Worship: February 21, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

The First Sunday in Lent

February 21, 2021

9:00 am

Live Stream link:  Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – February 21 2021

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Because of the continuing concerns for the spread of the covid-19 virus, we have chosen to live stream our worship services, suspending in person worship until we gain a clearer picture of how to gather together in the sanctuary to worship safely.  These are difficult times and even with the hope for a vaccine in the near future, it will be some time before enough people have the vaccine in order to effectively control covid-19.  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

“Elegy”, C. Gounod, public domain

Marshall S., Organist

 

TIME OF SHARING

CALL TO WORSHIP

Some of us may feel uncomfortable about being here.

Some of us may feel hypocritical because of something we have done.

Some of us may feel unworthy.

But God is a God of welcoming grace who accepts us just as we are.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Hear us, O God, when we speak to you.

We are frail creatures of dust.

Our lives and fortunes are in your hands.  

It is only by your breath of life that we are alive,

and it is only by your grace that we are received.

 

GATHERING HYMN “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.

 

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.

 

See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a tribute far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

The temptation is all around us –

in beguiling whispers, in blatant temptations,

in fantasies of power, in avoidance of involvement.

All that contributes to our broken world and broken relationships

keeps us from the fulfillment God intends. We are not all we could be;

we are not yet what we will be

when we confess our sins and experience God’s grace.

As we raise our prayer of confession,

we offer no explanations, no excuses, no comparisons to others.

We ask, not for your understanding, but for your mercy.

We rest, not on your justice, but on your grace.

We rely not on our promises for the future,

but on what Christ has done for us in the past.

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

 

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord”, public domain

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

We are forgiven and set free from our addictions, our pretensions, our idolatry.

We are released from self-centeredness, from playing to the crowds,

from our preoccupation with things.

Here is good news: In steadfast love, God redeems us.

Live as those who have experienced God’s glory and sensed God’s healing in their lives.

 

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

The message that Jesus gave during his temptation in the wilderness

is also the lesson he gives to us today:

“Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”

(For the time being 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

To you, Lord God, we offer these tithes and offerings

as a significant part of our total worship and service.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“His Hands”, Schram, ©2007 Lorenz Publishing Co.

Kevin C., soloist

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Genesis 9: 8-17

9:8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,
9:9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you,
9:10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.
9:11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
9:12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:
9:13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
9:14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,
9:15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
9:16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
9:17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

I Peter 3: 18-22

3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,
3:19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison
3:20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
3:21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you–not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Mark 1: 9-15

1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
1:11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
1:12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
1:13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Rock of Ages, Cleft For Me”, public domain

 

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

 

LITURGY FOR THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Gracious God, we praise you and give you thanks.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.

For the love we call God,

the creator of heaven and earth… we give thanks.

For the person we call Jesus, and his message

of peace, justice, and inclusiveness… we give thanks.

For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit,

always on the breath of life… we give thanks.

We give thanks for the love, peace, justice,

generosity, strength and freedom

that is God working in our midst.

Let us remember tradition.

We remember, at the end of a journey, among friends, gathered around a table,

Jesus took bread, gave thanks for all the blessings in his life, and broke it.

We remember at the same table and gathered with the same friends,

Jesus poured a cup of wine, gave thanks, and shared it with his friends,

inviting them to drink.

Bread broken, cup full, Jesus set the table.

May the Spirit within us

be a source of healing and consolation.

May the Spirit within us

strengthen us when we feel weak,

warm us when we are cold-hearted,

bend us when we are stubborn,

move us when we are uncaring,

guide us in the way of love.

May the Spirit within us

shine in all we do.

Bountiful God, at the feast of sacrifice,

we ask you to bless us and this bread and wine

with the presence of your Holy Spirit,

that in our eating and drinking we might

share in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Through this meal, make us one with you.

Nourish us for faithfulness in the Church of the Redeemer

you have sent to reconcile us to you and to one another.

 

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

 *SACRAMENTAL BLESSING

 

*THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

God of our salvation, you have restored us to life,

you have brought us back again into your love

by the triumphant death and resurrection of Christ.

Continue to heal us as we go to live and work

in the power of your Spirit, to your praise and glory.

 

CLOSING HYMN  “Lord, Dismiss Us With Your Blessing”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Lord, dismiss us with your blessing; fill our hearts with joy and peace;

Let us each, your love possessing, triumph in redeeming grace.

O refresh us, O refresh us, traveling through this wilderness.

 

Thanks we give and adoration for your gospel’s joyful sound;

May the fruits of your salvation in our hearts and lives abound.

Ever faithful, ever faithful to your truth may we be found.

 

Savior, when your love shall call us, from our struggling pilgrim way,

Let no fear of death appall us, glad your summons to obey.

May we ever, may we ever reign with you in endless day.

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon,

where there is doubt, faith,

where there is despair, hope,

where there is darkness, light,

where there is sadness, joy.

O, divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,

 to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Panis Angelicus”, public domain

Marshall S., organist

 

POSTLUDE

“Near to the Heart of God”, C. McAfee, arr. Don Phillips, ©1984 Broadman Press

 

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

 

Coming Up This Week:

Feb. 21                  Live stream Worship                                                 9:00 a.m.

With Communion

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

 

Looking Forward:

Feb. 28                  Worship                                                                   9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

 

Happy Anniversary to William & Carolyn L. who will celebrate 70 years together on February 22nd!

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

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.

Summer Camping Opportunity This Summer:  The Penn Central Conference is partnering with the LCC (Lutheran Camping Corporation) and the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Lutheran Church to offer summer camp opportunities close to home at Camp Nawakwa.  If you have fond memories of camps at The Hartman Center, you may be interested.  There is an open house at Nawakwa on March 21 or April 11.  Please see this link for more information:  Summer Camp Open House at Kirchenwald & Nawakwa; March 21 & April 11; 2-4:30 p.m.  And if you are interested in being a liaison between Anne Rankin of the PCC Outdoor Ministries and Zion to keep up to date on what’s happening with outdoor ministries and sharing that with church members, please contact Anne at 717-652-1560.