Category Archives: Worship events

Who would have thought

… that putting together a worship service was such a chunk of work!

I think we are ready.  Tomorrow the B team (B is for best) gets together to practice.  Sort of a trial run for me since I haven’t led worship for ages.  Getting things together for a service in my past meant choosing a few songs that the sole pianist would then play.  For a worship team things are a bit different.  We need music with chords as well as notes.  It needs to be in acceptable keys – so that the musicians do not have to struggle with 4 flats or something and so that our creaky voices do not have to reach unattainable heights.  Then to get all the words and stuff to the helpers who put it on the computer and round up a sound guy for Sunday.

And it all needs to come together in a way that will bring praise and honor to God – who is after all, the one we are preparing this for and to whom we want the attention to be given.  So I do not want to mess up.  I want it to focus attention on the one we are worshipping. 

It has given me a new appreciation for the wonderful people who do this week after week and seem to pull everything together effortlessly.  I know that it is a good piece of work.  I think that my usual role of playing is a whole lot more simple. 

Can hardly wait for next Sunday when I am back to my simpler task.

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Yeah, Now its nap time!

Well, that’s done. For now anyway.  
 
I just finished my second go at preaching as part of my opportunity/contribution to the roster that filled in for Randall as he went off to become rejuvenated on his sabbatical
Today was a curious mix of texts – Hebrews 12: 22 to 29, Luke 13:11 to 17, Psalm 103: 1-5 and a short part of the lectionary reading from Isaiah 58.  Amazingly they all sort of came together – being refined by God’s consuming fire till we reflect the mission of Jesus to the world.
 
I probably shouldn’t say this out loud but I have enjoyed preparing these two sermons; have even enjoyed the speaking.  And it seems as if each time God has shown up and used my words to encourage and speak to the people brave enough to show up even when Randall is not there to draw in the huge crowds we usually have with his fantastic and inspired preaching.   🙂
 
Really, I am thankful for this kind of opportunity. I am enriched in the preparation as well.  This sort of thing gives me an occasion to explore the scripture and listen to what God is saying to me as much as to anyone else.
 
But it is work – a different sort of work than I usually get to do but it brings it’s own sort of tiredness and with it relief when done.  So, in the tradition of all good preachers, I’m ready for a Sunday afternoon nap.

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Wishing it could be

Jordon talks about third spaces in his neighborhood – the lack of them – and wonders what it would look like, what it would be like if churches opened up and became these spaces.  He links to this space.

I wonder if we could ever do that. 

Maybe when I retire I’ll open up a good coffee place at church.  We have the WiFi.  We have a cool and shaded patio/basketball court. 

Install a fireplace for winter.  Comfy couches. 

I’ve always imagined a coffee shop called "Cafe Bololo" which translated is Black Coffee.

I wonder????     I wish it could be.  I’d be over there right now sipping a cup and having good conversation.  Or maybe writing this from that spot.

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Good Friday

The service at St George’s was very small. About one third Covenanters. 

I overheard a couple of women in the row ahead of me whisper their disapproval of the way the day is treated by the commercial establishments in town.  They do not even bother to wait till noon to open on this,one of the most holy of Christian holy days. 

But there we were – just a few of us to be sure – and the Spirit of God was among us. 

I like that service – reading the passion account together. Participating in an ancient liturgy. Kind of gives a sense of continuity to the faith.
 
The sermon was good, reflective. Brought us to consider forgiveness and what a strong theme this is in the Christian faith.  And of course we have the possibility of forgiveness only because of what Christ did for us on this day –  Good Friday.  He gave us his own self; God gave us a way out of our sin once and for all time.  
 
I liked that we were given time to simply reflect on the cross.
 
Of course the singing could have been stronger. The key the songs were written in sure could have been lower.  But I think God was honoured by it. He didn’t make us all perfect singers and we just sang as our voices permitted.
 

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A Visit

So there we are tonight, gathered around the table, reading the story of the days events; Jesus washing his friends feet, showing them one more time what it means to be a servant, and then leaving them with a meal to remember him by. And there sharing the table with us is a strange couple. Well, strange to us anyway. We all know each other so well and are so comfortable with each other and good friends. But none of us really know this couple.
 
