welcome to church online

march 22, 2020

It's wonderful to have you join us for worship today!

You can follow the order of service below at your own pace

or coordinate with a fellow member to work through it at the same time together

May you be blessed as we meet together - albeit virtually - to worship our Lord!

call to worship


family news

It's so good to worship with you this morning - or whenever it is that you're here.

Praises be that our God is the Creator of space and time and His Spirit unites us

whether or not we are worshipping in the same place or at the same time.


Pray for those on the front lines, for those who are sick, for families grieving loved ones,for those being hit economically and making hard decisions that are affecting others this way, 

for essential service suppliers, medical supply manufacturers, all levels of government responsible for policy and support, and religious organisation that present hope.

For more personal prayer concerns, click here.

You can also contact/join the prayer team via email at pray@shelbournestreet.com

scripture readings

1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41


1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NRSV)

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”[a] 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Psalm 23 (NRSV)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures;

he leads me beside still waters;

    he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths

    for his name’s sake.


Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

    I fear no evil;

for you are with me;

    your rod and your staff—

    they comfort me.


You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

    my whole life long.


Ephesians 5:8-14 (NRSV)

8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Sleeper, awake!

    Rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”


John 9

9 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.



communion thoughts

What a strange week it’s been!

I find myself swinging between surreal disassociation and aching sorrow, paralysing fear and powerful optimism.  Rather than standing in a room full of faces I know, it feels a bit like this is being sent off into the void, like a satellite launched into space.

I’m not sure when/where you will be when you see this.  I’m not sure if you will be ready to go with traditional crackers and juice, or if today’s Communion will be a breakfast of toast and tea.  If you will be surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ, or sitting quietly – just you and Jesus.  Whatever it is, I hope you are able to sense not only God’s presence there with you, but also the connection through his Spirit to everyone in our Church family.

This Sunday is certainly not what I expected it to be even a few days ago, but nonetheless we are called to remember.  To come to the table, together, and remember Jesus’s sacrifice, his promise, and his triumph.

But what about when we can’t be together.  Not in the same place.  Or not at the same time?  Are we still together? 

Well, in our scriptures this week we saw Samuel going to seek out God’s anointed one.  He took one look at Eliab, David’s brother, and thought, ‘“Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.”’

I find that very comforting this morning.  To know that the LORD doesn’t see things the way I do.  To know there’s always more going on than I can see or understand.  He is present in the hearts of every believer, uniting us, whether our distance is physical, temporal, or even social.  Even when we can’t see it.

As we come to the table this morning, I am also mindful of those who shared the very first Communion.  How the disciples must have felt … Hearing Jesus’ tell of his upcoming death and betrayal, watching the horror and sorrow of the cross unfold before them in a surreal nightmare … It must have felt like the world was turned up side down.  I can certainly relate…. And just like them, Jesus calls me to remember, that He was doing something they couldn’t see.

Jesus doesn’t ask us to pretend.  The horror and sorrow doesn’t go away. And neither does the kindness and compassion.  And yes, maybe I can’t pass this plate directly do you through the computer or phone screen.  But God connects us.  This meal, remembering him, connects us. 

God is in people loving each other.  Caring for each other.  Sacrificing for each other.  His children are together.  Maybe not within 6 feet of each other.  But still, together.

So as we share this meal, let us praise the Lord for His Kingdom of love, and that we get to be participants in it.

God bless,


want to share communion live?

Use email or social media to invite others to join you

at a virtual meeting via zoom / skype / google hangouts


One of the ways we worship God is through giving.  

If you usually give via cash or cheques, you may want to switch to digital methods at this time.

Cheques can be mailed to 3460 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, BC, V8P 4G5

To make an electronic donation, send an e-transfer to donations@shelbournestreet.com

parting blessing

It's been wonderful worshipping with all our brothers and sisters at Shelbourne Street today.

May your week be filled with blessings, and may the Lord give you all you need to love and serve your neighbours this week.

Don't forget to keep encouraging other via phone, email, and through our facebook group.  

If you need help to get started, contact the office.

Looking forward to worshipping with you again next week!