Williston Federated Church
United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ – Federated 1899
An Open and Affirming, Reconciling Congregation
Our church is a community which seeks, welcomes and gathers people to share the Gospel of God’s love, enables people to find fullness of life through Jesus Christ, goes into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ, and responds actively to human need.
Welcome To All Who Worship Here!
Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 29, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.
CALL TO WORSHIP Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader, Williston Federated Church
One: Gracious and Most Merciful God, we gather in our separate homes–distant physically, but spiritually together in this new way to worship you.
All: Lord, help free us from that deep aching need for a sense of normalcy and instead fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we might wake up and see You coming to us in new ways.
One: Great Physician, like your disciples long ago we cry out: if only you could have come sooner; if only we had been better prepared; if only we had known, this would not have happened.
All: Lord in your mercy, clear our minds from the need for a sense of control over things, so that we might remember in times such as this you are indeed with us in mysterious ways, still offering abundant life to all.
One: Healer of Nations, in the midst of despair and sadness, remind us of your greatness, so that we might focus our attention on your peace, on your teachings, and on your Glory.
All: Lord in your mercy, help us to let go of fears of the known and unknown, so that we might be unbound and rise again to be your light to a world in need. AMEN.
LIGHTING THE PEACE CANDLE
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
One: Peace be with you All: Also with you
PRAYER OF THE DAY (from Psalm 130)
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. Hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
TIME WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
SCRIPTURE John 11:1-45
John 11:1-45 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Death of Lazarus
11 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,[a] “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus[b] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, who was called the Twin,[c] said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus[d] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles[e] away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[f] Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah,[g] the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life
38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.
SERMON “Bound” Pastor Paul Eyer
A PRAYER FOR HEALING
One: Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
All: Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
One: Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.
All: Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
One: Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
All: Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
One: Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace…
All: And for all of us, in place of our anxiety, give us your peace. In the name of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
CELEBRATIONS AND CONCERNS/ PRAYER REQUESTS
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Pastor: Lord of Life and Love,
Congregation: Hear our prayer.
THE LORD’S PRAYER (unison)
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
(mail in your offering or get started with our online giving it’s easy! If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm. When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen. Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx). Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th. You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too. If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at email@example.com. Thank you for your generosity!)
“Leaning In: A Prayer of Intention” by Christopher Grundy
(pre-recorded music shared with permission © 2018 Christopher Grundy, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given to congregations to play this recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.)
*Presentation of Gifts:
We give thee but thine own, What e’er the gift may be:
All that we have is thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from thee.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
O God, may our gifts bring hope and healing, peace and plenty, in your name and in your love. Amen.
THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH (visit us thru ZOOM)
–“virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship today
— remote meeting of Music and Worship Committee via Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.
— congregation-wide check-in via Zoom on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m.
CLOSING HYMN “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)
Liturgical resources: The Prayer for Healing is adapted from “A Coronavirus Prayer” by Kerry Weber, America: The Jesuit Review, March 30, 2020 issue, found at https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/02/coronavirus-prayer?fbclid=IwAR2X3JutwA-U8xeOfrC38ihieWH6m-z5jv7SwG-0G0tJW-ITAZFF9Zcpf4E, accessed on 20 March 2020. “Leaning In: A Prayer of Intention” by Christopher Grundy shared with permission © 2018 Christopher Grundy, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given to congregations to play this recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online. The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from “A Liturgy for worship in a time of pandemic (Lent 5-A)” by Thom Shuman, “ Lectionary Liturgies” found at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/, accessed on 26 March 2020.