Worship: January 31, 2021

 

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

January 31, 2021

9:00 am

Live stream link:  Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – January 31 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 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

“Christ We Adore and Worship Thee”, T. Dubois, arr. R. Wilson, public domain

TIME OF SHARING

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let us come before the Lord in humility, because we know we have fallen short.

Let us come before the Lord in expectation,

because he has promised to be here with us.

Let us come before the Lord in confidence, because,

despite our failures, we know we are God’s children.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

We pray today for each one of us gathered today.

Some of us come boldly, and others of us come hesitantly.

Some of us come because we really want to be here,

and others of us are here only because of habit.

 Some of us are happy, and others of us come with deep concerns.

Some of us come with spiritual confidence,

and others come with questions and doubts.

Whatever our personal situation,

we know that you will receive us with love and grace,

and for this we are grateful.

 

SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM

For Sydnee E.

 

GATHERING HYMN “When Morning Gilds the Skies”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

When morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Alike at work and prayer to Jesus I repair:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

 

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

 

Let earth’s wide circle round in my joyful notes resound:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let air and sea and sky from depth to height replay:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

 

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this the eternal song through all the ages long:

May Jesus Christ be praised!

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

We are called to confession if we have distorted God’s Word,

knowingly or unknowingly.

We are invited to repent

if our freedom in Christ has led others astray.

We join in prayer together

because the Church is not yet the perfect Body of Christ.

Let us seek God’s forgiveness.

We pray for pardon,

if we have not lived up to our calling as Christian believers;

if we have applied a lesser standard to ourselves than to others;

if we have offended others by our speech or actions;

if we have allowed ill feelings to fester in our souls;

if we have allowed material things to skew our goals and ambitions.

Hear us, we pray, in the name of the One

we have often followed so imperfectly.

 

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

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“Just a Close Walk With Thee”, J. Mansfield, public domain

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Fellow followers of Jesus Christ,

remember your baptism,

remember God’s forgiveness,

remember God’s promises,

remember God’s loving kindness toward you.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

As we give, we become aware that there is joy in giving as well as in receiving,

in sharing as well as in accumulating.

(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

We give this morning because we love — we love you, our God;

we love Jesus Christ, your Son;

and we love and care about others,

even those we will never meet.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“You Are Mine”, text and music David Haas, ©1991 GIA Publications, Inc.

Diane M., soloist

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

I Corinthians 8: 1-13

8:1 Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
8:2 Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge;
8:3 but anyone who loves God is known by him.
8:4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.”
8:5 Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as in fact there are many gods and many lords–
8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
8:7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
8:8 “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
8:10 For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols?
8:11 So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed.
8:12 But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
8:13 Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Mark 1: 21-28

1:21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.
1:22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
1:23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit,
1:24 and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”
1:26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
1:27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching–with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
1:28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Blest Be the Tie That Binds”, J. Fawcett, J. Nageli, public domain

 

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

 

PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom,

And the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

 

CLOSING HYMN  “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

O Master, let me walk with thee,

In lowly paths of service free;

Tell me thy secret; help me bear

The strain of toil, the fret of care.

 

Help me the slow of heart to move

By some clear, winning word of love;

Teach me the wayward feet to stay,

And guide them in the homeward way.

 

Teach me thy patience, still with thee

In closer, dearer company,

In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,

And trust that triumphs over wrong.

 

In hope that sends a shining ray

Far down the future’s broadening way;

In peace that only thou canst give,

With thee, O Master, let me live. 

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Live in harmony with one another¼

Do not repay anyone evil for evil¼

So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Our Hope, Our Life”, text M. Leckebusch copyright 2006 Kevin Mayhew Ltd, music J. Weaver copyright 1990 Hope Publishing

POSTLUDE

“Whiter Than Snow”, Fischer 1898, public domain

 

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

 

Coming Up This Week:

Jan 31                    Live Stream Worship                                              9:00 a.m

With Baptism

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

Looking Forward:

Feb. 7                    Live stream Worship                                                 9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

 

Happy Anniversary to Bob and Joyce B. who celebrate 57 years together on February 1st!

Happy Birthday to Betty B. who celebrates her 93rd birthday on February 4th!

Thank you to all our Zion UCC friends for your thoughtful cards, prayers, and other acts of kindness shown to our family following the recent passing of my mother, Shirley S. and stepfather, Ralph S.   Angie and Bob V. and family.

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.

To participate in the prayer chain, contact Angie.

Altar Guild:  The Altar Guild is looking for volunteers for light monthly duties.  If you are interested, please contact Donna M.