A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
10:30 am, Third Sunday of Lent
“O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise.” ~Psalm 95
From There to Here: We Gather
Song Show Us How to Love v.1 please join in singing! Union Church Choir
Hearts open, minds awake, change us now for heaven’s sake. Leave us not alone in hatred’s wake. Show us how to love. Show us how to love. Show us how, show us how to love.
Call to Worship
Song Show Us How to Love v. 2 please join in singing! Union Church Choir
Eyes open, shocked awake, much to learn from our mistakes. Draw us closer in our heartache. Show us how to love. Show us how to love. Show us how, show us how to love.
¨ Prayer of Approach & Confession
One: Let us open our hearts to the love of God, assured that God will offer us grace and a way forward as we pray.
One: Holy and Merciful One, in this season of discernment we come bringing our deepest longings, and our failed attempts at satisfying them. We have often looked for love, for acceptance and security, in the approval of others, giving away the power to claim for ourselves that we are inherently beloved, created by God.
All: We yearn for lives that matter, we desire relationships that thrive, we want less regret.
One: At times we fail to see that you have already given us what really matters: your love and acceptance. You provide opportunities all around us to make a difference in the lives of others by affirming their worth and dignity. You give us a fresh start each day, inviting us to do better.
One: In this silence, we bring to you our pleas for openness to a different way of living.
Song Love Us Into Fullness v. 1 please join in singing
¨ Words of Assurance
One: My friends, be assured by the Psalmist who reminds us that our God is the “rock of our salvation” in whose hand is the “depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains.” Let us respond together:
All: We open our hearts, our minds, our souls, our vision to the ways of love created by God, embodied in Jesus, and already moving in us by the Spirit. We are forgiven, loved, and freed! Amen!
¨ Passing the Peace of Christ
All who come to this sanctuary are welcome companions on the journey of faith. Please turn to those nearest you and greet them with words of peace.
Hymn #18 Black Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer CWM Rhondda
1.Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more,
2 Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.
3 When I reach the River Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you.
Word and Worship
Video Reflection “More Love”
Song Love Us into Fullness v. 2
Love us into fullness, hold us in your care, cheer us with your presence here and everywhere.
Sung Psalm 95, p. 683
The psalms were originally musical compositions. During Lent we will pray the psalms in musical form. Rev. Kent will lead. You are invited to sing the response when invited, at the “R” if using the hymnal.
Children’s Moment as the children return to their seats we sing
May God’s presence guard, protect and guide you. God bless you, God bless you. Our savior’s loving arms be ever ’round you. God bless you, God bless you.
Special Music There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy arr. Schweitzer Union Church Choir & Handbell Ensembles
Scripture Lesson John 4:5-42
So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”
The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?”
Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”
They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition
Sermon Look for the Thirst-Quencher Rev. Kent Gilbert
Song Love Us Into Fullness v. 3
Love us into fullness and we shall be strong; Jesus, walk beside us, fill our hearts with song.
Call to Prayer
Ringing of the Peace Bell
The Union Church Peace Bell was created by Jeff Enge in honor of Union Church member Carl Eschbach (1904-1998). A twin bell hangs in Berea’s sister province in Japan and is also rung in the hope of peace for all nations.
Prayers of the Community and Kyrie Music: Dinah Riendorf, 1987
In this season of Lent, we come together in prayer with the beautiful chant of “Kyrie Eleison,” meaning “God, have mercy on us,” and “Christe Eleison,” meaning “Christ have mercy.” We sing this as a response to each intercession, prayerfully remembering that God’s mercy is a gift of love, freely given to us.
Loving Creator, we ask for your living water of life for this planet and all its living creatures. Show us how to love and flourish when there seems to be so much to fear. We pray this day for Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; in hopes of their well being and for those places in the world where violence predominates and wounds the people of your love… God have mercy. We lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for your living water to flow in and through our communities. Show us how our love can flow in care and kindness to all, especially those who are in need. We pray this day for those who have lost loved ones, and those who wait with worry; For those making their way to and through recovery; and for those who are spending their lives to comfort others… God have mercy. We lift up this community to you with our love:
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for your living water in our own lives. When we are tempted to search for love in things that cannot love us in return, help us to let go, making room for that which matters. Help us be your love in this world, in our communities, and in the lives with whom we intersect each day. God have mercy. We open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
And so, as Jesus, who set the pattern of love as right relationship with each other, we pray with confidence the prayer that he taught us, reaching to you as…
Our Lord’s Prayer
All: Our Maker, Our Mother, and 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 sins as we forgive those who sin 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.
