"A Village Church With A Heart For The World"

Christ United Church

12 Perth St., PO Box 113, Lyn, ON, K0E 1M0
(613)498-0281 (Phone)   (613)498-2589 (Fax)

 lynunitedchurch@cogeco.net                   www.lynunitedchurch.com                  Follow on Twitter:  @Ch1United

Worship Leader: The Choir                                                                              Director: Tim Hallman

Sunday, September 19, 2021

World Peace

Music Used in this Service:
Get Together: Chet Powers
If I Had a Hammer: Pete Seeger
The Lord’s Prayer: Public Domain
People Got to be Free: Felix Cavaliere

Welcome: JoAnne Fletcher

Call to Worship: JoAnne Fletcher
The invitation is given to every person by Jesus Christ:
"Come to me! Follow me! Be my disciples!"
We come to this place, to this time,
at the invitation of Jesus Christ.
In the name of Christ,
we accept the invitation to discipleship.
In the name of Christ,
as his disciples, we worship and praise God.
In the midst of a world where cruelty abounds,
we proclaim the God of Compassion.
In the midst of despair that threatens to swallow up
whole lives, whole peoples,
we proclaim the God of Hope.
In the midst of indifference and apathy,
we proclaim the God of Love.
Come, let us worship together
and share our witness of God's living presence in the world.

Lighting the Christ Candle: JoAnne Fletcher 
We gather together in the name of the one who bids us come
We come in the name of the one who brings us love
We gather together to sing praises of the one who teaches peace
Come, let us worship

 Today is one of two peace Sundays in the church calendar, and today we are going to highlight how music sung together can be a powerful unifier, which is why it is such an important part of our worship together and why it was such an important part of the social movement of the 1960’s. For this service we will be talking about and singing together some familiar peace songs of that time period, beginning with this one, Come Together, written by Chet Powers and made a hit by the folk/rock band the Youngbloods.

Sing: Get Together, Chet Powers

A Prayer for Peace from the World Council of Churches: Jane Lyster
O Lord, you love justice and you establish peace on earth.
We bring before you the disunity of today's world;
the absurd violence, and the many wars,
which are breaking the courage of the peoples of the world;
human greed and injustice,
which breed hatred and strife.
Send your spirit and renew the face of the earth;
teach us to be compassionate towards the whole human family;
strengthen the will of all those
who fight for justice and for peace,
and give us that peace which the world cannot give.
All: Amen.

Intro to world peace and Pete Seeger: Jane Lyster
Songs have the power to move people, more than words alone. Teaching people songs -- and singing them together -- can move people emotionally, socially, and politically. Pete Seeger knew the power of singing to move people to help bring about progressive social change. For almost seven decades he did just that. He sang – and had people sing along with him -- to rally support for labor unions, for the Civil Rights Movement, for ending the Vietnam War, for eliminating nuclear weapons, and for addressing environmental hazards.

Many of the songs that he sang were derived from the Bible, traditional rural American folk music, or the musical culture of other peoples and countries. He used singing to teach, to inspire, to build community. And he used singing to help build social movements. Asked how he would like to be remembered, he replied: “He made up songs to try and persuade people to do something.” Indeed he did, and very effectively.

Seeger realized that having audiences -- often made up of students or young children -- join him in singing had the potential to make members of those audiences commit, or affirm commitment, to social causes: “In each of my concerts there are some old songs which you and I have sung together many times before, but which can always stand another singing. Like another sunrise, this also is an act of reaffirmation.”

He elaborated on this concept in a PBS movie about his life, saying: “Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life as much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. Can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? Finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start. And when one person taps out a beat, while another leads into the melody, or when three people discover a harmony they never knew existed, or a crowd joins in on a chorus as though to raise the ceiling a few feet higher, then they also know there is hope for the world.”

