Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

September 23, 2018

As we meet together, we begin by remembering the Algonquin People on whose traditional land we now gather in gratitude.  We acknowledge their story and their stewardship of the land and water, the plants and animals, through many generations. We bear witness to the ongoing suffering caused by historical injustices and commit to seeking right relations today.

The Gathering of God’s People

The Life & Work of our Community of Faith


Lighting of the Christ and Affirming Candles


Welcome to this sacred place of belonging where we embrace the sacredness of life and recognize the dignity of each person, spirit-filled with the image of God, the Mystery in whom we live and move and have our being.

Welcome to all who have no church home, need strength, want to follow Christ, have doubts. Welcome to visitors and to new and old friends.

Welcome to grandparents, to mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, youth, couples and single people.

Welcome to people of all colours, cultures, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations, to old and young, to believers and questioners – and welcome to questioning believers.

This day, we are all invited to live into God’s love, peace and justice.

Hymn: Come and Seek the Ways of Wisdom MV 10

1. Come and seek the ways of Wisdom,

she who danced when earth was new.

Follow closely what she teaches,

for her words are right and true.

Wisdom clears the path to justice,

Showing us what love must do.

2. Listen to the voice of Wisdom,

crying in the market-place.

Hear the Word made flesh among us,

full of glory, truth, and grace.

When the word takes root and ripens,

peace and righteousness embrace.

3. Sister Wisdom, come, assist us;

nurture all who seek rebirth.

Spirit guide and close companion,

bring to light our sacred worth.

Free us to become your people,

holy friends of God and earth

Call to Worship

Some of us are here because we really wish to worship God on this day.

Some of us are here because it is our tradition, our heritage or because our family expects us to be here.

Some of us are here out of curiosity.

Some of us are here out of desperation.

Whatever our reasons for coming, we believe we are here for a reason.

We pray that all of us will experience the fulfillment of that reason.

Prayer of Approach

Gracious God,

we thank you for the opportunity to gather together on this morning. On some days we are unsure about our purpose, our mission or our direction in life. We are like chaff that the wind drives away. Yet in your presence we can find comfort and reassurance. We can find the inspiration to care for one another. We can find a gentle guide.

Remain at our side when we are filled with questions and doubts and grant us the wisdom and the courage to face the paths ahead of us. We ask in the name of Jesus the Christ, our brother and our friend. Amen.

Hymn: Dear God, Who Loves All Humankind VU 608

1 Dear God, who loves all humankind,

forgive our foolish ways;

reclothe us in our rightful mind;

in purer lives thy service find,

in deeper reverence, praise.

2 In simple trust like theirs who heard,

beside the Syrian sea,

the gracious calling of the Lord,

let us, like them, without a word

rise up, and follow thee.

3 O sabbath rest by Galilee!

O calm of hills above,

where Jesus knelt to share with thee

the silence of eternity,

interpreted by love!

4 Drop thy still dews of quietness

till all our strivings cease;

take from our souls the strain and stress,

and let our ordered lives confess

the beauty of thy peace.

5 Breathe through the heats of our desire

thy coolness and thy balm;

let sense be dumb, let flesh retire:

speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,

O still small voice of calm

A Time for All God’s Children

Hymn: Like a Rock MV 92

Like a rock, like a rock, God is under our feet.

Like the starry night sky God is over our head.

Like the sun on the horizon God is ever before.

Like the river runs to ocean, our home is in God evermore.

Reading from the Bible

Prayer of Illumination

First Reading: The Gospel According to Mark 9:30-37

Jesus invites his disciples to be humble and adopt a position of discipleship.

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did

 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Psalm 1 VU 724

Refrain: Blessed are those who follow the law of God.

Blessed are those who do not follow the counsel

of the wicked, or linger in the way of sinners,

or sit down among those who mock.

But their delight is in the law of God,

and on that law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees planted beside streams of water,

yielding their fruit in due season.

Their leaves do not wither,

and whatever they produce shall prosper. R

As for the wicked, it is not so with them,

but they are like the chaff,

driven away by the wind.

Therefore the wicked shall not be able to stand

when judgement comes,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For God watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish. R

Second Reading: The Letter of James 3:13-4:3, 7-8

Envy cannot lead to wisdom. Wisdom is gentle and peaceable.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.

You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Anthem: Be Still and Know arr. Fred Bock


Hymn: Be Still, My Soul VU 652

1 Be still, my soul, for God is on your side;

bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.

Trust in your God, your saviour and your guide,

who through all changes faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul, your best, your heavenly friend

through stormy ways leads to a peaceful end.

2 Be still, my soul, your God will undertake

to guide the future surely as the past.

Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;

all now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul, life’s tempests still obey

the voice that once the waves’ wild fury stayed.

3 Be still, my soul, the hour is hastening on

when we shall be forever in God’s peace;

when disappointment, grief and fear are gone,

love’s joys restored, our strivings all shall cease.

Be still, my soul, when change and tears are past,

all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Responding with Prayer & Thanksgiving

Minute for Mission - Rowan Armstrong

Gathering of Our Offerings

Presentation Hymn: What Can I Do? MV 191

What can I do? What can I bring?

What can I say? What can I sing?

I’ll sing with joy. I’ll say a prayer.

I’ll bring my love. I’ll do my share.

Offertory Prayer

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer VU 921

Hymn: Sent Out in Jesus’ Name MV 212

Sent out in Jesus’ name,

our hands are ready now

to make the world the place

in which the kingdom comes. (2X)

The angels cannot change

a world of hurt and pain

into a world of love,

of justice and of peace.

The task is ours to do,

to set it really free.

O, help us to obey,

and carry out your will. (2X)

Commissioning and Benediction

Choral Closing: A Parting Prayer by Price/Besig



Words and Music reproduced with permission under One License A-610090


A clipboard for prayer concerns will be circulated, if you wish, add a line, printing clearly, then pass it on. It is also available in the narthex before each service.

A Prayer Box is available for individuals to write requests for personal prayers. It is located on the Prayer Table at the front of the sanctuary.

Prayer requests are treated with respect and confidentiality.