ALL ARE WELCOME
Welcome! We are honored to have you join us today! If you are new to our church, please feel free to read the explanations below about the different parts of our service. It will help you understand why we do certain practices and instruct you on how you can participate as well. We hope to include you as much as possible because we value you!
UJCC Sunday Worship Service
March 19, 2023 * 4th Sunday in Lent
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
We recognize that some of you may have had a crazy week and need some space or quiet time. So, 5-10 minutes prior to the service, we will play some music that you can listen to while you meditate
Words of Welcome
During this time, our worship leader will offer a greeting, introduce special guests, or provide important information for the service. Ultimately, we want to show how much we appreciate you joining us today despite your busy schedule.
Passing The Peace
Passing of the peace may merely seem like a time to greet one another. However, it also serves as a reminder of the peace that we have with God and the peace that we have with each other due to Jesus’ sacrifice. Please take this time to greet one another!
Songs of Centering - He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought
In the same way that we get ready for a date, it is important for us to get ready to hear God’s Word. So, during the songs of centering, we intentionally try to lay aside our busy lives, worries, and distractions in order to focus on God. For if we have too much noise in our minds, this can leave little room for God. Please feel free to sit quietly in meditation, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, sing along, or use your body as you are able.
Call To Worship
In the call to worship, there is a call and a response. God calls us and we are supposed to respond accordingly. Please join us by responding with the section marked "All":
Leader: Lent calls us to journey, this and every day, following Jesus wherever he leads us.
All: Lent calls us to journey: to the place where God covenants with us, to receive the new names we are given.
Leader: Lent calls us to worship together, to tell future generations the good news.
All: Lent calls us to practice justice, to bring God's hope to all people.
Leader: Lent calls us to faithful living, to trust the One who gives us life.
All: Lent calls each of us to take up our cross, to trust the One who bears it with us.
Leader: Lent calls us to journey with God.
All: Let us worship God, who walks with us, this and every day.
At UJCC, we value young families and children. So, whenever we have family worship, we try to make short, fun, educational videos or skits in order to be more inclusive of our younger audience. Feel free to enjoy this material with your kids and talk about it later too!
Sermon - “Art For Healing: Voices In the Wilderness: Beauty In The Ordinary”
We believe God still speaks to us today through the Bible, people, and many other sources as well. As a result, we listen to Rev. Akiko during this time and try to discern what God is trying to tell us through her message. Feel free to listen, take notes, or meditate on something that stuck out to you. Here is the passage we will be reading from today:
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Choral Anthem - In Love Christ Came Among Us
It is our responsibility to respond to God’s message. So, the song after the sermon gives us a little more time to digest God’s message and think about how we can respond appropriately. So, feel free to meditate on the message, pray, or simply enjoy the music.
Time of Confession
We are all people who make mistakes. As a result, it is important for us to ask forgiveness for our shortcomings so that we can live in the freedom that Jesus offers us through grace. Please read along with the parts marked "All" below:
Leader: Rushed by the busyness of life, weary from the stress of everyday, we have these moments to catch our breath, to think of how we have treated others recently, to remember how we have not been God's faithful people. Let us come to God, knowing that the One who listens to our words, is the One who has given us the Word of grace and mercy.
All: Everlasting God, we know how easy it is to forget your presence and power in our lives. Focused on our daily planners, we do not pay attention to the night sky and the stars that glitter. Surrounded by the sounds of anger, violence, and hate, we have trouble listening to your whispers of hope and grace. Thinking that Scripture is filled only with stories, we cannot understand your truth which can change lives.
Forgive us. There is no one who can hold a candle to you when it comes to mercy and hope. Lift us to our feet so we may walk with you; fill us with your strength so we may serve your people; touch us with your healing so we may proclaim to everyone the Good News that has come in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
[time of silent prayer and confession]
Leader: The Good News is this: God never tires out, God is always with us, God heals us with mercy, God strengthens us for service.
All: The One who numbers the stars knows each of us by name. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.
Joys and Concerns
We believe God hears and answers our prayers. Not only that, but we believe in praying together so that we can encourage and support those going through difficult times, or celebrate our many blessings. For we are all God’s family. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. You are not alone. If you have any prayer requests, feel free to raise your hand until you are called upon. After each prayer request, we will say “O God of mercy” and everyone responds, “This is our prayer.” Finally, once all the prayer requests have been heard, we will close with a final prayer followed by the Lord’s prayer. If you do not know the Lord’s prayer, it will be up on the slideshow for you.
We will first sing the doxology in English and then in Japanese.
The announcements provide opportunities for us to put our faith into action throughout the week. Please try to see if anything interests you or challenge yourself to try something new. Volunteering is a great way to bless others, but we are often blessed ourselves in the process. You can check all the current announcements at www.ujcclife.com/events
Song of Sending Forth - Great Is Thy Faithfulness
The song of sending forth prepares our hearts to go back out into the world. You can use this song as a final opportunity to decide how to respond to the message, pray for God’s guidance, sing along, or simply enjoy the music.
Benediction is another word for blessing. It is a short prayer said in order to bless everyone as we get ready to go back out into the world. Feel free to close your eyes and receive the blessing so that you may be strengthened and encouraged!
Postlude - When We Are Living
This is the final ending song for the worship service. Once the song is finished, feel free to talk to someone new, attend our small group, or make your way safely back home.