March 22, 2020 Worship

Below are prayers and reflections gathered to give sustenance and comfort during this difficult time in our lives. I hope something here speaks to you. May it help you to worship and call upon God, our refuge and strength.

Nancy and I hope each one of you is finding something to nourish your soul during this time—let us know if you have any interesting projects going, tried a new recipe, or such. Maybe we’ll come up with a good compilation to recall in 5 or 10 years at church when marking the anniversary of the closing due to the pandemic.

Call  to Worship

O God, when we least expect you, you appear. You appear in the faces of strangers and neighbors, you appear in places of danger and safety, you appear in good times and in bad. Open our eyes to see you here and now, and to witness to whatever Truths we have seen.

Prayers of the People

For the vulnerable and at risk, Lord, hear our prayer

For health care workers, Lord, hear our prayer  

For custodians and cleaners. Lord, hear our prayer  

For grocery store workers, Lord, hear our prayer  

For those who feel isolated, Lord hear our prayer  

For those who are sick, Lord, hear our prayer  

For those who have fears, For all of us, Lord, hear our prayers.


Celebrations and Concerns

Scripture Reading

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, the One who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade On your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; The Lord will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in From this time forward and for evermore.


A few pieces to reflect on–

This piece was found online, writer unknown. It speaks for itself.


Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

Across the empty squares,

Keeping their windows open

So that those who are alone

May hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

Is busy spreading fliers with her number

Through the neighourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

Are preparing to welcome

And shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world

people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing.

Spring is coming.

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

To touch across the empty square,


And from the New York Times

While it is difficult to have no church service in which we come together, the church’s absence, its literal emptying, can function as a symbol of its trust in God’s ability to meet us regardless of the location. The church remains the church whether gathered or scattered. It might also indirectly remind us of the gift of gathering that we too often take for granted.


The Gospel of John recounts Jesus’ words to his disciples in the upper room before his death. He tells them it is better that he goes away so the Comforter would come. The point is that the loss of his physical presence through his death, resurrection and ascension would lead to an even deeper communion with God. It is possible that, strangely enough, the absence of the church will be a great testimony to the presence of God in our care for our neighbors.



And finally a word from Jimmy Carter:


I have one life and one chance to make it count for something.

I’m free to choose what that something is,

and the something I’ve chosen is my faith.

Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort.

My faith demands—this is not optional—

my faith demands that I do whatever I can,

wherever I can, whenever I can,

for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.

Before you go…..

Instead of singing Happy Birthday while washing hands, try the Doxology.

It’s about 20-30 seconds, depending on how fast you sing it!