Eldad – Hampton Pastoral Charge of
the United Church of Canada.
Minister: Rev. James Feairs, B. A., M. Div., Retired Supply.
Organist & Choir Leader: Jennifer Pearce-Chambers.
Livestreaming and song leader: Shawn Pearce-Chambers.
May 24, 2020. Sunday of the Ascension. Last of Easter
Livestreaming from Eldad during pandemic precautions.
People’s responses are in bold type.
Song titles, are also links to lyrics (if available).
We Gather with Praise
Call to Worship:
Adoration, reverence, awe, wonder-
All our deepest responses are owed to God,
Glory, power, wisdom, might,
All belong to God.
Honour, blessing, praises sung by legions of angels,
All are given to God.
Thanksgivings that never cease; love that grows with understanding –
These are our gifts. Let us bring them to worship God!
On this last Sunday of this season of Easter, we give you thanks, O God. In the person of Jesus Christ you have given us one like us, yet one completely faithful to your plans and purposes.
So we may have hope as we follow, even in these uncertain and unsettled times, when we cannot worship together as a community of faith.
Bless our worship, that we may have strength and grace for this week; we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Words of Assurance: ‘Lo, I am with you always, even to the close of the age.’ ‘ God is with us; we are not alone; thanks be to God. Amen.’
Life and Work of the Community of Faith
We Encounter God’s Word
Special Music Duet: “In Christ Alone.”
Message: Here’s me, with Mona.
We Respond with Prayer and Thanksgiving
Prayer for Gifts and Givers:
Bless the gifts everyone gives today and this week, O God. Hear the prayers for guidance and grace that are raised across our Region of East Central Ontario. Especially today, bless the work and witness of the minister and people of Keene and Hiawatha United Churches. Keep us mindful of the faith of our first peoples, and the prayers of their elders for the healing of the world in this time. Guide us all with your Spirit, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn: 639. One more step along the world I go.
Bible Study based on scriptures for the above Sunday, May 23, 2020. Sunday of the Ascension.
From your retired supply minister Rev Jim
For all members and friends of Eldad and Hampton United Churches.
Beautiful weather on the Victoria Day weekend just past reminds us that the world and the seasons do keep on turning, however tardy the spring felt, and however caught in the longer and longer holding pattern our society and world have been in, while we as humanity attempt to steer this terrible line between the health and the safety of so many, and the pressing needs of getting our work, our society, and all our lives going again.
Our experience is of being caught in a time between; between what was; the old world of vast travel and trade and commerce and business, and the world that is yet to be, whose new life in all its details is yet to be seen let alone experienced.
So we come to the last of Easter, the Sunday of the Ascension, when the disciples have their last spiritual experience of the presence of their risen Lord Jesus, and will be left – grieving? Joyful? A mixture of both? –until they see what happens next. They are counselled to wait.
How do we wait, in a time between?
As before (you maybe have to work harder at this than in a group where other people do more of the talking!) please actively talk your way through these questions; with a friend over the phone or computer, or in person; or by writing out some thoughts and responses from the story of your own life.
Please read John 16:5-16. Jesus promises a Counselor after he is gone from them.
Starter question: Did I have a favourite teacher, principal, instructor, professor, mentor? One? Many? Do I recall their words on the last day of class; their departure; their going away? My going away? Do I recall my feelings? What were they?
Background: this discourse (longer instruction) of Jesus happens before his suffering and death. Therefore he speaks to the grief they will yet have.
Reflect: Grief is part of being human, isn’t it? Is there any way to prepare for something opposite but never experienced before (16, you will see me again)? What is joy?
Please read Luke 1:1-4, and also Acts 1:1-11, A description of their last experience of the risen Jesus.
Background: The gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are by the same author. ‘Theophilus’ is a common enough name in their time; but it means ‘lover of God’, so it may mean, ‘all of you who read this; all you lovers of God.’
Starter: Do I remember as a child trying to find words to explain myself, and not being able to? Have I as an adult felt the gap between what I experience and how I am able to talk about it?
Content: “Why do you stand here, gazing (staring) upwards?” The early church took first-hand experiences of God as a given. Modern believers may have questions like: what really happened here?
Reflect: How do I experience the holy, the mystery, the reality of God? However mundane some of my days are, have I some glimpse of what comes next?
Blessings! Rev. Jim.