Ash Wednesday – 2/17/21

These reflections are intended to help you pray through the day – morning, noon hour, and evening – as you enter into Lent. Carve out a few minutes for each of these reflections if you are able.


Song for Reflection – “Give Me Jesus”

In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus 
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

Scripture – Mark 1:35

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Invitation to Prayer

In the darkness (before daybreak) and in isolation Jesus came to prayer. Sit silently, and remember that you are in the presence of God. Remain in that stillness for a few moments, and then pray:

O Lord,
calm me into a quietness,
that heals,
and listens,
and molds my longings,
and passions,
my wounds,
and wonderings
into a more holy and human shape.


Consider going for a short walk and listening to this noon time reflection with your headphones in, or simply find a quiet place and allow the audio below to help you reflect and pray.


As you sit down to begin this time of evening prayer, light a candle and have it nearby.

Scripture – Mark 8:34-37

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

Invitation to Prayer

Prayerfully consider Jesus’ questions above as he ask them directly to you: What good is it to get everything, but lose your soul? Is anything of greater value than true life? Take a few moments to answer Jesus’ questions in prayer and then read the following from the Psalms.

Scripture Reading – Psalm 90:1-6, 12

Lord, through all the generations
    you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
    before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
    from beginning to end, you are God.
You turn people back to dust, saying,
    “Return to dust, you mortals!”
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
    as brief as a few night hours.
You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.
    They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
In the morning it blooms and flourishes,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

At this point, extinguish the candle.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
    so that we may grow in wisdom.

Song for Reflection – “I Surrender All”

Remember You are Dust

Grab the wick of the extinguished candle between your finger and thumb and gather some of the ash or soot on your fingertips. Hear these words as a reminder of the frailty of life and the need for God’s salvation.

Remember that you are dust
And to dust you shall return;
Repent and believe the Gospel.

Christmas Eve Service

Join us on ZOOM at 6:30pm for our Christmas Eve service! Have a candle at the ready as we will, all together, light them as we celebrate the way “love’s true light” makes its way into the world in the person of Jesus. The link is not publicly posted for security reasons – please check your church’s weekly email for the link, or contact so that you can join!

A Brief Reflection on Returning to In-Person Worship Services

Gavin – HCCC

Take some time before Sunday morning to prayerfully reflect on what your hopes and expectations are in these next weeks as our churches begin to gather in-person for worship once again. Rather than fixating on what might be different, missing, or lost from our gatherings at this time, turn your attention to what good gifts God is providing, and what opportunities there might be for growth toward deeper discipleship.

Easter Sunrise Liturgy – 04/12/20

If you’re looking for our Easter celebration service, you can find it HERE.

This is a simple sunrise liturgy, in which you’re encouraged to get outside – front porch, back yard, balcony, whatever – and take in a first reading of the good news of Easter! If it is possible for you to print the liturgy so as to not be bound to a device (we’ve probably all had a lot of screen time in our lives over the last while…), you are encouraged to download / print the file below. If you are unable to print from home, the liturgy is posted further below.

Scripture Reading – Matthew 28:1-10

Read the passage aloud – whether you are alone or with others.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Reflection Question

Take some time to write down your answers to the following question, or, if you are meeting with others, to discuss them.

What word or phrase moves you this morning as you read / heard this?

Affirming Our Faith

Read the Apostle’s Creed aloud – whether you are alone or with others.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Easter Hymn – “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

Sing or read aloud.

1.   Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

2.   Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

3.   Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

4.   Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

5.   Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

6.   King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Closing Prayers

Pray for the Easter celebration services taking place all over the world. Though we can’t meet in person, pray that today especially the Spirit would bind us together with the bond of resurrection hope. Pray that joy might fill each heart today, casting out gloom and disbelief. Pray for those now who have not yet awaken for the day, that they might, upon waking, sense the joy and peace of Christ the risen One. 

Holy Saturday – 04/11/20

Matthew 27:62-66

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

Reflection Exercise

Matthew tells this peculiar little story about the religious authorities petitioning Pilate for a garrison of soldiers to be stationed at the tomb where Jesus’ body had been put to rest. The posting of the guards and the sealing of the tomb was intended to secure the body and prevent any further trouble-making from the upstart Jesus or his disciples.

On this Holy Saturday, as we sit in the doorway between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, take some time to consider and name those “guards” that are stationed around your mind and heart. What is present in your life that seems intended on preventing hope from springing forth? What things are attempting to ensure death wins, rather than the emergence of true life?

Ego? Fear? Shame? Pride? Doubt? Addiction? Despair? Bitterness?
Unforgiveness? Codependence? Dishonesty?

