Worship: Easter April 4, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Easter Sunday

The Resurrection of our Lord

April 4, 2021

10:00 am

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Weather permitting, we will celebrate outdoor parking lot worship 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 am (with no in-person worship).

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

“He Is Risen”, J. Neander, arr. H. Livingston, ©1992, Lorenz Publishing Co.

“Low In the Grave He Lay”, Lowry, ©1983, Lorenz Publishing Co.

 

TIME OF SHARING

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

We come here on this Easter Sunday morning to celebrate Christ’s resurrection,

to anticipate the eternal life that will join us with those who  have gone before,

to embrace the hope of eternal life,

to know that God’s promises are fulfilled,

and to celebrate all the dimensions of our earthly life.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

With thanksgiving, praise, and joy,

we worship you, marvelous God.

How amazing is all your creation!

How glorious is this day of new life!

Come among us now, we pray,

to raise us up from our fears and our doubts and our confusion.

We want to believe.

We want to trust.

We want to dare.

We want to live.

Touch us today with a spirit of hope,

 that our discipleship may honor the Risen One.

 

GATHERING HYMN  “The Day of Resurrection!”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Sheet music in back of bulletin

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad,

The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.

From death to life eternal, from sin’s dominion free,

Our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory.

 

Let hearts be purged of 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.

 

Now let the heavens be joyful; let earth its song begin,

The round world keep high triumph and all that is therein.

Let all things seen and unseen their notes of gladness blend,

For Christ the Lord is risen, our joy that has no end.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

Doubters, believers, disciples, searchers:

come to the One who makes all things new.

The gates of righteousness are open to us, and a welcome awaits

all who truly enter the presence of God seeking forgiveness.

The God whom we have often rejected, both by our words and by our deeds,

offers acceptance and healing.

Risen Lord, we confess that we are prone

 to forget the power of your resurrection.

One day we are alive with hope and confidence,

and the next day we are overburdened

with the difficulties and tragedies of life.

One day we are aware of your presence with us,

and the next day we feel very much alone.

One day we are able to ward off the temptations that threaten to pull us down,

and the next day we struggle with both ethics and faith.

Forgive us, we pray, for living the old way of life,

and transform us by the power of your resurrection.

And now let us confess in silence those fears that keep us from loving as Christ has loved us.

 

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“When I Survey the Wonderous Cross”, public domain

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

We have been buried with Christ in baptism,

then raised with him through faith in the power of God,

who raised him from the dead.

When we were dead in trespasses,

God made us alive together with him when he forgave us all our sin.

Thank God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – THE APOSTLES’ CREED

And now, having experienced once again the forgiving power of our loving God,

let us confess our faith using the Apostles’ Creed:

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 third 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.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation,” said Paul to the church at Corinth;

“everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”

Let us express that new life by presenting our tithes and offerings.

 

(If you have not placed your offering in the box, would ask you to mail your offering Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17307, 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

Accept these tithes and offerings, we pray,

as an expression of the new life we have through Jesus Christ;

through his resurrection we have been renewed and restored

to a life of love and commitment.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“Christ Arose”, Robert Lowry, public domain

Fred M., Soloist

 

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 10: 34-43

 

10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,
10:35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
10:36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ–he is Lord of all.
10:37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:
10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
10:39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
10:40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,
10:41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
10:42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.
10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. John 20: 1-18

 

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.
20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
20:5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.
20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there,
20:7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.
20:8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;
20:9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
20:10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.
20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb;
20:12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.
20:13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
20:15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).
20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“The Strife is O’er”, public domain

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

 

THE LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Dear Friends in Christ, the Gospel tells us that on the first day of the week Jesus Christ was raised from death, appeared to Mary Magdalene, on that same day sat at the  table with two disciples, and was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

This is the joyful feast of the people of God.

Men and women, youth and children,

come from the east and the west, from the north and the south,

and gather about Christ’s table.

