Past Weeks' Worship

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Midweek Message - May 28, 2020 

 

Chaos - Assurance & Action 05-28-20

God creates out of chaos-- the noisy, messy chaos of Pentecost, and the quiet, separating chaos of Genesis. What is God creating in you during this uncertainty and separation?

 

 

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Worship Outline - May 24, 2020

 

 

Opening Prayer - by Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent

Holy and living God,
In you “we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28)
In you we find our shelter and strength,
In you our hearts are being filled with joy each morning, 
In you we sing praises with a new song,
In you we trust that your promises are the way.

Like those disciples in Acts 1 experiencing the time in between,
Witnessing Ascension of Jesus Christ and awaiting the decent of the Holy Spirit, 
A time in between staring into heaven and staying in one place.

During our time in between, 
We wait with hope for you are the source of every hope,
We wait with patience for your timing is always perfect,
We wait with prayer for you are listening intently,
We wait with praise for you take all our anxieties as we cast them on you.

During this time, we pray especially for…
Those who are graduates with uncertainty hindering their future, 
Those who lost their jobs and are finding ways to meet their finanical needs,
Those who lost their loved ones, and their funeral services are limited or postponed,
Those who are fighting against addiction and are unable to meet with their recovery groups,
Those who feel fear as hate crimes and incidents arise. 

During this time, O God,
Enter into our sorrows, worries, addictions, financial burdens, fears, and injustices, 
Fill us with your grace, hope, and joy abundantly, 
Turn each home into a place of peace, unity, and love for each other,
Renew our hearts and minds to seek the knowledge of your mercy and love,
Help our souls to be united in incessant prayer.

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - We don't know what will happen next; rather than fight that, we can sit with it.  

Learning to Sit with Not Knowing, Carrie Newcomer

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 05-24-20

Pastor Becca and William explore how water is the same "stuff" but changes form. How is the church the same, even though it looks different? 

    *

Centering Song - How does life change when we look at it from the eyes of our heart? 

Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord, Mercy Me (reprise) 

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
    Luke 24:44-53
    Ephesians 1:15-23

     *

Message - "Eyes of the Heart" (Premieres Sunday at 10:30 am) 
     Message for 05-24-20

The church has always been called to find new and changing ways to be the Body of Christ in the world. 

    *  

Prayer/Song - by Maren Tirabassi 

Improv on “We are the Church”

The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.

Zoom is the church! Youtube is the church!
We’re virtu’lly church together.
All who follow Jesus
keeping safe God’s people,
are surely the church together.

We are not economics,
we are not politicians.
We do not risk our fragile ones
for some leader’s definitions.

Zoom is the church! Facebook is the church!
We’re spiritu’lly church together.
Praying for the Spirit
as Jesus told us -- waiting,
no lockdown, just love-drawn together.

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference

(https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87165422868?pwd=MDR6MXQxQitOM0N1ZExVdDVrdjNrQT09)
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 871 6542 2868, 
then Password: 4485478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 871 6542 2868, #, and Password: 4485478

     *   

Closing Song - The church is always called into new dimensions... 

In the Midst of New Dimensions, First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

     *

Benediction - I will love out loud, live without permission, and walk in the light... 

Take me Alive, Michael Franti

Full lyrics (because these are really incredible): 

I took the fire from my heart, and held it in my hand
Watched it burn down the buildings and rage through the land
I took the fire from my heart, and put it in my words
Wrote it down on a sign, wrote it on a wall, so everybody heard
I would love out loud, live without permission, and walk in the light
I will stand beside you, stand on the corner all through the night
Take me alive; take me alive
While my heart's still beating, take me alive
I brought water from the well and washed my face clean
Let go of the sadness and it let go of me
I brought water from the well, from my deepest place inside
No longer a stranger, no longer alone, no need to hide
I will love out loud, live without permission, walk in the light
I will stand beside you, stand on the corner all through the night
Take me alive, oh, take me alive
While my heart's still beating, take me alive
Took the fire from my heart, and held it in my hand
I let it take me over, let it in my soul, and now I understand
I will love out loud, live without permission, and walk in the light
I will stand beside you, stand on the corner all through the night
Take me alive; take me alive
While my heart's still beating, take me alive

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: stone heart by Adrian; girl with heart by abcdz2000, both from FreeImages

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Midweek Message - May 20, 2020

 

Wait - Assurance & Action 05-20-20

We don't know when we will get to the wonderful moment when we can worship together in person again-- but we will get there, in God's time. In the mean time, we have to live in the waiting.  

  

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Worship Outline - May 17, 2020

 

 

Opening Prayer - by Thom Shuman

Come to worship, people of God, with praises on your lips.
Even when we are feeling isolated and fearful,
we can glorify the One who holds our hands in our loneliness.