If it helps you, draw out the scene on a piece of paper…. A simple tomb sealed tight with guards stationed around it (stick men will do if you’re artistically challenged). Label the “guards” with names that seem most prevalent or imposing in your own life. After you have mulled over and acknowledged them, go to God in prayer.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father,
You must have been unconcerned by the feeble efforts of men to keep your will for resurrection and life from coming to pass. But to me, these “guards” seem imposing; they seem intent on keeping me from experiencing new life and the hope of resurrection. I rely on you for an Easter victory. May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done – on earth and in my life.

Good Friday – 04/10/20

Silence and Stillness

Give yourself a couple moments to still your body, your mind, and your heart. Sit comfortably and quietly, and take deep breaths.

Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, on this day you carried our sins in your own body on the tree so that we might have life. May we and all who remember this day find new life in you, both now and in the world to come. Meet with us as we keep this vigil together, and speak to our hearts as our ears hear the record of your conquering love. Amen

Scripture Reading – Isaiah 53:4-6

If you are with another, have two people take turns reading this passage, alternating each line.

It was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

Hymn – “Old Rugged Cross”

Old Rugged Cross
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
But I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
‘Til my trophies at last I lay day
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown

Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true
Its shame and reproach gladly bear
Then he’ll call me some day to my home far away
Where his glory forever I’ll share

Scripture Reading – Matthew 27:1-2 and 11-26

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!” So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Prayer of Confession

Take some time to silently come to God in a spirit of confession, remembering how Jesus – who was completely innocent – was willing to suffer and bear death for the sake of our forgiveness and salvation. After you’ve given some time to quiet confession simply pray aloud:

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

A Letter to Jesus Based on Psalm 22

Make some time today to write a letter of your own to Jesus on this Good Friday. What do you want to say to him today?

Musical Interlude – “Orual”

Homily – Matthew 27:27-50

Scripture Reading – Matthew 27:51-61

At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.  They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

Jesus Christ’s Body Carried to the Tomb – Rembrandt

Responding in Prayer

From the echoeing voices of old Hebrew promises speaking about a suffering servant, to shouting mobs and jeering officials, to the agonized cries of Jesus from the cross… From the tearing of the temple curtain, to the rumbling earth and cracking of rock, to the chaotic rabble of the dead coming to life…. From the mournful tears of the women who watched their friend die, to the grinding roll of the stone, to the deafening silence of a cold body laying in a borrowed tomb…. What sound most grabbed your attention this Good Friday? Take a couple moments to reflect on that sound and then respond to God in prayer.

Hymn – “Near the Cross”

Near the Cross
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever
‘Til my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me

Near the cross, O Lamb of God
Bring its scenes before me
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadows o’er me

Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever
‘Til I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river

Closing Prayer

God of all the world, whose only Son was offered up for us all, have mercy on those who know you not, and upon us who know you but often deny the faith of Christ crucified. Fetch home to your fold all who have gone astray, so that we become one flock, under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Maundy Thursday – 04/06/20

This simple liturgy of reading scripture, reflecting and praying together is intended to go along with your supper on Maundy Thursday. If you’d like to keep tech away from the dinner table you can download a printable version of this liturgy below.

A simple service of Communion is part of this liturgy, and we encourage you to prepare some bread and some grape juice or wine in a small pitcher. You can pick up supplies in your weekly grocery trip or do some baking! Have the elements in the center of the table for the meal.

Before the Meal

Read:  Matthew 25:1-13

Reflect/Discuss: What does it look like to be awake, aware, ready and prepared?

Prayers of Thanksgiving: Each person around the table offer a simple prayer of thanks. “God I thank you for…”

Pray Over the Meal: “Lord Jesus, Blessed are you – King of the Universe! We thank you for this food which comes from the earth to sustain us. May your Holy Spirit bring life to our heads, hearts, hands and souls that we would be found alert and awake to your nearness. Amen.”

Eat : Have supper in gratitude. Put the devices away! Savour the meal. Live in the moment. If you are alone or just need more company (hello extroverts!) call up another person, couple or family and be together.


(Maybe before seconds or before dessert)

Read: Matthew 26:26-29


Take the elements (bread and wine/juice) as they come up in the reading, breaking the bread, and pouring out the wine or juice.  

Words of Institution: “The apostle Paul tells us that on the night on which Jesus was betrayed, he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ Paul goes on to tell us that he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ Paul then reminds us that whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the death of Jesus until he comes again.

Invitation: “Sisters and brothers, this is food for the journey to which God has called us. Let our lives be nourished by the Lord himself as we celebrate together at this table.”

Serve the elements as seems fitting and safe in your setting and then continue to enjoy your meal.

After the Meal

(Before leaving the table)

Read: Matthew 26:30

Sing: Sing a favourite hymn or close with the Doxology. Scratch out a tune even if it is painful.

Benediction: Go now in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: not tentatively, but boldly; not cynically, but hopefully; not sadly, but joyfully – because tonight we have met again with the One who creates, forgives, and redeems. Amen”

Be Blessed as you do dishes on your way to Mount Olives!