Worship: November 15, 2020

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

November 15, 2020

9:00 am

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  We are practicing safe distancing and wearing masks during the entire service so that you can feel secure worshiping together.  The entire service is printed here so there is no need for hymnals or Bibles.  As you have been ushered to your seats at the beginning of worship, you will also be ushered out, one row at a time, to exit the sanctuary.   Restrooms are located in the church school building.  Please leave by the Gettysburg Street door to the side door on Main Street, turn left at the end of the hall and then turn right to find the restroom.  Return through the Gettysburg Street door.  Thank you for your understanding and patience in these difficult times.

*Where noted, please stand if able.

Congregational response in bold print.

PRELUDE

TIME OF SHARING

*CALL TO WORSHIP

This is a day to be truly alive—

alive to the moving of God’s Spirit,

alive to the truths of God’s Word,

and alive to the challenges of a life

that makes a positive impact on others.

 

* PRAYER OF INVOCATION

We pray this morning for every aspect of our worship experience,

as we sing and as we listen,

as we praise and as we meditate in silence,

as we learn and as we teach,

as we are prayed for and as we pray for others.

 

*GATHERING HYMN “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

 

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,

Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might:

Thy justice, like mountains high soaring above;

Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

 

To all, life thou givest, to both great and small.

In all life thou livest, the true life of all.

We blossom and flourish like leaves on a tree,

Then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.

 

Thou reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light.

Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight.

All praise we would render; O help us to see

‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth thee!

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

We are a people who claim to have wisdom

and yet fail to use our gifts in ways that are wise.

We are a people who claim to be understanding

and yet fail to discern God’s will for all.

Let us approach our wise and understanding God

as we confess our sin and failure with humility.

We say that we love your law, O God, and yet we fail to keep your commandments. 

We often hold back when we should speak up. 

We let others take responsibility for our own poor choices and decisions. 

We look for scapegoats and then send them out into the wilderness. 

We turn our backs on those in need and offer excuses for our lack of involvement. 

It is so much easier, O God to do our things rather than your things. 

Forgive us, Wise and Understanding God. 

Help us always to speak for those whose voices are silenced;

to offer assistance in any way that we can. 

Do not forsake us Loving God,

but care for us and direct us to be more like your Christ, in whose Name we pray. 

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

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

As we focus only on our own interests,

our lives are diminished.

But when the Spirit of Christ reigns in us,

life becomes fulfilling and purposeful.

We are God’s flock. We have known God’s care.

Our cups overflow.

As we experience the forgiveness God offers,

we will respond with faithful service and joyous praise.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

Some investments last for a few years.

Some investments are for our lifetime.

Some investments can be passed on to our children.

And some investments are for eternity, for they are invested in human souls.

(If you did not place your offering in the basket prior to being seated for worship, you are invited to place your offering there before you leave this morning.  You can also choose to mail it to Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303.  Your ongoing support of the church is deeply appreciated in these days.)

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

We consider it a privilege to invest our tithes and offerings

in a cause that will never fail.

We are investing in human beings,

who are both mortal body and eternal soul,

so we give in confidence that our investment will never be lost.

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

I Thessalonians 5: 1-11

5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.
5:2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
5:3 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
5:4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
5:5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
5:6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;
5:7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.
5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
5:9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
5:10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.
5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Matthew 25: 14-30

25:14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;
25:15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
25:16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.
25:17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.
25:18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
25:19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
25:20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more

talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’
25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
25:22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’
25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
25:24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed;
25:25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’
25:26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?
25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.
25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
25:30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING – Pastor George’s sermon can be heard during the live stream of the worship service.

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  “Soon and Very Soon”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the King.

 

No more crying there: we are going to see the King.

No more crying there: we are going to see the King.

No more crying there: we are going to see the King.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the King.

 

No more dying there: we are going to see the King.

No more dying there: we are going to see the King.

No more dying there: we are going to see the King.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the King.

 

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the King.

 

*COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Rekindle the gift of God that is within you¼

for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice,

but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

 

CHIME MEDITATION

(please be seated until dismissed by the usher)

POSTLUDE

 

The Altar Flowers are presented to the glory of God and in memory of Bob M. by Kitty.

Greeter, Bulletin Sponsorship & Flower Sponsorship Sign-Up Sheets for 2020 are on the wall in the narthex.  v(Bulletin Sponsorship is $15 per Sunday.  Please place your remittance designated for Bulletins in the offering basket.)v

During this virus crisis, the Office Manager will often be working from home.  Please call

the office before stopping by.

Coming Up Next Week:

November 15                   In-person Worship           Church                     9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                 Church                   10:00 a.m.

November 16                   Mens Breakfast                Apple Bin                8:00 a.m.

Consistory Mtg                Fellowship Hall         7:00 p.m.

November 18                   Bible Study                      Zoom                       6:30 p.m.

 

Looking Forward:

November 22                   In-person Worship           Church                     9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                 Church                   10:00 a.m.

November 23                   UACT Youth Cmte          Fellowship Hall       6:00 p.m.

November 25                   Bible Study                      Zoom                       6:30 p.m.

November 26                   Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Birthday to Betty B. who celebrates her 89th birthday on November 17th!

Cancellation of Worship:  Should indoor worship be cancelled due to Covid-19 or inclement weather, an email blast will be sent and a message placed on the church answering machine by 7:30 a.m.  The email will have an invitation to Zoom worship at 9:00 a.m.

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

In-Person Worship:  Based on the last two weeks’ attendance at worship, it has been determined that we will have only one service on Sundays at 9:00 a.m.  Thank you for adhering to social distancing and wearing masks!

The Ladies Breakfast Group:  A wonderful time was had by all at the breakfast this past Monday.  Thank you, ladies, for your generous support of the White Elephant Auction.  The auction raised $350.00 which the Breakfast Group is donating in support of the Audio Visual project.

 Homewood Auxiliary dues can be given to Angie V. Anyone interested in joining the Homewood Auxiliary, dues are $3/single or $5/couple.

 Homewood Christmas Gifts:  This year, Homewood is accepting for the residents signed Christmas cards along with UNWRAPPED, UNSCENTED, any brand body lotion and UNWRAPPED cube style tissue boxes.  Residents enjoy seasonal winter themed tissue boxes. Cards with blank envelopes and signed with name/church and a brief message are appreciated. Cards and lotion/tissues can be placed in boxes in Church until 12/6. Thank you for helping to brighten the Christmas season for the Homewood residents. Any questions, please contact Angie V.