people silhouette during sunset
Photo by Min An on

We Gather Together



Promise of Divine Welcome

Song: We Are All One People,  MV 141

We are all one people, we all come from one Creation way on high.
We are all one nation under one great sky, you and I.
We are all one people, we are all one colour in God’s eyes.

Call to Worship: (drawn from two Inuit poems, from Thule and Igloolik)

Day arises
From its sleep,
Day wakes up
With the dawning light.
Also you must arise,
Also you must awake,
Together with the day which comes. 

I arise from rest with movements swift
As the beat of a raven’s wings.
I arise
To meet the day,
My face is turned from the dark of night
To gaze at the dawn of day,
Now whitening the sky.

Lighting of the Christ Candle

Listening in the Light of Reconciliation

Opening Hymn: It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker, MV 30  

It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the grey whale sings in the sea,

And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
and sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.

It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore. R

It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings. R

Opening Prayer

Children’s Song: Like a Rock, MV 92

Like a rock, like a rock, God is under our feet.
Like the starry night sky God is over our head.
Like the sun on the horizon God is ever before.
Like the river runs to ocean, our home is in God evermore.

God Calls and We Respond to the Word

Reading: Genesis 1:26-31

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

In the Beginning: An Inuit Creation Story

Hymn: O God Who Shaped Creation, VU 276 (to “Merle’s Tune, VU 801)

O God who shaped creation at earth’s chaotic dawn,
your word of power was spoken, and lo! the dark was gone!
You framed us in your image, you brought us into birth,
you blessed our infant footsteps and shared your splendoured earth.

O God, with pain and anguish a mother sees her child
embark on dead-end pathways, alluring, but defiled;
so too your heart is broken when hate and lust increase,
when worlds you birthed and nurtured spurn ways that lead to peace.

In mercy and compassion your goodness is revealed;
with tenderness you touch us, and broken hearts are healed.
You claim us as your children, you strip our prideful shame;
with freedom born of mercy we bless your holy name!

We Pray

Prayers of the People

A Litany of Labour by Nancy Light Gottshall

One: Ruler of the heavens, who came to earth as a humble carpenter, hear our prayers this Labor Day weekend: We give thanks for the gift of work, which can help give meaning and purpose to our lives, and which can offer us a way to serve you.
All:Companion of our labor, hear our prayer.
One:We pray for all whose work is truly their calling, that they may continue to find joy in their labor, and through their labor be drawn closer to you.
All:Joy in our lives, hear our prayer.
One:We pray for all whose work is not a joy, who work simply because they must, pray and who suffer boredom and exhaustion from jobs that do nothing to feed their spirits.
All:Source of all meaning, hear our prayer.
One:We pray for all whose work leads them into ethical conflicts, who struggle to do what is right in the midst of frustrating circumstances.
All:Guide for our path, hear our prayer.
One:We pray for all who are unemployed, who face daily the financial and personal anxieties that unemployment brings, who begin to wonder about their worth in the world.
All:Savior in the stress, hear our prayer.
One:We pray for all who are retired, those who enjoy retirement, those who have lost purpose in their lives, and those who struggle to make a faithful use of their days.
All:Teacher of quietness, hear our prayer.
One:We know, Gracious God, that our lives depend on the faithful labor of other workers, often those who are underpaid and overworked. Keep us aware of how our choices affect the labor of others. May all of our work be done in a way that brings you honor and glory. We pray in the name of Jesus.

Closing Hymn: O for a World, VU 697

O for a world where everyone
respects each other’s ways,
where love is lived and all is done
with justice and with praise.

O for a world where goods are shared
and misery relieved,
where truth is spoken, children spared,
equality achieved.

We welcome one world family
and struggle with each choice
that opens us to unity
and gives our vision voice.

O for a world preparing for
God’s glorious reign of peace,
where time and tears will be no more,
and all but love will cease.

Poem: Found by Dg Nanouk Okpik  

“duck foot skin;
an owl with five owlets;
nesting minks;
caught in a fish trap.
A bird egg found in winter.”

“an Inupiat dictionary left in 1970
by Simon Taargrack Jr. on a rock.”

Eyes of masks left to wear. Place on head.
See what is found.


Song:  May God’s Sheltering Wings,MV 214

May God’s sheltering wings,
God’s gathering wings protect you.
May God’s nurturing arms,
God’s cradling arms sustain you,
and hold you in God’s love, and hold you in God’s love.