Join us in person or live-streamed at 10AM or find our recorded service at your convenience. Details on our Worship page. Service words are below.
Prelude: Just Around the Riverbend – Alan Menken
Gathering Hymn: 508 CP I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one, stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus and I drank of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s light;
look unto me, thy morn shall rise, and all thy day be bright.”
I look to Jesus and I found in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk till travelling days are done.
Gathering Sentences (Sanctified Art)
We gather together—
the seekers, the dreamers, the shooting-star wishers, in hopes of seeing God.
We gather together—
the curious, the hungry, the loving, the lonely, in hopes of finding peace.
We gather together—
those who are thirsty and those with water to spare, in hopes of finding justice.
So come to the well, come to the table. Come, let us worship God. Amen.
Prayer for Illumination
God of conversation, we come to you today thirsty— thirsty for hope, thirsty for good news, thirsty for a glimpse of you. So today we pray, move in these words like a current. Give us the courage to wade into your story with open eyes and open hearts. Give us the courage to drink this moment in. We are listening. We are grateful. Amen
Lenten Cross Liturgy
Reader: On this third Sunday during Lent, we reflect upon the walls we build between God and
ourselves and others by our disobedience to God’s call for justice and commitment.
Reader: God’s laws call us to a world where all people are valued, not put down. But we often do not
treat everyone as important. We forget God’s way.
Reader: We are called to a right relationship with God and each other. Sometimes we do the letter of
the law but neglect the spirit in which God commands it. Sometimes doing what is right
upsets others and brings with it a high cost. Responding to God’s call is not always easy.
(Third candle is extinguished.)
Let us pray: O God, you have given us the challenge of following your way of justice. Help us to be brave when following your way makes others angry with us. Help us to know your will, and give us the strength to do it. Amen.
Collect of the Day (together)
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life, may we always thirst for you, the spring of life and source of goodness; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Proclamation of the Word
A Reading from the book of Exodus 17.1–7
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’ Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’
Listen for God’s word coming to us in scripture Our hearts and minds are open
Psalm 95 The Venite, Come Let us Sing ©1992 Jancis Harvey
Refrain: Come let us sing, sing together.
Let us raise our voices in one song.
Let us gather in his presence
and praise the Lord for all that he has done.
Great Creator, mighty God,
who made the earth and all upon the land.
Who like a shepherd gently leads us,
and ever keeps us safely in his hand. Refrain
In temptation listen to Him;
hear the words and understand his ways.
For God is always there beside us,
and forever shall be all our days. Refrain
Glory be to God the Father,
and glory be to Jesus Christ the Son,
and glory to the Holy Spirit
forever more and while all ages run. Refrain
A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans 5.1–11
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Listen for God’s word coming to us in scripture Our hearts and minds are open
Gradual Hymn: 470 CP Seek Not in Distant, Ancient Hills
Seek not in distant, ancient hills the promised holy land,
but where you live do what God wills and find it close at hand.
A single heaven wraps around this whirling, watered stone,
and every place is sacred ground where God is loved and known.
To climb the templed, foot-worn peak where pilgrims long have trod,
unlock the bolted soul and seek the present, living God.
In spirit and in truth, you’ll find what human thought can’t frame:
the source of breath and pulse and mind, the primal wind and flame.
The Lord be with you And also with you The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 4.5–42
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ
So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’ Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ They left the city and were on their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Surely no one has brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.’
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.’
The Gospel of Christ Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
An Affirmation of Faith (Sanctified Art)
We believe that a glass of water given to us by a stranger can taste like justice.
We believe that honest conversation has the power to change us.
We believe that all God’s children have a voice and something to say.
We believe that Jesus loves the outcast, the ignored, the shamed, and the abandoned.
We believe in asking questions. We believe in curiosity.
We believe in giving people a drink.
May we be brave enough to give people a drink. Amen.
