Sunday July 05, 2020
Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
Welcome to First Congregational, United Church of Christ in Charlevoix’s online worship experience. Though we are separated physically for one another’s physical health, we still join together to worship God, be inspired, and care for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
You are invited to find a comfortable place in your house and set aside a time for worship and prayer. This could be your usual Sunday morning time, or at sunset. Light a candle if you wish, or get a cup of tea.
Take your time as you read, listen, watch, sing, pray, and share in this worship of God. Whether you worshiping on Sunday morning or whenever you have time, we are glad you are a part of our community.
As always, we want your feedback on how we can worship better with you in this time of physical distancing. Feel free to give feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org Ok, let us begin!
Dear Congregation of First Congregational Church:
My husband Peter and I are in town for a few weeks and we love to walk past the church where we were married in 1987. Even better would be able to go inside it! I am active in my church at home in northern Virginia and I know how hard it is to stay away from the pews of our beloved spiritual homes. The suffering of so many during these dark times has inspired me to sing spirituals, which so beautifully express the longing for strength, safety, and reunion with loved ones. When I sing Margaret Bonds’ arrangement of He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, I am thinking of the day when we will all be able to embrace each other again. I also Someday I hope to sing live for you again. Until then, I hope you enjoy! – Nancy MacArthur Smith
Introit by Shelley Fisher
Call To Worship by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell
“Come to me, all you that are weary,
and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.”
Come, let us worship God,
And may we find rest and renewal
In Christ Jesus our Lord.
Opening Hymn- “There’s A Balm in Gilead”
Prayer of the Day by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
How small we are, in the vastness of the universe You created! Yet You created us in Your image, gave us hearts to love, minds to understand, bodies to live and explore. You fill us with Your Spirit in every breath we take. We cannot begin to understand You, and yet we continue to grasp at straws. Draw us into the deeper way of life You intend for us, a life of wisdom, insight, knowledge, and exploration. A life that pursues justice, practices mercy, and lives in humility, knowing we can never fully understand or know You, yet You are with us and know us. We give You thanks and praise, our quiet questions and musings, and lift them all to You, O God. Amen.
[Jesus said] “To what will I compare this generation? It is like a child sitting in the marketplaces calling out to others, ‘We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song and you didn’t mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ Yet the Human One came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved to be right by her works.”
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have shown them to babies. Indeed, Father, this brings you happiness.
“My Father has handed all things over to me. No one knows the Son except the Father. And nobody knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wants to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”
No sermon notes are available for this Sunday
Hymn of Reflection “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
The treasure of God’s glory is Jesus, shining in our hearts.
We hold this treasure in the earthen vessels of our lives.
Let us share freely of the gifts we have been given,
that the glory of God may be known
in the works of community, justice and peace.
You can mail your donations into the church, and you can also give online by clicking here:
People: Out loud, but muted
Take and receive these gifts dear God,
bless and multiply them
that they may show the world your glory,
shining through our lives.
Prayer of Intercession (inspired by Psalm 145) by Thomas Turner
Closing Hymn- “Finlandia”
All are welcome to join us via zoom for our prayer time and communion at 11 am EST on Sunday, June 6, 2020. Please provide your own bread and wine. Take a picture of your communion setting and email it to email@example.com
If you are not able to join us for communion, Please accept this Blessing and Postlude.
Otherwise, continue on with our worship below.
Go forth, knowing God has always loved you, loves you now, and will always love you.
No matter what.
Invitation to the Table
Nothing can separate us from the Love of God. Not even this time of physical distancing.
Prayer of Confession by Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Prayer for Forgiveness – read together, with microphones muted
Almighty God, we confess to You we want the easy answers, the shortcuts, the quickest way to get what we want with minimal sacrifice. The ways of this world tempt us toward an easier life, in which we do not care about others, only our own desires. Forgive us for these desires that are not Yours. Call us into Your way of life, a way that seeks justice for the oppressed, relief for the suffering, inclusion and welcome for the marginalized. Guide us into Your way of life, a way of deep listening, of seeking truth even when it painfully strips away our illusions. Keep us to the path of knowledge and insight, knowing that You are with us, always. In the name of Christ, who showed us this Way, this Truth, and this Life, we pray. Amen.
Silence is kept for a moment of silent reflection and confession.
Assurance of Pardon by Thom Shuman
It sounds so simple, we think it is too simple. But which is the burden you would choose: hate or love; anger or forgiveness; pain or peace? God invites us to receive the gifts which make it possible to have lives of faithful obedience.
(read together, with microphones muted)
This is the good news: God forgives us and takes our burdens from us. We would let go of them and welcome hope, joy, grace into our lives. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Now, let us pray the words Jesus taught us:
- Our Father who art in heaven,
- Hallowed be thy name.
- Thy kingdom come.
- Thy will be done
- on earth as it is in heaven.
- Give us this day our daily bread,
- and forgive us our debts,
- as we forgive our debtors,
- and lead us not into temptation,
- but deliver us from evil
- For thine is the kingdom,
- and the power, and the glory,
- for ever and ever.
Words of Institution
Sharing the Bread and Cup
Prayer of Thanksgiving by Mindi Welton-Mitchell
God is our Good Shepherd, who leads us to green pastures and still waters.
God is by our side in the valley of the shadow, and God is the one who prepares a table before us.
Our cup overflows with grace, mercy, forgiveness, and healing.
We go forth, full of thanks, knowing that goodness and mercy are with us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell with God forever.
Thank you for joining us this Sunday.
Join us every Sunday at 11 am on Zoom to have a virtual coffee hour and share our joys and concerns.
We also host via zoom:
our weekly Bible study on Tuesday at 10 am
and Pastor Greg’s Check In Time on Wednesdays from 10-11 am and 8:30-9:30 pm.
Check your email for instructions for zoom, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join our discussions. They are truly open to everyone, but we are not posting the link publicly to discourage zoom bombers.