Community Joys & Concerns
Prelude – acolyte lights candles on altar
*Call to Worship
One: Today, we begin our journey of Lent – a journey of following the Christ into the desert, and then into Jerusalem.
Right: We join in remembering the struggle and the strife of Jesus, who stood up for love, even when it meant persecution and death.
Left: We join in remembering the challenges of the Israelites as they journeyed away from slavery, through the desert, toward a new beginning.
One: We join in remembering and honoring all who would teach us what it means to bear witness to God’s love, through action and deed, and to reject the ways of empire.
Right and Left: We join in a journey together toward justice, wholeness, and peace.
One: Come, friends and loved ones, let us welcome this season and this journey as we take our first steps together in this Lenten worship.
“Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days” UMH 269
One: “A wandering Aramean was our ancestor,” and we too are a wandering people. Jesus went into the desert wilderness, Holy One, and we too find ourselves in desert times. Travel with us as we take this journey; stride next to us as we place one foot in front of the other toward a new day; sit with us as we reach into ourselves for the internal resources we need to be your people. May this journey through the Season of Lent be a journey of meaning and purpose.
All : Guide us to a place of vitality and hope, we pray. Amen.
Prayer of confession
We have not always been a grateful people. We do not always remember the struggles that have made the moments and realities in which we live possible. We live in abundance now but can forget for the challenges of scarcity that our ancestors knew. We live in privilege in so many ways but can forget the suffering that made our ways of life possible. The “fruits” of life surround us, but we can be slow in offering true thanksgiving. Instruct us again, Loving God. May our words and actions show we are a people of true thanksgiving. May we be ever mindful of your generosity and deliverance. Amen.
Words of affirmation
One: God has instructed us to remember and to act.
All : We bring the first of the fruit of our lives that God has given. We bring our contrite hearts, our love, and compassion.
One: Be assured that these are the fruits that are pleasing to our God. Be assured of God’s pardon, and God’s love.
Children’s Moment Noisy Offering
Children ages 3-8 may go out for Children’s Church
Proclamation of the Word
Prayer for Illumination (liturgist only)
Journey with us, O God, through this day, through this season. Lead us into that land where we know the fullness of your justice and grace. May we follow your leading and draw strength from your presence as found in your Holy Word. Amen.
Reading of the Gospel
Matthew 18:15-36 NT p. 20
Message Giving & Going
Deuteronomy 26:1–11 OT pp. 180-181
Response to the Word
*Hymn of Response
“Just a Closer Walk With Thee” TFWS 2158
*The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. The third day he arose from the dead, he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Invitation to the Table UMH p. 12
*Doxology & Prayer
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise God, all creatures here below: Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise God, the source of all our gifts! Praise Jesus Christ whose power uplifts! Praise the Spirit, Holy Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
The Great Thanksgiving UMH p. 13
The Lord’s 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, and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Sending Forth
Receiving the bread and cup
“Shall We Gather at the River” UMH 723
UMH – United Methodist Hymnal found in your pew rack
TFWS – The Faith We Sing (little black book in pew rack)
NT – New Testament, toward the back of the Bible
OT – Old Testament, toward the beginning of the Bible
*Please stand as able
Nursery available for children 3 and under.