Prayers of Intercession
Let us pray. God our Creator in your love and goodness grant us the help of your Spirit as we bring to you our prayers for the world and the salvation of all people. You have taught us to overcome our sins with prayer, fasting and generosity, accept our Lenten disciplines and when we fall by our weakness raise us up by your unfailing mercy. We give you thanks for the universe, our great home, for its vastness and its richness, and for all the life which grows upon it, and of which we are part. We praise you for the seamless sky and for the refreshing winds, for the warming sun, for the driving clouds and the rains they bring. We praise you for the vastness of the oceans and for fresh running water, for the everlasting hills, for the stretch of the plains with its rich farmland, for the trees and for the grass which grows beneath our feet. We give you thanks for our senses by which we can see the splendour of your world around us today and everyday. Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
We pray for the governments of the world and all the world leaders, that they may uphold what is right for peaceful union between all countries. We acknowledge with shame and sorrow all the sin, hatred and injustice which have led and still lead to violence and war. We pray for the in the world where tensions are high, and we pray that peace may reign over all in the end. During this period of Lent, give us an awareness of your unique sacrifice on our behalf and teach us to be humble in acknowledging that all our gifts come from you for the service of people and the spread of your Kingdom. May you live in us so that in all our small acts of sacrifice the light of your resurrection may shine through and give them meaning. Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
Creator God, we thank you for our neighbours, our friends and for the people around us with whom we work and share our daily lives. We pray for those who are old and lonely, those isolated because of ill-health, and those who find it difficult to make friends or be accepted. Show us all what we can do to help, and teach us to be good neighbours and true friends. We thank you, loving God, for all the joys and blessings of family life. Forgive us when we quarrel and make us ready to forgive one another. We pray and think of those for those who are subjected to abuse and live in constant fear. Strengthen the determination of all who seek to help them and make peace rule in their homes. Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
We thank you loving God for your many miracles of healing, and we pray for all who administer to the sick and infirm. We bring before you in a moment of quietness those we know or love who are ill or in need at this time, and we name them in our hearts... We pray that your blessing be upon them and those who love and care for them and we pray that they may find encouragement and peace, that their sorrows and concerns be transformed into comfort, and their loneliness into fellowship with you. Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
Almighty God, be with all those who are grieving today over the loss of a loved one. May their sorrow be lit with the brightness of the Resurrection. May they be assured that they will meet again those whom they have loved and lost for a while. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench. We remember before God those who have died and remember the light of Christ, which eternally shines and brings hope. Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
God our Creator as we go out into the world today we remember that you son was tempted by the forces of evil but chose faithfulness rather than popularity, service instead of fame, sacrifice instead of power. These temptations still come to us Lord and we are far weaker We pray for the strength to overcome them as Jesus did so that we may be of use to God and to all people. Merciful God: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Call to Confession
In today’s service we will hear the story of the Samaritan woman. It’s a well-known story of a woman who, in the heat of the day, meets Jesus at a well and he asks her for a drink. When we read this story we ask ourselves—when was the last time I drew water for someone? When was the last time I drew water for myself?
So with this same open curiosity, we come to the prayer of confession, trusting that even if we forget our bucket, God will still meet us at the well. Friends, with that grace in mind, let us pray:
Prayer of Confession
Holy God, we have been on every side of this story.
We have been the one who is thirsty and in need of compassion,
and we have been the one with a bucket and a deep well.
So today we wonder:
how often have we missed the opportunity to share water with our neighbors?
How often have we forgotten that we have a bucket and the power to bring change?
How often have we simply decided that justice and compassion were not worth the work?
Forgive our fragile hearts and remind us that it was you who sat at that well in Samaria in the heat of the day. It was you. It is still you. With hope we pray, Amen.
Words of Assurance
Family of faith, as hard as it is to imagine:
we could lose the bucket, we could hoard the water for ourselves,
we could pretend we do not see all who are thirsty, and we would still belong to God.
This is the good news of the gospel:
God’s grace is deeper than any well.
We are seen, loved, and forgiven.
May this realization change and inspire us. Amen
Offertory Hymn: Fill My Cup, Lord
Like the woman at the well I was seeking for things that could not satisfy;
and then I heard my Saviour speaking: “Draw from my well that never shall run dry.”
Refrain: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
bread of heaven, feed me ‘til I want no more;
fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!
There are millions in this world who are craving the pleasure earthly things afford;
but none can match the wondrous treasure that I find in Jesus Christ my Lord. Refrain
So, my neighbour, if the things this world gave you leave hungers that won’t pass away,
my blessed Lord will come and save you, if you kneel to him and humbly pray: Refrain
Prayer over the Gifts
Spring of life and Source of goodness, receive all we offer you this day, and bring us to the living water, Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.
