TRINITY United Church
August 08, 2021
Proper 14
Zoom Worship 
“Connection not Perfection”

CLICK HERE   for Connection to Trinity's YouTube Channel


Rev David: May the peace of Christ be with you. 

Welcome to Trinity United Church in Port Coquitlam, BC.
We are so grateful that you have chosen to spend some time with us, we are glad you are here. 

A gentle reminder that we are experimenting on a weekly basis with our social media and the technology, and some things will work better than others. So we ask for your patience and generosity of spirit as we forge a new way forward together. We do ask that if something technical goes wrong please let the leader and the hosts work it out. It is not helpful for people to turn on their own mics and start talking, it really only adds to the confusion. 

Acknowledgement of Territory
For tens of thousands of years, the lands on which we live, work and worship, have been occupied by indigenous peoples.
Much of what we know as the North West Coast of North America was occupied by the Coast Salish Peoples. The territory where Trinity United Church of Port Coquitlam resides is the unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations. Our acknowledgement of unceded traditional territory is a first step in reconciliation between settler cultures and indigenous peoples and the decolonization of western systems that continue to oppress and exploit indigenous peoples and land. The work of reconciliation is daunting. The work of reconciliation will not be ours to complete, but neither is it ours to abandon.  

We remember these words from the Apostle Paul, “[The gift of a New Creation] is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting [our] trespasses against [us], and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” 

Let us prepare our hearts and minds for worship. 

Prelude/ Lighting of the Christ Candle 

Call to Worship and Opening Prayer
Let us put away all bitterness and wrath
and anger and wrangling and slander, and malice
     Let us be kind to one another,
     tenderhearted, forgiving,
     as God in Christ has forgiven us.
Let us be imitators of God, as beloved children
      Let us live in love, as Christ loved us.
Come let us worship. 

Hymn “Come and Find the Quiet Centre” VU 374 

Prayer of Reconciliation and Words of Assurance  
Holy One,
We have not been faithful children.
Impatient and proud,
we build up armies and lay siege to your temples.
We force our own will on the world
rather than patiently awaiting your will to unfold.
We do not trust the goodness of your will for us.
And in our lack of trust, pride and impatience,
we bring doom down on our own heads,
and the heads of those whom we love and care for. 

Forgive us we pray.
Enter into our hearts and transform them.
Soften our pride.
Strengthen our trust.
Dissuade our impatience.
Teach us to imitate you as beloved children,
to live in love as Christ loved us.
In the name of the one who gave all for all,
We pray. Amen. 

Friends, God loves us beyond reason,
and grieves our alienation profoundly.
Through no merit of our own,
God receives us again and again
into a loving embrace
that forgives, reconciles and makes new.
Thanks be to God. 


Retelling Our Ancient Story
“King David’s Son” based on 2 Samuel15, by Ralph Milton 

Psalm 130 VU 853 refrain 1

Out of the depths, I cry to you,
my hope is in your promise true.

Out of the depths, have I called to you.
O God, hear my cry!
     Let your ears be attentive to my plea for mercy.
If you should keep account of what is done amiss,
O God, who could stand?

     But there is forgiveness with you,
     therefore we will honour you.  R

Out of the depths, I cry to you,
my hope is in your promise true.

I wait for you, God;
my soul waits, and in your word is my hope.
     My soul waits for God
     more than the watchers long for morning,
     more than the watchers long for morning.
O Israel, wait in hope,
for with God there is love unfailing.

     With God is great power to redeem,
     to redeem you, Israel, from all your sins.  R

Out of the depths, I cry to you,
my hope is in your promise true.

Hymn: “In the Quiet Curve of Evening” VU 278 

Reading Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2 

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil. 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. 51Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

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

Out of the depths, we cry, O God.
Help us to trust in your steadfast love and forgiveness.
Teach us to live in truth,
and to trust that the truth sets us free.
In the name of the one who came to show us the way,
we pray. Amen. 

The latter part of King David's story offers us lots of opportunity to reflect on broken relationship and reconciliation. Two weeks ago we heard the story of David, Bathsheba and Uriah, in which David has Uriah killed so it won't be found out that he, King David, committed adultery with Bathsheba and got her pregnant. In the following passages, David's household starts to fall apart. The child Bathsheba bears gets ill and dies. David's son Amnon rapes his daughter Tamar. David isn't able to re-establish healthy relationship so Absalom, another of David's sons, murders Amnon. David forgives Absalom, but Absalom usurps David's throne. David flees from his kingdom. Despite David giving clear orders that his soldiers were not to kill Absalom, they do. And David grieves. 

At this point in the story, David has so much to grieve: the deaths of three sons, the rape of his daughter, the disobedience of his soldiers, the betrayal of Absalom... But under it all is David's own transgression, his failure to be a just and compassionate ruler. David had led corruptly, and corruption has followed. 

"Out of the depths I cry to you!" 

"If you should keep account of what is done amiss, O God, who could stand?" 

David asserts, "There is forgiveness with you." "I wait for you, God, my soul waits, and in your word is my hope." 

What is it to wait in hope for forgiveness? 

I am not entirely convinced we do enough of this, waiting in hope for forgiveness. 

I think we often presume forgiveness. 

