Tag Archives: May 2020

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

*****

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.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Picture1

CENTERING WORDS
Prayer in Many Voices for Mother’s Day
~ Rochelle A. Stackhouse

Prelude “Morning Has Broken” – S. Conrady, arr.

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

WELCOME
MORNING PRAYER
This is the day that the Lord has made.
We come eagerly, with high expectations, to wrestle with scripture and its’ implications.
This is the day that Love has made.
We come seeking what is genuine, lasting, and helpful, putting away insincerity, malice, and guile.
This is a day like no other!
God is our strength and redeemer, leading us and guiding us day by day.
Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our faith, invites us now to be part of God’s spiritual household. Amen.

Hymn “As The Sun Does Daily Rise”

1. As the sun does daily rise,
Bright’ning all the morning skies,
So to Thee with one accord
Lift we up our hearts, O Lord!

2. Quickened by the Spirit’s grace
All Thy holy will to trace
While we daily search Thy Word,
Wisdom true impart, O Lord!

3. Praise we, with the heavn’ly host,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
Thee would we with one accord
Praise and magnify, O Lord!

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Merciful God, your thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are your ways our ways. And yet we long to live in your way. So God of life, grant us your forgiveness: for our careless thoughts, for our thoughtless deeds, for our empty speech and the words with which we wounded.
Grant us your forgiveness: for our false desires, for our hateful actions, for our wastefulness and for all we left untended.
In you we place our hope, our great hope, our living hope, this day and evermore. Amen

A moment of silent reflection

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
In our brokenness God is ever near. In our time of need, God’s love surrounds us. God knows our brokenness, and God is here to bring healing and wholeness. We must simply be open to receive it.
Sisters in brothers, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and by the Holy Spirit we are nurtured to wholeness.  Thanks be to God.

MESSAGE
A Time for Children of all Ages

Scripture Reading Gospel of John 14:1-14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Morning Reflection “The Way”

Hymn “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”

1. My faith looks up to thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine:
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day
Be wholly thine.

2. May thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire;
As thou hast died for me,
O may my love to thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire.

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
God of life, in raising Jesus from the dead, you triumphed over the power of the grave and opened the way to your reign of life. You have called us to bear witness to your good news. Let the gifts we dedicate, and the lives we lead, proclaim the glory of the risen Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

DEPARTURE
CLOSING PRAYER
Gracious God, we thank you for your love and your grace so abundant, so overflowing, that you receive us in spite of our fear and our timid lives of faith.
As you encouraged the first Christians to witness in the face of all risks, encourage us to follow your call rather than to cower before the powerful. Grant us peace in the midst of the challenge; and fill us with your Holy Spirit, through the risen Christ. Amen.
(Ruth C. Duck, from Touch of Holiness, Resources for Worship. ed. by Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi)

Closing Hymn “Be Thou My Vision”

1. Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

2. Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

3. High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heav’n’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Postlude “Benedictus” from Karol’s Carols – S. Conrady

*****

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.