May 21st, 2023 Service

Link to Sermon

Order of Service

         Let us be as open vessels that God’s spirit may enter.

The Community Gathers:  Experience God’s presence in the assembly. Please greet one another with joy and welcome new friends into our community of love.  You are welcome here…come and worship!         

Focus: “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”   –Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Center

Gathering Music:  You Are Welcome Here (by Wiley Beveridge)

                                                                        -Michelle Currie


Call to Worship

Leader:   We long for community and the Presence of God.

People:   In whom we live and move and have our being.

Leader:  This day Christ tells us that we will never be alone.

An Advocate will share our journey.

People:  With whom we will live and create community and celebrate being.

Leader:  May the ever-present love of God be with you.

People:  And may the joy of Christ surround you.

Leader:  May we know the sacred presence as we gather in this community of peace, continuing to live out the message of hope

with deeds of bold mercy and courageous justice.

ALL: As an Easter People, may the life of Jesus live on in us

and through us. Amen.

Opening Hymn:  How Great Thou Art       #39     vs. 1 & 2

Opening Prayer

Holy One, we follow your way 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,

even as we pray the prayer he taught us saying,

The Lord’s Prayer

Awakening:  The Story  (By Phil Hanseroth) 

                                                                                         -Michelle Currie

Scripture:  Acts 17:22-28,  Mark 4:26-34  –   Anne Murray

Sermon:  Our Sacred Stories     Rev. Paula Norbert

Meditative Instrumental ~   Michelle Currie        

Musical call to Prayer:  (two times)  Hush now in quiet peace, be still your mind at ease. The Spirit brings release, so wait upon the Lord.

                              Prayers of the People:

                  Silent Prayers              Pastoral Prayer

Offertory: Simple Gifts (by Joseph Brackett)  -Michelle Currie

Doxology:  Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise God all creatures here below. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts, Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Closing Hymn:  Every Time I Feel the Spirit         #66


As we look to the days ahead,  let love be true and freely given.

And may you be encouraged and blessed by the Holy One

whose love warms and surrounds you like the sun,

believing that God is with us always, as close as our beating hearts. Amen.

Go In Peace: 

With Many thanks to Michelle Currie, our Music Director and to our reader and Deacons for their help with today’s Worship. 

Yard Sale:  Still time to donate quality items for this fundraiser for our Community Outreach Programs.  For more info and to sign up to volunteer, please see the sheet at the entrance to church.

Fellowship Teams:  We are working to put together teams to offer fellowship after Worship each week.  Can you help?  Please speak with Beth Baskin or Paul Schlaver.

Greeters:  If you’d like to serve as a greeter on Sundays to welcome everyone and pass out the bulletins, please see the sign-up sheet at the front entrance.

Prayers for our week…

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something

unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress

that it is made by passing through

some stages of instability —

and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;

your ideas mature gradually — let them grow,

let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on,

as though you could be today what time

(that is to say, grace and circumstances

acting on your own good will)

will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit

gradually forming within you will be.

                                Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

When the world feels hopeless and heartless,

take a moment to look around.

There are beautiful humans everywhere,

often hiding in plain sight in cabs,

on buses, in cafes, on trains, in libraries,

on park benches, in laundromats, on subways.

They may not be rich or well-educated.

They may be broken and hurting themselves.

They may not have much to offer

in terms of worldly goods.

But they are the comforters, encouragers, sharers,

teachers, servers, healers, mentors, connecters,

helpers, and counselors who keep

the random hurting humans,

the weary and the lost,

the invisible sufferers who walk among us every day,

going just long enough

to find their hope and strength again.

It doesn’t take a degree or wealth

or a grand gesture to make a

difference in this world.

It just takes a human who cares.

                            L.R. Knost