Sunday, Aug 9th, 2020
Announcements: Look for these down at the end of the order of service
Take a moment of stillness. Light a candle and .... take a few moments before going on.
Take a moment of stillness. Light a candle and .... take a few moments before going on.
Let us remember and be called to worship....
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord God, friend of those in need,
your Son Jesus has untied our burdens
and healed our spirits.
We lift up the prayers of our hearts for those still burdened,
those seeking healing,
those in need within the church and the world.
Opening Hymn # 9 ‘Today I Awake’
Today I awake and God is before me.
At night, as I dreamt, He summoned the day;
For God never sleeps but patterns the morning
with slithers of gold or glory in grey.
Today I arise and Christ is beside me.
He walked through the dark to scatter new light,
Yes, Christ is alive, and beckons his people
to hope and to heal, resist and invite.
Today I affirm the Spirit within me
at worship and work, in struggle and rest.
The Spirit inspires all life which is changing
from fearing to faith, from broken to blest.
Today I enjoy the Trinity round me,
above and beneath, before and behind;
The Maker, the Son, the Spirit together
they called me to life and call me their friend.
Music and lyrics by John Bell
A reading from Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan.
This is the story of the family of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem.
And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." He answered, "Here I am."
So he said to him, "Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, "What are you seeking?" "I am seeking my brothers," he said; "tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock." The man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'"
So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.
They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him.
They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams."
But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his life."
Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him" --that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father.
So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.
Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers agreed.When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
Psalm 85: ‘Lord, Let Us See Your Kindness’
Refrain: Lord, let us see your kindness.
v.1: Let us hear what our God proclaims: Peace to the people of God, salvation is near to the ones who fear God. Refrain
v.2: Kindness and truth, justice and peace; truth shall spring up as the water from the earth, justice shall rain from the heavens. Refrain
v.3: The Lord will come and you shall know his love, justice shall walk in his pathways, salvation the gift that he brings. Refrrain
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
The Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. And immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
The Gospel of Christ, praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection by David (click on this for the video)
Reflections on Jacob’s brothers and on how you “walk on water”.
Do you remember learning how to ride a bike?
My memories are very old and a bit hazy. We lived towards the top of a steep hill in a suburb of Bristol. My older sister had a bike and encouraged me to try, as did my mother who was an avid cyclist. Using the hill would make it easier, they thought. It was so complicated! Steering with the handlebars, pedalling, balancing, watching the road for bumps. So much to work out! Off I went and within seconds the bike decided to turn left sharply and I continued on straight. I was about 8 years old.
I cannot actually remember mastering the bicycle. I know that for as long as I can remember I have delighted in the beauty of being on two wheels.
Have you learned how to walk on water?
This is not an exact parallel, since people cannot walk on water.
So why is this a piece of the Gospels?
I am theologically committed to the idea of the Incarnation. That is that God chose to come among us, and gave up the solid ground of divinity and entered the uncertain state of being a human on a planet with gravity, with solid surfaces and with liquid ones too. To be fully human (“What if God were one of us, just a slob like one of us..?” as the song goes. (For the song click on the link here) ) you have to live as one of us, which means no cheating, short-cutting over lakes, or flying, for instances)
So “walking on water” is a code-phrase for entrusting yourself utterly to God’s love and protection.
In the First World War troops were ordered to leave the trench and charge into enemy machine-gun fire. I can only imagine that I could do that by believing that somehow God would hold me, unscathed or shot.
Let’s leave this for a moment and go to the “Joseph and his Brothers” story.
Now Jacob, the Dad, (angel-wrestler and so on) was not a wise father. He ended up with three sisters for wives. (you can read all the story in Genesis, 25 onwards) He played favourites with his wives and sewed family jealousies. He made his youngest child, Joseph, a Dady’s boy and allowed the friction of sibling rivalry to grow and fester. And he seemed oblivious to the pain around him.
Joseph, basking in the warmth of his father’s affection and preference, felt safe and free. He received gifts from his father that others did not get, and was, as the youngest, not required to work as his brothers were required.
And somehow, Joseph, pampered and perhaps innocent and without guile, was close with God.
In dreams he saw himself elevated above his siblings, bowed down to by them.
I think Joseph was not vain, but perhaps naïve. He was not aware of the storm clouds of resentment gathering each time he recounted a self-elevating dream to them.
