July 26, 2020

July 26, 2020 – Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

The service can be found at https://youtu.be/NXsJha6S6ao

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude Prelude in C Major (JS Bach) Handbell Choir
Call to Worship (Psalm 78:1-4)
“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds and might of the Lord, and the wonders that God has done.”

Prayer of Approach (together)
God of wonder,
open our eyes that we might see your presence around us
open our ears that we might hear your word for our lives
open our hearts that we might know the possibilities of your grace
for we have gathered to praise, to thank, and to be your people
in Jesus’ name, Amen.

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE
First Lesson: Psalm 119:129-136 Liz Millett
Second Lesson: Romans 8:26-39 Mike Cook
Gospel: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Sermon “The Ordinary and the Divine”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Meditative Music How Firm a Foundation
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah

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.

The online worship services will continue throughout August and into the fall. The tentative date for us to reopen for in person worship services is Sunday, September 6, 2020. The plan for us to reopen is still being worked on so that we ensure we are meeting all the public health requirements.

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.

The Rev. Peter Smith is away on holidays from July 27- August 24. If there is a pastoral emergency during this time please contact the Rev. Doug Stewart at at (902) 735-2102 or through the St. Martha’s Hospital Switchboard during the day (902) 867-4500.

The latest issue of Connections, is available on the website. If you would like a print copy email 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

Your Social Justice Committee reminds you that July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis – unaware that they have it. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will suffer, lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day we call on people to take action and raise awareness to “find the missing millions”. In 2016, every government in the world made a commitment to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. With less than 10 years to go, progress is stalling. It’s up to us to hold governments to account and urge them to keep their promise to eliminate viral hepatitis. Sign and share NOhep’s open letter: https://www.nohep.org/2020whdletter/

We also note that July 30 is World Friendship Day, sometimes known as the International Day of Friendship. The original idea for this day came from Hallmark cards in the 1930’s. The day was largely viewed cynically by the public as a money-making exercise and by the mid-1940’s it had faded into obscurity. The idea of a day to honour friendship was, however, adopted by some in Asia where it remains a popular custom to celebrate friendships and exchange gifts. In 2011, 30 July was declared the International Day of Friendship by the UN. With the growing popularity of social media, there has been an increase in celebrating World Friendship Day online, as well as with community activities. During our pandemic times, friendships have done a lot to decrease loneliness and increase connectivity. Why not reach out to a friend today and let them know how much your relationship means?

Truth & Reconciliation – Call #41 Justice – We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls. The inquiry’s mandate would include an investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and links to the intergenerational legacy of residential schools.

Scripture Readings for Next Sunday (August 2, 2020)
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21 • Romans 9:1-5 • Matthew 14:13-21

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