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Trinity United Church
May 30, 2021
Trinity Sunday
Zoom Worship

“Connection not Perfection”

CLICK HERE for the video of the livestream worship. To see specific parts of the service, scroll down under the YouTube video and click the "show more" link, then click on the part of the service you'd like to watch!



And we are live.

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.

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: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.

Call to Worship 

(based on Psalm 29)
The voice of Our God is powerful.
The voice of our God is full of majesty.
The voice of our God breaks mighty cedars.
The voice of our God makes us skip like a young lamb.

The voice of our God is like lightning.
The voice of our God shakes the wilderness.
Our God gives us strength.
Our God blesses us forever and ever.

Our hearts give God glory and strength.
We worship Our God in holy splendor.

Prayer of Approach

Source of All Being, 
Incarnate Word, 
Holy Wisdom, gather us in.
Life-giver, open our hearts.

Sustainer, give to us abundant life.
God beyond us, 
Christ beside us, 
Spirit within us, hallow our worship.

In the name of the three in one 
and one in three, we pray.  

Hymn: “When Long Before Time” VU 248 CLICK HERE

Prayer of Reconciliation and words of Assurance:
In the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul beseeches his followers, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith.  Test yourselves.”  Let us now each examine ourselves, as we open our hearts to reconciliation:  Let us pray…

Holiness, Word, Power, 
you reveal yourself to us in many ways, 
One God in three persons.
Your very being 
expresses relationship 
between distinct persons.  
You call us to be one, 
though we too are distinct peoples.

However, we are arrogant and selfish, 
thinking our own way of being in the world 
is the only way to be in the world.
We deny others the dignity 
of self-expression.
We deny others the autonomy 
of discerning their own relationship 
to you, expecting them to believe, 
worship, and serve, like us. 
We turn down opportunities to reconcile 
with those we have wronged.
We refuse to forgive and be reconciled 
to those who have wronged us.

You are plural in your being, O God, 
yet you are one.
Call us again into that one-ness.
Teach us humility, 
so we may hear what we resist.
Open our hearts, 
make us empathetic and compassionate 
towards those who are different.
Break apart our stubbornness 
that we may drink deeply 
of the life giving waters you provide for us 
through relationships that challenge us.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Spirit, we pray.  Amen.

Again of the Corinthians, Paul asks:
“Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?”
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Spirit 
be with you all, 
we are forgiven, 
we are reconciled; 
we are made whole.


Retelling Our Ancient Story

Isaiah’s Call: “Whom Shall I Send?”

Do you know what a vision is? It is like dreaming while awake. And like a dream, a vision can be pretty strange.

When Isaiah was young he was in the Temple of God, the Holy of Holies. And while there, he had a vision.

He saw God sitting on a throne, high and lofty, and the hem of God’s robe was all of creation. All of heaven and earth were contained in the hem of God’s robe!

Heavenly creatures were above God, each had six wings, four wings covered their bodies while with two wings they could fly. And these heavenly creatures called to each other:

“Holy, holy, holy Lord, 
God of power and might, 
heaven and earth are full of your glory!”

At the sound of the voices, the Temple shook and filled with smoke.

And Young Isaiah thought, “Uh-oh! I’m in trouble. I have unclean lips and I live with people with unclean lips, and yet I have seen God!”

Then one of the heavenly creatures flew to him with a hot coal that had been removed from the altar fire with a pair of tongs.

The heavenly creature touched Young Isaiah’s lips with it and said, “Your lips are clean!”
The hot coal didn’t burn his lips, but made him tingle all over with the love of God.

Then Young Isaiah heard the voice again, “Whom shall I send? Who will speak to the people for us?”

And Young Isaiah replied, “Here I am; send me!”

And the voice told Isaiah what to say.

Hymn: Psalm 29 VU 756    CLICK HERE.

Romans 8:14-17

 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.   
This is the witness of the early church. Thanks be to God!

