Mar – Worship Service – Lent 3 World Day of Prayer

Mar 13 – Lent 2 – Getting our Feet Wet
March 21, 2022
Mar 27 – Worship Service – Annual Meeting
April 5, 2022

Mar – Worship Service – Lent 3 World Day of Prayer

March 20th, 2022             World Day of Prayer

Life and Work of the Church

Acknowledgment of Territory

As we gather, we acknowledge that we live, work, play and worship on the traditional, unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq people. Their stewardship of these lands has provided a home for all of us who have come later. Let us be mindful of that stewardship as we gather and as we later go from this place.


Third Sunday of Lent

Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery           (VU#121)

Light of life beyond conceiving

Mighty Spirit of our Lord;

Give new strength to our believing,

Give us faith to live your word,

Give us faith to live your word


Voice 1:       Like people wandering through a desert, we long for the fresh cool sustaining richness of God’s grace.

Voice 2:      Yet we fail to recognize the rock from which that spring flows.

Voice 1:      Like the woman at the well, we fill our lives with those things that give only temporary satisfaction.

Voice 2:      During this third week of Lent, we recognize the longing in all our lives for more.  We recognize our need to turn to God if our longings are truly to be satisfies and our lives are truly to be filled.

Voice 1:      We pray for God’s help to do so.


Third Candle is Extinguished


Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery           (VU#121)

Living water of salvation,

Be the fountain of each soul;

Springing up in new creation

Flow in us and make us whole,

Flow in us and make us whole.


Call to Worship (Responsive)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. And I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Mathew 11:28-30)

We come to worship God at this time of uncertainty and vulnerability. As we face an unprecedented threat not just to our well-being- but to our very survival, let us pray together to our Almighty God to strengthen our faith and keep our hopes alive. 


Gift of Music:   Lead on, O Cloud of Presence        VU #421 

Prayer (Responsive)

Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we are mourning and grieving,

The deaths of many people—young,

old, and vulnerable ones.


Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we pray for those who care for the sick and dying,

And for those who look for cures and scientific solutions,

Release us from ignorance, myths, and false information,

That we may proclaim what is factual and true. 


Breathe on us, Breathe of God,

When we are anxious and scared

By a disease caused by a virus,

Unseen by our eyes yet occupying human bodies.


Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we pray for those who care for the sick and dying,

And for those who look for cures and scientific solutions,

Release us from ignorance, myths, and false information,

That we may proclaim what is factual and true. 


Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we repent our insensitivity and sense of privilege,

That blinds us to institutionalized oppression,

Racism and discrimination against our own people.


Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we pray for those who care for the sick and dying,

And for those who look for cures and scientific solutions,

Release us from ignorance, myths, and false information,

That we may proclaim what is factual and true. 


Breathe on us Breath of God

As we once again see the need for peace in our world.

Help us seek pathways to understanding,

Guard us from the greed that leads to the oppression of others

And help us work together to restore your peace.


Breathe on us, Breath of God,

As we pray for those who care for the sick and dying,

And for those who look for cures and scientific solutions,

Release us from ignorance, myths, and false information,

That we may proclaim what is factual and true. 


Gift of Music:  Breathe on me, Breath of God   VU# 382

Scripture Reading: Matthew 12: 13-17, 38-44

Introduction: These readings from Matthew are two examples of the wisdom of Jesus. In the first, some of the influential men are trying to trap Jesus in a conversation about paying a tax to Caesar. Jesus’ response quickly shuts down their motives when he says, “Give to God what is God’s”. In the second story, Jesus was at the temple with the disciples. Here he witnessed something which he used to teach the disciples about giving.

He sat across from the treasury of the temple and watched many rich people put in large sums of money. Then a poor widow came along and put in two small copper coins. Let’s see what message this might have for us,

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?  Should we pay, or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.

As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Reflection: The Fellowship of the Least Coin

The Fellowship of the Least Coin was envisioned by Shanti Solomon, A Christian woman from India, in 1956. Shanti was part of an international mission team led by Presbyterian Women from the United States. The Team travelled throughout Asia to meet with and listen to women who had been touched by injustice during the Second World War. The team heard stories of violence and trauma, deep pain and distrust.

When Shanti and the team went to Japan, three Japanese women met them at the Airport. They brought garlands for Shanti and others on the team, but they brought none for the Americans. They said,” We have had enough of General MacArthur…we do not welcome American women.” On that visit, Shanti saw destruction all over Japan, especially in Hiroshima, where the United States military had dropped an atomic bomb that instantly killed 80,000 people and later killed tens of thousands of people due to radiation exposure.

