ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRADITIONAL
You’ll find a resource at united-church.ca.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come, let us worship and spend time with God.
Let us kneel and rest with our Creator.
Come, let us sing out praises!
Let us raise a joyful shout to our rock and our Redeemer.
Come, let us drink from the well of Jacob!
Let us draw living water from the deep well
of our Comforter.
(see suggestions on page 27.)
The celebration of your presence changes us.
In you, ordinary tasks like the sharing of stories, the singing
of songs, the greeting of neighbours, and the drinking of
water, become holy opportunities for us to catch glimpses of
So that in the routine and ordinary tasks of our lives, we
might be transformed.
Prayer of confession
Forgive us God,
When we confine ourselves and your mission
with false borders … [silence]
When we try to impose our ideas and understandings
on others… [silence]
When we fail to recognize the divine in people
we are not familiar with … [silence].
Forgive us God,
And remind us that we have much to learn
about our neighbors and about you.
Assurance of Grace
Today and every day we are invited to be in relationship
with a God who knows us intimately and loves us fully.
Beloved be assured:
There is nothing that we have done and there is nothing
that we can do that will break the bond of love
that God has formed with us.
Passing of the peace
With this knowledge, let us greet each other, not just as
neighbors, pew mates, and fellow church goers, but as
beloved siblings in Christ.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.
Let us greet each other with signs of Christ’s peace.
Preparation: have or create a set of nesting dolls; start with
the smallest doll.
(display the first doll) This is a woman who we will call
Adira. People who know her best think that she is strong,
wise, and very kind.
(add the shell of another doll to the first one) As a child,
Adira was picked on for being a “know-it-all,” so she
stopped sharing her wisdom with others. But this did not
mean that she stopped being wise.
(add another shell) A few years later, she was teased for
being too stubborn and a show-off because she could carry
more water than her peers and did not need to ask for help.
She stopped going to the well when everyone else did, and
went at the hardest time of the day to avoid being teased.
(add other shells as needed to address specific stereotypes
or concerns within your community that may stop people
from interacting authentically)
(add last shell) Now Adira is older, and because she does
not talk much to folks at the well, people have come up with
all sorts of stories about her. They says that she is mean and
anti-social. But we know that she is the same strong, wise,
and kind person.
Over time, Adira has developed many protective layers
that make it harder and harder to recognize her. And I can
understand that. Sometimes if we are called something
enough times—be it good or bad—it is easy to believe it,
even if it is not true. It is also true that sometime if you pretend to be something long enough eventually it may become
true. (Consider including a personal story of how a negative
stereotype has affected you.)
In today’s scripture story, we meet a woman at a well, who
is a bit like Adira. In the story, Jesus has a long conversation
with the woman and he recognizes her to be a person who
is very different from who everyone else thinks she is. Jesus
Recognizing each other
Despite our differences, we are all journeying on the
same mission By Alydia Smith