May 9, 2021

Singing and Praising (click here)

Passage: Acts 10: 44-48; Psalm 98
Service Type:

May 9th, 2021 Easter 6

Welcome to Worship with St. Andrew’s Salmon Arm.  We are delighted that you have joined us, and hope that you will find a blessing here.


  • Happy Mother's Day to all the precious women who selflessly put their lives on hold, 24, 7 to be there for their children and loved ones. May God bless and keep you all!
  • Scripture Readers sought:  In an effort to keep improving our experience of worship, we are asking for people to sign up to read Scripture.    You can come to the regular video Session on Saturday’s at 11:00 or arrange with John to submit a video or audio file.  Scripture Lessons for the post-Easter season are available from Ena.  Please prayerfully consider taking part in this expansion of our worship experience.
  • We are looking for helpers who are willing to do some weeding in the HOPE Garden. If you are near the garden and have a few minutes just stop in and pull a few weeds. Every little bits helps.
  • Special Prayers:                                                                                                                      For India and especially medical centres, doctors, nurses as they respond to overwhelming numbers of infection.  May they soon receive aid, for protective equipment, oxygen, respirators and vaccines.
  • You can help India through PWS&D, see the "Recent Posts" to the right fro more info.

Pre-service sing-a-long  (thank you to Gloria Fitt for providing the music and the inspiration.)

Lighting the Christ Candle

The light of Christ has come among us.
Thanks be to God


We gather together to celebrate the joy in our lives.
God's love fills our hearts to overflowing with laughter.
We gather, in God's presence, to find comfort and hope for our pain.
God's grace wipes away our tears and knits us together as one people.
We gather together, in God's presence, to worship God in faith and truth.
Alleluia! Amen!

HYMN:  Sing a new song unto the Lord




God of songs and marvels, old and new,
your powerful love for this world
continues to astound us.
In these last days of Easter,
we gather to recall the love
that brought Jesus into this world
and into our lives:
as savior, friend and brother.
We thank you for welcoming us into your household
and for trusting us with your marvelous work
to draw all people into the spacious home
of your love. Amen.


We are called to come into worship leaping, and shouting and praising God.  Too often our worship appears timid, or constrained.  We wonder what holds us back from singing and praising with our whole hearts.  As we ponder let us make our confession.

Let us pray.

For those times when our lives are broken by distress and we fail to see your companionship with us on the journey.

O God of healing please restore us


For those times when our lives are broken by fear, when we don’t know where to turn, and in the process turn away from you.

O God of healing please restore us

For those times when our  lives are broken by anger, anger at our situation, anger at the people whom we believe have failed us, and anger at you when we feel abandoned

O God of healing please restore us


For those times when our lives are broken by pain and in our pain we have lashed out at you and others

O God of healing please restore us


For those times when our  lives are broken by sin and we are unaware or uncaring of the pain we have caused

O God of healing please restore us


God of healing

gently touch our lives

with your Spirit

Bring warmth and comfort

life and wholeness


into our fractured lives

and souls that we may rise

go forth, and sing your praises.




Long ago Jesus said to his disciples,
“You did not choose me, but I chose you!”
Jesus speaks these words to us today.
Jesus forgives us and chooses us to be his friends,
sharing his great work of love. Hallelujah! May he
be praised forever


The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  And also with you.

Share a sign of peace with those nearby, or ask the Spirit to bring his peace to another you may know, or to a world situation.


HYMN  To God be the glory





Listen, hear and remember, these portions of the revelation of God’s word for us. (Click here for the video of the readings and sermon)

Acts 10:  44-48

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[a] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.


Sermon:  Singing and Praising

Last week we encountered the stories of the astonishing ministry of Stephen, who was reaching out to the communities, people and cultures around him and simply telling the story of Jesus.  Then they believed and were baptised.  Peter and John were so intrigued that they had to check it out, and while in Samaria taught the new believers about the Holy Spirit.

Today we encounter Peter as he preaches to a crowd of gentiles and even as he preaches the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they are filled with the Spirit.   How astonishing.

The commentators in Ministry Matters write:  Acts 10 may be one of the most astonishing chapters in the New Testament, containing the story of Peter and Cornelius and highlighting the astonishing, powerful and amazing ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit moves on the people and immediately ministers in them and they respond with speaking in tongues and praising God.  It would seem that the immediate human response to the gifts of God is to praise God.

