Sunday, May 31, 2020
Strengthen the Church Offering
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 email@example.com Ok, let us begin!
Welcome – Rev. Greg Briggs
Introit “O for a thousand tongues to Sing”
Call To Worship – Mindi Welton-Mitchell
(from Psalm 113) Please read aloud. If you are worshiping with someone else, alternate readings.
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
and God’s glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
God raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
Praise the Lord!
Opening Hymn – “Spirit of the Living God”
Prayer of the Day – Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Anthem “Spirit Song”
First Reading – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 CEB Translation
Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many.
We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell?
But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? But as it is, there are many parts but one body. So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this.
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honorso that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other.If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
Second Reading – Acts 2:1-21 – CEB Translation
When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?” Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”
Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young will see visions.
Your elders will dream dreams.
Even upon my servants, men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
The sun will be changed into darkness,
and the moon will be changed into blood,
before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Sermon – Interim Pastor Greg Briggs
Other References from the Sermon:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Resources
The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery – May 31, 2020 6 pm EST
Hymn – “In the Midst of New Dimensions”
Blow the dust off our fears, Generous Spirit, so we might be more giving people.
Blow the dust off our material gifts we think are so paltry, so we might realize how they can bring hope and life to others. Blow the dust off our mistaken views of others, so we might see them as our sisters and brothers, ready to grace us, even as we may bless them with these offerings.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
You can mail in your offering, or use our online form: Donate to the church
Choose “General Fund” to make a donation to the church and choose “Strengthen The Church” for our Special Offering
These gifts are our fruit, O God of all fields.
Each giver has made the choice between life and death, blessings and curses.
We choose blessing. We choose life.
May God’s promises be fulfilled through the harvest of God’s garden in these our gifts. Amen.
Blessing of our Graduates
before ascending into heaven,
You promised to send the Holy Spirit
to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit
may perfect in our lives the work of Your grace and love.
Grant us the Spirit of Fear of The Lord
that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.
The Spirit of Piety
that we may find peace and fulfillment
in the service of God while serving others;
The Spirit of Fortitude
that we may bear our cross with You
and, with courage, overcome the obstacles
that interfere with our salvation;
The Spirit of Knowledge
that we may know You and know ourselves
and grow in holiness;
The Spirit of Understanding
to enlighten our minds
with the light of Your truth;
The Spirit of Counsel
that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will,
seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom
that we may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach us to be Your faithful disciples
and animate us in every way with Your Spirit. Amen.
Prayer of Our Savior
- 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.
Go forth, knowing God has always loved you, loves you now, and will always love you.
No matter what.
Postlude “Improvisation on Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee”
Join us this Sunday at 11 am on Zoom for us 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.