9310 Townsend Road • Providence Forge, VA 23140  (804) 966-2079

This Week’s Worship

If you have enjoyed worshiping online with these messages please consider making a donation to PFPC. Here are the directions to use our Easy-Tithe on this website:  EasyTithe-Instructions-2020

Worship Documents for Communion Sunday, July 5, 2020

As announced during last Sunday’s ZOOM Service we will be celebrating Communion during this Sunday’s worship service virtually. This means that each group who chooses to celebrate Communion in their home will provide their own elements of grape juice and bread. During the Communion celebration when Rev. Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito blesses the elements she also will be blessing the elements provided by individual worshiping groups. When she offers each element, she also will be offering the element to those in their homes as though they were in our church sanctuary.

Rev. Kissel-Ito asks that those who have chosen to participate have the elements of grape juice and bread ready and set aside prior to the start of the worship service.

Communion Sunday July 5, 2020 Bulletin to download 

July 5, 2020 Insert

Stewardship Message July 5, 2020

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Even in difficult times give thanks to our Lord so that through his Spirit each of us may be blessed with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.

PFPC Session

Worship documents for Sunday June 28, 2020

Insert June 28th download

June 28, 2020 bulletin download

Stewardship June 28, 2020

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

None of us know what tomorrow will bring to us. But each of us can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, prepare for tomorrow with Joy and Peace and Hope. God has a plan for each of us. As God’s Stewards it is our responsibility to execute his plan according to our abilities.

God has a plan for Providence Forge Presbyterian Church. As Stewards of our Church, each of us, according to our individual abilities, have a responsibility to carry out his plan for PFPC with Joy and Peace and Hope as well.

PFPC Session

Worship documents for Father’s Day, June 21, 2020

Father’s Day June 21, 2020 download bulletin

June 21st Insert download

Stewardship, June 21, 2020 

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 22:9  Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Although there have been recent changes allowing a bit more freedom in our personal lives we still live with great uncertainty. By trusting in our Lord, we will have a greater understanding what our path is as individuals and as a church.

As stewards of God’s Kingdom always remember the needs of those who are less fortunate both through personnel deeds and in support of our church.

PFPC Session

PROVIDENCE FORGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Father’s Day, June 21, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                              Psalm 68

Leader:  Come, sing praises to God!
People:   Rejoice in his presence! 
Leader:  
For he is our God: a Father to the fatherless, and the defender of all who need protection;
People:  the One in whom the lonely find a home, and the prisoner finds release.
A
ll: Bless the Lord, the God of our salvation, Who sustains and strengthens us, day after day!

PRAYER OF PRAISE                       Church of Scotland

God our Parent, we gather to open our hearts to You, trusting that You will welcome us with open arms. We come to worship You. The One who leads us through times of trial; the One who supports us in sorrow and struggle; the One who is beside us when all is bleak. Holy One, we praise You. Amen

SONG of PRAISE #370 Just as I Am, Without One Plea
Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

SCRIPTURE                         Luke 15:11-24
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

ANTHEM Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling – Tom & Lisa

SERMON                                                  Dr. Rev. Cindy Kissel-Ito

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN      John 20:3-6a (Easy to Read Version)

 So Peter and the other follower started going to the tomb. They were both running, but the other follower ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and looked in. He saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in.Then Simon Peter finally reached the tomb and went in.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Eternal God, you neither slumber nor sleep in your watchful care for all creation. The knowledge of your vigilant protection gives us comfort and confidence. You hold us in strong arms. You sustain us through every hardship and sorrow. You are the light in our darkness and your presence brings perfect tranquility.

Great God, we thank you for those you have placed in our lives that have fathered us- men who are our biological fathers and others who have modeled your love. You place us in relationship so that we may experience the fullness of your love and forgiveness. We see You through their acts of kindness, patience and wisdom.

We lift up in prayer those who have never known a father’s love or experienced your encompassing grace. Give them opportunities of love and care. We also remember those who struggle in relationship- show them your wisdom and peace. Some fathers of those who are gathered are eternally with you- lessen their sense of loss and grief that they may experience your love through their memories. We pray especially for those we have named in our silent prayers. We continue to pray for this church community and ask that your will be made known to us. Invigorate our discussions and empower us to act with integrity and energy. May your presence comfort, empower, heal and enable. We pray in the name of your son, Jesus, who taught us to pray:

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING – Ayars Lore
Opportunities are:
Easytithe – https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc
C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE #298 There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in his justice, Which is more than liberty.
There’s no place where earth’s sorrows Are more felt than up in heaven; There’s no place where earth’s failings Have such kindly judgment given.

For the love of God is broader Than the measure of the mind;
And the heart of the Eternal Is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful, We would gladly trust God’s word;
And our lives reflect thanksgiving For the goodness of our Lord

BENEDICTION     I Peter 5:10

The God of all grace restores, establishes and strengthens you. Go now, refreshed by the Holy Spirit, strengthened in all wisdom and love, established as God’s child and disciple.

People: Peace be with you!

 

 

Worship documents for June 14, 2020

Insert June 14, 2020

Stewardship June 14, 2020

Proverbs 19:17  Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
As summer approaches we, as we are able, will vacation and gather in friendship. As Stewards of God’s Kingdom, we must remember as individuals and members of our church to continue to help those who are in need by supporting them with our love and kindness. We must also remember that our church never takes a vacation and needs our financial support throughout this summer as well.

PFPC Session

Bulletin 6 14 2020 download link

PROVIDENCE FORGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time June 14, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP

  Leader:  From the comfort of our homes we gather to worship.

People: Whether through printed word, or through the gift of    

                technology we are a community.

 Leader: Here we seek connection to the Divine.

 People: Come, let us worship God together.

PRAYER OF PRAISE                       Rev. D. B. Daniels

Generous God, you gave us our voices, no two the same.

As you did with Abraham and Sarah, you take and touch our lives and they can become extraordinary. And in your Church you have gathered us, in your community of common folk and complainers,

prophets and puzzled people, you have called us and made a place for us. So let what we say and do here, what we ponder and decide here, be real for us and honest to you, as you prepare us for the life of the world in which you are praised. Amen.

SONG of PRAISE # 525 Here I Am, Lord

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin, My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them Whom shall I send

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have born my peoples pain.
I have wept for love of them, They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them, Whom shall I send

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them, My hand will save
Finest bread I will provide, Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them, Whom shall I send

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.

Text and Music: © 1981, Daniel L. Schutte and New Dawn Music, P.O. Box 13248, Portland, OR 97213-0248. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

SCRIPTURE                         Genesis 12:1-9 and Matthew 9:9-13

Genesis 12:1-9 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
Matthew 9:9-13 9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

ANTHEM  Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy           Tom Ballou

SERMON                                              Dr. Rev. Cindy Kissel-Ito

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN      Luke 8:1-3 (Easy to Read Version)

38 While Jesus and his followers were traveling, he went into a town, and a woman named Martha let him stay at her house. 39 She had a sister named Mary. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. 40 But her sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice, and it will never be taken away from her.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                                            Rev Abi

Listening God, Hear our prayers as we come before you.
Hear the ones who are crying with pain in their heart.
Hear the ones who are weeping with grief long into the night.
Hear the ones who are sobbing in their loneliness.

Loving God, Heal their pain. Restore their lives Mend their broken hearts. Leading God, Lead us through the dark valleys. Lead us through troublesome times. Lead us to our home with you.

Teach us to listen to your voice, That we may hear the cry of the needy and respond. Teach us to love that We may offer care that brings others to you for healing. Teach us to lead,
With your vision so that we not lead others blindly through life.

Through your son who taught us to pray:
LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING – Ayars Lore
Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE- #488 The God of Abraham Praise
The God of Abraham praise, Who reigns enthroned above;
The ancient of eternal day, The God of Love!
The Lord, the great I Am, by earth and heaven confessed,
We bow before Your holy name, Forever blest.

Your spirit still flows free, High surging where it will;
In prophet’s word You spoke of old And You speak still.
Established is Your law, And change-less it shall stand,
Deep writ upon the human heart, On sea, or land.

You have eternal life Implanted in the soul;
Your love shall be our strength and stay, While ages roll.
We praise You, living God! We praise Your holy name;
The first, the last, beyond all thought, And still the same!

