9th Sunday in the Season of Pentecost
Services in church have resumed
THE GATHERING OF THE CHURCH
Sunday, 25th July 2021
9th Sunday of the Season of Pentecost
St. Andrew by-the-Lake
9th Sunday of the Season of Pentecost
St. Andrew by-the-Lake
THE GATHERING OF THE CHURCH
We give thanks to our Creator for the earth we share with all creatures, and we acknowledge that here we are on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Wendat.
We also recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations,
Metis and Inuit peoples, and we seek to live respectfully with
them and with the earth.
We pray for healing between our cultures and healing for settler arrogance.
We believe that the lives of all of us matter.
We know that love is love,
and we welcome everybody
who desires to join us in worship.
You are a beloved creation of God, and you are most welcome.
you call us to love and serve you
with body, mind, and spirit
through loving your creation
and our sisters and brothers.
Open our hearts in compassion
and receive these petitions
on behalf of the needs of the church and the world.
Opening Hymn #584: ‘The Church of Christ in Every Age’
The church of Christ, in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage and keep on rising from the dead.
Across the world, across the street, the victims of injustice cry for shelter and for bread to eat,
and never live until they die.
Then let the servant church arise, a caring church that longs to be a partner in Christ's sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ's humanity.
For he alone, whose blood was shed, can cure the fever in our blood,
and teach us how to share our bread and feed the starving multitude.
We have no mission but to serve in full obedience to our Lord,
to care for all, without reserve, and spread his liberating Word.
Members of choir of St. Peter’s, New York City, organist Balint Karosi in St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, Connecticut
1st Reading Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 145: ‘I Will Praise Your Name’
Refrain: I will praise your name, my King and my God.
v.1: I will give you glory, my God above, and I will bless your name forever. Ev’ry day I will bless and praise your name forever. Refrain
v.2: The Lord is full of grace and mercy, who is kind and slow to anger. God is good in ev’ry way, and full of compassion. Refrain
v.3: Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and lt all the faithful bless you. Let them speak of your might, O Lord, for the glory of your kingdom. Refrain
v.4: The Lord is faithful in word and deed, and always near, his name is holy. Lifting up all those who fall, God raises up the lowly. Refrain
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 6:1-21
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.
A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.
When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?"
He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?"
Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.
Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."
So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.
But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
Reflection on the readings click here for video
David’s final words to the church of St Andrew’s by the Lake, and by the Internet.
Many years ago, when my children were all in grade school, we had a camping holiday by a large lake in an Ontario Park. We went out paddling around the little islands in two canoes. It was a nice day and we set off exploring and enjoying the quiet of being on the water. We pulled up onto an island and had a picnic lunch in the warmth of the sun. Unhurriedly we explored and footled about and didn’t notice the clouds gathering or the wind beginning to pick up. “We need to go!” I said when I saw little waves forming on what had been calm water. We had about 300 meters to go into the wind to get in the lee of the headland that would lead us back to the campsite. Lucy’s canoe began to fall behind. I called back to paddle harder. They were hardly making headway. Much shouting from me and much “We cannot go any faster!” from them. I dropped back and shouted “Dig...push back” over and over to set at a steady rhythm. “Don’t look at the shore, just at your paddle!”
I did not know if we could make it. All I could do was to shout encouragement. Inwardly, I was so very afraid of what would happen if we didn’t make the lee of the land before they ran out of energy. Later that evening we still glowed with the victory we had won over the wind.
Each of us has a story like this. We have all been faced by something that we need to do, in fact, that we must do, and have felt overwhelmed by the apparent impossible difficulty.
It’s not all about boats..
It begins in school with trying to make a team, or pass an exam, or get to be someone’s friend.
It goes on in life with the hope for a job that pays enough, or a job that you’d love to have.
It is sometimes about repairing a broken tap or a broken relationship.
It is, often, a series of struggles. For some it is the decision to be at peace with who and what you are.
Learning to identify the headwinds of life, and deciding how to deal with them is a never-ending work.
Having the strength to get to the land may be less valuable than having the wit to read the lake before setting off.
In the Gospel story Jesus doesn’t do a lot of “heavy paddling”.
“Where will we get bread to feed all of this crowd?” he asks.
There is a notable absence of bakeries in this wilderness park!
None of the disciples have got the answer. There is no adequate answer.
Jesus simply asks them to face the problem.
One of them, unable to feed everyone, but able to begin, even without much hope, says, “There’s a lad here with a couple of cooked fish and 5 buns. But is it enough?”
Notice how Jesus doesn’t dismiss this.
This little beginning is where Jesus begins by blessing the fish and the bread, and beginning to pass it out. Everyone gets a little. Not a lot, but just enough.
“Evangelical” American “mock Christianity”, peddles the good news of lots of cash, big cars and sharp clothes. It has a “Gospel of Blessings”. How odd that we never hear Jesus living with such excess, but with just enough, if we work together.
Listen to St Paul..
“I pray...” says St Paul, who had a lousy life being an apostle, getting locked up, beaten, abused and threatened and never had a guaranteed income..
“I pray” he says, “that, according to the riches of his glory, God may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.
And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ, that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Often we feel alone in getting through the changes and chances of life. You realise that you need money that you don’t have. You realise that some of your dreams will not be fulfilled. You realise that old age of body and brain are going to diminish you, and there is no fix to be had.
And somebody says; “There’s a lad here with a couple of cooked fish and 5 buns. But is it enough?”
Theologians have fretted about this story. I remember one of our profs saying, “Maybe seeing this kid hand over his lunch made other people open their bags and share what they had and it turned out that there was a lot more food around than anyone had expected.”
