Karen Murray-Hopf
Slideshow image

 GLEN MORRIS UNITED CHURCH

 We hope you feel welcomed, at home and at peace in this safe place. If you are a visitor, and wish to learn more about Glen Morris UC, please speak to anyone here, or our Minister: Meghan Gilholm.

For any young friends of ours, before Sunday School or during the worship service (if you choose to stay), you’re welcome to help yourself to our Children’s Activity sheets and crayons, and check out our family space in the Sanctuary! Ask an Usher and make yourself at home. We welcome happy noises, and dancing/walking in the aisles. Children SHOULD be seen AND heard!

Ministry of Music

Welcome & Announcements | Lighting of Christ Candle

Musical Call to Worship | Acknowledging of the Land

Centering Breaths | Gathering Prayer

One: Blessed are those who trust in God. Whose trust IS God. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green. In the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

All: We gather to give our hearts, minds, souls, and all our energy in adoration to God our Creator.

One: From the banks of the Grand River to the river shores of the Nith, and all the places in between, and beyond

All: We gather to praise God who gives living water, and through God the faithful flourish.

One: Like trees planted by the water, God, are those who trust in you.

All:  Like trees with deep roots are those who place their faith in you.

One: Like green trees during a drought are those who receive their life from you.

All: We praise you, God, for the life that has no end, through Jesus our risen Christ! AMEN!

