september 13th, 2020 – open mic

Spirit of God,
     you are always giving life
to the people of God,
     giving birth to children of God.
Remodel us in the image of Jesus,
     fill us with his love
and enable us with his risen power,
     that we might be faithful to his way,
used by you in the redeeming of your world.
Baptist Union of Great Britain
All Creatures
All creatures of our God and King
     lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, alleluia
Thou burning sun with golden beam
     Thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Thou rushing wind that art so strong
     ye clouds that sail in heav’n along
O praise Him, alleluia
Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
     ye lights of evening find a voice 
O praise Him, O praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Let all things their Creator bless,
     and worship Him in humbleness
O praise him, alleluia
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
     and praise the Spirit, three in one
O praise Him, O praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Lasst Uns Erfreuen
St. Francis
David Crowder
Brent Milligan
Hey Everyone! How did the week go for all of you? I hope well – I feel like I’m sounding like Mr. Rogers haha. Thanks for the notes and pictures that were sent in regarding the bread from last week. It was really lovely to see the bread in its baked state and to hear some of your stories of your experiences.
Today is the connection’s twenty-second birthday – crazy, huh. But even bigger, yesterday happens to be Emmanuel’s ninetieth birthday. There is a video to commemorate Emmanuel celebrating ninety years that you can access by clicking on the link below the link to this liturgy.
A reminder that next week (September 20), I will be hosting an open small group at 6 pm on Sunday evenings at the church. It is an ‘open small group’ in the sense that It will be open to anyone who wishes to come. It will be same content as the online liturgy that will be sent out except that the teaching portion and maybe some of the music will be
live. There will not be any children’s programming offered, but if children come to the small group gathering, Beverly’s children’s moment will be played and the week’s curriculum will be made available, to them should they wish to work through it. Also, if there is interest, we will offer M.U.S.E. to youth grades 7 -12 every other week.
Also, we are still working to find ways of being a helpful presence in our local community. Kari has a few initiatives for us to consider as we move into fall.
One: we are looking for unused water bottles and extra school supplies.
Two: we are looking for people to sew some youth sized masks.
Three: we are looking for new sleeping bags, women’s toiletries, and towels/wash cloths
Four: we depend on your donations to stock our food pantry – if you are able to continue donating, we would greatly appreciate it.
You can see the full details of these initiatives by clicking on the link below the link for this liturgy.
And now it’s story time with Beverly – in this liturgy I am just playing the audio of the video of Beverly. If you would like to watch instead of just listen you can click the link below the link for the liturgy. It goes along with the lesson that Beverly emailed out this week. If you didn’t receive an email, let us know and we’ll make sure to get you on the
Hi Everyone!
I’m Beverly and this is a pretty unique time, so we want to come alongside you in unique ways to help you and your family grow and learn. This year we’re going to be providing lesson resources each week on our website and in an email that I’ll be sending out to your families.
We’re going to be meeting a lot of people from the Bible this year, and all these people are important because they let us know something about God. This week, our lesson is called In The Beginning. It’s from the first book in the Bible called Genesis: Genesis 1:1-2:4. Genesis means beginning, and the story of God creating the world is all about beginnings and how God made order out of chaos. I’m reading our story today out of the Whirl Kids Story Bible. Let’s listen:
In the beginning, nothing made sense. It was chaos. The earth hadn’t been shaped yet; darkness was everywhere. But God’s Spirit was already there. Always moving, moving, moving.
God decided to get things in order.
God made light and saw that it was good. God made light day, and darkness night.
God created the sky and separated the water from the land. Plants and trees popped out of the ground. God filled the sea with all kinds of fish and God saw that it was good.
The sun shone brightly during the day and the moon glowed gently during the night. Birds burst into the sky and bugs buzzed through the air. Worms crawled through the dirt and the fields and forests thundered under the feet of all of God’s animals. And God saw that it was good.
God created people, male and female. “I have placed my image on you. I bless you” God said. “All of this creation is for you. Eat the plants, tend to the animals, care for creation, and grow and grow.”
God looked over all creation. It was VERY good. Finally, God rested.
I have a question for you. When you think about God’s creation what is one of your favourite parts?
I think of a beluga whale and the way it looks like he’s always smiling.
Or…anything blue: the water, the flowers.
And of course people!
Well, that’s it. But remember to go to our website and check your email for more resources surrounding this lesson. And remember as you go through your day you are unique. God only made one you. You are strong, and remember where your strength comes from.  And you are fiercely loved by God and others. Have a good week everybody.
In the arms of a good Father
     you can go in 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
Well today I want to finish our little series centered on remembering by having us think a bit about dissonance. If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I started by saying how the telling of story brings definition and meaning to things. Telling and retelling stories help us remember. Remembering, as we know, is the ability to recall to the mind, or to
retain a memory of. But it also carries with it a sense of mindfulness that directs our actions.
I turned that remembering towards faith and church, suggesting that telling stories of God’s activity in our lives is a starting point for helping us actively remember and stay connected to Jesus. Also wrapped up in those stories are the experiences of the community in which these stories unfold – and for many people that context is church. And unfortunately, there are so many stories about church experiences that have, and still continue, to create dissonance for people. Dissonance in turn that creates questions that are carried and internalized. And the questions are often shut down because they
push against the status quo of church, against belief structures that have been handed down, against frameworks that are deemed immutable, against the sharp delineation between who is in and who is out. And without the ability to ask out loud, without the freedom to voice disagreement, without the encouragement to explore, the questions just rattle around in our hearts and minds and create feelings of alienation. So of course the remembering that goes along with telling of these stories is one of disappointment, or frustration, or hurt, or disillusionment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this – the driving impetus being that I want our community to be an open and safe place to ask questions, to be a safe place where people sift, critique, and even shed parts of the story that don’t work for them anymore.
I think I probably talk about this all the time, but as I watch the kids in our community getting older, I really hope that they grow up with a group of people that encourage them to ask and wrestle and disagree. And not just kids, all of us need that.
I grew up in a very conservative church environment – and there were so many things that didn’t fit. That I just couldn’t get behind. There were so many things that I wanted to ask, to explore, to have a conversation about, to say out loud. But there was no capacity for it – and so I left out the back door.
I needed to find a safe space to pull apart some of the story that was given to me – to shed ideas that created internal dissonance – especially around ‘othering’ and exclusion.
In my experience, it is rare to find a church community, and especially a denomination that makes space for questions without first doubling down on policies that make change nearly impossible to occur – a reinforcing of an ideological box that concretely sums up and defines God. So unfortunately for those who make think differently, the only place
for new ideas or approaches or development to take root is on the outside.
My favourite chapter in the Bible is Luke 5. If you have time this week, maybe give it a spin. It is one story after another of Jesus saying, you think you got this all figured out – nope, let me just break down that box for you. You think you’ve got me pegged, sorry, I’m actually for the outsiders. You think your theology is on lock – oops, what about this. I want our community to be open and loving and embracing – centered around Jesus – guided by love and respect.
I’ve been wondering about what the future looks like for church. What its story will be, what will drive its purpose, what will keep it from becoming irrelevant, and what needs to happen for it to evolve in a way that captures the hearts and imaginations of people? I think it starts with holding space for people to ask questions, being open to possibility, to
wonder, and to helping people live more fully who they are meant to be.
My favourite story in Luke 5 is where a paralyzed man is carried by his friends to meet Jesus. They have a sense that if they can come face to face with Jesus, things will change for their friend who can’t walk. But Jesus is boxed in by so many people that the only way they can get to Jesus is to tear a hole in the roof and lower him in. I like that picture – sometimes to get to Jesus you have to tear a hole whatever the thing is that’s boxing him in.
Laurie and I watched a show produced by Sara Bareilles called Little Voice. It’s about a struggling musician trying to find her own way amidst family responsibilities, relationship struggles, and the grind of working several jobs to make ends meet. In the end she recognizes that she has let these things steal her voice – and that what she has been missing is her voice in the mix. She started letting everyone else’s ideas speak for her, to eclipse her, and that to find a starting point in working out the conflict and dissonance that all these things bring to her she needs to speak up for herself.
It resonated with me in a deep kind of way. Especially about missing my voice in some of these conversations – letting others speak for me. And inversely, be a person who is actively working to make space for all the little voices.
I want to continue to be a part of a community that gives voice to people. That allows people be who they are – that facilitates dialogue in a listening way. That pulls people towards the center, not pushes them to the margins. That inspires people’s hearts and imaginations. That breaks open ceilings so people can come face-to-face with Jesus. To be a church that is vibrant and alive and is marked by the sweetness of deep community centered around Jesus.
I think it might be messy and hard, but I think it’s the right thing.
Little Voice
It’s everything I am and what I’m not
     and all I’m tryin’ to be
This is the part where I spit it all out
     and you decide what you think of me
I’m not trying to be complicated
     I’m never waiting to get the last laugh
But I’ve been handing out benefits of the doubt
     and I’d like a little bit back
It’s just a little voice
     and if you’re listenin’;
Sometimes a little voice
     can say the biggest things
It’s just my little voice that I’ve been missing
Looking over the precious moments, it hurts, don’t it –
     they can cut both ways
No amount of remembering the better things
     can make the bad ones go away
But I’ve been broken and the one to blame
     so my saviour of self-defense, taught me to sing what I can’t say
It’s just a little voice
     and if you’re listenin’;
Sometimes a little voice
     can say the biggest things
It’s just my little voice that I’ve been missing
Sara Bareilles

Leave a Reply