He was, in a way, innocent, foolish and spoiled. And on the other side of that coin he was trusting, faithful to his father’s God, and saw always the positive and the possible, more than the problems and the dangers that hold others back.
We know the story of him being dumped in a deep hole and left to die (or be rescued later), then sold into slavery in Egypt. The story goes on, and we will hear more in coming weeks. Joseph benefits from kind, or guilty hearts, and good fortune.
For me, as I look at Jesus walking on the water, and Peter failing to, I think I see the link. Joseph seems to float, to stay above the waves, where others would sink. Peter tries but sinks. Jesus ends up on a cross, but never actually sinks. In fact, he rises.
What then is the teaching in this for us?
Joseph “floats” by sheer naïve innocence and unfettered love from his father.
Jesus “floats” by the unshakable faith he has in God’s love for him. The faith that says “Nothing can happen to me that, together with you Father, we cannot handle.”
Peter “floats” for a bit but loses his nerve, panics into disbelief, and sinks. BUT then gets pulled up by Jesus, who asks, “Why did you doubt?”
“Walking on water” becomes a code phrase for people of faith.
It means trust.
It means going forwards in faith that forwards is the way to go,
but without certainty of success,
going forwards trusting God is beside you.
Going forwards without knowing quite where you will end up.
“Walking on water might” be calling up that family member that you and s/he stopped talking to each other after that terrible fight.
“Walking on water” might be daring to apply for the job you always wanted but never had the self-assurance to try for.
“Walking on water” might be beginning a conversation with that person you have been afraid of for so long.
“Walking on water” might be about trusting as you “step forwards”, not knowing if the ground beneath your feet will be solid or drowning-deep water.
“Walking on water” might be about trusting that as you age, as an illness advances, as dementia begins to show, as you lose your way, in Christ you will still be safe.
It is always about stepping out in faith.
Walking on water is deciding to trust that “Nothing can happen to me that, together with you, my God, we cannot handle.”
The water ahead of you may just be ankle deep embarrassment. It may be terrifying.
I think the teaching here of walking on water is about real, frightening, life effecting risks, that you feel you should take in order to be more faithful, a deeper follower in the “Way of Christ”.
What we can glean from the readings is that being a follower of Jesus involves taking risks and going beyond what feels safe and comfortable.
The risks we take may not be news-worthy, but for us they are real and costly.
For each one of us, the step is a long one, and the other side may not be safe. But it feels, after serious prayer and consideration, “right”.
I am extremely risk-averse. When I have taken these sorts of steps I generally sink, panic and then kick myself for stupidity and gullibility.
Then, some time later, I pray, ponder, think, pray more .... and then Jesus pulls me, by my ears, out of the mess.
"You of little faith, why did you doubt?" I have heard on several occasions. And it turns out to be hard, but worthwhile and expanding of my heart.
My faith development in still a work in progress.
Now I can ride a bike without thinking about it.
One day I may be able to trust the water just as much.
I hope the same for you.
Reflection Music ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’
Piano recording, played by Leon Fleisher, of the soprano aria from Bach’s cantata, lyrics by Salomon Franck. Known in English as ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’.
Sheep may safely graze and pasture in a watchful Shepherd's sight.
Those who rule with wisdom guiding bring to hearts a peace abiding, bless a land with joy made bright.
Penetecost is the season of the Church year dedicated to the Spirit of God.
Without face or “personality’ the Spirit is sometimes hard to pray with.
Prayer in the Spirit is learning to know that the silence of God on the other end is not absence or disdain, but deep concentration, and the threads of love, through the Spirit, are being woven into your soul as you pray.
You are heard and the Spirit prays with you, amplifying, simplifying, digging for the deep truth of your prayer. Healing your heart, growing grace within you, leaving you subtly changed each time you bring yourself fully into prayer.
(Take a moment to think of all the people from church that you can remember. Think of them, with you, praying right now. Hold them before God in fondness of heart and mind.)
Let us pray for ourselves.
When I feel lost or lonely, be with me.
When I am too busy, or overwhelmed, God slow me down and give me rest.
When I am anxious, or angry, or sad, please hold and comfort me.
When I turn to you, let me know you are there.
When I am ready to step forward, hold my hands on the water.
Hear my prayers for those who need your love and help.
We pray for Justin, for Doug, for Adam and for Chris, for all those who lead us in public service.
We pray for those who must make decisions about the distribution of public money in our nation and province. We pray for social workers, people running assited living homes, for those who give time and skill to help the homeless and those with mental illness who find life too hard.