They were hoping the church might have a loaf of bread and maybe some eggs they could get from our small food box that we keep on hand. 
 
All we had to offer them was a bit of bread and wine/juice.
 
As we went to prayer I found I could not give voice to my prayers.   My prayers, prayed out of my comfortable circumstances seemed petty. I know they are not but tonight as this couple raised their voices with prayers for their families, my heart cried out to God for love. Because it seems to me that it is easy to love people in the abstract and it is easy to love institutions and groups that provide for needy people, but when they show up in your midst it raises things to a whole new level. 
 
And I honestly don’t know if I love any where near the level required of me as a follower of the one who gave everything. So that is what I was praying for.
 
I didn’t know Jesus would visit us tonight in this form.

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Women's Retreat 2007

Got back from the women’s retreat.  We drove out in a bit of a storm but I think we got to our destination well before the worst of it.  The lodge has a huge gas fireplace and we sat in front of it while outside we could see snow swirling around in the lights.  It felt cozy.

 

It was good to be there.  The weekend was relaxed and the theme was incredibly well thought out – what wasn’t thought out ahead and happened anyway – well God seems to have a way of making things come together sometimes. 

We learned about bridges – all kinds; over water, between people and between God and us.  Lauralea  and the committee she was on worked hard in the preparation and I for one don’t mind taking off my hat (if I wore one) to her creativity and hard work that helped pull off a fantastic weekend.  There was rest for our souls and food for our minds. 

 

Food for our bodies was also good – soft tacos, yum.  Ham and baked potatoes.  It was all good.

 

Melody McNeilly from the Salvation Army shared with us too.  She challenged us to get out there and start building bridges as well as some projects they are looking to start to do that – things we may be able to get involved in too.

 

I needed this weekend.  Last week was hard emotionally and I needed women that I trust and love for some extra support.  I’m glad God has given me friends like them. 

 

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Off and running

Well actually I am driving; glad to have a four wheel drive in this weather.  Off to our annual church women’s retreat.

I thought that the groundhog SAW his shadow!

I have prepared the compline for the evening vespers.  We will be reading them at about 10 pm.  Read with us if you would like.

Well actually I am driving; glad to have a four wheel drive in this weather.  Off to our annual church women’s retreat.

I thought that the groundhog SAW his shadow!

I have prepared the compline for the evening vespers.  We will be reading them at about 10 pm.  Read with us if you would like.

* O Lord, You will keep us safe
and protect us forever.

I am placing my soul and my body
in Thy safe keeping this night, O God,
in Thy safe keeping, O Jesus Christ,
in Thy safe keeping, O Spirit of perfect truth.
The Three who would defend my cause
be keeping me this night from harm.

* I call on You, O God,
for You will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.

* Show the wonder of Your great love,
You who save by Your right hand
those who take refuge in You from their foes.

* Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Lighten my darkness, Lord.
Let the light of Your presence
dispel the shadows of night.

* Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,
each day and each night.

* Save us, Lord, while we are awake,
guard us while we are asleep;
that, awake, we may watch with Christ,
and, asleep, may rest in His peace.

God with me protecting,
the Lord with me directing,
the Spirit with me strengthening
for ever and for evermore.

The Lords Prayer  (from http://www.jesuscreed.org/)

Because we love God, we say:

Our Father who art in heaven,

Because loving God means that we yearn for God to make his glory known, we say:

Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Because loving God means we love others as God loves others, we long for all to have the necessities of life, and we say:

Give us this day our daily bread.

Because we love others, we seek to unleash God’s grace of forgiveness and say:

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Because we love others, we long that they will love and live God’s will, so we say:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Because we love God, and because we love others, we lift our hearts to God and say:

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. Forever and ever. Amen.

We say this today because we love God and love others.

* In the name of the Father precious,
and of the Spirit of healing balm.
In the name of the Lord Jesus,
I lay me down to rest.

The peace of all peace
be mine this night
+ in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

From: http://www.northumbriacommunity.org/PraytheOffice/ComplinePages/6fridaycompline.html                                         

 

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