BENEDICTION     Numbers 6:22-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

People: Peace be with you!

 

June 7 Trinity & Communion Sunday Download Bulletin

Sermon June 7, 2020

June 7th Insert download here

Stewardship Message June 7, 2020

Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

1 Corinthians 12:5 And there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; As individuals each of us serves our church in different ways. But as a body we can reach out to multitudes with love and kindness and support. Being good stewards, each of us must support our church in every way we are able.

PFPC Session

June 7, 2020 Trinity Sunday, Communion Sunday

Providence Forge Presbyterian Church
Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020 Communion Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader:  Gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, inspired by the Holy           Spirit, and blessed by God,
People:  
we come to worship one, holy God.
Leader: 
O God, our own God, how wonderful is your name in all the earth.  People:   Your majesty is the music of the starry skies. yet even  children of dust can sing your praises.
Leader: 
In the name of the Healer, the Provider and the Enabler let your gratitude and joy be made known.
People: 
 O God, our own God, how wonderful is your name in all the earth!

PRAYER OF PRAISE                       Presbyterian Mission Agency      

Holy God, Three in One, You are our eternal hope, our companion in life, our liberating power.  Lead us in your mission, baptizing and teaching in your blessed name, so that all may worship you to the end of the age. Amen

SONG of PRAISE #426 Lord Speak to me that I may Speak
Lord, speak to me, that I may speak In living echoes of Thy tone; As Thou has sought, so let me seek Thine erring children lost and lone.

Oh, lead me, Lord, that I may lead he wand’ring and the wav’ring feet;
Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed Thy hung’ring ones with manna sweet.

Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach The hidden depths of many a heart.

Oh, fill me with Thy fullness, Lord, Until my very heart o’erflow
In kindling thought and glowing word, Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show.

Oh, use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where,
Until Thy blessed face I see, Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share.

SCRIPTURE                         Matthew 28:16-20

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 ANTHEM – Shall we gather at the River –                 Tom & Lisa

 SERMON                                                                  Cindy Kissel-Ito

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN      Luke 8:1-3 (Easy to Read Version)

The next day, Jesus traveled through some cities and small towns. Jesus told the people a message from God, the Good News about God’s kingdom. The twelve apostles were with him. There were also some women with him. Jesus had healed these women of sicknesses and evil spirits. One of them was Mary, who was called Magdalene. Seven demons had come out of her. Also with these women were Joanna, the wife of Chuza (the manager of Herod’s property), Susanna, and many other women. These women used their own money to help Jesus and his apostles.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Holy God, you have revealed yourself to us in a trinity of ways:
as our powerful Creator, our dying Savior, and our comforting Spirit.
But we also know you as a loving parent,a risen Lord, and a dynamic breath of fresh air. We’re never really sure of how you are able to be all these things to us, but you are. And we praise you. Holy God, lead us down your Holy Way that we may grow in becoming who you have created and redeemed us to be. As we hear what may seem to our limited minds to be an impossible call, teach us the grace to place our limitations within the wonder of your unlimited hands.
In Jesus Christ, we pray:     

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING – Ayars Lore
Opportunities are:
Easytithe – https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc
C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF PREPARATION  #319   “Spirit”

Spirit, spirit of gentleness.
Blow through the wilderness, calling and free.
Spirit, spirit of restlessness. Stir me from placidness.
Wind, wind on the sea.

You moved on the waters, You called to the deep,
Then You coaxed up the mountains. From the valley of sleep,
And over the eons You called to each thing,
“A wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.”

Spirit, spirit of gentleness.
Blow through the wilderness, calling and free.
Spirit, spirit of restlessness. Stir me from placidness.
Wind, wind on the sea.

Text and Music: © 1978 James K. Manley. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

     Invitation

     Prayer of Thanksgiving

     Words of Institution

     Sharing the Elements

     Prayer  

 SONG OF RESPONSE  Lord, You Give the Great Commission

Lord, You give the great commission: Heal the sick and preach the Word. Lest the Church neglect its mission, And the Gospel go unheard, Help us witness to Your purpose With renewed integrity,
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us For the work of ministry.

Lord, You call us to Your service: In My name baptize and teach.
That the world may trust Your promise, Life abundant meant for each, Give us all new fervor, draw us Closer in community.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us For the work of ministry.

Lord, You make the common holy: This My body, this My blood.
Let us all, for earth’s true glory, Daily lift life heavenward,
Asking that the world around us Share your children’s liberty
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us For the work of ministry.

Lord, You show us love’s true measure: Father, what they do, forgive. Yet we hoard as private treasure All that You so freely give. May Your care and mercy lead us To a just society.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us For the work of ministry.

Lord, You bless with words assuring: I am with you to the end.
Faith and hope and love restoring, May we serve as You intend
And, amid the cares that claim us, Hold in mind eternity. With the Spirit’s gifts empower us For the work of ministry.

Words © 1978 Hope Pub­lish­ing Com­pa­ny. Music © 1941, renewed 1970, 380 South Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (800-323-1049) Used by per­mis­sion.

BENEDICTION

May the holy wisdom of God Guard your ways and guide your paths
May the living truth of God Enlighten your hearts and open your minds
And may the living Spirit of God Give you life, and life to the full! Amen!
 

People: Peace be with you!

May 31st – Service Documents

Stewardship Message May 31, 2020

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11  – You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God

God is Generous to those who are generous in every way and through prayers of thanksgiving God will know our needs and our church’s needs. The Holy Spirit is with us always. Thanks be to God.

PFPC Session

Download Pentecost Bulletin

Providence Forge Presbyterian Church
Pentecost Sunday May 31, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                Joanna Harader

  Leader:  Holy One, for all of the ways you speak to us –
  People:   in rushing wind, in dancing flames,
  Leader:  in words we understand and in all that transcends language.
  People:   we give thanks.
  Leader:  Give us courage to speak your love, 
  People:   everywhere we go, to everyone we meet.

PRAYER OF PRAISE                                    Presbyterian Mission Agency
Lord God, through Christ you have given us peace that the world cannot give.  Let your Spirit of truth abide with us so that we may live in hope, grow in faith, and keep your commandments of love; in the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.                                

SONG OF PRAISE – Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove
1 Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove, with all Thy quickening powers;
kindle a flame of sacred love in these cold hearts of ours.

2 In vain we tune our formal songs, In vain we strive to rise;
Hosannas languish on our tongues, And our devotion dies.

3 Dear Lord, and shall we ever live At this poor dying rate?
Our love so faint, so cold to Thee, And Thine to us so great!

4 Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove, with all Thy quickening powers;
come, shed abroad a Savior’s love, and that shall kindle ours.

SCRIPTURE –  Acts 2:1-15  Revised Standard Version (RSV

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Par′thians and Medes and E′lamites and residents of Mesopota′mia, Judea and Cappado′cia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phryg′ia and Pamphyl′ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre′ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day;

ANTHEM – Savior like a Shepherd Lead Us                  Tom & Lisa

SERMON                                                      Dr. Rev. Cindy Kissel-Ito

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN   Psalm 23: 6                                            

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.”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                                                        William Loader
O God, You are Spirit; You are wind; You are breath.
You meet us in the wonders of creation, in the awe of wonderful things, in the terror of fearful things. You blow among the fallen leaves, the broken branches, the whining pain and the whirlwinds of delight. 

 Your wind gently touches our brow with comfort and caress;
your forgiveness raises us to life; your challenge disturbs our tidy piles and spreads opportunities before our eyes. 

 Gentle Spirit, breathe on us your life. Strong Spirit, open our closed doors to your compassion; Universal Spirit, inspire us to sing and sigh for justice; Spirit of Jesus, teach us to walk, to work, to pray,  to live, to love, your way. 

 Awaken our dreams, expand our visions, heal us for hope,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING – Ayars Lore   Opportunities are:
Easytithe – https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc
C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE – Let Every Christian Pray
Let every Christian pray, This day, and every day,
Come, Holy Spirit, come! Was not the Church we love
Commissioned from above? Come, Holy Spirit, come!

The Spirit brought to birth The Church of Christ on earth
To seek and save the lost: God never has withdrawn,
Since that tremendous dawn, The gifts of Pentecost.

