- Listen to the audio (service begins at 40 seconds in, sermon is at 14 minutes)
- Watch the Facebook Live stream (no login required)
GATHERING in the presence of God
Welcome and Centering Music
- Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.
- We start every Sunday at First Congregational by saying “happy Sunday!” Not because we always FEEL happy but because we want to remember that even when we don’t feel happy-clappy it is GOOD to be together on a Sunday morning. It is GOOD to have space to remember what matters most in life. It is GOOD to be connected to God and one another through the act of worship. And so, let’s give it a try. I’m going to say “Happy Sunday!” and you say it back, even if it feels silly. “Happy Sunday!”
- We also say this every Sunday: “Here at First Congregational, we join with all the congregations of the United Church of Christ in proclaiming that no matter who we are or where we are on life’s journey, we are all welcome here.” So that means you...whenever you are, whatever questions you might have, however your spirit is today, please know that we are so glad you’re with us. You are welcome here.
- We are going to begin our worship now with a bit of centering music. I invite you to settle in, do whatever it is you need to do to allow your spirit to fully arrive here with your body. Maybe that means you watch your breath move in and out, or feel your feet grounding into the floor. Maybe that means you set aside your to do lists or move to a different space so you can really be here. Do what you need to do as we settle in to worship God together now.
Called in God's Presence
One: Come, all who thirst—come to the water!
Many: You who long for the water of life—come and drink!
One: Dip your soul in the river of God’s goodness;
Many: quench your thirst at God’s well of grace.
One: For God is here among us, offering living water to all.
Many: Let’s worship God together!
Exchanging the Peace
You are encouraged to share the peace of Christ! Take a moment and say hello if you’re joining us via Facebook Live. If you’re watching this with other people at home, say something like, “The peace of Christ be with you” or share another sign of peace.
If you’re reading this at home later, take a moment and send a text message to a friend or even pause and pick up the phone to call someone.
LISTENING for our still-speaking God
Stay with me,
Remain here with me,
Watch and pray,
Watch and pray. X 2
Word for Children
Pastor Caela shared the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well (John 4:5-42, read it here). She then invited the children to make their own wells at home this week and send photos or videos of their creation to Brandy. You can see some of the photos and videos we’re receiving in the church’s Facebook group.
Scripture Exodus 7:1-7 (read it here)
Sermon “What We Need is Already Here”
Rev. Caela Simmons Wood
(read the sermon by clicking here)
RESPONDING in hope and thanksgiving
While we may not be together on Sunday, the work and mission of First Congregational UCC continues. Please continue to financially support the church as we offer sanctuary and support to each other and the wider community.
Options for giving:
- Mail your contribution to 700 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502.
- Donate online via PayPal (no login required)
- Setting up a recurring online gift is a convenient way to provide consistent financial support to the church. Your bank may be able to do this for you OR you may mail a copy of this authorization form to the church office.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heav’nly host:
Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost. Amen.
GOING FORTH to be messengers of Good News
- One of the best things each of us can do right now to stay centered and connected with the Holy right now is focus on our own individual spiritual practices. If you’d like a copy of the Lenten Devotional, send us an email and we can mail it to you (email@example.com).
- It’s also important for us to reach out and stay connected. We will gather for prayers this afternoon via Zoom at 4:00pm and info about that is in the comments.
- We’ll be online next week in this same way. Join us!
- Our Blessing Box ministry continues and could use some love...we also can use cash donations and volunteers for the Second Helping, so please contact our church office if you’d like to get involved.
- Things will continue to evolve and your church leaders covet your prayers as we make prayerful decisions during this time. Watch the church e-mail list for updates and let us know if you have questions.
Charge and Benediction
by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath--
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Beloveds, hear the Good News: all we need is already here and God is faithful even in (especially in) the wilderness times. Go in peace to love and serve God and neighbor. Take extra care with yourselves and others. All shall be well.
Let us live in the light,
Let up love in the light,
And let the Spirit do its work in us. X 2
- “Stay With Me” by Jacques Berthier. © 1984, Les Presses de Taize, GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with OneLicense #A-710121.
- “Let Us Live in the Light” Words and music by Barbara Hamm. © 2002, Abingdon Press. Reprinted with OneLicense #A-710121.
- Permission to print and stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-710121.