March 26th, 2023
Greeter: Barry & Barb Brabander
Usher: Gary Trump
Reader: Alex Kemnitz
Musicians: Kim Wilsey & Joyce Victor
Vesper Prelude - Mallard; Andante Semplice - Beethoven; In The Easter Garden - Stairs
The Passing of the Peace
Call to Worship
L: Our lives feel all disjointed as though they were a valley of dry bones.
P: But the Spirit of God will bring connection and continuity to our lives.
L: The Spirit of God breathes hope into each one of us.
P: The Spirit of God challenges us to be people of faith.
L: Open our hearts, Lord, and bring us to your light.
P: Open our lives, Lord, and break us free from doubt and fear. AMEN.
Opening Hymn: #534 "Be Still, My Soul"
Healing and Empowering God, we are sometimes so sure that things will not work out, we doubt even your ability to put things right in our lives. We lack such faith. But Jesus came to show us that our most dreaded enemy--death--can be overcome by faith. Heal our doubts and our longings for assurance and give us spirits of trust and hope. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
“Believer's Prayer” by Joel Raney
All God's Children
New International Version
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
Hymn of Preparation
#420 “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”
Sermon - Pastor Anny Kapundu
"From Dry Bones To Living Hope"
Call to Prayer:
#2128 (Vs. 1) "Come and Find the Quiet Center"
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Joys & Concerns:
One: "For this we pray . . ."
All: "Lord hear our prayers"
Lord's Prayer #895
Prayer of Confession: (Unison)
Forgive us, O God, when we see the world through rose-colored glasses rather than as it really is, much less the way you seek it to be. Forgive us, Holy One, when we forsake lively and risky faith calling us to be agents of change in our world for the bland conviction that all will be well. Renew us with your grace and ground us with your Spirit, that we might be empowered to live, in word and deed, as testimonies to the power of your love over the grave. In Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Words of Assurance:
The God we serve is the God of life, the God of hope, the God of new beginnings—even for dried-up bones and shattered dreams. That rattling of bones in Ezekiel’s vision may be heard as the shackles that once held us down in fear, sin, prejudice, and guilt. God defies these deadly entanglements with the power of life. This we trust, and by this, we live. Thanks be to God!
Chimes At Dawn - Woert
Prayer of Dedication: (UNISON)
From your hands, O God, come the blessings that make life possible, even the very gift of life itself. In gratitude and thanks, receive from our hands this portion of our labors. By your Spirit’s leading, may we use these gifts to bless the life of others with the assurance of love, the promise of hope, and the course of justice. This we do to your glory. Amen.
On Eagles Wings - Sung By Jennifer Smith
We are a people loved by God.
We will live as signs of this love.
We are a people blessed with hope.
We will live in light of this hope.
May the love of God, the grace of Christ,
and the courage of the Spirit, strengthen our faith
and set us loose to share God’s love with all.
We are God’s children and will go out to do God’s ministry. Amen
Day of Triumph - Moore