But more often, I think we give up on the notion of forgiveness altogether and instead of waiting in hope for forgiveness, we continue to deny the horrible things we've done and continue to perpetuate evil while justifying our actions: "we had no choice," "someone else is doing worse," "we are the real victims here!" "We are so misunderstood!" But these responses fail to trust that God is willing and able to forgive, but we need to wait and hope for forgiveness. 

And in the waiting and hoping, we need to change our behaviour. We need to stop doing whatever it was we were doing to hurt the other party. We need to do what we can to share in the other party's healing. And only then, can there be forgiveness and reconciliation. 

This is what God does. 

This is what Jesus came to do: to show us how to wait in hope for forgiveness. 

Jesus came to show us how to wait in hope for forgiveness. 

As I watch Catholic priests and Bishops across Canada deny the church's roll in the Residential Schools System, and even claim that they are the ones being persecuted, I have to wonder if these priests and bishops truly believe and trust in a forgiving God. They can't admit to what has happened because they don't actually believe God could forgive that kind of behaviour. 

The United Church of Canada has been able to apologize because we trust that though we do not deserve to be forgiven, God will keep God's promise and forgive a contrite heart. 

A contrite heart confesses, atones, and changes its ways. 

The readings today from 2 Kings, the psalms and Ephesians give us both the stick and the carrot: When we behave corruptly, we end up in the depths. 

However, there is an alternative: the kind of world and community we can create when we behave with love, compassion and justice. 

In Ephesians today, Paul tells us to avoid slander, falsehood, untruth, and evil talk. And he contrasts it with the alternative: speaking truth, honest work, building up the community, being kind, tenderhearted, imitating God... living in love. 

"Waiting in Hope" is not idle waiting. 

While we wait in hope for forgiveness, we examine our attitudes, we listen tenderly, we participate in healing, we change our hearts... we learn to imitate God. 

It is all hard work. but that's our calling. 

Paul even reminds us, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God." 

Let's not grieve that we have to do the work of reconciliation, that just adds insult to injury. Grieve the wrong we've done. Grieve with our neighbours for the losses they've experienced at our hands. Grieve for a world that is in constant crisis and turmoil. But don't grieve that this is the work God has given us: to live in love and truth and to seek right relationship. 

May we be kind to one another;
may we be tender-hearted;
may we be forgiving of one another;
may we be imitators of God, living in love;
and may we wait in hope for forgiveness.

Special Music 


Your offering: your financial gifts, your gifts of time and skill are what make our ministry possible. If you are not already on Pre-Authorized Remittance, we invite you to participate in our ministry by making a financial gift, either by sending a cheque to the church office, or by going to our website and clicking on the donate now button.  

Holy One,
Receive our offerings of money, time, and talent.
We return only what you first gave us.
May these gifts become great,
bearing the fruit of your spirit for all the world.
In the name of the one who forgives all
and works for reconciliation,
we pray. Amen. 

The Great Thanksgiving  

Blessed stranger, we gather here today hoping in some way to touch you, to see for ourselves the truth of your resurrection.
You meet us as a stranger on the road and our hearts are warmed as we remember the Holy Scriptures.
You told us,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

Indeed, you brought healing and good news, comfort and freedom.
We followed and proclaimed with the crowds on the way into Jerusalem: 

Kingsfold Communion Setting MV 203
O holy, holy, holy God,
O God of time and space.
All earth and sea and sky above
bear witness to your grace.
Hosanna in the highest Heav’n,
creation sings your praise.
And blessed is the One who comes
and bears your name always! 

We followed eagerly in the joy and promise of your proclamation.
But the world was not ready for the coming of your kingdom.
And you warned us:

The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes,
and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
But we did not understand.
You were rejected, you were killed and buried in the tomb.
As you fulfilled the role to which you were called:

We betrayed.
We ran.
We denied.
We abandoned.
We hid.

But on the third day, everything changed. 

Two friends were on the road to Emmaus… 

And so with great rejoicing we proclaim the mystery of our faith: 

Kingsfold MV 204
Sing Christ has died
and Christ is risen,
Christ will come again!
Sing Christ has died
and Christ is risen,
Christ will come again! 

Blessed stranger, as we share these gifts, may our eyes be opened to your presence.
May we, too, become prophets of your resurrection glory.
Forever and ever.  Amen. 

Christ is Risen!    
     Risen indeed!
Christ is Risen!    
     Risen indeed!
Christ is Risen!    
     Risen indeed! 

Kingsfold MV 204
Amen, amen O Holy One!
Hosanna and Amen!
Amen, amen, O Holy One!
Hosanna and Amen! 

Let us pray for all those with who God would have us share this feast…  

A Paraphrase of The Disciples’ Prayer VU 916

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall  be,
Father and mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
the hallowing of your name
echo through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by people of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power
that is love, now and for ever.   Amen.

Prayer after Communion:

God of new and eternal life,
we thank you that in this meal
we have witnessed and received
the living Christ.   

Nourish us with this food
that we may see the face of Christ more clearly
in our friends and neighbours,
have the courage and faith to proclaim our faith,
and be the children of light you call us to be.   

May our eyes bear your glory,
our lips speak your word 
and our hands work your justice.   

In the name of the blessed stranger
who accompanies us on the journey,
we pray.  Amen. 


Hymn: “Spirit Open my Heart” MV 79 

Commissioning and Benediction  I invite you to turn on your videos and hold your hands out in a sign of blessing…