July 4 – Worship Service – Bambi

June 27 – Worship Service – Fantasia
June 28, 2021
July 11 – Worship Service – Cinderella
July 11, 2021

July 4 – Worship Service – Bambi

Rev Lohnes

Sunday July 4, 2021


Acknowledging the Territory

In the past few weeks, we have been more aware than ever of our history and our relationship with our indigenous brothers and sisters.  And so, as we gather here today, we take a moment to recognize land upon which we gather is, by law, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.  We offer our gratitude for this land and we ask the Creator to help us use and share it wisely.


Lighting the Christ Candle

As we light our Christ candle this morning, we open our hearts and our lives to the light of Christ. And we commit ourselves to allow that light shine through us in all that we do.


Call to Worship

Each day is a gift from God,
each moment is an opportunity to share with all creation.
Each day is a reminder of the love that surrounds us and all that God has created,
each moment is an opportunity to share that love with others.

Each day is call to offer God our thanks and praise,

each moment is an opportunity to worship God.

And so today we take this opportunity to draw closer to God,
as we come together in worship.


Opening Prayer (in unison)                  * written by Thom Shuman

You raise your hand and gently begin the concerto of creation: birds carry the melody while stars keep the beat; mountains dance in merriment and little children clap their hands with joy.  Love’s Composer, our new songs are lifted to you as the old, old songs are made new in our hearts.  Believing we cannot carry a tune, we hesitate to join in the chorus of praise, sung by all creation.  So, you softly and gently hum the melody into our hearts until they burst with your praise, in a rousing chorus of joy.  Music-making Spirit, our new songs are lifted to you.  Eternal singer, as we gather in worship today every song, old and new, is offered to you.  Amen

Gift of Music              For the Beauty of the Earth                              #226


Scripture Readings

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Ecclesiastes 3 is a familiar passage which contains the words,  There is a time for every purpose under heaven.  But we do not often read verses 9 to 15.  In those verses we are told that everything that has happened, continues to happen and the past is connected not only to the present but also the future.  In nature we would call this the circle of life.

Romans 8:18-28

Romans 8 talks about the very real existence of pain and suffering and it reminds us that there are times we are not even sure of where we are going or what we want.  But it also reminds us that it’s OK if we can trust that in the end, all things will work out for good through our trust in God.

Song That Never Ends

The Disney version of Felix Salten’s story of Bambi was nearly seven years in production.  Although it was originally previewed in a theater in Pomona, California in November of 1941, just weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbour, it was not officially released to the public until August 13, 1942.  Although the response of critics was mixed, Bambi received three Academy Award nominations including best original song which it lost to Irving Berlin’s White Christmas!

As the movie Bambi begins, we see the deep forest beginning to light up with the dawn.  We see a drowsy owl settling into the hollow of a tree as he prepares for sleep, while the rest of the forest begins to awaken.  We see a squirrel, a chipmunk and various other birds and animals begin to stir.  And behind the scene plays the beautiful theme song.

Love is a song that never ends

Life may be swift and fleeting

Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music

Comes each day like the dawn

Love is a song that never ends

One simple theme repeating

Like the voice of a heavenly choir

Love’s sweet music flows on

As the music plays and as the animals and birds start to move around, an excited whisper begins to pass between them.  The whisper gets louder and louder as the excitement in the air builds.  It has happened.  Today is the day.  Hurry.  You don’t want to miss it.  Today a new prince has been born.  The animals rush to the thicket where they gather to welcome the new arrival.  And it is here that we see, for the first time, the tiny fawn that his mother has named Bambi.

It is a moment of sheer joy and beauty and in that single moment one very simple truth is revealed.  There is an innocence, a splendor and a beauty in all of life, that can only be appreciated and understood through a deep reverence for all that has been created.  It is a moment of surreal perfection that seems to reflect the idyllic image of the Garden of Eden.

It is also in this moment that my favorite character, a rabbit named Thumper, is introduced.  When Bambi first attempts to stand, Thumper, with a childlike air of superiority, comment that “he doesn’t walk very good does he?”  But from that moment on Thumper appoints himself as Bambi’s official teacher and mentor as he proceeds to explain the world to this young fawn.