Come into the presence of the One who makes holy
every place, every space, holy and sacred.
Even where we continue to stay safe in our homes,
the doors of grace are flung wide open for us.
Come and hear the stories of the One who loves you.
In living rooms, on laptops and devices, 
We will sing our songs and tell those tales
of the peace and of the hope which is ours.

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - We love as we have been loved by God-- Love Divine! 

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, Grace Community Church 

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 05-17-20

Pastor Becca wonders if we can change the sadness in our hearts, or at least if there is enough love to make it a little better.

    *

Centering Song - Love is how we are known.

By Our Love, sung by For King & Country, dancers Patience Gordon
(with lyrics

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
    1 Peter 3:13-17
     John 13:33-35

     *

Message - "A Little Love in My Heart" (Premieres Sunday at 10:30 am) 
     Message for 05-17-20

 We may not always know what the right thing is, but if we act from love, we will be on the right track.

    *  

Prayer - by Thom Shuman

When it does not seem
to matter to many, Creator God,
we will dare to be your people,
  to love those the world
    would have us reject,
  to be just in the face
    of every reason to be cruel,
  to be unafraid
    of whatever awaits us.
When all the odds seem
stacked against us, Jesus our Savior,
we still dare to live as
your sisters and brothers,
  serving others
    even from the safety of our homes,
  sharing in the burdens
     of our neighbors,
  refusing to leave the lonely
    orphaned with no hope.
When the props are knocked
out from under us
by fears and worries, Faithful Spirit,
we dare to breathe
  joy upon those
    caught in the net of hopeless,
  peace into all
    the quavering hearts around us,
  wonder for all those
    who look for you but do not see.
In you, we dare to live and breathe and be,
God in Community, Holy in One. 

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference

(https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87165422868?pwd=MDR6MXQxQitOM0N1ZExVdDVrdjNrQT09)
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 871 6542 2868, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 871 6542 2868, and Password: 448 5478

     *   

Closing Song - It's love that lifts us up. 

Love Lifted Me, The Forester Sisters 

     *

Benediction - Love is all we need.

All You Need is Love, The Beatles 

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: glass heart by Helmut Gevert; love hands by sunshizzle, both from FreeImages

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Mid Week Message - May 13, 2020

 

Rest - Assurance & Action 05-13-20

Even Jesus takes some time apart to rest and connect to God. This week, you are encouraged to take care of yourself. 

 

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Worship Outline - May 10, 2020

 

 

Opening Prayer - by Becca 

God our tender parent, 
we have locked ourselves in our households, 
our little bubbles of security, 
hoping that this will keep us safe, 
praying that this is not too distant for you to find us 
even here. 

Suddenly we can trust only those in our household, 
in our quarantine bubbles, 
those who covenant with one another to venture forth with caution, 
and only by necessity, 
because the safety of everyone in the household, 
in the quarantine bubble, 
depends on everyone else. 

And yet we hear that we are part of your household.
We are part of your family. 
Are we part of your quarantine bubble? 
Is our safety forever linked with your action, 
your protection, your creating a space for us? 
A safe space.
A loving space.
A household that covenants to care for one another, 
to hold each life with the gentleness and sacredness 
with which we hold our own, 
and then some. 

And if you have prepared a place for us, 
in the safety of your household, 
in the protection of your steadfast love, 
then teach us, please, 
homeschool us please, 
the Way of your love that leads us ever home. 

Amen. 

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - We need not fear if we are held in God's heart 

Near to the Heart of God, Tiffany Coburn

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 05-10-20

Pastor Becca and William talk about Mother's Day, with some thoughts about how God is like a parent, and some pro tips on celebrating your mom from a kid who is-- in this pastor's unbiased opinion-- pretty good at it. 

    *

Centering Song - Why be discouraged, or troubled at heart? 

His Eye is on the Sparrow, Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blount

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
    Psalm 31:1-5
     John 14:1-7, 18-21

     *

Message - "No Trouble in My Heart" (Premieres Sunday at 10:30 am) 
     Message for 05-10-20

Jesus reminds us that we do not need to let our hearts be troubled, because we are part of the household of God. 

     *  

Prayer - by Maren Tirabassi 

Blessing from John 14 in a season of coronavirus

Your hearts are troubled,
and it is no sacrilege to let them be so.

Someone you know just entered
God’s house --
the one with the footprint
of so many rooms
for every faith in the world,
for every child of God,
even the ones who don’t think
they have a faith.

Blessed are they --
everyone in a place just right,
and prepared so lovingly.
Some are in the chapel
watching the angel rehearsal,
others in a bedroom,
resting after a long, tiring life.

Some are in the kitchen
drinking coffee with grandma,
or are in the yard playing catch
with a dog gone a decade,
or are met on the front porch
by someone running
to wrap them in arms of love.

Yes, blessed are they,
but, in our time of coronavirus,
isolated grief, postponed memorials,
Jesus saying --
“I won’t leave you orphaned,”
just feels like a lie.