Only the Spirit’s power Can fit us for this hour:
Come, Holy Spirit Come! Instruct, inspire, unite;
And help us see Your light: Come Holy Spirit, come!

Words © 1971 Hope Publishing Company, 380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188 – Used by permission.

 CHARGE                                       Richard Chichester (13th century)

“Dearest Lord Jesus, Savior and Friend; three things I pray. To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.”

 BENEDICTION                            Romans 15:13

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

 People: Peace be with you!

May 24th – Service Documents

Insert May 24, 2020

7th Sunday of Easter download bulletin

Stewardship Message for May 24th 

Providence Forge Presbyterian Church
Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 24, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                                      Tom Shuman

  Leader:  Day by day, God leads us:

People:   to the deep, deep pools of peace, to the green, lush lawns

                  of grace.

  Leader:  Day by day, Jesus calls us:
  People:   to pour ourselves out in service, to anoint the stranger                                 with hope.
   Leader:  Day by day, the Holy Spirit shows us:
   People:   the community we could be, the family we are called to                                become.

PRAYER OF PRAISE
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Help us to see your presence burning in the hearts of others; Grant that we may be united in a fellowship of love and prayer. Give us the courage to pick up our cross and respond to the needs of the world. Give us the stamina to follow you, to be your hands and heart in the world; enable us to witness to your grace and mercy. We pray all this through the love of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.                                     

SONG OF PRAISE #138 Holy, Holy, Holy                            Melody
1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee
perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

SCRIPTURE                  John 17:20-26
20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one- 23I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

ANTHEM – My Shepherd will supply all my Needs      Tom & Lisa

SERMON

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN
Psalm 23: 5   You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                 Richard Einerson

  Our gracious, eternal God, we thank you for the challenges which life brings.  It also brings changes which sometimes throws us into crisis.  Be with us in such times in our Christian community.  Like the early disciples help us in our common life to find your guidance in our collective decisions.
Help us to approach our decisions seeking your guidance through prayer. Help us to examine our own hearts for any unseemly motives.
Help us to focus on the common good and not be driven by our own selfish interests. Help us to seek consensus and never be satisfied with power plays and divisiveness. Help us all to share in our mutual ministry. Lead us forward and help us to create a community where love, acceptance, and mutuality are expressed, where joy abounds, and where results are achieved because we are all working hand in hand together.  May it be said of us as it was said of old: “See how those Christians love one another.”
Open the windows of our souls to the world and its needs.  Although it is difficult to be physically present, support us in praying for others, especially those who we have named in our silent prayers. Encourage us in moments when we feel inadequate for the task and give us courage. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING-– Ayars Lore
Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE – Lead on O King Eternal              Melody

Lead on, O King Eternal, The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King Eternal, We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King Eternal, Till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing, Nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy The heav’nly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King Eternal, We follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks like morning Where’er Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted o’er us, We journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might.

CHARGE AND BENEDICTION    Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord keep you from all evil; the Lord keep your life.
The Lord keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
People: Peace be with you!

May 17th – Service documents

May 17th Sermon

Stewardship Message

May 17th Insert

6th Sunday of Easter May 17 download document

Providence Forge Presbyterian Church
6th Sunday of Easter, May 17, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                                             Worship blog      

Leader:  We rejoice in the One who leads us beside still waters, and gives us refreshment for our souls.
People:   Christ our Shepherd shows us the way we should go, so that the name of God will be glorified.
Leader: 
Though all manner of evil befall us, we will not be afraid,
People:   for the Great Shepherd of our souls is with us
Leader: 
We are never away from the love and mercy of the Lord
People:   who is with us for ever and ever. Amen

PRAYER OF PRAISE                                     Mary Petrina Boyd

Loving Shepherd, you know our names; you care for us.
When we face darkness and death, walk beside us.
When we hunger for your love, fill us with your presence.
When we are fearful, feed us at your table.
May we dwell in the house of goodness and mercy
all the days of our lives. Amen.

SONG OF PRAISE – #379 My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain:  On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace;
in ev’ry high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay.

Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,O may I then in him be found,
dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

SCRIPTURE                John 10:22-30

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

ANTHEM – What a Friend We have in Jesus              Tom & Lisa

 SERMON

 AFFIRMATION OF FAITH –

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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 FOR CHILDREN      

Psalm 23: 3b-4                                              

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.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                 Diane Karray

Loving God, you tend us as carefully as a farmer laboring over the fields and as lovingly as a gardener cultivating flowers. We thank you for the nourishment we receive from your hand, for the guidance you provide in our growth, for the fruitfulness you expect from us which motivates us to grow in grace. You teach us that we do not need to earn your shepherding love, yet you call us to walk in your way. You know us totally- you are aware of the reasons for the ways we act. You know our needs, our pain, our sorrow and the difficulties of our lives. You give us completeness, the opportunity for wholeness.

   You offer us all we need. You tell us to love our neighbors and our enemies- to embrace those who are unlovable. We confess that there are times when we do not want to hear. But you continue to call us to follow; calling us to respond to your voice and to act in your name. Lord God, open our hearts to receive the fullness of your blessings. Having quenched our need, send us to shepherd all those in need of your care. We pray together as those who wish to trust and follow you, using the words you taught:     

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING -– Ayars Lore
Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE –
Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
*Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing, Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee

CHARGE AND BENEDICITON    Hebrews 13:20-21

20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us[a] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

 People: Peace be with you!

May 10th Insert

5th Sunday of Easter, May 10th download Bulletin

PROVIDENCE FORGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
5th Sunday of Easter, May 10, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                                       Rev. Susan Blaine

Leader:   The Spirit is coming to bless us all with a new song: Let our joy          be complete.
People:   Gifts for the good of all, poured out on all to teach us
a new song: Love one another.
Leader: 
Strangers and neighbors, foreigners and family will join in the
new song: No longer servants but friends.
  People:   Come, let our worship make a joyful noise,
Rejoicing in the friendship of God.

PRAYER OF PRAISE                                                 Rev. Susan Blaine

Beloved One, all the ends of the earth marvel at your deeds of power.

We feel your presence as growth returning to the countryside.
We rejoice as we remember your faithfulness and steadfast love
revealed in the risen Christ.
Surround us with that faithfulness and steadfast love.
Fill us with generosity and courage so that we may be called your friends
and go forth to befriend your world. In Jesus’ name. Amen

SONG OF PRAISE #543 Abide with Me        Melody Raef
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

SCRIPTURE – John 15:9-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

ANTHEM – Precious Lord                                                  Tom & Lisa Ballou

 SERMON                                                                      Rev. Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito

 AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

FOR CHILDREN
Psalm 23: 2-3a

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE           PCUSA website

Almighty, all-merciful God, through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and even to love our enemies.

In times of fear, let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, so that we may not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good. Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace you have shown us in Christ. Put away fear and anxiety

and awaken us to the dawning of your new creation. Establish among us a future where peace reigns, justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled. We ask these things in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING -– Ayars Lore
Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc
C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE – #323 Loving Spirit                       Melody Raef
Loving Spirit, Holy Spirit, You have chosen me to be;
You have drawn me to Your wonder, You have set Your sign on me.

 Like a mother You enfold me, Hold my life within Your own,
Feed me with Your very body, Form me of Your flesh and bone.

 Like a father You protect me, Teach me the discerning eye,
Hoist me up upon Your shoulder, Let me see the world from high.

 Loving Spirit, in Your closeness I am known and held and blest:
In Your promise is my comfort, In Your presence I may rest.

 CHARGE AND BENEDICITON    Ephesians 3:16-20

“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”

PEOPLE: PEACE BE WITH YOU!

PFPC Virtual Communion Sunday, May 3, 2020

As announced during last Sunday’s ZOOM Service we will be celebrating Communion during this Sunday’s worship service virtually. This means that each group who chooses to celebrate Communion in their home will provide their own elements of grape juice and bread. During the Communion celebration when Rev. Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito blesses the elements she also will be blessing the elements provided by individual worshiping groups. When she offers each element, she also will be offering the element to those in their homes as though they were in our church sanctuary.