When Shanti and the team went to the Philippines, they met with Filipinas who were selling their jewelry to rebuild churches. When asked if they would ever receive a mission team from Japan to have conversations about reconciliation the Filipins  said, “not during our lifetime.”

When the team went to South Korea, Shanti had to stay behind in the Philippines because at that time, India and South Korea had poor diplomatic relations. After the Korean War, the United Nations asked Indian Prime Minister Nehru to be the neutral world leader to settle the boundary between the North and South Korea. Prime Minister Nehru settled the boundary at the 38th parallel even through most Koreans did not want country to be divided at all. As an Indian citizen, Shanti’s visa application was denied. She was not welcome in South Korea.

After hearing these stories of hurt and resentment and experiencing divisions and borders herself, Shanti prayed for peace, justice, and reconciliation among countries and peoples. She believed that if individual Christian women could pray about these issues, they could create ripples of peace, justice, and reconciliation that flowed to people and places all around the world.

As a token of each prayer, they agreed to set aside the least coin in their currency. Only the least coin was offered so that women of all socioeconomic status could be generous and participate in this peace-making.

Today, the Fellowship of the Least Coin is a global ecumenical movement of prayer, justice, and reconciliation, with prayers and least coins flowing to projects around the world that advocate for women and girls, support gender equality, and uphold human dignity.

So what could be our story of the least coin? What should we be offering with our prayers?

In our first reading today, where Jesus was being tested about taxes paid to Caesar, Jesus asks, “Whose image is on the coin?” When the Pharisees respond that it is Caesar’s image on the coin, Jesus says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God, what is God’s” Hold that thought about the image on the coin. I ask you, whose image do you bear? Going back to the earliest book of the Bible, in Genesis we read, “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female[a] he created them.” Apparently, unlike the coin that had the image of Caesar, you and I are the image of God. What a profound thought!

Let’s take that thinking one step further to the comments of Jesus, “Give to God what is God’s” It suggests to me that we are asked to commit our very being to the service of God. Think about that for a minute and then think what could be achieved if that was what we did.

Forward to the story of the widow gave two small copper coins. While the wealthy gave a small portion of their riches, she offered all that she had. Jesus looks at the proportional giving and recognized the degree of sacrifice that was made by the poor widow.

Both of these stories are illustrations of how we are called to offer our service to God. Relating them to the story of the least coin, and how we put our prayer into action, I think there is a message there for us. Prayer is important. Imagine what could be achieved if a critical mass of people around the world committed to offering focused prayers – prayers that addressed the needs of the world. If the prayers are sincere, they move people to action, and those actions can help to mend the divisions that are responsible for war and poverty and famine and injustice and so many other problems facing the world. So here is the challenge. Pray, and when you do, commit to giving roots and wings to your prayers – commit to some small act of kindness as you offer your prayers to God. If we can do that, I believe that so much is possible, and those acts of kindness will grow and multiply. God has given us the solutions to all of the world’s problems. We just have to be willing to listen and act. May it be so. Amen.


Gift of Music:   In the bulb, there is a Flower    VU# 703


Prayer: A Litany for Healing (Jack will read)

God of grace. You nurture us with a love deeper than any we know, and your will for us is always healing and salvation.     We praise and thank you, O God.

God of love, you enter into our lives, our pain, and our brokenness, and you stretch out your healing hands to us wherever we are.   We praise and thank you, O God.

God of strength. You fill us with your presence and send us forth with love and healing to all whom we meet.   Hear us, O God of life.

We pray for the world. That your creation may be understood and valued.   Hear us, O God of life.

Touch with your healing power the minds and hearts of all who suffer from sickness, injury or disability, especially those who are sick of covid 19, and make them whole again.   Hear us, O God of life.

Touch with your healing power the minds and hearts of all who live in confusion or doubt and fill them with your light.   Hear us, O God of life.

Touch with your healing power the minds and hearts of all who are burdened by anguish, despair, or isolation, and set them free in love.  Hear us, O God of life.

Break the bonds of those who are imprisoned by fear, compulsion, secrecy, and silence.  Come with your healing power, O God, and touch our lives.

Fill with peace those who grieve over separation and loss, especially those who lost friends, family and loved ones to Covid19. Come with your healing power, O God, and touch our lives.

Restore to wholeness all those who have been broken in life or in spirit by violence within their families; restore to wholeness all those who have been broken in life or in spirit by violence within our family of nations; restore to them the power of your love and to them the strength of your presence.  Come, O God, and restore us to wholeness and love.

