Welcome to worship with Peace Mennonite Church. This morning we begin our “Being Church” series as we journey through the book of Acts.
You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11. Simply click this link. The structured discussion and prayer time will last 30-40 minutes and you are welcome to stay on Zoom after that for informal conversation.
There are some exciting things going on at Peace Mennonite! Check out our current church announcements here. And join us for our Peace Pursuits Bible studies and topic discussions each Wednesday night at 7:30.
Prelude: “Glory” sung by John Legend (with footage from the movie Selma.)
Welcome from Pastor Joanna
Hello, everyone! It’s been a blessed and busy week back “in the office.” I’m so glad to hear that you had a good month of May with Pastor Melissa. I love her dearly and knew that you would, too. Active Peace Mennonite folks should have received an email Tuesday night with my Zoom sabbatical report. I’m especially excited about the Peace Pursuits series that I planned during May and I look forward to meeting with you all each Wednesday night for Bible study and topic discussions.
It has been a heavy news week as we continue to wrestle with systemic racism, mourn the murder of George Floyd, and lament police violence against peaceful protesters. I invite you to bring all of your grief, confusion, and anger into this time of worship and let God be with you in the midst of it all.
Let us breathe together and pray together: Kyrie Eleison, God have mercy.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 143:7-10 (Read by Katie and Grace)
Call to Worship:
God, we have questions.
Answer us quickly.
God, we are overwhelmed.
Our spirits fail.
Do not hide your face from us.
But let us hear.
Let us hear.
Let us hear of your steadfast love.
Let us trust.
Let us trust in you.
Let us learn.
Teach us the way we should go.
For to you we lift up our souls.
Shelter us, O God.
Gathering Hymn: “I owe the Lord a morning song” (#112 in Sing the Journey)
–all four parts sung by Philip Kendall (a friend from Pink Menno/Chicago Community Mennonite Church)
You are invited to offer your prayers to God. For what are you thankful this morning? What would you ask of God for yourself? Who do you know who needs God’s loving presence right now? What are your prayers for our community, our country, and our world?
Feel free to share your prayers with people around you, in the comments below, or on our Zoom call at 11 Sunday morning.
The Lord’s Prayer:
Children’s Time with Pastor Joanna
Hymn: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (#579 in Hymnal a Worship Book)
Scripture Reading: Acts 3:1-12a; 4:1-4 (Read by Katie and Grace)
*Content Warning: This sermon contains brief footage from Jay Yoder of violent police actions during protests in Pittsburgh, PA. There is nothing graphic–no blood and nobody is killed. But the images are disturbing. If you prefer to skip this footage, you may begin at the 4:03 mark.
Lament By Kayla Berkey
“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)
Oh Holy One, how long will we grieve death,
how many more breaths will these cycles of violence steal from sacred black lives?
Hear our cries.
We grieve for George Floyd.
We grieve for Breonna Taylor.
We grieve for Tony McDade.
We grieve for Ahmaud Arbery.
We grieve for Dion Johnson.
We grieve for Nina Pop.
We grieve for Sean Reed.
We grieve for each sacred person whose name we have come to know
through the unspeakable grief and injustice of their death.
We shudder at the inhumanity, at how many precious lives have been taken.
We grieve the ache of every person who bears this pain
and holds fear for their lives deeply in their bodies.
We lament the loss of these holy lives.
We lament officers and politicians encouraging, “peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
We lament the absence of justice.
Awaken us to any false declarations of “peace, peace,” that cover over violence.
Awaken us to the violence of this country’s status quo.
Awaken us to the urgency of overturning the tables of injustice.
Awaken us who are white women to the reality of our ongoing history
of complicity with anti-black racism done in our name.
Expose us where we are most deeply shaped by a racist system
so that we can name it in ourselves and never stop working to dismantle it.
Holy Spirit, come with fire that burns away silence and complacency.
Move us beyond saying ‘peace, peace.’
Help us shape our words into stones with weight that we use, in community,
to build the long path to justice, to peace.
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).
See the “How and Where to Give” section of our announcements page for information on giving to other organizations who need funding at this time.
This week we especially lift up Family Promise for your prayers and contributions. This is currently the only organization in Lawrence serving families in need of shelter. (The Willow and the Lawrence Community Shelter are not taking families at this time.)
May the wind of the Spirit startle your senses and blow through your life.
May the fire of the Spirit scorch your complacency and light your way.
And may the blessing of the Holy One—Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer—rest with you now and forever more. Amen.
Sending Hymn: “Praise God from Whom” (#118 in Hymnal, A Worship Book)