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Worship Service Sunday, September 6th, 2020

Presented by Governance Team:  Judi Carroll, Syd Sawyer, Betty McLean, and Pat Bradley  

Prelude:  performed by David Rogers. Second movement, Mozart Prelude K545.

CLICK HERE to listen.

Your participation with us is truly a blessing

Acknowledging the Traditional Territory:
Long before those of us who are settlers, and those of us who are descendants of settlers, came to this land, there were people here. Many Nations of people lived— and live—on the land we call Canada, given responsibility by the Creator to be stewards of this land and all that lives on it. We know these people as Indigenous.  Today, as we remember what it means to live thankfully, let us give thanks for the Indigenous peoples of this land—and let us remember that we worship God on the historic and unceded territory of the Kwayhquitlam Coast Salish peoples. As Christ’s people, let us be people of Love, of Truth, and of Reconciliation.

Call to Worship:
We come today, proclaiming God’s love and seeking God’s blessing. God loves us with an immeasurable love. God is with us always, even when we are unaware, even when we feel lost or alone. In gratitude we come, proclaiming our thanksgiving, and seeking to live out our love. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Let us worship God.  

Opening Prayer:
Loving and generous God, you are the font of every blessing, the source of all we have. Your breath gives us life, your love gives us courage and strength, healing and compassion. You care for us like a loving parent and feed our spirits, our minds, and our bodies. We thank you for your abundance given freely to all. But God, forgive us for wanting more, even when we have more than we need. Create in us new hearts to love our neighbours as much as we love ourselves. Help us to know that our abundance is for others’ needs. Great Teacher, write your law on our hearts. God’s abundance is enough for all if we share.  

Hymn/Song of Praise “Come, Let Us Sing”  VU 222
CLICK HERE to listen.

1. Come, let us sing to the Lord our song:
we have stood silently too long;
surely the Lord deserves our praise,
so joyfully thank God for our days.

2. O thirsty soul, come drink at the well;
God's living waters will never fail.
Surely the Lord will help you to stand,
strengthened and comforted by God's hand.

3. You dwell among us and cause us to pray, and
walk with each other following your way;
our precious brothers and sisters will grow
in the fulfilling love they know.

4. Deserts shall bloom and mountains shall sing
to the desire of all living things.
Come, all you creatures, high and low;
let your praises endlessly flow.   

Psalm 138 (VU 860) A Prayer of Thanksgiving            
I praise you, O God, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praises.
I bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name for your love and faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day that I called, you answered me, and put new strength in my soul.  

All earth’s rulers shall praise you, when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of your ways, O God, sing that your glory is great.
For though you are high, you care for the lowly.
As for the proud, you humble them from afar.  

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me;
you stretch out your hand against my enemies’ rage; your powerful hand delivers me.
You will fulfil your purpose for me.  Your love, O God, is eternal.
Do not leave unfinished the work of your hands.  

Scripture Lesson:

John 21: 15–19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
   “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 
He said to him,
    “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” 
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 
16 A second time he said to him,
    “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He said to him “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” 
Jesus said to him “Tend my sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time,
    “Simon son of John, do you love me?” 
Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” 
And he said to him,
    “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” 
Jesus said to him feed my sheep.  18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished.  But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”  19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.)  After this he said to him,
    “Follow me.”

Anthem:  “Oh Yes”  African American Spiritual arranged by Gerald Tolmage.
Recorded by the Trinity United Choir, 1979   
CLICK HERE to listen.  

Message:    “Show Me”

John 21:15-19

The story is told about a farmer who, on one warm summer night, was sitting on the front porch with his wife. The couple had been together for over 40 years. On that particular night, the farmer began to think about how much he appreciated his partner. They had shared so much together. She had been caring, supportive, patient, and forgiving. Overcome with emotion, he turned to her and said, “Wife, you have been such a wonderful partner that there are times I can hardly keep from telling you!”

Love and gratitude are wonderful emotions, but particularly so when they are spoken— when we express them aloud. The phrases, “Thank you,” “I really appreciate it,” “I really appreciate you,” and “I love you,” are very powerful! These words have the potential to grow our love and strengthen our relationships. To not express those feelings aloud is, therefore, an opportunity lost. And yet, the truth is that many of us do not express our love and gratitude very much at all. Even as a church community we don’t always say it enough. It is not that we don’t love one another, it is not that we don’t appreciate each other and what we do for God’s mission here at Trinity United it is just that we don’t say it enough.

We, Betty, Judi, Syd and Pat, recognize that there are many who deserve to be told we “really appreciate you,” and to be name individually, but today we want to acknowledge and say thank you to a particular few.

