February 15, 2009 Order of Worship

 

Chilmark Community Church

February 15, 2009

Gathering and Announcements

Prelude

Call to Worship

Sing Praises to God, O you saints, and give thanks to God’s holy name!

We exalt you , O God, for you have restored us to life!

We may cry through the night, but your joy comes with the morning.

You hear us, O God, and you are gracious in our distress.

You turn our mourning into dancing!

Our souls cannot be silent! O God, our Savior, we give thanks to you for ever!

*Hymn: # 140 “ Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Peace

Confession
p.890 in Hymnal(silent reflection)

Words of Assurance

God is even now giving us the gift of repentance.  God is at work in the world.  It is not we who hope, but God who hopes in us. (WUMC)

 

Proclamation and Praise

Psalm: 30 p.762

Hebrew Scriptures

2 Kings 5:1-14

New Testament:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Mark 1:40-45

 

Response to the Word:

May the words from our lips and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.   AMEN

( background of passages and open discussion.)

 

*Hymn: # 66 Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (2Kings, Mark)

 

Concerns and Prayers    

Unison prayer

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts.

Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil.

Eternal Power, be our support.

Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance.

Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us.

That with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek your face and be brought by your infinite mercy to your holy presence; in the spirit of Jesus.  AMEN

Silent prayer

Lord’s Prayer

 

Offering *Hymn 95

Prayer of Dedication:

Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to render to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you, not with our lips only, but with our whole lives.   AMEN

 

*Hymn: #707 Hymn of Promise

 

Benediction:

May the blessing of God, fountain of living water, flow within us as a river of life.  May we drink deep of her wisdom.  May we never thirst again.  May we go through life refreshing many, as a sign of healing for all; through the One who is Life eternal.  AMEN

 

Postlude: 

 

Next Week’s Scripture :2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9

Organist:Carol Loud

Lay Leader: Ann Deitrich

 

__________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from DS Shaw “View from the Bridge”

Dear Pilgrims,
A January 28, 2009 Gallup Poll entitled State of the States: Importance of Religion reports that when asked “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” 65% of Americans reported that religion is an important part of their daily lives. This conclusion was based on interviews of more than 350,000 participants around the country. The poll also breaks down responses to the same question state by state. Here the information gets a little more interesting. The poll finds that “Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas to be the most religious states in the nation, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts are the least religious.” In fact six out of the ten least religious states are located in the soon to be New England Conference. (VT 42%, NH 46%, ME 48%, MA 48%, AK 51%, WA 52%, OR 53%, RI 53%, NV 54%, CT 55%). (www.gallup.com)
I am of the opinion that this Gallup Poll reveals some deeper questions such as: What is the future of “religion” in New England? What is “religion” in New England? Why isn’t religion an important part of peoples daily lives in New England? While some like to believe that New England may be on the verge of a “religious revival” I am not sure the evidence would bear that out, but what if we were in the verge of a “spiritual revival?” That’s the question I would like to see answered, “Is spirituality an important part of your daily life?” I believe that the answer to that question would be vastly different.
One of the things I have learned over the years working alongside people in recovery, as well as in my own spiritual journey, is that addicts who identify themselves as Christians are often resistant to embrace step three in the twelve step program: “Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understand God.” Some have speculated that this is because addicts who have been raised in the church note that they have already tried the “God stuff” and it hasn’t worked, thus creating a resistance to trust and an unwillingness to “do it again.” Others have noted that addicts who are also “religious” may be unwilling to let go of a childlike understanding/relationship with God; an unforgiving, punishing, judgmental, unlistening, and failed miracle God. In any case part of recovery is “reframing” a relationship with God that is personal, maturing and spiritually connected. It is the willingness to turn “will and lives” over to God, and letting something new develop that may have nothing to do with the past and may even make the future a little scary.
In my church travels I often hear churches discuss the need for new members along with the appropriate reasons why. The conversation is often about the needs of the church and not the spiritual needs of those who might be coming into fellowship. It is much like asking; Where is religion in your life, verses where is the working of the Holy Spirit in your life? When churches have assumed values of what it means to be “religious” or what it means to have “religion” in your daily life and try to impose it on others the result will often be a dying church. When a church understands the centrality of the Holy Spirit working, reshaping, reforming, recreating the body, exercising a mature and bold faith, the result is often that the church will grow. The “concept” is the same, at AA or UMC; it is about allowing God to direct us, and not us correcting God.
New England might not be the hotbed for a religious revival, but I am convinced that there is a spiritual awakening among us, the question for our churches is: Will we have the ability to adapt and allow the working of the Holy Spirit guide us deeper into something we don’t quite understand or will we try and assimilate the Spirit into the institution and extinguish the flame. It’s a personal question that requires turning oneself and the church over to God.
Blessings,
Gary