Rev. Kissel-Ito asks that those who have chosen to participate have the elements of grape juice and bread be ready and set aside prior to the start of the worship service.

download May 3rd bulletin

May 3rd Insert to download

PROVIDENCE FORGE

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Communion Sunday

May 3, 2020

CALL TO WORSHIP                    

Leader:  Jesus, our Guide, you explained the Scriptures and revealed yourself to the disciples at Emmaus.     

People:   Now by your spirit, enlighten our minds to understand their witness.

All: Ignite our hearts to receive you. Amen

 PRAYER OF PRAISE                                               REV. FRANK SCHAEFER

Meet us, Lord, on the road to Emmaus, Guide us on the path toward our destination, and renew our strength as we continue to walk and commune with you.

Open our eyes, so we see the signs of your presence around us;
Open our hearts, so we may receive your peace and love;
and empower us to pass on to others the grace you have shared with us so freely. Amen.

SONG of PRAISE Love Divine, All Love Excelling                       Melody
Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation; Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit, Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit; Let us find that promised rest.
Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory, ‘Til in heaven we take our place,
‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise.         

SCRIPTURE                 Luke 24:28-35
28 
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

ANTHEM  Amazing Grace                                      Madison and Melody

 SERMON                                                                         Cindy Kissel-Ito

 AFFIRMATION OF FAITH  (Traditional)

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 Ghost,

born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

FOR CHILDREN
Psalm 23:1 (NRSV)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE         The Church of Scotland

Jesus, the Christ, You come to us In unexpected places,

In a crowded room, in a journey on a dusty road,

In conversation, in stillness, in gathering together online.

You come in the midst of our doubt, our fear, our sorrow

You come in the power of the resurrection

No pain and suffering is unknown to you.

You bring us peace.

We pray for the places where there is no peace.

Peace to those around the world who are facing the challenges of

the pandemic: those who are weary, lonely, grieving and afraid.

You bring peace

Peace to the tensions and conflicts within us

To the regrets, the failure,

The broken relationships

The lost friendships

You bring peace

For you are a friend to us

When we are alone

When we are lonely

Unseen you are there

You bring us peace

And we pray that we too

may become peacemakers. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING   Ayars Lore
Opportunities are Easytithe
https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF PREPARATION – #319 Spirit

Spirit , Spirit of gentleness, Blow through the wilderness, calling and free, Spirit, spirit of restlessness, Stir me from placidness, Wind, wind on the sea.

 You moved on the waters, You called to the deep, Then You coaxed up the mountains From the valleys of sleep, And over the eons You called to each thing, “Awake from your slumbers And rise on your wings.”

 Spirit , Spirit of gentleness, Blow through the wilderness, calling and free, Spirit, spirit of restlessness, Stir me from placidness, Wind, wind on the sea.

 SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

     Invitation

     Prayer of Thanksgiving

     Words of Institution

     Sharing the Elements

     Prayer   

 

SONG OF RESPONSE
O Jesus, I have promised To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway If Thou wilt be my Guide.
Oh, let me feel Thee near me; The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer, And shield my soul from sin.
Oh, let me hear Thee speaking, In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me, To hasten, or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.
O Jesus, Thou hast promised To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory There shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grace to follow, My Master and my Friend.

 CHARGE AND  BENEDICTION    PHILIPPIANS 4:7

“May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

People: Peace be with you!

Download and print bulletin 4-26-2020

This week’s insert

Cindy’s sermon and children’s message:

PROVIDENCE FORGE

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Third Sunday of Easter

April 26, 2020

Call to Worship                     Rev. Dr. Libby Grammar

  Leader:  We enter a virtual gather space once again.

People:   We worship together in spirit and in truth, though not in person.

  Leader:  We pray, sing, and listen to God’s word, despite the fear that pervades our community.

People:   We trust Christ’s peace, a peace given freely, despite our doubts and fears.

Leader:  We know the Holy Spirit is among us, blowing with a hopeful wind of change.

People:   We feel the presence of Christ, the one who died and rose again, and brings us eternal life.

Leader:  We submit to God’s leading us in this time of transformation.

People:   We experience the joy of Easter when we celebrate all God has in store for us.

Prayer of Praise                                                  Nathan Bierma

Open our eyes, Lord.
Without the gift of your revelation, our eyes are kept from recognizing you.

Appear before us, suddenly, unexpectedly, in all your glory. So that we, too, may proclaim to a world in despair, that we have seen the risen Lord. Amen

SONG of PRAISE – #138 Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Who wert, and art, and ever more shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinfulness Thy glory may not see, Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee Perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea; Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!                 

 SCRIPTURE       

Luke 24:13-27 New International Version (NIV)

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

 ANTHEM – How Great Thou Art                                                   Tom and Lisa

 SERMON

 AFFIRMATION OF FAITH  (Traditional)

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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;  from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 FOR CHILDREN      

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Easy-to-Read version)

  “God has made everything beautiful in its time.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE           The Church of Ireland

Risen One, like those disciples on the road to Emmaus, we struggle to recognize you in the everyday journey of our lives. We seek your wisdom in the midst of the questions we have about the circumstances we find ourselves in—circumstances sometimes beyond our control, and those of our own making. Open our eyes, Light of the World, to your work of transformation in and around us. As we walk with you day by day, may your new life be made manifest in what we say to others. Help us to understand the power of our words to hurt or to heal; give us the graciousness to make all our conversations holy. Just as we desire that our speaking be holy, may our seeing be holy as well. We are bombarded with images everyday, O Christ, that shape our attitudes and behaviors. As you opened the scriptures to the disciples and taught them everything, open our eyes to behold you in your Word, in the beauty of nature and of other human beings. So often we forget, Holy One, that you invite us to abide with you; to have our lives hidden in you. We thank you that you travel with us in our joys and our concerns. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING–  Ayars Lore

Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE – #151 Crown Him with many Crowns

Crown Him with many crowns, The Lamb upon His throne; Hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns All music but its own! Awake, my soul, and sing Of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love; Behold His hands and side, Rich wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified: No angel in the sky Can fully bear that sight, But downward bends his burning eye At mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of peace; Whose power a scepter sways From pole to pole, that wars may cease, Absorbed in prayer and praise; His reign shall know no end; And round His pierced feet Fair flowers of paradise extend Their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of years, The Potentate of time; Creator of the rolling spheres, In effably subline.  All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou hast died for me; Thy praise shall never, never fail Throughout eternity.

CHARGE AND BENEDICTION    Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

People: Peace be with you!

 

Sermon for website: April 19, 2020

   There is an episode in the Odyssey, near the end of the tale, when Odysseus finally returns home after years of wandering. He is disguised as an old man. No one recognizes him at home, not even his own wife and son. That night, just before bed, the aged nurse of Odysseus, Eurycleia, bathes him. She thinks she is merely bathing an old stranger who visits for the night. But while bathing him, Eurycleia recognizes a scar on Odysseus’ leg, the same scar she remembers from his infancy. She did not recognize him until she saw his scar.

   Jesus came and stood among them and said ‘Peace be with you,’ he showed them his hands and his side.  In today’s gospel lesson, the risen Christ slips through the closed doors and appears before his disciples. But they don’t know him. He spoke to them, as he had so often before, saying ‘Peace.” But they still don’t know him. Then John says, “He showed them his hands and his side. He showed them his scars, and then, they saw, they recognized, they rejoiced.

   Thomas shows up a little later. He wasn’t with the disciples for the Easter appearance. The other disciples tell him of the risen Christ, but Thomas says, “Unless I see the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe. A week later Jesus again surprised the disciples. This time, Thomas is there and Jesus obliges. “Put your finger here,” the risen Christ says. “Do not doubt, but believe.”

  Will Willimon makes a connection here between belief in the risen Christ and the scars of Christ. The risen Christ has scars. Being raised from the dead did not erase his scars. The Christ of Easter bears the scars and wounds of Good Friday. Jesus’ disciples, like Thomas, recognized Jesus is risen only by touching his scars.

   Willimon tells of a friend who spent much of his life in an orphanage. His mother took him there as a little boy, let him out of the car under a big cedar tree, told him she would return that afternoon, and didn’t.

The friend is now middle-aged. One day, Will was meeting his friend for lunch and was running late. When he arrived, only about 15 minutes late, his friend was in a state of high agitation, pacing about, perspiring heavily, visibly upset. It seemed an overreaction to 15 minutes of tardiness.

