Read-along Service for Sunday, October 3, 2021 – Anniversary / Communion Sunday

Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church
Order of Worship
October 3, 2021
World Communion Sunday, Anniversary Sunday

Prelude

Words of welcome, announcements

 Lighting the Christ Candle

We light this candle as a sign of God’s Spirit that is at work in the world.  May we be rooted in God’s love as we grow to be a blessing for the healing of the world.

Call To worship

From Psalm 26 we hear these words:

We love the house in which God dwells and the place where God’s glory shines forth. In the midst of the congregation, we praise God’s holy name. We gather together today to remember all that God has done in the past to build us up. We celebrate what God is doing here today to mend this broken world.

We proclaim God’s name to all the world!  For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer of Approach

Holy God, you are Protector of the faithful. Spirit of wonder, Bread of heaven, you have made us a little lower than the angels. You have crowned us with glory and honor. You have called us to be your witnesses, to proclaim the good news in good times and in bad. Sanctify us so we might be the living body of the risen Christ, broken and poured out to feed a hungry world. Amen.

Hymn The Church’s One Foundation                        VU 332

1.  The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the word;
from heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

2. Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth,
her charter of salvation one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

3.  ‘Mid toil and tribulation and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace for evermore,
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

  1. Yet she on earth hath union with God the three in one,
    and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.
    O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
    like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.

Scripture Reader:       Ginette Raaphorst

Mark 10:2-16

Choir Anthem    Amazing Grace (arr. Jay Althouse)

Homily “Deep roots and Strong Branches”

Musical Response

The offering

We thank you for your continued support of our congregation through the gift of your time, your talents and your tithes. Every gift we share is a blessing that helps to make this world a better place. Please contact the church office or our web site for more information about how to make a donation. May God bless every gift you share. Amen.

Hymn Let Us Break Bread Together                           VU 480

  1.  Let us break bread together on our knees,
    let us break bread together on our knees.
    Refrain:          When I fall down on my knees
                                with my face to the rising sun,
                                Oh, Lord, have mercy on me.
  2. Let us drink wine together on our knees,
    let us drink wine together on our knees.           R
  3. Let us praise God together on our knees,
    let us praise God together on our knees.          R

Service of Holy Communion

The Lord be with you.
          And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
          It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
          Always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
          Lord God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

In the beginning, O God our Creator, you hovered amidst the chaos and spoke beauty into the world. At the sound of your voice, lights shimmered, land masses shifted, trees towered and flowers blossomed. You became incarnate in every living thing you created. You spoke a word that gave life to the beetles and butterflies, frogs and fish, monkeys and moose. Your song lit up a melody of life, a world teeming with life and energy sang in harmony with you. And you formed us, O God; from the dust of the stars and the dust of the earth.

          Your breath of life fills us. And it is very good.

But we did not appreciate the goodness of your creation. We found what we thought were faults and tried to fix them—only to realize we had introduced brokenness into the world. We spoke our own words of destruction that threatened to drown out your voice of creation. We forgot how you were already incarnate and present in the world. And so you again entered the chaos embodied in Jesus of Nazareth. You again spoke to us and filled us with life. You again touched our bodies, and we were made whole. And though this broken world broke your body, you burst forth from the tomb in the glory of resurrection.

          Your breath of life fills us. And it is very good.

So, with those who gather around tables of peace and hope in every corner of our world, and with those who are with you in glory, we offer our praises and join the unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one
who comes in your holy name.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ whom your Spirit anointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim your salvation. Christ Jesus spoke words of peace and walked in the way of peace. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and shared meals with sinners. By his life, death, and resurrection, O God, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

Your breath of life fills us. And it is very good.

And so this morning, we join with the church universal in proclaiming the abundant life you offer to all as we gather at this table.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

As the world gathers at this table, may we feel your presence. As we reach out, may we grasp your grace. As we share this meal, may we be fed by your love.

The Lord’s Prayer

Words of Institution

Though we are scattered physically, we are all united in the one body of Christ. Please raise your bread with me, and repeat after me.

This is the body of Christ, broken for us all.
The bread of life is given, to feed us all.

Take and eat, the gifts of God, given for you.
May God bless you and feed you always.

Now please raise your cup, and repeat after me:

This is the blood of Christ, shed for us all.
This is the cup of blessing, to heal me in body, mind and spirit.

Take and drink, for God’s Spirit is given to you.
May God bless us all as we share in this feast together.

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

Prayer after Communion:

We give thanks, loving God,
that you have fed us at your table
by sharing with us the presence of Jesus Christ.
Strengthen our faith, we pray.
Increase our love for one another.
Send us into the world united in a spirit of courage and peace.   Amen.

 

Hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling                      VU 333

  1.  Love divine, all loves excelling,
    joy of heaven to earth come down,
    fix in us thy humble dwelling,
    all thy faithful mercies crown.
    Jesus, thou art all compassion,
    pure, unbounded love thou art;
    visit us with thy salvation,
    enter every trembling heart.
  2. Come, almighty to deliver;
    Let us all thy grace receive;
    suddenly return, and never,
    nevermore thy temples leave.
    Thee we would be always blessing,
    serve thee as thy hosts above,
    pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
    glory in thy perfect love.
  1. Finish, then, thy new creation;
    pure and spotless let us be;
    let us see thy great salvation
    perfectly restored in thee,
    changed from glory into glory,
    till in heaven we take our place,
    till we cast our crowns before thee,
    lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Benediction

We leave this table, as a people who have tasted the living bread and the gift of life. We go into the world, with a spirit of courage. Wherever you go, set a place for all who hunger. Fill the cup of all who thirst. And as you go, may the Spirit of divine love attend you, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ uphold you, and may the great faithfulness of our God sustain you, now and forever. Amen.

