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Palm/Passion Sunday Bulletin, April 2 2023

Palm/Passion Sunday

Veradale United Church of Christ

An Open & Affirming Congregation

Worshiping God in Christ – Welcoming All – Working for Justice & Peace

“No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”

Sunday, April 2, 2023 • 10:30 a.m.


10:20 Gathering and Prelude

Wayne Shull, Music Director

Charlie Salt, AV

Joe McSwain, AV and Usher

Jerry Brines, Usher

Dian Smith: Candle Lighter and Scripture Reader

Scotty Patton, Zoom Monitor

Rev. Gen Heywood, Pastor

10:30am Worship begins

God is with us . . all the time! All the time . . . God is with us!


(We gather on Zoom, Facebook, and in person. Those in the sanctuary, we will have a palm parade from the sanctuary out to the church sign and back. For those with us at a distance, find a branch (bay leaf branch if you have a tree), scarf, or other way to remember the crowd that cheered on Jesus.)


Pastor: Hosanna to the Son of David, the Sovereign of the World!

All: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!


Matthew 21:1-11 read by Diane Smith

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble and mounted on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


Pastor: God be with you.

All: And also with you.

Pastor: Let us give thanks to God Most High.

All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Pastor: Let us pray.

All: Beloved Jesus, today we remember that you entered Jerusalem in peace and dignity, heralding a week of pain and sorrow. Be with us now as we follow. Remind us again that you have sealed the closeness of death and resurrection, of humiliation and exaltation. We thank you for these branches that become for us reflections of the past and visions of the future. Bless them and us that their use this day may announce in our time that Christ has come, Christ is here, and Christ will come again. Amen! Come, Christ Jesus!


Pastor: Let us welcome the Christ!

All: Let us receive Christ with Praise!

Processional Hymns:

Our God is an Awesome God,

Who reigns from heaven above;

With wisdom,pow’r, and love.

Our God is an Awesome God.

Once we get to the front door we sing:

“Hosana, Loud Hosanna” 213 (NCH)

Hosanna, loud hosanna the little children sang; through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang, to Jesus, who had blessed them,close folded to his breast, the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

From Olivet they followed mid a cheering crowd, the victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud. The one whom angels worship rode on in lowly state, and glad to see the children slowed down the donkey’s gate.

"Hosanna in the highest!” That ancient song is ours, we hail the great Redeemer and sing with all our powers. “Hosanna, Christ, we praise you with heart and life and voice. Hosanna! In your presence forever we rejoice!


Call to Confession

One: Let us return to God.

Prayer of Confession

ALL: Holy One, we have travel through this season of Lent, opening up to your transforming love. We offer to you all that we have done and all that we have left undone. We return our life to your way of mercy and justice. We place before you the truth of ourselves. Set us free from our regrets. Let shame have no power over us. Help us begin anew. Help us to return to you. We ask following the way of Jesus. Amen

Silent Confessions with God

This is the last Sunday we bring rocks forward.


One: God longs for our return and holds nothing agains us.

All: We thank God with humble hearts.

Community Prayer

Led by Jan Young

Prayers of Gratitude

Prayers of Concern

Silent prayer

A version of The Lord’s Prayer from The New Zealand Prayer Book Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.

Solo Response: “Sing Amen” by Jan Young

Sing Amen. Amen, we praise your name, O, God

Sing Amen. Amen, we praise your name, O, God

Sing Amen. Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen,

we praise your name, O, God.

A Time of Offering

An Invitation to Share

Dedication Hymn: “Give Thanks”

CCLI license #11038266

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because God’s given Jesus Christ, the son. (Repeat) And now let the weak say, “I am strong!” Let the poor say, “ I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us!” (repeat)

Give thanks. Give thanks.

Dedication prayer

ALL: Holy One, you came to be among us to show us the way of life through compassion and justice and a heart open to the divine. Bless these offerings for the ministry of this congregation and to the needs of our neighbors at Spokane Valley Partners. May your vision of a just and compassionate world be known in us. Amen

Listening for God

Message to Young Hearts

Thinking about disappointments

Matthew 27:11-54

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?”14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Barabbas. 17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 So he released Barabbas for them, and after flogging Jesus he handed him over to be crucified.

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

38 Then two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’ ” 44 The rebels who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

Message: “Tortured for the Message”

Remembering through the sharing of Holy Communion

Choir: In an Upper Room

Sharing Holy Communion

Those at home have a little something to drink and eat.

Pastor: Friends in Christ, we gather at our many tables mindful of the presence of God’s Spirit that is here with us. We seek to honor the request of Jesus given in the scripture. Of all the teachings Jesus gave to our ancestors, this he asked them and us to remember him.

When Jesus and his friends sat together at a Passover meal, Jesus took bread; giving God thanks and praise, he broke the bread. He gave it to his friends saying, “Take this all of you and eat of it. This is my body that is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

After the meal had ended, Jesus poured out the cup and again he gave God thanks and praise. He gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of the new covenant. Do this as often as you drink of it in remembrance of me.”

Let us pray.

All: Come, Holy Spirit come. Bless this bread and this cup and all who have gathered in your Spirit. Help us to remember that you have dwelt among us. Help us to dwell in the world today as living temples of your presence. Bless us to remember your teachings, commandments, and example. May we be renewed in this sharing. Amen.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

All: We thank you, God, for your presence as we remember the Living Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you are among us still, in each of us, and in all of your creation. Bless us to more fully live as your people. Amen.



Our Light moves into the World God Loves

*Hymn: “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” sung three times

Sing hallelujah to the Lord.

Sing hallelujah to the Lord.

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah,

sing hallelujah to the Lord.

Benediction with Silent Prayer and Postlude

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