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We thank Judy Johnson for leading us in worship today.

Greeting /Welcome


Acknowledgement of Territory
We humbly acknowledge that even as we gather digitally, we live and work and play on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. Trinity United Church rests on the unceded lands of the Kwikwitlem First Nation.  

Setting the Scene
It is just a few days after Christmas, and still a few days more before the New Year begins. As I prepared to lead worship, it was suggested that I might curate some of the recorded music from Trinity’s archives. I have rummaged thru recordings from ten to forty years ago, to prepare for today’s worship.  
We will begin with Trinity’s choir and congregation recorded on Christmas Day, 2011. Joan Leston is playing organ. Because it was recorded live, you will hear some non-singing noises, including joyous children lending their voices to the celebration. You are invited to sing along as you are able…

HYMN: VU48 "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" 
CLICK HERE for video.

Let us pray…  
Opening Prayer
In the year just closing,
In the year yet to come,
And right at this moment,
You are with us, Holy God!

Thank you!

For your leading and loving,
For your teaching and caring,
For your changing love at work in all of us,
Thank you! In your love, you hold all creation.

In your hope, you give new life.
In your peace, you begn again!
So the year just closing,
For the year yet to come,
And for this moment right now,
We declare, Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thank you, Holy God! Amen  

*Written by Richard Bott.
Found in Gathering ACE 2020/2021 (Year B), p40
Used with permission.  

The BackStory:
Music at Trinity Music has the incredible power to unite us as no other activity can. Every culture has music, and it seems to transcend every boundary. Working with a choir or congregation with a large array of singing abilities shows how music can make a positive impact on our lives.   Much of the music we sing at Trinity is part of the musical knowledge passed on in an aural tradition. Camp songs, folk songs, music from other lands and in other languages lend themselves to engaging the community in a broad and satisfying way.  

Our reading today is a sung reading: from Voices United 883, "Comfort, Comfort Now My People". The recording is full choir and congregation singing, on Christmas Eve, 2011, accompanied by Joan Leston and Alyssa Espiritu. You are invited to sing along as you are able…                                                                        

VU 883 Isaiah 40 "Comfort, Comfort Now My People"
CLICK HERE for video.

CLICK HERE for video.

Message: Music Touches the Soul     

 This is December 2020. For the past few weeks, Rev Cathcart has talked about Isaiah, and dwelt on the need to comfort each other in this time of separation and aloneness. We sang Isaiah 40 again today – we still need comfort. Although the vaccine is here, we must follow specific health protocols. Time has stood still. There’s time to contemplate - to be with own thoughts. Sometimes, being alone with my thoughts is uncomfortable. Sometimes I just want someone else to carry the conversation.  

This season has been SO different for most people. We are limited to spending time with those “in our bubble” – those who live with us. We could also describe it as time AWAY from friends and family. A well-peopled Christmas is usually filled with music, laughter, food, drinks, and gifts… as well as friends and family, and so on. But sometimes the pace of Christmas is just too much. Sometimes I spend too much money; Eat or drink too much; Or arrange to get away from those I live with.

That is when I turn to music: Like this instrumental recorded Dec 19, 2010. With Wayne Sawyer on clarinet, Becca Moughtin on bass clarinet and Alyssa Espiritu on piano. I find it calming, creative, and just enough “spice” to take it to another level - “O Emmanuel”.

CLICK HERE for video.O Come Emmanuel”, instrumental recorded Dec 19, 2010. Wayne Sawyer on clarinet, Becca Moughtin on bass clarinet and Alyssa Espiritu on piano.   

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have hidden our faces, kept others at a distance, or even shut up in our homes - for 41 weeks! That is long enough for a child to be conceived, develop to full term and to be delivered. How we cry out to be comforted in this time of enforced aloneness! Don’t we wish that this “pregnancy” is over with? Mary was feeling this 2000 years ago. She and Joseph were certainly “alone in their bubble”.  

Christmas is a time of new birth, and a time for great joy: Like in this recording with Alyssa on piano, Joan on organ, and Wayne on guitar, leading Trinity’s Choir and congregation on Christmas Eve, 2011. It is a rockin’ and joyous telling of the wonderful story - “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy”.  

CLICK HERE for video. “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” with Trinity’s Choir and congregation on Christmas Eve, 2011, featuring by Alyssa Espiritu on piano and Joan Leston on organ. 

Now I am tired of being alone... impatient even! I’ve tried to keep active, but it’s hard! On Dec 9th, when the vaccine approval was announced, we saw a spark of light in the near future. I thought, “This is the time for comforting ourselves and each other. We must bide our time, cover our faces, wash hands, and keep our distance. Hold onto the hope, peace, joy and love of the Advent season.”  

