UJCC Sunday Worship Service
March 5, 2023 * 2nd Sunday of Lent
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
― Henry David Thoreau
We Gather Together
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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
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 - This Is My Father's World
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":
All: I lift my eyes from world to sky, from where will I find help? My help will come from Holy One, maker of earth and sky. Leader: Beneath your feet the ground may tremble, but you will never fall; Holy One slumbers not, is watchful ever over the people of God. All: Holy One will keep you, Holy One will save you, from trouble and from harm. Leader: Fear not the sun’s hot flame, nor moon’s shards of silver; Holy One will be your shield. All: Holy One will keep you, Holy One will hold you; your life is precious to God. Holy One will keep you, Holy One will seek you, going and coming and ever more. Lift your eyes towards the light, however thick the shadows; help will come from Holy One, maker of day and night.
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!
We believe that Jesus Christ was born as a human being, lived among us, and died to redeem creation from all sin past, present, and future. As a reminder of Jesus' great love for us, we continue to practice the tradition of breaking bread and wine that Jesus started with the disciples thousands of years ago. At UJCC, we believe that all are welcome. So, if you would like to receive the gift of life that Jesus offers freely to all, feel free to approach the front as the ushers call you and then return to your seat. You are then more than welcome to eat the bread and drink the juice at your pace. You can also meditate or pray as necessary during this time. Here are the responses we will be reading:
Leader: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Leader: …And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Leader: …as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
All: Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Scripture Reading in Japanese Some Japanese and Japanese Americans attend our church. As a result, we like to extend our love and hospitality to them by reading the Scripture text for the sermon in Japanese once a month. However, we understand that many of our members may not speak Japanese. So, feel free to appreciate the beauty of the Japanese language. We will read the passage again in English shortly.
Sermon - Art For Healing: Voices In the Wilderness: Try Something Different
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:
John 21:1-8 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way.Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
Choral Anthem - Share The Table
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 sinners 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:
All: 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.
[time of silent prayer and confession]
Leader: 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.
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 - This Is My Song
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.