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Sermon and Liturgy for Trinity Sunday - Year C
Proverbs 8:1-6,22-31; Romans 10:5-13
"Confessing and Believing"


READING:  Proverbs 8:1-6,22-31; Romans 10:5-13
SERMON :  "Confessing and Believing"

Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
c-trinsn 787000

   The following is a more or less complete liturgy and sermon
   for the upcoming Sunday.  Hymn numbers, designated as VU are
   found in the United Church of Canada Hymnal "Voices United".
   SFPG is "Songs For A Gospel People", also available from the 
   UCC.
 
   The following service includes an outline of a liturgy for 
   reception into membership of the church by infant baptism, 
   confirmation, and transfer of membership (from another church)
   and the celebration of the Lord's Supper.  As we gather in 
   praise and worship this Trinity Sunday we are also having 
   our closing ceremonies for this year's Sunday School students.
   The service dwells on the meaning of the various sacramental 
   actions of the day and celebrates professing faith in Christ 
   Jesus (responding to the call of the Wisdom of God).  It is 
   in exploring this latter that one aspect of our Trinitarian
   Faith is held before the people.


GATHERING AND MUSICAL PRELUDE                            (* = please stand)


* CANDLE LIGHTING AND CALL TO WORSHIP  (based on Psalm 8)
L  The grace and the peace of the risen Lord be with you.
P  And also with you.
L  How majestic is the name of God in all the earth.
P  God's glory is set above the heavens.
L  When I look at the heavens, the work of God's fingers, the moon and the
   stars that the Lord has established, I wonder what are human beings
   that God is mindful of them - mortals that God cares for them.  Yet God
   has made us a little lower than himself and crowned us with glory and
   honour.
P  O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth.  Your
   glory is set above the heavens.


THIS WEEK AT ST. ANDREW'S
- Announcements
- Birthdays and Anniversaries
- Special Items
- Sharing Joys and Concerns


MUSIC AND MEDITATION BEFORE WORSHIP


PRAYER OF INVOCATION:  
Loving God, Creator of the universe and Fashioner of men and women in Your
image, we worship and adore You.   Lord Jesus, Saviour of the world and
friend of each one of us, we worship and adore You.   Holy Spirit, life the
Church and comforter of the needy, we worship and adore You.   Truly your
glory is set above the heavens, your majesty greater than what we can
imagine.  We thank you for how your are mindful of us, for how you call us
to you to crown us with glory and honour.  Help us Father and Mother of us
all to open our hearts and lives to your coming  in this time of worship. 
Send, O God, your Spirit upon us and upon what we say and do here that 
your name may be praised and your will done here as it is done in heaven. 
We ask it through Christ Jesus our Saviour and our brother.  Amen.


* HYMN:    "Spirit of The Living God"                              - VU 376
             
              
A READING FROM PROVERBS 8:1-6, 22-31
   (NIV)  Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her
   voice? {2} On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she
   takes her stand; {3} beside the gates leading into the city, at the
   entrances, she cries aloud: {4} "To you, O men, I call out; I raise my
   voice to all mankind. {5} You who are simple, gain prudence; you who
   are foolish, gain understanding. {6} Listen, for I have worthy things
   to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

   "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his
   deeds of old; {23} I was appointed from eternity, from the
   beginning, before the world began. {24} When there were no oceans, I
   was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;
   {25} before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I
   was given birth, {26} before he made the earth or its fields or any
   of the dust of the world. {27} I was there when he set the heavens
   in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
   {28} when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the
   fountains of the deep, {29} when he gave the sea its boundary so the
   waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the
   foundations of the earth. {30} Then I was the craftsman at his side.
   I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his
   presence, {31} rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in
   mankind.

L  This is the word of the Lord
P  Thanks be to God.


