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Trinity United Church
October 10, 2021
Thanksgiving Sunday
Proper 23

“Connection not Perfection”




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.

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 Northwest 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 “Welcome Home Oct 10” video

Call to Worship 

Come, people, let us gather for worship!
Let us come to sing and shout God’s praise!
God provides for us from everlasting to everlasting.
With shelter and food, clothing and employment, God bestows us with abundance.
From everlasting to everlasting God showers us with meaning and purpose.
God surrounds us with family and friends, neighbours and community.
So come let us sing and shout God’s praise!
Come, let us gather for worship!

Prayer of Approach 

Great and Wonderful Mystery, 
today in this time of worship we give thanks: 
for all that you have given us, 
all that you have done for us, 
all that you have made possible for us to do.

Remind us always of your presence 
so that even when we plant crops in our despair, 
we may still shout praises at the harvest; 
though we leave with heavy hearts, 
we may return home with laughing and armloads of blessings.

Hymn: “Each Blade of Grass”  MV 37

We Rest in a Reconciling Love: a guided meditation
I invite you to take a few deep breaths and relax as we take a minute to rest in God’s reconciling love.

Maybe close your eye. Let your body be heavy. Trust the pew to hold your weight. You may want to slow your breathing.

Let go of any regrets from the last week or so: unkind words, selfish actions, unfair judgements, resentments. Let God hold your burdens and rest.

Imagine God’s reconciling love all around you. You may imagine that as light, warmth, tingling, clear fresh air… However you imagine God’s reconciling love is perfectly fine.

I will read a few words from scripture and we will sit silently in God’s reconciling love for several minutes. If you feel like your thoughts are becoming distracted, simply repeat the words of scripture silently to yourself and return to focusing on God’s reconciling love.

Joel 2:23 “rejoice in the Lord your God.”

[ 90 sec silence]

“Rejoice in the Lord Your God.” Thanks be to God.


Retelling Our Ancient Story “Worry, Worry, Worry”

“Worry, Worry, Worry”
The disciples said:
“Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?”
One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

They came to a man who was blind and he wanted to see.
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Jesus touched the man and returned to him his sight.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

They met a soldier who said his dear friend was sick and dying in bed at home. 
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Jesus said to the soldier, "Your faith has made your friend well."  And the soldier's friend was made well.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

They met a woman whose daughter had a bad spirit.
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Jesus cast out the mean spirit and the girl was healthy again.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

They came to a HUGE crowd of people who had nothing to eat.
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Jesus fed the people and the people were satisfied.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

The disciples went sailing without Jesus and there was a storm that threatened to drown them.
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Jesus walked out on the water, said "Peace be with you," and the sea became calm.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were doing their thing.

Jesus told his disciples, "One day soon, the soldiers will arrest me, I will be tried, and I will be killed.  But I will also be risen to again to live among you"
The disciples said, 
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
"Worry, worry, worry, what shall we do?"
Well, Jesus was arrested and tried.  
He did die on the cross.  
And he was raised from the tomb.

Every single day, God does God’s thing.  While we worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, God keeps doing what God does. And that is Good News.

Responsive Reading Joel 2:1-27 

Response:  “Don’t Be Afraid” MV 90

Fear not, earth!  Be glad and celebrate!
    God has done great things.
Fear not, wild animals!
    The fields and meadows are greening up,
The trees are bearing fruit again:
    a bumper crop of fig trees and vines.     R

Children of Zion, celebrate!
    Be glad in your God.
God is giving you a teacher 
    to train you how to live right – 
Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.
And plenty of food for you body – silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.    R

I’ll make up for the years of the locust, 
    the great locust devastation – 
Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
    fierce locusts, locusts of doom,
That great locust invasion
    I sent your way.                R

You’ll eat your fill of good food.
    you’ll be full of praises to your God,
The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.
    Never again will my people be despised.
You’ll know without question
    that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,
That I’m your god, yes, your God,
Never again will my people be despised.    R


Matthew 6:25-33

25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

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

Hymn: “Make a Joyful Noise” VU 820 CLICK HERE


Holy One, teach us not to worry about our life,
what we will eat
or what we will drink
or about our body
or what we will wear.
Life is more than food,
the body is more than clothing.
Help us to strive only,
for your kingdom
and your saving justice. Amen.

"Never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down by being told to calm down."

I want to be really clear that Jesus is not diminishing our reality or our experience of anxiety by giving us a pat on the head and saying, "There, there, don't worry your pretty little head." Jesus is not telling us to look on the bright side, or giving us cheesy silver linings.

We don't deal with our feelings by denying them. We deal with our feelings, especially feelings of anxiety, by acknowledging how we are feeling and finding appropriate ways of addressing those feelings.

If someone is having an anxiety attack. Please don't tell them not to worry, or calm down. That response is more likely to trigger greater anxiety!

If you are experiencing high anxiety or worry, the 54321 mindfulness exercise is really helpful: Take a deep breath and focus on 5 things you see, then 4 things you hear, then 3 things you feel, then 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.

By focusing closely on our immediate physical sensations, we can reduce some of the biological causes of anxiety, lowering our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, giving our higher mental functions an opportunity to re-establish balance.

Simply focusing on one's breathing can work literal miracles, and of course meditation has more and more statistical research supporting its practice.

Being really present with someone and listening to them as if you really do love them will do infinitely more for someone's worry or anxiety than telling them to calm down, not to worry, look at the bright side, or see the silver lining. Please, just stop doing these things. They are dismissive and highly likely to trigger a bigger anxiety response, which is the opposite of what we want.

Having said that, in this passage, Jesus is NOT just telling us not to worry.

