Sunday, April 3, 2011 Fourth Sunday in Lent
"Laetare" or "Holy Humour” Sunday
God invites us to worship
Life and Work of the Church family
Call to Worship: The Nature of God and human sin: an understanding from “The Song of Faith”
Silence: Extinguish Four Lenten Candles
Assurance of God’s Grace for all: 97 MV-(Lis-ten)
Listen, God is calling, through the Word inviting, offering forgiveness, comfort and joy (Lis-ten) x 2
Hymn: # 624 VU “Give to us Laughter” with 5th verse
Prayer of Praise: God of rejoicing and laughter, we tend to separate our world into the religious and the secular; however your Spirit challenges us to celebrate the holy in every aspect of our living. As we share good humour during this worship, may we experience your healing power. Thank you for transforming our lives, our relationships and our world through word, music, laughter and sacrament, in community and in solitude. With trust we sing this prayer to you. Amen
Story Time: “Judging others on first sight”
“dramatization”: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13”
Circle Prayer in song:
The Scriptures speak to us
Hymn: # 126 MV “ Are You a Shepherd?”
Scripture: John 9: 1-41
Sermon: “Everything in life points to God”
“Partnership with God’s Loving Powers”
God Invites us to Respond
Hymn : #195 MV “ Long Ago and Far Away”
Solo: Serena Robinson
“Come to Jesus” *words & music by Chris Rice
MV # 187 “We Give Our Thanks”
Prayers of the people/ Lord’s Prayer
~A Communion Celebration for the Season of Lent ~
"Jesus said, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
Prayer: God of us all, we give you thanks and praise, that when we are far off you meet us there and bring us home. We give our thanks and praise for Jesus, the one who declared your love through dying and living, gives us grace, and opens the gate of glory.
May we, who share Christ's body, know his risen life; we, who drink this cup, bring life to others; we, whom the Spirit lights, give light to the world.
We would be founded in the hope set before us, so that we, and all your children may know the gift of Christ, and the whole earth may live to praise your name. We pray through Jesus the Christ, our Lord. Amen.
May God be with you.
And also with you.
Let us open our hearts to the mystery of God's presence.
We open our hearts to the Infinite God of Eternity.
Let us give thanks to the God-Who-Is.
It is right, good and joyful to be in the presence of God and one another as redeemed and thankful people, and to lift our voices in chorus declaring…
Holy, Holy, Holy,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory,
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of God!
Eternal God, our Source and our Destiny, holy is your name.
You are the source of love, the wellspring of justice, and the resource of hope, and holy is your name.
It is to you we lift our hearts, God of our mothers and fathers, God of the Old Covenant and the New; for holy is your name.
You hold us in tender arms like a mother holds her new-born infant; when we are too weak to stand you empower your sons and daughters; for holy is your name.
And we remember that on the night before those who feared him most executed him he ate a meal with friends to celebrate liberation and deliverance in the face of death. In that we find hope, and peace, and courage.
And trusting in the word of his Eternal Father, Jesus took bread and blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his friends saying, "Take and eat. This is my body, which will be broken for you. Whenever you eat it, remember me."
After supper he took the wine and blessed it, and gave it to them and said, "Drink this. This is my blood that will be shed for you and others for the forgiveness of sin.
It will heal you. It will empower you. It will be a source of joy for you. Whenever you drink it, remember me.”
Sharing the Bread and the Wine
God goes with us in our daily lives
Hymn: # 699 VU “ Live into Hope”
Commissioning and Benediction:
“Walk with the Lord”
Mission Statement: In response to God’s call, we the congregation of Grace United Church understand our mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all ages. Using the Bible as our guide, we are challenged to worship and
praise and celebrate God’s love and accept God’s grace, learn God’s will, live in faith, and
reach out in humble service in the community and the world.
Volunteer Staff Paid Staff
Music Director: Gladys Jack Interim Minister: Rev. Tom Sawyer
Pianist: Lois Sonnega Office Manger: Mary Laursen
Organist: Linda Anderson
Envelope Sec.: Diane Davies
Irene Knowlson (Medical Leave) Rev Lyn Lamers
Caretaker: Joyce Dickson
Ministers Emeriti: Harold Martin
Serving the Community: The congregation
Assist UCC partners in Japan through our Donations
The United Church of Canada will work with partners in Japan to support on-the-ground relief and reconstruction now and over the long term.
Any donations received at the General Council Office, designated for "Japan Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction" will be gratefully received and used to support United Church partners in this work.
Donations can be mailed to: The United Church of Canada , 3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300 Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Donations made to Japan Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction are not recorded as part of a congregation or pastoral charge's Mission and Service Fund giving.
As part of The United Church's Emergency Response Fund, 85 percent of your donation will directly fund an emergency response in Japan. Fifteen percent will be used to support emergencies that do not receive intense media cover and response. No administration
fees will be deducted from your donation.
4 th Sunday in Lent: "Laetare Sunday"
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is often called "Laetare Sunday" – Rejoice Sunday. It was a day when the purple vestments of Lent could be replaced with rose coloured ones.
The Fourth Sunday in Lent is now being observed in a variety of individual churches around the world as "Holy Humour Sunday" or "Lighten Up Sunday". There is an ancient history to what we call "Laughter Sunday" - whether it is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, or as it has been in the past, on Easter Monday
Early Orthodox churches gathered on the Monday after Easter to tell stories, jokes and anecdotes. To this day in Slavic regions Christians gather the day after Easter for folk dancing and feasting in the churchyard. This was a time of celebrating the big joke that God pulled on Satan-transforming death into new life.
Whenever "Laughter Sunday" is celebrated, and by whatever name, it is characterised by joking around, singing, dancing, and merry-making. And it reminds us that God is a God of laughter as well as of sorrow, much as God is Lord of the
valleys as well as the mountain tops