Worship Companion – September 27 2020

Welcome to our third week of journeying through John 16 together. We’re still processing the huge changes that are at work in our church – namely COVID and the departing of our beloved founding Pastor Ralph Van Oostveen to go serve at our Evangelical Missionary Church in Lindsay, ON. Yet, we have much to be thankful for – and that works well with our theme this week!
“On the Road to Hope” – that’s the name of the title image of the blog this week. I think a beautiful scene like this can serve to remind us of “scope.” God’s plans and God’s world are so much bigger than us and the way we see things. Sometimes we make the world narrow and small – we shelter ourselves with stories that explain everything around us in a way that makes us feel safe and insulates us from the difficulties of our time (some we call these narratives ‘conspiracy theories’). That’s not the way forward for Christians- instead, we have the Master of the Universe on our side, and He has decided not to give us all the answers about these present challenges or the future, but he has promised that each day will never take us beyond the shelter of the palm of His hand. He walks with us, by the presence and power of His Holy Spirit – that is the best gift we can have in this life – so let us be truly thankful.
Anchor Texts:
The Theme in Song:
The Theme for Kids:
We’ve seen this story before – but we can all benefit from the reminder of Jesus’ love for the disciples as he promised the Holy Spirit and his personal presence would continue to abide with the disciples as they stuck close to him through faith!

The Theme in Art:
This painting is captivating. Here we see the two powers – the Kingdom of this world with its figure head of Pagan Roman power (Pilate standing in for Caesar) and the Kingdom of Heaven represented by it’s humble King, Christ Jesus. They stand face-to-face yet do not see eye-to-eye for “truth” and it’s meaning are worlds apart between these two. 
Nikolaevich creates an ironic contrast between the proud Roman ruler standing in the light while the True King of the World stands beaten and broken in the shadow with just the hem of his tatters garment in the sunlight. What other contrasts do you see? How does it challenge our perceptions of true power and God’s way of doing things versus humanity’s?

Title: “What is truth?” Christ and Pilate Date: 1890 Artist: Ge, N. N. (Nikolań≠ Nikolaevich), 1831-1894 Building: Tretyakov State Gallery Object/Function: Painting City/Town: Moscow Country: Russia

Worship Companion – September 20 2020

Theme of the Week: Your Sorrow Will Turn Into Joy

Pencil Drawing – http://denazaret.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/juan-3-16-21-vino-la-luz-al-mundo/

It seems like the most unlikely thing in the world that the terrible, humiliating execution of Jesus could result in the movement of salvation and love of God that kick-started the New Creation and the coming Kingdom of God. Yet, that’s exactly what Jesus said would happen in John 16:20– “your pain will turn into joy.”

Worship Companion – September 13 2020

Through every period of grief in our lives we must pass through a time of reconciliation. This doesn’t mean that the other person has done you any wrong. Quite often the reconciliation is needed because through any time of grief we can easily become frustrated. Our expectations, hopes and plans were not realized. Frustration with another person, with ourselves, or even with God can set in.

Reconciliation — Josephina Vasconcellos, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, England

This week as we embark on the first leg of our “Take It Slow” series, we take a moment in the worship companion to acknowledge that we may be harbouring feelings on disappointment, lost dreams, and simply the sadness of Pastor Ralph and Kim going in a season when we may have felt we simply weren’t ready or prepared for this to happen.
The Theme: Take it Slow
       Processing change is hard. Missing Pastor Ralph and Kim is hard, too. This week we’re simply acknowledging where we’re at, and the kid’s lesson in particular is a reminder to not lose heart in times of change and transition!
Anchor Texts:
   This text may strike you as odd, and perhaps it doesn’t hit the mark for what you’re feeling right now in our church transition, but perhaps there is another area of your life where this warning about reconciliation will hit home.
     Again, while this text is about a much more sinister rift between Joseph and his brothers, the text issues the same challenge, and this time with further explanation which is very true for us here at UTMC right now – though this process might hurt, God is using it for good.
The Theme in Art:

Maurice Harron, Hands Across the Divide. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57560

This statue in Northern Ireland depicts the efforts of two sides to reach across the rift that has grown between them and offer compassion and grace where once hurting hearts prevailed. We, too, can learn a lesson from this statue. In all our affairs we are called by Christ to reach out to one another. To bless and love the people God has put in our lives. We bless and love Pastor Ralph and Kim, for example! Though we miss them, our arms continue to be reached out to them in support as they also embark on a journey of transition in their Kingdom work.
The Theme for Kids:
Remember, we can trust God through all the changes, twists, and turns of life!


Worship Companion – September 6 2020

Your voice burns within the depths of our being,
O God of our ancestors,
and draws us into your presence and service.
We cry out to you, O LORD
to speak a word of comfort,
that we may proclaim to all the earth
the glory of your name. Amen.

Worship Companion – August 29 2020

Theme: Living a Faithful Christian Life
Living like Jesus… it’s easier said than done. We’re all on a path of following Jesus, much like in the story of Pilgrim’s progress. The whole point of following Jesus is to BECOME more like him. When we become more like Jesus, we actually become more like the people we were meant to be. 

Worship Companion – August 23 2020

It’s been a big week of change at UTMC.
This week we’re going to look a little closer at God’s faithfulness in our worship companion blog. This theme runs through every week of our worship gatherings, no matter the scripture passage, topic, or season. God is ALWAYS faithful!
Do you have a story of God’s faithfulness? Share it in a comment below! Read more

Worship Companion – 16 August 2020

If you want to walk on water…

Christ Walking on Water – 1880 – Painting – Julius Segius Von Klever

you’ve got to get out of the boat.
This week we’re revisiting the theme of trust from last week. We saw Elijah’s encounter with God – now we’ll look a little closer at Peter’s amazing walk. Art, songs, kids videos and action songs will help all of us engage with this amazing story.

Worship Companion – 9 August 2020

Christ Walks on the Water Mosaic – 20th C. – Bamberg, Germany

Have you wanted to have an encounter with God that is truly amazing? Something like Elijah’s encounter on the mountain? I’ve got good news for you, you can, and its easier than you think!
Anchor Texts:

Worship Companion – August 2 2020

Compassion – A Theme to Remember for Every Week

The Loaves and Fishes – A Key Symbol of the Compassion Christ has on All People – Mosaic in Tabgha, Israel, c. 5th century.

We’ve finished with our short series on Apologetics, so this week, alongside the sermon, we’re going to consider how God’s compassion, and the theme of compassion weaves throughout the whole Bible.

Sunday July 26 2002 – Worship Companion

Dove of the Holy Spirit – St. Peter’s Chair, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Welcome back to the Worship Companion Blog, a place to explore themes from our worship services, make connections, discuss with family, friends and whoever, and share!
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