UJCC Sunday Worship Service
March 26, 2023 * 5th Sunday in Lent
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 - Trust And Obey
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: Our lives sometimes feel disjointed as though they were a valley of dry bones. All: But the Spirit of God will bring connection and continuity to our lives.
Leader: The Spirit of God breathes hope into each one of us. All: The Spirit of God challenges us to be people of faith. Leader: Open our hearts, Lord, and bring us to your light. All: Open our lives, Lord, and break us free from doubt and fear. Amen.
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: Finding Ourselves”
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:
I Corinthians 12:4-11
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
Song of Reflection - Spirit of the Living God
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: If it is true that God has recorded our failings, we hope it will never be published. But in truth, if the book was opened, every page would be blank, for God forgives us of everything we have done, or failed to do. So, let us wait for God's mercy and grace, as we come with our prayers for forgiveness, saying,
All: We are set free by your saving grace, Generous God, yet we must confess how we are still bound by our pride and arrogance. We seem unable to throw off the grave clothes of our habitual sin, finding them too comfortable to wear. We cling to our fears, for they are so familiar and make such good companions.
All: Yet, there in every corner of our lives, in every shadow we fear, into the cold embrace of death itself, you come, Steadfast Love. You break the bonds of sin and terror, giving us new strength and hope for the journey, and calling us to new life through the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. [time of silent prayer and confession] Leader: You can put your hope in God, dear friends, for God offers us that love which never fades, that life which never ends. All: We wait for God, and God does not fail us. God's hope, God's love, and God's grace are forever. Thanks be to God. 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 - Many Gifts, One Spirit
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.