Worship: March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Lent 

Visitors: Welcome to our church.  Please sign our guest book!  If you do not have a church home, we pray that you will find one with us.  We have large-print bulletins available, as well as hearing assistance devices.  Please ask an usher if you require either of these.  Restrooms are located in the church school building.  Go through the door next to the choir loft, and straight ahead.  We also have restrooms downstairs in Fellowship Hall.  Again, exit through the door next to the choir loft, turn left down the hall, and go down the steps. 

We Gather In Awe And Wonder

Prelude

Announcements

Chime Interlude And Candle Lighting

Leader: Lord Jesus, we walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death.  Please light our way.

People: Let us find our life in you, O Lord.

Leader: Banished from the Garden of Eden for our rebellion, give light to our darkness.

People: we long for the garden of Paradise.

Leader: O Lord, you are the Christ.

People: Remember us in your kingdom.

Leader: We come to hear you speak of your love for us.  You kindle love in our hearts.

People: You have the words of eternal life.  Amen 

*Call To Worship

Younger Son: Come, let us reap the benefits of our privilege!  In our worship, let us return to God with our whole beings; let us rejoice and be glad!

Father: Come, let us respond to one another with love and generosity!  In our worship, let us embrace life with open arms and open hearts.

Older Son: Come, let us be the people of faith we are called to be.  In our worship, let us be responsible to our loving God and vigilant about how we live.

Women: Come, let us seek to have a voice even when the world in which we live denies it.  God hears us.  Let us celebrate.

Men: We are very different in our approaches to life, yet we were all created by our loving God, and embraced in God’s everlasting arms.

All: In our worship, let us come together.  Let us be the family we were created to be.  In our worship, let us receive one another and our loving God with thanksgiving and hope.

*Hymn: “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling”………………….……#418 

 *Invocation

Leader: God of all children, are you waiting for our return?  God of all parents, are you sighing at our frivolous ways?  God of all siblings, are you reaching out to all of us equally?  God of all silent but present people, are you inviting us to have a voice?  God of all, we see you awaiting us, and in our worship, we pick up our tired pace; we long to please you; we reach for your embracing arms; we offer our voices and presence; and we rejoice in being called together in worship and thanksgiving.  Be with us as we worship, we pray.  Amen.

We Recognize Our Brokenness

Prayer Of Confession

Leader: Loving God, we confess that we turned from you and your ways.  We, like the prodigal son of our scriptures, are wasteful.  We have ruined the resources you have given us as our inheritance:  the water, the minerals, the animals, the forest, and even our relationships with one another.  We have squandered our privilege and ignored the voices of those suffering from oppression and dejection.  We have become a divided family of humanity – warring and building walls of division.  We have jailed people when help was needed; we have judged one another based on superficial and inconsequential measures; we have ignored deep pain; we have overindulged in order to ignore the feelings of guilt and shame that rise up.

All: We know we do not deserve your forgiveness, Holy Parent of us all, but today we rise to seek it anyway.  We are your children, in need of your healing and grace.  Forgive us, and welcome us home, we pray.  Amen.  (A time for silent prayers of confession.)

Assurance Of God’s Forgiveness

One: People of God, the great good news is that there is no distance that God’s redeeming, renewing love cannot span.  God waits for our return.  Like a loving father, God scans the horizon for us and always welcomes us home.  Feel the embrace of our parental God and breathe deeply into the arms of gentle forgiveness.  You are home.  Be assured of God’s grace and pardon.  Amen.

Reading Of The Scripture:   2 Corinthians 5: 16-21 (N.T., pg. 170) Psalm 23 (O.T., pg. 474)

Faith Lesson For All Ages

 Anthem:   “Lead Me Back”…………………………………..…………Choplin

We Reflect On New Possibilities

Reading Of The Gospel:   Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32 (N.T., pg. 73)

Message For This Day                                  

 *Hymn: “Fairest Lord Jesus”……………………………………………………………………………..#630

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, for ever.  Amen.)

 Our Offering: Our financial offering is one way that our members participate in the mission and ministry of this church. We thank you for your financial support.  For those of you who are visiting, please feel no need to participate in the offering.  This worship service is our gift to you.

Offertory

*Doxology: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings” ………………………………………….…..….#606

*Prayer Of Dedication

All: May we never squander the gifts you have given us.  May we never regret using our wealth to create a bigger world for more people.  May we never forget that we live in communion, and we are called to share our resources and gifts accordingly.  We give with thanksgiving for your extravagant love of us.  Please bless this giving, we pray.  Amen.

We Go Forth To Live Transformed lives

*Closing Hymn: “Just as I Am, without One Plea” ..………….………….#442

*Blessing

One: There, God waits.  Can you see?  There, God stands arms outstretched, ready to receive us and welcome us home.  Let us go and do likewise.  Amen.

