July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020 – Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

The service can be found at https://youtu.be/tRx-mJyGXlU

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude Highland Cathedral Scott Williams
Call to Worship (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer of Approach (together)
God of grace,
in our busy and frantic lives we need to know that you are beside us, in our confusing and ever changing world we long to hear again
your promise to us in the cross and empty tomb.
Draw us close to you and to each other as we gather for worship
for we have come as your people in Jesus’ name, Amen.

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE
First Lesson: Psalm 145:8-14 Glenn Omae
Second Lesson: Romans 7:15-25a Rev. Peter Smith
Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 Andrew Murray
Sermon “An Easy Yoke”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Meditative Music Morning has Broken/O God You Gave Your Servant
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude Hector the Hero/ Joyful, Joyful Scott Williams

Scripture Readings for Next Sunday (July 12, 2020)
Psalm 119:105-112 • Romans 8:1-11 • Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. Weekly worship services are posted Saturday night on our website- http://www.stjamesuc.com. A children’s story and activity links are also posted each week.

Virtual Coffee Hour will be held again this Thursday, July 9nd at 11 am via Zoom. Please email Rev. Peter for more information or the link (minister@stjamesuc.com)

Thanks to Hee-Jung Choi (our organist) and Kenji Omae (video and editing) for sharing their gifts to make this service of worship possible. Thanks as well to Chad Brazier for taping the children’s story.

The church office is closed for the summer. Messages on the voice mail will be checked regularly 902-863-2001. Rev. Peter can be reached via email minister@stjamesuc.com or at his study 902-863-2859. For emergencies please call him at 902-863-0452.

The latest issue of Connections, our congregational newsletter is now available on the website. If you would like a print copy please email office@stjamesuc.com

The Church Council is currently working on the plan required by Public Health before we can return to in person worship services. The online services will continue through July and August and in September when we return to in person worship services we will continue to offer the online service as well.

How can you help support the life and work at St. James? You can send a donation to St. James United Church, P. O. Box 1178, 197 Main Street, Antigonish NS B2G 2L6, or you can drop it off in the secure mail slot in the office door. You can also click on the “Donate” button on the website to take you to our Canada Helps page, or you can give monthly via PAR. For more information send an email to office@stjamesuc.com .

Are you interested in reading scripture in a Sunday service? Please be in touch with Rev. Peter (minister@stjamesuc.com) for information.

Your Social Justice Committee invites you to mark 11 July – World Population Day. The aim of this celebration is to spread awareness about the issues of global population and the importance of reproductive health. This event was inspired by public interest when the world’s inhabitants reached 5 billion and led to serious concern about the exploding population. The theme of World Population Day 2020 is – Putting the brakes on COVID-19: how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now. This year the United Nation’s goal is to raise awareness of women’s and girls’ needs for sexual and reproductive health and vulnerabilities during the pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted individuals, cultures and economies all over the world. However, not all are equally affected. For example, women who make up the largest share of health care staff in the front line are disproportionately exposed to coronavirus. Supply chains across the globe are being disrupted, affecting contraceptive supply and also causing the increasing risk of unintended pregnancy. Sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined as countries are on lock-down and health systems are struggling to cope, and gender-based violence is on the rise. In addition, the women who work in insecure labor markets are disproportionately hit harder by COVID-19’s economic effects. In the informal economy, nearly 60 percent of women worldwide are at increased risk of poverty. As a result of school closures and increased needs of the elderly, the work of women in unpaid care has increased.

SAFE (Syrian Antigonish Families Embrace) is excited to share some good news!!!! We have just recognized World Refugee Day 2020 and hold in our hearts the families calling for help for family members living in untenable conditions and struggling to provide their children with food and shelter.

The good news is that we have received the offer of a generous gift that gives us an opportunity to bring two Syrian refugee families to Antigonish. A kind and very generous donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in SAFE donations. This would enable us to bring a family of seven to Canada from Lebanon and take us a long way towards bringing a young couple from Jordan. Both families are connected with members of our Antigonish Syrian community.

The family of seven has 5 children ages 2 – 11 years. They bring knowledge of and skills in farming and agriculture and want their children to go to school and live a life without the fear of war and violence. The other family is a young couple, the brother and son of a family that lives here. His Mom has not seen him since she came to Canada, and cannot rest until he is safe.

We are asking you to help us raise $10,000. It is a challenging time for fundraising as our province is just beginning to emerge for the COVID-19 shutdown. But we think that we can do it. There are several ways you can contribute:

  1. You can send SAFE a donation, knowing that whatever the amount is, it will be doubled with the matching funds from our donor. If you send a donation through an e-transfer (safamiliesembrace@gmail.com) or by cheque to 204 Kirk Place, 219 Main Street, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2C1, 100% of the funds will go to SAFE. You can also go to our website and donate through Canada Helps. http://www.safeantigonish.ca/ All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
  2. Please encourage friends and family to contribute with a joint donation. Families supporting families can be a way for children to understand their connection with the larger world.
  3. You can pass this email along to all you think may want to help, post it on Facebook, and invite others to support our efforts to bring 2 families to safety.

Our hope is to raise these funds over the next 6-8 weeks and get the applications submitted to the Canadian government as soon as possible knowing that application processing takes time. So this is our summer challenge. Please join us. Together we can make it happen.

Thank you for caring and for all that you do. If you have any questions please call our treasurer at 902-870-7891

Lucille Harper, Chair SAFE Society

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