Sometimes it seems as if we have forgotten how to praise.  We hold back.  If we respond with an “amen” or a “praise God” it is quietly.  Yet I think we can learn much from the denominations around us that worship “more exuberantly”.  Then we should take it a step further and live more exuberantly before God and into the community.  This is the way to praise.

I have been reading the book, “Better than Brunch” the last few weeks and as a result have been asking myself many questions.

Questions like:   “what would people see if they came to our worship services?  Would they see God being praised?  Would they see us expecting God to move among us?  Would the energy of the Holy Spirit be present?

As I reflect on the passage from Acts, I wonder what it would be like to have that kind of energy present in a worship service.  What would it be like if after all the planning, choosing, research, work, writing and editing, to begin to preach and have the Holy Spirit simply take over the service and move among the people (and me) in a mighty way?

Maybe we as preachers and worshippers need to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit more often and see what the Holy Spirit will bring forth.

In “Better than Brunch” there is an account of a congregation in Seattle, who have given their building over to a homeless shelter and worship on Sunday in the space where the homeless have slept the night before.  More than that they have developed a worship plan that expects the Holy Spirit to move and the worship to extend beyond the walls of the building.

They plan for every Sunday to be a different experience with two Sundays a month taking the usual form of prayers, hymns, Scripture, Sermon and the Lord’s Supper; but the other Sundays are given to working in the Spirit and following the leading of the Spirit.  On the second Sunday there is singing and a short reflection followed by the congregation gathering in small groups to talk together about what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives.

My question is:  How often do we gather and talk about what the Holy Spirit is doing in our congregation?  In our lives?  What does God expect from us?

The fourth Sunday they worship together in “action” as they go into the community.  Those activities can include:   leading a hymn sing in the nursing homes, bringing brunch to the Cancer Care Centre,  making lunches for the homeless day centre.  In all that they do they embrace that worship is working in the community and spreading the love and justice of Christ.

One of the congregation’s ministers says:  Worship is our life lived in response to God’s love for us and God’s passion for justice and reconciliation.

So that makes me wonder, that if we take up God’s passion then our praises and our actions will be Holy Spirit filled responses to the grace of God.

I am reminded of the hymn:  Worship the Lord and its refrain, worship and work must be one.

In this hymn we are reminded that God inhabits the praises of his people.

Raising our hands as a sign of rejoicing, and with our lips our togetherness voicing, giving ourselves to a life of creativeness, worship and work must be one.

Do you hear the echoes of the Psalm here?  In the Psalm we are instructed to sing a new song to God and to make a joyful noise.  We are reminded that there is more than one way to sing praises to God.

With the trumpet! But also the gentle sounding flute, as together we make a joyful noise to the Lord.

We worship with the shouts of victory, but also by remembering and honouring God’s steadfast love and faithfulness in our living.

The Psalm also reminds us that if we do not praise our God, the seas will roar and the floods will clap and that hills sing for joy at the coming of the Lord.   That sounds more like a catastrophe doesn’t it.  But maybe that’s what it takes to get our attention.

The hymn goes on to remind us:

Praying and training that we be a blessing, and by our handiwork daily confessing: we are committed to serving humanity, worship and work must be one.

The way we live, the way we serve as much as the ways we pray and praise are what our worship is all about.

Worshiping God with all of our being means that we are ready for risk and for sacrifice.  There is an expectation that as we move forth in the urgent power of the Holy Spirit, that we will be changed.

Our view of the world will be changed.

Not only will God inhabit our praises, he will inhabit our actions.

When that happens, we will build new communities.  Communities that respond to the gifts of mercy that God has given us.  Communities that respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Communities that are always on the move as we respond to the leading of the Lord.

Now in response to the life you are giving, help us, Creator, to offer our living, seeking a just and a healing society, worship and work must be one.

The commentators at Ministry Matters write:  God’s love creates a generous dwelling place. This abode of love is a place of joy as well as of obedience given willingly—given out of the understanding that grows between friends: Jesus and his disciples.  The psalmist expands God’s caring attention beyond the house of Israel to the entire globe!

Let us rephrase that:  The Spirit expands God’s caring attention beyond the walls of St. Andrew’s and out into the community.  And then, we should not be surprised at what follows.

Whenever the unlikely, the astonishing, the wholly and holy unpredictable occurs, God’s grace and the Holy Spirit will be at the bottom of it all.

