~ SERVICE OF THE WORD ~

March 14, 2021

Fourth Sunday In Lent

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Thank you God that just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, you lifted up Jesus on Calvary's cross for my sin. I pray that all would come to the salvation that is open to whosoever believes in Jesus' name. Amen.

(tap on the video to watch the service)

 

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PRELUDE MUSIC

GREETING & ANNOUNCEMENTS

SOLEMN DECLARATION & CALL TO WORSHIP

Pastor: Come, chose people of faith, to receive God’s provisions! 

People: We come awaiting God’s goodness. 

Pastor: Come, chosen people of faith, to seek solace for our sorrow! 

People: We come, formed by God’s refreshing and un-conditional love.

Pastor: Come, chosen people of faith, to declare praise to our God! 

People: We come, to worship the God who is doing a new thing in this world.

Permission is granted to print this page for local church use. ©2013 Abingdon Press

 

GATHERING HYMN  

“What Wondrous Love Is This"

 

What wondrous love is this, O my soul! O my soul!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this! That Christ should come in bliss

To bear the heavy cross for my soul, for my soul,

To bear the heavy cross for my soul!

 

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing,

To God and to the Lamb I will sing;

To God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM,

While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;

While millions join the theme, I will sing!

 

CALL TO CONFESSION

 

UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Gracious God, we are tired of our own grumbling. Though we run around like errant children, we ling to return to your warm embrace. Though we act as if the odds are stacked against us, we yearn to rest in the knowledge that your steadfast love endures forever. Though we crouch in the shadows, we long to feel the warmth of your love shining upon us each day. Lead us from death into life, that we might live as children of light, and serve one another as heirs of your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Scifres, Mary. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2021 (p. 69). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition

ASSURANCE OF GOD’S FORGIVENESS

 

SHARING OF GOD’S PEACE

     Pastor: God’s peace is yours!

     People: And yours also!

(please safely share God’s peace with those around you)

ACT OF PRAISE

     Pastor: Let us praise the Lord!

     People: The Lord’s name be praised!

     Response: “Glory Be To The Father”  

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

World without end! Amen. Amen.

NEW TESTAMENT READING

Ephesians 2:1-10

From Death to Life

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our  way of life.

 

GOSPEL READING

John 3: 1-21

Nicodemus Visits Jesus

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

 

TEACHING TIME FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS

 

HYMN

“God Loved The World”

 

God loved the world, and loving gave

A wondrous give, the world to save,

That all who would in Christ believe

Should everlasting life receive.

 

Christ Jesus is the ground of faith,

Who was made flesh and suffered death;

All who confide in Christ alone

Are built on this chief cornerstone.

 

Be of good cheer, for God in Christ

Forgives the flock, by sin enticed,

And justified by Jesus’ blood,

Your baptism grants the highest good.

 

TEACHING TIME

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

“A New Creed” 

    We are not alone, we live in God’s world.

    We believe in God:

       who has created and is creating,

       who has come in Jesus,

           the Word made flesh,

           to reconcile and make new,

       who works in us and others by the Spirit.

    We trust in God.

    We are called to be the Church:

        to celebrate God’s presence,

        to live with respect in Creation,

        to love and serve others, 

        to seek justice and resist evil,

        to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen          

            our judge and our hope.

    In life, in death, in life beyond death,

        God is with us.

        We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

                                                              United Church of Canada, 1980

 

HANDBELL ANTHEM

“Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior”

arr. Cathy Moklebust

 

MORNING PRAYERS & LORD’S PRAYER

     Pastor: Let us turn our hearts to God in our morning prayers…the Lord be with you.

     People: And with you also.

     Pastor: Let us pray…

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. 

OFFERING

     Invitation

     Response: “Doxology”                                        

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Praise Him, all creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heav’nly host.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.

     Prayer Of Dedication

 

PARTING HYMN

“When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

 

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride

 

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most

I sacrifice them to his blood.

 

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

Were the whole realm of nature mine, 

That were a tribute far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demand my soul, my life, my all!

COMMISSION & BENEDICTION

     Response: “Amen, Amen, Amen”

 

CHIMES & POSTLUDE MUSIC

Permission to reproduce / podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

License #A​ - 737625.​ All rights reserved.

 

  ~ UPCOMING SERVICES & MEETINGS ~

Today, March 14

10:15AM – Joyful Ringers

 

Wednesday, March 17

7:00PM – Mid-Week Lenten Service @ St. Marks UCC

In-person or livestream via link on our webpage & Facebook

Saturday, March 20

9:00AM – Men's Fellowship Breakfast

Sunday, March 21

9:00AM – Worship Service & Congregational Meeting

In-person or videocast via link on our webpage & Facebook

 

Wednesday, March 24

7:00PM – Mid-Week Lenten Service @ St. Marks UCC

In-person or livestream via link on our webpage & Facebook

 

Palm Sunday, March 28

9:00AM – Worship Service

In-person or videocast via link on our webpage & Facebook

10:15AM – Joyful Ringers

~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~

There will be a special congregational meeting on Sunday, March 21 immediately following the 9:00AM worship service.

 

You are invited to worship with St. Mark's UCC each Wednesday evening. In-person services will be held at 7:00PM and will be livestreamed for those who prefer to worship from home.

 

Anyone who would is participating in the "40 Days of Lent" food collection is reminded that all items should be brought to the church on Easter Sunday to be dedicated and sent to the Food Pantry.

 

Because of the success of our Fall clothing giveaway, the Mission Team is planning a Spring/Summer clothing giveaway following Easter. Anyone wishing to donate clothing or volunteer should contact the church office.  

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