Worship: April 18, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Third Sunday of Easter

April 18, 2021

10:00 am

 

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Weather permitting, we worship on the parking lot 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

“Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”, W. Hoane, ©1983, Lorenz Publishing

 

TIME OF SHARING

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

We come before the Lord with awe,

because we worship a God of power and majesty.

We come before the Lord with humility,

because we worship a God of holiness and purity.

Yet we also come before the Lord with confidence,

because we worship a God of love and mercy.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

You know, O Holy One, that life crowds in on us.

We have work to do, appointments to keep,

deadlines to meet, responsibilities to fulfill.

So it’s easy to live life without treasuring your presence

and even without acknowledging your existence.

So we look forward to this time of worship, this time of praise,

this time of meditation, this time of self-examination,

this time of inspiration and new life,

this time of reconnecting with you, our Creator and Savior.

 

GATHERING HYMN “Now the Green Blade Rises”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,

Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;

Love lives again, that with the dead has been;

Love is come again like wheat arising green.

 

In the grave they laid him, love by hatred slain,

Thinking that he would never wake again,

Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen;

Love is come again like wheat arising green.

 

Forth he came at Easter like the risen grain,

He that for three days in the grave had lain;

Raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen;

Love is come again like wheat arising green.

 

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

Your touch can call us back to life again;

Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been;

Love is come again like wheat arising green.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

The mob action that sent Jesus to the cross was fed by fears and anger

we are reluctant to admit.

Yet we, too, reject the Holy One, by our neglect if not by our deliberate intent.

We are invited to repent and turn to God that our sins may be wiped away.

We are disturbed and distressed, O God, by the evil that surrounds us. 

It is hard to view many people we see as your children:

murderers, abusers, those who cheat others and profit at their expense. 

We feel like victims. 

Why should we confess our sins

when there is so much evil beyond our influence? 

Yet we know we do not abide in your love. 

We sin by turning away from our brothers and sisters

who are also beloved by you,

however they may differ from us. 

We seek the forgiveness you promise and the wholeness to life you offer. 

 

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

 

CONFESSION MEDITATION

“‘Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus”, public domain

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

Trust in God and rejoice;

You are forgiven and free to serve God with your whole heart.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

As we give, we do so in faith, believing in God’s promises,

anticipating God’s provisions, and accepting God’s peace.

 

(If you have not placed your offering in the offering box, 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

In our giving, we perform an exercise of trust,

 for we entrust these tithes and offerings into the care of others,

and we trust that the Holy Spirit will empower them in their appointed use.

 

VOCAL SOLO: “Mercy Still”, Nicole Elsey, arr. Sorenson, ©2014 Hal Leonard Publications.

Kevin C., soloist

 

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 3: 12-19

 

3:12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?
3:13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in

the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him.
3:14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you,
3:15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
3:16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
3:17 “And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
3:18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
3:19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Luke 24: 36b-48

 

24:36b While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
24:37 They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
24:38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
24:41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
24:43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you–that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
24:46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“I Saw the Cross of Jesus”, 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: “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel
into joy from sadness;
loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters,
led them with unmoistened foot
through the Red Sea waters.

‘Tis the spring of souls today;
Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death
as a sun hath risen;
all the winter of our sins,
long and dark, is flying
from his light, to whom we give
laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts,
comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem,
who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death,
nor the tomb’s dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal
hold thee as a mortal;
but today amidst the twelve
thou didst stand, bestowing
that thy peace which evermore
passeth human knowing.

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

As children of God, live gratefully and responsibly,

at peace with the family of God

and looking to the day when we will see God face to face.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“Rejoice, the Lord is King”, public domain

 

POSTLUDE

“Hallelujah!  What a Savior!”, Charity Putnam, ©1994, based on “Man of Sorrows”, Phillip R. Bliss

 

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

 

Coming Up This Week:

Apr. 18        Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                       9:00 a.m.

Gettysburg Assoc. Mtg              Zoom                       2:00 p.m.

Apr. 19        Consistory Mtg                          Fellowship Hall       7:00 p.m.

Apr. 24        Clean-up Day                            Zion House              8:00 a.m.

 

Looking Forward:

Apr. 25        Outdoor Worship                       Parking lot             10:00 a.m.

With Sunday School students

Baptism of Kaden T.                 Sanctuary                 1:00 p.m.

Apr. 26        UACT Youth Cmte                    Zion House              6:30 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.

 

Spring Cleaning at Church:  The Property Committee is looking for a few good men and women to help with some outside jobs on April 24th.  A possible agenda includes taking down a tree, trimming shrubbery, powerwashing Zion House, and mulching around the church and Zion House.  Volunteers should assemble at 8:00 a.m.  If you have tools that match the projects, please bring them; if not, just come!  Many hands make light work.  Any questions, contact Roger.