   Later his friend said, “I just can’t help it. I know why I get so bent out of shape when a friend is late. My mother kept me under that tree all afternoon. And she never, never returned. I just can’t stand for someone I love to be late.” He was all grown up, on his own, functioning quite well. Yes, but he still had scars.

   There are people who think that Easter has overcome all of that. They say things like, “If are a Christian, a real Christian, you will always feel joy and peace in your heart.” They think that because Jesus was raised from the dead on Easter, the cross is set right, overcome, fixed, forgotten. No, the risen Christ bore nail prints in his hands. That’s how the disciples knew that the mysterious one who stood before them was none other than Jesus. Thomas touched his scars. The Christian faith does not deny the pain, the suffering of life, the reality of life’s wounds, the existence of scars. Our faith enables us to go on, in the name of Christ, even with our wounds, but still there are scars.

   The risen Christ was known by his wounds. As I reflect upon my years as a pastor, I see a pattern. My initial getting to know people usually includes their telling of past sufferings in their lives and the people they loved who died and how they passed; the mistakes they made in life; the things they wished had happened differently. Why did parishioners tell me these things? Some people might suggest they were wallowing in self-pity for some wrong with which they were afflicted. I disagree. I think people told me these things so that I would truly know them. “You will know me now” they seemed to say, even as Thomas knew the risen Christ as obedient Jesus- “by my scars.” These stories show that we are believers.

   One of the benefits of preaching is that people tell you how they connect (sometimes they tell you their disconnect) with your sermon. A few years ago, I preached this sermon on the Sunday after Easter. A young girl of about 12, stopped at the door of the sanctuary on her way out. “I want to talk with you in private about your sermon,” she said. When everyone had left, we sat in my office. “That is the first time I realized that Jesus was like me and it really matters.” “What do you mean by that?” I asked. “Well, I have scars, my brother molested me last year and even though I’m in therapy and I think doing pretty good- when something touches those scars- they hurt. And sometimes I think everyone can see my scars. It helps to know that Jesus is like that too.”

 

We’ve all got scars, some visible, some invisible! There are no perfect, flawless members of the body of Christ. We are all marked by God for some good thing. The One who calls us together, the Risen Lord, also has scars to prove his love for us. He shows them “that you might believe that Jesus is the messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. AMEN

 

 

FOR CHILDREN      

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Easy-to-Read version)

  “God has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars can be found all over Virginia at this time of year. They are amazing animals. Young caterpillars are brown and white and resemble bird droppings. Can you guess why? Later, as they mature, the caterpillars turn bright green and have two amazing black, yellow, and blue false eyespots on their middles and behind their true eyes. The true head of the caterpillar is small, inconspicuous, and tucked under the body. If disturbed, the caterpillar is a quick-change artist. Now, instead of a harmless caterpillar, we, are confronted with something very different: a snake’s head with glaring eyes a nose and mouth! Birds and other potential predators are put off by this impressive “snake in caterpillar’s clothing” and the swallowtail is spared. If touched or pecked by a lizard, bird, or inquisitive human, the larvae produce terrible smelling liquid that sticks onto the attacking animal.

Christians view butterflies as a symbol of new life. Butterflies are especially important during the Easter season. The butterfly enacts the resurrection story: first it “dies” as a caterpillar, is buried in the cocoon for a time, and then emerges as a beautiful butterfly- a new life.

 

                      

 

                                                         

Second Sunday of Easter, April 19, 2020

Download and Print Bulletin for 4.19.2020

PROVIDENCE FORGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

                Second Sunday of Easter

              April 19, 2020                 

CALL TO WORSHIP     Psalm 16:7-9

Leader: Come, bless the Lord who guides us, whose wise teaching directs

our days and focuses our minds at night; whose presence sustains us

and surrounds us here.

People: We bless the Lord who is present among us. We will not be shaken or live in fear, but will sing God’s praise and worship with joy!

Prayer of Praise                                                  Nancy Townley

Lord of Resurrection surprises, open our hearts this day to the presence of Jesus among us. Erase our excuses for unbelief, and exchange them for strong witness to the power of your mercy and love. Give us courage. Challenge us to walk the path of discipleship, knowing that Jesus goes before us, leading and guiding our steps. In his name, we pray. Amen.                                                              

SONG OF PRAISE – Thine Is the Glory

Thine is the glory, Risen conquering Son; Endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won. Angels in bright raiment Rolled the stone away, Kept the folded grave-clothes Where Thy body lay.

 Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering son; Endless is the victory Thou o’er death has won.

 Lo! Jesus meets us, Risen from the tomb; Lovingly He greets us, Scatters fear and gloom. Let the church with gladness Hymns of triumph sing, For the Lord now liveth; Death hath lost its sting.

 Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering son; Endless is the victory Thou o’er death has won.

 No more we doubt Thee, Glorious Prince of Life! Life is nought without Thee; Aid us in our strife. Make us more than conquerors Through Thy deathless love; Bring us safe through Jordan To Thy home above.

Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering son; Endless is the victory Thou o’er death has won.

 SCRIPTURE  John 20:19-31 New International Version (NIV)

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 ANTHEM – Blessed Assurance                                            Tom Ballou

 SERMON                                                                      Cindy Kissel-Ito

AFFERMATION OF FAITH– The Apostles’ Creed                                                  (Traditional)

 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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

FOR CHILDREN

Ecclesiates 3:11

“God has made everything beautiful in its time”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Everlasting God, you call us to live fully- you remind us that you mark us for goodness in life. Though we have not felt the breath of your presence like the disciples, we have felt you close to us. Each time a fresh peace dispels anxiety, each time we feel the impulse to serve each other in love, we have signs of your closeness to us. You offer us lives full of promise and possibility. Help us to grasp your gifts- allowing ourselves to be free to be the people you believe we are, both as individuals and as a church. Make us witnesses to our faith that others may experience your loving presence.

We offer prayers for all those around the world whose lives have been changed by COVID-19. Draw near to all who live in fear; refresh all who are dispirited; restore the lonely; strengthen those who grieve. Empower us to minister in your name, even in these challenging times.  We pray as those who live in the face of death, believing that you are with us.

LORD’S PRAYER

OFFERING – Opportunities are Easytithe https://app.easytithe.com/App/Giving/pfpc C&F Bank for PFPC and mail to P.O. Box 239

SONG OF RESPONSE – Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With all Thy quickening powers;

Kindle a flame of sacred love In these cold hearts of our.

In vain we tune our formal songs, In vain we strive to rise;

Hosannas languish on our tongues, And our devotion dies.

Dear Lord, and shall we ever live At this poor dying rate?

Our love so faint, so cold to Thee, And Thine to us so great!

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With all Thy quickening powers;

Come, shed abroad a Savior’s love, and that shall kindle ours.

CHARGE AND BENEDICTION  1 PETER 5:10

PEOPLE: Peace be with you!

Insert April 19

Easter Sunday Morning April 12th

Call to Worship     Psalm 118:24

Leader: This is the day that the Lord has made.

People: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Pastor: Christ is risen.

People: He is risen indeed!

Prayer of Praise

O Christ our Lord, in light and splendor You are 

exalted over the earth, that You may reign in the hearts   

of all people. You bear love never to be eclipsed,

whose brilliance illumines and empowers us. You are

the life of the world, life-giver to all. We praise You in 

wonder and joy and cry “Alleluia!”.  Amen.

SONG of PRAISE  – The Day of Resurrection

1 The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness, the passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

2 Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
his own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

3 Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

SCRIPTURE                         John 20:1-18 The Empty Tomb

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

ANTHEM – The Old Rugged Cross – Tom Ballou with music

DISCUSSION 

When I was a girl, the ice cream truck would make its way down the street. “Cones- 25 cents” the driver would yell. Standing on my front porch, I could see children from all over the neighborhood, and of course there was also some adults. Everyone ran towards this delight- ice cream on a hot summer day!