Hymn: “I Bind unto Myself Today” “Christ Be with Me” VU 317 &318     CLICK HERE.


Holy, holy, holy Lord, 
God of power and might, 
heaven and earth are full of you glory.
Fill us now as we reflect on your sacred word.
Help us to hear your call to us.
Cleanse our lips 
that we might go to your people
and proclaim your love.
In the name of the Source, 
the Word, 
and the Spirit, we pray. 

We hear the call of Isaiah this morning. Isaiah has his vision of God on the throne in temple, surrounded by seraphs, 6 winged heavenly creatures, chanting "holy, holy, holy." Isaiah is filled with fear and one of the seraphs touches his mouth with a burning coal so that Isaiah's lips are cleansed and he has the words he needs to say. God asks "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" and Isaiah responds, "Here I am Lord, send me."

We hear this text on Trinity Sunday because, "Holy, holy, holy" three times and because God says, "Whom shall I send? who will go for us?" implying unity and three persons. Some scholars and orthodox theologians will argue from this text that the Trinity is implied throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Honestly, I think its a stretch, myself. But I'm not compelled by orthodox theology.

I am much more interested in the Isaiah passage as a call narrative.

Hebrew Scriptures have several call narratives in which prophets, servants of God are called by God. As we listen to the story told by Isaiah, we immediately recognize similar motifs from the story of Moses, Hannah, Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others.

Call narratives often involve a vision including the Voice of God. The listener is filled with fear and usually has a "no, not me" response, "anyone but me." They might even have some excuses as to why not me: Moses stutters; Samuel just can't figure out who is speaking; Jeremiah is too young; Jonah doesn't like what he's told to do. God or the Voice of God does something to assure the listener that God will provide and the listener finally responds, "Here I am Lord."

Call narratives are common in Scripture. Call is one of the most common themes in the Bible. Unfortunately, most call narratives leave us believing that when God calls us, it is through visions and drama and that just isn't the case in real life.

A very small handful of people see dramatic visions full of burning bushes, earthquakes, thundering voices, and heavenly creatures.

More commonly, call is experienced in much more mundane and subtle ways.

There are two elements involved in a Call from God. I'll call them internal and external. The "internal element" is a sense of pull, or push, or longing, or unease, or fit, or that something isn't working. But it is inside us, a sense that something should be different than it is. The "external element" is someone saying, "have you thought of doing this?"

Both elements are part of a call from God. If both elements aren't present, its either ego or coercion. If there is only the internal element, and no one saying, "I think you should do this," then it's just ego. It’s just in your head. And if there is only the external element and no internal "maybe there is something I could be doing that I'm not currently doing" it is coercion, an outside party just trying to get you to do something that isn't really yours to do.

Discerning the Will of God, discerning call, is a community experience involving both internal sense and an external invitation.

I remember in my 3rd year at Knox in Brandon, Manitoba, I was getting frustrated with how the Presbytery was functioning. I loved presbytery, but it was having some difficulties and I wasn't afraid of pointing that out. So I got a call from the nominating committee saying they thought I should be the chair elect. Now the last thing I wanted to do was chair a presbytery. I already had more than enough work to do. My gifts are not administrative. My gifts are in pastoral presence and vision. But, two elements of call were present, I had an internal, "this isn't working right," and the external, "maybe you should take this on."

The person from nominations pointed out that there were lots of good administrators on the executive, what they needed was vision and pastoral presence.

God doesn't call the prepared, God prepares those who are called. God doesn’t call people who have everything they need. God calls people and then provides for them.

Dramatic visions aside, there are a number truths the call narratives depict accurately: our response is fear; we are easily overwhelmed and intimidated by the job at hand; we will likely feel unprepared and think, "who am I?" or "Anyone but me!" These are typical responses.

And yet, if we are open to the movement of the spirit, the heavenly creatures will cleanse our lips with a burning coal and provide us with everything we need to accomplish that for which God is calling us.

I am so grateful for the ways I get to witness God calling people to service in this community.

