Jun 19 – Worship Service – Indigenous Day of Prayer:  All My Relations

Jun 19 – Worship Service – Keep it Alive!
June 15, 2022
June 26 – Worship Service – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
July 5, 2022

Jun 19 – Worship Service – Indigenous Day of Prayer:  All My Relations

Indigenous Day of Prayer:  All My Relations

Welcome & Announcements

Happy Fathers Day to all our dads.

I would like to share a short quote with you, as I think back to the love I shared with my dad. © Karen K. Boyer

He never looks for praises.
He’s never one to boast.
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most.
His dreams are seldom spoken.
His wants are very few,
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken, too.
He’s there…a firm foundation
Through all our storms of life,
A sturdy hand to hold onto
In times of stress and strife.
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad.
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad.

Introit             MV# 85

Take, O take me as I am;
summon out what I shall be;
set your seal upon my heart
and live in me.

Lighting the Christ Candle  ~ Rev. Nancy Best ~

As we light the Christ candle this morning;

May its light guide us to truth talking and to travelling good paths. May we in turn share the light with those we meet until it spreads to all peoples worldwide.

Acknowledgment of Territory  ~ Rev. Nancy Best ~

We begin this time of worship by acknowledging that we are meeting on the land upon which we live, work and worship is, by law, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. This land has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning. We thank all the generations of Indigenous people who have taken care of this land and been its stewards for thousands of years. We give thanks for the countless ways they have assisted the settler peoples who came to inhabit the land.
Meegwetch ( Give Thanks), All my relations…

First Hymn – It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker          MV# 30

Let me share with you a Quote for Contemplation    

~ A Gift from Henri Nouwen  ~

“To listen is very hard, because it asks of us for so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.” So, as we begin our worship this morning, let us listen and share in our call to worship…

Call to Worship

In the presence of Creator, we gather:
People carrying burdens we may not know about looking for comfort; folks needing their spirits refreshed.

We draw together hoping for that touch that will enliven us, longing to be embraced in arms of love and understanding.
Help us to put aside our differences and see the earth as you see it, boundary-free.

You call us all: babies, toddlers on unsteady feet, school-age children with curious minds, teens with questing spirits, full of youthful confidence one moment and like frightened children the next.
We are called, as adults trying to take good paths watching out for the next generations, and those easing into their winter years passing on our teachings.

We are all kin in this meeting place, whether we gather in person or through technology, our spirits joining to say meegwetch (Give Thanks) for all that we have been blessed with.
Thanks be to God for the goodness in our lives. Amen.

Let us Pray together…

Opening Prayer

All-encompassing God, you who called creation out of chaos. You breathed the sacred word Ruah (breath, Spirit) and life came into being. Your magnificence is a Holy Mystery that we are too human to be able to comprehend. We give thanks for that which is beyond our comprehension. It allows us to dream and imagine. We give all praise and glory to you Most Holy, for holding us in all the seasons of our days, to love, and to cherish, in this life, and in everlasting life. We are in awe of our covenanted love and journey with you. Amen.

Next Hymn – Let Us Build a House                  MV# 1

Let us gather before God with our Prayer of Confession and Assurance
~ Kenji Marui, General Council Worship Team ~

Holy God, creator of this United Church. We must confess that we are not who we say we are.
We aspire to be an inclusive, intercultural, affirming, and activist church. We admit that sometimes we are not.

Having been shaped in a world that values one gender over others, one sexual orientation over others, one faith over others, certain body types over others, subjected to countless social preferences for ability, age, education, and income, we harbour inaccurate assumptions of everything we deem “other.”

Holy God, source of justice: As we examine and dismantle the scaffolding of entitlement and privilege that undergirds our society and our church, as words and phrases and terminology change, as social constructs and conceits crumble, we feel that we’ve had to mask our opinions like we’ve had to mask our faces. We are fearful of being found out, of offering opinions now outdated and offensive. 

We know this is the work of confession and repentance.
We name the disquieting truth each of us harbours.

Thoughts that we judge with reactionary haste,
that we don’t know how to express our frustration.

Holy God, maker of safer spaces: We pray for the wherewithal and fortitude to challenge one another, and ourselves, with clarity and forbearance, with grace and forgiveness, as you have done for us. Amen.

God calls.  God transforms.  God encourages.  God unites.  God forgives.  Praise and thanks be to God.

As we prepare for scripture let us pray our

Prayer of Illumination

In those difficult moments of our lives, we go in search of your face, you who are Christ, our guide of life. At times we fabricated a picture of you that corresponded more to our expectations than to your true face.

You are the human face of our God. What wrong paths have we sometimes taken
at the heart of our difficulties or in our desire to seek you.

