Announcements

January 23, 2022

January 23, 2022 – Third Sunday after the Epiphany
GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive adapted from Isaiah 48:18-19)
God says to us “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it?”
Let us open our eyes and our hearts as we gather for worship,
and be part of this new thing that God is doing.

Prayer of Approach (responsive)
God of new beginnings, the world around us is cold and the mood which surrounds us is fearful. Speak to us again of the new life which you brings forth, draw us into the warmth of your grace, and show us once more the power of your love, for we gather together as your people in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: Tell Me The Stories of Jesus

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE

Responsive Reading: Psalm19 (p. 740 VU)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the vault of the sky reveals God’s handiwork.
One day speaks to another,
and night shares its knowledge with night,
and this without speech or language;
their voices are not heard.
But their sound goes out to all the lands,
their words to the ends of the earth. R
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun
which comes out like a bridegroom from under the canopy,
like an athlete eager to run the race.
Its rising is at one end of the sky,
it runs its course to the other,
and there is nothing that is hidden from its heat. R

God’s law is perfect, refreshing the soul;
God’s instruction is sure,
giving wisdom to the simple;
God’s precepts are right, rejoicing the heart;
God’s commandment is pure
giving light to the eyes;
God’s fear is clean, enduring forever;
God’s judgements are true,
every one of them righteous;
more desirable than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
pure honey from the comb. R

By them is your servant warned;
for in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern unwitting sins?
O cleanse me from my secret faults.
Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins,
lest they get the better of me.
Then shall I be clean and innocent of great offense. R

All Let words of my mouth
and the thoughts of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O God,
my strength and my redeemer.

First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
Anthem
Sermon “The Beginning of the Good News”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: Amazing Grace
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

This week we continue worshiping online as a congregation. The Church Council met on Tuesday, January 18 and decided to continue to pause the in-person worship services until at least the end of January. As we move through this latest Covid wave please remember those most affected in your prayers and share the light of Christ through your caring and patience with those around you.

St James United’s Social Justice calendars are ready for pick up in the narthex and linked online. The calendar reminds us of important dates throughout the year that need to be thoughtfully considered, reflected upon and prayed about. Please consider these issues and the people who are impacted by them.

Your Social Justice Committee reminds you that 27 January is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust is a time to mourn those who disappeared and to reflect upon the choice of the individuals and governments that allowed this genocide to unfold. It is also a call for vigilance and for action, to address the root causes of hatred and prevent future atrocities from happening.” – Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

Next Sunday’s Scripture

Jeremiah 1:4-10 • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 • Luke 4:21-30

January 16, 2022

January 16, 2022 – Second Sunday after the Epiphany
GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive adapted from Isaiah 60:1-2)
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness has covered the earth,
and shadows of worry and weariness have filled our lives;
but the Lord has come to shine in our lives,
and the glory of God will light our way.

Prayer of Approach (responsive)
God of grace, breathe your Spirit into us this day.
Open our hearts that we may feel the breath and play of your Spirit.
Open our lips that we may drink in the delight and wonder of life.
Open our eyes that we may see Christ in friend and stranger.
Breath your Spirit into us this day, we pray, so that we might live as your people in the world, Amen.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: 585 VU Jesus Bids Us Shine

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE

Responsive Reading: Psalm 36 (p. 762 VU)
Your steadfast love, O God, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains, O God,
your judgements are like the great deep;
all living things you save. R

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights. R

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright in heart. R

First Reading:Isaiah 62:1-5
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Gospel: John 2:1-11
Anthem
Sermon “Life in the Spirit”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: 87 VU I Am the Light of the World
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

This week we continue worshiping online as a congregation. The Church Council meets on Tuesday and will discuss a possible date to resume in person worship to accompany the online worship. As we move through this latest Covid wave please remember those most affected in your prayers and share the light of Christ through your caring and patience with those around you.

St James United’s Social Justice calendars are ready for pick up in the narthex and linked online. The calendar reminds us of important dates throughout the year that need to be thoughtfully considered, reflected upon and prayed about. Please consider these issues and the people who are impacted by them.

