Sunday Worship Bulletin, Mar 26 2023
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!”
March 26, 2023• 10:30 a.m.
10:20 Gathering and Prelude
Wayne Shull, Music Director
Charlie Salt, AV
Joe McSwain, Usher and AV
Jerry Brines, Usher
Sue Ferrozzo, Candle Lighter
John Carroll, Scripture Reader
Scotty Patton, Zoom Monitor
Rev. Gen Heywood, Pastor
10:30am Worship begins
God inspires us. . . all the time!
All the time . . . God inspires us!
Call to Confession
One: Seek God; call upon God; God is here. Trusting in the compassion and mercy of God, we pray:
Prayer of Confession
From the Presbyterian Church USA
Forgive us, God, for the many ways that we fail to trust your promise.
Too often we count the trespasses of others, as though we were the ones to judge. Too often we fail to believe that your gifts are freely given. Too often we spend our money for that which is not bread, and our labor for that which does not satisfy. Help us, loving God. Forgive us when we operate out of scarcity and fear rather than out of your abundant, good gifts. Help us to live as your trusting, sharing, reconciling people.
Silent Confessions with God
Assurance of Pardon
(from 2 Corinthians 5)
One: Beloved in Christ: God was in Christ reconciling the world, not counting our wrongs against us, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, anyone in Christ is a new creation! The past is gone; everything has become fresh and new. Hear and believe the good news of the Gospel: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
All: Thanks be to God! Amen
*Welcoming the Light
Hymn: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” 472 (NCH)
Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light:
Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near. When my life is almost gone. Hear my cry, hear my call. Hold my hand lest I fall:
When the shadows appear and the night draws near, and the day is past and gone, at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand:
Spoken Prayers of gratitude
Spoken Prayers of concern
A Community Prayer from Louise Tajuddin’s New Zealand Prayer Book: Holy One, holy and eternal, awesome, exciting and delightful in your holiness; make us pure in heart to see you; make us merciful to receive your kindness and to share our love with all your human family; then will your name be hallowed on Earth as in Heaven.
Support us, Lord, all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done; then Lord, in your mercy, give us safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at last.
God our judge and our companion, we thank you for the good we did this day and for all that has given us joy. Everything we offer as our humble service. Bless those with whom we have worked, and those who are our concern.
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.
Response “Grace Alone” v1
CCLI license #11038266
Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith, every difference we can make is only by God’s grace. Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine, every blessing left behind is only by God’s grace. Grace alone which God supplies strength unknown God will provide; Christ in us, our Cornerstone, we will go forth in grace alone.
A Time of Offering
An Invitation to Share
Dedication Hymn: “Holy Ground”
CCLI license #11038266
We are standing on holy ground, and I know that there are angels all around. Let us praise Jesus now. We are standing in his presence on holy ground.
Give of light and love, pour out your Spirit on these offerings of our time, talent, and treasure. Multiply our giving that this little church may be an embassy of your realm of compassion and justice. We ask as we serve
Rite of Adult Baptism
Pastor: Michael James Weissenfels, do you desire to be baptized into the faith and family of Jesus Christ?
Michael: I do.
Pastor: Michael, As you stand here with your family and God parents, you stand in the loving presence of God. Surrounded in that love, do you renounce the powers of evil and desire the freedom of new life in Christ?
Michael: I do.
Pastor: Do you profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, accepting his teachings, example, and loving path to God as the practice for your life?
Michael: I do.
Pastor: Do you promise, by the grace of God, to be Christ’s disciple, to follow in the way of our Savior, to resist oppression and evil, to show love and justice, and to witness to the work and word of Jesus Christ as best you are able?
Michael: I promise, with the help of God.
Pastor: Do you promise, according to the grace given you, to grow in the Christian faith and to be a faithful member of the church of Jesus Christ, celebrating Christ’s presence and furthering Christ’s mission in all the world?
Michael: I promise, with the help of God.
All may be invited to stand as the congregation is asked to make promises.
Pastor: Jesus Christ calls us to make disciples of all nations and to offer them the gift of grace in baptism.
Do you, who witness and celebrate this sacrament, promise your love, support, and care to the one about to be baptized, as he lives and grows in Christ?
People of VUCC: We promise our love, support, and care.
Pastor: Let us unite with the church in all times and places in confessing our faith in the triune God.
Pastor: Do you believe in God?
People: I believe in God.
Pastor: Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
People: I believe in Jesus Christ.
Pastor: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
People: I believe in the Holy Spirit.
Prayer of Baptism
The congregation may be seated.
Pastor: Christ be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor Let us pray.
Pastor We thank you, God, for the gift of creation called forth by your saving Word. Before the world had shape and form…Glory to you, eternal God, the one who was, and is, and shall always be, world without end. Amen.
Act of Baptism
Prayer for the Baptized
Pastor We give you thanks, O Holy One, mother and father of all the faithful, for Michael and for the grace acknowledged here today in water and the Holy Spirit. Embrace us all as your children in the one household of your love. Grant us grace to receive, nurture, and befriend our new brother in Christ.
ALL: Give to Michael: strength for life’s journey, courage in time of suffering, the joy of faith, the freedom of love, and the hope of new life; through Jesus Christ, who makes us one. Amen.
Listening for God
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSVUE)
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you and will cause flesh to come upon you and cover you with skin and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded, and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from your graves, O my people, and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”
Message: Can these Bones Live?
Our Light moves into the World God Loves
* Closing Hymn: “Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” 286 (NCH)
Used with permission from Jim Manley
Refrain: Spirit, spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free, Spirit, spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.
You moved on the waters, you called to the deep, then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep; and over the eons you called to each thing; “Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.” Refrain:
You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand and you goaded your people with a law and a land; and when they were blinded with idols and lies, then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes. Refrain:
You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill, then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still; and down in the city you called once again, when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind. Refrain:
You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes. From the bondage of sorrow all the captives dream dreams; our women see visions, our men clear their eyes. With bold new decisions your people arise. Refrain:
Benediction with Silent Reflection