I won't say who is doing what, but I can say that your nominating team has completed its work and you have a full slate coming to the Congregational Annual Meeting. And I can say confidently that the people who will stand nominated before you, are called by God, at this time to serve. Thanks be to God.

I am grateful for those leaders who have heard the call to step down. God is calling you to take a much deserved rest. God is calling you to focus on other impulses in your lives and other relationships. Thank you for your service. And thank you for trusting that this is indeed a good time to let go and let God to fill the position your are vacating. Thank you for being a good model of responding to God's call.

I am grateful for those who were asked to fill positions who said, "No thank you, not now." Thank you for discerning that the external "we think you could do this," was not matched with the internal impulse. Thank you for being honest that now is not the time. We will likely ask you again. And I would ask you again to be honest in your own discernment. Thank you for being a good model of responding to God's call.

I am grateful for those who were asked to fill positions who said, "Yes." After prayerful consideration, you heard both our ask, and the internal "fit," for which we are deeply, deeply thankful. The work ahead is hard and sometimes daunting. But you aren't alone, and God is providing for us all the time. Thank you for being a good model of responding to God's call.

I am grateful for those who were asked years ago and who are continuing to serve in the positions they have filled for a while now. I am confident in your ability to continue to fill your commitment. And I am confident in your ability to discern when enough is enough and when it will be time for you to let go and trust that God will provide again. Thank you for being good models of responding to God's call.

And finally, I am so grateful to those who did the asking, Beth, Jim and Betty. Some years, this can be one of the hardest ministries in the church if only because we fear being told, "No." It was the Nominating Team that helped us discern years ago that we had a governance issue and started our process to transitioning and experimenting with our governance model. Thank you for being good models of responding to God's call.

There are many faithful ways of responding to God's call.

We have been blessed at Trinity by inspired, courageous leadership. Like Isaiah's journey, sometimes the call is daunting, but we are not alone and God provides along the way.

One of the gifts of saying, "Yes" to God's call is getting to witness first hand when abundance begets abundance, when glory begets glory. Thank you.

May we continue to listen for the call.
May we continue to receive the blessings.
May we continue to respond, "Here I am, Lord, Send me."

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. 

We have been blessed, not only by the generosity of our membership and adherents, but also by the courage of our leadership to learn and navigate in a very different world than the one we knew a year ago. Let us give thanks.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and intercession:

Let us continue in prayer, crying Abba! Father 
knowing that it is God’s Spirit 
bearing witness with our spirit 
that we are children and heirs of God. 
Let us pray…

Source of All Being, 
Incarnate Word, 
Holy Wisdom, 
We pray for a world torn by violence, 
that your peace might draw us together.
As your oneness is three persons, 
may all persons find oneness in you.
We pray for Myanmar, Palestine/Israel… 

We pray for your church 
throughout the world.
Empowered by your spirit, 
may your love for all the world be made manifest.

We pray for all who suffer:
Those who are homeless, 
those who are under paid, 
those who live with mental illness and addiction.
May we all find healing and new life.

God beyond us, 
Christ beside us, 
Spirit within us, 
We pray for your creation 
as it groans for its redemption, 
may our hearts be transformed 
to make better decisions 
for the future of our children.

Source, Word, Love, 
We pray for members of our own community 
who need comfort and assurance:
Bart, Ria, Fay, Bob, Dawn, Brian, Rick, Rita, Vivian, Donna, Diana, Olga, Gladys, Peggy, Joyce, Nick…

Through Christ, 
with Christ and 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
we praise you, 
One God, now and forever…

Now, as a child turns to her mother seeking affirmation and comfort, we say a paraphrase of the words your son taught us to pray:

A Paraphrase of The Disciples’ Prayer  VU 916


Hymn: “Praise with Joy the World’s Creator” VU 312     CLICK HERE.

Commissioning and Benediction:
In the words of Paul:
be reconciled, 
receive comfort, 
agree with one another
live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Spirit 
be with you all now and always.  Amen.