SUNDAY SCHOOL AWARDS AND RECOGNITION: 
- Wisdom Calls Us (Thoughts about listening to God)
- Hymn: "This is The Day"  - VU 412
- Welcome (by superintendent)
- Certificates (by teacher and minister)

- Prayer and The Lord's Prayer
   God of truth and love   we thank you this day   for our church
   school - we thank you for the year past - and we ask your blessing -
   - for the year to come    watch over those who teach - and those who
   learn - during this time of rest. - Grant them and us   a growing
   faith   and a deepening love.   We ask it Through Christ Jesus our
   Lord.   Amen

   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, the power and the
   glory, for ever and ever.  Amen

                    
DUET: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee"


A READING FROM ROMANS 10:5-13
   (NIV)  Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the
   law: "The man who does these things will live by them." {6} But the
   righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who
   will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down) {7} "or
   'Who will descend into the deep?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from
   the dead). {8} But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in
   your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are
   proclaiming: {9} That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
   and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will
   be saved. {10} For it is with your heart that you believe and are
   justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
   {11} As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put
   to shame." {12} For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the
   same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, {13}
   for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

L  This is the word of the Lord.
P  Thanks be to God.


* HYMN:  "Come and Bless Us, God"                                  - VU 596


SERMON:  "Confessing and Believing"
           
   Loving God, quicken our hearts again, that we may receive Your Word
   afresh and anew.  Send the refreshing wind of your Spirit upon us
   Lord that your voice may be heard in our hearts and your loving
   presence seen in all that we say and do, bless indeed your Word to
   us - oh though our Rock and our Redeemer.  Amen

Today Wisdom calls us 
   she calls to all living to hear her voice and live.
She has built her house; 
she has made her bread and mixed her wine; 
she has set her table.

She calls us to come and to eat and drink,
to lay aside immaturity and live and walk in the way of insight.

This is the image of the Book of Proverbs concerning the Wisdom of God.

Wisdom calls us - God calls us  
The Spirit calls us   Christ calls us  

And today in a public manner 
  in a sacramental manner   in a holy and sacred manner
we celebrate as a community the answering of that call.

From little Callum and his mother   young in years   to Alice   wise with
experience, faith in God is being expressed and from Del and Robert - to
you and me and the rest of the people of St. Andrew's a desire is being
made manifest:
   - the desire to indeed eat and drink at the table of wisdom
   - the desire to be filled with the Spirit and to be at one with the God
   who made us all,
   - and to be at one with his people in a specific way and in a specific
   place - at a specific table.

Today, however, we celebrate more than the sacraments of belonging,
   - we celebrate more than baptism in the name of the Father, and of the
   Son and of the Holy Spirit,
   - we celebrate more than the meal that signifies the forgiveness of God
   and our union with God and with one another,
today we celebrate the truth of our faith,
today we celebrate the wisdom of our God.
-- a wisdom that is beyond our wisdom -
-- a truth that is beyond our truth.
A wisdom that is saving,
A truth that is healing.

We celebrate how Wisdom became incarnate in Christ Jesus.
we celebrate how truth took on substance in him,
how the word of God took on flesh and dwelt among us
-- calling us towards salvation and becoming salvation to us;
-- taking us by the hand to bring us to the gates of heaven and with his
love opening those gates 
-- offering himself for us - his body - and his blood - so that we might
eat and live forever,
   so that we might be filled with light
   so that we might be made whole
   so that we might be instruments of grace and of love.

So how do we do this   how do we actually eat and drink and live?
How are we made whole?  How are we saved?

It is a matter of faith and belief.
Of confession and of commitment.

Paul writes that is:
 
   the righteousness that comes from faith says, "Do not say in your
   heart, 'who will ascend into heaven' (that is to bring Christ down),
   or 'who will descend into the abyss' (that is to bring Christ up
   from the dead).  But what does it say?

   It says that "the word is near you - on your lips and in your
   hearts" -- that is the word of faith we proclaim -- because if you
   confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart
   that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Confess with your lips Jesus is Lord - that he is the one promised of God
   the one of wisdom and of gentleness   the one who is one with God and
   has the keys to heaven in his hand   the one to obey 
and believe in your heart that God in fact uses him to do what we cannot 
   do for ourselves   that in him God's power is made manifest   God's
   power to give bring life out of death - hope out of despair   joy out
   of sorrow   order out of chaos....

