Our worship leader today is Linda Lund with Betty McLean:
Linda: I previously was Chair of Pastoral Care, now I’m a “Doer” like all of the rest of us, but my passion is pastoral care and also the healing ministry. Our mission statement says we seek to follow the teachings of Jesus. Jesus believed in the equality of all people which he demonstrated in his ministry on earth, challenging the conventional wisdom of his time. If he were here now, he would be saying “Black Lives (and Indigenous and other people of colour) Matter”; that anyone who is sick in body, mind or spirit matters; that the elderly matter; that children matter; that anyone who suffers abuse, violence or discrimination of any sort matters. And, as our indigenous neighbours remind us, all other life forms are our brothers and sisters and they matter too. Jesus also stood up to injustice and overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple to show them that their greed, privilege and selfishness were not acceptable. Respect, non-judgmental and unconditional love are important. We seek to follow Jesus. That’s why I keep coming back here to Trinity United Church and pastoral care work.
Your participation with us today is truly a blessing. This service is prepared by Linda Lund on behalf of Pastoral Care with assistance from Betty McLean which was greatly appreciated.
Call to Worship:
Today the Hymn is– "Come in, Come in and Sit Down" – VU 395
Click here to listen to David Rogers play.
Refrain: Come in, come in and sit down, you are a part of the family.
We are lost and we are found, and we are a part of the family.
You know the reason why you came,
yet no reason can explain,
so share in the laughter and cry in the pain,
for we are a part of the family. Refrain
There’s rest for the weary and health for us all,
there’s a yoke that is easy, and a burden that’s small.
So come in and worship and answer the call,
for we are a part of the family. Refrain
Acknowledgement of Territory
Richard Wagamese, a Canadian Ojibway author, writes in his book One Drum that “All faiths and all peoples have medicine. Medicine refers to those things that return us to balance, to wellness, to innocence, and to humility that is the root of all believing. We all share this whether medicine resides in songs, chants, incense, smudging, the Sun Dance, the elements of the earth and most powerfully in solitude when we take time to ponder, reflect and pray.
Humility is our greatest gift because it is so difficult to return to and hold. This spiritual journey was given to all of us and we have all found our medicines … but we have also all forgotten them.” As we prepare to worship, we acknowledge the land on which our church and community is built is the unceded land of the Kwikwetlem First Nation.
May we work to build and deepen right relationship of thanksgiving and hope for the future.
May God bless all with love. Amen.
Opening Prayer – Meditation of the Potter and the Clay
(adapted from Healing from the Heart, the Healing Pathway textbook)
Relax and settle your body and mind. Imagine that you find yourself alone in a potter’s shop. See the many pots and jars of various sizes and shapes on the shelves – some painted brightly and some not, some newly shaped and waiting to be fired, and some darkened with age, some perfect and some flawed. But each has its place. You hear a rhythmic whirr coming from an inner room – the potter must be at work. Looking in, you see the potter at the wheel who nods to invite you to enter. You watch in silence as the potter with skillful hands perfects a clay vessel. Isn’t the symmetry and balance beautiful!
Maybe you wish you were that perfect, but you realize you are not. You feel like one of those flawed vessels in the shop and you feel sad. The potter finishes that vessel and puts it aside, then takes another from a nearby shelf. It’s an off-shaped pot with a crack in its side. You watch the potter break it into pieces and moisten them with water, then gather them up firmly in strong but gentle hands. The potter explains there are many reasons why its problems were caused but it is still valuable, useful and redeemable. The potter places the clay on the wheel and you see it being remolded, becoming a new creation. You want to become like that vessel.
As the wheel before you whirs, you surrender yourself into God’s loving hands to be reshaped as God intends and become again the way God has always seen you – beautiful, perfect, without flaw. The potter has finished the work and the wheel has stopped. The potter gently places the re-formed vessel upon the drying shelf and smiles. You breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to the Great Potter of your life and slowly return to the room in which you are now.
Leviticus 19, vs 18b
Love your neighbour as yourself.
Luke 10, vs 26-28
Jesus said, “What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?”