*Opening Song: God of Wonders lyrics printed separately  

Time of Silent Prayer | Words of Assurance

Passing of the Peace

*HYMN:  VU#381 Spirit of Life

Story For All Ages

Scripture ReadingJeremiah 17:5-10

Gift of Music

Meghan’s Message   

Jeremiah 17:5-10“The ideas expressed in this reading are uncommon for Jeremiah’s time; they seem to reflect the thinking of later centuries, when books of wisdom literature (e.g. Proverbs,) were written. God, through the prophet Jeremiah, compares the fates of the ungodly and the godly. The ungodly purposely “turn away” from God; they “trust” (believe) in humankind’s power and strength. On the other hand, the godly truly “trust” in God. V. 6 compares the ungodly to a “shrub”: it dies in the desert sun. But the godly (v. 8) are like a “green” “tree”: sustained (“water”) and growing with the help of the “stream” (perhaps God’s Spirit). They have nothing to worry about (“not anxious”, v. 8).To ancient peoples, the “heart” (v. 9) was not only the centre of emotions, feelings, moods and passions but also of will and motive power for the limbs. The heart discerned good from evil; it was also the centre of decision-making. Conversion to God’s ways took place in the heart. In v. 9, it is said to be where evil begins. Only God can see clearly the intentions of the heart; only GOD can properly judge humans in their actions. God rewards people for the good they do, and condemns them for evil deeds. In v. 11, God reminds the reader that, in the end, wealth acquired unjustly does not benefit a person, for it does not extend Their life. (The belief of life after death was yet to be realized.)” (http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/cpr06m.shtml) “Now in the midst of Jeremiah’s social and political situations, we find this short section which may be called wisdom poetry. A blunt and straightforward contrast is set between those who trust themselves, and those whose hearts are turned away from God. And those who trust in the Lord. The result of a devious heart, set against God is disaster, and then those who trust is in God are like trees that bear fruit. These blessings and woes remind us of portions of Old Testament wisdom sayings in which ‘two ways’ are contrasted and the way of wisdom is to follow God and not one’s own desires (like in Proverbs and Ecclesiates). In this text we find social and ethical context.  The contrast we are experiencing is at the core of the human heart. And from these two ways of committing oneself come actions that on a large sale that still speaks to us today, define social contexts and ethical actions of humans within cultures. Actions come from inner desires that turn either to human strength or to the strength of God. Well God is concerned with the inner life, as this passage declares. God’s also concerned with the outward actions that express the inner heart. In Jeremiah’s time, a temptation was to trust in foreign powers to preserve the nation. Military might was a manifestation of trust in humans to fulfill desires for safety and peace. It was more appealing to trust in the powers that were clear in military muscle than the alternative…trusting in God, who cannot be seen and whose power isn’t visibly obvious. The same temptation to trust ‘the flesh’ is a part of our lives today. We can have aggressive military threats and actions, arms buildups, etc, and all these are powerful seducing methods for trust. \Military solutions may appear viable for a time, but can be changed by other forces that impact them and lead into a spiral that intensifies, with military escalation and strategy, politics, and so on. So Jeremiah was told that those who trust in people instead of God will be like a shrub in the desert. They won’t see when relief comes. They essentially live in the parched places of the wilderness with no source of life or renewal that can move them out of their situation. No new life is possible. When might feeds upon might, the answer to weapons is more weapons, and then there’s no breaking the cycle. No relief. And so no good fruit results from a devious heart that trusts in human strength alone. Now on the other hand, trust in God leads to blessedness. A tree planted in the soil of trust is planted by the water. It shall not fear (there’s our 365 times do not fear is written in the bible, as we’ve previously discovered)., isn’t anxious..and trusting in God means a renewing source of nourishment is always available. Even in a drought when all seems hopeless, its roots receive the needed nurture from the stream that gives life. Again, perhaps the stream represents the holy spirit. The ‘invisible” resources sustain, even when disaster seems unavoidable to the outward appearance. The leaves shall stay green, just like the heart that trusts in God will continue vitally in ways that are pleasing to God, because the heart trusts in the living God. And so social and ethical actions…even when the just and right seem endangered by surrounding evils continue because they are nourished and sustained by the life giving God who ensures that this trusting heart doesn’t cease to bear fruit. Fast forward to the new testaments, and Jesus made it clear that ‘you will know them by their fruits’ in Matthew 7. We are also encouraged to trust in God, and turn our hearts to God instead of self. We are promised a new heart in Ezekiel “A new heart I will give to you, and a new spirit I will put within you”. The work of God is focused in creating new orientations, new loves, loyalties and affections, now directed to God through Jesus. By the work of the spirit, Jesus is known and confessed as the savior from evil (or in that old, cringe worthy term: sin). A person is born from above, reconciled to God and alive to God in Christ Jesus with a new life of the spirit. A new creation. Only God’s power can overcome a devious and perverse heart. God does this through radical transformation of a human being. Just like Peter Pan said….all you need is faith, trust and pixie dust. “Trust is faith, and faith is the trust that responds to Jesus’ command: Follow me. Faith is the trust to love others, and faith is the trust to continue living as God