The Great Thanksgiving (“Adapted from a prayer by Rev. Sarah A. Speed | A Sanctified Art LLC)
Friends, if we are honest with ourselves and with God, we are all seeking something. Some of us long for a place to belong. Others seek permission to be who we are made to be.
Some of us are hungry for connection, hungry for justice, or hungry for a glimpse of the Divine.
No matter what it is your soul longs for, there is good news to be found here.
Friends, this is Christ’s table. We are the guests. He is the host. There is a seat here with your name on it. Thanks be to God for a love like that.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God. It is right to give God thanks and praise.
God of the lost and the found, surely it is right for us to give our thanks and praise; for day after day we look for you, and day after day we find you: in the laugher of children, in the sun rising over the horizon, in the flowers of spring.
Our seeking does not go unanswered, and for that we are grateful and we lift our voices to sing.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is one who comes in the name of the Lord
Blessed is one who comes in the name of the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest.
So first and foremost, we come to you in prayer to say thank you, for when we’re seeking beauty, you give us mountains and freckles, green eyes and brown eyes. When we we’re looking for reason to hope, you give us rainbows after the storm, and candles flickering in the window. When we’re seeking peace, you give us three-part harmony and the sound of the rain. And when we’re seeking justice, your life reminds us that everyone is welcome at your Table, and none shall be turned away. For all these reminders we are deeply grateful.
And yet, gracious God, our seeking does not stop. For even though your fingerprints are all over this world, we are not yet at your promised day.
Long before this building was erected in open spaces and hard places, people heard of how on the night of Jesus’ arrest, and aware of what lay ahead of him, Jesus sat at the table with his friends.
During the meal, he took bread, blessed and broke it and saying “This is my body, given for you.”
Later in the meal he took a cup of wine, saying, “In this cup is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Drink it all of you.”
And as we see and as we seek, pour out your Spirit on this ordinary bread and cup. May this meal be the nourishment we need to continue seeking you in the world.
So in addition to our gratitude, we also pray today for conviction. Do not let us get comfortable with half-hearted seeking. Do not let us grow numb to the suffering of this world. Make us relentless in our pursuit of justice—relentless in our consoling of the grieving, in our welcoming of the stranger, and in the feeding of the hungry.
Until your promised day, we will pray. Until your promised day, we will seek, singing:
Lord’s Prayer (Cameron)
Breaking of the Bread
We break this bread,
Communion in Christ’s body once broken.
Let your Church be the wheat which bears its fruit in dying.
If we have died with him, we shall live with him; if we hold firm, we shall reign with him.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God
Thanks be to God
Communion Songs: Instrumental MV 144 Like a Healing Stream – Bruce Harding
Prayer after Communion
God of manna and mustard seeds, we came to this Table hungry and we leave feeling full— full of hope, full of promise, full of what could be.
For we not only found glimpses of you at this Table, but we caught a glimpse of the way things could be: in a meal where all are welcomed and all are fed. Is there anything holier than that? So thank you for nourishing our curiosity alongside our spirit and our conviction.
May we always seek you the way you seek after us. With grateful hearts we pray, Amen.
Glory to God,
whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessing As you leave this place, may God bless you with seeking. Seek out the hungry. Seek the weary. Seek the good in every person you pass. Seek out the hopeful. Seek the faithful. Seek God in each of us. As you seek and as you wonder, may you find what you are looking for. In the name of our loving God, who is always seeking us. Amen
Closing Hymn: 79 CP Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery – vs. 1-5, 6D
Tree of life and awesome mystery, in your death we are reborn, though you die in all of history, still you rise with every morn, still you rise with every morn.
Seed that dies to rise in glory, may we see ourselves in you; If we learn to live your story we may die to rise anew, we may die to rise anew.
We remember truth once spoken, love passed on through act and word; every person, lost and broken wears the body of our Lord, wears the body of our Lord.
Gentle Jesus, mighty Spirit, come inflame our hearts anew. We may all your joy inherit if we bear the cross with you, if we bear the cross with you.
Christ, you lead and we shall follow, stumbling though our steps may be; one with you in joy and sorrow, we the river you the sea, we the river you the sea.
Living Water of salvation, be the fountain of each soul;
springing up in new creation, flow in us and make us whole, flow in us and make us whole.
Dismissal Go now in peace to love and serve God
Thanks be to God. Amen
Postlude: Amazing Grace – arr. David Downes