We use the word ‘blessing’ in many contexts.
When someone sneezes, we may say, “Bless you.”
Before eating a meal, we may say ‘a blessing.’
At the conclusion of a worship service, we may offer a blessing.
In the book of Genesis, blessing is considered to be so important that Jacob steals his brother’s blessing by deceiving their blind father, Isaac, who blesses Jacob rather than the intended-to-be-blessed Esau.
We use blessing in many contexts.
The online vocabulary/dictionary site gives this definition;
‘A blessing is a prayer asking for God’s protection, or a little gift from the heavens. It’s also any act of approving, like when your roommate wants to move out and you give her your blessings. Blessings have to do with approval. The first meaning is asking God for protection or favor.’
Blessings are prayers that God be present with someone in whatever way God’s being present with that person will be life-giving to that person.
Blessings impart hopes, dreams and affirmations.
A blessing is a gift of our love and concern. In blessing we declare that we want the one blessed to know they are always loved and that they live with an awareness of that love.
On Tuesday (September 7) of this week, we will be offering blessings – blessings of backpacks and bags!
As students and staff and volunteers return to schools, universities and colleges, we have chosen backpacks as a symbol of those educational centres that are communities of learning, personal growth, friendships, fun and affirmation; communities in which intellects are stimulated, imaginations kindled and spirits inspired; communities that nourish minds, bodies and spirits.
We will bless backpacks and bags as our prayer for everyone who is part of any educational community.
The blessing will be offered on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the front lawn of the church.
There will also be opportunities to make a laminated backpack tag, to register for Messy Church and other youth-related church activities.
At that time you may also bring to the church any school supplies you wish to donate to the Newcomer program of the River East School Division.
We do not yet know when we will regather for in-person worship. The TMUC Council will meet (via ZOOM) on September 8, after the current health orders reach their time of completion.
At that time, the Council will discuss options for a safe re-opening for worship, depending on then-current health orders and conditions.
In the meantime, we continue to offer weekly online worship resources. We are on holidays this week, so this service was written and recorded days before you are reading it. If there are events in the world, or in the life of our community that we are not mentioning, please add them in your own way to the prayers that we offer.
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.
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. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, September 5, 2021
Cheryl and Crystal sing the Introit: “Lord, Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary”
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!
Our opening hymn is shared by Crystal and Cheryl: “Praise My Soul the God of Heaven”:
Esther and Emmett talk about Praising God!
Esther and Emmett_Sept 5
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD!
From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.
Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”
But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go–the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Our second hymn is our first reading, Psalm 146, set to music and shared by Crystal and Cheryl:
Jeff offers a reflection:
Jeff reflection _ Sept 5
Let us pray:
We praise You, God!
We praise You with hymns, with prayers, with the reading of scriptures;
And we praise You with acts of hope, of love, of working for a world of peace, a world in which no one is hungry, no one is homeless, no one is unloved.
We praise You as we ask that the spirit in Christ be the spirit in each of us; that Christ live in us and thorough us.
We praise You, God, by affirming that we are part of Your creation, that we live in Your world.
So we praise You as we pray for this world.
We pray for a healing of the world; we pray that humans cooperate with the healing of the world, changing attitudes and practices that pollute, deface and scar this world, and that contribute to the climate change the world is experiencing.
We pray for the people of Afghanistan. We pray for safe passage for those wanting to leave that country. We pray for peace in a time of tension and conflict. We pray for freedom and respect for the diversity of people who live in that place and in all places.
We pray for the people of Haiti and all offering aid and support following that country’s devastating earthquake. And we pray for all those throughout the Caribbean and North America living in the devastation of Hurricane Ida.
We pray for all living in places of wildfires, or floods, or hurricanes. We pray for all who have had to abandon their homes, and for all who are trying to keep people safe.
We pray for all who live in places of war and conflict.
We pray for people to be freed from poverty, for people to have safe places to dwell, for people to have access to education, health care and employment. We pray for a world in which all are respected and affirmed.
We pray for a world of peace.
We pray for a world in which wealth and resources are equitably shared and distributed.
We praise You, God. Bless us with the spirit of Christ, that we may live our praise in lives of faith, hope and love.
In Christ’s name, we pray. AMEN
Our closing hymn is “Draw the Circle Wide” shared by Cheryl Jackson and Crystal and Shelley Schau:
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