Dear Friends-Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The following is our worship for today, Sunday, the 29th. If you would like to print it out in a document, there is an attachment, or the entire written worship is laid out here. The other 3 attachments are “picture videos of music and the message. If you would like to worship with live services on line, please see the list of three churches at the end of our printed worship service. God’s peace be with you. Pastor Susan
March 29, 2020
Faxon-Kenmar UMC-online worship via email
Prelude – “Jesus, With Us Abide” — Southbridge
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Welcome and greeting-
Grace and Peace to you.
We are in a new time. An uncertain time. We welcome you to this time of worship. We are thankful you can join us and worship God together as people of faith, as the Body of Christ.
How different it is to come together online, and not directly face to face. Yet we come as followers of Jesus to proclaim our faith, to join together to praise God and center ourselves with God as we renew our faith this week.
I continue to look for ways to connect with you. These past two weeks we have entered uncharted territory in life and in our ministry together. I have talked with many of you on the phone and continue to reach out to those I haven’t talked with. I ask that you reach out to others on the phone (and online if you are able). The spreading of the virus is calling for us to continue to stay at home to stay safe, as much as possible. If you need help with groceries, medicine or anything else, we have people who are ready to help you. I ask that you call me at 717-377-9266, to let me know of your need. If you are willing to help others, please let me know. In the coming week, I will share with you ways that the United Churches of Lycoming County is assisting people in our community-unemployed people, for instance, as well as its continuing ministries like Shepherd of the Streets. Please watch for more information on how to get help if you have lost your job, or would like to assist United Churches and others in our local community in signing people up to get help.
When I say we have entered uncharted territory in life, I mean that we have never been in this place before. We have never faced the uncertainty of a pandemic like COVID-19 virus sweeping our community, our country and our world like this pandemic is. It is taking away many activities and customs we are familiar with that are guideposts for our daily lives- like a regular exercise time at the gym, or a regular card game, or lunch out with a friend, or a tv sports event. So, we are uprooted in our familiar, daily lives. Special events like weddings, birth of a baby, time of sharing with family and friends at a funeral are requiring we mark these events in different ways. Some planned events are put on hold or have to be postponed or cancelled at a much later time. It’s like we are being called on to not just make do and take shelter, we are experiencing the loss of special events. We are called on to live our lives especially for the sake of “us” as a society, as a people, not prioritizing our days for what “we” want to do. It is a different way to make choices about what to do each day.
Our faith can teach us and remind us, whose we are. We can make these daily changes, encourage one another and turn to God to guide us through the unknown. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us always.
Prayer Holy God, we come to you this day longing for health and peace for all. We open our hearts to you and ask that you hear our prayers this morning for people throughout the world, for our community and for our families. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for the many health care people on the front lines at hospitals caring for people who are suffering from COVID-19 virus. Hospital staff, nurses, doctors, labs, emergency rooms. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for the many people who continue to work to keep our world operating-truck drivers, grocery store workers, and so many others. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for people who are working as researchers for drugs, people creating new tests, producing ventilators and masks, gowns. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for the many people who are suffering from COVID-19 virus and their family members. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for the many people who live from one paycheck to the next that have been left without anyway to care for their families, as they are laid off from work. LORD, HAVE MERCY.
We pray for our ministry that we may help others know God and feel that peace that comes from choosing to follow Jesus. LORD, HAVE MERCY
We pray that our community and our world that we can learn to live for others, caring for and helping people feel loved and cared for. LORD, HAVE MERCY. AMEN.
Scripture Mark:15:15b-23 (Please look this passage up in your bible or you may read the following).
After flogging Jesus, Pilate handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, “hail, King of the Jews!” They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
They compelled a passerby, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
Message The 5th Sunday of Lent
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“Tortured and Humiliated” Sermon series: 24 hours that Changed the World
Did you see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ movie? It is familiar to many people. The story in this movie most closely follows the John passage when Pilate sent Jesus to be flogged before passing sentence on him. Even though Jesus was flogged, and the soldiers placed a crown of thorns on his head, the crowd still wanted Jesus to be crucified. Matthew and Mark also talk about the flogging, mocking and humiliation of Jesus. Luke didn’t include information about Jesus being flogged, but definitely mocked. Flogging was the practice of striking someone with a whip or stick for punishment or torture. Jesus faced emotional torture, too. With the humiliation of it all. He didn’t beg for mercy.
The treatment of Jesus was evil. We have seen evil treatment of humans in our day today. Studies show that people like you and me -given the right set of circumstances can treat people in an evil way. You might say that it is possible for us to act like a monster. What that would like is a person taking authority and becoming desensitized-able to go about destroying another with a weapon of words or cages, or gas chambers.
We walk this walk of Jesus through Lent. I’d like to look at the amazing power of his sacrificial love. Our faith teaches us that Jesus suffered and died in place of us, and took on punishment for us for violating who God calls us to be. Another way of looking at Jesus’ suffering is that it was part of God’s drama -to help us understand that we fall short, need redemption and forgiveness and God will go to any length to show us forgiveness and love. Jesus was all about sacrificial love. He sacrificed his life. He loved us that much. Our sin, guilt, brokenness are all made whole, we are healed.
Jesus is all about loving. Loving you and loving me. Go tell it on the mountain-God loves you!
I invite you at this time to give your tithes and offerings to God through our ministries. You may send your envelope through the mail (or if you are going to the grocery store, you may drop it off at the church in the mailbox in the door on Clayton Ave.) Electronic giving is an avenue you may wish to explore. Watch for information about how to set this up through our church office at a specified time. (Please pray with me…) God, you have given us so much. You continue to provide us with your power through each gift you give us-our presence, our gifts, our service, our witness-all of who we are is because of you. Bless us and all that we give that others may feel your peace and your power. In Jesus name, Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
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Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is i heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Benediction May God’s peace be with you in the name of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace.
Postlude “Toccata in F Major” – Buxtehude
Rev Susan Halverstadt, Pastor
David Koskey, Director of Music
Options for live worship online:
First United Methodist Church, Williamsport.
live.firstchurch.cc 9:30 and 11:00 am
Faith United Methodist Church, Montoursville.
see their website or Facebook page. 8:15 and 9:30 am.
Boca Raton UMC, Florida
Facebook Live 10 am.