The reading from the gospel of John paints a similar picture of people running. Tom Long, one of my favorite Presbyterian preachers, points out that there is a lot of running on the first Easter. First, Mary Magdalene came. She saw the stone rolled away and the tomb empty and she started running. In the darkness before dawn, she begins to run to tell the rest of the disciples that Jesus’ body is gone. Jesus was crucified, dead and buried. Someone had taken his body- and so Mary Magdalene ran.

She meets Peter and the beloved disciple on her way. When she tells them what she saw, they also begin to run. But while she ran away from the empty tomb, they ran towards it. Tom Long calls our attention to another interesting detail: the disciples didn’t run together. They got into some kind of race. We can imagine it: first one gaining, then falling behind, then out in front. I wonder why they ran against each other? What were they expecting to find? Perhaps they glimpsed in this strange event that they were running towards a new future.

The gospel of John says the beloved disciple outran Peter. He won the race. That may seem a small detail, but isn’t it interesting that John mentions that the beloved disciple got there first? He also tells us that the beloved disciple was the first one to peer inside the empty tomb and believe. He was the first to believe in Easter. I think that John wanted us to know that it is important that he was first- and that he got there running!

The disciples came to Easter in different ways. Mary will not believe until she sees Jesus and hears him call her name. Thomas doesn’t believe until the risen Christ gives him the opportunity to touch his wounds. The beloved disciple comes to Easter believing without seeing. He believes, although Jesus is absent. When he saw the empty tomb, he must have remembered Jesus’ words and trusted in his relationship with Jesus. Each of us comes to the resurrection by the same path as the beloved disciple. Jesus said “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Reflection

  • Identify a time in your life when you were confronted with a challenging situation. How were you like Mary? Peter? The beloved disciple?

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH: Apostles Creed

FOR CHILDREN      

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Easy-to-Read version)

  “God has made everything beautiful in its time.”
The Dogwood tree is a beautiful little tree that explodes in white blossoms each spring and is a favorite blooming tree that grows across the South. Legend says that the tree was once very large, like a Great Oak tree. Its wood was strong and sturdy. According to the story, it was the dogwood tree that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to stay small, so that it would never grow large enough again for its wood to be used as a cross for a crucifixion. Its branches would be narrow and crooked–not good for building at all. At the same time, the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter. To remember God’s promise to the tree, its four petals form the shape of a cross.

  • Look for dogwood trees in your neighborhood. Look carefully at the trees’ petals. How many petals form the shape of a cross?

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

We thank you, Redeeming God, for the glorious message that you bring new hope out of despair, resurrection out of defeat, and new life out of death. You offer surprises in life: experiences like the parting of the Red Sea and the empty tomb. You call us as a community of faith to do things differently than we have ever done: to risk going forward in faith, not knowing what we might find.

Your word gives us images of hope. You call dry bones to dance. You give living water so that new life blossoms. We bring before you the dead and dried up places in our lives. Forgotten dreams, lapsed indentations, hardened resentments. We hand these over to you, knowing that you will return them to us renewed and transformed. We bring before you the places in our lives and in our world where despair reigns unchallenged. With grief, we bring our concerns for the world as people confront the challenges of the coronavirus.

Point us towards actions, however small, which lead us to a more hopeful future for ourselves and out world. Gracious, God, we thank you that you walk beside us as we journey through life. Because you are with us, we can accept each new day’s joys and challenges as a gift. Raise us to new life each day. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen

THE LORD’S PRAYER

SONG OF RESPONSE CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY!

“Christ the Lord is risen today!” Alleluia!

All creation, join to say; Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high; Alleluia!

Sing, O heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

 

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won; Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids Him rise; Alleluia!

Christ has opened paradise. Alleluia!

 

Lives again our glorious King; Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now your sting? Alleluia!

Jesus died, our souls to save; Alleluia!

Where your victory, O grave? Alleluia!

 

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia!

Praise to You by both be given; Alleluia!

Every knee to You shall bow, Alleluia!

Risen Christ, triumphant now. Alleluia!

CHARGE AND BENEDICTION    

May the loving power of God, which raised Jesus to new life,
strengthen you in hope, enrich you with love,
and fill you with joy in faith.

Leader: Christ is risen!

People: He is risen indeed!

All: Alleluia

PFPC Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday Insert

Lent 6th Sunday

Palm Sunday worship guide from Cindy Kissel-Ito

PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 4TH

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Christine Jerrett, re:Worship

Gracious God, this is the day that you have made:

you have filled it with signs of your presence;

your Spirit’s breath permeates every moment;

your grace fills each experience;

your promises move within event,

pulling us toward hope.

Receive our thanks.

Receive our praise, through Christ our Lord

for in his love we know your deep love

your faithfulness, your grace. Amen

 

SONG of PRAISE # 88 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,

Who in the Lord’s name comest, The King and blessed One.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 The people of the Hebrews With palms before Thee went;

Our praise and prayers and anthems Before Thee we present.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 To Thee, before Thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise;

To Thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the prayers we bring,

Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King!

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 SCRIPTURE                 Psalm 118:1-2; 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

 Mark 11:1-11

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Gointo the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!

Hosanna in the Highest heaven!”

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

 DISCUSSION 

The Apostle Paul, in one of the very oldest Christian documents known to us, writing to the first church he established on Euro­pean soil, said of Christ, “Therefore God has exalted him and given him the name which is above all names, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.” It is a great chorus of praise. It is a resounding affirmation. God has exalted him in the highest and given him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God!

 Paul wrote those words a little more than thirty years after Palm Sunday. Yet they ring and echo with the sentiments of that day. Can’t you hear the echoing of Paul’s words in the words of the crowds on that Palm Sunday when they sang, “Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” Do you hear the echoing of the great affirmations, the great energetic celebrations of Christ and Christ’s presence?

This acclamation on Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and Jesus’ journey to the cross. Dr. Carl Schenk shares his perceptions of Holy Week. “Holy Week is a consolidation—a kind of compression in one story, of the great human drama. Holy Week isn’t just a historic event that we look at in the far distant past. Holy Week is my story; Holy Week is our story. Holy Week is the history of humanity and it begins with this crash of cymbals, this resounding cry of “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna.”

On Monday then, according to the stories, Jesus went back again into Jerusalem, but this time there are no crowds or celebrations. He slipped into town and went to the Temple. He discovered the folks who were exchanging the various coins of the realm for the Temple coins and those who were selling the animals for sacrificial worship in the Temple. He started what can only be described as a kind of a riot to chase these people out. The echo of Hosanna grows a little fainter.

By Thursday, the day of the Passover, Jesus gathered his disciples in the upper room to celebrate the Passover with them and he would say to them, “I will not drink the fruit of the vine again with you until I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And then he was betrayed by one of his closest associates- arrested, brought to trial, and executed.

That story sounds like our own lives. We have the Hosannas in us: we sing; we pray and praise. We appreciate the presence of God in everything. Then the week begins to unfold and it is much more difficult to join in the ‘hosannas” in the conflicting, difficult world we live in. COVID-19 has changed our daily lives and our sense of devotion gets distracted with the cares and challenges of each day. One of the great challenges of our faith is the call to struggle with the realities of life, even as we respond with ““Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Reflection

  • Identify times in your life when you have praised God through thoughts, speech and/or action. What prompted this response?
  • When has it been difficult to praise God?
  • What did you find helpful in regaining your appreciation of God’s presence in your life?

FOR CHILDREN     Mark 11:7-9 (Easy-to- Read Version)

“The followers brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on it, and Jesus sat on it. Many people spread their coats on the road for Jesus. Others cut branches in the fields and spread the branches on the road. Some of them were walking ahead of Jesus. Others were walking behind him. Everyone shouted, “‘Praise Him! Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’

This week is called Holy Week in the church calendar. People remember Jesus each day, as he journeyed to the cross.

  • Write the days of the week on a piece of paper. Write or draw a way to praise Jesus on each day. Share your Holy Week calendar with someone in your family on Easter Day.

 PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE– For Health Care Workers

Captain Lyman M. Smith, Director of Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel

Compassionate God,

From the shores of the river Jordan to the steps of the Temple Mount,

you have cared for the well-being of your people.

Your healing teaches us your compassion for our frailty.

Thank you for caring for us no matter our status in this world.

We ask your blessing on those who emulate you

as they provide the ministry of healing to all those in need.

Guide, bless, and encourage your faithful health care servants

who willingly jeopardize their own, and their family’s,

health and safety to confront sickness and disease.