Even in my aloneness, I want to dance and sing along to a 2010 recording of the Trinity Quartet (Harvey Loucks, Eve Teubert, Pat Bradley, and Wayne Sawyer) with spirited accompaniment of Alyssa Espiritu – “I Bring You Good News”.

CLICK HERE for video.I Bring You Good News” by the Trinity Quartet (Harvey Loucks, Eve Teubert, Pat Bradley, and Wayne Sawyer), recorded on Dec 19, 2010 and accompanied by Alyssa Espiritu.    

Music calms and encourages. Music lifts our burden. Music tells stories. Music brings us hope. Music comforts. That’s a good place to end my message!  




Special Music - Maestro David Rogers

Minute for Mission News: Dec 27, 2020 
Most of us know that “Minutes for Mission” is a booklet of weekly stories about United Church’s Mission & Service partners. It has been a helpful resource for decades, explaining how our donations are used by M&S. Beginning in 2021 it’s changing… all because of Covid-19. As we know, the pandemic has required radical changes in how we worship and communicate.
The Minutes for Mission stories are written a year in advance. When one looks at the 2020 booklet, many of the stories are “tone deaf”. For example, many talked about people gathering together, or about in-person ways M&S supports those in need. So the booklet was completely out of touch with the current reality. This means the pandemic has altered the way M&S stories will be shared, too.
Beginning in 2021, M&S will publish eight stories in a revamped booklet, now called Your Generosity Matters. Rather than describing programs, the stories feature eight real people whose lives have been transformed or who are helping to change lives thanks to M&S gifts. In addition, all eight stories are accompanied by devotions for personal use, meetings or small groups. And each story will have an accompanying video.

Eight stories will carry us for a couple of months. As the year rolls on, more stories will be issued, including special Minutes for Mission stories and videos for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Church members need to know what their money is doing right now. They also need to hear about those who are becoming more vulnerable by the day because of COVID. Timely news is a matter of justice. Basically, we will be sharing as many stories as ever but they will be delivered differently so that we can break news If you have already made a donation to Mission & Service, “Thank You for supporting this worthy cause”! If you wish to donate to the Mission & Service Fund, you can do so in a number of ways:
• To begin regular, monthly donations, speak with Trinity’s financial guide, Dave Squires
• Or make your donation online through the United Church of Canada website
• Or you can speak with Trinity’s own M&S enthusiast, Joy Galea   

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intersession
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the music of our world,
For the musical gifts shared in our past and our present,
And for the musical possibilities of the future.
We thank you for the opportunity to share these moments together.
    Let us feel your love through music and song.  
When we feel awkward and uncomfortable experiencing a “different” Christmas season, with new traditions, with aloneness, with unrequited expectations,
    Let us feel your love through music and song.  
When we feel burdened by worldly news of civil wars or famine, of news of unrest in neighbouring countries or around the world, of national news of disease or murder, or of local news of homelessness,
May we pause to hear the gifts of music created to sooth and comfort.
When we wish for a hug from a distant family member – but cannot do that, When we wish a pandemic away, or for a meal out – but restaurants are closed,
When we wish for a gathering of friends – but they aren’t in your bubble,
May we remember the music we have and the music we have yet to hear.
    Let us feel your love through music and song.  
We pray for ________________________________
For those unable to be with us today because of illness or infirmity;
We pray for those who have experienced aloneness through this Christmas
And yearn to be with others as they ring in the New Year.
    Let us feel your love through music and song.  
And may we continue to sing words of Your praise,
And the New Year about to begin. Amen.  

There are many sung versions of the Lord’s Prayer. Here is a version Trinity choir has sung often. It begins with a solo by Eve Teubert. You are invited to sing too when the choir joins in with familiar words…   Lord’s Prayer: -         

Thy Will Be Done” from TUC recording Joy & Praise 1979; Eve Teubert, sololist and Joan Leston, organ.
CLICK HERE for video.

Please join in our closing hymn, with Choir and congregation singing on December 24, 2011;

HYMN: VU43 "Go Tell It On The Mountain" -Dec 2011 Archive; Joan Leston, organ
CLICK HERE for video.  

Commissioning & Blessing
Let us receive God’s grace and be open to all of God’s music as we begin a New Year.
May the light of God surround you
May the love of God enfold you May the power of God protect you
May the presence of God watch over you
And wherever you may go,
May the music of God’s universe accompany you.  



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