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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

3rd Sunday of Lent ~ March 7, 2021

ORDAINED MINISTER:  Rev. Dexter van Dyke

MUSIC MINISTRY: Ilene wettergreen

Scriptures Reader: Wayne Schlapkohl

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

GATHERING TOGETHER IN CHRIST

Prelude:

Lighting the Christ Candle:

Call to Worship
(Close your eyes, imagine that it is early in the morning, on a summer day, it is still dark, though in the east, there is light, the promise of the day to come. You are sitting in a canoe facing east, you have paddled out a hundred or so meters from the shore, and now you are sitting still, all around you the water is still and flat like a sheet of glass or a mirror, and as you sit you see and feel the suns first rays burst over the horizon. Feel the stone in your hand, its weight, its texture, its temperature, its shape, its size. Imagine the beginning of time in this stone, the shaping forces of the elements on this stone, the wind, the water, the extremes of heat and cold, the stardust in this stone. What if in this stone God is here? What if in this stone, God is here and everywhere in this moment of eternity? Imagine that these stones tells us of God's glory. Take three slow breaths. Taking your time, open your eyes.) Now, whether you have come in person or have joined on line, you are where you are, here, in this moment. To be fully here we must leave behind all that is not here: all your worries, all your cares, all your plans.
     Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Lent- Easter 2015 page 69 adapted)

Hymn:Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty   # 315 VU (Vs. 1, 3 & 4)

1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Gathering Prayer
God of the sun and the moon and the stars, God in the sun and the moon and the stars; God of the heavens and the earth, God in the heavens and the earth; God of the oceans, the rivers and the lakes, God in the oceans, the rivers and the lakes, God of the trees and the rocks; God in the trees and the rocks; everyday, everywhere God; we gather in community to worship and to be renewed in our connection with you and with all things; to be renewed in our connection with each other and within ourselves. As one day speaks to another may we listen and hear you speaking to us through and in all things. We ask in Jesus' name, the word made flesh and come to dwell among us. We join to pray as he taught his first followers to pray and say or softly sing, “Our Father, who art . . .”   Amen.

A Responsive Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 19  # 740 VU
Refrain #2: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.

Hymn:When Long before Time”  # 248 VU  (Vs. 1, 2 & 4)

1. When long before time and the worlds were begun,
when there was no earth and no sky and no sun,
and all was deep silence and night reigned supreme,
and even our Maker had only a dream….

2. …the silence was broken when God sang the Song,
and light pierced the darkness and rhythm began,
and with its first birth-cries creation was born,
and creaturely voices sang praise to the morn.

4. Though, down through the ages, the Song disappeared,
its harmonies broken and almost unheard,
the Singer comes to us to sing it again,
our God is with us in the world now as then.

Lenten and Easter Candle Extinguishing and Rock Liturgy:
Jesus entered the temple and saw how it was being used to oppress the people. The temple was built of rock. Rocks, actual and virtual, can be used to lay foundations and to build structures, physical, organizational and in our minds. Sometimes these rocks can be used to separate people, to create walls that keep people and life from touching us. We place our trust in walls to protect us rather than trusting in God and that God will be with us in our relationships. (the third rock in placed) The rock of trust.

Sung Refrain: #752 VU
To you, O God, I lift my soul, to you I lift my soul.

God of the Lenten journey, as the smoke from this candle rises may it take with it all those things which keep us from risking relationship with you and with others. May we turn away from those things that separate us from you and from others; may we ever turn toward full and open relationships with you and with others. Amen.

Response: May we walk with the Spirit as we journey through this Lenten Season and in all of life
     Written by Jen Dresser Gathering, Lent/Easter 2016 page 67 modified Used with permission

Words of Affirmation:
We are God's beloved - no matter what. Our natural response to God's love, once we've experienced it, is to show more love to God and to God's people, to join with creation in praising God.

Response:O, Sing to Our God” # 241 VU (Vs. 1 Sung twice)
Oh, sing to our God oh, sing out a new song. Oh, sing to our God,
oh, sing out a new song. Oh, sing to our God, oh, sing out a new song.
Oh, sing to our God. Oh, sing to our God.

HEARING GOD'S WORD

Reading from the Book of John: 2: 13 - 22
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written,“Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

A Reading from the Gospel of Exodus 20: 1 - 17
The Ten Commandments

Then God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work-you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Message:Join With All Creation

Hymn:For the Beauty of the Earth”  # 226 VU

1. For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies,
God of all, to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light,
God of all, to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

3. For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild,
God of all, to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For each perfect gift sublime to our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine, flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
God of all, to you we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

WE RESPOND

Gifts of the People

Invitation to Offering:
The ten commandments are given to us as precious gifts, just as worship, laughter, birds in flight, tears, music and companionship are given to us. These gifts are not the goal; these gifts are tools that help us draw closer to what we are truly seeking; a loving relationship with God, with each other and with ourselves. So we share our gifts as part of seeking and celebrating these loving relationships.
     (Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Lent- Easter 2021 page 52 adapted)

Offertory

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.

Prayer:
We bring a portion of what has been entrusted to our care, our stewardship and offer it in support of the work of the church, the body of Christ. Holy Mystery, may what we bring be acceptable just as we have been, by grace, accepted. May it be faithfully used to bring your kingdom, your realm, your vision into being in our world. Amen.

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!