One of those songs that we have known and loved to sing together is ‘If I had a Hammer’. It was written by Pete Seeger in in the 1940’s when he was a member of the protest band ‘The Weavers’. It didn’t do well on the charts when it was released because it was seen as too subversive in the dark era of McCarthy’s ‘red scare’ but when it was released 12 years later by Peter, Paul and Mary in the early 1960’s it became a top 10 hit and won the Grammy for Folk Song of the Year. Please join us in singing “If I Had A Hammer” as we commit ourselves to work towards justice and freedom for all, and as we pray for love between our brothers and sisters all over this land.

Sing: If I Had a Hammer, Pete Seeger

Scripture and Prayers: Vicki Bonenfant

Scriptures on Peace
Let your daughters and sons be known in this world as peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)
By Your indwelling Spirit in our hearts, cultivate the fruit of your presence, one of which is peace (Galatians 5:22).
Just as in Christ you broke down the walls of hostility that used to keep us separate from each other, leaving peace in their place, so let Jesus be our peace in all of our relationships. (Ephesians 2:11ff).
Let us know the peace that we have with you because of what Jesus Christ has done for us (Romans 5:1).
Use us as your ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20).

A Prayer for Peace in a Time of Fear, Anger and Violence
Lord, somewhere deep inside we know that it’s not supposed to be like this.
People are not supposed to strap themselves with explosives and stroll into crowded airports.
People are not supposed to be assassinated with bullets when worshiping in places of prayer.
People are not supposed to lose their loved ones on fields of battle.
People are not supposed to dance over the charred remains of their enemies.
Neighborhoods are not supposed to be turned into battle zones, children are not supposed to be casualties, and war is supposed to be the last resort, if even then.
It’s the Garden that we miss, Lord; it’s the Garden that we need.
The echo of Eden is peace.  It’s faint, but we still hear it.
There is temptation to hate, to seek revenge in the guise of justice, to let our anger and fear take us into the descending spiral of violence.
We all want to be safe. We all want to be secure.  And we think that it’s force that will deliver our safety and security.
God of Peace, teach us another way; teach us the ways of peace.
And as the angels sang of peace on earth on the day the Prince of Peace was born, so inspire us now to beat our swords into plowshares and to lean into that day when the lion sleeps with the lamb and your children study war no more.
Plant a seed of peace in New York and in Kabul, in Washington and in Baghdad, in Madrid and in Morocco, in Gaza and in Jerusalem, over there and right here, in them and in us, and let that Garden of shalom we remember sprout and bloom, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ who is our peace.     Amen.

In the spirit of singing together in unity, let us sing the Lord’s Prayer VU 960

Felix Cavaliere: Fred Vickery
Despite his parent’s wish for him to be either a classical pianist or doctor back in the 1950’s, Felix Cavaliere chose to be a rock and roll musician because in his own words ‘Music Heals’. As part of his early musical journey singing cover songs of hits in Europe, the band he was playing with was on the same ticket as the Beatles. The Beatles played their own songs and played with a uniqueness and passion that spoke to Felix, so he came back to the United States and put together his own band called the Rascals. For several years they wrote the kinds of songs and played the kind of music that the powerful record companies told them to, but the success of the mega-hit Groovin’ allowed them to have more control over the type of music they wrote and performed. Encouraged by the progressive messages of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, they transitioned from songs that strictly entertained to songs that moved people and made a difference in the world. Felix was greatly affected by the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in 1968 and he was moved to release a song that would make a strong statement. His record company was not so moved as they were more interested in making money, but the band persisted and their next hit, People Got to be Free became number one all over the world. Felix believes the connection to songs like this are like prayer, bringing the world together. Over the years the band began insisting on playing an integrated show, which sparked protests at some of their concerts, but they stood fast and stayed true to their values. The Rascals were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1997 and in 2009 Felix Cavaliere was inducted into the singer-songwriter hall of fame. Felix continues to promote his messages of peace and tolerance, touring with his own band to bring the songs of the Rascals to new audiences every year. This is ‘People Got to be Free’ by Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals.

Sing: People Got to be Free, Felix Cavaliere

 Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Choral Blessing: People Got to be Free, chorus

This is the YouTube link for this mornings service: