september 6th, 2020 – homemade wonderful

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
More Than Anything
What can compare to the love of Jesus
     who can repair every broken thing
No other One can break this darkness
     no other name no other name
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
Hey Everyone – I hope all of you finding ways to enjoy the long weekend.  I know for those of you who have kids returning to school you may be feeling some stress as the weekend rolls by.  I’ll be thinking of you, hoping for the best, and offering prayers for a safe and healthy fall.
Just a reminder that the connection we will not be fully returning to in-person gatherings in September.  There will continue to be a weekly online liturgy tailored for small group discussion and my hope is that people will find ways to gather in smaller groups around the liturgy. The liturgies will include a children’s moment with Beverly that will be based on the weekly children’s curriculum that will be sent to households with children up to grade six.
Beginning 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 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…
Hi Everyone. Today I’ll be reading from The Jesus Storybook Bible, written by Sally Lloyd Jones.
The Singer
The Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 6, 9, and Luke 12
Wherever Jesus went, lots of people went, too. They loved being near him. Old people. Young people. All kinds of people came to see Jesus. Sick people. Well people. Happy people. Sad people. And worried people. Lots of them. Worrying about lots of things.
What if we don’t have enough food? Or clothes? Or suppose we run out of money? What if there isn’t enough? And everything goes wrong? And we won’t be all right? What then?
When Jesus saw all the people, his heart was filled with love for them. They were like a little flock of sheep that didn’t have a shepherd to take care of them. So Jesus sat them all down and he talked to them.
The people sat quietly on the grassy mountainside and listened. From where they sat, they could see the blue lake glittering below them and little fishing boats coming in from a night’s catch. The spring air as fresh and clear.
“See those birds of there?” Jesus said. Everyone looked. Little sparrows were pecking at seeds along the stony path.  “Where do they get their food? Perhaps they have pantries all stocked up? Cabinets full of food?” Everyone laughed – who’s ever seen a bird with a bag of groceries?
“No,” Jesus said. “They don’t need to worry about that. Because God knows what they need and he feeds them.”
“And what about these wild flowers?” Everyone looked. All around them flowers were growing. Pansies, daisies, pure white lilies. “Where do they get their lovely clothes? Do they make them? Or do they go to work every day so they can buy them? Do they have closets full of clothes?” Everyone laughed again – who’s ever seen a flower putting on a dress?
“No,” Jesus said. “They don’t need to worry about that because God clothes them in royal robes of splendor! Not even a king is that well dressed!”
They had never met a king but, as they gazed out over the lake, glittering and sparkling below them, the hillsides dressed in reds, purples, and golds, they felt a great burden lift from their hearts. They could not imagine anything more beautiful.
“Little flock,” Jesus said, “you are more important than birds! More important than flowers! The birds and the flowers don’t sit and worry about things. And God doesn’t want his children to worry either. God loves to look after the birds and the flowers. And he loves to look after you, too.”
Jesus knew that God would always love and watch over the world he had made – and everything in it – birds, flowers, trees, animals, everything! And, most of all, his children. Even though people had forgotten, the birds and the flowers hadn’t forgotten – they still knew their song. It was the song all of God’s creation had sung to him from the very beginning. It was the song people’s hearts were made to sing: “God made us. He loves us. God is very pleased with us.”
It was why Jesus had come into the world: to sing them that wonderful song; to sing it not only with his voice, but with his whole life – so that God’s children could remember it and join in and sing it, too.
Hmm…I hope we sing this week. Have a good week everybody.


Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity
     sweet Jesus Christ my clarity
Bread of heaven broken for me
     Cup of Salvation held out to drink
Jesus mystery
Christ has died and
     Christ is risen
Christ will come again
Celebrate His death and rising
     lift your eyes proclaim His coming
Celebrate His death and rising
     lift your eyes lift your eyes
Christ has died and
     Christ is risen
Christ will come again
Charlie Hall
Last week I said that I would talk more about dissonance and change.  I’d like to postpone that conversation for one more week and spend a little more time reflecting on remembering.
If you recall, remembering is the ability to recall to the mind, or to retain a memory of.  But remembering also carries with it a sense of mindfulness that directs our actions.  Like when Jesus said, ‘Do this to remember me.’  (His statement, ‘Do this’ has become an abbreviation for eating bread and drinking wine as a way of remembering Jesus.)  The ‘do this’ is a way of remembering that functions to create a pattern for us to live into.
But what exactly are we to remember?
I think there are different ways to approach answering that question – some may suggest it’s to remember that we are sinners and Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb.   Some say it’s about proclaiming Christ’s death until he returns again – which is also a shorthand of sorts for Jesus’s atoning death securing redemption for humanity and the call to testify with heart and life and action the magnitude of God’s mercy, love, and grace.
I don’t take issue with any of these explanations.  I just find them a bit heady and not super helpful in actually forming a pattern of living.
So today, I want to go a little more simple…
In almost every account of Jesus feeding people with bread it begins with Jesus taking the bread, giving thanks for it, breaking it and then giving it to people as a way to sustain them.  For sure some of the sustaining is merely physical sustenance.  But the truth is, without physical food we as humans grow frail, wither, and die.  And what is true of the physical life is also true of our life in the spirit.
Jesus calls himself the bread of life – the bread that came down from heaven – and Jesus says that anyone who eats the bread will never die.  I think what Jesus is wanting us to remember is that our lives are not self-sustaining.  Jesus is life and that is what he offers us.  Our lives are renewed and sustained by Jesus, the one who broke into our space, who came to find us, who came to give us life, to restore, to repair, to set right.  To do all the things we can’t do on our own, by ourselves.
In the Gospel stories people often didn’t fully perceive who Jesus was or what he was offering.  But Jesus still cared for them and fed them and loved them.  And that’s what I think Jesus is like for us – always there caring for us, feeding us, and loving us even when we don’t perceive it.
But eating bread, it can connect us to the remembering who Jesus truly is – our life.  And it puts us in touch with his great mercy, immeasurable grace, and fierce love for us.
But as William Cavanaugh points out, it’s not that Jesus is just a commodity of life.  There is a joining together between the individual, Jesus, and those in the community of Christ.  We do not take Christ into ourselves, we are taken up into Christ.  We do not simply consume the body of Christ, we are consumed by it.  We do not participate standing apart as individuals, we are absorbed into the larger body of Christ. We are not at the centre, Christ is the centre.


When eat bread to remember Christ, we are taking in Jesus.  And as we take in Jesus we are to become the bread for others.  With the strength of the Spirit, we are to give food to the hungry, struggle for justice and peace, reveal the good news of Jesus, and enact the love of God.


In the bags we delivered this morning there was a package of the mix we use for the connection communion bread.  (If somehow we missed you, sorry.  Send me a text or an email and I will make sure you receive one)  Maybe some of you baked the bread to use for communion.  Maybe some of you just baked the bread to eat.  Maybe some of you are saving it for another time.  The biggest point of delivering the bread mix was to work to try and connect us by bringing to mind the people that make up the connection as well as, in some mysterious way, to spark in our hearts the love of Jesus, which centres us.  In whatever you choose to do with the bread mix may you be reminded that there is a community that cares about you and that Jesus is present, always.
I’d like to finish with a familiar but fitting reading from Sara Miles book Take This Bread
Eating Jesus, as I did that day to my great astonishment, led me against all my expectations to a faith I’d scorned and work I’d never imagined.  The mysterious sacrament turned out to be not a symbolic wafer at all but actual food—indeed, the bread of life.  In that act of eating a piece of communion bread I understood that food is both absolutely itself and a sign pointing to something bigger.  Holy communion knocked me upside down and forced me to deal with the impossible reality of God.  Then, as conversion continued, it relentlessly challenged my assumptions about religion and politics and meaning.  And this is my belief: that at the heart of Christianity is a power that continues to speak to and transform us.  It offers food without exception to the worthy and unworthy, the screwed-up and pious, and then commands everyone to do the same.  It doesn’t promise to solve or erase suffering but to transform it, pledging that by loving one another, even through pain, we will find more life.  It insists that by opening ourselves to strangers, to the despised or frightening or unintelligible other, we will see more and more of the holy, since, without exception, all people are one body: God’s.  As the Bible says: Taste and see.
Holy Communion
Gracious Father, we give You praise
     and thanks for this Holy Communion
The body and blood
     of Your beloved Son


The body is broken
     God’s love poured open
   to make us new
 Lord, make us new


Abba Father, we bless Your name
     and take part in this Holy Communion
Make us all one
     to love like Your Son


The body is broken
     God’s love poured open
   to make us new
 Lord, make us new
David Gungor
John Arndt
God of grace,
     in your love and compassion
   strengthen our faith and enliven our hope.
God of grace
      by your Spirit’s breath
   help us to pray
and to trust you now and every day.
God of grace,
  give us wisdom to perceive you,
    diligence to seek you,
   patience to wait for you,
and eyes to behold you.
May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to himself;
     may the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service;
  may the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our souls.
May the blessing of God Almighty,
     the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
   be among us and remain with us always.
Baptist Union of Great Britain

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