Blessed are you who insist,
like Thomas did, that we don’t know
even where Jesus has gone,
so how can we know the way?

For the answer comes.
“Look how I lived -- that is the Way.
Listen in your heart --
because even when the religions
try to organize the be-jesus
out of mystery,
I don’t tell the heart unTruth.
And trust Life -- the one that gave you
those memories of joy,
and the one you keep on living
to your own holy threshold.

"You cannot outrun grief
or outsmart the universal love of God,
but you can hold my hand.”

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to continue giving to Listen Community Services and/or to donate to our Garden Station outreach, which began on Easter Sunday. Bring pots, tools you don't need, extra seeds, and so on to the church, and encourage your neighbors to take what they need to plant some garden for themselves. If you want to contribute financially to this effort, please make your donation via the Pastor's Discretionary Fund and note that it's for the Garden Ministry. 

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference

(https://zoom.us/j/682470579?pwd=OVRvK0ZXREdPMGpLdXVncnB5bVpLZz09)
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478
Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - In our homes, in God's home, we can find joy

Happy the Home when God is There, Charles E. Szabo 

     *

Benediction - Really the only song that I think of when I say "Let Go," whether of fear, worry, or expectations.

Let it Go, Disney/Idina Menzel 

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: heart on glass by Marcelo De Monte; heart shutter by Jesper Markward Olsen, both from FreeImages

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Mid Week Message - 05-06-20

 

Lament - Assurance & Action 05-06-20

We have a lot to grieve right now, and grief is okay. You are invited to let go and let out your sorrow-- that, too, is holy. 

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Worship Outline - May 3, 2020

 

 

 

Opening Prayer - by Rev. Megan Stowe, Central MA District Superintendent

O Good Shepherd,
We seek and listen for your voice.
We are thankful that you guide and protect us.
Be with us these days when we are literally walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. 
Restore all of us who are struggling body, mind and spirit.
Lead us alongside the still waters.
We look forward to the day when we can feast at the table you have prepared for us.
Your mercy comforts us.
All of our days, we are reminded that you are with us. Amen.

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - Good Shepherd, lead us. 

Shepherd Me, O God, Marty Haugen

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 05-03-20

Do you ever feel like you might burst or overflow? What do you think would come out? 

     *

Centering Song - A special prayer-song based on Psalm 23, written for the pandemic

 Shelter Me, Father Joncas

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Psalm 23
     John 10:1-10

     *

Message - "Overflowing Hearts" (Premieres Sunday at 10:30 am) 
     Message for 05-03-20

We know our hearts feel full, but are we filled with fear, worry, and anger, or with hope, peace, and love? 

     *  

Prayer - by Becca 

God our Refuge, we would love to stay forever in the arms of your protection, safe in the pens where you shelter us. Yet we also yearn for the freedom of green pasture, and the boundless joy of abundant life. Help us see the shelter of the sheepfold as how you are protecting us, not contstraining us. Even as our bodies dwell in safety, do not let our hearts be confined to isolation and obscurity. As a Shepherd, call us out; as a Gate, open opportunities for our hearts to move into new and abundant life. Help us reject the voices of fear and vanity and faithlessness, and follow our Good Shepherd in peace and hope. Amen. 

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to continue giving to Listen Community Services and/or to donate to our Garden Station outreach, which began on Easter Sunday. Bring pots, tools you don't need, extra seeds, and so on to the church, and encourage your neighbors to take what they need to plant some garden for themselves. If you want to contribute financially to this effort, please make your donation via the Pastor's Discretionary Fund and note that it's for the Garden Ministry. 

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

This Sunday you are invited to have food and drink on hand-- any food and drink will do! We will bless and share together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
(https://zoom.us/j/682470579?pwd=OVRvK0ZXREdPMGpLdXVncnB5bVpLZz09)
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478
Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - Thanks be to God for steadfast love!  

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Christian Worship Music

     *

Benediction - One love, one heart, all over the world 

One Love, Playing for Change

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: tree heart by Michal Zacharzewski, lamb by Anthony Robson; both from FreeImages

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Mid Week Message - 04-30-20

 

Nurture - Assurance & Action 04-30-20 

As we are loved and cared for by God in Christ, who we might also imagine as a good Shepherd (or dairy farmer), may we also nurture others-- plants, animals, strangers, and loved ones.

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Worship Outline - April 26, 2020

 

 

Opening Prayer - by Becca 

Sometimes, as we walk through our lives, we are unaware of God’s presence around us. 
Other times, our hearts burn within us at the nearness of the Holy. 
Though we may be slow to see you, be with us, O God, in all we do.  
Risen Christ, meet us here and help us to recognize you. Amen 

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - How does life change when we look at it from the eyes of our heart? 

Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord, Mercy Me

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 04-26-20

How does it feel to do nice things for people? 

     *

Centering Song - We are not alone... 

