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THIRD AVENUE UNITED CHURCH
1301 - 102nd Street
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, S9A 1G4


Who are we? We are a community of faith, known as Third Avenue United Church, who have adopted and prayerfully put into words and deeds what we believe to be our Mission in this community and in the world, and that is: We seek to love and care for God’s creation through worship and service in Christian community.
W E L C O M E
Thank you for worshipping with us today!

Order of Worship

September 19, 2021  10:30 a.m.
The Third Sunday in the Season of Creation - Sky Sunday
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

ORDAINED MINISTER:  Rev. Dexter van Dyke

MUSIC MINISTRY: Ilene Wettergreen

Scriptures Reader: Barb Hoover

GATHERING TOGETHER IN CHRIST

Prelude: 

Announcements: The Life and Work of the Congregation Birthdays and Anniversaries

Lighting the Christ Candle

Call to Worship:
Through sunshine and shadow; through torrent, lightning and thunder; through fog and flurries, through breeze and bluster; through cloudless and clear, through rain and rainbows, God's love will remain. Through all that life brings, in all that life brings, God's love will remain. Come let us celebrate the God who is love. Come let us worship God.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonFusion Season of Creation Pentecost 2 2021 page 48 adapted)

Opening Hymn:God, We Praise You for the Morning  # 415 VU (Vs. 1 - 4)
1. God, we praise you for the morning; hope springs forth with each new day,
new beginning, pray, and promise, joy in work and in play.

2. God, we praise you for creation, mountains, seas, and prairie land.
Waking souls find joy and healing in your bountiful hand.

3. God, we praise you for compassion, all the loving that you show;
human touching, tears, and laughter, help your children to grow.

4. God, we praise you for your Spirit, Comforter and daily friend,
restless searcher, gentle teacher, strength and courage you send.

Opening Prayer and the Lord's Prayer  (# 960 VU)
Creator God, God who is love, we believe it is your desire to be in relationship with us and for us to be awestruck and filled with wonder by your beauty. When we look outward and upward, we see that beauty and wonder in the sky, often at times of sunrise and sunset but also through the day and in the night. We look into the blue of a clear sky and catch a glimpse of infinity. We look into the night sky and see the stars, that we know are larger than our sun but from our perspective are pin points of twinkling light; and we feel very small in a very large universe. We see the moon in its various phases and see the dancing northern lights and we wonder, who we are that You have regard for us. May what we share in worship renew our connection with You, God, with each other, and with the whole of creation. We ask these and all our prayers in Jesus' name joining to pray as he taught and saying, " “Our Father, . . .”.  Amen.

A Reading from the book of Jerimiah: 4: 23 - 28
I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. For thus says the LORD: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back.

Time with the Young and the Young at Heart:

Hymn: “Creating God, Your Fingers Trace” #265 VU
1. Creating God, your fingers trace
the bold designs of farthest space;
let sun and moon and stars and light
and what lies hidden praise your might.

2. Sustaining God, your hands uphold
earth's mysteries known or yet untold;
let waters fragile blend with air,
enabling life, proclaim your care.

3. Redeeming God, your arms embrace
all now despised for creed or race;
let peace, descending like a dove,
make known on earth your healing love.

4. Indwelling God, your gospel claims
one family with a billion names;
let every life be touched by grace
until we praise you face to face.

