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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!

Background Music: “All Praise The God Of Harvest
Third Avenue United Church Choir

Order of Worship

The Fourth Sunday in the Season of Creation/River Sunday
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost ~ September 27, 2020

ORDAINED MINISTER:  Rev. Dexter van Dyke

MUSIC MINISTRY:   Ilene Wettergreen


Time of Celebration - Birthdays & Anniversaries
Announcements: The Life and Work of the Congregation


Lighting of the Christ Candle:

Invitation to Worship:
Welcome! Welcome to those who are here in person and welcome to those who are listening on our web-site. The Spirit moved over the water and life emerged from the deep.
We are drawn to the well-spring, drawn to the water of life.
May we who are gathered to worship drink deeply from the lifegiving river of God. We gather in this place to be refreshed and renewed.
     (Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Season of Creation Pentecost 2 2014 page 72)

Opening Hymn:Shall We Gather at the River # 710 VU

1. Shall we gather at the river, where bright angel feet have trod;
with its crystal tide forever flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we'll gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river;
gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.

2. Ere we reach the shining river, lay we every burden down;
grace our spirits will deliver, and provide a robe and crown.

3. Soon we'll reach the shining river, soon our pilgrimage will cease,
soon our happy hearts will quiver with the melody of peace.

Gathering Prayer and the Lord's Prayer (# 921 VU ~ Speaking):
God of living water, flowing river and gurgling stream; God who is living water, flowing river and gurgling stream, all of life, indeed all of creation dwells in intimate relationship with you. As is our pattern, our habit, we gather in community this day, both in person and online, to welcome and to be welcomed, to include and to be included, to praise and to pray, to worship. May what we share this day refresh and renew us like a stream of lifegiving water that we might become streams of lifegiving water bubbling over with the fullness of life. May each cell of our bodies carry enough hope and passion to care for the rivers of the earth. As followers of Jesus may we become crystal clear rivers bringing cups of comfort, acceptance, healing and joy to all whose spirits thirst; all who wait in loneliness and fear. We ask in Jesus' name joining to pray as he taught and saying,“ Our Father, who art in heaven . . . Amen”.

A Reading from the book of Revelation: 32: 1 - 5
The River of Life
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Time with the Young & the Young at Heart:

Hymn:“Spirit Dancing” # 388 VU

1. Spirit dancing on the waters, sun reflecting song of grace calling life
to all the creatures, giving life to human race.

2. Spirit dancing on the waters, naming moment they should part,
giving freedom to the peoples, signed for all in dancer's art.

3. Spirit dancing on the waters, paradox of womb and grave, welcome
now the Word child's coming, no one prisoner, no one slave.

4. Spirit dancing on the waters, can the dance by cross be stilled?
Earth be shaken! Dead awaken! What was emptied shall be filled.

5. Spirit dancing on the waters, give your people their new birth,
healing, loving one another in community with earth.

6. Spirit dancing on the waters, we would come and dance with you
'til our world is filled with music and in Christ all things are new.

A Bidding Prayer of Confession:
May we be filled //when we are empty.
May we be washed clean//when we are careless..
When we are selfish //spill over our edges.
May the ripple of gentle ponds//calm us when we are frightened.
May it rain in our hearts//when we are dry.
May the rocks that bind and block our faithfulness//be rolled away..
When we are asleep//may we be awakened by crystal clear droplets..
When we have forgotten or no longer hear the call// may healing water once again flow in and through us..
     (Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Season of Creation Pentecost 2 2014 page 73 adapted)

Words of Affirmation:
Friends the One who calls us into life and new life sends the Spirit to renew the Earth. We are surrounded by love and grace. Live in thankfulness and praise.

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

A Responsive Reading from the Psalms: 104: Part 2: 24 - 35
Bless, O my soul, the Almighty, who rules all creation.

O God, how manifold are your works!
With Wisdom at your side you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Refrain

There lies the great and mighty Sea, teeming with living things both great and small.
Upon it sail the ships, and there is Leviathan, the monster you made to play in it.
All these look to you, to give them their food in due season.
What you give them they gather up. When you open your hand, you fill them with good things.
But when you hide your face they despair. When you take away their breath, they die, and return to dust.
But when you send out your spirit, they live again, and you renew the face of the earth. Refrain

May your glory, O God, endure forever.
May you rejoice, O God, in your works.
When you look at the earth it trembles,
when you touch the mountains they smoke.
I will sing to God as long as I live.
I will praise my God while I have being.  Refrain


A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew: 28: 1 - 10.
The Resurrection of Jesus
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Message:  “A River Runs Through It

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.

