~ SERVICE OF THE WORD ~

March 21, 2021

Fifth Sunday In Lent

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Lord Jesus, you taught your disciples that 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. As we prepare our hearts to remember your death and resurrection, grant us the strength and wisdom to serve and follow you, this day and always. Amen.

(tap on the video to watch the service)

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PRELUDE MUSIC

GREETING & ANNOUNCEMENTS

SOLEMN DECLARATION & CALL TO WORSHIP

Pastor: Have mercy on your people, O God. 

People: Wash us. Cleanse us. Make us more perfect in your love. 

Pastor: Open the skies and pour down your grace upon your people. 

People: Open our heart to hear your voice.

Pastor: Let the thunder of your presence awaken us! 

People: Have mercy on your people, O God.

Pastor: Restore within us the joy of your salvation. 

People: Draw us nearer to Jesus, our Christ!

Scifres, Mary. The Abington Worship Annual 2021 (p.73). Abington Press. Kindle Edition

 

GATHERING HYMN  

“Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant?”

 

Won’t you let me be your servant,

Let me be as Christ to you?

Pray that I may have the grace to

Let you be my servant, too.

 

We are pilgrims on a journey,

We are travelers on the road;

We are here to help each other

Go the mile and bear the load.

 

I will hold the Christ-light for you

In the shadow of your fear;

I will hold my hand out to you,

Speak the peace you long to hear.

 

I will weep when you are weeping;

When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.

I will share your joy and sorrow

Till we’ve seen this journey through.

 

When we sing to God in heaven,

We shall find such harmony,

Born of all we’ve known together

Of Christ’s love and agony.

 

Won’t you let me be your servant,

Let me be as Christ to you?

Pray that I may have the grace to

Let you be my servant, too.

SERVANT SONG

Richard Gillard / arr. Betty Carr Pulkingham, 1977

 

CALL TO CONFESSION

 

UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of steadfast love and mercy, we have shielded our eyes from the evil and injustice in the world. We have turned away from your forgiveness and your compassion, and from your wisdom and your guidance. We have allowed our voices to be silent. Cleanse us. Purify us. Remind us that we still have much to learn, and that you continue to teach us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that our faith in you might be renewed. In humble confidence, 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.

OLD TESTAMENT READING

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

A New Covenant

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. 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. 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. 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.

 

GOSPEL READING

John 12: 20-33

Jesus Speaks About Life & Death

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

 

“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. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

 

TEACHING TIME FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS

 

HYMN  

“Creator God, Creating Still” 

 

Creator God, creating still, 

By will and word and deed,

Create a new humanity 

To meet the present need.

 

Redeemer God, redeeming still, 

With overflowing grace,

Pour out your love on us, through us,

Make this a holy place.

 

Sustainer God, sustaining still,

With strength for every day,

Empow’r us now to do your will.

Correct us when we stray.

 

Great Triune God, for this new day

We need your presence still,

Create, redeem, sustain us now 

To do your work and will. 

ST. ANNE

Jane Parker Huber, 1977 / William Croft, 1708

 

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

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

“Called As Partners In Christ’s Service”

 

Called as partners in Christ’s service,

Called to ministries of grace.

We respond with deep commitment

Fresh new lines of faith to trace.

May we learn the art of sharing, 

Side by side and friend with friend,

Equal partners in our caring to fulfill Christ’s chosen end.

 

Christ’s example, Christ’s inspiring,

Christ’s clear call to work and worth,

Let us follow, never faltering,

Reconciling folk on earth.

Men and women, richer, poorer, 

all God’s people, young and old.

Blending human skills together gracious gifts from God unfold.

 

So God grant us for tomorrow

Ways to order human life

That surround each person’s sorrow

With a calm that conquers strife.

Make us partners in our living,

Our compassion to increase,

Messengers of faith, thus giving hope & confidence & peace.

BEECHER

Jane Parker Huber, 1981 / John Zundel, 1855

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 21

Congregational Meeting

 

Wednesday, March 24

7:00PM – Mid-Week Lenten Service @ St. Mark's UCC

 

Palm Sunday, March 28

9:00AM – Worship Service & Distribution of Palms

10:15AM – Joyful Ringers

Maundy Thursday, April 01

6:00PM – Tenebrae & Holy Communion

 

Good Friday, April 02

7:30PM – Service @ St. Mark's

Easter Sunday, April 04

9:00AM – Worship Service & Holy Communion

~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~

 

You are invited to worship with St. Mark's UCC on Good Friday, April 02. The in-person service will be held at 7:30PM 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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