Trinity United Church
Sunday, January 2, 2022
“Connection not Perfection”
Happy New Year and Welcome to Trinity United Church in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia on this Sunday, January 2, 2022! I am Betty Anne Dempsey, retired Diaconal Minister and blessed to be with you this morning!
As we will be celebrating communion this morning, I invite you to have your bread, cracker, or anything that works for you…your coffee, tea or juice, close by for that time in the service…
We acknowledge and respect the Kwikwetlem peoples on whose traditional territory our Trinity United Church stands…and we work and live, in hope of right relationship and reconciliation
Quietly the New Year slips in.
Are we now more fearful,
Are we now more aware of the suffering, the violence,
the inequality, the injustice in our world?
In this New Year,
We seek you
As we have always sought you.
We need you
As we have always needed you.
We hunger for your presence…
Open our hearts afresh and anew.
Open our minds that we may know you-
and know that you call to us.
Be with us as we worship.
Hymn: In Loving Partnership VU 603 CLICK HERE
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NRSV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 9What gain have the workers from their toil? 10I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
11He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
Message: Betty Anne Dempsey
Happy New Year! Eat, drink, and be merry!!!
Hymn: We Gather at Your Table VU 457 CLICK HERE
As we approach this meal of celebration and new beginnings, we remember the life of Jesus, his teachings, his love…his acceptance of every person! Please pray with me…
God of new beginnings, you spread the year before us with possibilities and challenges. Some of us come to this meal feeling overwhelmed, stunted, blocked. Yet we want to trust your promise of a new beginning, today. Some of us approach this table feeling unworthy, flawed, broken. Yet we want to trust the assurance of your unwavering love and acceptance. Forgive our fear and doubt. Fill our minds and hearts with an unwavering trust in your promises and possibilities. Amen.
Words of Assurance:
Friends, be assured that God welcomes us into this New Year with full forgiveness, full acceptance and love beyond measure!
Jesus shared a special meal with his friends, and they long remembered his words at the table. And so we retell the story…
On the night before he died, Jesus shared a meal with twelve of his disciples in an upstairs room in Jerusalem.
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I tell you, I will never again drink the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’
Following Jesus’ example, we take simple bread and juice, or whatever you have chosen as your elements of communion, these ordinary things of life which connect us in Jesus’ name:
Before us today are ordinary bread and juice. When we eat the bread together and drink the juice together, something extraordinary happens which brings us closer to Jesus and to one another. We become the ‘Body of Christ.’ which means our eyes and ears see and hear what Jesus would see in our world, our arms and hands do Jesus’s work to help others. May this shared meal of new beginnings manifest for us the very essence of the risen Christ in our midst.
I invite you to pray with me…
God of new beginnings, for this time together, on the cusp of a new year, we give you thanks. As we celebrate around the table, we give thanks for the power of this meal, this simple bread and juice, to strengthen us for the days ahead as the Body of Christ. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread (Break bread as words are spoken)
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Like bread, Jesus nourishes and strengthens us so that we can know right and wrong and not be confused. When we eat the bread together at this communion meal, we are strengthened as a community to remember Jesus and to follow him, to live as he would live.
Pouring of the cup (Pour our juice as words are spoken)
The blood-red fruit of the vine reminds us that we are all part of a special agreement with God, a covenant sealed through the gift Jesus gave of his life. Through the sharing of the cup, we renew God’s covenant of love with God and with one another.
Please pray with me.
God of renewal and rebirth, renew us, through this meal. Through your Holy Spirit, empower us to be your faithful people each day this year. Strengthen us and show us how us the way to walk with Jesus on the path of truth, justice and peace. Amen.
Ministering to you in Christ's name, all things are ready.
Sharing the bread
God is making all things new. Eat of the Bread of Life.
Sharing the juice
God’s covenant renewed. Drink of the Cup of Love.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Pray with me. God of this new day and this new year, thank you for your presence in our lives, today and each day. Thank you for renewing us through this meal, and strengthening us each step we take into this new year. Amen.
Hymn: I, The Lord of sea and Sky (Here I Am, Lord) VU 509 CLICK HERE
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 clicking the “on-line giving” on our website.
We have been gifted with much, and so we give…
God of all times and seasons,
On this threshold of a new year, we turn and return again to you.
The year spreads before us with possibilities and challenges,
joys and concerns.
There is beauty all around: in the smiles of children,
in the love offered between friends, in the beauty of the earth.
But there are also challenges already surfacing.
In the closing days of last year, we have seen the images
hunger, poverty and despair. We continue to experience the unprecedented pandemic, global warming which brought wild fires and flooding resulting in so much loss, sadness…and grief
Your heart grieves when your children anywhere are hurting.
Our hearts grieve too.
Then again, we know that even in the midst of winter
there is hope for spring,
and even in the midst of grief there are signs of hope:
children embraced, lives touched by grace,
heroes who surface in times of trial.
In the midst of the good and the bad,
hear our prayer for this New Year.
May you help us to love a bit more deeply,
See the beauty around us more clearly,
Listen more earnestly,
Speak more honestly…
May we be troubled by injustice and be moved to act.
May we be led by compassion and be moved to serve.
May we walk softly upon this earth
and be gentle towards your creation.
May we be a courageous and bold witness for you.
May we be a living example of your gracious love,
not only in word but in our deeds.
And may we daily give thanks for the others in our lives
and in the world that do the same and more,
every day, in innumerable ways.
For the promise in this New Year, we give you thanks.
Help us to live it wisely and well.
Hymn: One more Step Along the Road I Go VU 639 CLICK HERE
Used with permission (Golden Ears United Church)
Let us look for Christ wherever we go
Let us never stop seeking
Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness
Which the darkness shall not overcome
And may the love of the Creator
The joy of the Spirit
And the peace of the Christ-child
Be with you this New Year, and evermore
May it be so…Amen