Third Sunday of Easter
For all who lose sight of hope, adjust our perspective, catch our eye, and
touch us, Risen Savior, with your surprising presence.
WELCOME and CALL TO WORSHIP God of the morning is with us as we gather with songs of praise.
Here we find respite from a busy, frenetic world. We gather in this place finding the peace that God offers.
We are more at home within ourselves
when we find our rest in Christ. We are witnesses to God's glory, steadfast love, and faithfulness.
We see the beauty of creation and sing praises of joy! We abide in God's love and keep God's commandments.
Today, we awaken to the call,
and show up fully to love one another. Come, let us worship.
OPENING HYMN We're Children of God
Sung to No. 41 By Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Used with Permission
(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
We're children of God; we're welcomed and claimed.
We're given new birth, renewed and renamed. The world may not know yet to whom we belong, but we are God's children and love is our song.
We're children of God, who takes away sin.
In Christ we abide; our life is in him.
We offer forgiveness, seek justice and peace, and reach out to others, that love may increase.
We're children of God and so our delight
is living the life that's good in God's sight. One day we'll be like him, transformed from above
to sing for eternity God's song of love.
CALL TO PRAYERS
If our actions mirrored our words, if our hands were mentored by our hearts, if we walked the talk - we would be God's children. But too often, it is our silence, our doubts, our fears which tell others who we truly are. In humility and in faith, let us offer our prayers of approach and confession to God. Let us pray:
PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION
God of light and life, we gather as witnesses to your abundant love. We are amazed to discover you anew through our prayers, our praise, and our offerings.
You encourage us amidst our daily living to become stewards of your love and grace. We ask you to be here with us as we witness your love made real through Jesus the Christ. Creator of all that is, we get caught in the flow of hectic pace and too quickly give up opportunities to be still and know you.
Forgive us when we forget to pray. Forgive us when we are so enthralled by devices and gadgets that we forget to look up and take notice of our neighbors, of the needs of others. Forgive us when we become hyper-vigilant in getting what we want, but forget to attend with care to the humanity in our fellow companions. Forgive us when we are so saturated by the news that we shut down completely, forgetting that we are called to be your servants, your witnesses here and now. Wake us up to the work of love at hand. Forgive us when we falter. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US
God knows our hearts. When we gather and ask for forgiveness, God forgives. Friends, be at peace; your sins are forgiven.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST Jesus stood among his disciples and proclaimed, "Peace be with you." As disciples of Christ, let us greet one another with these same words. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Risen Christ, you opened the scriptures to your disciples and made their hearts burn within them. Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts, so we might recognize you once again in these words of scripture, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
1 John 3:1-7
Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
from A Brief Statement of Faith
We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel. Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world. God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Lord in your mercy/in thanksgiving,
Hear our prayer.
OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING Invitation Beloved family in Christ, we should be called children of God because of God's love for us which is as creative as a mother and generous as a father. Let us offer our gifts in order to care for God's family in this church and throughout the world.
Thank you for sending your offerings. They make a great difference to our church's work in the world.
Prayer of Dedications We are here to offer a portion from our abundance - our time, our energy, our resources. May we begin with gratitude, giving thanks to God who is steadfast in love and faithfulness.
God, we give you our thanks for all that we have and all we are. May the tithes, gifts, and offerings we bring be of healing service to our hurting world. May our collective offering be an expression of love and healing through the risen Christ.
We Are Sent
CLOSING HYMN Lead Me, Guide Me
No. 740 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
Please refer to the worship bulletin here to read and see the music during this section.