desires and as Jesus showed us, even when the ‘heat comes’ and ‘in the year of the drought’. Faith enables and empowers us to trust God with all our heart. “I don’t know about you but I can find this concept of trusting with my whole heart a romantic idea…and sometimes I truly feel I’m living that way. But it can be really, really hard. Especially when bad things sometimes seem to be happening all around us. I have to work hard at trusting God, but also trusting myself…and the God that is within me. It’s hard to determine what’s me, and what’s God in me sometimes. Perhaps you feel the same way. As I reflected this week, I remembered a time in my youth when I seemed to have an unwavering trust and faith in God. And I look around at my life now, and it’s definitely still present, but perhaps becoming an adult and a little more of the world, has made me lose some of that youthful ‘all in’ kind of trust. Sometimes I really miss that in my life. My friend Rhonda, who was formerly my camp counsellor at Silver Lake United Church is a person who I believe is a person who lives her life ‘all in’ when it comes to trusting God. She recently shared this story about the power of praise and the miracle of a baby named Jaxon’s healing through Bethel Music. The whole video can be viewed on YouTube and I’ll be sure to share it on our Facebook page. Baby Jaxon was lying on the floor, not acting acting like himself and had developed ecoli that resulted in HUS that developed into kidney failure and the most severe case of HUS. The doctors told them this was beyond their capabilities and they were referred to another children’s hospital…and had to go THAT night. They were transferred by helicopter. Jaxon’s speech started to slur, and when they arrived at the second hospital he wasn’t recognizing anything or anyone, couldn’t respond to pain tests, and the parents felt like he was gone. As the Father and Mother said “there comes a point where you’ve prayed every prayer and you don’t have the strength to pray anymore, no strength for praise and worship and you start to feel undone. But it was at that moment that I found I started to really feel the prayers around the world.” The parents had shared Jaxon’s story online, and people rallied from all over the world. Jaxon’s mom said “There was something supernatural that happened that brought the church together. I would pull up social media and read peoples prayers and comments from all over the world. I hadn’t met them before but they were just crying out for my son. We were in the brink of life and death and people would be commenting on our Facebook: we are praying for you. People posting by the THOUSANDS. We’re in Brazil: our whole church is praying for you. We’re in Russia: my children pray for you every day”. They received so many letters, and kept them in boxes. ‘Jesus is healing him’ was written on a card by a four year old boy. While Jaxon was saving necessary yet very risky, potentially life threating surgery, a woman named Sophia from North Carolina received a text that Jaxon might not make it through the night. She collapsed into her husbands arms and wept. And her husband had a feelings of “We’re going to lose. We’re going to lose him. We’re not going to win this one. There’s not going to be victory on this battlefield”. In looking back, Sophia has said ‘those moments, even though they’re really hard something within us rises up that only moments of trauma and intensity can actually call forth. In those moments, for us…the only option for us is that we have to worship. Her husband said “I remember standing in this crossroads, and this giant unbelief standing in front of me. Your prayers don’t matter, all these prayers don’t matter. God’s not going to hear it. It’s going to be like those moments where you pray with all your heart and then bury your friend the next week. But something inside of me that said no’ and the melody just erupted out of my heart: I RAISE A HALLELUJAH IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES’  They recorded this song as a church and texted the parents about it, telling them that they had prayed for Jaxon and this song spontaneoulsy came forth. with the recording. Jaxon’s parents played it for Jaxon over and over again. I raise a halleluljah in the presence of my enemies. I raise a hallelujah. My weapon is a melody. And that’s exactly what I was doing. I was fighting warfare, and I wasn’t alone. I had people literally making weapons by writing songs…and sending it to us. It still humbles me and baffles me the power of global prayer and community and believing together. Jaxon’s Father said: Jaxon started talking again. He was asking ‘I want a hamburger’. There was a shift and Jaxon started coming out of what felt like a death sentence. Sophia and her husband heard the news that Jaxon was coming home and it felt like Christmas. They believe in the power of praise and they’ve seen God to a lot, and I don’t know the secret to all of it, but I do know that Jaxon is well today and I cant help but wonder or think that that praise had a part of that” The world will know that miracles happen through Jaxon. This story is a part of Jaxon’s testimony. This gospel is not haphazard, it’s not russain roulette. It’s not a guessing game. It is the absolute nature of God revealed through God’s goodness and kindness, and what is necessary is for the people of God to rise to the occasion to face the impossibilities of life with that confidence of God’s character, nature and promise. There’s no other option. We were called to this. It is our responsibility and it is our privilege. May we raise a hallelujah. May our weapon be our melody.  

*HYMN: VU # 538 For the Gift of Creation

Offering: MV#185: Ev’ry Day is a Day of Thanksgiving

Offering Prayer (said together)

May the offerings brought this day be used as seeds, planted faithfully and nurtured lovingly so that God's way may be realized anew in this world. Grant us the humility we need to plant and tend your precious garden.

Prayers of Concern and Gratitude *interactive*

The Lord’s Prayer*

Song for the Journey: MV#79: Spirit Open My Heart

Blessing and Commissioning 

 Ministry of Music