july 19th, 2020 – working towards trust

Loving God,
     you have given us life
   with all its possibilities for growth.
You made us in your own image –
   responsible and creative,
     open to great visions,
  and capable of great imagination.
In Jesus Christ you have shown us,
     what we might be.
When you raised him to life
     you showed us that death is not the end
   for those who put their trust in you.
Thank you for this new life in Christ
     and for the hope of its future fullness.
This day
     we thank you especially for this community –
   we thank you for all that it means to us.
We especially remember with gratitude
     the ways that you have taught us
   and shaped us through this church.
We thank you for a community of faith in you
     and all that we see of you through these people.


O gracious and holy Father,
      give us wisdom to perceive you,
   diligence to seek you,
     patience to wait for you,
  eyes to behold you,
      a heart to meditate upon you,
    and a life to proclaim you,
  through the power of the Spirit
    of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.


Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.
We need You more than anything
     Jesus, we need You more than anything
Through the calm and the storm in the chaos
     though the mountains will crumble You will not
Never failing Your promise eternal


We need You more than anything
     Jesus, we need You more than anything


David Leonard
Jason Ingram
Leslie Jordan
Stuart Garrard

Hi Everyone.  My name is Beverly Toth and today I’ll be reading a short story for children from a Gospel Project devotional I have. 
Jane ran up to the sign posted by the roller coaster.  She turned around, stood up straight, and motioned to her older brother Kent.  Kent approached.  
“Am I tall enough?” Jane asked. 
Kent shook his head.  ‘Doesn’t look like it.”  Then he held his fingers about a half an inch apart.  “Missed it by that much.”
Jane furrowed her brow.  “I’m never going to be able to ride that ride,” she said.  “Sometimes I just want to be a grown up!”
Have you ever been frustrated about being a kid?  Maybe your height has kept you from riding a roller coaster like Jane.  Perhaps your weight kept you from playing a certain sport.  Or maybe your parents said you couldn’t do something you really wanted until you were older.  
Did you know that when God looks at you, He doesn’t just see a child who is too short, too small, or too young?  When God looks at you, God sees a person who has incredible worth. 
When Jesus was only twelve years old, He stayed at the temple to ask questions about God and grow in His understanding of the truth.  Jesus did this because He treasured the things of God, and He cared about His relationship with God the Father more than anything else. 
Even though you are still young, you can treasure the things of God too, starting now.  Later in Jesus’ life, the book of Matthew tells us He said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.” 
The Bible also says not to let anyone look down on us because we are young, but to set an example for others in our words and actions (1Timothy 4:12).  So even though you might be too young to do certain things, you are not too young to follow God and be part of His kingdom.  God wants to teach you truth, give you wisdom, and remind you today that God loves you perfectly all the time. 
Have a great week everybody. 

Hey everyone, it’s good to be with through the technology of waves and wires.  I hope you’ve had at least one moment this past week that brought a smile to your face.


As I mentioned last week, we are going to be doing another Driveway Drop-By in August. The idea is to have an evening of short (fifteen minute) driveway visits with other people from the connection community.  You can sign up as either a host or as a traveller.  You can sign up as a household, by yourself, or with a couple of people in your ‘bubble.’   I will send out an email this week with more information and a link for you to register to be a part of the second instalment of Driveway-Drop-Bys.


The liturgy today is the third part of a series around spiritual formation and prayer.  As with the previous weeks, the liturgy is designed in a way that would allow it to be used as a part of spiritual practice playlist—that it can be used in some regular fashion throughout the week.  You may wish to listen the liturgy while you’re driving, or as you are sitting on your deck, or taking a walk, or drinking a cup of coffee or tea. 


This week, the liturgy is rooted in Psalm 46, and can be used as a way to begin a day.  Where as the Examen from last week is traditionally a reflection back on the day, this will be something that is designed to help prepare for the day.  I have based the three movements on a prayer written by a Jesuit priest named John Veltri, and who also happens to be from Manitoba.


I’ve spent the last three weeks reading through Psalm 46.  It’s a pretty familiar psalm, probably most known for the line, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’  But in reading the psalm in its entirety, the irony is that it isn’t about quietness and meditation at all. It’s actually about chaos and trouble, it’s about not knowing what is coming around the corner of life, but in contrast to that, centering the psalm, is the reminder that God is present and steadfastness and in control. It’s encouraging to me that God is in the chaos and trouble of life because that means we aren’t in those places alone.  So really, it’s a psalm about trust. 


It was written by a collection of musicians and poets and was designed to be sung by the community as a reminder of God’s universal sovereignty. The psalm is broken up in three parts and each section carries with it the reminder of God’s presence, power, and steadfast care.


For me the psalm definitely has one of those ‘good news/bad news’ kind of vibes.  Like…
Good news: God is always with you.
Bad news:  Trouble and chaos will find their way into your life.


Good news:  God will help you.
Bad news:  Political systems and the ideologies of culture will steal life from you.


Good news:  God is exalted over all the earth.
Bad news:  You will be affected by power struggles and injustice.