We pray for First Nations people, that they may rejoice in their dignity, their wisdom and their heritage.
We pray for peoples who have made Canada their home over the old and recent past.
Immigrants, new and old. Refugees longing for home and fearful for families left behind.
We pray for those who have little money to fall back on as places of work have closed down.
Gracious God, guard their pride and support their dignity, and help all with strength to make their place in society a place of honour and equality.
We remember those who work in healthcare, and carry on their ministry of healing in spite of personal danger. For all who continue to serve in keeping our city and island safe. We uphold the the Chief Medical Officers who guide and advise us. We pray for the essential workers, for safety and peace.
We pray for the future of our police forces, that they may return to being part of our communities, to help and to serve, the least and the greatest. That they may be bringers of peace and security to the lives of the weakest, the broken and the most in need.
We pray for all who are ill, in body mind or soul, especially for those we name now, those we know personally and the names we have been asked together to pray for for Donna, Margaret, Charlotte, Rose, Penny, Kaya, Craig and Anne and family, Michael, Martin, Charles, Alizon
Please take time here to pray for those who you know personally.
We pray for Toronto Island, its people, this place of beauty and peace and security.
Pray with thankfulness for all in our church community.
Pray for Bella, Jane, Joyce, Julia & Nancy who hold responsibility as leaders in the church.
And we pray for friends in the church who we cannot see and who we miss.
And we remember those we love who have died who we hold in memory, especially, Bob, Al, Joey, Paulette, Maria, Mick, Fred, George, Brian, Michael, Nicholas that through your glorious redemption that ends all suffering, they may rest with you eternally
We pray for our Anglican community of Churches in Toronto Diocese.
Today we pray for St. Matthew, First Avenue, and its refugee sponsorship;
for St. Matthew, Islington, its hosting of an ecumenical Out of the Cold program, its Food Cupboard, and its engagement in social advocacy; and for St. Matthias, Bellwoods, its support of Bellwoods House, John Gibson House, and the Fort York Food Bank, and its social justice education and advocacy.
Here please take time now to bring to God the hopes and worries of your heart,
your thanksgivings, your fears, those you love and those who you don’t, but perhaps should.
Bring your hopes and your regrets, and ask for a blessing on all you hold in your heart........
We bring our longings and our fears, our hopes and our desires to you. Hear our prayers, gracious God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
\https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1nyzGR3tUE A beautiful instrumental version by the orchestra of St. Martin-in-the-fields, Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner
Prayers of Reconciliation
Merciful and Holy God,
We bow before You in heartfelt confession,
acknowledging that we are a broken people, living in a broken world.
This world is dark with the stain of sin.
Your design for creation has been corrupted by the abuse of power,
the appetite for lust, and the enslavement of our wills.
We allow evil to go unchallenged,
and become passive and indifferent to Your call to engage the world with the Gospel.
Forgive our sinfulness.
Our sins of commission and omission have separated us from You,
from others, and from the world You seek to redeem. Amen Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
Almighty God, in your great mercy you promise us all forgiveness and the path into life in your love. Have mercy on me, pardon me, help and strengthen me. Deliver me from the darkness that clings, so I may step further into the light of your ever-present eternity in Peace. Amen
When we allow God’s forgiveness to enter, in heart and soul and mind, we begin to find ourselves at peace.
May the peace of Christ, which passes all understanding,
keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his son Jesus Christ, our Lord
The offering we return for the great offering to us of unconditional love.
The offering we usually think of as about money, and there are helpful notes about that at the bottom of these pages.
But more important is the offering of ourselves to God.
Take a moment and ponder what you might offer to God this week.
Perhaps 10 minutes each morning, before the day gets going, to consider what you could do today to be Christ’s secret presence for one other person.... perhaps to read this service through, or parts of it, each morning...To pray. And to ask, what is the gift of yourself you could give to Jesus?
Offering Hymn #533 ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’
Text by Charles Wesley and music by Joseph Parry, Singer: Maddy Prior
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high. Hide me, O my Saviour, hide, til the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee. Leave, ah! Leave me not alone; still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenceless head with the shadow of thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, are all I want; more than all in thee I find! Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and holy is thy name; I am all unrighteousness; false and full of sin I am; thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep the pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
Now and for ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn # 460 ‘Lord, the Light of your Love is Shining’
The lyrics are in YouTube. A modern hymn written by the English hymnist, Graham Kendrick. The YouTube video is set up for singing along!
