Ordinary Time for Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

Link to Sermon

                                Order of Worship

Let us be as open vessels that God’s spirit may enter.

The Community Gathers:  Despite our physical distance, experience God’s presence in our assmebly.

You are welcome here…come and worship!

Focus: Prayer is not just spending time with God.  It is partly that – but if it ends there, it is fruitless. No, prayer is dynamic.  Authentic prayer changes us – unmasks us, strips us, indicates where growth is needed. Authentic prayer never leads us to complacency but needles us, makes us uneasy at times.  It leads us to true self-knowledge, to true humility.” St Teresa of Avila

Preparation for worship: You are invited to prepare yourselves for worship, creating a quiet space for contemplation and surrender.

Welcome:                                              Rev. Dr. Nancy Parent Bancroft

Gathering Music:  Down to the River and Pray (Traditional)  -Patricia Mulholland & The Union Church Choir

Responsive Call to Worship (based on Psalm 46)

One: Come, see the glorious things that our God can do!

All: God is our shelter and strength.

One: Be still in God’s presence.

All: God is our shelter and strength.

One: He will be honoured throughout the earth.

All: God is our shelter and strength.

Opening Hymn:  It Is Well with My Soul     *See Lyric Insert

Invocation and the Lord’s Prayer:

Loving God, as we continue to live through this unusual Ordinary Time, a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ, may we remain strong and open to you today and in all of the events of our lives. And together we say, Amen.

Awakening:  Blessings (by Laura Story)  -Michelle Currie

Readings: Luke 6:27-38. For the Interim Time, by John O’Donohue -Rev. Kenneth Murray

Message: Ordinary Time for Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times   -Rev.       Dr. Nancy Parent Bancroft

Musical Reflection: ,  Meditation on How Great Thou Art (by Stuart K. Hine)  -Michelle Currie

Prayers of the People:

Hush now in quiet peace, be still your mind at ease.  The Spirit brings release, so wait upon the Lord, (two times)

Closing Hymn:  Abide With Me     *See Lyric Insert

BenedictionFor support during these difficult days, receive this blessing: No matter how weak or how frightened we may feel, we each have gifts that can make a difference in the world. In this coming week, may you have the strength, courage and determination to do at least one thing to support the broken; to welcome the stranger; to celebrate what is worthy; to do the work of justice and love.
Be strong.
Be connected.
Each day, act — so you may be a little more whole.

All: Amen

Response Go In Peace

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you this day.

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always.

Celebrate and share the joy. Celebrate new life.

Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always.


 A huge thank you to our host, Amy Labelle, to our reader, Ken Murray, to Patricia Mulholland & The Union Church Choir, and as always to our talented music director, Michelle Currie for helping with today’s service.


  1. When oeace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, that has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul


It is well, it is well, it is well it is well with my soul

  • Lord, hasten the day when our faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back like a scroll

The trumpet shall sound and the Lord shall descend, even so it is well with my soul


ABIDE BY ME   (Lyrics)

  1. Abide with me, fast falls the even tide, the darkness deepens Lord with me abide

When other helper fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless O abide with me

  • Swift to the close ebbs out life’s little day, earth’s joys grow dim, it’s glories pass away

Change and decay in all around I see, O thou who changest not abide with me

  • I need thy presence every passing hour, what but thy grace can foil the tempters power

Who like thy self my guide and stay can be, through cloud and sunshine, Lord abide with me

Today’s readings: Luke 6:27-38 (New Living Translation)

27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.[a]

For the Interim Time, by John O’Donohue

A Blessing for all those going through a time of change at the moment.

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of darkness.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

from: “Benedictus, A Book of Blessings” by John O’Donohue, Bantam Press, 2007