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bulletin for 3/29

Williston Federated Church

United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ – Federated 1899

An Open and Affirming, Reconciling Congregation

Mission Statement

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.



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.


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. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with     her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,[a] “Lord, he       whom you love is ill.” 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.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 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.” The disciples said to             him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there    again?” 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.”

Jesus Weeps

                    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.


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


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.


Your prayer requests can be sent through Williston Federated Church Facebook page at to send that request via email to

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE                  

Pastor:      Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation:  Hear our prayer.



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  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.


O God, may our gifts bring hope and healing, peace and plenty, in your name and in your love. Amen.


          –“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, 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, accessed on 26 March 2020.

what’s on the menu….

In this era of “social distancing,” Williston Federated Church will worship online. Join us this coming Sunday at 9:30 a.m. when our worship service will be offered via live video stream on Facebook.  Visit the Williston Federated Church Facebook page at to join in this online worship experience.  

If you would like a prayer request to be lifted up during this worship service, send that request via email to Our prayers are with everyone in this uncertain time.



Palm Sunday …. 4/5 9:30am Service at WFC

Maundy Thursday …. 4/9 7pm Service at WFC

Good Friday …. 4/10 7pm Service at Richmond Cong. Church

Sonrise Service …. 4/12 6:30am on Lake Iroquis- Lamb Residence

Easter Service …. 4/12 9:30am  Service at WFC

JUMP Personal Care and Household Cleaning Supply Drive

IJUMP Personal Care and Cleaning Supply Drive. Many thanks to all you who have already contributed to the JUMP Personal Care and Cleaning Supply Drive. We will continue with the collection of items throughout the month of March. Just stop by and the church and drop your donations into the boxes outside Fellowship Hall. After the worst of the corona virus passes, we will be delivering these items to JUMP in downtown Burlington. Stay healthy and calm. Items most needed include: toothbrushes, deodorant, hand and body lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, dental floss, razors and shaving cream as well as all purpose cleaner, “Spic and Span” or Lysol, dish soap, and sponges. With great appreciation from the most vulnerable in our community.


Lent Adult Education Opportunity February 27 – April 2, 2020, 5:30 to 7:00pm

Please join us for Adult education during Lent on Thursdays, February 27th—April 2, 5:30 to 7:00pm. There will be a soup supper served on these evenings.  The study, led by Pastor Paul, will focus on the Book of Acts and the Letters of Paul.  A primary resource for this study will be the Great Courses Video series featuring Professor Bart.


Women’s Breakfast March 14th & Bedding Drive with Guest Speakers from Sleep in Heavenly Peace 

Calling all women.  Please save the date for the Annual Women’s Breakfast March 14th 8:30 -10:30 AM in Fellowship Hall. Our guest speakers will be Bob Brosseau, Dan Parot & Mike Lemieux, from the Chittenden County Chapter of Sleep In Heavenly Peace.  A sign up sheet for planning purposes is on the bulletin board or contact Carol Burbank or Carol Bouchard. We encourage you to bring a friend and come hear the inspiring story of how three friends, who had a vision, have made a huge difference in our community.

The Chittenden County Chapter of SHP was formed in August of last year by  Bob, Dan & Mike who had heard about the program and felt called to make a difference in a child’s life.  As of February 15th they, along with many volunteers, have built ~167 and delivered 135 beds, mostly in Chittenden County, including beds for the children of the Somalia refugee family that WFC helped resettle after a devastating fire. There were still 58 unfilledrequests for beds but that number changes daily.

There are several ways that we as individuals, or as a church, can help get kids off the floor including: sponsoring a build, volunteering at a build, donating money or bedding.  The Missions & Social Concerns Committee voted to donate ½ of the Christmas Eve Offering to SHP. That money, along with money donated through the Alternative Gift Fair, totaled nearly $1000, enough to build 5 beds. As part of our 5th Sunday Mission event, folks will have the opportunity to participate in a church sponsored build day March 28th.  As part of our women’s breakfast event, please consider teaming up with a friend to purchase new twin sheets, blankets, comforters or pillows. If you can’t attend the breakfast but would like to donate bedding, there will be a box on the table near the entrance to Fellowship Hall through March 14th.

Looking Inward During Lent 

During Lent (continuing through Holy Week in April) you are invited to spend time in the sanctuary for prayerful reflection, contemplation or meditation.  Other Lenten practices include fasting, self-examination, confronting our sins, repentance and alms giving.  Prayer and study suggestions are available in the Gallery to help get started or to add meaning to this quiet time.  The sanctuary is always open weekdays from 7:30am to 5:30pm.


March Madness/Fifth Sunday Mission, Ministry & More March 29th – 

Sign up on the bulletin board to participate in one or more mission opportunities on March 29th after a brief worship: preparing sandwiches for the homeless; volunteering at the Habitat Restore; working on a prayer shawl; participating in a prayer walk around the village; traveling tea party; making Easter cards for our card ministry; stocking shelves at the Williston Food Shelf and participating in a Sleep in Heavenly Peace Bunk Bed Build happening Saturday, March 28th.  Sponsored by the Membership Committee.


Spring is just around the corner. It’s not too early to start spring cleaning your closets and while you’re at it, set aside those items that you no longer need for the annual church rummage sale. 

We will be seeking gently warn clothing for all ages, clean and in good condition, as well as linens, shoes, jewelry, purses: think textiles, no household items please.  Donations will be accepted beginning March 30th. Please do not leaves items before then.  More information and a sign up sheet will appear mid March.  Sponsored by the Women of the Church. Contact Carol Bouchard with any questions



Have you ever held a dinner party where you didn’t know who was coming? Have you ever expected to attend a dinner party not knowing who the host(s) might be?  Here is your chance!

The gift of community is not an accident.  It is built face to face.  Join us to continue to build our community. You may choose to be a guest or a host.  Guests will arrive at church at 5:45pm on Saturday, April 25, 2020 to receive their assigned host (destination).  The host will prepare a meal for a set number of people who will arrive around 6:00pm that evening.

The agenda is a social evening.

come join us for a celebration

You are invited!  On Sunday, October 27, 9:30am , a wonderful celebration will take place to honor the history and heritage of our congregation in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of our church building.  Many exciting plans are in place, including:

–parishoners in period costume (you can wear historic attire, if you like!);

–participation of former pastors during worship;

–special music by David and Duncan Yandell;

–a scavenger hunt for the kids;

–food and festivities following the service;

–and so much more!

Please join us on this very special Sunday as we honor what God has done in this place over the last 150 years and we pray with anticipation about what God can do in the years ahead!