Sunday, April 26, 2020

Third Sunday of Easter

CENTERING WORDS
Today’s good news challenges us to keep our faith even when we have lost our hope. . . . No matter what road we are on, Christ is walking beside us.
~ Joseph W. Houle

Prelude “A Closer Walk” – S. Conrady, arr.

PREPARATION
Light a candle. Pause and breathe in the Spirit of God. Keep a moment of silence.

WELCOME
MORNING PRAYER
We are older today than we were yesterday. And some of us are wiser. And some of us are more cynical. And some of us have caught the Spirit. And others missed the ball. Anoint our minutes and our hours, Precious One. Make everyone grand and, if not grand, full of your presence and warmth. Let us “waste” time in the best sense of the word, in the sense that we treasure its peace and joy. Be with us where we journey. Amen.
~ Donna E. Schaper, Prayers for Lent Easter and Pentecost

Hymn “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

1. Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in christian Love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.

2. We share each other’s woes
each others burdens’ bear,
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

3. When we are called to part
it gives us inward pain,
but we shall still be joined in heart
and hope to meet again.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Merciful God, forgive us; our vision is limited, our faith is shallow and or hope is little. Return our vision to what you see, a new heaven and new earth. Give us faith, to risk a dangerous hope and to model the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Amen.

A moment of silent reflection

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Beloved of God, God hears our confessions with an ever merciful and loving heart, and then forgives us over and over. Thanks be to God.

MESSAGE
A Time for Children of all Ages

Scripture Reading Gospel of Luke 24:13-35

On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.

18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.

22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
27 
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Morning Reflection “The Road to Emmaus”

Hymn “Abide With Me”

1. Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me

2. I need thy presence every passing hour
What but they grace can foil the tempters power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
I triumph still if thou abide with me.

THANKSGIVING
Sharing Our Joys and Concerns
Prayer of the People
Lord’s Prayer (trespasses)
Offering
Your gifts to St. Albans Congregational Church matter now more than ever! We encourage people to continue to make an offering by mailing to the church. Your generosity in this time makes a big difference!
Offering Prayer
Christ is risen indeed and walks with us still. May all that we do be in response to new life. As you accept who we are, O God, receive what we offer, and open our eyes and our hearts to your will. Extend your grace through us so that others might hear of the love you bring. Amen.

DEPARTURE
CLOSING PRAYER
Glorious God remind us that your love is to be carried throughout the world.
Press us to share the hope and joy of your love, so that someone who hungers for spiritual food may be filled by our witness to your grace.
Shine the light of your Spirit through us, so that we may show your Way to those who long for justice, to those in who hope has died, and to those who seek the peace of Christ. Amen.

Closing Hymn “Thine Is the Glory”

1. Thine is the Glory, risen, conquering son;
Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death has won.
Angels in bright raiment, rolled the stone away
Kept the folded grave-clothes, where thy body lay.
Refrain: Thine is the Glory, risen, conquering song; Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death has won.

2. No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life!
Life is nought without thee; aid us in our strife.
Make us more than conquerors Through thy deathless love
bring us safe through Jordan, to they home above. Refrain

Postlude “Walking Closely” – S. Conrady, arr.

*****

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Let us know if you or others you know are currently in self-quarantine, sick, or feeling isolated, and would appreciate being contacted.  Please contact Pastor Gary (awlofvt@hotmail.com / 802-345-7954 cell).

In an effort to keep in touch with our membership the church sends out bulletins and announcements. If you know someone who would like to be added to this email list, please reply to the church (First_Congregational_Church@yahoo.com) with the person or family’s email address or contact information.

Vespers Service: Join us on the church’s Facebook page Wednesday nights from 7:30 – 8:00 pm for our Vespers Service.

Mission and Donations: As many of us are not shopping weekly and stores are not fully stocked, we hope that when you send in your donations, you could include a portion for our mission work. Each month the church will take a percentage of its monetary donations to share with a local non-profit instead of our normal in-person collections on Communion Sundays. Thank you for your generosity and my God bless you and your family.