Jesus is critiquing and realigning our priorities.

At Tues@2211 we have been listening to the 2003 Massey lectures, The Truth about Story: a Native Narrative, a series of five lectures delivered by Thomas King, an indigenous writer.

This last week King told part of the story of Charles Eastman, an indigenous physician, author, and lecturer from the late 19th century. Eastman was the first Native American to be certified in western medicine.

In "The Deep Woods to Civilization," Eastman, himself a Christian, wrote, "I have wondered much that Christianity is not practiced by the very people who vouch for that wonderful conception of exemplary living. It appears they are anxious to pass on their religion to all races of men but keep very little of it to themselves."

It is a scathing, and I believe accurate, critique.

How much energy does a so-called "Christian" culture invest in pursuing better houses, better cars, better restaurants, better clothes, better vacations, better cruises, better entertainment? We have been steeped in and brainwashed by a culture, a once so-called Christian culture, to believe that there is never enough. The Myth of Scarcity is a complete denial of Christian values.

All Christ asks of us is to strive first for the Kingdom of God and God's righteousness.

"Righteousness" is an unfortunate word. You've heard me critique it before. Other translations read, "God's kingdom and God's justice," or "the Kingdom of God and God's saving justice." I like to translate "Righteousness" as right relationship. Because righteousness is about the nature of the relationship between God and us, us and each other, us and ourselves, us and creation. Righteousness is expressed in being in right relationship, healthy relationships that honors and respects all the partners.

What Eastman describes as "that wonderful conception of exemplary living" is striving for the Kingdom of God:
* where the last is first and the first is humble.
* Where to receive the Kingdom, one serves the least of these.
* Where the price of admission is the wonder and awe of a child.
* Where we love our neighbour as our self.
* Where we treat strangers the way we would treat the Living Christ.
* Where we know God is with us everywhere we go,
* and we act like God is with us everywhere we go.

Jesus is not saying that we shouldn't worry about food, drink, clothing or shelter, because indeed, lots of people do. Jesus is saying if we all got our priorities right, we would all have less about which to worry.

If we focused more on healthy relationships with each other, with God, with creation, fewer people would have to worry about clothing, food and shelter.

May God realign us and our priorities.
May we be more present to God's eternal presence.
May we strive only for God's kingdom and saving justice.
And may our words and actions be motivated by gratitude.

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.

Great Mystery, 
accept and bless our gifts of money, time, skill and praise.
We trust you to use them for the work 
of your great and wondrous creation, 
turning things upside down 
to bring peace and justice to all things. Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving

When I say, “We sing,” please join me in saying, “Praise God! Praise God!”

For each new day of creation when light rises over the eastern horizon;
For each bright evening as stars and moon shine in the darkness;
For the breath of life that invigorates and sustains us;
For the rains, streams, oceans and lakes that wash clean and renew;
For all creation in all its wonder and glory we sing:
Praise God!  Praise God!

For promises of ancient days made since the beginnings of creation;
For promises made to Abraham and Sarah;
For promises affirmed to Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachael, Joseph and his siblings;
For promises made and kept we sing:
Praise God!  Praise God!

For prayers heard and answered;
For a way of living given and received;
For release from captivity and slavery;
For abundance in the wilderness;
For a new life in a new land we sing:
Praise God!  Praise God!

For companionship on the difficult journey;
For sages and wise ones who call us back to the path;
For mentors and teachers who remind us who we are;
For healers and caregivers who mend our wounds;
For prophets and radicals who make us accountable we sing:
Praise God!  Praise God!

With all creation, with all the saints, with all the voices around the world this day we sing:

 MV 203           Sanctus
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!

For Jesus, who came to us, vulnerable and full of life;
Who proclaimed the promise made to the ancestors;
Who healed the sick and brought release to the captives;
Who cast out evil and preached good news;
Who lived peace and commanded love;
For the one who gave all for all we sing:
Praise God! Praise God!

I invite you to hold up whatever you are ingesting as bread:
We remember how on the night before he died, Jesus took a loaf of bread, gave thanks for it, broke it and shared it with his friends saying, “Take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.”

I invite you to hold up whatever you are ingesting as wine:
We remember how later that same night, Jesus took a cup of wine, gave thanks, and shared it with his friends saying, “take this cup, love poured out for many. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In this act of remembrance, we offer our own lives back to you, O God.
May we remember that our lives are not our own, but belong to the great fabric of your creation.
Thinking on this, we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

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

I invite you to hold your hands over the bread and juice:
Let us pray:
Holy One, make us mindful of your presence in these gifts and what we do here;
May we receive wisdom, courage, patience and grace as we continue our journey with you.
In Christ’s name we pray. 

God is worthy of our thanks and praise; and so we sing together:
    Praise God!  Praise God!

 MV 205  Great Amen
Amen, amen, O Holy One  
Hosanna and Amen! Amen, amen,
O Holy One,  
Hosanna and Amen! 

And now we turn to you as a child turns to her mother seeking affirmation and comfort, singing the words Jesus taught us:

 Lord’s Prayer – West Indian melody (calypso)

The bread of new life.
The cup of promise.

Prayer after Communion
Holy One, you have given us so much.  
We thank you for the gifts given, 
for the love received through your child, 
Jesus the Christ, during this feast.  

Nourish us with this bread and wine, 
that we might grow into the people of faith 
you would have us be: 
people who seek justice for the oppressed, 
comfort for the lonely, 
and new life for the grieving.  

May we be a people 
of eternal thanksgiving, praise and celebration 
for your great creation, 
and our participation in it. 
Thanks be to you, O God.  Amen.


Hymn: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You” VU 232 CLICK HERE

Comissioning and Benediction