Worship: April 25, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday of the Good Shepherd

April 25, 2021

10:00 am

Livestream link:  Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – April 25 2021

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Weather permitting, we worship on the parking lot today at 10 am.  We will be livestreaming from the parking lot in case you are unable to join us and in case of inclement weather we will livestream from the sanctuary at 10 a.m. (with no in-person worship).  Please check your email on a Sunday morning to be sure of the worship schedule.  The weather can be a bit unpredictable!!

We ask for your patience and understanding and your faithful support of the church in these days of a new normal for all of us.  Let us continue to pray and to remain faithful, knowing that our God continues to reach out and to embrace us.  We sometimes need to be reminded that our God promises to be near to us in the most difficult days as well as the days when life seems easy for us.

As you follow along in the bulletin during live stream worship, please participate quietly when you come to the bold print.

PRELUDE

“Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us”, Bradbury, ©2011 Hal Leonard Corporation

 

TIME OF SHARING

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

“My sheep hear my voice,” said Jesus, “I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.

No one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).

Hearing the invitation of the Good Shepherd,

let us come to hear his voice and to follow him wherever he leads.

We come today, each with our own needs.

If we are weary, may we find rest.

If we are anxious, may we find calm.

If we are afraid, may we find confidence.

If we are doubting, may we find renewal.

If we are ailing, may we find healing.

If we are apathetic, may our commitment be energized.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Draw us together, Eternal One, from paths of aimless wandering.  

Lead us toward the community you intend. 

Draw the fragments of our lives together into some meaningful whole. 

Help us deal with present concerns in constructive ways,

yet point us beyond ourselves to engage with you in larger issues. 

Help us feel the hunger and thirst of others;

then lead your Church to make a caring response. 

May your love fill us and overflow into the lives of others.

 

GATHERING HYMN “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” 

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Savior, like a shepherd lead us; much we need your tender care.

In your pleasant pastures feed us; for our use your fold prepare.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, you have bought us; we are yours.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, you have bought us; we are yours.

 

We are yours; in love befriend us; be the guardian of our way.

Keep your flock; from sin defend us; seek us when we go astray.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, hear your children when we pray.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, hear your children when we pray.

 

You have promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;

You have mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse, and power to free.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to you.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to you.

 

Early let us seek your favor; early let us do your will.

Blessed Lord and only Savior, with your love our spirits fill.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, you have loved us; love us still.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, you have loved us; love us still.

 

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

How often it is winter in our lives.

The good we would do seems frozen within us,

and our faith is cold and sluggish.

A voice calls us to believe and to care,

to confess our doubts and awaken the potential within us.

Let us confess our unwillingness

to follow the Good Shepherd wherever he might lead us.

Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd to all who will follow you,

we confess that we have erred and strayed like lost sheep,

we have sometimes obeyed the call of false shepherds,

we have sometimes neglected to give thanks

while walking in the pleasant meadows,

and we have sometimes failed to trust you

as we walked through the dark valleys.

 

Now let us silently reflect on the personal struggles and fears that keep us from being fully free.

 

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“Gentle Shepherd, Come and Lead Us”, Gaither, ©1974 William J. Gaither

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Be assured of this:

God sees us, God loves us,

God pardons us, and God leads us.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

Jesus, in calling himself the Good Shepherd, said,

“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.

I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.

So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).

Let us give generously so the words of Jesus can be fulfilled.

 

(If you have not placed your offering in the offering box, we would ask you to mail your offering to Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303, or to use the Electronic Funds Transfer option which is available by contacting the church office.  Your ongoing support of the church is deeply appreciated in these days.)

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Our tithes and offerings this morning are accompanied by prayers

that others will hear and accept the invitation

to be members of the flock of the Good Shepherd.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“This I Pray”, Sorenson, ©2015 Hal Leonard Corporation

Heather B., soloist

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON

Psalm 23

 

23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
23:3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
23:4 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.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
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.

 

EPISTLE LESSON

I John 3: 16-24

 

3:16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us–and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
3:17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
3:18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
3:19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him
3:20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
3:21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God;
3:22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
3:23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
3:24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. John 10: 11-18

 

10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
10:12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away–and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
10:13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.
10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
10:16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
10:17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“His Name Is Wonderful”, Mieir, ©1959, renewed 1987 Manna Music, Inc.

 

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

 

LITURGY FOR THE DEPARTING INTERIM PASTOR

The day has come to end this interim time together.

On August 1, 2019, I began my responsibility as your Interim Pastor.

Since that time, we have worshiped together, we have been open to the Holy Spirit to guide and to lead us through the interim time, and we have worked together

to strengthen and to enliven Zion United Church of Christ.

We have provided opportunities for worship, we have supported one another in the care of this congregation, and we have worked together to further

the work of ministry and mission in and through this congregation.

Will you now release me from my role as your Interim Pastor?

We will.