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

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

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.


Gifts of the People

Invitation to Offering:
There is “Good News”. God is love and loves us and the whole of creation, with a love that is without boundaries or limits. God invites us to respond in faith, to be good stewards of great resources, to live responsibly and responsively, to share love and grace. So, let us make our offering this day including the offering of hands, hearts and lives.
     (based on an invitation written by Beth W. Johnston. Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2020 page 42 Used with permission.)

Doxology: “Grant Us, God, the Grace” (Tune # 540 VU)
Grant us, God, the grace of giving, with a spirit large and free,
that ourselves and all our living we may offer faithfully.

God of transformation, we give thanks for your continued promise to care for and sustain all of creation. May we follow your example and along with the offering of ourselves and our gifts, give expression, by what we say and do, to our concerns and care for one another and all of creation. Amen.
     (Seasons of the Spirit SeasonsFussio2020 , Season of Creation Pentecost 2 page 68 adapted)

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 )

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, you are the source of life, you offer us your love and healing so that we help to repair all that which is broken in our world and in our lives. Hear our prayers for healing. Amen.

Closing Hymn:I've Got Peace like a River #577 VU

1. I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river in-a my soul.

2. I've got joy like a fountain, I've got joy like a fountain,
I've got joy like a fountain in-a my soul.

3. I've got love like an ocean, I've got love like an ocean,
I've got love like an ocean, in-a my soul.

*Commissioning - Benediction - Choral Amen: # 967 VU
We are a sacred part of God's creation. God cares for us and is with us in times of abundance and scarcity. Just as water flows endlessly from the river of life may we go from this time and share God's great love to all of creation, especially our rivers, lakes and oceans.
     (Seasons of the Spirit SeasonsFussio2020 , Season of Creation Pentecost 2 page 68 adapted)

Threefold Amens:  #967 VU (We ask that people remain standing (those that are able) until the Christ Candle is extinguished.)

Lectionary Reading for Next Sunday, October 4, 2020  Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost:  Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20;  Psalm 19;  Philippians 3:4b-14;  Matthew 21:33-46.


Thanksgiving Sunday is fast approaching. In pre-covid-19 times a part of our celebration and worship, initiated by the Sunday School, involved bringing gifts of food to be shared with the wider community through the Food Bank. The needs of the Food Bank and the community have not changed. So, we are inviting you to bring gifts of canned or cardboard packaged food to the church either on Sundays or through the week starting on October 4th. If you are donating through the week you might want to call the church office before you come just to make sure someone is here to let you in. We will continue to collect until October 18th World Food Day.

September 27, 2020

Bissell Centre Offers Hope and Housing Help
Our Mission & Service grants for community ministries like Bissell Centre's Outreach Housing Team offers hope for a safer, more prosperous future to many people like Joe. Joe had been living on the streets when he first moved to Edmonton to be closer to his children. His first visit to Bissell Centre was for a shower and clean clothing. Afterward, he found a group of people sleeping under a gazebo together, using an electric blanket covered by a tarp to keep warm at night. “We slept under there, huddled together, just hoping to wake up in the morning,” he said.
But after being robbed and left to freeze one night, Joe needed to make a change. Bissell Centre's support workers helped him find an affordable apartment and piece his life back together. “There were some nights when I wasn't sure if I'd survive. If it wasn't for Bissell Centre, I'd probably have frozen out there”, he says. “But now, I'm okay. I have my kids and family back, and I have a lot of support. And I have a beautiful home to call my own.” He has a job, and he volunteers at the Centre to give back to the community. None of this would have been possible without Mission & Service.
With additional support from Gifts with Vision, over 45 people housed through Bissell Centre's Outreach Housing Team were given a gift when they moved into new housing last year; items such as pots and pans, utensils, and linens made them feel more at home. Funds were also used to purchase bus tickets to help people get to apartment viewings, secure new identification, or obtain a criminal record check.
If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

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.