At Home Worship

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APRIL 5, 2020, Palm Sunday

  

April 5, 2020   3855 St. Peter Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2J 2N7
    * indicates when to stand Palm Sunday  

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem


Candle of Hope  (set a plant, or candle on table)


Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Keep me burning till the break of day.
 

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
  sing hosanna to the King of kings!
  Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
  sing hosanna to the King!
 

Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. X 2
Give me love in my heart, I pray.

Give me joy in my soul, keep me singing. X 2
Give me joy in my soul, I pray.

*  I have decided to follow Jesus x 3
    no turning back, no turning back.
 
  The world behind me, the cross before me x 3
 no turning back, no turning back.

  

*646 We   are marching in the light of God,

we   are marching in the light of God.

We   are marching in the light of God,

we   are marching in the light of God.

(the   light of God.)

We   are marching, (marching, we are marching,)

oo-oo,   (marching,)

we   are marching in the light of God.

(the   light of God.)

We   are marching, (marching, we are marching,)

oo-oo,   (marching,)

we   are marching in the light of God.


 *Call   to Worship:
This is the sixth step   on our Lenten journey, the step of faith.
 Be with us, Lord, as we   take this step.
This requires devotion.
 Be with us, Lord, as we   seek your Kingdom.
Come, let us join the worship and praise.
 Open my spirit to what God   is doing this Sabbath.
The journey continues.
 Help me walk with you.


  357 Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,

things I would ask him to tell me if he were here:

scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,

stories of Jesus, tell them to me.


First let me hear how the children stood round his   knee,

and I shall fancy his blessing resting on me;

words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,

all in the lovelight of Jesus' face.


Into the city I'd follow the children's band,

waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand;

one of his heralds, yes, I would sing

loudest hosannas! Jesus is king!

 

 Offertory Anthem:   The Holy City

Last night I lay asleeping
  There came a dream so fair
  I stood in old Jerusalem
  Beside the temple there
  I heard the children singing
    And ever as they sang
    Methought the voice of Angels
   From Heaven in answer rang
  "Jerusalem, Jerusalem!
  Lift up your gates and sing,
  Hosanna in the highest.
  Hosanna to your King!"

And then methought my dream was chang'd
   The streets no longer rang
  Hushed were the glad Hosannas
  The little children sang

The sun grew dark with mystery
 The morn was cold and chill
As the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill
    "Jerusalem, Jerusalem!
  Hark! How the Angels sing,
  Hosanna in the highest,
  Hosanna to your King!"

And once again the scene was changed
New earth there seemed to be
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea
The light of God was on its streets
The gates were open wide
And all who would might enter
 And no one was denied
No need of moon or stars by night
Or sun to shine by day
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away
  "Jerusalem! Jerusalem
  Sing for the night is o'er
  Hosanna in the highest
  Hosanna for evermore!"

 

*Offertory Hymn:  

Everything I am   Every song I sing

Everything I’ll be   Every praise I bring

I give it to You Lord   Everything I do

 And do it thankfully   is a gift to You.
 

Time for Growing Souls: 

The Scroll  word for today:

Hosanna… Save, Rescue, Help   

Who do you ask for help?  HOSANNA  


The word "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah" (from Hebrew הללויה)
 literally means   "Praise the Lord".


 Jesus knows that well timed praise can change a life.

 Save a life. Save Us.


 Take time to pray today …. For help.
 Then praise the lord today as well. 


 Matthew 21:1-11
21 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.[a]” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you,
   humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of
 a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd[b] spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
 “Hosanna to the Son of David!
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
 Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


 Hallelu! Hallelu! Hallelu! Hallelujah!
   Praise ye the Lord!
  Hallelu! Hallelu! Hallelu! Hallelujah!
  Praise ye the Lord!
  Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah!
  Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah!
  Praise ye the Lord! Hallelujah!
  Praise ye the Lord!


*Hymn  123 Hosanna, Loud Housanna


1 Hosanna, loud hosanna

the happy children sang;

through pillared court and temple 

the joyful anthem rang;

to Jesus, who had blessed them

close folded to his breast,

the children sang their praises,

the simplest and the best.

2 From Olivet they followed

'mid an exultant crowd,

the victory palm branch waving,

and singing clear and loud;

the Lord of earth and heaven

rode on in lowly state,

content that little children

should on his bidding wait.

3 'Hosanna in the highest!'

That ancient song we sing,

for Christ is our Redeemer;

earth, let your anthems ring.

O may we ever praise him

with heart and life and voice,

and in his humble presence 

eternally rejoice!