Today is World Religion Day, which aims to promote the unity of religious peoples so that we can overcome historical differences. For centuries, different religions and faiths fought each other, and ignored their common values. We ought to work toward a peaceful understanding between faiths – treating each other with respect and understanding, so that we can create a better world for everyone. The six major religions of the world are Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. Nearly 75% of the world practices one of these six. This day encourages recognition of our similarities, and the role religion has played in uniting people across the planet. And 18 > 25 January is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him. (Mt 2:2) The theme for 2022 was chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches. More than ever, in these difficult times, we need a light that shines in the darkness and that light, Christians proclaim, has been manifested in Jesus Christ. Christian Prayer of Unity: O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony. O God!
Next Sunday’s Scripture
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 • 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a • Luke 4:14-21

January 9, 2022

January 9, 2022 – Baptism of Jesus

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive from Isaiah 2:5, John 1:5)
Come, people of faith
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
For the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has never put it out.

Prayer of Approach (together)
Eternal God, radiant with grace,
thaw our fears and snow-bound spirits;
make us shine with your Word, our hope;
shine with your love, our life;
shine with your peace, our joy;
through Christ, who is our Light, Amen..

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: 79 VU Arise Your Light has Come!

GOD SPEAKS THOUGH SCRIPTURE

Responsive Reading: Psalm 29 (p. 756 VU)
Ascribe to God, you powers of the heaven,
ascribe to God all glory and strength!
Ascribe due honour to God’s holy name,
and worship in the beauty of holiness. R

God’s voice is over the waters—-
God’s glory thundering across the great waters.
God’s voice is power,
God’s voice is full of majesty.

God’s voice shatters the cedars,
splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
God’s voice makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Mount Hermon stampede like a wild young bull.

God’s voice forks into tongues of fire,
God’s voice shakes the wilderness,
sets trembling the wilderness of Kadesh.
God’s voice causes the oaks to whirl,
stripping the forest bare;
and in the temple all cry: Glory! R

God sits enthroned above the waters,
God is enthroned as a sovereign forever.
You give strength to your people, O God.
Now give to your people
the blessing of peace. R

First Reading:Isaiah 43:1-7
Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17
Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Anthem
Sermon “Baptism by The Holy Spirit and Fire”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: 96 VU Will You Come and See the Light
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

Annual Reports for 2020 are due into the church office Monday, January 17th. The tentative date for the Congregational Meeting is Sunday, February 27th.

St James United’s Social Justice calendars are ready for pick up in the narthex and linked online. The calendar reminds us of important dates throughout the year that need to be thoughtfully considered, reflected upon and prayed about. Please consider these issues and the people who are impacted by them.

POVERTY – Part 2 of 2 Further to last week’s Social Justice comment, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives also states “We – Nova Scotians – have continued to demand people pull themselves up by their own bootstraps to survive and thrive, despite our political choices also creating unequal opportunities that make this an impossibility. Our choices have left many people in Nova Scotia living in poverty

• 1 in 4 children, more than half of whom are in lone parent families headed by women
• 23.1% of persons with disabilities, the majority of whom are women
• 39.1% of recent immigrants
• 32.1% of Black Nova Scotians
• 20.6% of Indigenous Nova Scotians living off-reserve
• 35.6% of persons living alone, the majority of whom are women

The global pandemic has made matters worse with the most vulnerable bearing the greatest burden. Many have had to choose between working in risky and unsafe environments, or protecting their families and community from the spread of the virus, losing wages in the process. Poverty affects us all, and impacts the quality of life for all Nova Scotians. What can we as individuals do to make things better?

Next Sunday’s Scripture
Isaiah 62:1-5  •  Psalm 36:5-10  •  1 Corinthians 12:1-11  •  John 2:1-11

January 2, 2022

January 2, 2022 – Epiphany of our Lord

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive)
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, King of kings, infant born of the Virgin Mary.
Your star led the Magi to the manger.
They paid homage to you in your mother’s arms.
In this Christmas season we see how God manifests his
goodness and love to all people in his Son Jesus Christ.
Together with the Magi, we offer him as gifts, the gold
of our faithfulness, the incense of our prayers, and the
myrrh of our sacrifice.
Come, let us worship the infant Jesus.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

Prayer of Approach (together)
Today the Magi came to Bethlehem, with them, Lord, we come to
render homage to you. Today the star leads them to the manger.
With them, Lord, we wish to be led by your holy light. With them,
Lord we wish to adore your holy will for us. With them, Lord, we
wish to offer you our own lives as a gift. Hear our prayer Lord Jesus.
Glory and praise to you, infant born to the Virgin Mary. Amen.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: The First Nowell

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE
First Reading: Isaiah 60: 1 – 6
Second Reading:Ephesians 3: 1 – 12
Holy Gospel: St. Matthew 2: 1 – 12
Anthem
Sermon “Pay Him Homage”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: As With Gladness Men of Old
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction (responsive)
Let us go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We
recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded
territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the
First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The
service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

The prayers and Christian sympathy of the congregation are extended
to the family and friends of Gordon Morrison following his death. Please
keep Christine, Joanna, Lily, and all of Gord’s family in your thoughts
and prayers during this difficult time. A memorial service will take place
at a later date.