Prayer for Renewal: (based on Jeremiah 4: 23 - 28)
Jeremiah was a prophet who lived a long time ago. A prophet is someone who reminds people to live according to God's ways. Jeremiah lived during a dangerous and hard time. He tried to help people stay faithful in the midst of all their difficulties. Jeremiah, what do you see?
Jeremiah: I see lands made barren and dry. I see the heavens made dark.
Jeremiah, why do you see this?
Jeremiah: God's people have forgotten who they are.
Jeremiah, what do you see?
Jeremiah: I see mountains quaking, I see empty skies with no birds anywhere, I see ruins where once there were cities.
Jeremiah, why do you see this?
Jeremiah: God's people have forgotten who they are, and now it is time for them to remember.
Jeremiah reminded people long ago of what they had forgotten.
Jeremiah's words remind us of what we forget. When lands turn barren, when skies are empty of wings, when cities become ruins: we have forgotten that we are God's people. (silent time for reflection) It is time for us to remember. It is time for us to remember. Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonFusion Season of Creation Pentecost 2 2021 page 49 adapted)

Words of Affirmation: : (based on Philippians 2: 15 - 16)
Many years after Jeremiah, but still a long time ago, Paul - a follower of Jesus tried to help people remember. Paul what are you writing?
Paul: A letter to God's people.
Paul, what are you saying to them?
Paul: I tell them to hold fast to the word of life, that they might shine like bright stars in the sky.
We will hold fast to God's word of life.
We will remember that we are God's people.
And may you each shine like a bright star in the sky.  Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonFusion Season of Creation Pentecost 2 2021 page 48 adapted)

Halle, Halle, Halle: Sing Twice  # 958 VU {Please Stand}
HALLE, HALLE, HALLELUYAH, HALLE, HALLE, HALLELUYAH
HALLE, HALLE, HALLELUYAH, HALLELUYAH, HALLELUYAH.

A Reading from the Psalms: 19   # 732 VU (Refrain 2)
Refrain:
Glory and praise to God whose word brings life!


The heavens declare the glory of God; and the vault of the sky reveals God's handiwork.
One day speaks to another, and night shares its knowledge with night,
and this without speech or language; their voices are not heard.
But their sound goes out to all the lands. Their words to the ends of the earth.   Refrain
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun which comes out like a bridegroom from under the canopy, like an athlete eager to run the race.
Its rising is at one end of the sky, it runs its course to the other, and there is nothing that is hidden from its heat  Refrain.
God's law is perfect, refreshing the soul;
God's instruction is sure, giving wisdom to the simple;
God's precepts are right, rejoicing the heart;
God's commandment is pure giving light to the eyes;
God's fear is clean, enduring forever;
God's judgements are true, every one of them righteous;
more desirable than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey, pure honey from the comb.   Refrain
By them is your servant warned;
for in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern unwitting sins?
O cleanse me from my secret faults.
Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the better of me.
Then shall I be clean and innocent of great offence.   Refrain
All:  Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God, my strength and my redeemer.

A Reading from the Gospel of Mark:  15: 33 - 39
The Death of Jesus
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land[a] until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he[c] breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God's Son!”

HEARING GOD'S WORD

Message: “Look to the Sky”

Hymn:I, the Lord of Sea and Sky”  # 509 VU
Refrain:
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.


1. I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send?  Refrain

2. I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people's pain,
I have wept for love of them; they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them. Whom shall I send?   Refrain

3. I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame,
I will set a feast for them; my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them. Whom shall I send?   Refrain

WE RESPOND TO GOD'S WORD

Gifts of the People

Invitation to the Offering
Gracious God, we thank you for your many gifts to us: The unfolding of day and night; the smell of a meal being prepared; the voice of a friend greeting us; the feel of a cool breeze against our cheeks. These and so many more, fill our days. We now offer these gifts in response as a sign of our gratitude and a gesture of our love. Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonsFusion, Pentecost 2 2021 page 50 adapted)

Offertory:

Doxology:For the Gift of Creation  (Tune # 538 VU)
For the gift of creation, the gift of your love,
and the gift of the Spirit by which we live,
we thank you and give you the fruit of our hands.
May your grace be proclaimed by the gifts that we give.