He teaches Bambi the names of all the things he sees, including the birds, the butterflies, and the flowers.  They even encounter a young skunk which Bambi mistakenly identifies as a flower.  When Thumper tries to correct the mistake, the skunk replies, “he can call me flower if he wants.”  Soon Bambi, Thumper and Flower become fast friends.

As the trio grows and matures, we learn another of the lessons of creation.  Life may be beautiful, but life is also vulnerable.  When Bambi is introduced to the meadow for the first time, he meets another young fawn whose name is Feline.  Just as the two start to become comfortable playing with each other, a cry goes out through the herd to run for the thicket.  There is a real sense of fear and danger that Bambi does not understand.  When he asks his mother about it later, she simply responds, “Man is in the forest”.

But we are soon reminded that danger comes in many forms.  As the seasons change and winter sets in, food becomes scarce and we see Bambi and his mother struggling to find enough to eat.  When the first blades of new grass begin to appear, hunger drives Bambi and his mother to once again venture out into the meadow.  This time, when the warning comes to flee for the thicket, we once again hear a shot ring out.  Bambi’s mother is dead.

It is here, in the midst of great tragedy, that yet another truth is revealed.  No matter how vulnerable life may be, no matter how difficult or sad, there is always hope and help.  The Great Prince of the Forest, who until now has appeared as a distant and mysterious figure, comes to stand beside Bambi and gently care for him and guide him as he makes the difficult transition from fawn to adult.

This does not mean, however, that Bambi does not face many other dangers and struggles.  He is nearly killed on several occasions.  At one point Feline, who has now become Bambi’s mate, is attacked by a pack of dogs.  Bambi must fight them off as he defends Feline and enables her to escape.

In another scene, Bambi is shot while fleeing from hunters and lies in agony on the ground, apparently unable to move.  The Great Prince of the Forest again appears, this time urgently demanding that Bambi get up.  Bambi struggles to his feet, only to discover that the forest around him is burning.  With the help and guidance of the Great Prince, he eventually escapes to a small island in the center of a lake.  Bambi frantically paces back and forth along the shore until he sees his beloved Feline swimming towards him.

Hope continues to grow as the forest, that was so devastating by fire, begins to recover.  New growth appears everywhere and the animals that have survived the ordeal have now passed through their mating season.  Thumper and Flower appear as adults followed by their own children, and the scene becomes a reflection of the movie’s beginning as they, and all the other creatures of the forest, hurry to the thicket.

In the thicket we find Feline who has given birth to twins as Bambi, now fully grown and a Prince of the Forest in his own right, stands high above keeping watch.  The music with which the movie began once more swells in the background and we once again hear the beautiful words echoing through the forest;

Love is a song that never ends

Life may be swift and fleeting

Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music

Comes each day like the dawn

Love is a song that never ends

One simple theme repeating

Like the voice of a heavenly choir

Love’s sweet music flows on

Perhaps no other Disney song better describes the promise of the gospel as well as this one single verse does.  No matter how beautiful life many be, life is also swift and fleeting.  It can be hard.  It can be painful. And there are times when it may feel like all hope has indeed, died.  But that is not the end.  Love’s beautiful music comes each day like the dawn.  Even the darkest night must give way to a new dawn.  It is as reliable as the sun and moon.  It is the one thing that we know we can always trust.  Night will not last forever.  Darkness will give way to light and a new day will dawn.

The writer of Ecclesiastes talks about this same reality.  He says that there is a time for everything and everything happens in its own time.  This is the part of this passage that most of us are familiar with.  But it is the verses we ended our reading with this morning that may not be so familiar.  Everything that happens has happened before, and all that will be has already been — God does everything over and over again.

The circle of birth, life, death and new life that the movie Bambi so beautifully demonstrates is as old as time itself.  It is the plan of creation itself.  Life does not last forever, but that’s OK.  Because Love’s sweet music flows on.

