july 5th, 2020 – be unto us

Come friends.
Come with your grief.
Come with your loss.
Carry all the pieces of your heart
And come sit with us.
Bring your disappointments
And your failures.
Bring your betrayals
And your masks.
We welcome you no matter where you come from
And what you bring.
Come and join us
At the intersection of acceptance and forgiveness
Where you will find the house of love.
Bring your empty cups
And we will have a feast.
Kamand Kojouri
This Is My Father’s World (click here for audio link)
This is my father’s world
     and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
     the music of the spheres
This is my father’s world
     I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
     His hand the wonders wrought
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

Hey everyone, it’s good to be with through the technology of waves and wires.  I hope this weekend is giving you some opportunity to take a break from the busyness of the week.


As I mentioned last week, we are working to create some smaller, physically distanced opportunities for people to see one another for little visits throughout the summer months. Our first attempt at this will be this Wednesday, July 8th and we’re calling it Driveway Drop-bys.  The ideas is that on July 8th, between 7 and 8:15 pm, you’ll be set up with three, fifteen minute visits, with other people from the connection community. (For those who may feel nervous about generating conversation out of thin air, we’ll also provide a couple of questions that you can use to get started.)   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.’ Once we see who’s interested, well set up a schedule, and send it out.  If you could, please register by tomorrow, at 6 pm.  If you’re interested, just click on the registration link below the link for this liturgy.
It’s summer now, and so we are adding a fun feature for July and August that features Beverly.  Yay Beverly!
Hi everyone, I’m really happy to get to say hello to you all.
I’ll be with you each week this summer with a special howdy to the children who are listening to this!
To the kids? 
I want you to know I have spent lots of time thinking of you all and praying for you and your families as well.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been back in the church building  – and it is so different walking down the empty hallways and stepping into the empty classrooms.
I miss you. 
I miss the fun of loving God, thanking God, praising God, and learning about God together. 
I miss you. I miss the special unique things about you too. 
Some of you smile ear to ear without making a sound. 
Some of you like to laugh really loud. 
Some of you like to read lots and lots, and others of you enjoy running outside until you can hardly breathe. 
Some of you love to eat cucumbers and tomatoes and peas, and others of you really don’t. 
Can I remind you that you bring A LOT of joy to others just by being who you are?  Just by being you.  Just the way God made you.  Special.  Unique. 
Usually this would be the time in July that our summer kids camps would begin. Not this year. 
However, there have been reports that a panda is on the loose. You know, the panda we all know and love.  Our kids camp panda.  We have even received a video where he can be seen.
If you see this panda around your neighbourhood…please let us know!  We have set up a special email for you to use just in case you can help us out with this mystery.  Let us know at ISawThePanda@ebap.ca.
In the meantime friends, enjoy God’s creation in the great outdoors! 
And remember how much God loves you. 
There is a verse in the Bible that tells us God’s great love is new every morning.  Lord, how faithful You are. We thank you for that.

Have a great week everyone.
So for the liturgy this week I wanted to try something a little different.  I wanted to try and put together something more in the fashion of a playlist.  That you may wish to listen to while you’re driving or as you’re sitting on your deck, or taking a walk. It’s not so much a linear teaching but rather a collection of readings and prayers underpinned with music.  It is also has visuals that go along with it, so you may wish to watch it rather than just listen.  Or you may wish to watch it today and listen to it as you move through the week.
I recorded the voiceovers outside, so hopefully the ambient sounds with add texture to the liturgy.
If you would like to watch it, simply click on the link below the audio link for this liturgy.


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms
and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not now seek the answers,
which cannot be given you
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.


For hope is the embrace of the essential unknowability of the world. 
Hope is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart;
it transcends the world that is immediately experienced,
and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.
Hope is a dimension of the soul;
it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation
of the world or estimate of the situation. 
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense,
is not the same as joy that things are going well,
or willingness to invest in enterprises
that are obviously headed for early success,
but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good,
not just because it stands a chance to succeed. 
To hope is to gamble.
It’s to bet on the future, on your desires,
on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty
is better than gloom and safety.
To hope is dangerous,
and yet it is the opposite of fear,
for to live is to risk.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rebecca Solnit

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.


But I believe that the desire to please you
 does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.


I hope that I will never do anything
 apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.


Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


Eternal God who desires our wholeness
because life is difficult and love is not easy,
and doubt and struggle, suffering and failure,
are inevitable for each and every one of us.
Help us to respect the darkness of our pain and grief
and make a bold place for them in our lives.


Help us to recognise that without them
we can have no true sense of life’s great depth,
and that within them lies our capacity to love,
to create and to make meaning.


Help us also to welcome our yearnings for joy
and release, for flowers and the sun,
spaces to dream and the need to be loved.


May our joy and despair, loneliness and longings,
not remain hidden or divided from one another;
but help us to build each other up in mutual friendship,
that we may be enlivened and made strong.


God our life, our wholeness, our friend,
lead us to that place within us
where darkness and light,
the mornings and evenings of the heart,
may meet one another, know one another, and embrace.
Thomas Merton
Baptist Union of Great Britain

Oh the vapor of it all
     it’s a chasing of the wind
   the powers of the earth so pale and thin
We will set our hearts on you again

Holy, you oh God are holy
     trees clap their hands for you
   oceans they dance for you
You are holy

Oh the mystery of it all
     I can never peer within
   could never find the words or understand
The fullness of a God become a man

Holy, you oh God are holy
     trees clap their hands for you
   oceans they dance for you
You are holy
     infinite and holy
A billion suns rise for you
     clouds paint the skies for you
   mountains stand tall for you
     valleys bow down to you
Everything rising
     to sing all our song for you

Holy, the impossible and holy
     kings become fools for you
   kingdoms to ruins for you
     vapor finds ground in you
   music finds sound for you
Everything rising, everything rising

Come like dawn
     like waves
   like sunlight
Bring this world to life

Come like rain
     like breath
   like springtime
Bring us back to life
Lisa Gungor
Michael Gungor
You have looked deep
   into my heart, Lord,
     and you know all about me.


You know when I am resting
   or when I am working,
     and from heaven
    you discover my thoughts.


You notice everything I do
   and everywhere I go.
Before I even speak a word,
   you know what I will say,
and with your powerful arm
   you protect me
     from every side.
I can’t understand all of this!
   Such wonderful knowledge
     is far above me.
Where can I go
   from your presence?
     Where could I ever outrun your Spirit?

If I go up to the heavens,
     you are there.
   If I lie down in the grave,
    you are there.


You are the one
   who put me together
     inside my mother’s body,


and I praise you
   because of
     the wonderful way
 you created me.
Everything you do is marvellous!
   Of this I have no doubt.
Nothing about me
   is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together
  deep in the earth below,


but with your own eyes
   you saw
     my body being formed.
Even before I was born,
   you had written in your book
     everything I would do.
Your thoughts are far beyond
   my understanding,
     much more than I
   could ever imagine.


I try to count your thoughts,
   but they outnumber the grains
     of sand on the beach.
And when I awake,
   I will find you there.
Psalm 139:1-10, 13-18


Open unto us light for our darkness.
Open unto us courage for our fear.
Open unto us hope  for our despair.
Open unto us peace for our turmoil.
Open unto us joy for our sorrow.
Open unto us strength for our weakness.
Open unto us wisdom for our confusion.
Open unto us forgiveness for our sins.
Open unto us tenderness for our toughness.
Open unto us love for our hates.
Open unto us thy Self for our self.
Lord, open unto us.
Howard Thurman


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