June 7, 2020 Service



Due to copywrite limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


The festival of the Holy Trinity celebrates the wonder of relationship with God while leaving us distinctly dissatisfied with our limited understanding of what God is. While guarding against the idolatry of language, we survey our scripture, doctrine, creeds, and symbols of our heritage. Equally important, we pray for God to inspire fresh, innovative ideas of God in the present moment.

Today’s gospel contains one of the few biblical references to the trinitarian formula. As the eleven are commissioned to make disciples, baptize, and teach, we are invited to consider our calling to influence the world with the good news of God’s love. The text from Second Corinthians also includes a kind of naming of the Holy Trinity in an affectionate sign-off of a personal letter. With the psalm praising God the creator and sustainer of all creation, Genesis 1 relates the first of two creation stories, this one an ancient liturgy celebrating God as a divine plural.

That God that is beyond our understanding may be both troubling and comforting. The temptation may be to attempt to apprehend the idea of God with our intellect, offering a showcase of various models for God. The result is usually disappointing and feeds our bias toward intellectualism. Another possibility is to celebrate God’s presence in all its glory and colorful wonder and our belonging to this wonder-full God.

Call to Worship

We have come to worship God, whose spirit moved over the waters of creation and brought forth our world.

God is great!

We have come to worship God, who came to earth as a tiny baby, died on a cross, and rose again.

God is great!

We have come to worship God, who is not far away from us, but loves us like a mother and a father.

God is great!

Help us love the diversity of your creation.

Help us accept all varieties of gender in ourselves and in others.

Help us celebrate those who are different from us

That we may learn to love each other as you love us,

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, both human and divine.

—Used by permission of Rev. Cindy Bourgeois, Wesley United Church, Regina, Sask.

CHILDREN’S SONG:  Voices United #296  This Is God’s Wondrous World


Creating God—God of Mercy, as we have acknowledged the diversity in this amazing world, created in atoms and molecules but with an underlying spirit of mystery, we must also admit that, at times, we have forgotten the wonders of that diversity. We have longed for things to be familiar and as they have always been. We know that the great religious traditions have caused harm in the past and continue to cause harm and pain to those who express their being in ways different than the majority. We know, too, that we individually, both intentionally and unintentionally, have rejected and shunned those who are not like us.  For this we are truly sorry and ask your patience as we learn and strive for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate all in this wondrous world. Amen.



The word DELIGHT means to “please greatly”.  I would also add, “creates great joy!”  God DELIGHTS in human beings!  God enjoys our conversations!  All that is created by God gives God great DELIGHT! 


Look around your house for things that DELIGHT you, give you great joy!  Make a list.  It helps to write things down so that you see how much in your life DELIGHTS you!  Now, say a prayer of thanks to God for all that you have in your life in which you DELIGHT!


Almighty God, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word; and give us grace that we may clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:4a

At the beginning of time, God the Creator, God the powerful Word, and God the life-giving Spirit form the earth and all its inhabitants. God sees that all this created work is good and then rests on the seventh day.

Psalm 8

How majestic is your name in all the earth! (Ps. 8:1)

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Paul closes a challenging letter to the Corinthians with an appeal to Christian fellowship grounded in the triune harmony of Christ’s grace, God’s love, and the Spirit’s partnership.

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

After his resurrection, Jesus summons his remaining disciples and commissions them to baptize and teach all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


I would like you to hold the following two phrases in your minds throughout this sermon:  “In the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.”  And, “God saw everything that had been made, and indeed, it was very good.”

As you journey through life in faith, these two phrases will sustain you:  that each of you has been created in the image of God, and that indeed, you are a good creation.

There is a reason for us being here.  We are here because God wants us to be here.  In the film, The Spirit Within, a Cree Elder tells prison workers, at the Prince Albert Penitentiary, the Creation myth of the Cree people to help the employees understand the spirituality of the First Nation inmates. 

He says that the Great Spirit called out to the universe, but no response came.  The Great Spirit created the planets and called out again – still no response.  So, the Great Spirit, in much loneliness, created the plants and animals, but sadly, there was still no response to the Great Spirit’s call.  Finally, the Great Spirit created human beings, called out, and there was a voice that called back, so the Great Spirit was no longer lonely!  I think this is a wonderful creation myth because not only does it show that God willfully created us, it also makes clear that God desired us to be here! 

How often do we contemplate the fact that we have been created in the image of God?  Probably very little, which is sad, because it is when we ponder this fact that the rest of humanity, not to mention the rest of creation, becomes more sacred.

As human beings we all, from time to time, try to have power over the other.  This is not always done consciously, nor openly – it does happen.  When we realize that this is what we are doing, or someone else is attempting to do to us, that would be the time to sit down and remember that each of us is created in the image of God, and that we are a good creation.  And if we are created in the image of God, and the Creator of all looks with compassion and favour on all that is created, how then does this reflect our treatment of each other?