Beth Anderson who accepts the physical labour of maintaining the lawns surrounding our church building.

Bud and Joyce Lissimore for their on-going dedication to Share’s Food Bank.

Judy Johnson for being instrumental in the existence and operation of the Extreme Weather Shelter here at Trinity.

Jo-Ann Dahms for all the times, especially this past summer, that she has stepped in and taken over as temporary Office Administrator.

Robert Nicolson, our 5-star Treasurer for his vigilance in searching out ways to keep our church financially afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expressing our love and gratitude in words is important and often powerful. You want to know something else? It also helps us, we who do the thanking! Indeed, there are many recent studies that show that focusing on our abundance and expressing our gratitude regularly make us happier and healthier as individuals and stronger as a church community. Diana Butler Bass, in her wonderful book called Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, sums it up beautifully:

“In addition to heart health, gratitude has also been linked to emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, decreased panic attacks and phobias, reduced risks of alcoholism and substance abuse, and longevity (yes, grateful people live longer). Researchers found that thankful people live happier lives as well.”[1]

So bottom line—don’t be shy! Say thank you! Say it often!

While focusing on our gratitude and expressing it aloud is necessary, we all know, however, that it doesn’t end there. Love and gratitude must also be lived out—expressed in our actions. We all know of cases where someone says, “I love you so much,” but their actions are not consistent with their words. They give a mixed message. And we also know that when messages are mixed, people believe our actions over our words. So, it is key to both say it and live it.

So, how do we express our love and gratitude to God? 

We can say it aloud and we do, regularly through prayers, storytelling, and singing. Indeed, when you think of it, our worship services are often full of words of thanksgiving. But what about our actions? How do we show God thanks and love? For instance, when we have those incredible moments of thankfulness, when our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness and praise, what can we do to express our love and gratitude to God?

Actually, Jesus had something to say about that. When asked once what God expected of a believer, he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…. And…” [here it comes] … “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37, 39)

Neither of those two commands were new to Jesus’ listeners. What was new was the way Jesus linked the two, in essence, saying to people, “You want to express your love to God? Then love one another, love your neighbour. Want to express sincere gratitude for all that God has done for you? Then reach out and care for all those God loves.” In today’s lesson from John’s gospel we get a similar message. Jesus is speaking to Peter. It is after the resurrection. Jesus is about to leave this earth and he wants to ensure that the disciples understand their mission. It is so important. Jesus asks Peter not once, not twice, but three times, “Do you love me?” And each time, Peter says aloud, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus wants Peter to show him and says, “Feed my lambs” “Tend my Sheep” “Feed my sheep.” In other words, if Peter wants to express his love for Jesus, he should show him and love those whom Jesus loves. 

You may recall that it wasn’t so long before today’s story that Peter was similarly asked about his relationship with Jesus. It was the night when Jesus was arrested. Then, also three times, Peter denied he knew Jesus. In the days after the crucifixion, we can imagine that this would have played heavy on Peter’s heart. But here is Jesus giving Peter a path for healing and an opportunity to get it right—to proclaim that not only does he know Jesus, but he loves him. 

In the days to come we know that many people will come to faith in God, not just because of Peter’s words, but because of how he lived his life from this moment on. His actions will speak loudly and reinforce his words. Eventually, Peter will give up his very life for the sake of Jesus. Now that is speaking loudly through your actions!

Let us offer one final point. When we live our love as well as speak it, we are following God’s example. God tells us and then shows us. That is the central message of the story of Jesus. For the modern mind, it is unbelievable to imagine God coming to the earth as a human being, taking on our limitations, our pain, our suffering, our doubts, and our fears. Coming to the world to tell us, but most importantly, to show us, an incredible, life-transforming, and never-ending love. God, in Jesus, came to show us that which God had been repeating for centuries through the Hebrew leaders and prophets—we are loved, and God will be with us no matter what. Here for us, here with us, changing our very lives forever with love.

Today, God’s love still needs flesh and bone. Today, God still needs people to show others God’s love and care. Indeed, as Christ’s followers in our time and place, we are called, in grateful response to God’s love and abundance, to be nothing less than the hands and feet of God—making a difference in the lives of others, particularly those in need, for Jesus’ sake. God promises to be with us in this endeavour. Through the Holy Spirit, God promises to help us show this love, God’s love.

There is a wonderful story told of a little girl walking home from church one Sunday with her mom. At one point the little girl turns to her mother and says,
    “Mommy, the minister’s sermon this morning confused me.”
The mother said, “Oh? Why is that?”
The little girl replied,
    “Well, she said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”
The mother replied, “Yes, honey, that is true.”
    “And the minister said that God lives in us. Is that true, Mommy?”
The mother replied, “Yes, that is also true.”
    “Well,” said the little girl, “if God is bigger than us, and lives in us, wouldn’t God show through?”