The essence of Wisdom is the essence of God
and it is God we celebrate today   
the love of God,
the mercy of God,
the forgiveness of God,
the healing power of God,
day by day, one day at a time, forever and ever.

Wisdom has set her table,
she has sent out her servants
she calls us to come and eat her bread and drink her wine
she calls us to accept Christ as our wisdom and our life 
- our Lord and our companion  
and to believe that God as God raised him from the dead, so he will raise
us to new life through him.

We celebrate the truth and the wisdom of God today.

Paul write in the twelfth chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews concerning
those who confess Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised
him from the dead:

   You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God, the
   heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
   and to the assembly of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven,
   and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous
   made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to
   the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of
   Abel.

My friends, each of us here today is an a spiritual pilgrimage
and by the grace of God we have found, or are in the process of finding,
our way to the table that wisdom has spread for us.  
We are making our way to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God.

From those of you who have found that there is a higher power that can help
you with your problems,
   to those of you have looked upon the heavens above and the world below
   and sensed there is one whose glory is above the heavens and whose
   majesty is greater than the world that he has made,
there is a recognition of the call that Wisdom has made 
and the truth that she reveals at the table she has spread.

We celebrate here today in the sacraments we observe
and the songs that we sing
and the prayers that we make,
something that is truly great -
something that is truly marvellous
something that speaks more eloquently than the blood of Abel,
something that is not only beyond us in mystery
but which is beyond us in love,
and yet in love
comes to us and calls us and 
- when we accept it in our hearts and begin making it real on our lips - 
makes us, and indeed our world - whole.

Blessed be God, day by day.  Amen.


PASTORAL PRAYER:
We thank you God for how your Wisdom calls to us   for how your Spirit
speaks to us   for how your Word reaches out to our souls.   Grant O God
that each of us may have a growing faith and a deepening love, that we may
confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord   and believe in our hearts that
he is risen from the dead.  Help us to see the world of miracles that you
have prepared for us   and to reach the kingdom you have promised we would
inherit.   Lord, hear our prayer.....

We thank you today O God, for the witness of our congregation to the young
children in our midst, especially that of our Sunday School teachers and
helpers who fulfil in a special way the vows we take as your people to
nurture those who have been baptized into Christ.  Bless we pray all the
young people of this congregation, and our church school.  Give to our
teachers a good rest and lead them and us by your Spirit so that when
Church School begins again this fall all may be excited by what happens and
built up in faith.  Raise up and bless too we pray those who will help
children and their parents this summer to continue to worship and
fellowship in this place by their activities with the  little ones.  Lord,
hear our prayer.....

Lord, we pray your blessings upon those who are presenting themselves
before you this day as we celebrate the sacraments instituted by Christ
Jesus.  We especially hold before you Callum as he grows and matures that
your love may guide him and rest upon Carol and David as they teach him the
truths and duties and privileges and responsibilities of being a part of
your family -- for Alice and Carol as they profess their faith this day by
renewing the vows made on their behalf by their parents many years ago  --
and for Robert and Del as they commit themselves anew to you in this place
and as part of this congregation.   Lord, hear our prayer....

Lord, we pray for each one who comes to eat of your bread and drink of your
wine this day   may your wisdom speak to them and transform them, may your
life fill them and use them... Lord hear our prayer...

Lord, we pray also your blessing upon Brian, Mitchell, Derrick, and Megan
as they celebrate the anniversary of their birth and upon all those we know
who are observing a significant moment in their lives this coming
week....Lord, hear our prayer....

Lord, we also pray to you for those others named in our sharing time, we
pray both in thankfulness and in intercession, we pray to you for (BIDDING
PRAYER)... Lord, hear our prayer...
 
Lord, we pray for all nations, that there may be an end to all injustice,
poverty, persecution, and especially for a just reconciliation between
warring factions:  Lord, hear our prayer...

Lord we pray for those among our family or neighbours, colleagues or
friends, who are at present living through difficult days of sickness,
sorrow, injury, injustice, anxiety or bitterness, that they may discover
the loving resources of the Holy Spirit:  Lord, hear our prayer...