  Palm Sunday Sermon



Now is a time when we need to take what we learned before,

from “Vegitales,” or “Schreck”

or your grandparents stories,
  your experience,

   all those books and movies,

  even the Bible itself,

and sort through to figure out what 

  is helpful

 now.

 Lots of people are quick to tell you what isn’t,

           But even a donkey should know that.


All images

in their time and place 

were not this time or place.

But we remember some of them. 


Some,

others have been written down or recorded for us.

We tucked them away for …

    maybe today.


There are opportunities in every situation that we recall from the stories of others

or our own, 

to learn from.

The images are not all fun and games, 

        there were tragedies before.


We learn from how things were planned or not;

how we won 

and lost 

before.

What do we remember of those experiences of before?

What causes us to think about those things now?

I wonder ?


Why?


Why are we thinking of…

A donkey?


There is an image some are recalling 

Of Jesus on a donkey.

What does that have to do with our lives today?


Well,  

it may be best to ponder that yourself.

in your own situation.


I wonder if we tell that story year after year,

from generation to generation,

to see the need for celebrations

when we can.


  Perhaps that is enough to learn 

  Isn’t it?


Or, And 

To celebrate

Jesus entering into our day,

Our lives.


I wonder if I understand it differently today, 

that Jesus wants to enter into our lives, 

To meet us where we are…

In our cities, 

in the country

In our homes 

In our pajamas.

The real us.

Not the high, felutin, (is that even a word) us.

The real Jesus.

Not the one out there,

once upon a time.

The real Jesus 

with us

with the real me.

The real You.


Life moves so quick 

We seem to lose control of ourselves.

A donkey is not a royal, high horse, 

ready to jump whatever is in the way.

A donkey is about slowing it down.

Whatever it is.

Slowing it down.


And like that old children’s song… 

You cant go over it. You cant go round it,

You gotta go through it.

Donkeys go through.


With a purpose.


Not only to survive on their own,

but to protect.


It can be comforting to ponder the image

of my saviour coming to me on a donkey…

or is he walking with me 

or am I the donkey.


Wherever you are in this story

It doesn’t begin with this image 

And it doesn’t end here.

There are battles and love stories,

Death and resurrection,

Salvation and new beginnings

for us

To recall, experience, 

In our story of now.


But we are pondering this story now

  Noticing it now, 

   Even in our disbelief, 

because we are wondering…


Where God is in all this?


He is already here.

He entered in on a donkey while we were still looking for something else.


Take notice of the people

who humble themselves 

to be where you are

or

Where you need them to be.


Celebrate by honouring 

what is happening in front of you,

What you have come to trust:

healing, caring, leadership, self giving.


Humble yourself 

Enough

To lay down something of what you once thought was so important,

Today 

So that we might ponder the kingdom… 

So that we might tell the rest of our story…

Differently.


Humble yourself for a moment 

Before God.


Palm Sunday prayers 

Wave in the breeze that blows over us,

Reach the tallest heights,

Settle on the place where we are

Humbly, nurturing, 

new life.


In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit

Blessings be revealed among us all.

Rev. Harvey Tobey 


120  O Jesus, I have promisedto serve you to the end;

remain for ever near me, my Saviour and my friend:

I shall not fear the journey if you are by my side,

nor wander from the pathway if you will be my guide.


O let me feel you near me: the world is ever near;

I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;

my foes are ever near me, around me and within;

but, Jesus, then draw nearer and shield my soul from sin.


O let me hear you speaking in accents clear and still,

above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;

now speak, and make me listen, O guardian of my soul.


O Jesus, you have promised to all who follow you,

that where you are in glory your servant shall be too.

And Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;

O give me grace to follow, my Saviour and my friend.

A Place Of Worship

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Someone  will greet you for Sunday worship at either the St. Peter Avenue  entrance (up the main steps) or as you enter from St. John Street (the  glass doors with wheelchair accessible elevator). Hearing assistance is  available at the console near the St. Peter Avenue entrance inside the  main sanctuary.  Ushers will assist you in finding a seat as well as  provide you with an order of service bulletin.
 

The Sanctuary is designed and furnished to enable worship.    The congregation sits  in pews that face forward to the Cross of Christ, our Saviour Jesus was  Crucified on a cross but rose again in three days.  Between you and the  cross is the Baptismal Font and the Communion Table. These are symbols  of the only two Sacraments of our church.  Sacraments are celebrations  of God’s giving of God’s Self as it has been already revealed through  Jesus Christ. Outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual  grace of God.  


The Baptismal Font is  where we  welcome all people into God’s family through prayer and symbolically  washing with the simple gift of water just as Christ washed away the sin  of humanity. Baptism is celebrated at various times through the year  during Sunday morning worship.  


