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Bulletin – January 31, 2021

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany


Lighting the Christ Candle

God of all moments, the ones that comfort and guide us, the ones that confound and challenge us, we light this candle as a symbol of your presence with us during all our moments. We hold all that we are today, all that will happen today, before you. As we come together in this community, still us, calm us, enliven us, challenge us, so that we might become your people more and more each day. And when this candle is extinguished may the light of your presence burn brightly in our hearts.

Call to Worship

One:   As people, as a group, as a community of faith –
All:     we gather in this place.

One:   To speak, to pray
All:     to worship, to be with God.

One:   We know that God is with us in this time.
All:     It is within God’s love that we gather.

One:   Let us come together with God.
All:     To worship and praise the one whom we follow, the one in whom we find life and love, hallelujah.
(adapted from Richard Bott)

Hymn – “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of God’s grace.

Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease,
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘tis life and health and peace.

He speaks, and listening to his voice, new life the dead receive,
The mournful broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe.

My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad the honours of your name.

Prayer of Approach

Loving God, you are never far from us, you are as close as our breathing. We recognize you as the one who heals the wounded spirit and gives new life to the broken-hearted. We know that from you comes all truth, all healing, all that makes our world good and whole.

Forgive us, O God, those times when we have listened to those who do not speak for you.

Forgive us for the weakness that has led us at times to seek the water of life at springs which can never satisfy. Forgive us for not testing the voices, those ones that are always clamouring for our attention; those ones that help neither us nor those around us. Have mercy on us and speak once again to us. Help us to hear the word you send and to turn away from the words that come from false prophets and those who do not know your ways. Help us to find our way back to you, knowing that you are near, that you are always near. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Time for All Ages

Hymn – “Lord, Speak to Me”

Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of your tone,
As you have sought, so let me seek your straying children lost and lone.

O lead me, so that I may lead the wandering and the wavering feet,
O feed me, so that I may feed your hungering ones with manna sweet.

O teach me, so that I may teach the precious truths which you impart,
And wing my words that they may reach the hidden depths of many a heart.

O fill me with your fullness, Lord, until my very heart o’erflows
In kindling though and glowing word, your love to tell, your praise to show.

The Word

Scripture Reading:          Deuteronomy 18:15-20

15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. 16 This is what you requested of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the LORD my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” 17 Then the LORD replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. 19 Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. 20 But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.”

Scripture Reading:          Mark 1:21-28

21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24 and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

Meditation – “To be a Prophet”

Anthem – “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”

The Response


One:   Most holy God, Saviour of those who call on you, please give us more of the mercy, compassion, love, grace, and authority of Jesus. Embolden us to be bearers of love, compassion, healing and hope for many who suffer in our contemporary world. Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Most merciful God, bringer of true justice, help us to work with others so that we might be bringers of justice and mercy to those places that lie under darkness and oppression, where corruption is rampant, justice is rare, and the weak and the poor have nowhere to turn for hope. Let us work with those who are already working as your channels of compassion, justice, practical aid, reconciliation, and peace. Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Most compassionate God, bringer of healing and hope, help us to be symbols of your light, your presence in the world. Strengthen us that we might be bearers of light, love, and compassion to those who suffer, those who are ill, those who are lonely and afraid. Let your presence be felt through us and in turn your love be spread widely in a world that so desperately needs your light and love. Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Most giving God, bringer of true abundance, help us to be those who work for the sharing of all that you have given, your creation, with all peoples, to that there will be enough. Help us to work for the equitable sharing of all resources, offering our bounty to places where food is scarce and crops are poor. Inspire us to be aware of the finite nature of what we have been given and challenge us to become better stewards of all that you have created. Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Most loving God, bringer of mercy and compassion, help us to be a sign and symbol of your presence for those who need to feel you in their lives today. Help us to remember those within this community who long to feel your presence, as we lift up to you in prayer… Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Most grace-filled God, bringer of inspiration, help us to remember that you have called us into community, into service, as your people. Inspire us to find ways in which our gifts can be brought forward, brought together, for the work to which we are called. Help us to see that this community needs all of us, needs all of our gifts if we are to truly live out our mission as your people in the world. Encourage us to offer all that we are, all that we will be, to this community in love so that we might fulfill your calling. Hear us, O God as we pray.

All:     Loving God, in your abundant grace, hear our prayers.

One:   Hear us, O God as we continue to pray in the words that Jesus taught us:

All:     Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Hymn – “Healer of Our Every Ill”

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

You who know our fears and sadness,
Grace us with your peace and gladness.
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts.

In the pain and joy beholding,
How your grace is still unfolding.
Give us all your vision, God of love.

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

Give us strength to love each other,
Every sister, every brother.
Spirit of all kindness, be our guide.

You who know each thought and feeling,
Teach us all your way of healing.
Spirit of compassion, fill each heart.

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.


Go forth from this time together…
          …replenished by the grace and mercy of God,
          …blessed by the healing love of Jesus,
          …energized by the limitless power of the Holy Spirit.
Go forth, living as God’s people in the world. Amen.

(adapted from Moira Laidlaw)

Response “Amen, Amen, Amen”

Amen, Amen. Amen.

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