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With humility and gratitude, Trinity United Church acknowledges that we gather to worship on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people the Kwikwetlem.

Prelude: Pepper Choplin’s piano arrangement of "For the Beauty of the Earth".

CLICK HERE to listen.       

Call to Worship
Jesus reconciles the world to God.
He brings peace and comfort to everyone.
Jesus healed the weak and the vulnerable.
He reminds us to serve the least of these.
Jesus spoke to the powerful and the mighty.
He wanted everyone to come to the knowledge of truth.
Jesus ate with the outcast and the despised.
He touched every heart: some with fear, some with joy.
Jesus proclaimed release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind.
Let us raise our voices in supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings that we might live in Godliness!  

Opening Prayer
Holy One, there are many wounds across this earth.
Hear our prayers, our songs, our thanksgivings and our praise.
In you, we trust for our healing, the healing of the earth, and the healing of the nations.
In you, may we find the balm that heals all souls.
In the name of the One who gave all for all, we pray.

Prayer of Reconciliation and Words of Assurance
Almighty God,
we have been wandering in the wilderness.
We have complained in the face of your mercy.
We have been selfish and conceited in the face of your sacrifice.
We have used our discomfort and pain as an excuse to treat other people poorly, spreading alienation, instilling estrangement, and ultimately, increasing suffering.
We have not done your will.
Teach us humility.
Teach us gratitude.
Infuse your spirit into our beings so that we might be reconciled to you. 
In Jesus’ name we pray. 

People of God, our sins are forgiven.
The Lord is loving, and we are reconciled to God.
Therefore, let us humble and surrender ourselves
to the will of God for the glory of the Lord.    

Reading Exodus 16:2-5, 9-15
2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” 4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” …  

9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’“ 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’“ 13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.  

“After all this time, when is this going to end?”
“Where are we going? Are we there yet?”
“Can we trust the leaders who tell us one thing one day and another the next?”
“What about those stupid neighbours who won't follow the rules?”
“Isn't our situation is getting worse, not better?”
“Shouldn't we have stronger punishments for people who are putting us all at risk by breaking the rules?”  

Are these questions that you and I are asking as we continue to navigate a global pandemic?

Or are these the questions of a people following Moses and Aaron for 40 years in the wilderness?

Or are these the questions of a congregation doing a strategic planning process and talking about development that doesn't seem to be going anywhere?  

In today's scripture passage from Exodus, the people are ready to stone Moses and his brother Aaron because the journey is taking so much longer than they expected. They've been promised the land of milk and honey, but they are experiencing hunger, thirst, and exhaustion.  

The Israelites have forgotten that things weren't that great before they left Egypt… all they remember are the good things: food, water…  

Let us not forget that things weren't ideal before this pandemic began...

Vancouver had an opioid crisis that has become worse. 
BC, indeed, Canada had a homelessness/housing crisis. 
There is a climate crisis (climate fires are all too in our face now). 
Before the pandemic, we had an employment crisis (people working fulltime jobs unable to afford rent).  

Some of us were more comfortable prior to the pandemic. 
But our life together had its serious short comings.   

We have an opportunity to build back differently.   

The Israelites are complaining that they'd be better off dead.   

The easy thing to do would be for God to just let the people into the Promised Land… but they are not yet ready…

Instead, God only gives them just what they need to get them to next obstacle.  

The Lord said, I am going to rain bread down upon them.
In the evening, quails came up and covered the camp.
In the morning the dew lifted leaving a flaky substance, What is it? That is what Mana means, "What is it?"  

God fulfills the need of the people, but the people don't recognize it at first AND it is only just enough.  

Next week the people will be complaining again… the journey through the wilderness goes on for forty years.  

May we receive the abundance that is before us, whatever that abundance may be.
May we be transformed by our wilderness experience to be a more humble, obedient people of God.
May we find affirmation and gratitude that we are not on this journey alone, but with one another. Amen.  

Hymn: “God of the Bible” MV 28

 CLICK HERE to listen. 

Prayers and Disciples’ Prayer:

In your mercy, Hear our prayer, O God.

God of long journeys, justice and freedom, we give you thanks for the witness of your goodness in all things.  For autumn leaves, morning mists, clear evening skies, and harvested fields we give you thanks.
In your mercy: Hear our prayer, O God...  

Bless the harvesters still in the fields gathering the crop; Bless the crops as they nourish, sustain and provide for us; Bless the fields that they receive rest and renewal over the winter months to produce again next year. When the way gets difficult and the harvest seems thin, remind us of your presence and guidance.
In your mercy: Hear our prayer, O God...  

Bless our faith community, here at Trinity United Church; Bless the musicians and leaders; Bless our governance team and Doers; Bless the participants and leaders of our Explore program, adult learners and participants in all our programs; Bless the volunteers who serve in our many ministries even as we cannot currently gather; Bless our administrators, grounds keepers, and building caretakers; When conflict arises among us, when ideas and directions are contrary, remind us of your presence and guidance.
In your mercy: Hear our prayer, O God...  

Bless our larger communities of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, and Canada; Bless our leaders with wisdom and compassion, especially for those who are most vulnerable; Bless the people who serve our community with their training and skills: teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, social workers, ministers... Bless those who labour in our communities doing jobs that get little or no praise: custodians, garbage collectors, orderlies, construction workers, grocery store employees, restaurant servers... Bless those who have been with us a long time, and those who are newly arrived. When we disagree with our neighbours, when our leaders disappoint us, remind us of your presence and guidance:
In your mercy: Hear our prayer, O God...  

Bless our friends and families overseas and far away; Those we know and those we don’t; Bless those who do not receive enough to eat or who are genuinely thirsty; Bless those who live with the daily fear of violence; Bless those who have insufficient shelter or means; Bless those who are lonely, grieving, oppressed or suffering; Bless those who are ill, or awaiting death. When we are fearful and doubting, remind us of your presence and guidance.
In your mercy, hear our prayer: Hear our prayer, O God...  

Sending Forth   
Receive the abundance God rains down upon you. Be transformed by your wilderness experience to be a more humble, obedient person of God. Find affirmation and gratitude that you are not alone. Amen.

Postlude: A little untitled piano piece written by Richard Strauss when he was eleven years old.

CLICK HERE to listen.



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