 You Do Not Walk Alone, traditional Irish blessing, arr. Elaine Hagenberg

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Acts 2:43-47
     Luke 24:13-35

     *

Message - "Straight From the Heart"
     Message for 04-26-20

When are we the most honest, the most recognizable, the most us

     *  

Prayer - by Becca 

O Life beyond the tomb, forgive us when our assumptions and incomplete understandings, our ignorance and stubbornness and fearfulness obscure your presence right in front of us. Burn persistently inside us, teasing out the truth and sketching it for us, until awareness finally awakens. And then, open us to your revelation, in the praying, blessing, loving, breaking, remembering of your sacramental love. May we receive you on the ordinary road and know you in the ordinary bread: broken, yet holy and whole. Amen.   

 

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to continue giving to Listen Community Services and/or to donate to our Garden Station outreach, which began on Easter Sunday. Bring pots, tools you don't need, extra seeds, and so on to the church, and encourage your neighbors to take what they need to plant some garden for themselves. If you want to contribute financially to this effort, please make your donation via the Pastor's Discretionary Fund and note that it's for the Garden Ministry. 

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
(https://zoom.us/j/682470579?pwd=OVRvK0ZXREdPMGpLdXVncnB5bVpLZz09)
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478
Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - If I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing... 

The Gift of Love, Koine Music 

     *

Benediction - Let us live honestly, stright from the heart

 Straight from the Heart, Brian Adams 

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: bleeding hearts by fantax and vine hearts by alex ringer, both from FreeImages

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~ 

Mid-Week Message - April 23

Earth - Assurance & Action 04-23-20

The earth is sacred, resilient, and healing. 

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

 

NASA feels it: the Heartbeat of creation. 
Visit their website for more images and resources

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Worship Outline - April 19

 

Opening Prayer - by Dr. Marcia McFee, Worship Design Studio, used with permission  

God of new dawns, new awakenings, new life,

we hear your voice this morning saying, 

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. 

With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” 

On this Easter day, you tell us we will be rebuilt and made new. 

In gratitude we hear you, Living God, and we believe you.

And so we will celebrate the gift of new life in Christ,

even in the midst of fear.

You give us eyes to see through tears,

songs to sing with throats tight with emotion.

We know you help the weary rise up out of the ashes.

Give us the courage to be your light and hope in this world today.

Amen.

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. Due to sharing permissions, the first hymn is not available with lyrics in a playlist.  

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - Every day to us is Easter!

Easter People, Raise Your Voices, Reveille UMC  
(There is a different version in the playlist, without the lyrics to sing along)

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 04-19-20

Does God love us even when we don't feel our best?

     *

Centering Song - We are bound together in love. 

Bind Us Together, Lord, (a cappella), by Worship God Almighty

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Matthew 28:1-10 
     John 20:19-23

     *

Message - "Go Home!"
     Message for 04-19-20

There's no place we can go where God isn't already there, loving us.  

      *  

Prayer by Maren Tirabassi

The Blessing of Thomas (...or how to prove that online worship has some resurrection verification)

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (John 20:29b)

Blessed are the ones, says Thomas,
to those who listen to him
this eastertide,
who don’t need a sanctuary to worship God.

Blessed are those who don’t need a choir
to hear holy music,
and who don’t need to sit in a pew
to open their hearts in prayer,
and who don’t need a stained glass window,
or a preacher or even bread and cup
to find the good news.

Blessed are those who really touch
even with gloves on,
who really smile with a mask,
who can be kind on Facetime or Zoom,
who follow a livestream to find Jesus alive.

But also blessed is the Thomas
in every one of us
who acknowledges our longing
to hold someone’s real warm hand
not just the story of a hand
that reaches out to someone else,

and who wants to feel
not Jesus long-ago bleeding side
(we congratulate ourselves about that)
but at least to feel side by side
with other Christians
in order to be side by side with Christ.

Blessed is the Thomas in all of us
who lives with doubts and hopes,

and learns to let go of all expectations
when waiting to meet God.

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to give a special Easter offering if you are able and so moved. You can also donate your extra gardening supplies to our Garden Station outreach, which began on Easter Sunday. Bring pots, tools you don't need, extra seeds, and so on to the church, and encourage your neighbors to take what they need to plant some garden for themselves. If you want to contribute financially to this effort, please make your donation via the Pastor's Discretionary Fund and note that it's for the Garden Ministry. 

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478

Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - Celebrating the resurrection - love victorious over death! 

Thine Be The Glory, produced by ianbritton.co.uk

     *

Benediction - We're not here to convert or condemn; love is our religion. 

Love is My Religion, Ziggy Marley

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: sunrise by Sharon Brucker; hands & sunrise by Mayumi Ueno both from FreeImages

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

 

Mid-Week Message of Assurance & Action - "Hello" - 04-16-20

How do we show one another hospitality and greeting, while we are distant? 