Enable them to relieve suffering and assist in the healing process.

Lord, you loved us enough to walk in our midst

on a disease-filled Earth.

Even now, abide in with us

and surround all engaged in the healing sciences and arts.

Bless them as they labor for you in stressful,

anxious, and sometimes threatening settings.

Keep them close in your loving embrace.

Guide researchers as they seek greater understanding of your universe

and develop vaccines and treatments which will reduce suffering and death.

Enable suppliers who ensure materials and equipment are available as needed using creativity as they sometimes seek to do more with less.

Encourage the families of health care workers

as they support them in their call, knowing that through their loved ones, lives

are saved and your tenderness is known.

Provide your health care servants rest

during wearisome hours of constant demand.

Dispense comfort in moments of loss or setback.

Grant peace that goes beyond human understanding.

In our present surroundings which tempt us to despair,

may we all come together as part of your global community

and embrace the love of Christ for all precious souls.

Help us overcome our fears

and unite across all borders of every type to share,

manufacture, support and supply knowledge, equipment, and resources.

Your kingdom is a place of plenty.

Let us live in your abundance knowing you provide enough for all.

In your mercy Lord, grant health.

Bless those you have called to be your hands and feet in healing and the provision of care.

May they always know how thankful we are for their gifts, service, and sacrifice.

Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.

* SONG OF RESPONSE  # 89 Hosanna, Laud Hosanna

Hosanna, laud hosanna, The little children sang;

Through pillared court and temple The joyful anthem rang;

To Jesus, who had blessed them Close folded to His Breast,

The children sang their praises, The simplest and the best.

 From Olivet they followed ‘Mid an exaultant crowd,

The victor palm branch waving, And chanting clear and laud;

The Lord of earth and heaven Rode on in lowly state,

Nor scored that little children Should on His bidding wait.

 “Hosanna in the highest!” That ancient song we sing,

For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.

O may we ever praise Him With heart and life and voice,

And in His blissful presence Enternally rejoice.

 

* CHARGE & BLESSING    Romans 15:5-6

 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Insert for April 5th Palm Sunday

Lent 5th Sunday


Holy God, Creator of Life, you call us out of our dark places,

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Nancy Johnson, re:Worship

offering us the grace of new life.
When we see nothing but hopelessness,

you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.

Call us out of our complacency and routines,
set us free from our self-imposed bonds,
and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace,
In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray. Amen.

 

SONG of PRAISE

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Forty days and forty nights You were fasting in the wild;

Forty days and forty nights Tempted, and yet undefined.

Shall not we Your sorrow share And from worldly joys abstain,

Fasting with unceasing prayer, Strong with You to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press, Flesh or spirit to assail,

Victor in the wilderness, Grant that we not faint nor fail!

So shall we have peace divine: Holier gladness ours shall be;

Round us, too, shall angels shine, Such as served You faithfully.

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear, Ever constant by Your side;

That with You we may appear At the eternal Eastertide. 

 SCRIPTURE      Psalm 130:1-8

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,

More than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

And with him is great power to redeem.

It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of god may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two does longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”  Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha & Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said, to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to week there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

DISCUSSION 

The great southern preacher, John Claypool, wrote a memorable sermon that begins with a description of a play by Eugene O’Neill. He writes, “In the play entitled “Lazarus Laughed” (1927), we are given insight into what happened to Lazarus after Jesus had raised him from the dead. In this scripture lesson we are not told much about what happened when Lazarus came out of the tomb, except that his head, hands and feet were covered with strips of cloth. Who knows what was said or how the people reacted? Who knows how Lazarus felt?”

In O’Neill’s play, a crowd has gathered at Lazarus’ house in Bethany to hear the remarkable story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. The person who was telling the story said Lazarus emerged from the tomb and “began to laugh softly like a man in love with God?” Then Lazarus, in serene acceptance of all he saw around him, uttered his first word, “Yes!” As never before, Lazarus affirmed all he saw around him in a way he never had before.

Of course, after the first wave of emotion passed, the expected questions began to be asked. “Well, Lazarus, what was it like to die? What did you see? What did you experience?” Once again, Lazarus began to laugh the laughter of pure joy. Then Lazarus said, “There is only life. There is only laughter, the laughter of God. It soars to the heights; it resounds to the depths. There is no death, really. It is not what it looks like from this side. Death is not an abyss or entrance into nothingness or chaos or punishment. Death is a portal, a passageway into deeper and brighter life, eternal change, everlasting growth. That is what lies out ahead of us in death. We were born of the laughter of God and we move toward the laughter of God. There is only life.

Therefore, we must learn to live, to celebrate, to love, to accept, to affirm. We must learn to participate in God’s love of life—to feel about this existence of ours the way God feels when God looks at creation and God’s own heart is filled with ecstasy. There is only life, my brothers and sisters. This is the challenge, not Death. The grave is not what you think. It is an empty space, a doorway into more, not less.”      

Then, Lazarus goes back to his daily tasks, but there is something different. He is calm and not anxious anymore. He is no longer vulnerable to that fear that diminishes the vitality of life. The house where he lives became known as the “house of laughter” and night after night, you would hear singing and dancing. And the spirit of this one who had come back with this message that there is nothing to fear began to spread throughout the whole little village.  

Questions for Reflection

  • What fears and anxieties diminish your enjoyment of life?
  • What are the things that support love, celebration and affirmation in your life?
  • How might you further experience God’s love of life?

FOR CHILDREN     Psalm 23:1-2; 6 (Easy-to- Read Version)

“The Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need.[a] He gives me green pastures to lie in. He leads me by calm pools of water.
Your goodness and mercy will be with me all my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house[f] a long, long time.

David wrote these words as a way to share his feelings with God. He told God that he knew that God was always with him.

  • Draw a picture that shows ways something that helps you feel calm and safe. How is God with you in those times?

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE    Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri and Cindy Kohmann,   

            Co- Moderators, 223rd General Assembly, PCUSA

Eternal God, sustainer, provider, God of all wisdom and knowledge,
Our spirits are weary, our faith quivers, our minds get clouded by news of sickness and death.
You know our thoughts before we express them, even the fears we dismiss, you know them.
We cannot hide our feelings and worries from you.
So, as we are, we come to You, O God, asking for wisdom, for clear minds and open hearts, for calm and assurance that, through the crisis, You are present.

Knowing that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words,”
We ask for wisdom and protection…
For medical personnel, scientists, doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians.
For those around the world considering current and other health crises.
For health care personnel and caregivers.
We lift them up to You.

We ask for clear minds and open hearts as people navigate daily lives…
As closures, cancellations, and quarantines are enacted.
As families gather in their homes, some caring for those who are sick.
As we encounter neighbors in our neighborhoods, stores, and pharmacies.

We pray for the sick, those who have lost or are at risk of losing jobs in the midst of this crisis, for those whose health or social services will be or have been affected, for those suffering the direct effects of this virus, locally and around the world.
Illumine us, Holy Spirit. Show us in what ways we can be of help as we care for self and others.

We ask for calm, assurance, and strength.
May we all remember that, in the midst of any crisis,
Your grace reaches us,
Your hope enlightens us,
And Your love surrounds us all. Amen.

* SONG OF RESPONSE

Kind Maker of the world, O hear The fervent prayer, with many a tear Poured forth by all the penitent Who keep this holy fast of Lent!

Each heart is manifest to Thee; Thou knowest our infirmity; Now we repent and see Thy face; Grant unto us Thy pardoning grace.

Spare us, O Lord, who now confess Out sins and all our wickedness, And, for the glory of Thy Name, Our weakened souls to health reclaim.

Give us the discipline that springs From abstinence in outward things With inward fasting, so that we In heart and soul may dwell with Thee.

* CHARGE & BLESSING    Philippians 4:4-7

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Insert for March 29th

Worship Guide for March 22nd.

Cindy Kissel-Ito has provided this guide for families to worship together at home. Imagine the Lenten candles, beginning with three purple candles & the Christ candle lit. After the reading imagine extinguishing one purple candle.

