Please note that our Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, June 27. Please watch your email inbox on Monday for a copy of the Annual Report and a link to vote on our new slate of Leadership. Please cast your vote by Monday, June 21. Thank you for your cooperation!

 

Order of Worship

Third Sunday after Pentecost

June 13, 2021

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship          (from Psalm 92:1-4)

Leader:     It is good to give thanks to our loving God,

ALL:         TO SING PRAISES TO GOD’S NAME;

Leader:    to declare God’s steadfast love in the morning,

ALL:        AND GOD’S FAITHFULNESS BY NIGHT,

Leader:    to the music of the lute and the harp,

ALL:        TO THE MELODY OF THE LYRE.

Leader:    For you, O God, have made us glad by your work;

ALL:        AT THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS WE SING FOR JOY.

Opening Prayer  

Dear God of strength and grace, today we are mindful of the many seeds that have sprouted around us during this spring and Pentecost season. They bring a special joy after our long, cold winter of isolation. Help us this day to be mindful both of the seeds we see around us and the seeds that are within us. May we nurture both knowing that new life is a gift from You. We ask these things in the name of our God who loves us beyond our heart’s imagination. Amen.

Storytelling        

Sharing of Scripture          Mark 4: 26-34

Message in Music

Message                             So Many Seeds            Rev. Marcia Marino

Prayer of Dedication 

Dear God who is the giver of all that is good, we thank you for so many gifts: the love of our family and our church family, good friends, and kindness shown by many during this time of COVID. We are so grateful.

We give you our gifts of thanksgiving—our talents and our treasures. We want our gifts to be used to help those who are in need.

Thank you for blessing us with seeds in our lives. We hope they will always bear fruit so that we may serve you with love and faithfulness.

We dedicate our gifts in thanks and praise. Through the One who touched the disciples and each of us with wisdom on Pentecost we pray. Amen.

A Time of Prayer 

Preparation for Prayer

Silent Prayer

Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer

Dear God who loves us with a never-ending love, we give you thanks for this church family. Even though we have not been able to gather physically in community over the past year, we have felt the love, support, and joy of this community. As we begin to have outdoor services and hopefully move closer to indoor worship in the fall, we give thanks for the steadfast love and support of Rev. Laura, Gary and Jackie and the Worship and Music Teams, Bonnie and Marilyn for their wonderful work with our church family, and for Andrea in the office. We give thanks for Brian’s leadership with taping these Zoom services. May we be ever mindful of the seeds that grow within us. We remember the wise words of Jesus as we pray the words he taught us: Our Father…

Bless

As you finish watching this service, know one thing for certain: You are loved with a never-ending love. By a God who planted seeds before you to guide you along your way and within you to help you find your own story, your own mission, and your own inner peace.

May you always know those seeds are within you—a blessing and a reminder that you are never alone. Thanks be to God. Blessed be. Amen.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture              Mark 4: 26-34

Jesus also said, “The realm of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow; one does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once they go in with their sickles, because the harvest has come.”

Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the realm of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is down it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Story

In today’s Gospel Jesus talked about seeds. He thought they were pretty important. He asked us to think about the tiniest of seeds: a mustard seed. He told us that even though it’s really tiny at first, it grows into a super shrub. And then it grows branches. It’s big enough and strong enough for birds to make their nests in it.

Wow—that’s a cool tree, isn’t it? I think that Jesus was also trying to tell us that there are tiny seeds in each one of us when we’re born. Seeds of love. And hope. Courage. And faith. We don’t even know they’re inside us when we’re born because we’re babies. But then…we grow. We learn to walk. And read. We go to school or learn at home. And we learn more and more about who God is. In the meantime, the tiny seeds inside of us are growing.

Those seeds—of love, hope, courage, and more—never leave us. Please take some quiet time when you can to think over those seeds that are alive within you. What are they calling you to do?

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