Happy New Year !
Welcome to our first online worship of 2022!
We began online worship in March 2020 due to COVID-19 health restrictions, and all these months later we continue worshipping online. In person worship is suspended for the time being. (The Council meets on January 10 to make further decisions.)
We all probably feel some COVID-19 fatigue.
We all hope that 2022 is the year in which we return to worshipping in-person, maybe even without masks and without ever-evolving and adjusting health orders.
Five weeks ago, we began the season of Advent by lighting the candle of Hope.
As we begin a new year, let us remember that hope has always been a guiding and encouraging light of faith.
One of our Messy Church friends is Mark Hird-Rutter. Mark is a retired professor who lives on Vancouver Island is an amateur astronomer. In the move to online Messy Church, Mark has a very interesting look at the star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi – here’s the link if you want to learn a bit more:
As we read the story of the Magi this week, we are invited to reflect on what guides us. Last year we introduced the idea of Epiphany Words as something that might guide us and help us to reflect. As we come to Epiphany again, there are more words to be shared. Please let us know if you would like a Word (the words are on folded papers in a basket – if you would like one, please let us know and we will reach into the basket, pull one out for you and then share it with you).
In the faith tradition of hope, that will indeed guide us, we enter 2022.
Thanks again to everyone for engaging with us on this COVID-19 journey. We are grateful to share ministry with you and really appreciate your efforts to stay in touch and to continue to care about TMUC with your prayers and your financial support. The Prayer List is distributed separately and allows us to remember specific people with our prayers. If you want to receive the Prayer List, or add a name (with their permission), please be in touch.
Donations on PAR (note: the PAR program now accepts monthly credit card donations as well as automatic monthly bank withdrawals), CanadaHelps through www.canadahelps.org, e-transfers to the church’s email address: email@example.com, and cheques mailed to the church are making a difference. Thank you.
Even though we cannot be together in one place, let’s continue to be a community at prayer together. On Sunday at 10, please think about the gifts we have in our lives, and needs of our world, and then pray the Lord’s prayer (you can pray silently, or out loud).
And, sometime, when you want to have a longer worship time, we are including some words and videos for your use.
As we share this week’s TMUC worship service, we are called again to listen to our faith community’s words of reconciliation:
We are gathered for worship and work in Treaty One territory, which is the traditional land of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dené peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. For thousands of years Indigenous Peoples walked this land and knew it to be the centre of their lives and their spirituality. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.
Worship for Sunday, January 2, 2022
Introit: “Joy is now in Every Place”:
Come, Holy Spirit!
Come to awaken our faith,
to inspire our hope
to embolden our love
and to let Christ live in us!
Come, Holy Spirit!
Today’s opening hymn is “O Little Town of Bethlehem”:
Esther and Emmett talk about Epiphany:
Esther and Emmett_Jan 2
Isaiah 60: 1-3, 6
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Anthem: For Unto Us a Child is Given (this piece is written by Nestor Guspodarchuk – Cheryl’s Dad who died earlier this year – and arranged by Cheryl and sung by Cheryl and her Mom, Kerry)
Carol offers a reflection:
Carol Reflection_ Jan 2
Hymn: Once in Royal David’s City:
Let us pray:
God of all times and seasons;
God of this time and season:
God of new year arriving:
God of newness and renewal;
God of hope and healing;
As we begin the year 2022,
we do so with the mixed emotions of this time.
We begin this year with concerns and frustrations as
COVID-19 continues to shape our lives and plans.
We begin this year having just celebrated the birth of Jesus, the birth of the Christ child who expressed Your love in this world; who expressed Your love for this world.
We pray that the spirit of Advent dwell with us in this time, in this season, in this new year.
We pray that the sacred friendship of Christ accompany us in this time, in this season, in this new year.
And we pray that the lights of hope, peace, joy and love continue to show us that this world is Your world, Your world of blessing and love.
We begin this new year as a people of prayer.
We offer our prayers for this world.
We pray for the healing of this world’s climate systems. We pray for the healing of humanity’s greed and lack of wisdom. We pray for people, for nations, for societies to live as responsible members of Your creation, God. We pray that we learn the wisdom to live with respect in creation.
We pray for the global population dealing with COVID-19. God, we pray for vaccinations and booster shots to be available throughout the world. We pray for people to act responsibly and wisely. We pray for people to act to protect their own health and the health of all others. We pray for a day when we can again gather safely with family and friends.
We pray for peace in this world. We pray for a just and compassionate sharing of food, water, health care and resources.
We pray for a world disarmed of the weapons of war.
We pray for people who have fled their homes due to violence, conflict, environmental disasters, or poverty. We pray for all who are migrants, all who are refugees, all who are homeless in this world. We pray for everyone to find a place of welcome, of safety, a place where their life is valued and they can live with dignity.
We pray for all who are in hospital. We pray for all who struggle with physical, emotional and mental illnesses. We pray for healing, for strength, for courage. We pray for all medical professionals who are working during these anxious and challenging times. We give thanks for all nurses, doctors, researchers and care-providers.
We pray that people re-discover the sacred in our midst, in our lives, in ourselves. Let the Christ child born in a manger be reborn in each of us. Let us live as Your children. Let us live in peace, in blessing and in compassion.
We pray in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ. AMEN
Our closing hymn is “As With Gladness Men of Old”
May God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you.
May God grant you peace and joy.
Be in the peace of Christ, this day and always. Amen
We keep you in our prayers,
Jeff and Carol