Peace Mennonite Home-Based Worship: March 22, 2020

Our “front table” decoration from Gwen Wiens: Lenten Roses.
A prelude from our friends Chris and Christine Crouse-Dick.

Scripture Reading: Exodus 17:1-7, read by Joanna Harader

Welcome from Pastor Joanna:

Good morning, and welcome to our online worship order for Peace Mennonite Church (in Lawrence, KS). As we begin worship, I would like to note a few things:

  • This week’s announcements can be found on our web site.
  • The Justice Matters Solutions Briefing is being held on-line tomorrow night (March 23) at 6:30. You can register on Facebook, or email Anna Long (anna@justicemattersinkansas.org) to find out how to “attend.”
  • Regular PMC participants are asked to fill out this brief survey.
  • Please join us for sharing prayer concerns and conversation on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11. Simply click this link.
  • Feel free to share any prayer requests or reflections on the scripture in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
  • I encourage you to enter into worship in an intentional way this morning. That might mean creating a special worship space in your home, lighting a candle, or simply closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths.

During this time of physical separation, I am encouraged to know that we are joining together in spirit to continue our practice of worship. Thank you for being here. May you know the peace of Christ that surpasses understanding.

Opening Prayer

Holy One,
We cannot gather in person this morning, but we are gathered in spirit.
We come together in our uncertainty and our fear.
We come together in our determination and our hope.
We come together to worship you:
Our Creator and Sustainer,
The One who provides water from a rock
To quench our parched throats,
And living water from Jesus
To restore our weary spirits.
Let us know your presence with us
And our presence with each other
In this time of worship.
Amen.

Gathering Hymn: Jesus, Rock of Ages–from an album produced by some Mennonites in California to raise money for Mennonite Central Committee

Congregational Prayer

What would you like us to know about your life? How can we hold you in prayer  this week? Please consider sharing with the community in one of the following ways:

  • Go to the Zoom hangout at 11:00 to talk with others in the community.
  • Leave a comment on this blog post. (Note that this is a public page, so do not share anything that you do not want to be public.)
  • Share a comment in the “Friends of Peace Mennonite” Facebook group.
  • Send an email to pastor Joanna (PeaceMennoPastor@gmail.com) or your Ministry Team representative.
  • Call pastor Joanna or your Ministry Team representative. (If you do not have the phone number you need, email Joanna and she can share it with you.)

As you pray, silently or aloud:

  • Give God thanks for what is good and beautiful in your life and in the world right now.
  • Pray for those who are struggling and suffering–include any prayer requests you know of from others in our church community and prayers for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in your life.
  • Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.

Scripture: John 4:5-42

You can listen to Joanna read the scripture while watching the youtube video. (Pro tip: mute the sound on the video.)

John 4:5-42, NRSV

Below is a meditation from Piet Knetsch.

If you prefer to read the meditation, please click here.

Spend some time in silence reflecting on the scripture and meditation. If you have thoughts to share, please post in the comments below.

Offertory Music: Shared by Anne Bailey

Offertory Prayer:

God of the wilderness,
We give these offerings in gratitude,
rejoicing in the abundance of your gifts to us.
We give these offerings in faith,
trusting that you will provide for our needs.
We give these offerings in hope,
knowing you can use them to spread your love in this world.
And with these offerings, we give ourselves;
May we live with generous hearts, with open hands. Amen

Offering:

You are invited to mail your financial contributions to the church (615 Lincoln St., Lawrence, KS, 66044) or to the home of our treasurer, Roberta Renz (address in the church directory).

If you are able, please consider an additional contribution to help those in particular need right now. Some suggestions are:

  • Peace Mennonite Benevolence fund (mail to church or Roberta Renz, write “benevolence” in memo line)
  • Bert Nash Homeless Outreach
  • For our LINK participation, we are contributing money to First Baptist Church who will provide sack lunches and water bottles for LINK guests. Online giving is here. Or mail a check to: 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS, 66049

Prayer (by Rev. Michelle L. Torigian; shared at RevGalBlogPals)

God of this moment and the next –

The world is changing rapidly
and our leaders are giving us new instructions daily.

In our decision making,
remind us that taking a deep breath
and inhaling the Spirit’s peace
will help us to focus on you and your intentions.

As our minds get dizzy from the over abundance of information
and swim from the surrealism life now has to offer,
may your clarity direct our focus through the clouds and clowns.

May we listen for reason and push aside the eerie noises of self-interested voices.

We’re living in a time like no other.
As our emotions begin to burst forth from us, give us the comfort we need to see your peace.
And surround us with people who will help us find our grounding.

Amen.

Closing Hymn: “How Can I Keep from Singing” sung by Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus

Benediction from Julian of Norwich

“If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.”

My friends, be at peace.

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