Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter

If Ye Love Me, Keep my Commandments

CENTERING WORDS
Love me by keeping my commandments, Jesus says.  These are finally not two separate actions.  They are one and the same.  We love because we are loved.  We obey Christ because we are in Christ.  The love we are commanded to share is the love we are endlessly given.  “You in me, and I in you.”  The definition of love
~ Debie Thomas

Prelude “Clouds” – S. Conrady

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

WELCOME
MORNING PRAYER
Still-speaking God, we gather from our homes today for many reasons, each with our own story.  May these reasons and stories be immersed in your Sacred Story, finding ourselves caught up in the drama and beauty of Jesus’ teachings, life, and ministry. Through your Holy Spirit, enable us to move boldly into the future and to fulfill the hope of love that Jesus taught us.  Amen.

Hymn “Send Down Thy Truth, O God” #237

1 Send down your truth, O God;
Too long the shadows frown!
Too long the darkened way we’ve trod:
Your truth, O Lord, send down.

2 Send down your Spirit free,
Till wilderness and town
One temple for your worship be:
Your Spirit, O send down.

3 Send down your love, your life,
Our lesser lives to crown,
And cleanse them of their hate and strife:
Your living love send down.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Holy God, I confess that I am reluctant to let go of my fears and worries. I let my anxieties control my actions, instead of being led by your Spirit of Peace.  Forgive my stubbornness, and free us from whatever troubles my hearts.  Teach me to trust in you, that I may know the peace that you give.  -Amy Loving

A moment of silent reflection

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Jesus’ peace he gives us, he leaves with us, receive the peace and compassion of Jesus Christ, the one who is quick to heal, quick to forgive. By God’s grace you are forgiven. Thanks be to God.

MESSAGE
A Time for Children of all Ages

ANTHEM   “If Ye Love Me” — Malcolm Archer

Scripture Reading Gospel of John 14:15-21 (ESV)

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

Morning Reflection “You in me, and I in you”

THANKSGIVING
Sharing Our Joys and Concerns
Prayers 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!
OFFERTORY PRAYER
May these gifts, O God, become action and intention, fulfilling Christ’s commandment to love one another. Amen.

DEPARTURE
CLOSING PRAYER (unison)
May the love we share always be our greatest treasure.
May we know true peace echoing the Spirit of God within.
May our homes be places of welcome  and happiness.
May our faith lead us to seek truth and find God.
May we always nurture life, love, and compassion,
giving the best of ourselves, bringing forth the best in others.
For where true love and goodness abide, there is God. Amen.

Closing Hymn “We Sing the Mighty Power of God” #68

1. We sing the mighty power of God
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad
and built the lofty skies.
We sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command,
and all the stars obey.

2 We sing the goodness of the Lord
that filled the earth with food;
he formed the creatures with his word
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how your wonders are displayed,
where’er we turn our eyes,
if we survey the ground we tread
or gaze upon the skies.

Postlude “Clouds”  – S. Conrady

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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 at 7:30pm 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.

Office Hours: The office will be open Monday to Thursdays,  in order to refelct the demands on the church at this time. Hours are 8-11am, by appointment.

Census Reminder:  If you have not yet completed your Census report, fill out the census today and make sure Vermont receives a fair share of funding based on census data.  Go online to 2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020 to complete it.