184th Anniversary Service
June 10, 2018
Gathering in God’s Name
*Please stand if you are able
“Day of Celebration” Choir
Welcome / Life and Work of the Church
Recognition of Guests
Lighting the Christ Candle: Louise Desjardins and Dennis Bradley of the Affirming Congregation Committee
All people are equal before the Divine spirit of God.
We each have a spark of the Divine within us.
May we seek and find the spark of the Divine within us.
May we feel the presence of the Divine as we gather here, as we enjoy the gathering of our community this week, and as we go forth for the rest of the year.
May we seek and find our best selves with the help of the Divine.
Call to Worship Paul Rumbolt
“Yahweh Be Praised” More Voices # 51
Invitation to Prayer Paul Rumbolt
For the gift of your Spirit set deep within us, we give you thanks, O God. For voices that sing, hands that pray, feet that walk in your way, and minds that see vision, we give thanks. That you have seen fit to reveal yourself in such diverse ways in humanity - we give thanks. Teach us to worship in ways that are inclusive of different ways of understanding, and mindful of the needs of bodies that behave in differing ways. In each nuance of the human - your way is revealed. As we come together in community, may we truly share the love with which you brought us to birth. Amen.
*Hymn: “Let Us Build a House” More Voices # 1
[During the singing of this hymn please come forward and put your coins in the Mission and Service Piggy Bank to celebrate June birthdays, anniversaries and other special events.]
Prayer of Confession:
Creating and sustaining God, your great commandment in Christ is that we love one another as Christ has loved us.
But we confess that:
we fail to embrace your liberating love,
we divide where you would unite,
we exclude where you would embrace,
we choke the breath from your Word when its truth does not accommodate our fears.
Forgive our hardness of heart. Mend our broken human family. Breathe into us the Living Word of all-inclusive love. We pray in the name of your child, our brother, Jesus, the healer of our souls. Amen.
Congregational Sung Response: Voices United # 948
O God, hear my prayer, O God hear my prayer:
when I call answer me.
O God, hear my prayer, O God hear my prayer: come and listen to me.
Assurance of Pardon
God’s love and patience for all of us is never-ending. We are in God’s hands. Thanks be to God.
Children’s Hymn: “Dance with the Spirit”
More Voices # 156
(4 verses, *walk,*move, *sing, *shout)
Ministry of Music: “We Are Called”
Proclaiming God’s Word
Genesis 9: 8 - 17
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Psalm 100 Voices United Page 820
2 Corinthians 5: 16 - 20
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Sermon: The Bible Tells Me So
We Respond to God’s Call
*Hymn: “I Danced in the Morning” Voices United # 352
Offertory: “Where Can We Find Peace” Cheryll & Pierrette
*Offertory Response: (Voices United #540)
Grant us, God, the grace of giving,
with a spirit large and free,
that ourselves and all our living
we may offer faithfully.
Prayer of Dedication
Holy One, transform these gifts so that doubts may be transformed into joy, fear into proclamation, hate into love. Receive the gifts of our hands and our hearts, so that they will play a part in your creating and healing. In the name of Jesus, we make this prayer and this offering. Amen.
Presentation of Affirming Ministry Certificate:
Terry Davies, Chair, Living Water’s Presbytery
Bradford United Church’s Affirming Vision
We joyfully embrace all as we learn and live the way of Jesus Christ through inspiring worship, faith exploration and social justice.
We live out our mission as an inclusive, progressive, life Affirming Faith Community in The United Church of Canada welcoming people of all ages, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental ability, economic circumstance and marital status.
All who join us in this faith journey are invited to take part in every aspect of our church life.
Celebration of Holy Communion
Communion Hymn: “All Who Hunger”
Voices United # 460
Invitation to the Table:
God is with you and with the whole world.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them gladly to God.
Let us give thanks to God most high.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
In the many silences of the heart, O God, when feeling is beyond saying, your faithful people everywhere wait upon your Spirit. In the silence of joy when a baby is born, when a sunset blazes, when a loved one is restored to health, when peace replaces strife in our joy, we wait upon you, O God.
We give you thanks and praise. In the silence of sorrow- when love is lost, when pain is too constant a companion, when time brings change that is hard to bear, when death seems victorious. In our sorrow, we wait upon you, O God.
You alone are our rock and our refuge. In the silence of anger- when justice is postponed until tomorrow, when violence shatters body and soul, when prejudice sets neighbor against neighbor, when no one will listen in our anger, we wait upon you, O God.
Teach us the ways of justice and mercy. Let us put our trust where it belongs, not in our positions of power or wealth, for such things are lighter than breath.
In our joy, our sorrow, our anger, we trust in God’s unfailing love and guidance. We rely upon the blessing of being a community of faith, a Church universal.
Sisters, brothers, siblings of many colors, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities, we are one in Christ! Together, let us wait upon the God who created us in our diversity, and called her creation “Good!”
And so, in our goodness, in our blessed diversity, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has revealed to us in this community that the beautiful spectrum of human sexuality and gender identities is a gift of God. We say to all who have been excluded because of skin color, physical and mental ability, income level, marital status, gender identity, or sexual orientation: “Be excluded no more!”
We commit to stretching out our hands to those who have been stereotyped, stigmatized, labeled, and assigned to the margins of church and society, saying: In the name of Jesus, partake of this, the bread of heaven, and this, the fruit of the vine.
Let us gather around the table and remember on the night before he died, Jesus had supper with his friends.
He took bread, blessed and broke it, and offered it all around, saying “This is my body, broken for you.” Then, he took the cup, and poured it out, saying “This is the cup of the new covenant, poured out for you, and for many. Each time you drink of it, remember me.” And we, God’s beloved children, pray together:
Holy one, may your Spirit rest upon these gifts of bread and juice, and upon us all, that touched by your Spirit, we will be nourished and renewed.
We ask this with the vulnerability and innocent hope of children, as we pray as Jesus taught us:
Lord’s Prayer (Sung) Voices United # 960
The Gifts of God for the People of God
Prayer After Communion
We Go Forth to Live as Christians in the World
*Closing Hymn: “Go Make a Difference”
More Voices # 209