We thank you, God, for your part in the stories of the scriptures that spark the imagination, laws that revive our souls and inform our choices; commandments that nurture and sustain our hearts, and traditions that invite us to hunger and thirst for justice. We thank you for the miracles in our daily lives that renew our spirits and remind us of all that is good: a phone call from a friend with whom you have lost touch, a livestream conversation with a grandchild, a letter, a postcard, a note, the opportunity to gather to worship, music and hymns, the development and now distribution of vaccines that offer protection from the covid-19 corona virus that has been and still is so devastating in so many parts of the world. We are thankful that we can join with nature in offering our praise. We are thankful for the joy that nature's beauty brings to us: for sunrises and sunsets, for the sun and the continuous stream of energy it showers upon us, for the moon, the stars and the northern lights, for snow and rain and rainbows, for plants and flowers. We thank you for coming to us in Christ that we might see you in new and different ways and know the greatness of your love for us and for all of creation. As Jesus struggled with and challenged those things which were abusive and unjust so may we struggle with and challenge those things which abuse and are unjust, racism, sexism, indifference, untruthfulness the obscene disparity between those with wealth and those who are poor and all the systems that support and maintain things as they are. We give thanks for this Lenten journey; may we never forget why we journey and what we are journeying towards. Amen.
     Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Lent- Easter 2021 page 52 adapted)

Lenten Candle Lighting:
We have been given the commandments,
The ten on the mountain.
The three from Jesus lips. The one to go into the world.
How then shall we live?
By seeking justice and resisting evil.
How then shall we live?
With all that we have and all that we are
we will live lives that express God's grace and God's love.
We will open ourselves to the God who is love.
We pray:
Source of all Peace, God who is love,
we open our hearts knowing that it is in us you seek to dwell
May we cast out what needs to be cast out
our rules and regulations that have nothing to do with your love.
May we cast out what needs to be cast out
and be filled with all we need.
As disciples and followers of Jesus,
As dancers in the Spirit,
As sons and daughters of our Creator, we pray. Amen.
     based on material written by Richard Bott Gathering, Lent/Easter 2018 page 29 Used with permission.

Sung Refrain:Refrain # 5 ~ # 840 VU
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”

Closing Hymn:God of the Sparrow # 229 VU (Vs. 1, 3 & 6)

1. God of the sparrow, God of the whale, God of the swirling stars,
How does the creature say Awe How does the creature say Praise?

3. God of the rainbow, God of the cross, God of the empty grave,
How does the creature say Grace How does the creature say Thanks?

6. God of the ages, God near at hand, God of the loving heart,
How do your children say Joy How do your children say Home?

Commissioning/Benediction:
As we are in the world may we always be ready to be kind when others are unkind and to be passionate when others are complacent. Be fearless, for the grace of God, the love of Jesus, and the abiding friendship of the Holy Spirit are with us, now and always. Amen.
     Seasons of the Spirit ,SeasonsFUSION Lent- Easter 2021 page 52 adapted)

Choral Amen - Postlude

Lectionary Reading for Next Sunday, March 14, 2021  Fourth Sunday in Lent  Numbers 21:4-9;  Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22;  Ephesians 2:1-10;  John 3:14-21.

Monthly Congregational Financial
February 28, 2021 Year to Date:

Local Offerings:              $19,346.00
Other Revenue:                   $1330.23
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TOTAL REVENUE:        $20,276.23
TOTAL EXPENSES:       (22,408.82)
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Excess Income/Expenses      ($1,732.59)


March 7, 2021

Jason's Story
There's a saying: “You can't understand another person's experience until you've walked a mile in their shoes.” Today, there are 2,900 active and aspiring ministry personnel in The United Church of Canada, and you have travelled alongside them in their journey. Your gifts through Mission & Service support ministry students every step of the way by helping with education costs and providing financial support. The Rev. Jason Meyers, a new ordinand, didn't grow up in the church. “It was through a series of events that happened in my life, through brokenness and suffering and having the person of Jesus influence how my life was unfolding, that ministry became an option,”he explains. After his son was born, Jason couldn't ignore the call to ministry he had felt for some time. “After Isaiah was baptized, our minister asked me to write Isaiah a letter that he would read when Isaiah is confirmed as a teenager. I started to write things like 'Isaiah, I want you to follow your dreams and follow what God is calling you to do in your life.' I realized that I wasn't doing that in my own life.” The day after writing the letter to his son, Jason walked to a theological college to learn more about ministry education. A few years later, Jason was heading off on another walk, this time to his ordination ceremony. The journey started at Emmanuel College in Toronto and ended in Barrie, Ontario, a two-week, 225-kilometre-long spiritual pilgrimage. As he walked, Jason reflected on his journey with God and prepared himself spiritually for ordination and ministry. That was in 2019. Since then, what has surprised Jason most about ministry is his expanding capacity to love. “I thought that when my kids were born, that was kind of the size my heart would be, but I've come to love the church, the people, and the vocation of ministry more deeply than I ever imagined. I'm so thankful that Jesus reached into my life and invited me on this journey with him,” he says. And what would Jason say to those whose generosity has supported his journey to ordination through Mission & Service? “"I'd say it's worth it. The church is alive and vibrant, and it's worth investing in. The leaders are working hard and are bringing the best of themselves into the ministry, into the church, and into the world.”
Please give a gift through Mission & Service. Through your gifts, you show you care about quality ministry leadership. Thanks to your generosity, love is there, training and supporting leaders every step of the way.

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.