The man answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
“You are right,” Jesus replied, “do this and you will live.”
Message – Truth and Logic
We are all the same but we are all different. That statement doesn’t make any logical sense, does it. “Same” and “different” are opposites. Yet, we are all human beings, homo sapiens - we all have a head, neck, torso, arms, legs – we all have basic needs of food and shelter, etc. We are all the same, but each one of us is unique and different. So the above statement is true, even if it isn’t logical.
Some other examples of statements which are true but not logical: You can stretch a dollar. My loonie is a metal coin that buys $1 worth of goods and I cannot stretch it. But if my loonie is gathered together with a loonie from each one of you, collectively we can purchase more than $1 worth of goods for each loonie. So a dollar can be stretched.
When you give you receive. Logically, if I give something away, it’s gone, so I’m not receiving anything. But if I give something to someone who needs what I have (maybe I don’t need it anymore or I have extra, or whatever), then I feel good about giving it and I receive that good feeling of helping someone and sharing. I might even receive their thanks, which makes me feel even better. I wouldn’t have had any of those good feelings if I hadn’t first given. So when I give, I also receive, even if it isn’t logical.
We’ve all been through pretty traumatic times recently and we’ve felt disconnected and lonely. But our United Church Creed says “We are not alone”. It says it two times for emphasis. I read something about pastoral care recently that stated there are “rings” of pastoral care. First is caring, next is sharing (which sort of go together hand-in-hand), and the third is thankfulring. Okay, that last one hasn’t made it into the dictionary yet but you know what I mean – gratitude.
This congregation is really good at caring about one another, and about the community around us, and also about sharing our time, talents and skills with others. A few examples are people phoning to check on one another during the pandemic, some read the Sunday message to those without email or internet, praying for those grieving or with health or other issues, supporting the work of the church by financial offerings, sewing face masks, supporting the Food Bank, sharing our building with other groups (that may slowly be returning), etc. There are a lot of connections with one another here.
Last October, Stewardship did a survey of time and talents – 43 people reported contributing approx. 1,530 hours in the month. Now there’s roughly 150 households in our directory so I’m sure there are others who contributed but didn’t fill out the survey (yes, I hate surveys too). I’m sure there are a lot more uncounted hours than what was listed. The results of that survey blew me away. What an incredible and awesome congregation of amazing people this is! We are grateful, and those who have received what we have given may be grateful too. Together, we have phoned/emailed/texted, prayed, sewed, painted, weeded, cleaned, given donations, and so on - the list is endless. I’m glad we are all doing this together because, individually, it really wouldn’t be possible.
This is the thankful-ring which really feels good.
We really are all the same, but each one is different. (I’m so glad because the rest of you can do so many more things that I’m hopeless at.) We really all can stretch that dollar. We really do both give and receive at the same time. We’re all connected, with each other, and with God. We really aren’t alone. We are all part of this amazing family!! I feel like I’m living inside of a miracle.
Wow! I think we’re finding our medicine again which, as Richard Wagamese says – “medicine returns us to balance, to wellness, to innocence, and to humility”. I think we’re following what Jesus and the scriptures have taught – “to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds, and to love our neighbour as ourselves”. For all the above, I am thankful. How about you?
Hymn – "Spirit of Gentleness: VU 375 – (especially vs 3 which sounds like what we’ve been living through)
Click here to listen.
3. You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still,
and down in the city you called once again,
when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.
Refrain: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,
blow through the wilderness calling and free,
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness,
stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
Thank you God for the miracle that is this congregation and this church named Trinity United in Port Coquitlam. Thank you for guiding us in your ways and teaching us how to love you and love others. May we always remember your teaching that everybody matters, which includes all life on this earth. We are sorry and ask for your forgiveness and mercy when we make mistakes. Thank you for your healing presence with us and your unconditional love. May we always remember your life-giving spirit is for everyone. May we continue to be mindful and trust you as we seek our way forward into the future. Thank you. Amen We continue to pray with the words that Jesus gave to all of his disciples, knowing that you are our Mother, and you are…
Our Father, who art in heaven… VU 921
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
Wherever you go, God is with you
Go with God.
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