This feast is for all Christians who wish to know the presence of Christ

and to share in the community of God’s people.

God be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to God.

Let us give thanks to God Most High.

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, God of majesty and glory for calling forth creation and raising us from dust by the breath of your being.  We bless you for the beauty and bounty of the earth and for the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none.  We remember the covenant you made with your people, Israel, and we give you thanks for all our ancestors in faith.  We rejoice that you call us to reconciliation with you and all people everywhere, and that you remain faithful to your covenant even when we are faithless.  We rejoice that you call the entire human family to this feast of sacrifice and victory.  We come in remembrance and celebration of the gift of Jesus Christ, whom you sent, in the fullness of time, to be the Good News.  Born of your servant, Mary, Christ lived among us to reveal

the mystery of your Word, to suffer and die on the cross for us, to be raised from death on the third day, and then to live in glory.  We bless you, gracious God, for the presence of your Holy Spirit in the Church.

For all your blessings we raise up our thanksgiving and praise.

We remember that on the night of betrayal and desertion, and on the

eve of death, Jesus gathered the disciples for the Feast of Passover.

Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks to you, broke it and gave it to the disciples, saying,

“This is my Body, which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,

“This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of our faith.

Christ’s death, O God, we proclaim.

Christ’s resurrection we declare.

Christ’s coming we await.

Glory be to You, O God.

Eternal God, we unite in this covenant of faith,

recalling Christ’s suffering and death,

rejoicing in Christ resurrection, and awaiting Christ’s return in victory.

We ask you to send your Holy Spirit on this bread and wine, and on us.

Strengthen your universal Church that it may be your instrument

at work in the world.

Restore the earth with your grace that is able to make all things new.

Be present with us as we share this meal,

 and throughout all our lives,

that we may know you as the Holy One,

who with Christ and the Holy Spirit, lives forever.  Amen

 

THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION

(During this part of the service, you will be asked to join the Confirmation Class in the first question and answer to The Heidelberg Catechism, as well as to respond with the welcoming.  Both are printed below.)

 

What Is Your Only Comfort, In Life and In Death?

That I am not my own, but belong

– body and soul, in life and in death –

to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood

and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

    He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair

can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;

in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit,

assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly

willing and ready from now on to live for him.

 

Let us, the members of Zion, express our welcome and affirm our mutual ministry in Christ.

We promise you our continuing friendship and prayers as we share the hopes and labors of the Church of Jesus Christ.  By the power of the Holy Spirit may we continue to grow together in God’s knowledge and love and be witnesses of our risen Savior.

 

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

 

THE COMMUNION BLESSING

 

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Eternal God, we thank you for Christ’s presence

and for the spiritual food of Christ’s Body and Blood.

 By the power of your Holy Spirit, keep us faithful to your will.

Go with us to the streets, to our homes,

and to our places of labor and leisure,

that whether we are gathered or scattered ,

we may be the Servant Church of the Risen Christ, now and forever.  Amen.

 

HYMN “Jesus Christ is Risen Today!”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Sheet music in back of bulletin

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

 

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!

Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

 

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!

Our salvation has procured.  Alleluia!

Now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!

Where the angels ever sing,  Alleluia!

 

Sing we to our God above,   Alleluia!

Praise eternal as God’s love. Alleluia!

Praise our God, ye heavenly host, Alleluia!

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Alleluia!

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Go forth praising the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

for by great mercy God has given us a new birth into a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Because He Lives”, Gaither, ©1971, Hope Publishing

 

POSTLUDE

“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”, Davidica, arr. Hugh Livingston, Jr., ©1983, Lorenz Publishing Co.

 

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

 

Coming Up This Week:

Apr. 4          Easter sunrise service                 Fairview Cem.         6:30 a.m.

With Trinity Lutheran

Outdoor Easter service               Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

with Holy Communion & Confirmation

No Sunday School

Apr. 8          Book Club                                 Fellowship Hall       6:30 p.m.

