Mar.’20 Webcasts

March – “Live” Sunday Service Webcasts

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March 29, 2020 – Message: ​“Be Still”

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.

MINISTER’S MESSAGE: “Be Still…“

Psalm:46. God is our refuge and strength…Be Still and know that I am God.
Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30. Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…

Be still, and know that I am God

Prayer: All good things have to be learned then practiced; help us O God, to practice stillness in your presence. Amen.

Prologue:
Last week, we talked, from the scripture, about the profound change we are going through. That change in perception, forced on us by these virus prevention practices.
We found that we were comfortable before, thinking, we are one of us.
And then very uncomfortable, having to think:
we are one of them. Even if only potentially.
Stay away. Keep away. Stay home.

Largest democracy in the world, India, locked down.
The City of Light, Paris, shut down.
People having to make difficult choices.
I read in the paper of one pretty young Parisienne who was having to choose which of her boyfriends she would spend the time with. The horror…. [Nat Post, 25 march/20]

I pray that you are doing well; that you and your family and friends are keeping in touch and helping each other.
And that all who are suddenly impacted at this time, especially with jobs lost, will soon be receiving some concrete help to get through these next times.

Two universal human experiences in difficult times, are the twin experiences of waiting, and of hoping.
Of having to wait.
And of needing, while waiting, to have something to hope for.
What do we do – while we are waiting?

Can we remind ourselves, as people of faith, that we have another question.
It is not just, what do we hope for?
It is also: Who do we hope in? In whom do we hope?

Be still, and know that I am God.
That is the line I picked out, from Psalm 46 today.
One simple line.
Today, I am just going to take that line in shorter and shorter bits, and at the end, I am going to invite you to make it your mantra, your prayer to say over and over again, for peace, this week.

Be still, and know, that I am God.
If that sounds like an order, it is.
In the original setting, the voice of God commands all the armies of all the nations of the known world to cease their fighting; to come to attention; and pay attention, and just be quiet and at peace.
And in the world-wide quiet, acknowledge One God above and beyond them all.
Right now we have Chief Medical Officers trying to get the whole world’s attention, not for the sake of peace, but of healing. They are finding it is not easy.

Many are chafing. Superficially bored. Deeply worried.
How many are finding this an opportunity to ask: What is really important?

Be still, and know that – I AM.

Do we remember that I AM is God’s name? Remember in the desert, Moses, stopped in his tracks by the presence of God at the burning bush?
God gives Moses a mission to free God’s people. Moses says, what do I call you? What is your name? God responds: tell them I AM has sent you.
That is my name.

I AM. That is, pure being, in the present.
Infinite life – – in the eternal now.
Not I was, not I will be. I AM.
When we begin to be still, we begin to know the presence of the one who is: I AM.

Be still, and know.
Here is the hard part. When we calm ourselves in the presence of God, we begin to know.
We begin not only to hear the weeping of the world., but to feel the sorrow of the world.

We cannot draw closer to God without taking on a little more of God’s own nature.

I don’t know what God calls it; but we call it compassion. The ability to feel more deeply, and be more deeply part of, all life, and so inevitably, the suffering of all life beyond our self, as well as the joy.
Multiply that today by the number of 24 hour news channels that are competing for maximum eyes on their particular telecast of our latest disaster, and you easily get overwhelmed.
Be still, and know. But we can only stand knowing so much.
What to do?
Again, what does our Psalm say:

Be still
That was an order.
But it is also an invitation, isn’t it?
Because isn’t it only in stillness that the individual can know peace?
You as a parent or teacher or grandparent, may have learned the gentle skill of saying “Be still” as an invitation that calms a child, rather than as an order that increases their upset and resistance.
Be still . It is God’s invitation, to rest, and to be at peace, in the middle of things.

Be. Just be. At this time we have been forced to cease our busyness for a while. We cannot pretend that it was all purposeful and necessary.
Be, says the Psalm.
Also an invitation.

A song in our hymn book, 374, says, come and find the quiet centre.
“Come and find the quiet centre, in the crowded life we lead;
Find the room for hope to enter; find the frame where we are freed. Clear the chaos, and the clutter. Clear our eyes, that we might see, all the things that really matter. Be at peace, and simply be.”

Do you remember as a child, turning and turning on those small merry go rounds in the park? Whirling and going faster and faster. We used to notice something. They were small enough that if you leaned your head way out, you could feel yourself going faster and faster. But if you leaned your head way in, to near the center, it all slowed down.
Come and find the quiet centre.

You could make Psalm 46 your prayer this week. Just pray it in shorter and shorter bits.
Let’s do that know, and then say the Lord’s Prayer together, and close for this week.

Be still, and know that I am God…
Be still, and know that I AM…
Be still, and know….
Be still…
Be.

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, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessings to all this week, through Christ our lord, Amen.



March 22, 2020 – Message: ​“Living In A Time Between”

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.

March 22, 2020

Note: You may wish to skip forward approx. 8 mins to where the service starts, see tips below video on how to do this.

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ORDER OF SERVICE

WE GATHER WITH PRAISE

Gospel Jam
Song: Fight The Good Fight
Song: Will Your Anchor Hold?

Call to Worship

Prayer of Praise and Confession

Words of Assurance

Life and Work of the Community of Faith

Sharing-Story-Song Time: Song: Spirit of Life

WE ENCOUNTER GOD’S WORD

First Reading: Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd

Letter: Philippians 4:4-9: Pray in all circumstances, and focus on what is good

The Gospel of Luke 17: 11-19: He was isolated by illness, then helped by grace and his own faith

Song: Let there be light

Message: Living in a time between

WE RESPOND WITH PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING

Song: The Lord’s My Shepherd

Prayer for Gifts and Giving

Prayers of the People

The Lord’s Prayer

Closing Hymn

Benediction