Together we have sought to affirm the ministry of Jesus Christ through our witness, and to grow in love and understanding and faith.

Will you commit to continuing in this path?

We will, with God’s help.

So many members volunteered their time to review Zion’s history,

to explore leadership changes, to develop new directions in ministry,

to affirm a commitment to mission,

and to prepare to move forward with new pastoral leadership.

6

Will you, with me, give humble thanks to God

for the hard work that has been done?

We will, with God’s help.

You have grown in readiness for a new Permanent Pastor.

Will you be patient as your new pastor begins her ministry among you

and support her efforts?

We will, with God’s help.

Now will the Consistory please come forward.

You are the elected leaders of this congregation.

Will you carry on your responsibilities to offer leadership and guidance to Zion?

Consistory: We will, with God’s help.

And now will all the members of Zion please stand.

Will you be supportive of the work of this congregation,

affirming your commitment

to be God’s witnesses to this community

and the world through ministry and mission?

We will, with God’s help.

One of the symbols of serving as your Interim Pastor has been that I have the keys. I return them to you, giving thanks for this opportunity to serve the Church of Jesus Christ with you. (The keys are given to Deb S., Chair of Consistory.)

Deb says: I receive these keys on behalf of the congregation.

Be assured that the work we have done together will continue under new pastoral leadership.

 

My prayers will be with this congregation.

May God continue to bless all of us in our journey of faith.

 

CLOSING HYMN  “It is Well With My Soul”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trumpet shall sound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Go with hope,

Go in peace,

Go with confidence

That God will walk with you wherever

The journey may lead.

Through the darkest of valleys or

On top of the highest of mountains,

God is there, ever faithful, ever caring.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”, Dykes, public domain

 

POSTLUDE

“Praise Him, Praise Him”, Allen, ©2011 Hal Leonard Corporation

The rosebud on the altar today is in honor of the baptism this afternoon of Kaden Edward T., son of Danielle B. and Zachary T.

 

We say thank you to Pastor George today as he winds up his interim ministry with Zion this week.  We appreciate his guidance and pastoral care for the last 22 months and especially through this challenging pandemic year!  Enjoy your garden, George, and hope to see you in the pews soon!

 

Office hours are limited; please call the office before stopping by.

 

Coming Up This Week:

Apr. 25        Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

With Sunday School students

Baptism of Kaden T.                 Sanctuary                 1:00 p.m.

Apr. 26        UACT Youth Cmte                    Zion House              6:30 p.m.

 

Looking Forward:

May 2          Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

Sunday School                          Outside F.H.          10:00 a.m.

Jane Taylor memorial serv.       Church                     2:00 p.m.

 

Happy Belated Birthday to:  Liz B. who celebrated 80 years young on April 21st!

Happy Birthday to:  Fred B. who celebrates 94 years today!  And to John M. who celebrates 75 years on 27th!  And to Jeff D. who celebrates 75 years on May 1st!

Prayer Requests:  Don’t forget to send your prayer requests via email to the church office by Friday evening to have them included in the Sunday service.

Thank You to Zion’s members for Community Aid donations on Saturday, April 17th. 80 bags of clothing and shoes were delivered to the Hanover location!  Many thanks to Debra S. for use of trailer, her time and gas for delivery. Quarterly collections will be made. Please watch your email for the next date. Donations add to our Mission Funds. Thanks again, Angie V.

Soda Can Tabs:  We are still collecting soda can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, so please save your tabs as you enjoy soft drinks during the coming hotter months!  Just bring them along to worship and deposit them in the keg sitting near the offering basket.  Every donation helps kids and parents who are making use of Ronald McDonald House facilities during difficult times.

A Big Thank You to all who helped this past Saturday at the clean-up day.  We weeded and mulched and cleaned and generally spruced up the outside of Zion House and the church.  Thanks to all who donated time and equipment to the cause!

Chicken Done Right: The Mission Committee is holding a chicken BBQ fundraiser on May 9th.   Don’t want to cook on Mother’s Day?  No worries, order out!  Dinners will be pre-order and take-out only and will be available for pick up after worship, rain or shine.   The meals are $8.00 each and include ½ chicken (barbequed by our own Roger and Wayne B.), potato chips, applesauce and a roll.  Order forms have been e-mailed, or you can pick one up at outdoor worship today.  Completed forms can be placed in the offering basket, or you can call the church office at 717-677-8319 with your order.  The deadline for orders is May 2nd.  Thanks in advance for supporting Zion’s mission endeavors.

Talented People Needed: Is computer tech or A/V your job, your passion, your interest?  Then perhaps you might consider helping Zion with its tech and audio/visual needs.  Training in existing technology will be happily provided, and suggestions for additions/improvements entertained.  It’s a great way to give time and talent to the church, enhance worship for the congregation, and add to your personal knowledge.  If interested, call the church office at 717-677-8319.