A Chance for Generosity: www.easytithe.com/union
Our gifts help sustain this particular community of caring by sustaining the building, pastor and staff, and all the materials that make our ministry of healing, justice, and teaching available to all in need. In addition, a portion of our contributions flows out to aid those in need via many external ministries.
Many friends give online, and you can use your smart phone or computer and go to www.easytithe.com/union. You don’t have to register to make a contribution, but if you do, it can make future generosity that much easier. Baskets are placed at the head and foot of each aisle for those who wish to make an in-person donation. Electronic donations can be made very simply and easily at: https//: www.easy tithe.com/union
You can even give by text! Text to 859-448-3403 (Example: Text “$50.00 Offering”)
You can also use US mail! Mail to: 200 Prospect St., Berea, KY 40403
Your contribution is love made visible. Thank you!
Offering Music Shall We Gather at the River R. Lowry, arr. B. Childers Pearl Marshall & Union Church Handbell Ensemble
From Here to There: We Depart
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
¨ Hymn Ho, All Who Thirst Jacob’s Well
Ho, all who thirst, come now to the water,
and all whose souls are parched
and weary, come and drink!
Ho, all who thirst, come now to the water,
and from your heart will flow
a never-failing spring!
- Why forsake the Lord,
the fount of living water,
choosing broken cups
that cannot be filled? (Refrain)
2. For the Lamb will be
our shepherd and will guide us
to the well-springs of
the water of life. (Refrain)
3. All who come may take
this gift of living water.
They will thirst no more,
for they shall be filled. (Refrain)
Music for Departure
During Lent we depart to serve without a postlude as a kind of “fasting” from our regular routine. Please join for fellowship in the aisles or downstairs where coffee, tea, and light refreshments await.
Especially in Our Prayers
¨ Each week we join millions of Christians who pray for one another through the ecumenical prayer cycle and, locally, the Berea Ministerial Association’s prayer cycle (Link to World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer cycle. (union-church.org/ministries/prayer/). Let us hold the people of Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; and our brothers & sisters at Farristown Baptist Church in our hearts, and pray for them. Please hold these concerns in your prayers, today and throughout the week.
¨ Prayers for all the people of Ukraine for their safety and sovereignty. Prayers also that the government of Russia will turn to reason & respect for their own peoples’ lives as well as for Ukrainian families.
¨ All those seeking a new and just society and those fearful that they will be supplanted, may God open their hearts and include them in grace.
¨ For the survivors of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria that help will arrive and that lives may be spared. Hold them in their grief and empower all those who can help to lift their hearts to the aid needed.
¨ Ally Nurre’s sister hospitalized in Scotland.
¨ Sharona Nelson, recovering at home from shoulder and arm surgery.
¨ Those recovering from recent Covid Infections
¨ Rita Barlow
¨ JoAnn Russell, Reda Hutton’s aunt, facing several medical challenges.
¨ Our church family members in nursing homes or who are homebound: Jan Hamilton, Doug Hindman, Betsy Hoefer, Dorie Hubbard, Loyal Jones, Lois Morgan, Cheryl Payne, Alva Peloquin, Laura Robie, Betty Wray, Sally Zimmerman
¨ Patsy Boyce, sister-in-law of Bob and Jean Boyce, undergoing chemotherapy.
¨ Jan Hamilton, recovering at the Terrace Nursing home.
¨Rick & BJ Godby, who have relocated to Vidalia, GA to care for BJ’s aging father.
Patty Boyce, at the death of her sister Caroline Anne Sewell
Celebrations with Prayers of Joy! Birthdays: Today, March 12 – David Shroyer; 15 – Wiliiam Madden; 16 – Peter Haik, Sarah Vaughn; 18 – Landen Doring-Zook
Anniversaries: March 13 – Billy & Renee Wellinghurst
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
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