Worship: January 10, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

The Baptism of Christ

January 10, 2021

9:00 am

Live stream link:  :Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – January 10 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

“Nearer to God Medley”, arr. Ron Loree, public domain

TIME OF SHARING

CALL TO WORSHIP

God, the Creator of all things needful for body and soul,

who refreshes us with the sparkling water of creation,

and who washes away the grime and dust of everyday living,

invites us to come to the fountain of heaven, to be washed in the

baptism of forgiveness, and to drink freely of eternal water.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

In the beginning, O God, you fashioned a universe. 

Each star and planet had its beginning in you. 

Out of the void you brought light and life. 

Through eons of creativity, you have acted,

and today we are here, inheritors of an amazing process,

tiny specks in the limitless reaches of time and space.

And you are here, waiting to greet us. 

As you acted in our baptism,

you are acting still to make all things new within us and among us. 

Let your light awaken us and your Spirit empower us for faithful living.

 

GATHERING HYMN “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

 

Breath on me, breath of God; fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.

 

Breath on me, breath of God, until my heart is pure,

Until with thee I will one will, to do and to endure.

 

Breath on me, breath of God, till I am wholly thine,

Until this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.

 

Breath on me, breath of God, so shall I never die,

But live with thee the perfect life of thine eternity.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

 

John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness,

proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

We, who have received the gift of baptism, recognize the need to confess our sins

to remind ourselves of our human frailty and of God’s amazing grace.

Forgive us, Lord God, if we have placed fun before fulfillment;

if we have sought pleasure before purpose;

if we have sought to leave a legacy that does not include love;

if we have viewed all of life as a competition;

if we have placed ourselves before others.

Pardon us, we pray, and help us to set straight our priorities.

 

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

 

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“O Sing a Song of Bethlehem”, public domain

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

A voice from heaven said to Jesus:

“You are my own Child, the Beloved; with you I am well-pleased.”

Jesus Christ passed on that gift to those who dared to follow.

We too are beloved children of God, forgiven, loved, and sent on a mission.

All who are truly sorry for their sin are relieved of its burden

and are recreated in God’s image.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

 

Through our tithes and offerings, we can go to places we will never visit,

we will touch people we will never know,

and we will meet needs that only God understands.

 

(For the time being we would ask you to mail your offering 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

 

We pray that as we offer these tithes and offerings,

you will invest them in such a way that bodies will be fed,

children will be educated, families will be strengthened,

lives will be changed, and souls will be saved.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“Welcome to our World”, Chris Rice, ©1995 Clumsy Fly Music

Heather B., soloist

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Genesis 1: 1-5

 

1:1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,
1:2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
1:4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Mark 1: 4-11

 

1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
1:5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
1:7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.
1:8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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.”

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Star of the East”, public domain

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

INSTALLATION OF NEW CONSISTORY MEMBERS

 

CLOSING HYMN  “Arise, Your Light is Come!”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

 

Arise, your light is come! The Spirit’s call obey;

Show forth the glory of your God, which shines on you today.

 

Arise, your light is come! Fling wide the prison door;

Proclaim the captives’ liberty, good tidings to the poor.

 

Arise, your light is come!  All you in sorrow born,

Bind up the brokenhearted ones and comfort those who mourn.

 

Arise, your light is come! The mountains burst in song!

Rise up like eagles on the wing; God’s power will make us strong.

 

*COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

In a world of much darkness, let us follow the light.

In a world of spiritual confusion, let us point to the light.

In a world of chaos, let us be a light.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”, public domain

 

POSTLUDE

“Jesus is All the World to Me”, Will Thompson, Lorenz Publishing 1993

 

The Altar Flowers are presented to the glory of God and with prayers to keep Zion’s members in good health by the Zion Altar Guild.

Happy Birthday to Jean S. who celebrated her 93rd birthday yesterday!  And Happy Birthday to Jean T. who celebrates her 91st birthday today!

Congratulations to Dylan and Cheyenne E. on their recent wedding!

Thank You to outgoing Consistory members Wayne B. and Bob V. for their years of service.  And thank you to newly installed Consistory members Betsy B. and Roger B.

 

During this virus situation, the Office Manager will often be working from home.  Please call the office before stopping by.

 

Coming Up This Week:

January 10                       Live Stream Worship                                      9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                 Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

Looking Forward:

January 17                       Live Stream Worship                                      9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                 Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

January 18                       Consistory Mtg                Zoom                       7:00 p.m.

 

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.

 

These Days Devotionals:  The devotionals for January, February, and March have still not arrived.  When they do arrive, an email blast will be sent to the congregation.

 

Mac and Cheese Donations are gratefully accepted for John’s Meals.  Just put them in the bin in the utility closet on the back porch at Zion House.