Michele Selinger

April 14, 2019
Palm ~ Passion Sunday
Stettler United Church

Welcome and Announcements
• Portions of the service printed in bold are spoken by the whole congregation. The asterisk (*) indicates congregation stands, but please feel free to sit at any time.
• Children are always welcome at our services. Books/toys are available at the front and back of the sanctuary.

Lenten Candle Ceremony: (using sung portions from #123 VU)
(Light the Christ Candle)
On this Palm and Passion Sunday we remember the crowd that eagerly awaited the coming of Jesus, shouting,
(sung) Hosanna, loud hosanna! (Light a purple candle)
Fulfilling prophecy, Jesus entered the city riding on a donkey.
(sung) Hosanna, loud hosanna! (Light a purple candle)
There was joy in that parade of palm branches.
(sung) Hosanna, loud hosanna! (Light a purple candle)
Holy Week begins today. Let us join in saying:
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of God.
(Light the remaining purple candles)
(sung, verse 3)'Hosanna in the highest!'
That ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer;
earth, let your anthems ring.

O may we ever praise him
with heart and life and voice,
and in his humble presence
eternally rejoice!

Call to Worship ~ I will have only you
(c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light
Luke 19:39,41-42: They said, “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of Our God!”… Coming within sight of Jerusalem, Jesus wept over it and said, “If only you had known the path to peace today! But now it has been hidden from your eyes.
Palm Sunday – image from Guatemala

Processional Hymn: On the Road to Calvary, by Dave Goodwin
Lyrics on the Screen, join in as you are able/comfortable

Prayer for the Day:
Christ, though godly, did not cling to divine status, but in complete self-emptying accepted the life of a slave, a humble human, vulnerable and mortal, subservient even to death on a cross. Philippians 2.6-8

Reception of New Members

Statement of Purpose:
The church is a community of people with varied gifts, united by the Holy Spirit. Through the reaffirmation of our faith we renew the covenant declared at our baptism, acknowledge what God is doing for us, and pledge our commitment to the universal Christian church through the United Church of Canada.

Presentation of Candidates:
Board Representative:
On behalf of the congregation of Stettler United Church, I present David Robert Goodwin, and Joanne Adele Wiechnik whom we welcome into the membership of this community of faith by transfer of membership and reaffirmation of baptismal faith.

Commitment of New Member:
Minister: Welcome. David & Joanne, will you join with us as together we celebrate God’s presence, live with respect in creation, love and serve others, seek justice and resist evil?
Each candidate responds: I will, with God’s help.

Filling the Font:
Minister: The waters of baptism offer us a blessing. One of the greatest blessings in life is knowing who you are and to whom you belong.

I invite you to dip your fingers into the waters of baptism and, as you do this, imagine the Spirit flowing over you like water. Touch your forehead, saying silently, “I belong to God,” or some similar phrase as you remember: “You are Beloved. Shine with God’s Spirit.
“And baptism…now saves you -- not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience…” (1 Peter 3: 21)

Prayer of Blessing:
One: Creative God, may the gift of your Holy Spirit strengthen David and Joanne, that they may be true to you all the days of their lives.
All: Amen.

Congregational Commitment: (please stand as you’re able)
As community we gather to reaffirm the power of the Holy Spirit and to celebrate the place of David, and Joanne the people of God. We give thanks for their gifts as witnessed in this community of faith and promise to continue to walk with them: nurturing one another in faith, upholding one another in prayer, encouraging one another in God’s work. With joy and thanksgiving we celebrate the faith we all share, and rededicate ourselves to the life and work of the body of Christ.

Presentation of Certificate:
Board Representative:
In the name of Jesus, who is the foundation upon which we build our church, we welcome you as official members of Stettler United Church.

Professing our Faith: The New Creed (sung version, by Dave Goodwin)

*Sharing Peace, Gifts & Friendship:
We join in work of peace-making, and we pray:
God, ground us in your love and fill us with goodness.
God’s peace be with you.
And also with you.
(The offering plates are not passed at this service, they’re on the stands near the front. The offerings will be received as you take a moment to greet one another with a sign of peace and shared friendship.)

Offering Prayer:
Receive our gifts as you have received our hosannas and praise. Bless both what is given and those who give it. Bless most deeply all those whose lives will be touched by who we are and what we offer. Amen.
Written by Kate Crawford. Reprinted, with permission, from gathering L/E/P 2016.

At the Threshold of Holy Week ~ Through the Eyes of Love
(Reflections are from Wilmot United Church [Rev. Rose-Hannah Gaskin]

A Reading from Luke 2:1-8 ~ Jesus’ Birth
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)

Sung Response: Jesus Came a Child Like Me #583 VU (vs 1 & chorus)

A Reading from Luke 3:21-23 ~ Baptism & Blessing
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)

(The congregation reflects in silent prayer/listening.)

A Reading from Luke 5:1-11 ~ Call
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)
Sung Response: Jesus, You Have Come to the Lakeshore #563 VU (verses 1 & 3, with choruses)

A Reading from Luke 6:6-12 ~ Healer
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)

Sung Response: When I Needed a Neighbour #600 VU (verses 1 & 4, with choruses)

A Reading from Luke 13:18-22 ~ Parable-Maker
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)

*Hymn: I Danced in the Morning #352 VU (verses 1 – 3)

A Reading from Luke 13:31-35 ~ On the Road: Fiercely Loved
(at the end of the reading, the reader picks up a branch and places it in a vase.)

Sung Response: Mother and God #280 VU

Prayers of the Gathered Community
& The Prayer Jesus Taught, a paraphrase version, copyright
© 1988 Jim Cotter, page 916 VU

*Benediction:
Before this week ends,
the Palm branches will be drying on the roadside.
The joyful crowd will become an angry mob,
and Jesus will replace robes of victory with a crown of thorns.
So then, we go in the knowledge that whatever comes to us,
we are held in the hand of God, hugged tight, held close,
and may God, eternally faithful,
bless, uphold, and give us strength for the week and times ahead.
Amen. http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/year-a/le/lent-service-prayers-2.html

*Closing Refrain: Stay With Us #182 VU