Maybe it was not a miracle of food but of opening hearts and seeing the stranger next to you as “not strange” but “like me”.
“...the love of Christ, surpasses knowledge...”
While I have been your priest we have had “some difficulties” of floods and bugs. In many places where I have been in ministry there have been struggles that I have not known how to fix, but I have known how to begin. Floods and bugs cannot be fixed, but relationships can still grow and be blessed.
There is nothing in St Andrew’s by the Lake that really needs fixing that cannot be fixed. Not as long as you remember that you don’t own it or run it. You are, like the lad with the packed lunch, able to step forward and offer the little bit that you have. In doing that you open the door so that “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”. And if Christ can dwell in your heart, then things become safe. You get into the lee of the island. You get a few others to gather for the work. You find that others are already praying for what you have just begun to lift to God.
I have no fear for you, little flock! You are in Christ’s hands, under the care of the Good Shepherd.
You have been invited to be hearts in which Jesus’s Spirit may come and settle. You are already redeemed, there is nothing in each day that, with Jesus, you cannot get through together.
May the blessings of Christ’s love settle in you, with peace and love in abundance.
Reflection Music: ‘Where is Bread?’ the Great Crowd Murmured
“Where is bread?” the great crowd murmured; thousands strong, yet all in need.
“Where is bread?” your people wondered, with such a crowd to feed.
Who, Lord Jesus, could have guessed it? One small boy brought food to share.
Taking what he gave, you blessed it; all were fed, with much to spare.
Where is bread? We know their yearning; every day, we wish for more.
God, in time, we’re slowly learning; all we own can make us poor.
Our possessions can possess us, leaving hunger deep inside.
Christ our Bread, come now and bless us; at your feast, we’re satisfied.
“Where is bread?” the call is rising; millions cry who must be fed.
God, your answer seems surprising: “You, my Church, you give them bread.”
Bread to fill each hungry spirit, bread for hungry stomachs, too!
Give us bread and help us share it. richly blest, may we serve you.
Lyrics by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, American hymnist and Presbyterian pastor; familiar tune of Abbot’s Leigh, played by Andrew Remillard
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Let us pray for ourselves and each other, and for those that we do not know, but who you know, God.
We continue to pray for those whose lives have been changed by Covid. For those giving vaccinations, and for those still researching the variants.
We pray for those who face anxiety and stress working in “essential”
We pray for the Indigenous communities across Canada in small towns and in large cities. May truth and healing come to all.
We pray for those whose lives have been changed by the heat and fires in the West. And we pray for the planet as we humans change the atmosphere with our unthinking activity.
We remember those we know who are sick in body mind or spirit, especially Donna, Michael, Penny, Enid, Freda, Anne & family, Charlotte, Gail, Bob, Douglas, Marian
We pray for those who are close to death or who have passed through death, remembering Ron, Joey, Mick, Paulette, Bev, Fred, Cathy, June, Barbara, Craig, Les, Maxine, Peter and Rose
In the diocesan cycle of prayer,
Pray for St. Martin, Bay Ridges, its support for local initiatives including a food bank, Herizon House and Joanne’s House youth shelter, Moorelands Community Services, and a newcomer settlement program; its Green Team, mental health support initiative, and involvement in advocacy for anti-poverty measures;
for St. Martin in-the-Fields, its partnerships with St. John's West Toronto youth drop-in, PARC, Romero House and the Redwood Shelter, support of the Pikangikum water project, and education and advocacy initiatives;
and for St. Mary and St. Martha, its support of a weekly community supper, local food bank, community garden, and partnerships with neighbourhood arts and outreach organizations.
We pray for The Rev’d Alison as she prepares to lead the community of St Andrew’s by the Lake. May God bless her with grace and wisdom, with passion and tenderness, with hope and with celebration in the life of this Church.
We pray for David as he steps into retirement with peace and joy.
Here take a few moments to hold before our God all who you are carrying in love and care.....
All of our longings and our fears, our hopes and our desires we bring to you. Hear our prayers, gracious God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Closing Hymn ‘Come to the Table of Plenty’
Refrain: Come to the feast of heaven and earth! Come to the table of plenty!
God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.
O come and sit at my table where saints and sinners are friends.
I wait to welcome the lost and lonely to share the cup of my love. Refrain
O come and eat without money; come to drink without price.
My feast of gladness will feed your spirit with faith and fullness of life. Refrain
My bread will ever sustain you through days of sorrow and woe.
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness to flood the depths of your soul. Refrain
Your fields will flower in fullness; your homes will flourish in peace.
For I, the giver of home and harvest, will send my rain on the soil. Refrain
Music and lyrics by Dan Schutte, performed by Chris Brunelle
May the blessings of the Spirit of God be upon you
May the presence of the ascended Christ live within you
May the wisdom of God settle in your soul
And may you have joy in your life.
Now that our churches across the diocese are open for worship again this email version of worship from
St Andrew’s will not be continued and you are encouraged to find your way to an actual church with actual people in it!!.
It has been a challenge and a great deal of fun to put together something so strange to me and yet, to find that this has worked well for so many people.
Thank you for your feed-back over the weeks and your openness to try this.
In peace, David
Come next Sunday to welcome and celebrate the new ministry of Rev Alison Hari-Singh
Here are several ways you can support your church:
The Collection Plate (when we are back in Church)
PAR - Pre-Authorized Remittance. You direct your bank to deposit your donation into the church account on the 20th of each month. To apply contact Joyce Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Transfer - Use email: email@example.com
Canada Helps – Visit the church website www.standrewbythelake.com, go to the Home Page and click on the Donate button.