Sacred Worship for the UPC Community

May 17, 2020

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

Welcome to Virtual Worship for the community of United Presbyterian Church.
From our various spaces, on our various devices, we enter sacred time.
God meets us here—in our living rooms and at our tables, in our beds with coffee,
on our porches and in our yards, in our fear, anxiety, and loneliness.
Be here in this sacred moment. God is with you. God is with us.

May this homebound worship of saints be blessed, be nourishing, be comforting, be church.

The beach on the Sea of Galilee where the risen Jesus ate breakfast with his disciples.

 

“We’re only here for a minute. We’re here for a little window. And to use that time to catch and share shards of light and laughter and grace seems to me the great story…” ~Brian Doyle

 

Prelude | The King of Love My Shepherd Is/Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us | arr. Courtney/McDonald/Kirkelie | Nancy Kirkelie 

 

Allow the prelude to help you pause and be still; to breathe slowly and re-center your scattered senses upon the presence of God. Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s resurrection light.

Invitation to Worship (inspired by John 20 and 21)           

We worship today because the weeping Mary of Magdala once said:

“I have seen the Lord!”

We worship because Jesus still comes into our locked spaces and says:

“Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit.”

We worship like doubting Thomas who finally cried:

“My Lord and my God.”

We are here this morning because of Jesus, who asks us face-to-face:

“Do you truly love me?”

We gather here to whisper timidly:

“Yes, Lord, you know that we love you.”

We gather to worship because many faithful disciples have listened to Jesus’ words:

“Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid!
 

Song | Lead Me, Guide Me 

[Chorus]
Lead me, guide me, along the way,
for if you lead me, I cannot stray.
Lord, let me walk each day with thee.
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

I am weak and I need your strength and power
to help me over my weakest hour.
Help me through the darkness your face to see.
Lead me, O Lord, lead me. (Chorus)

Scripture Reading | John 21:1-19

Unison Prayer

God, empty tombs and resurrection—for some it is easy to believe, for others it is just foolish, but for most we wonder what might be possible. If love is the greatest power in the universe, we wonder what might be possible. If love chooses to carry on loving even those who try and kill it, what might be possible. If love decides to give of itself for the sake of others, what might be possible.

So in our wonder and our longing for such a love as this that changes things, may we dare to believe in what seems impossible and dare to live impossible lives that hope beyond death, but believe in life before death.

May we live this kind of love that dares to work for justice and the fullness of life for everyone because we believe in love, which has become the most powerful thing in the universe because it gives of itself.

God, may we make time this season of renewal and life to wonder what love might make possible in us. Amen.

 

 Children’s Message | Sara Staton

Special Music | Lift High the Cross | UPC Choir

Sermon | Breakfast Is Ready | Brandon Lewis

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Gracious God, as we give witness to the eternal love of Jesus Christ, remind us that we are responsible for caring for each other. We are called to lift up rather than tear down; to support rather than abandon, to reach out when others have turned away. Give us hearts of love that, in all places and times, we may be a witness to the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.

Seeking peace in a broken world, 
but also knowing God’s peace through God’s presence,
we pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Seeking peace in suffering, illness, and pain,
but also feeling God’s peace through healing, prayer, and those who help,
we pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Seeking peace through our distress, depression, isolation, and fear,
but also feeling God’s peace through the words of loved ones and the hope we see in the
world, we pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Seeking peace through the pain of worshipping separately,
longing for our holy community to be gathering,
but also feeling peace through God’s presence with each of us as we worship together distantly, we pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
 
Help, save, comfort, and defend us, loving Lord.
We need you now, as we have needed you every day.
We cannot live without you.
 

We pray as Jesus taught us, saying

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.

 

Hymn | Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore

1 Lord, you have come to the lakeshore
looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones;
you only asked me to follow humbly.

[Chorus]
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me,
and while smiling have spoken my name;
now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me.
By your side I will seek other seas.

2 You know so well my possessions;
my boat carries no gold and no weapons;
you will find there my nets and labor. (Chorus)

3 You need my hands, full of caring,
through my labors to give others rest
and constant love that keeps on loving. (Chorus)

4 You, who have fished other oceans,
ever longed for by souls who are waiting,
my loving friend, as thus you call me. (Chorus)

Passing of the Peace

We cannot be physically close to one another in this time, but we can be relationally close. You are invited to offer the peace to those you are with or receive it on your own, and take a moment to text or call people and let them know you are thinking about them.
The peace of Christ be with you…
 

 Blessing (From a Celtic prayer)

May God bless the world in which you move,
   and bless your home and bless your friends.
May God bless the eyes with which you see,
   and bless the ears with which you listen.
May God bless the way you use your hands,
   bless the way you employ your tongues. 
The grace and peace of Christ be yours today and always.
Amen.
 
Postlude | Pastorale in F | by J. S. Bach | Amy Isted

Change the Light

As a reminder that the light of Christ goes with us wherever we go, we extinguish the candle and allow the smoke to billow as a reminder of Christ’s abiding presence.
 

Godly Play Story | Sara Staton

Offering Our Gifts to God

Even though we are not able to pass the offering plate on Sunday mornings, your generosity will continue to be important to United Presbyterian Church. We will continue to pay staff, keep our facilities running, and try our best to creatively live out our ministry and mission. It is important to note that we have halted any spending that isn’t critical to the next month of operation, and we are continuing to be good stewards of our money as we expect an interruption to normal weekly giving. Please, as you are able, continue to give—either online or you may mail a check to the church (330 5th Ave SW, Albany OR 97321).
 
Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from
One License with license #A-723817 and from CCLI with license #3163060.
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All rights Reserved.
330 5th Ave. SW, Albany, OR 97321
Tel: (541) 926-5551 | church.unitedpres@gmail.com