No, you’re not some kind of vigilante of the super-human type you are near us in all our difficulties in a very different way. You turn out to be the one who always surprises us by the way you show up when we least expect it.

The Samaritan Woman did not expect to meet you by the well that day, nor did Mary of Magdala when she came to the tomb that morning.

This is how you reveal yourself to us, in an unexpected way. Give us, as to these two women, the ability to discover you where you are waiting for us. Amen


Intro to 1 Kings 19 selected verses

Here, we see Elijah’s internal struggle, his fears and doubts, and his private withdrawal into the wilderness. But this chapter is not only about the prophet. It is also about the God who meets Elijah and responds to him in the particulars of his situation: providing for his needs, and ultimately redirecting him.

Paraphrase of Psalm 106: 1‒5  (No Introduction)

Halleluiah! O Meegwetch (give thanks) to the Maker, for he nurtures us; love lives forever in ancestors dancing in the aurora borealis. Who can truth talk the mighty doings of the Creator or drum all their praises? Joyful are those who observe justice, who work for right relations at all times. Remember me, O Great Spirit, when you show honour to your people. Help us when you lead us into places of protection. We see the grateful hunting of creatures, generous gathering and abundant harvest and prosperity our kin, that we may dance in the ceremonies of our nation’s people, that we may glory in your ancestry. Meegweth (Gives Thanks) all my relations.

Intro to Galatians

All believers are one in Christ Jesus. In Galatians 3:23-28, at the heart of his fervent appeal to the Galatians, Paul explains that the law had been a jailer which imprisoned humans until the coming of faith, which is the coming of Christ, the object of this faith.

Galatians 3:23-29   

Intro to Luke 8:26–39

As Jesus and his disciples were at the territory of Gerasa,  they were met by a man from the town named Legion (because many demons had gone into him.) When he saw Jesus, he fell to his feet, and shouted, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? I beg you, he said, don’t punish me!” and the demons begged not to be sent out into the abyss.

ReflectionAll My Relations

I am Grateful for the wisdom, humility, and patience of all people who follow the way of Jesus, as we turn to contemplate the lessons that we’ve heard today.

We prepare for our contemplations with an affirmation of the Creator’s deep and abiding love.

We begin with a practice familiar to many spiritual directors and the people they accompany―namely, an invitation to recognize the false images that affect our lives and relationships.

We have inherited and internalized false images of God and often we are afflicted by false images of ourselves.

In our reading about Jesus’ healing of the man called Legion, we find a key for exploring the passages from first Kings and Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

If, in the gospel narrative, we replace the word “demons” with “lies” we would not be far from the truth.

For what torments us are the lies that we are not good enough, not lovable enough…or the lies that we are self-made and need no one.

I believe the root of these torments is our inherited images of an angry, aloof, or judgmental Creator.

In our New Creed we speak of Jesus, our judge and our hope. Intellectually we might speak gratefully of divine love ―

but until we repeatedly welcome the reality of Creator’s love into our very cells, the subconscious mind easily replays words or images that speak of condemnation and rejection so that some part of ourselves believes in a jealous, unforgiving God along with Elijah.

Susceptibility to half-truths might make us think that Paul is speaking of cookie-cutter uniformity and not the beauty of Jesus’ reconciling and uniting love.

The results of living with false images of God, false images of ourselves, can be disastrously destructive. We find we’ve become a church that fails to embody love that is invitational and accepting of differences.

Let us consider Elijah. He tells God that he has been very zealous for his Lord. He has even murdered those who worshipped another god.

I find Elijah’s self-recognition that he is no better than his ancestors, connects with his recognition that he is a murderer.

He believes he killed others for the jealous God he served―yet the warrior God he venerates didn’t appear in destructive displays of earthquake, wind, or fire.

The God who had repeatedly sheltered and rescued not only Elijah but also others, even “outsiders”―the God who indeed had a remnant of faithful followers―spoke in the silence, a still, a small voice.

 We are seduced by drama. We see the zealous, if murderous actions of the great prophet and we let it shape our theology almost unconsciously.

We nearly miss the lesson that shows us we need to grow quiet enough to receive the actual voice of our Creator.

Do we notice that Elijah, so focused on what was wrong, has lost sight of God’s compassion, has lost the joy of being in relationship with God?

Think of the joy of the man who was Legion when he is freed from the lies that controlled him during his exile among the dead.

His fear frightened all who saw him except for the One who liberated him with a word of empowering love.

We might not be afflicted with as many false understandings of God and ourselves as the man Jesus healed, but Paul sees us all as imprisoned.

He speaks of the law as a tutor that watches over us until we experience liberation through our trusting in the grace that is manifested through Jesus.