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~ 

Easter Worship Outline- April 12 

 

 Sunrise Reflection - scripture and prayer at sunrise

Easter Sunrise Reflection (video will be available at 6 am)

     * 

Morning Music - Wake up to Hallelujahs! 

Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, Royal Choral Society 

     *

Opening Prayer - by Ophelia Hu Kinney, HopeGateWay, Portland, Maine

God over death and suffering,
God with our grief and confusion,
You give us the gift of resurrection
Even when it seems impossible.

Even in our doubts and
Especially in our disbelief,
You showed us how you bent the universe
Around the snares of death
To envelop us in Your love.

Even when we expect nothing and
Especially when our hope is dashed,
You surprise us with liberation we could not
Imagine on our own.
You gift us with a new way of being
That we could not fulfill alone.

Jesus the Christ, the Messiah,
The hope of all nations,
Was tortured and left on a cross to die
A painful and shameful death.
He rose from the grave against all explanation,
And came to break bread with his friends and disciples.

God in us all, God who connects us,
In the resurrection of the Christ, we glimpse our own.
We are beloved children of the greatest mystery,
The humblest victory,
Through Your all-igniting love.

Hallelujah!

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after our virtual choir for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - Love is come again, like wheat arising green.

 Now the Green Blade Rises, performed by First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 04-12-20

Pastor Becca and William explore the joy and surprise of Easter with some fun, surprising things you can make at home. 

     *

Easter Song - Celebrate resurrection! 

Up From the Grave He Arose, by Daniel Thornton (performed by isbaptist Toronto) 

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Mark 16:1-8

     *

Message - Empty
     Message for 04-12-20

What can God do with emptiness?

      *  

Lebanon UMC Virtual Anthem

Christ the Lord is Risen Today, performed by us! 

     *

Prayer - (by Becca)

Loving God, we confess that like the disciples of old we run and hide from the terror and sadness of the crucifixion. Even now, in the joyful light of the resurrection, we’re not sure what it all means, and what we really believe. Remind us again that the faithful ones at the tomb were just as confused and broken as we are. Remind us that the empty tomb was the birthplace of faith overcoming fear. Meet us in our emptiness, and fill us with hope at your good news, that we too can find faith in that which we have not yet seen. In the name of the Risen Christ we pray. Amen. 


     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to give a special Easter offering if you are able and so moved. You can also donate your extra gardening supplies to our Garden Station outreach, which begins on Easter Sunday! Bring pots, tools you don't need, extra seeds, and so on to the church, and encourage your neighbors to take what they need to plant some garden for themselves. If you want to contribute financially to this effort, please make your donation via the Pastor's Discretionary Fund and note that it's for the Garden Ministry. 

God, we thank you for the promise of new and everlasting life, a promise that shatters even the strongest bonds of fear and death! Receive our gifts, and use us in your service, inthe name of the Risen Christ. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478

Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - Christ is risen, Christ is present, making us what he has been: evidence of transformation in which God is known and seen.

Christ Has Risen, by John Bell

     *

Benediction - Reprise, from The UMC's Discipleship Ministries

Christ the Lord is Risen Today, UMC Worldwide Virtual Choir 

 

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed! 

 

photo credits: our church at work 

 

 ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Maundy Thursday & Good Friday  

 

Maundy Thursday - April 9

"Maundy" comes from the Latin word for commandment, and Maundy Thursday recalls Jesus' last meal with his disciples, when he encouraged them (and us) to serve one another and love one another as he has first loved us. In remembrance of this "commandment" to love and serve, we often symbolically wash one another's hands or feet, and share in communion together. 

     *

Opening Prayer - The Love of Jesus, by John Birch (Faith and Worship) 

The Love of Jesus

This is love.
Not that you spoke words of comfort,
walked with the unclean and unloved,
shared wisdom, bread and wine,
brought healing into lives
and challenged the status quo.

This is love.
That you spoke the word of God,
walked a painful road to the Cross,
shared living water, bread of life,
brought Salvation to the world
and died for the sake of all.

This is love.
It is a seed
sown in the ground,
which germinates,
blossoms,
and spreads its sweet perfume.

Love grows
as it is given,
blossoms
as it is shown.

Love flows
like a steam,
refreshes
that which is sown.

Love grows
as it is spoken,
embraces
hearts and souls.
Love flows,
like a river
filling
empty vessels full.

Love grows
as it is taken,
increases
as it is shared.
Love flows
like an ocean
spreading
around the world.

Your love
flows like a stream
into the ocean of your Grace.
Your love
encircles this world,
displays your faithfulness.
Your love
is patient and kind,
brings wholeness and true peace.

Your love
is all we desire
to heal our brokenness.
As all things pass
and fade away
love remains
eternally

     *
 
Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now (you will need to skip ahead to about 4:58 in the livestream to avoid waiting).
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after "At This Table" for our time of praying and sharing in love and service (either watching the live video or calling in through zoom), then conclude the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below.
      *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - Christ calls us this night to serve and love others as he has served and loved us. 

