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Trinity United Church
Aug 29, 2021
Zoom Worship

We welcome Robert Nicolson who leads us in worship today.


Musical Interlude, Maestro David   Hymn: “For the Beauty of the Earth” VU 226

View via You Tube, CLICK HERE.


Acknowledgement of Territory:
 We acknowledge that our church exists on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation). We thank the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm who continue to live on these lands and care for them, along with the waters and all that is above and below. 

Call to Worship: 
On this glorious summer’s day, we worship the One who created all that is. Some here have joy in their hearts, others hearts of sadness; yet there is room for all in the shelter of God’s healing wing. As we worship, may each of us experience the wonder of the risen Christ. Come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer:

 Eternal One, we give thanks for past time, and for all that others have accomplished in faithfulness to your call; for present time, and all that leads to lives of dignity, meaning, and joy here;
for future time, and all that calls us to confess the sins of the past and work for reconciliation. Loving and faithful Life-Giver, help us to sow seeds of joy and meaning, and may there be good ground in which your love can grow. 
 Help us to recognize the seeds of goodness others are sowing, and to work along side them as the realm of justice spreads. 
 Help us to be seeds of change and fertile soil for the advent of your spirit, bringing about a world of warm and lasting welcome, shared humanity, sustainable visions of our common life, and solidarity as strong as oak. Amen

Robin Wardlaw, Toronto, Ont. 

Hymn: “We Are Pilgrims” VU 595 CLICK HERE

One approach to developing a sermon is to “sort of live with” the readings for a few weeks before writing anything. This allows you to narrow down to a specific message rather than trying to cover everything in the Lectionary for a particular Sunday. Often a few words of the text will stick in your mind. In this case I kept coming back to:

let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger

It reminded me of how teachers often point out to students that “they were born with two ears but only one mouth for a reason.”
During this period of idea formation I experienced a very strange situation:
I was assaulted!
Before I give you the details, be assured it was a verbal assault only, and I was in no way hurt.

My wife, Karen, had an appointment across the street from the Lynn Valley Mall, so we parked there and I found a place to wait inside the central area of the mall where it was air-conditioned. This was one of those very hot days we had earlier in August.
I was wearing my face mask and passing the time checking my e-mail and playing Hearts on my cell phone.

After maybe twenty minutes, I was distracted by a young man screaming loud profanities from across where I was sitting. Moreover, as I looked up, he was headed directly towards me at a quick pace.

The area cleared of people and he proceeded to stand directly in front of where I sat.
In a very loud and accusing voice he demanded to know if that mask I was wearing was Scottish and where I got it. (I’ll admit his phrasing was much more colourful!)
I replied slowly that the design was the Scottish Saltire, also known as St. Andrew’s Cross and that I bought it at TartanTown in Burnaby.

He appeared to calm down a little and began to explain:

His ex-girlfriend was Scottish and had walked out on him and he hated everything associated with that country. I did not interrupt him as he carried on with his story, gradually lowering his voice and becoming more controlled.

Finally, he asked me if I had ever had a girlfriend walk out on me just like that, to which I replied not that I could remember, I was too old to think back that far.

He chuckled, and, surprisingly he wished me a good day and carried on out of the Mall.

Immediately one of the store keepers ran over and asked if I was OK.
Was I hurt?
Did I need a glass of water?
She told me I had been assaulted and that Mall security was on the way.
I just shrugged and assured her I was fine.

In what followed I admitted I was not too concerned. He was fighting his own demons and was angry with the mask, not the wearer.

I was actually more surprised about how angry some of the witnesses were that all this had happened.

When I told Karen about my adventure she suggested that I should have mentioned that I grew up living on the grounds of a mental hospital. I replied that teaching high school for thirty something years might be relevant as well.

Hymn: VU 625: “I Feel the Winds of God” CLICK HERE


James 1:17-27

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.    

 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. 

 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. 

 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. 


This letter is usually credited to James the brother of Jesus (also known as James the Just), who headed the Christian Church in Jerusalem following the crucifixion. It is quite short and, in general, asks its readers to be patient, to persevere, and “to live” what they believe.

The Epistle was not really popular with the later church because it promoted following all the rules in the Torah. It is more accepted today because it emphasizes that we all live in relationship with God and with each other. If we are “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger”, then we will make room to let others fully express themselves.

God is found in such relationships.

We can then move on to “be doers of the word, and not merely hearers” in all our undertakings. God invites us to respond lovingly to each person we encounter in life. We accept God’s invitation when we establish open, accepting, affirming, relationships following the approach James suggests.

The word of God thus becomes a living, breathing, dynamic being through the intentional living out of our lives. This opens the way for creative transformation in all of our relationships.


Hymn: "Your Hand, O God, Has Guided" VU 274 CLICK HERE


Ever-giving God, you lavish us with great abundance. Grace, comfort, and eternal life are priceless gifts. Empower us to herald that truth in word and action. May our offerings be only a small part of our commitment to your way of extravagant sharing. Bless all they represent, as you sanctify us in you love. Amen.                           

Laura Turnbull,, Penticton, B.C. 

Prayers of the People:

 Please join together in the words written in bold type. Let us pray: 

If we are to be faithful, the time has come for a change:
To no longer complain about government policies without becoming politically active;
To be sensitive to the aspirations of the younger generation and help them create a society that is in tune with their dreams;
To find one small thing we can do to redress the balance of a world where some children go to bed hungry and some are obese;

 To speak out against food ingredients that improve taste but compromise health; To refuse to go along with the point of view that clean forms of generating power will never replace oil.

Encourage us, Loving God, to be your agents of change.  

To work with those who believe that prison is less a place for punishment and more a community where prisoners are fitted for a new way of life; To speak out when a local medical group refuses to fund new treatments; To be actively involved in supporting children who have difficulty learning, reading, or concentrating; 

 To visit those who are lonely at home or fearful in hospital; To stand with those who are depressed or disillusioned; To be a patient friend to those who have lost a loved one or a pet (time of silent reflection).

Encourage us, Loving God, to be your agents of change.  

 If we are to be faithful, the time has come for a change:

To believe that in these times of materialism there is also a longing for spiritual practice; To affirm the value of friendship and worship within a supportive faith community; To give thanks for the leadership up front and behind the scenes in our church; 

 To realize the possibilities for health, employment, and shelter through giving to church mission funds; To partner with the local community in supporting the vulnerable and lost (time of silent reflection).

Encourage us, Loving God, to be your agents of change.  

 If we are to be faithful, the time has come for a change.

We face the need to vision for a fulfilling future. We acknowledge the value of a relationship or friendship. We are ready to let go of an impossible dream or a destructive way of being. We open to new truth, however joyful or however unpleasant it may be.

We believe that change is possible, Loving God. We will change. 

The Lord's Prayer

Hymn: “Go Make a Diff'rence"” MV 209  CLICK HERE

Musical Interlude:  Maestro David     VU 506: “Take My Life and Let it Be”

Commissioning and Benediction:

In the midst of a world filled with clamour and boasting, may our faithful presence be for others a quiet moment filled with the love of God that reveals the good news of the kingdom of God to those who are searching for hope. Amen.                     

Julie Hutton, Miccedosa U.C., Minnedosa, Man.