For me, the psalm asks, ‘Do you trust that God is good and that God is with you?’    These are no simple questions.  I do have doubts, I do carry some amount of cynicism, and, I definitely don’t see the full picture.  The psalm tells me that God can hold space for my questions and doubts as I work to continue to increasingly find my way into letting go, loving, and trusting God—God, the Creator of the universe, who is good, and who is steadfast, and who is our help and refuge.  I think that’s what the psalmist meant in writing ‘Be still and know I am God.’  It’s a call for us to stop trying to control things, to stop trying to manipulate outcomes, to stop resisting God in whatever ways we do, and to start knowing God, which begins with a measure of trust.


Each morning we awake with our lists, our plans, our hopes, our ambitions but we can’t know what a day will hold for us.  We will rise and we will stumble, we will discover joy and we will feel pain, we will grow and we will experience loss, we will laugh and we will cry, we will succeed and we will fail, we will make progress and we will drift, and on and on it will go.  The only constant is that God is with us and for us.  The only thing we have any control over, and even that is murky, is our choosing. 


So with Psalm 46 as a backdrop let’s move into a prayer of trusting God with the coming day.   As we begin, prepare yourself by getting into a position that is comfortable but allows you to stay alert.
Become aware of your body, focusing on the rhythm of your breath.
As much as you can, relax yourself.
Allow your lungs to expand with agreement to the Holy Spirit.  Ask yourself to become willing to open up. 
The way this will work is for each movement I will lead a prayer and then following the guided prayer, there will be opportunity for you to pray on your own.


Here we go…

In the arms of a good Father
     you can go to the deep water
Where the questions, we have left unspoken
     come out in the open
We will find shelter here

So I lay down
     what I cannot hold in my hands
 Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
     here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
 We will find shelter here
            Sandra McCracken
Movement One – Connecting With God
Almighty God, to you my heart is open.
You know my desires and from you I can keep no secret.
I ask that you would cleanse the thoughts of my heart
   by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, I welcome you,
   as I prepare for the day ahead of me.
I pray for the coming twenty-four hours.
  I do not know what they will bring,
So please help me to be ready for whatever may come.


What are your hopes for the coming day?  What are the things you need to get done?  Who are the people you will see?  Are there things that you need to make right from yesterday? Speak your thoughts to Jesus. Ask that you might have his heart, and eyes, and wisdom as you move through the day.
Holy Father, Son and Spirit
     holy Communion, three-in-one

Come with your peace, with your invitation
     bind us together in Holy Love
Sandra McCracken

Movement Two—Acknowledging Anticipation and Anxiety
God, thank you for your steadfast presence and embrace.


Help me stay connected to you as I navigate the things
   that will bring life to me,
  and the things that will work to steal life from me.
God, help me to pay attention to, and work to understand
   the emotions I will experience during the day.
Thank you for the pieces of the day I feel excitement for.
I ask for your peace and comfort for the pieces of the day I feel
   anxious over.
God, thank you for your steadfast presence and embrace.


What about the coming day makes you feel excited?  What about the coming day is creating anxiety?  What are the things you need help with?  Are there things or people you are avoiding?  Speak your thoughts to Jesus.  Ask that you might have his heart, and eyes, and wisdom as you move through the day.
This is my father’s world
     oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
     God is the ruler yet


This is my father’s world
     why should my heart be sad
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
     God reigns, let the earth be glad
Franklin Lawrence Sheppard
Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Movement Three—Working Towards Trust
God, may I truly feel the possibility of the day
   that lies ahead of me.
Grant me the ability to cooperate with others
   according to the way Jesus taught us to live.
May your Spirit inspire me
   as I move through the day,
  interacting, making choices,
and taking in what’s around me.
No matter how the day unfolds,
   may I seek connection to you throughout.
May I choose trust in you,
   even in the places that raise doubts, or
  are disappointing, or are painful.
And at the end of the day may I look back
   and recognize your presence in my life.
What places do you see possibility for the coming day?  What places hinder your ability to see possibility for the day?  What are the places you have the hardest time trusting God with?  What are things that you can do during the day that will help you stay connected to God’s presence?  Speak your thoughts to Jesus.  Ask that you might have his heart, and eyes, and wisdom as you move through the day.
You are good, good
You’re never gonna let
     never gonna let me down
And when the night is holding onto me
     God is holding on
John Mark McMillian
Sarah McMillian


O God,
   when I think of tomorrow
  I do not know what it will bring,
So please help me to be ready for whatever may come.
If I am to stand up,
   help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still,
   help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low,
   help me to do it patiently.
If I am to do nothing,
   let me do it gallantly.


I pray for the coming day,
   for those twenty-four hours.
For the ability to cooperate with others
   according to the way Jesus taught us to live.

“Your kingdom come,
   your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

May these words that he taught us
   become more than words.
May your Spirit inspire me
   as I move through the day,
  interacting, making choices,
and taking in what’s around me.
And at the end of the day may I look back
   and recognize your presence in my life.
John Veltri

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