On Sunday March 22 there will not be any public worship at Transcona Memorial or anyplace around here. And that will be the case for a while – the length of this pause is not known to any of us yet.
We do not need to be in the same place to be the same people – a worshipping community – we are called to be the hands and feet, the body of Christ.
Let’s do that by praying together at 10:00 on Sunday. Let’s think about the gifts we have in our lives, and needs of our world, and then let’s all 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 for your use. (keep scrolling — our worship comes after a few links for you — and if you go all the way to the end, you will find a YouTube of Cheryl playing and singing our closing hymn — thanks to Cheryl for her help with this!) If you are near people who do not have a computer, please consider printing them off to share.
And, because worship is really for everyone, we want to share some other resources that you might find helpful.
People everywhere are discovering what worshipping together outside of a church gathering might look like.
We want to share a few resources with you: illustratedministry.com/flattenthecurve has resources for all ages.
Here’s a sample – something to colour, and something to consider – in these difficult days, to what does God call us?
Each week, Richard Bott, the Moderator of the United Church will lead a Sunday Morning worship service. It is posted on united-church.ca
And other congregations are doing other things – if you find something interesting, please send it to us to share!
Worship for Sunday, March 22, 2020
If we were together, we would begin with a pause and then ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord’.
God of compassion
God of reconciling love
God present in, amongst and throughout all people and all creation
You are light in time of shadow
companion in time of isolation
resurrection in time of endings
and Easter in a world of Good Fridays
Grant to me, to us, courage, hope, faith and love
For we are not alone.
We live in Your world. AMEN
Stay at home!
This seems to be the world’s newest commandment. In order to moderate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, health officials, political leaders, employers…basically everyone is saying, “Stay at home.”
It is good advice – social distancing as a preventative health care measure.
But perhaps ‘staying at home’ offers an opportunity to re-discover home.
Home means many things to many people.
For some, home is the physical space in which we live. Maybe it is a house, or apartment, or room. Maybe it is a place where we hang out each day, and a shelter where we spend the night. Home is not the same type of place for everyone but in its best sense, home offers us all the same thing.
In the best sense, home offers restoration and recharging of our lives. It offers comfort and love.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Hearing this story, maybe we wonder, ‘Where did those bridesmaids get the oil they brought? Or Where did those bridesmaids have to go to get more?’
Perhaps the answer is simply ‘home’.
Home is the place to get what will refill our lamps, our lives.
Home may not be a place, but relationships –
Staying home may mean having a different opportunity to connect with others.
‘Home’ can have a more expansive significance when considered from a Christian faith perspective. ‘Being home’ is an awareness of being held in God’s love. ‘Home’ is who we are as creatures made in the image of God, as human expressions of God’s creation, as children of God.
Staying at home can be a time for inner discovery, for silent time of just ‘being’; a time of prayer and reflection on one’s identity as God’s beloved child; a time of being home with all of God’s creation.
So, while we stay at home, may we gratefully experience and discover the wonder and grace of being at home.
We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky (Here’s Cheryl singing it – it’s in More Voices at 143 if you have a hymn book at home)
God bless you and keep you.
God’s face shine upon.
God grant you peace and joy.
Be in the peace of Christ, this day and always. Amen
We keep you in our prayers,
Carol and Jeff