The Servant Song, produced by the Diocese of St. Benedict

     *

Walk the Lebanon UMC Labyrinth - Walk the Labyrinth with Pastor Becca 
In this 8-minute video, you can travel the LUMC Labyrinth, in the rain, as a reflective prayer practice. 

     *

Invitation to the Table - At this table, everyone is welcome... there will be no judgement, and mercy has a seat.

At This Table, by Idina Menzel
The video might look like Christmas, but the lyrics and invitation speak of the Last Supper.

     *

Gathering Together - Praying and Sharing in Love & Service - 6 p.m.

This portion of the worship service is available by video after the service, was available "live" at the White River Junction UMC YouTube Channel and over Zoom.

     *

Closing Song & Benediction - We eat and drink, heal and serve, in remembrance of Jesus 

In Remembrance, by Robert Kochis, performed by TheIslandSing

     *

photo credits: communion by Martin BOULANGER from FreeImages 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~ 

Good Friday - April 10

Why do we call the observance of Jesus' death "good"? Because this act of love and sacrifice revelas God's incredible love for us, and opens the world up to the possiblity of new life through Christ. This year, we don't need to stretch our minds to imagine the expereince of suffering or loss, but we might need the reminder that Jesus, too, walked this road with us, and God never abandons us. 

     *

Opening Prayer - by Maren Tirabassi

God, each of us knows
a modern-day Simon of Cyrene
who carries this year’s cross
in direct service
to those who are ill,

and each of us tries
to sit pieta,
that we call shelter-in-place,
holding on fragile knees
the brokenness of beloveds —
in loneliness,
so many kinds of loss,
fear of the future.

This year we understand
what it is
to have the fabric of our lives
torn from end to end. 

     *
 
Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now (Skip to 4:27 in the prayers/readings to avoid the wait).
Click the link and start the playlist, skippingahead to 4:27 in the Good Friday message video, and returning to this page for a closing prayer. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below.

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along - We prepare to pray with Jesus 

Go to Dark Gethsemane performed by EliEli

      *

Prayerful Hand-Washing Reflection - Hand-washing as an Act of Love

     *

Music for Reflection - God's love for us is wondrous. 

What Wondrous Love is This? performed by Fernando Ortega

     *

Coming Together - Sharing Prayer, Reflection, and the Gathering Darkness - 6 p.m.

This portion of the worship service is now available by video, and was "live" on the White River Junction UMC YouTube Channel and over Zoom. 

 

     *

Prayer / Poem - by Andy Stinton 

At the Cross

I wait,
And time ticks past.

I gaze,
Made silent by the sight.

I watch,
As soldiers meticulously move
Executing each terrible, torturous task.

I gasp,
Still life lingers in His fragile, broken form.

I flinch,
As blow by blow,
Nails bite deep through flesh to find wood.

I stand
As He is lifted high,
Silhouetted 'gainst the sky which He has made.

I weep
As His cry echoes deep in my hardened, calloused heart.

I wail,
As He screams 'it is complete,
Finished, final, said and done.'

I fall,
As the sky turns inky black
And the sun and moon and stars forget to shine.

I kneel,
As worlds collide,
And time ticks by;
What once bound, no longer seems to hold.

I bow,
For part of me is gone,
Kept forever on Calvary's painful peak.

I wait,
At the foot of the cross, to begin my journey home.

     * 

Closing Song & Benediction - Were you there when the sun refused to shine? 

Were You There? a capella by Pegasis

     *

We wait for God's promise of new life. Even in the midst of loss and illness and death, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. 

photo credits: dead tree by Dave Sherring; thorns by Ryan Aréstegui, both from FreeImages

 
~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

 

Worship outline - Week of Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday


Opening Prayer
 - (by Becca) 

God, this Palm Sunday, when our own palms are the very things we fear-- (what viruses live between our fingers, under our nails, in our lifelines and love lines, in every line?)-- save us, we beseech thee. 

We want to lift our Hosannas, our cries for help, our cries proclaiming your goodness, your deliverance (deliver us. really.)

We want to shout and sing for joy, for hope, for victory. We want to shout and sing together. We want to simply be together, your gathered Body, doing and loving and being here and now, and as one. 

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

That is the simple prayer, long ago: Hosanna. Save us. Please. 

That is our simple prayer, even now. 

We lift our palms: dirty, scrubbed clean, cracked with over-sanitizing, aching from trying to help and heal. We lift our voices: hesitant from lack of use, weakened by being alone, tentative because we don't know if you will hear. We lift our hearts, with all of humanity, with all of creation, because we know that even when our voices are silent and our hands are stilled, still your love and strength and healing cry out from the smallest, the humblest, the least likely corners of your sacred earth.

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

We are no better than the crowds, laying cloaks and leaves before you long ago. And surely, we are no worse. And surely, "better" and "worse" are irrelevant to a God who loves unconditionally. 

