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Service Recording: July 19, 2020
After the service, we will have Fellowship Time in a Zoom video conference. Details for joining will be shared via email and at the end of the live stream.
The Building is Closed and the Church is Open
While we have restricted access to the building, Peace Church is very much open to ministry—working to respond to our own congregation, as well as the needs of our neighbors and community. Please consider giving either to Peace Church general fund or the Gabriel Fund – which is used to meet the needs in the community.
We recognize that in this time, people’s financial situations may have changed. We ask you to prayerfully consider what you can give. If you use electronic giving, we thank you for your constancy of support. If you would like to give through our online form, we would be grateful. For all the contributions from our members and friends—whether financial, time, or prayer—we ask God’s blessings on those gifts that Peace Church may be healing balm in this time when we are living in our own Gilead.
July 19, 2020 ⁂ 10:30 am
Lake Superior Sunday
The People of Peace Church
, Lay Leader
Jim Pospisil, Music Director
Doug Bowen-Bailey, ASL Interpreter
Nathan Holst, Faith Formation Minister
Rev. Kathryn Nelson
Prelude “Washed by the Water”. – Need to Breathe Sung by Madeline Carpenter
Announcements and the Ringing of the Peace Bells
God is Revealed as We Gather
*Responsive Call to Worship based on Isaiah 55: 1 – 3
Come to the water, all you who thirst—come drink deeply from the lake of life.
Come to the water, all you who are weary—come rest in the quiet pools of God’s love.
Come to the water, all you who long for a justice—come be renewed in God’s ever-flowing streams.
For God is here among us, washing away the grime of our lives, and pouring the Spirit into our thirsty souls.
Let’s worship God together.
*Opening Hymn “Come to the Water of Life”. (#2 songbook)
Unison Prayer of Confession
Creator of Heaven and Earth, who blew over the waters of creation, Have mercy on us when we seek to profit from what you offer so freely—today we lift up your gift of Lake Superior.
Forgive us, we pray, for the times we have failed to recognize our relationship with her and have not used her water wisely, at times we have thoughtlessly polluted instead of protected her water sources. Forgive us for the fearfulness that keeps us from sharing and celebrating your generous gifts with all creation.
Words of Assurance. “Morning” by Ellie Schoenfeld
Story for All Ages “The Water Walkers”. – Joanne Robertson
God is Revealed in the Word
Poem. “Poet Laureate of Duluth”. – Pamela Mittlefehldt
Song “Lake Superior, A Love Song”. –Sara Thomsen
God’s Word in the Gospel: John 21: 1 – 17
Sermon “But How She Sings of Hope”
Lake Superior Sunday . .”But how She Sings’ .. .
John 21: 1 – 17 Rev. Kathryn nelson
What a blessing to live so nears the shores of this Great Lake, a lake we celebrate this Lake Superior Sunday . .. so many songs and poems written about her . . . Pamela’s poem caught me . . But how she sings– longing and mystery.
Many years ago when Julie Flotten was our youth minister, she and Linda Lundberg organized a group that would gather the first Monday of every month at Sunrise on the shore of Lake Superior – we would gather with our cups of steaming coffee to watch the sunrise either at Brighton Beach or 21st Ave East before it was developed . . just sit and watch . . . and then someone would offer a reading or a song. The time varied with the season and yet we gathered for the dawn on her shores.
This ritual reminded me of Gary Boelhower’s poem Dance at Dawn which is also part of the Amethyst and Agate Collection of Poems of Lake Superior. Gary wrote:
Go out as far as you can
to sit alone on a stone throne
where you give up all the straight lines of your mind
in the dark quiet shiver an hour before dawn .
Set your eyes on that seam where water and sky
are stitched together in their great meeting
and when the fierce light tears the world wide
open for another day
dare to say your name
over the buckle and swell of waves
one sweet syllable of imperfect love
dare to say your name
not proud but in full voice
unfastened from any small hopes or pains.
