October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020 – Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Call to Worship (from Psalm 19:7-8,10)
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

Prayer of Approach (together)
Your word, O God, calls to us to know your love,
to experience your grace, to share your mercy,
and to live as your people as the world is transformed
by your will and the way you open in Jesus Christ, Amen.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer
Meditative Music

Responsive Psalm: 118:14-24 (Part 2 and 3 p. 837 VU)
God is my strength and my song: God has become my salvation.
There are shouts of joy and deliverance in the tents of the righteous.
The right hand of God does mighty things the right hand of God raises up
The right hand of God does mighty things.
I shall not die, but live, and I shall proclaim what God has done.
God indeed punished me, but did not give me over to death. R

Open to me the gates of the temple,
that I may enter and give thanks to God.
This is the gate of God, through it the righteous may enter.
I thank you for you have answered me, you have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.

This is God’s doing, marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. R.

First Lesson: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-17
Second Lesson: Philippians 3:4b-9
Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46
Sermon “The Surprise of Salvation”

Meditative Music
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The services online will be posted each week on our website and through social media.

This Sunday’s bulletin is dedicated by Tim Hinds and Michèle Ashby to the glory of God and in grateful appreciation of the loving support of this congregation over the last six months.

In person worship services at St. James have resumed at 10:30 am on Sunday mornings. Because of the social distancing requirements our available seating in the sanctuary is limited so please contact the church office earlier in the week at 902-863-2001 if you plan to attend.

The tentative date for the next celebration of Holy Communion is October 18, 2020. More details will be available next week.

Virtual Coffee Time continues this Thursday at 11 am. If you would like to join the fun just email Rev. Peter minister@stjamesuc.com

Truth & Reconciliation – Call #51 Equity for Aboriginal People in the Legal System – We call upon the Government of Canada, as an obligation of its fiduciary responsibility, to develop a policy of transparency by publishing legal opinions it develops, in regard to the scope and extent of Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

St James is a caring, close community. People have been wondering
how we can reach out to each other during this Covid time. Outreach
and Communications wants to partner with other groups and individuals
to promote a Contact Tree in order to convey important information
as well as to keep in touch. If you are interested being a part of this please let the church office know (902 863 2001) or write Fran at fwittgens@gmail.com

The Social Justice Committee reminds you that today is normally the National Sisters in Spirit Vigil. We were unable to confirm activities for this year, but probably there will be little due to COVID-19. Please hold the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada and their grieving families in your prayers.

Your Social Justice Committee also notes that the theme for World Habitat Day 2020 (5 Oct) is: Housing for All — A Better Urban Future. As COVID-19 continues to spread, people have been told to stay at home – but an estimated 1.8 billion people were already living in slums, informal settlements, inadequate housing or in homelessness worldwide before the pandemic. Most of us attending St James are fortunate enough to have shelter over our heads every day. Imagine being without that basic necessity? Please consider supporting the wonderful work done by the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society – any amount would help! 10 Oct is also World Mental Health Day. This year, with the pandemic impacting our lives in so many ways, many of us are feeling increasingly fragile and threatened – our health, future, finances, personal relationships, etc. Practice kindness to one another like never before – we can all use it!

Volunteers with The Hot Meal Program met on September 22 and it was decided to not restart the meals at the present time. The meeting recommended that a donation be made to the Antigonish Food Bank.

The latest issue of Connections is available on our website and in the narthex. Thanks to all of the contributors and to Brenda Rose and Ruth Young for making this newsletter possible.

The Church Council met on Tuesday September 15 to discuss the life and work of the church. The reopening of the building was the main topic of conversation and the pandemic plan was reviewed. Two decisions were made about reopening the building. The first was to allow groups and committees of the congregation to resume using the building following all necessary protocols. The second was to defer allowing outside groups use of the building for the present time as we restart our groups and activities.

“Living Faithfully During Covid 19″ is the our congregational plan for reopening St. James safely this fall. The document is the result of a great deal of work by staff and various committees of the church using advice and direction from NS Public Health and the United Church of Canada. A copy can be found on the website and anyone wanting a paper copy is asked to contact the office 902-863-2001 or office@stjamesuc.com.

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 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

Scripture Readings for Next Sunday (October11, 2020)
Deuteronomy 8:7-18 • 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 • Luke 17:11-19

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