May 1 Worship Bulletin

May 1 Worship Bulletin

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Today we begin a 4-week sermon series entitled, “Now and Forever: Viewing the Church Through the Lens of Charles Wesley.” The theme for each Sunday will be based on the days’ lectionary reading from either Acts of Revelation, and supported by the lyrics of a hymn by Charles Wesley. The hymn which will get special focus is “And Can It Be that I Should Gain?” one of Wesley’s most beloved but lesser-sung hymns. Today’s theme is God’s amazing love. The main point is that salvation and freedom is available to the ‘vilest offender’; the worst of human depravity cannot disqualify one from receiving God’s amazing love.

Welcome & Announcements

Prelude – “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord, God Almighty!” – Arr. by Hugh S. Livingston, Jr.

*Call to Worship – Psalm 130

  • P: We will exalt you, Lord, because you pulled us up.
  • L: We cried out to you for help, and you healed us. You brought us up from the grave and brought us back to life!
  • P: You who are faithful to the Lord, sing praises to him! Give thanks to his holy name!
  • L: God, you changed our mourning into dancing. You took off our funeral clothes and dressed us up in joy so that we might sing praises to you with our whole being. O Lord, our God, we will give thanks to you forever!

*Opening Hymn – “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” – UMH #173 (vv. 1-2)

  1. Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true, the only light,
    Sun of Righteousness, arise, triumph o’er the shades of night;
    Dayspring from on high, be near; Daystar, in my heart appear.
  2. Dark and cheerless is the morn unaccompanied by thee;
    joyless is the day’s return, till thy mercy’s beams I see;
    till they inward light impart, cheer my eyes and warm my heart.

*Prayer

*Hymn – “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” – UMH #173 (v. 3)

  1. Visit then this soul of mine; pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
    fill me, Radiancy divine, scatter all my unbelief;
    more and more thyself display, shining to the perfect day.

Time with the Children

Scripture Reading – Acts 9:1-20

1Meanwhile, Saul was still spewing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest, 2seeking letters to the synagogues in Damascus. If he found persons who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, these letters would authorize him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?”

5Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

“I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. 6 “Now get up and enter the
city. You will be told what you must do.”

7Those traveling with him stood there speechless; they heard the voice but saw no one. 8After they picked Saul up from the ground, he opened his eyes but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything.

10In Damascus there was a certain disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

He answered, “Yes, Lord.”

11The Lord instructed him, “Go to Judas’ house on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias enter and put his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13Ananias countered, “Lord, I have heard many reports about this man. People say he has done horrible things to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14He’s here with authority from the chief priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”

15The Lord replied, “Go! This man is the agent I have chosen to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

17Ananias went to the house. He placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord sent me—Jesus, who appeared to you on the way as you were coming here. He sent me so that you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Instantly, flakes fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19After eating, he regained his strength.

He stayed with the disciples in Damascus for several days. 20Right away, he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues. “He is God’s Son,” he declared.

  • L: The word of God; the word of Life.
  • P: Thanks be to God.

Message – “For Me?”

*Hymn – “And Can It Be that I Should Gain” – UMH #363

  1. And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood!
    Died he for me? who caused his pain! For me? who him to death pursued?
    Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
    Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
  2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! Who can explore his strange design?
    In vain the firstborn seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine.
    ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more.
    ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more.
  3. He left his Father’s throne above (so free, so infinite his grace!),
    emptied himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.
    ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!
    ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!
  4. Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
    thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
    my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
    My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
  5. No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
    alive in him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
    bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
    Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Invitation to Give and Prayer of Dedication

Offertory – “Come to the Table of the Lord” – By Jay Althouse

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance

  • L: God of Forgiveness, hear now the confession of our sins.
  • P: God, our greed and our lust for power create enemies where we should find friends. We fail to offer comfort and aid to those who are afraid and beaten down by the burdens of life. We are as blind and willful as Saul to the pain and the destruction of our wrongdoings and our well-meaning crusades. Forgive us, merciful One. Give us sight to see with your eyes, that we may bring hope and peace to our world.
    Amen.
  • L: Friends, Scripture tells us that God’s anger lasts but a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. The Lord forgives our shortcomings and sends deliverance through Christ, just as the Lord forgave Saul and used him to spread the gospel.
  • P:Thanks be to God!

Invitation to the Table
Prayer of Great Thanksgiving
Serving the Bread and Cup

*Closing Hymn – “To God Be the Glory” – UMH #98

Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

  1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
    So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
    who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
    and opened the life-gate that all may go in. (Refrain)
  2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    to every believer the promise of God;
    the vilest offender who truly believes,
    that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. (Refrain)
  3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
    and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
    but purer, and higher, and greater will be
    our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. (Refrain)

*Benediction

*Postlude – “To God Be the Glory” – Arr. by Edward Broughton

Lyrics to Special Music

Come to the Table of the Lord
Come to the table where the bread is broken. Come to the table where the word of
God is spoken. And take this bread into your life as a token. Come to the table of the
Lord. Come to the table and drink this wine. Come to the table believing in this sign.
Renew your spirit with this food divine. Come to the table of the Lord. Hungry and
thirsty, we come, Lord to Thee. We humbly bow on bended knee. Come to the table
and dwell in God’s light. Come to the table and kneel before His sight. Join in
communion and know His holy might. Come to the table of the Lord. Come to the
table of the Lord. Amen.

Helping Lead Today’s Worship

  • Liturgist: Ellen Hoover
  • Organ/Piano: Kathy Cay
  • Rev. Elisabeth Danielsons, Deacon
  • Rev. Drew Hart