May God’s love surround us, God’s Spirit guide us, God’s whisper cheer us, God’s peace calm us,
May God’s shield protect us, God’s wisdom arm us, wherever God may lead us.
Closing: Take a few moments, a few breaths. Try to remember when, in this worship, you felt close to God’s presence. Recall words or phrases that seemed to speak to your heart. In this pause ask again if there is anything more that you should bring to God in prayer before the service is concluded. Take as long as you need to lift these up in prayer.
We are in eternal timelessness during worship, so there is no rush.
I will depart in peace, in the name of the Lord. Amen! Alleluia!
Thank you for being the Church today!
Pray for each other during the week. Phone and email. Keep the body together!
A Resource for People with Children
A wonderful website for parents and grandparents to use to entertain children from K to Gr 8.
Check it out at backyardcamp .ca.
A look at the psalms from John Bell. Click on this link to see details about his visit to Toronto.
(He is VERY good in my opinion, David)
Would you like to take part in a Zoom Coffee Hour after church?
We’ve tried it for some weeks and it has been going remarkably well.
Many of you will, by now, have discovered Zoom, an online way that a group of people can all be together on their computer screens. It is astonishingly do-able. Many thanks to Jane who set this up.
Oh! You have to bring your own coffee and treats....!
If you would like to join in and see familiar faces, Jane Davidson-Neville has already emailed you an “invitation” to this Sunday’s Zoom Coffee Hour. Join us if you wish.
Towards the end of the coffee we turn to a time for prayers of intercession, live and ad lib.
David invites us, one at a time, to offer prayers for whoever is on our heart, ending with “Lord in your mercy” to which we will all reply, “Hear our prayer”.
A letter from Bishop Andrew
Outlining the steps for re-opening in a safe way.
Follow the highlit links for very full information, David
Dear Friends in Christ,
For Christians, Wednesday’s headline in the New York Times was sobering: “Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.”
Since the release of our own reopening guidelines on June 30, I have been gratified that there has been so little resistance to the extensive safety precautions and the measures outlined that will make gathering for worship possible. Although we are pining to return to our buildings, there is a real sense that all of us want to be responsible, to protect our vulnerable and elderly, to care for our frontline workers who have worked so tirelessly, and to support society generally in getting us to this place where re-opening is possible. How we re-engage is truly an act of “loving our neighbour”.
(Click on “loving your neighbour” link for an easy summary of the three stages towards opening, or “Reopening Guidelines” for a detailed guide. David Howells.)
The College of Bishops has determined that we will enter our Amber Stage, and our church buildings may re-open for corporate worship, on Sunday, September 13. For those parishes that wish it, and can demonstrate that they meet the requirements and restrictions as outlined in our guidelines, services may resume on that date. Of course, we will rescind this decision if necessary.
We expect that the Amber Stage guidelines already released will not change substantially, and we hope that parishes are starting to prepare. We will issue a finalized, up-to-date version of Amber Stage guidelines on Wednesday, August 19. Presented as a checklist, it must be completely reviewed, each item initialed, and the document signed and submitted to the Regional Dean and Area Bishop, by Wednesday, September 9, in order for a parish to re-open the following Sunday.
A video is being produced that will be released the week of August 24. We hope that you will widely share it with your worshippers to prepare them for the changes that they will find, and the protocols that they can expect, when they return.
The phrase “unprecedented times” has been used exhaustively over the past four months. We continue to journey through this anxious and unknown chapter of our history. Yet we can be confident: confident in the ongoing love of God for this world, confident in the healing power of Jesus Christ to conquer sickness and death, and confident in the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church carefully towards re-opening. Let us continue to support each other in this endeavour, for as scripture reminds us, in bearing one another’s burdens, we fulfil the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Thank you for your ongoing prayers.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto
Keep an eye on the parish website
www.standrewbythelake.com and your email box, for posts that try to keep us together during the week.
Please continue to contribute to St. Andrew’s! The church has ongoing monthly expenses and no collection plate while we are all unable to gather.
Due to Covid-19, please do not use cheques.
Here are several ways you can support your church:
PAR - Pre-Authorized Remittance. This is the best way we have found to help. It is secure and well recommended. For information contact Joyce Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can continue to use these methods of support too..
E-Transfer - Use email: email@example.com
Canada Helps – See the link in the announcement section or go to the website.