Rev. Peter Smith will be away from December 26th until January 6. If
there is a pastoral emergency during this time please contact the Rev.
Doug Stewart at 902-735-2102. This Sunday we are pleased to
welcome the Rev. Doug Stewart to lead our service of worship.

POVERTY – Part 1 of 2 Your Social Justice Committee asks you as
part of your planning for 2022 to consider the following. As the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives writes, “poverty is felt deeply in
Nova Scotia, creating social conditions that manifest themselves in many
harmful ways: low wages, precarious work, racial and gender
discrimination, a weak social safety net, inadequate public services, and
a lack of affordable and available child and family services. Many
individuals and families struggle to afford a roof over their heads and
enough food to put on the table, with little left for childcare, clothing or
transportation. Even having a full-time job can be insufficient to pull
a person out of poverty. In Halifax an individual would have to work 70
hours a week on minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment.”

Next Sunday’s Scripture
Isaiah 43:1-7 • Acts 8:14-17 • Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

December 26, 2021

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude Mary Did you Know? Charles Lowe
Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship (responsive- Isaiah 9:6)
A child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Opening Prayer (together)
Eternal God, this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in our
world. For in the midst of our despair you send your hope and
peace. In the midst of our fear you send your joy and love. For in the
midst of our darkness you send your light among us to shine and
show us not only the way but the truth of your grace and salvation,
Amen.
Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE
Responsive Reading: Psalm 148, p 871 VU
Praise God from the heavens, give praise in the heights!
Give praise, all you angels; praise God, all you hosts!
Praise God, sun and moon; give praise, stars and lights!
Praise God, farthest heavens, and all waters
beyond heaven. R
Let all things praise the Holy One at whose command they were created,
who established them for all time, setting bounds, which cannot be
passed.
Praise God from the earth, great sea creatures and ocean
depths, lightening and hail, snow and frost, gales that obey
God’s decree,
all mountains and hills, all fruit trees and cedars,
wild animals and cattle, creatures winged and earth-bound.
sovereigns who rule earth and its people,
all who govern and judge this world,
young men and women alike, old people and children
together! R
Let all things praise the name of God,
the name above every other, whose splendour covers heaven and earth.
You give strength to your people,
songs of praise to your faithful,
to Israel, the people dear to your heart. R
First Lesson: Isaiah 62:6-12
Second Lesson: Titus 3:4-7
Gospel: John 1:1-14
Anthem Silent Night, Holy Night Charles Lowe
Sermon: “What Did We Get For Christmas?”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: What Child is This?
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We
recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded
territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the
First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The
service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

The Council Executive have decided that because of the current Covid
restrictions in Nova Scotia that worship at St. James will be online only
from December 24th until January 9th. When conditions change we will
resume in person worship services.

Rev. Peter Smith will be away from December 26th until January 6. If
there is a pastoral emergency during this time please contact the Rev.
Doug Stewart at 902-735-2102

December 24, 2021

December 24, 2021- Christmas Eve

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER
Prelude Concerto in D Allegro (G. Torelli) Andy Hirt
Welcome
Call to Worship (responsive from Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness-
on them light has shined.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Opening Prayer (together)
Help us, O Lord, to welcome your presence among us —
with joy, like the angels who announced your birth;
with faith, like the shepherds who responded to the invitation;
with firm intention, like the Magi who travelled from afar;
and with awe, like Mary as she accepted the miracle, Amen.

Anthem (or music Angels From the Realms of Glory)
Lighting of the Advent Candles (responsive)
The Light shines in the darkness
and the darkness does not overcome it.
We who have walked in darkness have seen a great light
For the light of God breaks forth into our lives.
We honour Messiah with Christ-candle’s flame,
our Christmas Eve candles glad tidings proclaim.
O come, all you faithful, rejoice in this night,
as God comes among us, the Christian’s true light.

TO HEAR OF SALVATION

Gospel: Luke 2:1-7
Meditation “The Voice of Rejection”
Anthem: Away in A Manger Andy Hirt

Gospel: Luke 2: 8-15
Meditation “The Voice of Invitation”
Music: O Holy Night Kenji Omae

THROUGH THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

Gospel: Luke 2:16-20
Meditation: “The Voice of Awe and Wonder”
Anthem: There’s a Star in the East Garrett van de Wiel
Prayers of the People at Christmas
Benediction
Postlude Joy to the World Kenji Omae and Hee-jung Choi
Silent Night Hee-jung Choi

A warm welcome to everyone who has gathered with us for worship this Christmas Eve. May this time be an occasion when you experience the promise of this season and through the carols and readings may you draw closer to God and to your neighbour.

