Sacred Worship for the UPC Community

May 24, 2020

Ascension of the Lord 


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.

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” –Brené Brown

Prelude | Theme from Finlandia | by Jean Sibelius | Amy Isted


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          

To see the life that teems around us,
To give thanks for the gift we have received;
To notice the beauty and promise of spring,
To breathe deeply of the season;
To accept the gift of love, and to love in return:
This is to worship God.


Hymn 775 | I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

1 I want Jesus to walk with me;
I want Jesus to walk with me;
all along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

2 In my trials, Lord, walk with me;
in my trials, Lord, walk with me;
when my heart is almost breaking,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

3 When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when my head is bowed in sorrow,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

Scripture Reading | Acts 1:1-11

Unison Prayer

Almighty God,

We come today reminded of your greatness and glory, your power and eternal purpose all    expressed so wonderfully in Jesus Christ, risen and ascended.

We thank you for the wonder of Ascension, that marvelous yet mysterious moment in the life of the Apostles which left them gazing heavenwards in confusion yet departing in joy.

We thank you for the way that it brought the earthly ministry of Jesus to a fitting conclusion; no longer bound to a particular place or time, but with us always as Lord of all.

Forgive the smallness of our vision, the narrowness of our outlook, the weakness of our love, the nervousness of our witness.

Give us a deeper sense of wonder, a stronger faith, and a greater understanding of the fullness of your revelation in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Children’s Message | Sara Staton

Special Music | When Peace Like a River | UPC Choir
Soprano: Johanna Spencer, Kristen Schuttpelz, Sharon Isted, 
  Martha Wells
Alto: Judy Waggle, Sheri Rogers, Dody Hansen, Amy Isted
Tenor: Nadia Ilyin, Rich Isted
Bass: David Mote, Mike Rogers
Flute: Jeanne Tindall

Photograph: Anna Davidson

Sermon | We Are Living in Quicksand  | Brandon Lewis

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Lord of life, 
We do not know the face of the future any more than your disciples did. Yet you have been raised in glory that we might rise with dignity. You live in power that we might live in peace. 
You are present everywhere that we might be fully present in our own and in each other’s lives. 


We praise you and celebrate you as God among us. We receive your invitation to live God’s dream, but we live in a world where dreams and hearts are broken daily. We live in a world where death, brokenness, and need appear to be everywhere. And so, as you call us, we pray: Come, Jesus, and set the world right.


As we celebrate Memorial Day, we thank you for our country, and for those who have and still serve it with commitment and honor. Make this country a blessing to the world and not just unto ourselves. Give us a mindset that looks beyond ourselves and which seeks for hope, wholeness, and justice to abound.


We pray for the power to be gentle, the strength to be forgiving, the patience to be understanding, and the endurance to accept the costs of holding to what we believe in your light. May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. May we strengthen the weak, support the oppressed, and help the suffering as we love and honor all people as God’s beloved.


We live and love and pray in the Spirit of Christ, 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 741 | Guide My Feet

1 Guide my feet while I run this race;
guide my feet while I run this race;
guide my feet while I run this race,
for I don’t want to run this race in vain!

2 Hold my hand . . .

3 Stand by me . . .

4 I’m your child . . .

5 Search my heart . . .

6 Guide my feet . . .

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 abou
The peace of Christ be with you…


Now go forth in peace and hope,
upheld by God in every way.
Go forth in faithfulness and trust,
that all may see the Spirit in and through you.
For wherever you are, you are in Christ,
and Christ is in you.

Postlude | In Honor and Memoriam | Dykes/Ward/Kirkelie | Nancy Kirkelie

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 |