I have to say, that I really like what happens when the Holy Spirit moves us into worship and action.  I like when congregations are responsive to the worship, it is a sign that what happens in worship is a living thing, that is spirit infused and which prompts us to not only sing and shout our praises but will drive us into the streets because we have a story to tell and a justice to impart.  We will be reminded of that at the Pentecost worship in a few weeks.

When we sing praises and when we live justice and embody mercy, we demonstrate that we worship, witness and work in the power of the Holy Spirit.  We are reminded that we are a people blessed in mercy for mercy.  A people redeemed by love for love.  A people filled with grace for grace.  A people who are called to sing a new song, not just to God but also to each other and to all those whom God calls us to serve.

Praise be to God, for he has done marvelous things and in us will do marvelous things.  Amen


HYMN Praise the Lord with the sound of the trumpet



Today we remember the gift of Jesus Christ given to us.  We join together giving thanks to God, by bringing our offering into the storehouse, and together we pray that God will bless all that we bring.


Pour your Spirit upon these gifts, O God.
Send them into the world
as a sign and song of your joyous work of love.
Use them to call and welcome into your house of love
all who are your friends
and our brothers and sisters. Amen.


Almighty God, we come to you today in confidence, for this world in which we live is your world, brought into being through your love for all your people.   We have paused here to express our joy, to sing our praises and remember that you have drawn us into a place of deep love.

Because we are loved, and because we know that all the people and places for which we pray are also deeply loved by you we have confidence as we bring all our concerns before you  We praise you knowing that you are waiting to hear us and to respond to us.

Lord, we pray that you will teach us all to see how you provide for our lives, and are always mindful of our needs, yet also teach us of the call of Christ to put our trust in him. Help us to spend our time and our money in a manner worthy of your kingdom of love taking up the ministry that Jesus began of bringing love to all, caring for the needs of friend and stranger.

We bring those prayers to you:

India, for relief from the pandemic

For Canada and especially the hardest hit provinces, that things will turn around, with the guidance of wise leader and courageous health officers.

For our friends and our families, who have the Covid Virus
For our friends and families who have recovered
For all who are waiting to be vaccinated

Our own prayers:


May your mercy prevail and your blessing be known.

We pray for all those who grieve.

For those who grieve family members lost and missing.
For those who grieve family members murdered
For those who grieve family and friends who died by suicide
May your mercy prevail and your blessing be known.

We also pray for those who grieve a death precious in your sight.  Of parents and grandparents who lived in your grace, walked in faith, and whose death means a joyous resurrection life with you, even as our hearts ache.

We remember those known to us

May your mercy prevail and your blessing be known.

We pray for ourselves as a people who love you and praise you.  We pray for this congregation from which we are called to serve you.  Lord, make this us all a people of generosity where people work together, giving all that they are and all that they have, so that the wonderful resources of our world may be better shared.

May your mercy prevail and your blessing be known

We pray today for people who wander through life, constantly seeking a purpose, a reason for living. We remember especially those who store up wealth for themselves believing that the road to happiness is through the accumulation of possessions. Help them to find in you, love, acceptance, and wholeness.

May your mercy prevail and your blessing be known.

Christian Family Sunday

This day is special to us O God, so we give  you thanks for the families that care for us, shape our faith and walk with us in joy and in sorrow.

We thank you for your church and especially for the congregation of St. Andrew’s.  Here we see your love, we know we are upheld in prayer, and we have opportunities to live out our purpose in your world.

For all your blessings we thank you.

This day we also remember and thank you for the human families you have given us.  We remember with joy our mothers who loved us, nurtured us and guided us through life.  We thank you for the blessings they have given us.

For all our blessings we thank you.


We pray with hope for a world in need – in need not just of a technical fix, but in need of love and grace, forgiveness and new life, hope, peace and fellowship, in need of renewal, in need of YOU.  May you bring your renewal to our city, our congregations and our homes.

MLA, Legislature, MP, Parliament, Public Health Officers, Dr. Henry


Hear us now as we pray as Jesus taught us saying, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever.  Amen

HYMN  Come let us sing to the Lord our Song




Children of God,
go forth dancing, singing, and praising.
Dance joy into sorrowful places!
Sing hope into places of despair!
Praise God this day and always!


SUNG BLESSING:  Blessed be the name of the Lord