Save us. Help us. Heal us. Deliver us. 

We believe in your grace. We believe in your love. We believe you are with us, even here, even now. 

Thank you.

Amen. 

     *

Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

     *

Music for Centering or Singing Along -

Prelude for Palm Sunday
The Palms, by Jean-Baptiste Faure, sung by Oregon Sacred Festival Chorale

Welcoming Christ with glory and praise
All Glory, Laud, and Honor, (with processional) First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

     *

A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 04-05-20

All the world speaks of God's love and strength!  

     *

Centering Song - The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing... 
Hosanna!, Jesus Christ, Superstar (1973 film)

     *

Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
     Luke 19:28-40

     *

Message - If These Were Silent ...
     Message for 04-05-20

The rocks and stones gather for us, proclaim for us, the love and strength of God, even when we cannot.  

      *  

Prayer by Lynn Unger, 3/11/2020

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

     *

Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments, or make your gift online through our secure donation link:

This week, you are also encouraged to give a designated gift to Lebanon UMC for the Pastor's Discretionary Fund (through the link above, or you can mail it to the church), or to give a gift directly to Listen Community Services. We are still giving out gas vouchers from the church, but offering grocery cards only in extreme cases (since sending folks to the grocery store comes with its own risks). Listen has increased their non-perishable and prepared food offerings, and can use everyone's help. 

God, we thank you for the abundance with which you bless us, even and especially in times of fear and sickness and isolation. Receive our gifts, our love of you and of your children, and our hearts in gratitude and hope. Amen. 

     *

Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

You are invited to have some food and drink on hand as we bless and share and know that Christ is present with us. 

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

From your web browserclick here to join the teleconference
Zoom app and desktop users, enter Meeting ID: 682 470 579, 
then Password: 448 5478
People calling in by phone can dial: 1-929-205-6099, 
and enter when prompted: 682 470 579, and Password: 448 5478

Password (now required by zoom for everyone) 
is the church phone number: 448-5478

     *   

Closing Song - Going forth with Hosannas
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna, First Methodist Church, Houston TX

     *

Benediction - Hosanna! again, for the Soundtrack snobs (like me) 
Hosanna!, Jesus Christ, Superstar (1970 Soundtrack)

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: palm leaves by Kathryn Banay; hands by Puiu Adriana Mirabela, both from FreeImages

 

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Mid-Week Message of Assurance & Action "Enough" - 04-01-20

  

This mid-week message of hope and call to action looks at Matthew 14:15-21, where Jesus reminds us that we have what we need to help others. How can we make the most of what we have, giving thanks to God?

Share your favorite recipes using pantry staples or leftovers or easy-to-find items in the comments!

 

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 Worship outline - Week of Sunday, March 29

 

Opening Prayer - (by Becca) 

God of connection and community, we feel utterly alone. We are disjointed and cut off, isolated, quarantined, confined. We, who have held hands and dried tears and offered hugs and just sat together, all to embody your presence in the world-- we are not able to do what we know how to do, to be who we know to be. What now? Dried up and scattered like bones in a vast desert, we wonder: can hope spring up again? Can love forge connections that transcend the space between us? Can these bones-- old bones, dry bones, tired bones, lonely bones-- find life? 

The first robins in the yard, the crocus sprout that survived the spring snow, the freind who called right when we needed someone to talk to-- these whisper your answer, borne on the breath of a spring breeze. Help us listen; help us trust; help us persevere. Deepen our connection with you, the One who knows where hope will be reborn, who sees the flower in the bulb, the tree in the seed, and the resilient, faithful child of God in even the most frightened and lonely heart. Amen. 

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Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

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Music for Centering or Singing Along - God knows when and how hope emerges. 
Hymn of Promise, by Natalie Sleeth (uncredited singers) 

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A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 03-29-2020

  

Pastor Becca and William are playing with blocks. How can we make our creations feel less like a bunch of blocks and more like a "real" thing? With imagination! 

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Centering Song - We are part of God's body together, and we need one another.
I Need You to Survive, by Hezekiah Walker & LFC

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Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     1 Corinthains 12:12-27
     Ezekiel 37:1-14

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Message - More than a Pile of Bones
     Message for 03-29-20

  

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Image to the right: "And then the whole world walked inside and shut their doors and said we will stop it all. Everything. To protect our weaker ones. Our sicker ones. Our older ones. And nothing. Nothing in the history of humankind ever felt more like love than this." - attributed to Chelsie Diane


Prayer 
by Maren Tirabassi

Prayer for those who are alone

God, we pray for those who have touched
computer keys or phone touchscreen
(or both) thousands of times,
since they last touched human skin --
for both extroverts, who are fatigued,
unable to generate any energy,
and introverts, charged up
with nowhere to share renewed compassion.