Send it free as a smooth stone
skipping on the hammered blue
its singular dance.
glancing gold in the new light
for a bright brief breath.
It was dawn by the lake when Jesus called out . . . called out over the waves as the sun burst through the seam where water and sky are stitched together . . where the sun rose, literally the son rose – the resurrected one came to them again .. . one more time to say there is more . . . have you any fish . . try again . . throw your nets to the other side . . .
The son of God. Rising with the dawn .. the disciples defeated had gone back to what they knew – fishing on the Lake of Galilee . . gone back to the way things were , but this rising son would not let them go back .I so love this resurrection story . . there are many in scripture but this is my favorite, dawn the disciples are fishing. Now luck and yet there the risen one is with the dawn . . try again . throw your nets to the other side . . try a different way and there are so many fish 153 representing all the known nations at that time . . all are caught up . . . And when they come ashore. The Risen one has made breakfast . . feeding them again with bread and fish over a charcoal fire . . .You can smell the goodness of this . . taste it .. . hear the waves lapping on the shore as they drag their boat onto the sand.
They eat their fill and know they can continue this way of love that he has set them on . . . no move forward do you love me . then feed my sheep . 3 times he is asked for the 3 betrayals . .full circle . forgiveness fully extended and then a command to love. . share that love I’ve given you . . . all by the shores of a lake. ..
SEE how she sings of hope . . . – longing and mystery .. and there is enough in that moment by the water . . hope dawns and they can carry on .. fed and forgiven, moving out to do the same for others. . . water such a part of our sacred story . . . waters crossed at the Red Sea, waters from rock in the wilderness, waters of baptism, waters of justice – let justice roll down like waters says the prophets. And waters of resurrection here in the Gospel of John . .sacred waters. On a beach at the dawn.
Yes we are people of water, 70 percent water and we drink from Lake Superior each day . . .Yes we often sit by her shores and pray or ponder. Sacred place. Sacred long before us— Such a sacred place for the Anishinaabe peoples — Spirit island, Madeline Island, Isle Royale, all sacred places.
This week I am reminded of Nokomis Josephine ba Mandamin who was an original water walker . . Some of you may have met her . . Sara Thomsen was ;part of the group that joined her on her last walk in 2017 . . .She walked to remind people to protect the waters of the great lakes . . precious for all of life. Since her first walk in 2003, Grandmother Josephine conducted 13 such Water Walks in all. Precious water carried by women in a copper pail.
Over the years, Grandmother Josephine’s following increased. By the time her final river walk started in April 2017, she stated there were over a thousand participants all together. She and a group of helpers known as The Walkers left from Spirit Mountain. In 97 days they followed the southern shoreline of Lake Superior, then the North and Eastern shores of Lake Huron. They then followed the northern shore of Lake Erie. After a stop at Niagara Falls, they followed the northern shore of Lake Ontario to Matane, Quebec Canada, where the Saint Lawrence River connects through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the Labrador Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. In total, over little more than three months, they travelled 3,197 miles and over 6,394,000 footsteps for the Water. Grandmother Josephine announced that she was retiring after that walk, and urged the next generation to pick up the copper vessel and carry on what she started. . . She died on February 22, 2019 . . .
She too calls out from over the waters .. . carry on, care . . please care and move on. Voices calling out over the waters . . . hear them in those moments of dawn in your souls . . . set your eyes on that seam where water and sky are stitched together in their great meeting and when the fierce light tears the world wide open for another day . . dare to say your name.
Song “You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore” (#173)
We Respond to God’s Presence
Sharing Our Prayer Concerns, Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer by Nathan Holst , the Lord’s Prayer and Choral Amen
Word of Thanks for the Gabriel Fund –Stephan Witherspoon
Sharing Our Offerings
Offertory “Mni Wiconi (Water Is Life)”
*The Thanksgiving “Doxology”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God for all that love has done;
Creator, Christ and Spirit, One.
* Prayer of Dedication
*Closing Hymn ”By Breath” (#1 song book)