Lent 4th Sunday

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Office of Theology and Worship, PCUSA

Gracious God, giver of all light and vision, by your Word you made the day and night. Let your wondrous work be revealed in us so that your glory might shine like the sun; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen

 

SONG of PRAISE – Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

Jesus walked this lone-some valley, He had to walk it by Him-self;

O, nobody else can walk it for Him, He had to walk it by Himself.

We must walk this lone-some valley, We have to walk it by our-selves;

O, nobody else can walk it for us, We have to walk it by our-selves.

You must go and stand your trial, You have to stand it by your-self.

O, nobody else can stand it for you, You have to stand it by your-self.                

 

SCRIPTURE                

Psalm 23

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.

 

John 9: 1-12

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” 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, saying to him, “Go washing in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 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?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 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.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

 

 

DISCUSSION            What Does it Mean to Be Anointed?

Peter the Great, who ruled Russia from the late 1600’s into the 1700’s was a shy man who valued privacy. To escape official duties, the emperor liked to slip away from his palace and don work clothes and work side-by-side with the carpenters, trying to go unnoticed. But at six feet seven, in a day when the average man was close to 5 feet, it was difficult to remain unknown.

One day, while working with his carpentry tools, he was spotted and a crowd gathered around him, much to his annoyance. One man in particular kept getting in Peter’s way, until in exasperation; the emperor lost his temper, grabbed a plank and hit the man over the head. As the stunned man reeled backwards from the blow, a friend caught him and exclaimed. “Hooray, Ivan! You have been anointed!”

His friend’s humor might have eased some of Ivan’s pain, but his use of the word anointed was far from the dictionary meaning. For ‘anoint’ has a more positive connotation- it means to apply in order to cure- not wound- to make whole, not shatter. The custom of anointing is a religious one- it isn’t practiced much anymore. Some religious groups emphasize divine healing and still anoint the sick with oil. Perhaps you remember hearing that Pope John Paul II was anointed at the end of his life in an act called extreme unction. But other than anointing before death, the custom receives little attention.

The Bible refers to the practice of anointing and the early and medieval Church used the act of anointing as a regular part of church life. There is a familiar reference to anointing in the Psalms- ‘you anoint my head with oil’. We hear of David being anointed in the OT and the Gospel tells of Jesus healing of a man’s blindness by anointing his eyes with clay. Several words are used in Scripture to express the idea of ‘anointing’ but the main one in the NT is ‘Christ”. The word Christ means anoint.

What was the purpose of anointing and how can we apply that purpose today? Back then, anointing oil symbolized the presence of the Lord’s Spirit to give wholeness to the total person. The anointing of David was a sacred and official recognition that he was chosen by God and was a whole or total person for the awesome task of serving as king of Israel. David’s brothers were not chosen because they were not the whole persons needed for the job. Anointing in the Psalm meant that the Lord showed his love and care for the whole person. In the case of Jesus healing the blind man, the anointing was to make the man whole. Anointing the sick, throughout Scripture and the early days of the church was to ‘make whole’ the stricken body and spirit.

While we no longer practice anointing today, we nevertheless have the same need for wholeness. The same ‘spirit of the Lord’ that came upon ancient people through anointing with oil can come upon us today through our recognition of our need for wholeness. This applies to us, both as individuals and as a church community. We can be ‘anointed’ with Christ and have the feeling of completeness that is necessary to fulfill our function as a whole person and/or as a whole community of faith.

What does wholeness look like? The person or community that is whole works to bring tension, friction and conflict together. A person or community cannot experience wholeness when the conceptions they have of themselves reduce or divide. For example: each of us knows at least one person who is unable to reach out to others- that kind of person finds it very difficult to make friends. Their view of themselves limits the possibilities for relationships. The person who strives for wholeness works to experience life in all its fullness. This is not always an easy task. Each of us has areas in our lives that need attention- ways of thinking or acting that block wholeness.

Questions for Reflection

  • What areas in your own life block wholeness?
  • What might wholeness look like for you as an individual?
  • What are ways that our community of faith can reflect wholeness?

FOR CHILDREN     John 13:34-35

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

  • What are ways that you love others?

Make a chain link from paper every time you are kind or help someone else. Use the love chain to decorate for Easter.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE    J. Herbert Nelson, II; stated clerk, PCUSA

We pray for healing for those who are infected, in all the places where the virus has spread.

We pray for all who already have lost loved ones to the illness and those who will yet suffer such loss.

We pray for doctors, nurses and aides providing medical care, for insight in their caring, and for their health and well-being.

We pray for wisdom for the medical and scientific experts who are desperately seeking ways to control the spread of the virus.

We pray for public officials who must make the hard decisions about the quarantining of those who may have been exposed to the virus; and we pray for all those for whom those decisions feel like unjust imprisonment.

We lift up the Christian church and our partners as they seek to bring Christ’s healing presence and peace.

We pray for God to keep us alert to the threats posed by such a worldwide crisis, remembering the millions of God’s children who live in places where the availability of medical care is meager or nonexistent.

May God open our hearts, our financial resources, and our political will, so that the vision of a better future can become a reality for all of God’s children.

In the Providence of the God who created us, in the Passion of our Savior Jesus Christ who redeems us, and in the Power of the Holy Spirit through whom God’s will is done. AMEN.

* SONG OF RESPONSE – In the Cross of Christ I Glory

In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sub-lime.

When the woes of life o’er-take me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross for sake me: Lo! It glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way,

From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.

* CHARGE & BLESSING    2 Corinthians 13:13

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor. 13:13

Insert March 22, 2020 

WORSHIP GUIDE FOR MARCH 15TH

WELCOME                               Visitors ~ Announcements

5 MINUTES FOR STEWARDSHIP                                Nathan Richards

CALL TO WORSHIP  John 1 “The Light Shines in the Darkness!”                                  

Leader: In Jesus is life, and this life is the light of the world!

PEOPLE: This light shines in the darkness and the darkness of sin

and death cannot overcome God’s light!

*SONG OF PRAISE #469 “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 2

*PRAYER OF THE DAY  

    God of light and love, we rejoice that Jesus offers to deliver us from the shadows of sin and the darkness of death.  Forgive us when we prefer darkness, accepting lies and half truths, allowing injustice and hate to grow.  Lead us to more deeply trust Jesus.  So we may walk in your light.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.   

*PASSING THE PEACE

Peace of Christ be with you … and also with you!

SCRIPTURE John 8.12-20 “I am the Light of the world.”

   Jesus again spoke to them saying, “I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. “Then the Pharisees said to him, “Your claim is not valid because you testify to yourself.”   Jesus replied, my words are true because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not…  My Father and I testify to the same truth”.  They asked, “Who is your Father?”  Jesus replied, “You know neither me nor my Father.  To know me is to know the Father.”

DISCUSSION   “I am the Light of the World.”       Rev. Keith Johnston

I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

 *AFFIRMATION OF FAITH. The Apostles’ Creed (Ecumenical version)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.  On the tired day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come 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.  Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE GATHERING

        Including SILENT PRAYER and concluding with THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

*SENDING HYMN “Morning Has Broken” #469 verse 1 & 3

* CHARGE & BLESSING         

     “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”                              

 We will gladly receive your gracious offering in the plates near the pulpit                     

HYMN OF PRAISE “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 2

  1. Morning has bro-ken Like the first morn-ing, Black-bird has spo-ken Like the first bird.   Praise for the sing- ing!  Praise for the morn-ing!  Praise for them, spring-ing Fresh from the Word!  
  2. Sweet the rain’s new fall. Sun-lit from heav-en, Like the first dew-fall. On the first grass. Praise for the sweet-ness of the wet gar-den, Sprung form compete-ness  Where God’s feet pass.

  SENDING HYMN  “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 3

  1. Morning has bro-ken Like the first morn-ing, Black-ird has

    spo-ken Like the first bird.   Praise for the sing- ing!  Praise for the morn-ing!  Praise for them, spring-ing Fresh from the Word!  

 Mine is the sun-light! Mine is the morn-ing, Born of the one

light Eden saw play!  Praises with e-la-tion, Praise every

morn-ing, God’s re-cre-a-tion Of the new day!

 

   

Here is the bulletin for the 11AM Service

Bulletin 3rd Sunday of Lent

Lenten Reading 3rd Sunday

Lent 3rd Sunday (1)