Choral Amen 967 “Amen, amen, amen”

Postlude

Cover Quote:   All those who live in communion with God through Christ are led by this to live in communion with one another. It is by the love that unites you that all will know that you are Christ’s disciples.”   Brother Alois of Taize.

 

“Deep Roots and Strong Branches”  Mark 10:13-16. Anniversary Sunday, October 4 2021.
Preached by Rev. James Murray at Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church

In preparation for today’s Anniversary celebrations, I went digging into our congregation’s history. I was amazed to learn about what deep roots and strong branches this community has. Renfrew’s roots have seen incredible growth since it was first settled almost 200 years ago. The first European settlers were drawn here by the vast stands of timber. The Bonnechere and Ottawa rivers were the way they got the lumber to market. So the rapids at Renfrew made for a natural gathering place. Many fortunes were made as the great forests were chopped down. Those fortunes grew again as the waters of the Bonnechere were harnessed to power several mills and factories. By the 1880’s the first of many damns were built in order to generate electricity. At the time, only large industrial cities like Montreal and Ottawa and Hamilton had electricity. This was cutting edge technology. Rural areas only started getting electricity thirty years later. Some parts of Ontario only got electricity after World War 2 ended. Harnessing the power of the Bonnechere River so early on gave Renfrew a huge advantage which has made this a prosperous and progressive community. Such strong roots has helped many generations to flourish here on the banks of the Bonnechere River.

With this wealth came lots of development. An Opera House was built. The National Hockey Association was formedhere. The nickname of the Renfrew Creamery Kings was “the millionaires”. It was a reference to the big salaries paid to the players, and the very deep pockets of their owner, Ambrose O’Brien. O’Brien was wealthy enough that he also owned three other teams in the league including the Montreal Canadiens.

As the community grew, people started to organize religious services. The first worship service happened in the 1820’s when a Methodist preacher held services in Henry Airth’s barn. The Methodist ministers were called circuit riders because they would travel from settlement to settlement offering services in people’s homes and barns as they went. The Presbyterians were not far behind in holding their first services.  Over the decades that followed, both congregations built churches. They quickly outgrew those first structures and had to construct even bigger buildings to welcome everyone in. In a progressive spirit of unity, the Trinity and St. Andrew’s congregations voted to amalgamate their efforts at this location just three years after Church Union happened in 1925.

While Christ’s church is eternal, church buildings made by human hands are not. Buildings are really powerful helpful tools which can help us be Christ’s church, but they are not required. They help us be rooted in a sense of community. So we’ve been worshipping here in Renfrew for close to 200 years. Over the long history of our Methodist and Presbyterian ancestors, the building we are in now is #8.  We are a church that has moved many times from that first log barn as the town has grown up around us. When I see all the work that went into those eight buildings, I wonder what kind of building we’ll be worshipping in in another 200 years.

Our deep roots have helped us to grow and to reach out with strong branches that offer support to all who gather here. We have a history of moving forward to meet the needs of the community we are called to serve.  While we’ve been in this particular building since 1989 we have to continually remind ourselves the mission of Christ’s church is bigger than our building. The mission of Christ’s church does ask us to serve God’s people. We are to spread our branches out into the community to offer God’s gift of salvation in practical ways. You have done this through your involvement with the local food bank. You’ve been an active partner in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. You have supported youth ministry with your involvement with Camp Lau-Ren. You have partnered with community groups to sponsor refugees from Syria. You offer practical support to the community through your Thrift Shop. You can find our members playing an active role in just about every community group from the Hospital Auxiliary to Meals on Wheels to the Rotary Club. We don’t do this work in the community for the glory. We do it as an active expression of our faith in God.

We as Christ’s church seek to bless people and mend the world. Together as the church we are called to feed the hungry, to bind up the broken hearted and set the people free. Our job is to teach people how to pray and grow as disciples who follow the way of Jesus.   Our goal is not to be the greatest, the biggest, or the most successful church in town. Our goal is to be the least of all, the servant of all.

We do this, because we follow the example given to us by Jesus. When Jesus welcomes the little children, he offers them his blessing. The disciples were shocked that the children were there, because in those days children were not to be seen or heard in public. Jesus sees these invisible children and makes sure they know they are precious in God’s eyes. He is so deeply rooted in God’s love that he can reach out in ways that even his own disciples cannot imagine.

Today we celebrate that this is a community of faith that is deeply rooted in God’s love. Through years of growth and faithful stewardship you still have strong branches that are capable of reaching out to others in their time of need.

Today we celebrate that we have strong branches that are still reaching out in love. You have a beautiful gift to share that offers an alternative to this broken world.  You offer something beautiful that lifts up the soul. You offer the gift of community to a world that far too often sits isolated in silence. For God is still speaking to you.  God is still at work here.

Today we give thanks for the deep roots and strong branches of your faith. When our hearts are truly open to what God is seeking, something beautiful happens. For when we are willing to lose ourselves by being the least of all and servant of all, God’s salvation is shared with everyone that God loves. For these deep roots and strong branches we give thanks to God. Amen.

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