Fourth Sunday in Lent: Bulletin & Readings for March 27, 2022

This bulletin includes the order of service for the Season of Lent. The items in bold italics are intended for the congregation’s response.

Opening Hymn

In the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of life. Amen.

Opening Sentence, Prayer and Kyrie

Bless God, who forgives all our sins.

God’s mercy endures through everything.

God of growth and transformation, you promise us abundant new life. Teach us to welcome the discomfort and challenge of growth as part of the meaning of picking up our cross to follow you. Help us to carry our share of the world’s burden so all may know your liberating love. Amen.

(Silent Reflection)

For the times we prize selfish ends over the well-being of others.

Lord, have mercy.

For the ways in which we treat others as less than ourselves, based on what we see instead of seeing through the eyes of Christ.

Christ, have mercy.

For the ways in which fear, anger, and prejudice get in the way of love.

Lord, have mercy.

Confession of Sin

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and one another, that we may turn towards God and begin our effort towards repentance.

Holy God, have mercy on us and forgive us. We have set our customs above your law and have placed our faith in authorities other than you. We have insisted on our own comfort to the neglect and indifference of our neighbors. We have acted to preserve our own self-interest in the face of suffering. We have lacked creativity and compassion when envisioning solutions to the challenges many of your children face.

We are sorry. We humbly repent. Grant us the gift of hearts that grieve injustice, greed, hatred, and fear. Make us steadfast in faith and give us the courage to follow you, carrying our cross. Amen.

Hear the promise of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist: you are saved by faith and your sin is forgiven. Through God’s love, mercy, and justice, and by God’s choosing, you have been set free from sin. Now, with renewed hearts, let us serve others and honor the world God made, knowing the good news we have received is for all people. Amen.

Collect of the Day

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word

The First Reading

Joshua 5:9-12 Reader:  Don

9The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

10While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm

Psalm 32 Reader:  Hannah

Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven,
       and whose sin is put away!
Happy are they to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
       and in whose spirit there is no guile!

While I held my tongue, my bones withered away,
       because of my groaning all day long.
For your hand was heavy upon me day and night;
       my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
       and did not conceal my guilt.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
       Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in
                           time of trouble;
       when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
You are my hiding-place;
   you preserve me from trouble;
       you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you
                            should go;
       I will guide you with my eye.
1Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding;
       who must be fitted with bit and bridle,
       or else they will not stay near you.”

11 Great are the tribulations of the wicked;
       but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.
12 Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord;
       shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

The Second Reading 

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Reader:  Don

16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (15:1-3, 11b-32)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3So he told them this parable:

11“There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Sermon – The Rev. Fletcher Harper

The Prayers

A Contemporary Creed

We believe in one God, the Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
Source of all life and all love.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son,
Fully God, fully human,
Savior of the world,
The risen King of kings.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The very breath and power of God,
Sustainer of our life in Christ.

We believe in the church, Christ’s body,
God’s family for the spiritually homeless,
Called to be Love and Light,
To pursue justice and show mercy,

To proclaim the Good News of Christ,
To work for the common good of humanity.
Amen.

Prayers of the People

Reader: Susan

At this time of great crisis for so many of your children and for our precious planet, we come to you God, imploring your help and inspiration

In Lent, we remember how Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to pray.  We pray that during this Lent we, too, take the time to look into our own values and our relationship with God. We pray to the Lord​     

Lord, hear our prayer

We are all tempted to do wrong from time to time. We pray that we, like Jesus, have the strength to resist temptation and to do what is right. We pray to the Lord​   

Lord, hear our prayer

Almighty God, Loving Father, we pray for the people of Ukraine and others afflicted by violence, for  those suffering or afraid, for the wounded and the refugee. Be close to them and protect them. We pray to the Lord​    

Lord, hear our prayer

We pray for world leaders, that compassion, strength and wisdom guide them in their decision making. We pray to the Lord​    

Lord, hear our prayer

We pray for the better-off nations of the world, that in this and every moment of need, they may reach out in solidarity to their brothers and sisters. We pray to the Lord​    

Lord, hear our prayer

We pray for this beautiful Earth, that an unstoppable movement arise in a spirit of determination to protect it.  We pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer

We bow our heads, close our eyes, and remember in silence our own personal intentions, for those who have asked for our prayers, for those sick or suffering.  (Silence) We pray to the Lord​    

Lord hear our prayer

We remember those who have died – those whom we love, and all those we do not know but who are precious in God’s sight. (Silence)  We pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer

We pray, Lord, that these our prayers, joined with those of people around the world, help guide those waging war on people and planet alike bring an end to this meaningless destruction and restore peace. We make these prayers through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

The Peace

Announcements

For those that would like a daily Bible read coupled with edgy thought for the 40 days of Lent, there’s an app for that on your smart phone or tablet — “Into the Desert”– made available by the same folks who developed the study guide (above).

