Worship: March 21, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

March 21, 2021

10:00 am

Live stream link:  Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – March 21 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 will begin 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).  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

“God’s Grace Medley”, Robert W. Thygerson, ©1993 Lorenz Publishing Co.

TIME OF SHARING

CALL TO WORSHIP

We are a busy people, but God has called us to rest awhile.

We are anxious people, but God has invited us to share in peace.

We are people who live in the world, but God has invited us to look upward.

We are imperfect people, but God has invited us to be forgiven.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

As Jesus offered up prayers and supplications to you, O God,

we cry out to you today.

You know our losses and our fears.

You understand our suffering and pain.

We wish to see Jesus, to know the healing touch felt by so many.

We want to hear a reassuring voice.

We long to see a new day when evil is overcome and wrong cannot prevail.

Lift us up and draw us to yourself as we worship.

Equip us for our daily living as we seek to be true to your covenant with us.

 

GATHERING HYMN “In the Cross of Christ I Glory”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.

 

When the woes of life o’er take me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me; lo, it glows with peace and joy.

 

When the sun of bliss is beaming light and love upon my way,

From the cross the radiance streaming adds more luster to the day.

 

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure, joys that through all time abide.

 

In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

The doubts and inattention that mark our response to God

summon us now to confess our sin.

The promises of God which we have ignored draw us back

to consider the covenant God offers.

The obedience of Jesus can inspire in us a reverent submission to God’s will.

Let us seek forgiveness and reconciliation.

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come.

Into your freedom, gladness and light, Jesus, I come to you.

Out of my sickness into your health, out of my want and into your wealth.

Out of my sin and into yourself, Jesus, I come to you.

Out of my shameful failure and loss, Jesus, I come.

Into the glorious gain of your cross, Jesus, I come to you.

Out of earth’s sorrows into your balm, out of life’s storms and into your calm.

Out of distress to jubilant psalm, Jesus, I come to you.

 

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

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“Gracious Spirit Dwell With Me”, T. Lynch, 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 welcomed into God’s redeeming presence.

We are children of our Creator who loves us.

We are brothers and sisters of Jesus,

who was obedient to God and faithful to the law of love,

even in the face of the cross.

Through suffering, Christ became the source of eternal salvation for us,

realized when we embrace the covenant in truth and faithfulness.

The burden of our sin is lifted from us.

New life is ours to enjoy.

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

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.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

We give today because we have experienced

the grace of God through Jesus Christ,

who though he was rich, yet for our sake became poor,

so that we by his poverty might become rich.

(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

Gracious God, as we give these tithes and offerings

we recognize that our possessions belong not only to ourselves,

but to our brothers and sisters as well,

for you have called us to be instruments of your grace.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“You Are the Christ”, Joseph Martin, ©2006 Lorenz Publishing Co.

Kevin C., soloist

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

 

31:31 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
31:32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt–a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD.
31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
31:34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Hebrews 5: 5-10

5:5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;
5:6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
5:8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;
5:9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,
5:10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. John 12: 20-33

12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
12:23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
12:24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
12:27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say–‘ Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
12:28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”, Thomas Dorsey, ©1938

 

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  “Softly and Tenderly”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me.

See, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,

Watching for you and for me.

“Come home, come home! You who are weary come home.”

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, “O sinner, come home!”

 

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me?

Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,

Mercies for you and for me?

“Come home, come home! You who are weary come home.”

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, “O sinner, come home!”

 

O for the wonderful love he has promised, promised for you and for me!

Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,

Pardon for you and for me.

“Come home, come home! You who are weary come home.”

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, “O sinner, come home!”

 

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 seek so much 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

“In the Cross of Christ I Glory”, John Bowring, Ithamar Conkey, public domain

 

POSTLUDE

“There’s Power in the Blood”, Putnam/Jones, ©1994 Lorenz Publishing Co.

 

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

Coming Up This Week:

Mar. 21        Outdoor Worship                       Parking Lot            10:00 a.m.

Selfie Sunday – pics after worship

Sunday School                           Zoom

Looking Forward:

Mar. 28        Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom

Apr. 1          Maundy Thursday service         Live stream              7:00 p.m.

With Holy Communion

Apr. 2          Good Friday service                   Live stream              7:00 p.m.

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

With Trinity Lutheran

Easter service with Holy            Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

Communion & Confirmation

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

Worship Update and Holy Week Schedule:  Today, we begin outdoor worship!  Unfortunately, live streaming from outdoors has proven to be an extremely difficult undertaking and may not be possible.  If weather does not permit us to gather outside, services will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. from inside the sanctuary with NO in-person gathering.

Sunday, March 28th, 10 a.m. – Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion – Service on the parking lot (weather permitting, otherwise livestreamed from inside the sanctuary).

Thursday, April 1st, 7 p.m. – Maundy Thursday Service with the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Service will be livestreamed from the sanctuary.

Friday, April 2nd, 7 p.m. – Good Friday Service, livestreamed from the sanctuary.

Sunday, April 4th, 6:30 a.m. – Easter Sunrise Service at Fairview Cemetery with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  This is a shared service with Trinity Lutheran Church.

Sunday, April 4th, 10 a.m. – Easter Service with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  We will also celebrate the Rite of Confirmation during worship.  Service on the parking lot (weather permitting, otherwise livestreamed from inside the sanctuary).

 

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Collection:  Zion will accept OGHS collection envelopes through the end of March.

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.

Ladies Breakfast Group News From Sally:  We are welcoming spring by resuming our monthly breakfast meetings!  Join us outside at The Apple Bin on Monday, April 12th at 9:00 a.m.  Tammy, the owner, has ordered a portable garage canopy to shade the picnic tables, but you may just enjoy the sun!  You are encouraged to wear masks except when eating, and we hope you feel comfortable enough to join us.  Many have had the vaccine; some have had the virus.  And we will remember long-time member Jane T.  I hope to see you there.

Maintenance Projects Update:  The Consistory is excited to report that the replacement of the Sunday School roof will be done this spring!  The roofing company needs the weather to break and have a consistent warm temperature before proceeding.  Even more exciting – the costs for that project are covered!!  Many thanks to Debra S. for the generous memorial donation in memory of her husband, Paul S., and to Wayne B. for arranging donation of the roofing materials from Carlisle Syntec.  The contract for the parking lot project has been signed with C. E. Williams and planning has begun.  Zion is pursuing various revenue sources for this project and would encourage anyone wishing to donate to this project to mail a check to the church office with “capital improvement” in the memo line.