Thanksgiving Sunday, October 11

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Welcome

 

Opening Hymn:  We Plough the Fields and Scatter

 

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The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. And also with you.

 

Hymn of Praise (from Psalm 65)

Awesome things you show us in your righteousness,
O Hope of all the ends of the earth.
You make fast the mountains by your power;
you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous.
You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges;
with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.
You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy.

 

Collect

Gracious One, you satisfy the need of every living creature. Fill us with gratitude for the abundance of the earth and for the bonds of love and care that unite all creation into one family. May our thanks be the soil in which dreams of justice grow and thrive;
through Jesus Christ, the Lord of the harvest. Amen.

 

First Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-18 (read by Mary McBurney)

As the people of Israel prepare to enter the Promised Land after long years in the wilderness, they are advised to remember the times of struggle, so as never to take the good things for granted.

Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.
Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. 

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm 126 (led by John and Barb MacEachern)

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations, *
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed. 
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *
like the watercourses of the Negev.
Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. 

 

Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15  (read by Grant McBurney)

Paul urges the people of Corinth to be liberal in their support of their poorer brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, teaching that the giver as well as the receiver is blessed by this generosity and solidarity.

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,
‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.’ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Thanks be to God.

 

Music: When the Lord Brought Back the Captives to Zion

 

 

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Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12

 
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. 

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Sermon (Rev. Paul Jennings)

 

Hymn: O God Beyond All Praising

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Prayers of the People (Sheila Hulford)

 

Our Father  

 

Closing Hymn: For the Fruit of All Creation

 

 

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This Day We Say Grateful
A Sending Blessing
by Jan Richardson

It is a strange thing
to be so bound
and so released
all in the same moment,
to feel the heart
open wide
and wider still
even as it turns
to take its leave.

On this day,
let us say
this is simply the way
love moves
in its ceaseless spiraling,
turning us toward
one another,
then sending us
into what waits for us
with arms open wide to us
in welcome
and in hope.

On this day,
in this place
where you have
poured yourself out,
where you have been
emptied
and filled
and emptied again,
may you be aware
more than ever
of what your heart
has opened to
here,
what it has tended
and welcomed
here,
where it has broken
in love and in grief,
where it has given
and received blessing
in the unfathomable mystery
that moves us,
undoes us,
and remakes us
finally
for joy.

This day
may you know
this joy
in full measure.

This day
may you know
this blessing
that gathers you in
and sends you forth
but will not
forget you.

O hear us
as this day
we say
grace;
this day
we say
grateful;
this day
we say
blessing;
this day
we release you
in God’s keeping
and hold you
in gladness
and love.