Important Dates

4/3 – Last day for Easter Flower Memorials (donations encouraged)
4/10 – 4/24 – United Thank Offering collection
4/1 – 4/30 – Collection of items for babies for North Porch

Prayer List

The Family of Gary Chapman
The Family of Roy Holloway
The Penievska family

Add a name to the prayer list by sending an email to prayers@oursavioursecaucus.church

Birthdays

If we missed your birthday, you can let us know when it is through the member portal, tell Hank, Susan or Shanna, or send an email to webmaster@oursavioursecaucus.church

Flowers: Lucille Russell by Family

The Holy Communion

Walk in love, as Christ loves us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.   Ephesians 5:2

During the Offertory, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

Doxology

Praise god from whom all blessings flow. Praise them all creatures here below. Praise god above the heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
(Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), para. of Psalm 117; Music: Old 100th, melody from Pseaumes octante trois de David, 1551, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois (1510?-1561?); Licensed for Use: CCLI Copyright License 20716203; CCLI Streaming License 20716210

Representatives of the congregation bring the people’s offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the deacon or celebrant. The people stand while the offerings are presented and placed on the Altar.

The Great Thanksgiving

God is here

All is not lost

May our hearts be open

And able to receive

Let us give thanks for grace unending

That our world might one day be restored

We lift up our praise to you, Holy God of justice, who has promised to restore the beautiful Earth in which power is returned to those to whom it has been denied. God, who sent your son Jesus Christ to call for repentance from sin and proclaim freedom to the oppressed, in these forty days lead us into the desert of accountability. As Christ rejected The Deceiver while in the desert, call us to reject the demons of our time, cleansing the spirits of individualism and defensiveness, perfectionism and fear. Help us grow in wisdom and compassion that we may be the Body of Christ made whole once again. When we hide in our own comfort, challenge us. When we hoard power, humble us. When we see only one way, open before us new paths leading towards peace rooted in equity. As we prepare for the Easter feast, let us be joyful that you have prepared a seat for your whole human family and for all Creation at your table, calling us to join with angels and saints of every race and culture, praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy God, giver of gospel and law, heaven and earth reflect your beautiful diversity.

We adore you God. Blessed is the Savior who comes to bring the Holy Advocate into our world.

We adore you God.

God, our creator, you gave your only child to model for us the giving up of earthly power, radical love of neighbor, and sharing of all possessions, even giving up life and breath in the name of love.

On the night he was betrayed, our Savior took bread, and gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to the disciples saying “Take; eat; this is my body given over to you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

After supper, he took the cup and when he had given thanks, he shared freely, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

With this bread, strengthen us for the Lenten journey of self-reflection, repentance, and Atonement. 

With this wine, fill us with the fire to follow your call to deny ourselves and pick up our cross, the struggles we ourselves must face.

Knowing Jesus came to proclaim Good News to the poor and to free the oppressed, surrendering life for our salvation, we remember Jesus’ sacrificial passion. We proclaim his resurrection and the defeat of death. We live into the hope that he will return to restore our divided and unbalanced world. 

Send now, we pray, the breath of Your Wisdom to permeate these gifts of bread and wine, that we may take into ourselves the Holy Spirit who is truth and conviction.

Through, with, and in Jesus, unified in the Holy Spirit, our gratitude and praise are yours, O God, now and forever. 

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

And now, in the words that Jesus taught us, we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven. hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kindgom 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.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
forever and ever.  Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast.

These are the gifts of God for you, the people of God.

The congregation receives communion.

(AT THE COMMUNION: We encounter the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this Sacrament of Holy Communion. All who desire a closer relationship with God are encouraged to come forward: for a Blessing or, if you are baptized, for the Bread and Wine. NOTE: Until all restrictions have been lifted, only the bread is offered for communion.)

(Please form a distanced line in the aisle and come forward to receive from the priest.)

Prayer after Communion

Holy God, through your death, we are fed with the bread of life. Let us follow your way to the cross, to be for others a sign of your compassion and life. As you have fed us, let us go out to be part of feeding the world. Amen.

Blessing

May God lead you to openness that grants understanding.
May God guide you to accountability that begins restoration.
May God inspire you to transforming love that celebrates all people and all creation.

Closing Hymn

Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Credits

Disrupt Worship Project, adapted by Fletcher Harper https://www.disruptworshipproject.com/lent-2021-christ-have-mercy/ 

Contemporary Creed – https://brandonacox.com/modern-creed/Prayers of the People – https://acireland.ie/prayers-of-the-faithful-4-2-2/

Ministers in this Service

Service Leader: Fletcher

Altar Guild/Flowers: Susan J

Verger/Tech Vergers: Kiki

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