Lord we pray for each person in this congregation today, with personal
worry, heartache, pain or distress, and especially for anyone who feels
that they are at the end of their tether, that these be given recovery of
courage and peace of mind:  Lord, hear our prayer...

Most loving God, source of all grace, light, and peace, restore to all
people the joy and health of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
he who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and evermore.  Amen


* SHARING GOD'S BLESSINGS: As the Offering is presented all stand for the
Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow - VU 541) and Prayer of
Dedication

   You beckon us to follow You, O Lord, and to proclaim Your salvation
   to all people everywhere.  In this holy house we offer our lives,
   our talents and our gifts to you.  Take and receive all that we give
   to You.  Teach us to give even more, so that the purposes of Your
   mission to the world may be fulfilled through us, and the work of
   Your Church may be achieved in our community and accomplished
   throughout the world; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.



THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM AND RECEPTION OF MEMBERS
  Words of Introduction
  Presentation of Candidates (with faith statements as desired)
  Profession of Faith and Promises
  the Promise of the Congregation and The New Creed (VU 918)
  Blessing of Water
  Baptism of Infants
  The Laying On of Hands (Confirmation)
  The Transfer of Members
  Concluding Prayer

  
* SHARING THE PEACE

             
* HYMN: "Let Us Break Bread Together"                              - VU 480

            
COMMUNION LITANY
L  The peace of the Lord be with you.
P  And also with you.
L  Lift up your hearts.
P  We lift them up to the Lord.
L  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P  It is right to give him thanks and praise.


EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
Thanks and praise we gladly bring, O God of mystery, for though your nature
is unexplainable, your greatness is known in all the world and your glory
reaches beyond the stars.  In the first of your acts long ago, before the
mountains had been shaped or springs brought forth water, you breathed your
Spirit into being to work beside you like a skilled artist, dancing
joyously to the music of creation and delighting with you in the works of
your hand.  And now through this same Holy Spirit, your love has been
poured into our hearts, your words have been whispered into our ears, and
all that you have redeemed through Jesus Christ is made known to us to the
glory of your name.

We thank you Lord for your creative and redeeming nature for how you come
to us for how you transform the ordinary lifting up the humble and
bringing down the proud filling the valleys and levelling the high places
so that the way into your heart may be made easy for those who have eyes
to see and ears to hear.

We thank Lord  you for coming unto us in Christ Jesus your Word, made
flesh and for all that he did, is doing, and will yet do to fulfill
your will.  Most especially we thank you for how he died that might live
and rose from the dead that we might never truly die.

It is for these and many other reasons we set this table before you   and
remember how it was on the night that Jesus was betrayed how he took
bread.. 


WORDS OF INSTITUTION


CONSECRATION
.... Send O God, your Spirit upon us and this bread and this wine   that it
may be for us communion  in the body and the blood of Christ Jesus   and so
that we might grow together in the unity of the faith he proclaimed.  We
ask it through his most Holy Name


THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ELEMENTS  
- Please come forward up by the centre aisle to receive from the servers
nearest to you and return by the side aisle. 

         
DEPARTING PRAYER (unison)   
   Almighty and ever-living God, you have given us grace, by the
   confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal
   Trinity and, in the power of your divine majesty, to worship the unity. 
   You have fed us at your table and now you send us out into the world. 
   Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to
   see you in your eternal glory, one God, now and forever. Amen.


* DEPARTING HYMN: "Walk With Me"                                   - VU 649


* COMMISSIONING (unison):  In the power of the Holy Spirit, we now go forth
   into the world, to fulfil our calling as the people of God, the body of
   Christ.


* BENEDICTION & THREEFOLD AMEN
Go in peace, love and care for one another in Christ's name,  
and all the blessing of the Triune God go with you 
- the blessings of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 
be yours now and forever.  Amen


THREE FOLD AMEN & SUNG BLESSING:  "Go Now In Peace"                - VU 964


copyright - by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 2001 - 2006 
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.



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