We pray for those who decided to skip deodorant,
and now have not washed their hair
for days and days and days,
and for people who never, ever thought
they would not be satisfied with dog’s devotion
or the sufferance of the cat.

We pray for those who have signed up
for free Gratefulness.org courses,
My Fitness routines,
binged some fabulous new shows,
play online scrabble with friends,
and who know that a single phone call
can be an offertory-worthy gift,

and those who feel like they don’t care.

We pray for those with newly cleaned closets,
and those with dirty underwear
underfoot ... everywhere
because no one is going to see it.

We know you are with everyone who is alone,
and pray they feel it at least once a day,
and we pray for the ones
whom lonely is damaging --
that they may have
human attention, maybe ours. amen

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Responding to God with Thanksgiving - Offering our Gifts and our Selves

Even in these difficult times, we are abundantly blessed with love and grace and the opportunity to serve. As you are able, you are invited to continue giving your gifts of time, talent, and treasure to God. In prayer and connection to one another, we serve God with our time; as you sew masks, or call somoene who is lonely, or practice isolation for the safety of others, you are serving God with your actions and your talent. How are you called to give of your treasure, to give thanks to God and to equip the ministry we continue to do in our community and around the world? Please mail your offering to the church (18 School St., Lebanon NH 03766) where it will be handled with safety for our counters, or contact our financial secretary to establish automatic bank payments.

God, we thank you for the abundance with which you bless us, even and especially in times of fear and sickness and isolation. Receive our gifts, our love of you and of your children, and our hearts in gratitude and hope. Amen. 

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Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sunday at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

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Closing Song - Even while apart, we are connected by God's love. 
Blest be the Tie that Binds, by Charles Elmer Szabo, (c) 2019 BMI

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Benediction - This "virtual choir" of Nashville performing artists helps demonstrate how faith, connection, and music can transcend the distances between us, reminding us that we are indeed one. 
It is Well With My Soul, arr. David Wise, The Nashville Studio Singer Community

 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, be with you and comfort you. 

photo credits: crocus by Vickie Mathews; heart hands by johan van den berg; both from FreeImages; poster photo found on reddit.

 

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Mid-Week Message of Assurance & Action "Do Not Be Afraid" - 03-25-20

  

This mid-week message of hope and call to action invites you to remember that God is always with you, and to draw comfort and courage from that. You are also encouraged to call and write to your loved ones, to share connection in a time of loneliness.  

 

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Worship outline - Week of Sunday, March 22

Opening Prayer/Poem - Lockdown
by Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM, March 13th 2020

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,---
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them...

(full poem here

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Optional - Begin the playlist for today's worship now
Click the link and start the playlist, pausing after the message for a prayer, Joys, Concerns, and Connections, and the closing prayer, then concluding the playlist. Or, you can click through and pick/choose from the videos one by one below. 

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Music for Centering or Singing Along - Giving thanks for this day. 
Morning Has Broken, sung by Cat Stevens

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A Time for the Child in All of Us ... Click here to watch Children's Time for 03-22-2020
In this (wobbly!) video, Pastor Becca and William are looking for signs of new life in the back yard and around the house. Where can you find signs of spring or other new things God is doing?

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Centering Song - God is doing a new thing, but it's not done yet. 
The Beautiful Not Yet, by Carrie Newcomer and Chloe Grace

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Scripture Readings (also read during the message video)  
     Philippians 1:1-11
     Ezra 3:8-14

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Message - Every Time I Think of You 
     Message for 03-22-2020

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Prayer by Maren Tirabassi 

Prayer for Worship Shared Online

God, this is our first or second
or maybe third online worship day,
and we are grateful
to those first century writers,
Paul, James, Jude,
maybe Peter, Priscilla,
who sent letters to congregations,
and began the holy tradition
of remote worship,
the live stream of a live Savior.

Those letter writers have blessed us
ever since that time
and now they guide us into
our new way of being the community
at prayer and praise.
Even our communion liturgy
comes in part from Paul’s
holy and somewhat irritated feed
to the church in Corinth.

And, so, we ask your blessing
on all the ways we try to be church,
grateful for the new gifts of technology,
the old gifts of scripture,
the deep well of shared prayer,
and the Spirit which always
blows where it will

and translates into all languages
the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts. amen.

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Joys, Concerns, and Connections - Praying together

Join us Sundays at 11 am as we pray together across the distance that separates us. In the mystery and miracle of God, we are one despite the limits of time and space! And with the help, imperfect as it it, of technology, we can hear one another, maybe even see one another, and share our prayers together. 

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Closing Prayer - excerpt from "Lockdown," above. 

Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
May today be the beginning of that rebirth. Amen. 

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Closing Song - Until we Meet Again 
God Be With You Till We Meet Again, sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir

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Bonus Benediction - based on the Philippians reading
A Good Work, arr. Mark Miller
 


photo credits: window by by mirko delcaldo; sprouts by iamlm; writing in the sand by lauren lank; all from FreeImages.