are taking up a practice through Lent: Whether you are doing some kind of fast, or taking up an action - Don't let one day's failure take you off the path.

If you are taking on a new practice that you've never done before or that you don't do all year long, the likelihood of you making all 46 days is low… That's okay, return to the practice anyway You will get something from it.   

It doesn't matter how long we have been off the path, God is always ready to receive us back   As we receive the ashes that were last year’s palms, and take on our commitments for the season of Lent, may we be mindful of God’s presence, may we trust that God is with us in our daily successes and adversity, and may we return again and again to the path of reconciliation and growth. 

Special Music


Imposing of the Ashes (tattoo) I invite you to prepare your tattoo. Remove the plastic cover. Wipe the area where you would like to place your cross. Put the tattoo face down on your skin. Hold the damp cloth on it for a minute.  
And we pray:  
Bless, O God these [crosses] and those who receive them.
Let them be for us a reminder of our mortality,
a call to sincere [reflection],
and a testimony to your abundant [generosity] in Jesus Christ.

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff [adapted]  

Slowly peal back the card from the tattoo. It should remain in place.  

Hymn  “Dust and Ashes Touch Our Face” VU 105  
CLICK HERE for video.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and intercession
Trusting in God’s righteousness, let us pray for the world and for our needs, saying,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For the church, that in this season of fasting and repentance the people of God, with sincere hearts, may amend their lives and obey the gospel,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For all pastors and teachers, that they may lead the church by humble example and give public witness without concern for earthly reward,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For peace among the nations and integrity within the governments,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For Port Coquitlam and the Tri Cities and for all who live here, that neighbourhoods may be places of hospitality and care,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For the poor and the oppressed, that they may find deliverance from their distress, and for all who seek to alleviate human suffering,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For those who suffer illness of mind or body and for those who care for them, that they may be healed of disease and know the joy of abundant life,
Holy God, hear our prayer.  

For these concerns and those known only to you,
Holy God, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff  

The Disciples’ Prayer  “Heavenly Father”
CLICK HERE for video. 


Hymn “Jesus Christ Is Waiting” VU 117
CLICK HERE for video. 

Commissioning and Benediction:
With the blessing of God our maker,
Christ our redeemer, and the Spirit our sustainer,
we receive the promise of Isaiah:      
    God’s light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and God’s healing shall spring up quickly;
    God our protector shall go before us,
    and the glory of the Lord shall be our rear guard.*

*Feasting on the Word liturgies for Year B vol 1, p91 ff