South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge...We Are Linked In LOVE!!

Whether you attend the Courtland United Church or Cultus United Church, you will be met with warmth and sincerity.  We are a 2 point charge known as the South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge. We welcome ALL to join us on Sunday mornings, or anytime...for worship and friendship! Under the loving and brilliant guidance of our Minister  Ted Smith, you will be enlightened and moved.

CULTUS UNITED CHURCH: Located at  748-6th Concession Road ENR, Cultus, Ontario            WORSHIPS on Sundays at  9:00am  

COURTLAND UNITED CHURCH: Located at 133 Talbot Street, Courtland, Ontario                   WORSHIPS on Sundays at 10:30am        

Our Mission Statement:   The South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge is called to be a Christian community empowered and inspired by the Holy Spirit and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

CONTACT US:   EMAIL: swnpc@yahoo.ca                  Office Phone: 519-688-4050

OUR MAILING ADDRESS: South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge, P.O.Box 129, 119 Talbot Road, Courtland, On., N0J1E0

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CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK  

  https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-West-Norfolk-Pastoral-Charge/1607350796216192?sk=timeline

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                CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER:    https://twitter.com/SWNPC                 

 MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCES 

I remember, from my childhood, my very first trip to the Rocky Mountains. Though it was many, many years ago I remember it as though it happened only yesterday. It was overwhelming as I encountered the mystery and wonder of God’s creation in an entirely new way. It was in more ways than one a “mountain top” experience.

This week our worship is centered around another “mountaintop experience” where Jesus, Peter, James, and John take a hike up a mountain and in their experience together they witness the transfiguration of Jesus where they see Jesus shining with holy light, God’s presence shining through him and they are changed. Their understanding and experience of God goes much deeper than it was before. Over the past few weeks we have explored stories through Matthew’s Gospel where people have “encountered the holy”, stories of teaching and renewal. We also learned the importance, by Jesus’ example, of taking time for prayer. So often our descriptions of prayer are about “talking to God”. This week’s story might be even more important as it reveals to us and calls us to just “be” in God’s presence. We all need to feel God’s love washing over us and enfolding us---blessing us. It’s very difficult if not impossible for us to love others if we are not in touch with or connected to God’s amazing love blessing us.

When Peter witnessed God’s brilliant light shining through Jesus he was so moved that he wanted the moment to last forever. He suggested to Jesus that they pitch tents and set up camp there so they could continue experiencing this life-giving mystery, and give it a tangible symbol, but it was not something to be captured that way. We are often tempted to try to define God in the same way we approach other knowledge. But God is beyond our limited vocabulary and even our most creative attempts to describe God. There is an awesomeness that can only be marveled at. Peter, James and John had a fleeting glimpse of God’s essence there on that mountain top. It cannot be contained or packaged. It cannot be hidden or hoarded. This glimpse at the mystery of God is transformed into reality in our lives in the space where God’s grace intersects our willingness to be with Jesus.

We get a glimpse of God in the love we receive from one another. We get a glimpse of God when badly needed help comes out of nowhere. We get a glimpse of God when we hold a new born baby. We get a glimpse of God when we look back over our lives and what we couldn’t understand in the past makes sense now. We see a glimpse of God when we witness someone making a sacrifice to help someone else. We see glimpses of God in the beauty of a fine day, fresh falling snow, the colours of the forest in the fall, the beach, the lake, a beautiful sunrise or sunset... a full moon on a clear night.

God is really all around us and within us just waiting for us to respond and let the miraculous light of God shine through us. These glimpses of God again and again in our living are meant to encourage us to persist with our ministries, joyous in our awareness of God’s mysterious, powerful presence.

So my prayer for all of us today is that our lives can shine with God’s light---- even in the darkest, most challenging places of our relationships, communities, and the world. How might the light of God’s love be reflected in our faces and our lives? How might others around us experience a glimpse of God through us?

May our hearts glow, may our faces glow, may our spirits glow revealing the love of God to the world.

~Peace~     PT.

South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge of The United Church of Canada
CULTUS  / COURTLAND UNITED CHURCHES

MINISTER: PASTOR TED (P.T.) SMITH

Music Leaders: Judy Dekorte /  Lynn Jennings / Gwen Booker

Office Administrator: Leslie Pettinger        Office Phone: 519-688-4050            Email: swnpc@yahoo.ca 

        Sunday, February  23, 2020       Transfiguration Sunday 

WE GATHER AS GOD’S BELOVED

GREETINGS AND WELCOME

CENTERING MOMENT AND COLLECT                                 

INTROIT: “A light is gleaming, spreading its arms through-out the night, living in the light. Come share its gladness, God’s radiant light is burning bright, living in the light. (VU# 82 Refrain, used with permission) 

OPENING PRAYER:  (Unison) God of wonder and amazement take us to mountaintops and take us to valleys, and to places in between. And in all those places, wherever we find ourselves, may we find you, too. As we stand between memory and hope we recommit ourselves as followers of Christ. Amen 

HYMN: “We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding”        VU# 104* 

PRAYER OF RENEWAL: (Responsive) Sometimes in life there are precious moments when we feel God especially close to us, when time seems to stand still. We want to hang on to those times. We want to stay on the mountaintop. But the valley calls us; we have to go back to the valley. It is a good thing to spend time in quiet prayer and meditation, to sit and listen to the voice of God. But it is not good when we want to shut ourselves off from the needs and blessings of being part of the world. Forgive us, God, for those times when we want to escape, to run away, or when we want to stay on the mountaintop. The valley calls us; we have to go back to the valley. Jesus leads us up the mountaintop for renewal and refreshment and Jesus walks with us down into the valley and is with us in the world. Thanks be to God! Amen.    (A time of silent contemplation)

WORDS OF ASSURANCE 

MINUTE FOR MISSION

MISSION HYMN: “It Only Takes a Spark”                 VU# 289 

WE LISTEN

1st Testament Reading:        Exodus 12: 12 - 18

Ministry of Music

Gospel Reading:                      Matthew 17: 1 - 9 

HYMN: “How Good Lord to Be Here”                           VU# 104*

MESSAGE: “Going Down into the Valley” 

WE RESPOND

PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION

THE LORD’S PRAYER     

PRESENTATION OF OUR GIFTS

OFFERTORY: “Grant Us God the Grace of Giving”   VU# 540* 

CLOSING HYMN: “Lead On O Cloud of Presence”     VU# 421* 

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION *

CORAL CLOSING: “I am the light of the world! You people come and follow me! If you follow and love, you’ll learn the mystery of what you were meant to do and be.” (VU# 87, refrain, used with permission)

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge is a faith community inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit following the teachings of Jesus Christ and showing this by our deeds and our actions.