Today, we take time to reflect on God’s love, God’s grace, and God’s abundant blessings in our individual lives, and in the life of this faith community. Today, in a spirit of gratitude, we will pause to give God thanks for all that we have, and all that we are. But let us also take this day and the days ahead to show God our gratitude by letting God’s love shine through us to bless others.

Friends, may God’s Spirit be with each of us and with our congregation as we seek to grow our faith, our love, and our impact during this challenging year. The world is waiting. God’s people need us—and what we can give. May God bless us through our words and may God’s people be blessed through our actions. Amen.   

Hymn:  “Grateful”  MV 182
CLICK HERE to listen.

Grateful for the life you give us,
thankful for your Holy Son,
joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of love.

Grateful for the Bread of Heaven,
thankful for your Holy Word,
joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.

May our lives proclaim your justice,
may our voices sing your praise.
May our hands work in your service
to the glory of your name.

Grateful for the life you give us,
thankful for your Holy Son,
joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of love.

Grateful for the Bread of Heaven,
thankful for your Holy Word,
joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.

Words and Music: Tom Tomaszek, © 2003, Thomas N. Tomaszek.
Published by Spirit & Song®, a division of OCP. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-605500. All rights reserved.


Prayers of the People

Loving God, we thank you for the gift of family, friends, and community—those who know us so well that they know when to hold our hand and when to let go. We thank you for those people who journey with us in our times of joy and especially in our times of sorrow.

We thank you for the gift of love.

Compassionate God, we thank you for holding us in troubling times. We pray for those who are journeying through illness, awaiting medical diagnosis, those with life-threatening and degenerative diseases. We know that we do not journey alone but that you are always with us.

We thank you for the gift of compassion.

Challenging God, we thank you for writing your law upon our hearts so that we are called to seek justice and to love kindness. Thank you for moving us to action and challenging us to be your hands and feet in a world so desperately in need of healing.

We thank you for the gift of challenge.

God of all time and place, we thank you for the gifts of love, compassion, and challenge. Help us to know that each small individual action together with another’s can make a difference to the world and make a world of difference. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

We thank you for the gift of our call to discipleship.

Let us join our hearts, minds, and voices together as we pray the prayer our Saviour taught…

The Lord’s Prayer: VU 960 "Our Father…"       

Mission in the Community:

I think to most people, when we talk of Mission and Service, we think of the United Church helping those in need in other parts of the world when in fact it helps many churches and organizations here in Canada and of interest to us, in B.C.  To bring it to a more local level, we at Trinity take the message of mission and service, of helping our neighbour, and put it into practice.  We host and help at the Foodbank, host the Extreme Weather Shelter and, although on hold due to Covid restrictions, run a very successful Thrift store.  These and many smaller activities show how much we at Trinity care about the vulnerable population in our community…our own Mission and Service Program.

Offertory Invitation:

God’s blessings are all around us. For all that we have and for all that we are, we give God thanks and praise. We thank all of you reading or hearing this service for the many ways you give to Trinity and the mission of this church.  Be they time, talents, PAR, mailing a cheque, or tapping “Donate Now” on the website, we want to say thank you and that we appreciate all that is given.

Closing Hymn:  “When Hands Reach Out Beyond Divides”  MV #169
CLICK HERE to listen.

When hands reach out beyond divides
and hope is truly found,
Each chain of hate will fall away
and bells of peace shall sound.

When fear no longer guides our steps
and days of war are done,
God’s dream for all shall live anew;
our hearts will heal as one.

When race and creed blind us no more,
a neighbour’s face we’ll see,
And we shall dance the whole world round,
for love will set us free.  


Our worship is over, but now our service begins. We are called to go and live God’s love in the world.

We go in faith and in hope to feed Christ’s sheep and care for Christ’s lambs.

Go in peace, and may the love of God embrace us, the compassion of Christ challenge us, and the Holy Spirit guide us.  


As a resource, the Governance Team wishes to acknowledge the material found in Loving our Neighbours 2020 “All in One Gratitude Sunday” found at  The Philanthropy Unit of the United Church of Canada.  

Announcements and Additional service materials:


  • if you are already on Pre-Authorized Remittance, thank you.
  • we do ask that you continue to offer your financial support even though we are not meeting face to face, our ministry together continues.
  • at the top of this page you will see a "Donate Now" button. If you click on it, it will lead you to our donation page.