UJCC Sunday Worship Service
March 13, 2022 * 2nd Sunday of Lent
When God makes His presence felt through us, we are like the burning bush: Moses never took any heed what sort of bush it was—he only saw the brightness of the Lord.
— George Eliot
We Gather Together
You are invited to the spiritual practice of returning thanks to God. You can try our online giving option HERE. Thank you and peace be with you!
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. Otherwise, feel free to let us know that you're here by saying hi in the chat!
Words of Welcome
Around 10:30AM, our service will start. 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 at church and online!
Song of Centering - "O Worship The King"
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.
Leader: This place for us is Holy Ground. The place where we sing songs of praise to the Lord, and repeat the stories of faith that inspire us to respond to Christ’s love.
All: God called us here, in whispering winds and in burning flames, and with holy presence, disarms us of the barriers we have placed around us.
Leader: God meets us in our vulnerability, our humanity.
All: Let us worship the Lord.
Scripture Reading in Japanese - Exodus 3:1-4
Some people with Japanese and Japanese American roots attend our church. As a result, we like to extend our love and hospitality to them by reading the Scripture text in Japanese once a month. However, we understand that many people may not speak or understand Japanese. So, feel free to appreciate the beauty of the Japanese language or try to see if you can hear today's keyword hi (pronounced he). Hi means "fire" in Japanese. Here is the Japanese text for today:
Sermon - "If Not Us, Then Who?"
We believe God still speaks to us today through the Bible, people, and many other sources as well. As a result, we listen to Pastor Ivana during this time and try to discern what God is trying to tell us through his message. Feel free to listen, take notes, or meditate on something that stuck out to you. Here is the Scripture text that Pastor Ivana will be reading from this passage today:
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, M
oses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’
Song of Reflection: Matthew West - Do Something
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
God of fire, You are a force beyond human understanding, with the power to sear through the veins of creation with passion and vigor, or to extinguish life in consuming flame. Your presence is dangerous for there is no predicting where you might burn, and yet comforting for the light and warmth offer an invitation to draw closer.
Redeeming God, out of the flames of your creation, your voice calls, marking us as your own. Yet there are times when we choose to ignore your voice, and listen instead to our own needs and desires and those that challenge our faith from within the world. Forgive us for those times; when we have ignored the needs of others; when we have failed to place our feet upon your path; when we allow the earthly voice to distract us from your call.
Words of Assurance
Loving Lord, in your forgiveness you offer again your invitation to know your love, to be loved, and to respond to your call. In hearing your voice may we find our place within your creation. 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.
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 sign up by clicking on the purple footsteps button in the bottom right corner.
Song of Sending - "Living For Jesus"
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, or simply enjoy the music by humming along.
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 check out the church entrance for event information, talk with someone new, or go about the rest of your day!