This evening’s bulletin is dedicated to the glory of God
and in loving memory of Sheila Marie Polson by the Polson Family.

Thanks to Hee-jung Choi, Andy Hirt, Kenji Omae, and Garrett van de Wiel for sharing their gifts of music for this Christmas Eve service.

The Council Executive have decided that because of the current Covid restrictions in Nova Scotia that worship at St. James will be online only from December 24th until January 9th. When conditions change we will resume in person worship services.

The end of the calendar year is quickly coming. Thursday, Dec 30th will be the final date for donations to be received and credited for the 2021 income tax year at St. James. Donations can be dropped off anytime up to and including that day through our secure mail slot. Online donations can be made anytime at http://www.stjamesuc.com

December 19, 2021

December 19, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

GOD BRINGS US TOGETHER

Prelude
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship (responsive- Matthew 1:23)
A young woman will conceive and bear a child,
and the child shall be called Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God is with us.’

Prayer of Approach (together)
O God, be not distant from our hearts.
Be near to us. Hold us in your presence
as a mother who enfolds her infant within her arms.
So that we, restless children that we are,
may wait and hope for you. Amen.

Lighting of the Advent Candle (together)
Jesus Christ, Love of God made flesh, shine in our lives and in your world with your unending love, Amen.
A candle is burning, a candle of love,
A candle to point us to heaven above
A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth
For Jesus is bringing God’s love to our earth.

Children’s Story and Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn: Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH SCRIPTURE

Responsive Reading: Luke 1: 47-53 (p. 898 VU)
My soul proclaims God’s greatness.
My spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
For you have looked with favour on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed.
You have done great things for me, O Most Mighty.
Hallowed be your Name!
You have mercy on those who fear you,
From one generation to another. R

You took action with a strong arm.
You scattered the proud in their conceit.
You pulled the mighty from their thrones.
You raised the lowly.
You filled the hungry with good things.
You sent the rich away empty.
You come to the aid of your servant, Israel,
for you remembered your promise of mercy,
to our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah,
and to their children in every age. R

First Reading: Micah 5:2-5a
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
Anthem Soon and Very Soon
Sermon: “A Time for Faith”

GOD CALLS US TO RESPOND
Hymn: All Poor Ones and Humble
Prayers of the People
Commissioning and Benediction
Postlude

A warm welcome to everyone who is joining us for worship. We recognize that we gather in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People and we seek to be good neighbours to the First Nations. May this be a time for you to draw closer to God. The service is posted each week on our website (www.stjamesuc.com).

This Sunday’s bulletin is dedicated to the glory of God
and in loving memory of Douglas Adams by the Family.

Thanks to Michele Ashby, Alistair Hamilton, and Martha Palmer for sharing their gifts of music with us today.

Rev. Peter Smith will be away from December 26th until January 6. If there is a pastoral emergency during this time please contact the Rev. Doug Stewart at 902-735-2102

THIS WEEK AT ST. JAMES
Friday, December 24
7:00 pm Family Christmas Service at St. James
9:00 pm Christmas Eve Communion
Because of the new health restrictions we will need to have assigned seating for Christmas Eve. Please contact the church office by December 23rd at 1pm to reserve your seat 902-863-2001 or office@stjamesuc.com

Your Social Justice Committee wishes you and yours a safe and happy Christmas! At this time of year, our thoughts should turn to those less fortunate than us. Why not make a tradition of giving a “family donation” to any one of the front-line charities in our community? They will usually provide a card, (or you can), stating that a donation has been made in the gift recipient’s name. There are many worthy local charities. Some to consider are:

  • our church’s very own Hot Meal Program
  • Antigonish Community Food Bank Society
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • Antigonish Affordable Housing Society
  • Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund
  • Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre
  • Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace
  • The Naomi Society
    Most of these are easily researched and effortlessly donated to via the canadahelps.org website, which provides you with an immediate tax receipt. “There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.” – Bernard Meltzer

The end of the calendar year is quickly coming. Thursday, Dec 30th will be the final date for donations to be received and credited for the 2021 income tax year at St. James. Donations can be dropped off anytime up to and including that day through our secure mail slot. Online donations can be made anytime at http://www.stjamesuc.com