September 2, 2018

Cates Park Outdoor Service

-Anne Ellis

Announcements and Welcome
Welcome to Cates Park, Facing the Wind, Way ow a chin – the unceded territory of our First Nations brothers and sisters. A place that has known human habitation for more than 2 thousand years. Just over their artifacts have found of a human settlement dating back to 1500 years before white explorers sailed into these waters.

This place has known the diversity of life and we ask the Great Spirit to bless us and welcome us to this place. We are young and old, we have diverse marital status, economic status. Diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and diverse ethnic and cultural heritage. A cultural heritage that is different from what this land has known for many generations and now thrives in this place.
Some, most, of us are Christians. Many of us are part of other faith traditions and we seek to explore the mysteries of life and creation. In this place, we ask to be welcomed, humbled by this landscape of beauty peacefulness.

Lighting the Christ Candle – Many of the stories we read in the gospels about Jesus take place on the shores of waters similar to this place. As we light this candle today, we remember the stories of Jesus and we honour the water that sustains us.

Sung response: Open Our Hearts MV#21
Open our hearts, open our minds.
Open our lives to you O loving God. (Repeat)

Opening PRAYER (said together)
You who created the earth and the air;
you who designed the sky and the sea;
you who spoke and things were made;
you have called us your people,
beckoned us here and set a holy longing in our hearts
for a world where peace and justice are done
and creation is cared for in love.
We come to worship in wonder and awe. Amen.

Join in song – Sing: O Beautiful Gaia MV#41 – sing the refrain between each verse
Refrain: O beautiful Gaia, O Gaia, calling us home.
O beautiful Gaia, calling us on.

Soil yielding its harvest,
O Gaia, calling us home.
Soil yielding its harvest,
calling us on.

Waves crashing on granite,
O Gaia, calling us home.
Waves crashing on granite,
calling us on.

Pine bending in windstorm,
O Gaia, calling us home.
Pine bending in windstorm,
calling us on.

Loon nesting in marshland,
O Gaia, calling us home.
Loon nesting in marshland,
calling us on.

Let us greet one another with the Peace of Christ that dwells within and among us by saying the words, “Peace be with you.” “And also with you.

SUNG RESPONSE: Put Peace into Each Other’s Hands MV#173
Put peace into each other’s hands
and like a treasure hold it,
protect it like a candle flame,
with tenderness enfold it.

Reach out in friendship,
stay with faith in touch with those around you.
Put peace into each other’s hands;
the Peace that sought and found you.

Scripture and Reflection: Godly Play, Jesus walks on Water Matthew 14:22-33 Supplies: water cloth, waves, boat, a figure for Jesus, a figure for Peter

After Jesus fed the 5000 people who had gathered near the sea of Galilee, they left that place by the sea. The disciples left as well, they went on a boat to travel to the other side of the lake. Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

Later that night, he was there alone and the boat with the disciples was far from the land. Buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Near dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Response: Turn to your neighbours and share your thoughts on the following wondering questions:

I wonder what part of the story you like best?
I wonder what part of the story is the most about you?
I wonder what a miracle is to you?

We read this story and wonder at the miracle of Jesus, seeming to do the impossible – walk on water. But what of Peter, who is safe in the boat. There is no need for him to leave what is known, what is safe. The water is choppy there is a lot of wind, it’s a frightening place, yet he decides to trust and he steps out of the boat into the unknown. For a moment of too he stands on the water like Jesus, when his very human doubt and fear kick in and he begins to sink. He cries out to Jesus to save him and Jesus does, he reaches out and takes his hand and again Peter stands on the top of the water. Jesus questions his faith, a rebuke to Peter. Which leaves us thinking that when we must not doubt, must always have faith. This is hard to do, as I’m sure everyone well knows.

There are many times in my life I’ve had doubts, times when my faith has faltered. And this usually happens when I step out of the comfort of what I know. When I leave the safety of the boat and face the wind.
I like to think of Peter and his bravery. Yes, he gets scared and he doubts, but he does it anyway. The others on the boat don’t, they stay safe. The miracle of Jesus walking on water is amazing, it’s very grand and I like the everyday miracle of Peter, being afraid and doing it anyway.


Oh, Great Creator we prayer to you this day. Prayers of gratitude for this beautiful place and acknowledge the gift it is to be able to come here to worship all creation. We take time on this day to honour the miracle that is life, the miracle that is each day we wake to the rising sun and each night we rest under the risen moon.

We pray for the blessings each day gives us. Blessings we name out loud or speak to you in the silence of our hearts…
We pray for those we love who are grieving, who are hurting, who are struggling, who are ill, who are healing. We name them out loud now or speak them to you in the silence of our hearts…
We pray for a planet torn apart by greed, by self-interest, by fear…
We pray for wisdom and guidance on how we can be agents of good change in this world. We pray for the courage to act.
We pray for strength when we are uncertain, we pray for the determination to trust and step out of the safety of the boat onto the choppy waves of a difficult sea. We pray for the audacity to believe that we too can walk on water, we too can create miracles, we too can resist doubt and not be afraid.

Please read with me, this version of the The Lord’s Prayer,

All gracious spirit,
who loves us like a mother,
whose realm is blooming among us now.
and within.

we pray that your compassion guides us in every action.
give us what we need for each day,
and help us to be satisfied with the miracle of that alone.

Forgiver, whose embrace brings us to wholeness without our asking,
may we reconcile ourselves to one another in humility.
and may we cancel the crushing debts that imprison our neighbours
so that communities of joy and health may flourish.

may we neither profit from nor ignore evil.
but ever work to thwart it with non-violence
as we co-create the realm of peace in this world.
now and each day.


With joy, let us present offerings of commitment and support for the ministry of love and justice, in this community and beyond.

Sing: Water Flowing from the Mountains MV#87
Water flowing from the mountains.
Water flowing o’er the earth.
Water comes to us, so precious.
Living water gives us birth.

Drink deep this source of life.
Drink deep and know.
For living water sings,
And living water brings the love
that makes our spirit grow.

Water rushing down the rivers.
Water rushing to the sea.
Water comes to us, so precious.
Living water makes us free.

Water springing from the dry place.
Water springing in the sun.
Water comes to us, so precious.
Living water for each one.

WORDS TO SEND US ON THE WAY Way ow a chin – Facing the Wind. Peter faced the wind and when he faltered Jesus reached out and said, do not be afraid. When we think on this story, lets us remember not just the miracle of Jesus walking on water, but the miracle of Peter facing his fears and despite his moments of doubt, he did not sink. He faced the wind and stepped out of the safety of the boat with trust. May we also do the same and create our own miracles when we doubt, when we are afraid and when we trust. Amen

Sing: Called by Earth and Sky MV #135 Refrain, Verse 1, Refrain

Called by earth and sky,
promise of hope held high.
This is our sacred living trust,
treasure of life sanctified,
called by earth and sky.

Precious these waters, endless seas,
deep ocean’s dream,
waters of healing, rivers of rain,
the wash of love again.