*Choral Benediction: “I Danced in the Morning”……..……..……#157, vs 3

*Chime Meditation

Postlude

*Where noted, please stand if able.      

 Greeter And Bulletin Sponsorship Sign-Up Sheets for 2019 are on the credenza. v(Bulletin Sponsorship is $15 per Sunday. Please place your remittance designated for Bulletins in the offering plate.)v

 “BELLS” Supper Study – On each Wednesday evening in Lent, we will gather at 5:45 p.m. at Flohr’s Lutheran in McKnightstown for a supper and study session to learn about a new type of spiritual formation called “BELLS.” This is an acronym for Bless, Eat, Learn, Listen, Sent.  It encourages us to be more “missional” in the world and better at proclaiming the good news. While Flohr’s is the meeting site, participating churches will take turns providing the meal.  Please consider joining us for this Lenten journey.

 Profile Committee Volunteers Needed – Zion is looking for a few good men and women (young and old) to serve on the Profile Committee during our pastoral transition! The Committee will develop an honest assessment of our church and how it wishes to interact with our community.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Wayne or any member of Consistory.

John’s Meals – In light of several recent generous donations of macaroni & cheese, the inventory team is requesting that individuals from Zion consider providing small cans/cups of peas or mixed vegetables instead, to be placed in the cupboard in the rear of the church. For additional information, feel free to contact Dawn or Buddy .  Thank you!

 Maundy Thursday Seder Meal – Please consider joining us on Maundy Thursday, April 18th, for a seder-style meal and service of Holy Communion to be held at Zion.  There is a clipboard on the credenza in the rear of the church to sign up.

Hartman Center Summer Camp – Early registration for the Summer Camping Program at Hartman Center is now open. The Center offers camps for youth and adults as well as inter-generational camps.  If you or family members are interested in attending a camp, please see Minda for details.

Breakfast Ladies Group: We are NOT meeting at the Apple Bin on April 8th for breakfast.  INSTEAD, we are having lunch in Fellowship Hall at 11:30 a.m on that day.!  Everyone is going to make their favorite recipe to share.  If you have not given your recipe to Sally, please do so soon.  If you have never attended a group breakfast or have not come in a while, you are very welcome.  Please bring a favorite dish for all to taste.  It can be main dish, salad, soup, or dessert.

A “Lady Music Concert” will be held at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arendtsville, on Sunday April 7, at 4 pm. The program, “Prelude to Spring!”, will offer a fine selection of music by the Gettysburg Children’s Choir.  All are welcome to attend, so please invite your family, friends, and neighbors to this FREE event!  Refreshments will be served in the Social Room following the program.

Zion’s Book Club will meet April 16th at 7:00 pm in the Mustard Seed Room to discuss Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen.  A brief synopsis:  Merry Mansfield, the eponymous Razor Girl, specializes in kidnapping for the mob. Her preferred method is rear-ending her targets and asking them for a ride. But this time she hits the wrong guy, and a routine promotional appearance becomes a missing person’s case. Andrew Yancy, disgraced detective-turned-health inspector, is on the job. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy’s future will be as surprising to him as anything else he encounters along the way – including the giant Gambian pouched rats that are haunting his restaurant inspections.

Chicken BBQ – A chicken barbeque dinner will be available on April 28 from 10 am to noon at Zion House (carry-out only). Each dinner will be $8.00 and include ½ chicken, potato chips, and applesauce.  The REACH group will also have desserts and beverages available at $1.00 each.  Order forms are in the back of church, and proceeds will go to Helping Hands, a community Mission outreach project.

Face of America Bike Ride – Zion will once again host the Barlow Rest Stop for the FOA Bike Ride on Sunday, May 5. Volunteers are needed to help set up the food/drinks and then meet and assist the riders, and a volunteer sign-up sheet is in the back of church.  Also needed are cookies by our wonderful bakers!  The riders really look forward to our delicious goodies.  There is a separate sign-up sheet for cookie donations.

Community Aid Clothing Bin is available in the Zion House parking lot for clothing donations along with shoes, accessories, draperies, and bed linens. We receive funds each quarter based upon the weight of items deposited in the container, and those funds are used toward the Mission BudgetFor the fourth quarter of 2018, Zion received $424.00. After your yard sales, consider donating unsold appropriate items to the bin.

Coming Up Next Week:

Apr. 3, Choir Practice, church, 7:30 pm

Looking Forward:

Apr. 8, Ladies Lunch, Fellowship Hall, 11:30 am

Apr. 10, Mission Committee, Zion House, 6:30 pm; Choir Practice, 7:30 pm

Zion’s Financial Data

Income through February – $28,425.26 –

Expenses through February – $29,762.16 –

Deficit – $1,336.90 –