September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020 – Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Call to Worship (from 1 John 1:9)
If we confess our sins,
God is faithful and just
and God will forgive us our sins.
God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Prayer of Approach (together)
God of mercy and grace,
Open our hearts that we might feel your love for us this day.
Open our minds that we might know the promise of the gospel.
Open our lives that we might respond to Jesus Christ
and live as your people this day and always, Amen.
Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer
Meditative Music

Responsive Psalm: Psalm 78:1-7 (p. 792 VU)
Give heed to my teaching, O my people,
turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will reveal the hidden meaning of things in the past.
What we have heard and known, what our parents have told us,
we will not hide from their grandchildren.
But declare to the next generation
the testimony that you gave to Jacob
and the law you appointed in Israel,
which you commanded them to teach their children,

that the next generation might know them, children yet unborn,
and these in turn should arise, and tell their children.
That they should put their trust in you,
and not forget your great deeds,
but keep all your commandments. R

First Lesson: Exodus 17:1-7
Second Lesson: Philippians 2:4-13
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32 Solo How Can I Keep From Singing (Robert Lowry) Alistair Hamilton
Sermon “The Opportunity of Repentance”

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 online worship services at St. James will continue throughout the fall. The services will be posted each week on our website and through social media.

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 902-983-2001 if you plan to attend.

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

The tentative date for the next celebration of Holy Communion is
October 11, 2020. More details will be available next week.

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 to the Church Council that St. James make a donation to the Antigonish Food Bank.

Virtual Coffee Time via Zoom continues this Thursday at 11 am. If you attended in the summer the same link will be used and if you would like to join in this time of conversation and fun just email Rev. Peter

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

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

The Social Justice Committee invites you to wear an orange shirt on September 30 to remember and honour Indigenous children who attended Residential Schools. Indigenous Ministries and Justice at The United Church of Canada asks you to participate! We wear orange because Phyllis Jack Webstad of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation in BC wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had given her on her first day of school. It was taken away from her immediately and thus began Phyllis’s interaction with the Residential School system – including a long, traumatic separation from her family and community. This was due to the church but had the blessing of the federal government. Orange Shirt Day is a day for us to celebrate and honour the survivors of the Residential School System and remember those who didn’t make it.

Also please note the following important upcoming dates: 1 October
is both the International Day for Older Persons and NS Mi’kmaq Treaty Day. 2 October is the International Day of Non-Violence and 4 October is the National Sisters in Spirit Vigil. Learn more about each of these events on line or at our excellent library. Hug an elder – peacefully!

Truth & Reconciliation – Call #49 Settlement Agreement Parties/ UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – We call upon all
religious denominations and faith groups who have not already done so to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius. [Doctrines that declared that no one owned the land prior to European assertion of sovereignty and that the Supreme Court has ruled never applied in Canada.]

Truth & Reconciliation – Call #50 Equity for Aboriginal People in the
Legal System – In keeping with the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes for the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Scripture Readings for Next Sunday (October 4, 2020)
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-17 • Philippians 3:4b-9 • Matthew 21:33-46

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