Prayer
Generous God, your love and grace sustain us day by day. May we receive these gifts with gratitude and make our own offerings with the same generosity you have shown us. Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonsFusion, Pentecost 2 2021 page 38 )

Sharing our Joys and Concerns  (if the joy or concern you wish to bring is not your own please seek the agreement of the person to whom it belongs before bringing it on their behalf )

A Reading of the Hymn:Called by Earth and Sky

Prayers of the People: (# 400 VU Lord Listen to Your Children Praying)
Lord, listen to your children praying,
Lord, send your Spirit in this place;
Lord, listen to your children praying,
send us love, send us power, send us grace!

God who is love, Lord of sea and sky, Holy Mystery, along with Jeremiah, we lament the destruction of earth and sky. We pray for all the people and places that suffer the effects of climate change; for communities where the air is unbreathable; for neighbourhoods filled with smoke and ash; for those who lost loved ones and those who lost their homes and livelihoods to this summer's wild fires; we remember those grieve the lives lost in the heat waves; and we pray for those who live in climate change induced despair or depression. Great Creator may we come to see, the lifestyle changes we need to make that will allow creation to flourish; how to reduce our carbon footprint; how to care for Earth and Sky and all creatures therein; how to use our voices to advocate for climate action. We continue to look to the sky, the movement of the earth, the clouds, the moon, the planets and the stars. We celebrate the Mystery and the wonder that is all around us. God, who is love, hear our concerns and our dreams; hear our deep desire to reflect and express your love to each other, and all of creation. Hear us as we say we love you and we love the sky and all of your Creation Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonsFusion, Pentecost 2 2021 page 50 adapted)

Closing Hymn:I See a New Heaven” # 713 VU
Refrain:
I see a new heaven, I see a new earth as the old one will pass away,
where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land.


1. There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,
yielding her fruit, firm in her root, The Tree of Life will be.
Refrain

2. There, there where death dies and our lives are born again,
body and soul, struggling but whole like flowers after the rain.
Refrain

3. There, there where the darkness brings visions from above.
There where the night, bearing new light, reveals the promise of love.
Refrain

4. There, there where we work with the love of healing hands.
Labour we must, true to our trust to build a promised new land.
Refrain

Commissioning - Benediction:
Grace to you and peace. May the rain of kindness fall upon you. May each cloud spark your imagination. May the star's light give you strength. May the bright blue sky bring you peace.
     (Seasons of the Spirit , SeasonsFusion, Pentecost 2 2021 page 50

Choral Amen - Postlude:

Lectionary for Next Sunday - Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost,
September 26, 2021:

         Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22;  Psalm 124;
         James 5:13-20;  Mark 9:38-50.

Monthly Congregational Financial
August 31, 2021 Year to Date:

Local Offerings:              $76,528.00
Other Revenue:                 $9,990.06
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TOTAL REVENUE:        $86,518.06
TOTAL EXPENSES:       ($89,805.42)
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Excess Income/Expenses      ($3,287.36)


September 5, 2021

Every Person Is a Superhero: Esbikenh's Story
Esbikenh was once a junior kindergarten teacher. While he grew up knowing his ancestral language, Anishinaabemowin, sadly the children he taught didn't.
"One day I turned on YouTube and saw superhero videos. I thought, 'Why not make these videos and we will just have all the superheroes speak in Anishinaabemowin?'" he says.
Esbikenh applied for a project grant from the United Church's Healing Fund, which is nearly entirely funded through your Mission & Service gifts. With financial support secured, his filming has begun. When the videos are finished, they will be an educational resource for anyone who wants to learn the Anishinaabemowin language. This project is one way we are living out the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, which include reclaiming, revitalizing, strengthening, and maintaining Indigenous languages.
Through Mission & Service, your gifts help repair harm and extend hope. Thank you!

CHILDREN'S AREA
A table with books, pictures to color or draw your own, and crayons are at the back of the Sanctuary for children to use if they wish.


FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF UPCOMING EVENTS AT THIRD AVENUE UNITED CHURCH, SEE THE “HAPPENINGS” TAB ON THE CHURCH WEBSITE.