Apr. 10        Ramblers Walk to Pole Steeple                                  9:00 a.m.

Looking Forward:

Apr. 11        Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                       9:00 a.m.

Cooley Music Recital                 Church                   12:00 p.m.

Apr. 12        Ladies Breakfast                        Apple Bin                9:00 a.m.

Apr. 17        Community Aid Trailer             Parking lot             9 -11:00 a.m.

 

Pastoral Care:  If you would like a visit from George, please contact him and let him know a convenient time.

 

Happy Birthday to Ruth C. who celebrates 80 years on April 6th!

 

Thank You to the members of Zion for your prayers and cards during our mother, Marie R.’s illness and passing.  They have been a comfort to us during this difficult time.  Warm regards, Sam and Kendra R.

 

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.

John’s Meals needs clean plastic bags from your shopping! You can drop them in the bin in the storage closet at Zion House.  If you are able, we appreciate them doubled, but we will definitely take any bags.  If you have a collection of bags too big for the bin, please call or email Angie V. so we can pick up your donation.  Thanks for your continued financial support, donations of Mac & Cheese, and for all the bags!

 

Zion’s Book Club will meet on April 8th at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall, socially distanced and masked, to discuss The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon.  Based on an actual mystery, here is a synopsis:

 

“One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again.  Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing

to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.  As the twisted truth emerges, Ariel Lawhon’s wickedly entertaining debut mystery transports us into the smoky jazz clubs, the seedy backstage dressing rooms, and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline.”

 

The Ramblers will be walking at 9:00 a.m. on April 10th!  Come enjoy a different approach to Pole Steeple.  We will meet at the parking lot called the “Michaux State Forest ATV/snowmobile lot-Piney Mountain”.  It is about 5 miles from the square in Bendersville.   Head out of Bendersville on the Bendersville-Wenksville Road and in a bit over a mile turn right on Pine Grove Furnace road.  Go straight at the stop sign, and in about 2 miles you’ll see the lot on the left.  Most of the walk will be on the ATV trail, ending up at Pole Steeple.  It will take an hour each way.  There is a picnic area by the parking lot in case you want to stay afterwards and have a picnic!  If weather forces a postponement, look for an email blast from Cindy.

 

Ladies Breakfast Group News From Sally:  We are welcoming spring by resuming our monthly breakfast meetings!  Join us at The Apple Bin on Monday, April 12th at 9:00 a.m.  We may be outside enjoying the sun or, if the weather is inclement, we will meet inside – socially distanced for your comfort level.

 

Community Aid Update:   On Saturday morning, April 17, there will be a trailer available in the church parking lot from 9 AM until 11 AM (or until it is full) to collect your donated clothing, shoes, purses, and belts.  Zion UCC gets credit for poundage of clothing items, so please have your clothing items bagged separately from the shoes, purses and belts as we will tally them separately.  You may also deliver donation items directly to Community Aid locations if you wish.  Please be sure to attach a donation slip (sent to you by email) to your clothing and note our Partner Number so appropriate credit can be given to Zion.

 

April Events at Camp Nawakwa

EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT DEADLINE: Saturday, April 3

Register in full (minus any church or conference contribution) to receive this additional registration discount! (*When you register and are on the payment page, please note any amount to be paid by your church and/or the Conference. The difference is the amount that needs to be paid in full to get this Early Registration Discount.)

OPEN HOUSE (@Nawakwa & Kirchenwald): Sunday, April 11 (2-4:30 p.m.)

Get a tour of the camp, meet summer staff, and see for yourself what these camps offer!

WORK DAY (@Nawakwa & Kirchenwald): Saturday, April 24 (beginning at 9 a.m.)

Help get the camps ready for the spring and summer seasons! Jobs are available for all skill levels and interests. BONUS: Complimentary lunch provided!

Questions?  Contact Anne Rankin at annerankin524@gmail.com.