All that is required of us for liberation is trust. We are invited to trust that we are loved simply because we are God’s delightful creation and not for anything we do. We are loved despite many of the things we do, despite the important things we’ve left undone.

In writing to the church in Galatia, Paul is speaking contrary to the divisions that haunted the early church.

He speaks to us today. No one, regardless of differences in ceremony or philosophy, is better than another; no one, regardless of differences in societal status or gender, is less precious than anyone else.

For part of my life, I was judged and, made fun of and made to feel worthless because of my weight, my sexual orientation and because of my mental health.

I can tell you it had a profound affect on me. It wasn’t just damaging, but it was destructive to my self esteem and self worth.

Ultimately, it shaped my whole life at that time. I allowed myself to follow a godless life and a path that would lead to alcoholism, mental health problems and abusive relationship.

I became a person unrecognisable to my family and friends. I relied on alcohol and prescription medications to get me through the day.

I married into a relationship with a man to hide the fact that I was gay. That turned out to be 11 years of abuse before I finally found the strength to leave.

And I blamed God. My perception of God was that of angry hurtful God; I really believed that I was gods’ mistake.

It took time! a long time for change to happen.

It took a great deal of inner strength, faith in god, prayer and unconditional love from family, friends, community and people like you, my congregational family to change my life’s path.

Today I have a full life. I have a relation ship with God today which is liberating and I try to do his work each and every day. My life is not perfect, nothing is, but I am happy and today that is enough.

In these times of racial awareness and acknowledgement of discrimination, it is time for us to focus on our common humanity and look for ways we can love our neighbours instead of judging them, fearing them, or talking about us and them.


This day, we celebrate Fathers, but today, we also celebrate “Indigenous Day of prayer”.

I believe that that if we do anything today, we need to look past all our indifferences, and we need to first and foremost recognise the deaths of children in our residential schools.

The schools just didn’t disrupt lives and communities, causing long-term challenges among Indigenous peoples. Families’ lives were torn apart and so many countless innocent children’s lives were taken.

I think it is our responsibility to teach our children and grandchildren that we are all one, united in our love and faithfulness as followers of the teachings of Christ.

Indigenous peoples have a saying, “All My Relations ”

“Awgway nyah dayday waw nayrenh

This Mohawk phrase is on their crest. The four colours of the Medicine Wheel, yellow, red, black, and white, and the Mohawk words have been incorporated in the United Church crest since 2012.Indigenous spirituality, leadership, and participation are vital to the church’s life. What this says to me is that we are all united.

It goes further than Paul’s teachings. Paul was speaking about people. All my relations includes all living things: people, creatures in the water, those that fly in the air, everything that creeps and crawls and slithers on the ground. We all have a place in God’s great creation.

For instance, if we were to look at creation kind of like a giant spider’s web. when you pluck at one thread, the vibrations are felt throughout the whole spider’s web or like the ripples that spread out when a pebble is thrown into the water.

So how do we work toward justice and reconciliation?

Like the paraphrase of Psalm 106 says, “Joyful are those who observe justice, who work for right relations at all times.”

There are many things we can do like:

-Acknowledge the land you we meeting on.

-Recognize the Treaty if you are in Treaty territory.

-Recognize that not all lands are Treaty land but that they are unceded Indigenous land of our indigenous people.

-educate ourselves about culture, racism, and reconciliation.

We can support local Indigenous communities –

-celebrate Indigenous artists: their writing, music, and artwork.

-Donate to local Indigenous organizations such as healing and friendship centres.

-We can also support urban Indigenous people through Indigenous community centres and programs.

So, today on Indigenous Day of Prayer, let us give thanks for the Indigenous people of our communities and their profound contributions to our common life together.

Let us all, individually and collectively, seek out ways to work for reconciliation and justice. Let us be the beloved children of God, and love our neighbours―yes, all of them.

Worldwide, people represent the colours of the medicine wheel, shades and combinations of yellow, red, black, and white, and also brown.

We are all Creator’s beloved children. In the beauty of our differences, we are one family in Christ Jesus. We are all God’s beloved children.

May we hear Creator speaking in the stillness of our hearts. May we take courage and prayerfully investigate the false images that afflict us. May we go forth to embody the compassion of Jesus. (Meegwetch

Hymn – Us into Fullness – MV# 81

Offertory Statement

As we gather in worship, we offer God not only our praise and our prayers but also our gifts. Here at Beacon, we share our financial gifts by placing them on the offering plates at the back of the church, or by making arrangement to give through Par or through online donations. As we sing our offertory response, we bring these gifts forward, along with all lest tangible gifts of our time, our talents and our commitment.