As human beings, there are circumstances in the home, world and workplace which do, or will, make us question ourselves, those around us, and God.  It is then we need to enter into the body of Christ, the community of believers, to support one another and remind each other Whose we are, that in each of us dwells the Spirit of Christ to sustain us, and with the help of God, through Christ’s Spirit, we can overcome that which threatens our faith.  As those created in the image of God, our responsibility is to teach children in whose image they are created and remind them every day of their lives that they are, indeed, a good creation!  To teach them, and remind ourselves, that the power we have been given by God to “subdue and have dominion over the earth” is a power not meant to violate and destroy, but to cultivate, preserve, look after for God; to be responsible stewards, so that not only today’s children, but future generations may enjoy the goodness that God has created.

“So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that had been done in creation.”  Scripture does not say that God stopped creating, rather, God took a rest from it.  Each day of our lives is a new creation.  Each day we die to sin and are reborn in the waters of our baptism.  God never stops creating.  Christ has come and died for us and now lives within us, a present reality.  The Holy Spirit fills us with the power to go out and proclaim God’s goodness and embrace others as a good creation of a gracious and loving God.  Each day our love and faith create news ways of expression, and we discover the limitlessness of God’s love and the wisdom of rest.  Resting does not necessarily mean we stop completely.  Rather, we slow down, reflect on what God has done for us, give thanks for it and pray for the courage and strength to go out and face the world tomorrow, another new creation.

Out of chaos, God created order and peace.  Out of the chaos of our lives and this world, God still has the power to create order and peace.  While at times it may seem as if we are being swallowed in the darkness of despair, even there God is with us.  There is no darkness that God cannot overcome.  Through the light of Christ there is wholeness and healing.  At all times and through all things we remain a good creation of God.  Hold on to this!  Let the knowledge that you are created in the image of God fill you with hope, and peace, for God jealously guards that which God has created. 

We are in communion with God.  We, too, have been given the power to create.  Christ commands that we go out and create new disciples.  Through baptism others are recreated Christ’s own.  Through the Eucharist, Christ’s thanksgiving meal, we are given new life through the forgiveness of our sins.  Through the sacraments we not only are in communion with God, but with each other.  We, too, are asked to put things in order when chaos threatens.  We are asked to live in peace, as God initially planned.  We are asked to greet one another with a holy kiss, as a reflection of the loving embrace in which God holds us.  This is communion.  This is community.  This is living in the knowledge that we are a good creation.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #176  Three Things I Promise


Called into unity with one another and the whole creation, let us pray for our shared world.

God of community, you form us as your church. Guide our bishops, pastors, deacons, and all the baptized in sharing your life-giving good news with all the world. Strengthen us to be bold in our proclamation.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

God of creation, you called everything into being. Sustain this world with your renewing care. Inspire us to see waterways, plant life, birds, fish, insects, and mammals and call them good.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

God of counsel, all authority belongs to you. Encourage the leaders of this and every land to seek peace, equality, and unity. Instill wisdom in advocates who work toward justice in often ignored communities.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

God of care, you created us in your image. Help us see your likeness in one another. Open our eyes to see and attend to all who face oppression and suffering. Console, heal, and nourish all in need.  We call on your spirit of healing. Bless nurses, doctors, midwives, chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those in need. We pray for all who long for comfort, for all the front-line and essential workers of this pandemic and for their families.  We pray for the families of all those who have died from the corona virus.  Embrace them with your love and grant them inner peace.  We bring before you our family members, friends and community members who are in need of your peace and healing hand at this time:  Myrtle & Art Ganske; Mike Froese; Brooke Alexiuk; Abbie; Tracy Skoglund; Carolyn & Douglas; Don; Amber; Nicole; Gordon Dreger; Diane Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Elizabeth & David; Len Schieman, Alice.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

God of companionship, you accompany this body of faith. As the rhythms of summer begin, protect all who travel, renew all who will enjoy a time of sabbath, and shelter all who will not be protected from the sun’s heat.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

God of compassion, you comfort us in our grief with the promise of the resurrection. We give you thanks for the saints of all time and in our lives.

Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those too deep for words; through Jesus Christ our Lord.






Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

God, the creator, ☩ Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love.  Amen.


SENDING SONG:  Voices United #481  Sent Forth By God’s Blessing


Our gifts for Mission & Service support reconciliation work through the National Indigenous Church.

As a church we continue to work toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Mission & Service supports this work through your gifts for the National Indigenous Church.

We are thankful that we have Elders like Alvin Dixon to lead us on the path of reconciliation. Alvin, a residential school survivor, was taken from his community and sent more than 500 kilometres to the Alberni Residential School. Alberni was a United Church of Canada–run school where many children suffered sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. Alvin was beaten when he spoke his Indigenous language of Heiltsuk rather than English.

Alvin survived the school, earned a university degree, and later counselled fellow residential school survivors. He also found comfort in the Christianity he learned at the school. Alvin became a leader in the path of reconciliation. He was a Caretaker of the Indigenous Circle, a Mission & Service–supported program. As an activist in the United Church, he helped guide us to an apology to Indigenous peoples and to becoming a driving force behind the demand for a public inquiry into conditions at the residential schools, which led to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Alvin died from cancer in 2014 at the age of 77, but his legacy of activism lives on in the work of reconciliation.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS011617.