Welcome from Pastor Joanna
Hello, everyone. I would like to extend a warm and contagion-free welcome to you all.
For those of you who are regular Peace Mennonite participants, I am sorry to not be seeing you in person this morning. For those of you who are Peace Mennonite friends from afar, I’m grateful for this opportunity to join together again in worship. And for other guests who are joining us, welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to you all in the name of Christ and in the Spirit of love.
I am grateful to be part of a community committed to caring for each other. As part of that care we have decided to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us by not worshiping in person this week or next (March 15 and 22). Stay tuned for information about March 29 and beyond.
Some of my pastor friends have joked about giving up church for Lent. I assure you that we are NOT giving up being church. We are, however, experimenting with some new ways of doing church. I have developed the worship service below for you to participate in at home as you have time. It roughly follows the order of our normal Sunday morning service. I invite you to go through this service prayerfully, either alone or with others in your household. Linger with the parts that feel most meaningful to you and, if possible, take at least one of the offered opportunities to connect at a distance with others in the church.
And here’s your first opportunity to connect:
I will be available on Zoom on Sunday morning (March 15) from 10:30-11:30 (Central Standard Time). We will not be going through the worship order together, but you are welcome to stop in to talk with me and others who might stop by. To join us on Zoom, you simply need to click on the “Zoom” link above. If you have not used the program before, it should download automatically when you click the link. If you prefer to use your phone, the Zoom app is available for iPhone and Android.
And now, I invite you to worship.
In this time of worship, God, may my eyes be open to your eternal truth.
May my ears be open to your holy voice.
May my heart be open in sincere prayer.
May my mind be open to your love and comfort.
I offer my whole self to you, O God, in this time of worship. Amen.
Opening Song: “All who are thirsty”
This is a song from the Voices Together hymnal that will come out later this year. I think Andrea is somewhere there singing with this group.
Sharing Joys and Concerns
What would you like us to know about your life? How can we hold you in prayer this week? Please consider sharing with the community in one of the following ways:
- If it is between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. on March 15, go to the Zoom hangout.
- Leave a comment on this blog post. (Note that this is a public page, so do not share anything that you do not want to be public.)
- Share a comment in the “Friends of Peace Mennonite” Facebook group. If you’re not part of the group and would like to be, let me know. (Note that this is more private than a blog comment, but is still on-line group communication and should not be considered completely private.)
- Send an email to pastor Joanna (PeaceMennoPastor@gmail.com) or your Ministry Team representative.
- Call pastor Joanna or your Ministry Team representative. (If you do not have the phone number you need, email Joanna and she can share it with you.)
As you pray, silently or aloud:
- Give God thanks for what is good and beautiful in your life and in the world right now.
- Pray for those who are struggling and suffering–include any prayer requests you know of from others in our church community and prayers for those impacted by the coronavirus.
- Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in your life.
- Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.
Children’s Time: Saul Anoints David
Or you can simply read 1 Samuel 16:1-13 here or in your Bible.
Hymn: Open my eyes that I may see
Scripture: John 9:1-41
You can read the text or watch the video below. Yes, it’s a long scripture reading. (Don’t worry, the message is short.)
Message from pastor Joanna: You can hear an audio of some thoughts on today’s scripture readings here.
Sharing: If you are worshiping with others, discuss any thoughts you have on today’s scripture readings, message, or worship in general. You are also invited to share your thoughts in the same ways indicated for sharing joys and concerns (above): going to Zoom, commenting here, posting in the Facebook group, or reaching out by email or phone.
Prayer Hymn: Healer of our every ill
*Note that the chorus of this song takes about 20 seconds to sing. Consider using it as your hand washing song this week!
Prayer: I’m sharing again the prayer from Mennonite Church USA by Kayla Berkey.
We pray for people in the U.S and around the world impacted by coronavirus.
We pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have been quarantined and are feeling alone.
We pray for healing for those who are sick.
We pray for safety, strength and compassion for medical workers who may be overwhelmed caring for those who are battling various illnesses, and workers who are exposed to greater risks.
We pray that our public officials act with compassion and wisdom as they work to contain the virus.
We pray for those without access to health care, and for those who don’t know how they will make it if they get sick and can’t go to work.
We pray that your peace will guard our hearts and minds so that we are not overcome by anxiety and fear.
God, inspire in us ways to show your love to one another and to ourselves. Guide our hearts and our actions to greater care, kindness and generosity in the midst of these fears and uncertainties. Amen.
Friends, we do still have to pay our church bills even though we are not meeting in person for worship these few weeks. If possible, please mail contributions to the church: Peace Mennonite; 615 Lincoln St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.
And remember that we are collecting coins (and bills and checks) for Mennonite Central Committee. Consider setting out a jar for My Coins Count at home to collect money. Then bring your contributions to church when we gather again!
God of the wilderness,
We give these offerings in gratitude,
rejoicing in the abundance of your gifts to us.
We give these offerings in faith,
trusting that you will provide for our needs.
We give these offerings in hope,
knowing you can use them to spread your love in this world.
And with these offerings, we give ourselves;
May we live with generous hearts, with open hands. Amen
Announcements are on the church web site. Please read them. There is a lot going on–and also a lot that is not going on. Some of the late March/early April events may be cancelled, but we have left them on the calendar for now.
*If you need assistance during this time, please contact Joanna or your Ministry Team member. There are people willing and able to run errands, get groceries, deliver the elusive toilet paper . . . whatever you need.
Request from Joanna for next week:
I would LOVE some contributions from you all for our worship service next week. The focus scripture is the story of the woman at the well in John 4. You can send me any of the following–or something else I haven’t thought of–to be posted with next week’s worship:
- A photo or other work of visual art you have made that reflects the story.
- A poem about the story.
- A written reflection on the story.
- A video of you and your family/friends acting out the story or talking about the story.
- A link to something online you found that helps you think about the story.
- A prayer related to the story.
- An audio file of or YouTube link to music related to the story.
- A picture of you so we can all see your beautiful face.
Please email: PeaceMennoPastor@gmail.com
Sending Hymn: Be thou my vision
As you leave this time of worship, may your eyes be open to God’s eternal truth.
May your ears be open to the holy voice.
May your heart be open in sincere prayer.
May your mind be open to the Divine love and comfort.
May you know the deep and abiding peace of Christ.
And finally, a commission:
Look through your church directory (or address list if you don’t have a directory) and choose someone to particularly pray for and send an encouraging note to this week.