OffertoryVU# 538

For the gift of creation, the gift of your love,
and the gift of the Spirit by which we live,
we thank you and give you the fruit of our hands.
May your grace be proclaimed by the gifts we give.

Offertory Prayer 

And as we offer our gifts, we also offer our prayers. Let us take a moment of silent prayer for those mentioned in our prayer jar, all those named in our hearts and all those known only to God. (Silence) Amen

Minute for Mission

Help Overcome Discrimination – Petrona’s Story

Everyone has a right to express their beliefs, find good work, have a safe place to live, speak freely, love who they want to, and meet their basic needs. Discrimination strikes at the heart of these core human rights.

Although Indigenous people living in Guatemala make up nearly half the population, they face discrimination in all facets of their lives. Because of this discrimination, accessing health care and education and becoming financially stable is extremely hard. Especially for women. According to the Guatemala Conference of Evangelical Churches, 43 percent of Indigenous women living in Guatemala are unable to read and write compared to 19 percent of non-Indigenous women.

That’s why your gifts through Mission & Service support the Conference in providing human rights education as well as business and agricultural training skills for women farmers.

Petrona is one of hundreds of women who have changed their lives after receiving training through the Conference.

She is a member of a gardening group of six women. Thanks to your generosity, these women receive seeds, tools, and agricultural training. Today, instead of making the long walk to the market to buy costly produce, Petrona grows tomatoes and chili peppers a stone’s throw from her home. “When we need anything, we just get it from our greenhouse,” she says.

Catarina, another member of the group, says the greenhouse means children in the community are healthier.

“If we plant tomatoes, radishes, and chard, these are very good vitamins for our children. We don’t see malnourished kids anymore,” she says.

The gifts you give have a lasting impact on the lives of hard-working Indigenous women and their families, who face discrimination simply for being who they are. A better world is possible! Thank you for helping to make it happen.

Prayers of the People ~ Jan Jorgensen ~

Holy One,

We praise you for your deep and abiding love, which holds each one of us every moment of our lives.

We praise you for your generous spirit and your infinite patience as you wait for us to embrace your transforming love and accept your forgiveness.

Help us to bring these words of praise from our minds to our hearts so we can live into sharing your gracious compassion and extravagant blessings with all our neighbours, known and unknown.

Accept, we pray, our sorrow and shame for the times when we have not shown compassion and mercy to those you have created in love and for love.

Help us grow in courage and hope so we are no longer bound by the lies that have been spoken to us, free us from the untruths that prevent us from being your faithful partners in the healing of Creation.

You have embodied truth and mercy; you have suffered for and with us―accept our faltering words of gratitude;

Breathe your Spirit upon us once again, and kindle in us the love that would ever reflect your creative joy and peace.

Thank you, Creator, for inviting us to lay claims upon your heart; we come with these petitions, knowing that ours is a mutual relationship and you ask us to be your heart, and hands, and voice in this world.

We pray for all the war-torn places in this world… We pray for the millions of displaced persons sojourning upon this earth, for all who have lost nearly everything… We pray for your precious children who are being murdered, trafficked, and enslaved… Thank you for holding our collective grief.

We pray for our country; guide us and our leaders into the ways of truth-telling and compassion. While our truest citizenship is found in being with you, O God, help us to live responsibly and generously among all the people of this land.
We pray for all your faithful people, that we and all who follow your pathways would embrace your wisdom and humility and embody your compassion.

We pray for our communities, especially for those who are lonely or afraid and those who need healing of body, mind, and spirit. We pray for those who are hungry, for those who are unhoused. By the prompting of your Spirit, guide us so that we offer kind words and deeds of love in gratitude for all that we have received from your gracious kindness.

Rabboni Jesus, we thank you for all the countless people who have given their lives to ease the suffering that fills this world. Bless them and empower each of us to find our own ways to create justice and peace out of your love.
Thank you for your everlasting love. Amen.

Now let us join together in saying the Lord’s prayer

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom comes, 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 and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

Closing Hymn – Joyful, Joyful We Adore You – VU#232

Commissioning and Benediction

May we travel our lands in gentle ways, caring for creation as in turn she cares for us. May your light and love encircle and envelop us all, as we rest in the promise of your abundance. Go in peace, with wisdom and gratitude. All my relations. Meegwetch. Amen.

OffertoryVU# 538

For the gift of creation, the gift of your love,
and the gift of the Spirit by which we live
we thank you and give you the fruit of our hands.
May your grace be proclaimed by the gifts we give.

Offertory Prayer 

And as we offer our gifts, we also offer our prayers. Let us take a moment of silent prayer for those mentioned in our prayer jar, all those named in our hearts and all those known only to God. (Silence) Amen

Sending Forth

Go now in peace, never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know God will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith and in love.


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