A Gathering in Worship Offered by the People of the Church of Christ, Union
10:30 am Second Sunday of Lent
Meditation “I lift my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” ~Psalm 121
From There to Here: We Gather
Song Show Us How to Love v.1 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 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: 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 formulas that will assure success at the expense of staying tuned to the Spirit’s nudge.
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. You give us a fresh start each day, inviting us to do better. 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 says, “The Lord will keep your life… your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.”
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. By this grace, 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 #179 Black We Yearn, O Christ, for Wholeness Passion
1.We yearn, O Christ, for wholeness and for your healing touch; too long have we felt helpless; our burdens seemed too much. Forgetting all pretenses we make our pleadings heard, in hope and expectation await your gracious word.
2. We long to have companions who travel by our side, strong friends to call and answer with whom we are allied; as we lift up each other when struggles lay us low, community will flourish; our faith and caring grow.
3. We need your living presence, O Christ of Galilee, a presence that revives us and sets our spirits free. No longer are we fearful, your love pervades each place. Empower us with courage to claim your healing grace.
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 121, p. 704
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 Etude in A Heller Union Church Orchestra
Scripture Lesson John 3:1-17
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ~ New Revised Standard Version: Updated Edition
Sermon Look for the Helper 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.
Responding to God’s Love in Communion
Invitation to Communion
One: May Love be with you!
All: And also with you! Leader: Lift up your hearts! People: We lift them up to the Lord!
One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God! People: It is right to give our thanks and praise!
All: It is right, and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to God, Love Eternal, creator of heaven and earth.
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 the strength of your help in this world. We find so much to be chaotic and overwhelming. Help us trust your presence in the midst of all we do not understand. Show us how to love, especially when all is not within our control. We pray this day for those recovering from disaster and the calamities of war and famine. God have mercy. In this singing we lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for the strength of your help in our communities. We do not see things from the same perspective, and it is causing divisions among us. Show us how to love across these divides. We pray this day for families seeking the best for their children and loved ones, and for all those with the power to affect the lives of millions. May your wisdom and compassion guide them and keep them from doing harm, intended and unintended. God have mercy. In this singing we lift up this community to you with our love:
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for the strength of your help to love ourselves. Help us break out of the prisons we make for ourselves, believing we have to work our way into love and acceptance. Help us know deep in our hearts that your ever-present love is the bedrock of our lives. Help us amplify this love in our communities, in the lives we touch each day. God have mercy. In this singing we open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
One: Author of Love, You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we could not fathom your endless love and we turned away, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise the name of Love and join their unending hymn:
Sanctus Please Join in Singing
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, hosanna in the highest.
Words of Institution
One: On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
All: “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
One: When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
All: “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
One: Pour out your love and spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the love of Christ, so that we may be for the world the love of Christ!
All: By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
One: Through your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever.
Serving One Another
All who seek the love of God are welcome at this table and are invited to freely receive from it. By tradition, unfermented grape juice is used in the cup on Sunday mornings. If it is not convenient to come forward, the elements can be brought to your seat by signaling to the usher. If it is not your tradition to receive, you are invited to join in prayers for the unity of the Spirit within your tradition. You may remain in you seat, or you may come forward for a blessing, as you wish.
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 To the Hills I Lift My Eyes based on Psalm 121 Song Lee
Prayer of Thanksgiving
One: Thank you for reminding and re-membering us, Lord of All. By your grace may all who come to this table always be welcome guests of your Love.
All: We come, we keep the feast, we taste and see that God is Love eternal.
One: May we rise from this place to live lives of gratitude and service. May we look for love in all the right places, offering and receiving help in unexpected ways. May we offer love without fear in your name and with your aid feed all who hunger. Thank you, Lord. We, who seek and love and search and hope, pray now as Christ 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.
From Here to There: We Depart
We share opportunities for Beloved Community and ways to serve.
Lighting the Justice Candle to Lead us Forth
Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers was an American Civil rights leader, and the first African-American and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate. She served as a senator representing the 33rd District in Louisville, Ky., for 21 years, from January 1968 until her retirement in January 1989.
She became one of the organizers of the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights, a coalition that planned the 1964 March on Frankfort. There, an estimated 10,000 marchers pushed for a state civil right act, which passed the following year. She helped organize the Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference.
During her tenure in the senate, she authored more than 150 bills, including statewide fair housing legislation and sponsored bills prohibiting employment, sex and age discrimination. Senator Powers also supported legislation to improve education for the physically and mentally disabled.
She was among the women of distinction included in a 1989 national photograph exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., called Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America. She was an inaugural inductee in 2000 to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. She died on January 30, 2016, at the age of 92.
¨ Hymn #607 Black We Would Be Building Finlandia
1 We would be building; temples still undone o’er crumbling walls their crosses scarcely lift; Waiting till love can raise the broken stone, and hearts creative bridge the human rift. We would be building, Architect Divine,reveal the shape of life in your design
2 Teach us to build; upon the solid rock we set the dream that hardens into deed, ribbed with fine steel both time and change doth mock, the unfailing purpose of our noblest creed. Teach us to build; O Master, lend us slight to see the towers gleaming in the light.
3 O keep us building, Savior; may our hands ne’er falter when the dream is in our hearts, when the dream is in our hearts, when to our ears there come divine commands and all the pride of sinful will departs. We build with you; O grant enduring worth until you promised realm shall come on earth.
Our Prayers for Others
¨ 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 Ireland and the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland &Wales; and our brothers & sisters at the Holy Pentecostal Sanctuary 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
¨ Melissa Zook and the family, at the loss of her mom.
¨ 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.
Celebrations with Prayers of Joy! Birthdays: Today, March 5 – Jenny Bromley; 8 – Betsy Hoefer (200 Meridian Way, Richmond, KY, 40475); 11 – Terry Scherf; 12 – David Shroyer
Anniversaries: March 10 – Karl & Triss Holland, Ethan & Mandy Connelly
If we haven’t got your important dates, let us know. We’ll help you get connected in FellowshipOne Go!
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