All life is beautiful and wonderous.  All things are created in innocence and beauty.  But they are also vulnerable.  Bad things happen.  Pain, sorrow, hardship, difficulties and trials of all kinds are a part of life.  No one can get through life without some times of sorrow and pain.  But that does not mean that the beauty of life has been destroyed.

There is always hope and help.  Like the Great Prince of the Forest, who helped to encourage, guide and challenge Bambi when he most needed it, we are also offered help, encouragement, guidance and challenge.  As Christians, we look to Christ as our “Great Prince”.  We look to his life and teachings to guide our decisions and lead us through life.  But we also look beyond this.

We look to his death and resurrection to find the hope of new life and a new beginnings beyond this life.  Everything that happens has happened before, and all that will be has already been — God does everything over and over again.

The overall theme of the movie Bambi is deceptively simple.  It is the story of birth, life, death and rebirth.  But within that simplicity lie the complexity of life itself and the truth that in all thing, Divine Love, the source and sustenance of life itself, continues to flow throughout everything.  Life may end, but Love goes on.

Love is a song that never ends

Life may be swift and fleeting

Hope may die yet love’s beautiful music

Comes each day like the dawn

Love is a song that never ends

One simple theme repeating

Like the voice of a heavenly choir

Love’s sweet music flows on


Gift of Music              Let My Spirit Always Sing                               MV#83


We Offer Our Gifts

At this time in our worship, we are reminded that our commitment to God also includes the gifts we offer.  We may offer our gifts by placing them on our offering plates, by giving through PAR or through other ways of making donations.  But, as always, we need to remember that our financial contributions are only one of the many things that we have to offer.  We offer our time, our talents, our abilities, our commitments and our prayers.  And so, whatever it is we offer today, let us ask God’s blessing upon it.


Let us pray;

Loving God, as your spirit has continued to touch and bless people throughout history, bless the gifts that we offer you today that through your spirit they may become a blessing to others.  Amen.


We Offer Our Prayers

And now, let us take a moment to remember all those named in our prayer jar, in  our hearts and our thoughts this day … Amen.


Minute for Mission


Prayers of the People

Our Prayers of the People today are adapted from a prayer written by Rev. Terri C. Pilarski.  Let us Pray.

God of all new things, God of Springtime and fragrant flowers, God of Summer warmth and Autumn colours, God winter snows and changing seasons.  God of hope and new life, Bless us, we pray, this day.

Creator God from whom all life springs forth, we give You thanks.  We come to celebrate and rejoice!  The old has passed away.  Everything has become new!
God of all things that are passing away, God of the old and of yesterday, the One
who has been with us in our despair and fear.  God who sighs and weeps, with us,
God who wipes away our tears, we offer up these prayers of concern this day –
for those struggling to rebuild lives devastated by natural disasters, especially those facing the recent wildfires in British Columbia and the Western US and those effected by mudslides in Japan.  We pray for those recovering from human disasters, the collapse of the condo in Florida, those dealing with the finding of the unmarked graves near former residential schools, and those dealing with tensions between differing ethnic and political groups.
We also for those struggling with disease and illness and those mourning the lose of loved ones.


Hear us when we pray. Incline your ear to our words, to our silent shouting cries,
to our mournful whispers and stunned wordlessness.
Be gentle with our suffering with our sorrows and losses, and especially when our hard hearts close us off to you.  Be gentle.

Touch us with the softness of your love that can break into our hardness and open us to new life.  Move us and fill us with you loving touch so that we can touch
others in your name.   By your love reconcile us to you and to one another.
And so we celebrate and rejoice – The old has passed away and in you, in your resurrection, in your life and in your love, everything becomes new!
Thanks be.  Amen.


Closing Hymn            As Comes the Breath of Spring                       #373


Sending Out

So go out from here now into a world that is ever old and ever new.  Go out into a world of change and a world of stability.  Go out into whatever lies ahead knowing that you do not go alone.  The God who created you is with you.  The Christ who lived to show you how to live goes before you.  And the Spirit who is behind you, before you, around you and within you, goes with you.  God with God.  Amen.

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