O God, in you all is turned to light, and brokenness is healed. Look with compassion on us and on those for whom we pray, that we may be re-created in wholeness, in love, and in compassion for one another.   Amen

Blessing for the Offering:

Loving God, thank you for the gifts of life and the fellowship of all humankind. We are especially grateful for the fellowship of the Least Coin, which binds us together in love and forgiveness around the globe. Free us from our doubts and prejudices, we pray. Inspire us to live in solidarity with people crying out for peace, justice, and reconciliation today. Accept our least coins as tokens of our prayers. May this offering support those who may struggle with injustice all over the world and help transform our faith. We pray for all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen

Time for Silent Prayer

And now, in silence, I invite all to offer their own prayers to God, and share the burdens that we carry with the One who offers renewal and surrounds us with never ending love.

Minute for Mission – Lisa’s Story

Nothing prepares us to lose the people we love most in the world. Lisa’s husband Steve was in and out of palliative care for years.

“It was a difficult journey. He wasn’t ready to leave this life,” Lisa says. “The week before he died he said, ‘I’ll surprise you yet. You’ll see me walking around that circle with my cane.’ But that didn’t happen.”

After Steve died, Lisa attended a widows’ support circle facilitated by ORA, a Mission & Service partner. ORA, named after a Maori word meaning “life,” helps people move through grief and loss using workshops and support circles.

“Hearing the stories and wisdom shared, the laughter and the tears, brought me to a place where I felt comfortable in sharing a bit of my own pain and my own journey. And there was this sense of solidarity in our pain. Because being a widow is a different kind of loss than losing a parent, a child, or a friend,” Lisa says.

In the widows’ group, there was an understanding that surpassed words.

“The support helped me work through things like ‘What do I do with the wedding ring now?’ Do you still wear it? Do you not wear it? And on a practical level, do you change the sheets because you can still smell your partner on the sheets? The first time you have to check that box on the government form, that you are no longer a Mrs. but a widow, I just burst into tears. ORA, just like other outreach ministries we have, is a tangible way of showing faith in action.”

Your gifts through Mission & Service help people like Lisa rebuild their lives after loss.

“At one of the most difficult times of my life, your generosity through Mission & Service provided care, love, and comfort. Indeed, we are not alone. We live in God’s world. Thank you for your support,” says Lisa.

Prayers of the People and The Lord’s Prayer

God, you are with us now and always will be. The promise we shall keep because we believe in the resurrection. We pray, God of Resurrection, through dangers, snares, toils, and fears, you strengthen us. Comfort us in our weeping, cheer us up in our times of grief, console us when we feel alone, we entrust everything to You, as we, following your command, seek to love and serve others.

God, we pray at this time when the world is struggling to recover from the challenges of a brutal pandemic, that you will guide our recovery. Help us re-discover that sense of community that reaches out to those in need and allows us to share the abundance that exists in a way that is equitable to all.

God, we pray for all those who are victims of circumstances beyond their control; those who are living in war torn areas who wish simply to live in peace. We particularly pray for the people of the Ukraine at this time when their country is being torn apart by acts of foreign aggression that is motivated by greed. Grant them your protection and a pathway to end the violence.

We pray for leaders everywhere, that they may be motivated and guided by a will to serve their people with fairness and justice rather than personal gain. Grant them clear thinking and a willingness to work in collaboration rather than confrontation to achieve fairness for those they serve.

We pray for those who teach and those who work with children. Grant them wisdom and the ability to guide those they work with to grow in kindness, empathy, and love for each other.

We pray for children everywhere. Help them to discover the strength of your love and to allow it to guide them to build the kind of world in the future where people are motivated to care for each other rather than strive against each other;  a world where stewardship of our resources and respect for the natural world you have provided is valued above profits that are motivated by greed.

We pray for all those who are sick in body, mind or spirit. Help to restore them to health so that they can assist in carrying out your mission in the world. We pray for all those who mourn the loss of loved ones. Help them to sense your comforting presence in their pain.

And now we pray together that prayer that Jesus taught us:

Our Father who art in Heaver

Hallowed by 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 and the power and the glory

Forever and ever, Amen.

Gift of Music:   Put Peace into Each Other’s Hands           MV# 173


As we prepare to leave this place, let us go, knowing that God has work for us to do. We will not be asked to do what we cannot do, but to risk doing what we can. And as we go, let us go knowing that God is with us, the example of Christ shows us the way, and the Holy Spirit will strengthen and support us on our journey. Go with God.

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