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 19, 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
Naomi Hanvey, Scripture Reader
Joe McSwain, Candle Lighter
Scotty Patton, Zoom Monitor
Rev. Gen Heywood, Pastor
10:30am Worship begins
God is our light. . . all the time!
All the time . . . God is our light!
Call to Confession
One: Gracious God, oil the hinges of our hearts’ doors that they may swing gently and easily to welcome your forgiving and healing Spirit. Hear us as we open our hearts, minds, and souls to you:
Prayer of Confession
All: Almighty and everlasting God, always more ready to hear than we are to pray, always willing to give more that we either desire or deserve; pour upon us the abundance of your mercy; forgiving those things of which our conscience is afraid, and releasing us to new life. Return us to journey in the way of Jesus. Amen
From the New Century Hymnal
Silent Confessions with God
Assurance of Pardon
Pastor: There is no valley too dark nor mountain too high for the healing love of God. We are forgiving. Return to the journey with Christ!
All: Thanks be to God. Amen!
*Welcoming the Light
Hymn: “There is a Balm in Gilead” verses 1 and 3 of 553 (NCH)
Rocks symbolizing burdens are brought forward
Refrain: There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole, there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work's in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. Refrain
If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus who died to save us all. Refrain
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 with our church and with One Great Hour of Sharing
Sharing Stories about the experiences of Bigotry
Movie that includes Mike’s daughter
Cherall Anne St. James
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
Listening for God
Message with Young Hearts
What does truth look like?
Ephesians 5:8-14. New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
8 for once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Walk as children of light, 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness; rather, expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly, 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Remember the Gospel of John was written around the year 90 after the destruction of the Temple which was in the year 70 of our common era. The people of the Way were followers of the way of Jesus. They believed that they were meant to reform their faith. When they were thrown out of the synagogue, they were angry. They were Christian Jews. When the writer speaks of “the Jews” in this gospel it is out of the hurt that the reform they thought they were bringing did not happen.
John :1-41 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
9 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
Message: All that is Good and Right and True
Our Light moves into the World God Loves
*Hymn: I’ll trust in the Lord 416 (NCH)
I will trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord, ‘til I die. I will trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord ‘til I die.
I’m gonna treat everybody right. I’m gonna treat everybody right. I’m gonna treat everybody right ‘til I die. I’m gonna treat everybody right. I’m gonna treat everybody right. I’m gonna treat everybody right ‘til I die.
Benediction with Silent Reflection