 The Communion Table,  often called the Lord’s Table, is central to our faith.  Jesus shared  bread and wine with his followers to remind them of the need of  forgiveness which is given through the grace of God.   Celebration of  Communion is held 5 or 6 times a year with prior notice. 

 

A Bible, a Cross and a Candle of Hope are the only items normally left on the communion table for regular  worship.  These are symbolic of: the Word of God,  the Saviour,  the  Light of the World. The cup and plate, for bread and grape juice,  dedicated here in appreciation of the pastoral ministry of Rev. & Mrs.  Hommersen, are symbolic of the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ  for the unity of all God’s people. Flowers are usually donated by an  individual or family who want to celebrate or remember someone’s life.  They are placed at the front of the church acknowledging the beautiful  gift of God in all creation.   The lectern facing you on the left is commonly known as a pulpit, that is  where the minister speaks and leads worship and where the Word of God is read from the Biblical scripture. Members of the congregation will often assist  in the worship.  The sanctuary is often filled with the music of  our pipe organ, piano, bell or chime choirs, the voices of adult, youth or children's choirs, praise team, solos  and your voice.  All add to the praise and grace of  worship. The choir faces you and offers anthems, blessings and  leadership in our singing.  There is always room for you in a choir!  We  are blessed with many talented voices and musicians. The words of many of the songs we sing  together are found in Hymn Books called Voices United and are available  at your seat with music or in larger print, words only. Today you can often just follow the words on the projection screen.  


Offering plates  will be passed during the service to collect your offering to the work  of Christ’s church locally as well as any gift to the national church’s  Mission and Service fund.  Visitors are our guests and not expected to make an offering. As you decide to join us on a more regular basis,  envelopes are available at your seat and upon request. Numbered  envelopes better enable tax receipts which are issued once each year.  You can also sign up for PAR, preauthorised  remittance.  


Canadian  and United Nations flags, stained glass, plaques and the pipe organ all are part of the history of our church which remembers the sacrifice and  generosity of those who have gone before us, leading us to this day.     Following  worship every Sunday you are welcome into the gym where coffee, tea and  juice are served.  This is a social time of meeting and getting to know  the people who worship with you.There is often opportunity to pick up  books, movies or sign up for events.  


WORSHIP (*) indicates when to stand if you are able.  The order is usually similar each week but a printed bulletin or the projection screen will guide you through with any changes to the routine. 

  

 During  July and August regular services are held. Junior congregation is  offered by one teacher to all young children who prefer to gather  together.   A family service is a time for you and your church  family to worship together for the full service. On holiday Sundays we  normally will adjust worship to be of interest to all ages. These  services are usually less formal and often involve more active  participation. Nursery is usually available at any time throughout the  service on these Sundays for children 5 and under.  


BAPTISM This  Sacrament is always celebrated at a Sunday morning worship.  Parents  are required to meet with the Minister prior to the service.   Because  Jesus was baptised, Baptism is about uniting with God’s people who  discover together the need for forgiveness.   The United Church of  Canada acknowledges  the Baptism of anyone baptised in the name of God  the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  After Baptism, the family is strongly  encouraged to participate in this or another church. 

 

COMMUNION This  meal was first shared by Jesus at the conclusion of the traditional  Passover meal remembering how God saved the people of Israel from  slavery.  Now through Jesus Christ we have been saved from the emptiness  of death.  Eternal life with God is offered and nurtured in remembering  how Jesus’ body, like bread, was broken and his blood, like wine, was  shed for our salvation. The United Church of Canada normally will use  grape juice instead of wine to enable all people to participate in the  sacrament.  At whatever age or stage of life, you are invited to receive  this sacrament to nurture your searching faith or in celebration of  your committed faith.  Please receive this bread and grape juice (no  alcohol) as the gift of grace it is intended to be, remembering that  having been created in the image of God we are all equal. This sacrament  is also offered at home if you are physically unable to attend worship.  


CONFIRMATION Confirmation  class for youth begins in February and runs until the end of Lent.   Candidates are then asked to confirm the faith of their Baptismal vows.  


MARRIAGE Stamford Lane United Church will marry at the minister's discretion. Wedding  celebrations are arranged through the Minister, and the couples are  required to meet with the Minister prior to the wedding.  


FUNERALS Funerals  are conducted upon request of next of kin of anyone at any time.   Service is held either at the funeral home or at the church.   Arrangements are made with the Minister.  The In-Touch Committee may  also be available if requested for catering a reception following the  service, $9 per person including food, or $3 per person for setup,  serve and cleanup.