Peace Mennonite Home-Based Worship: June 21, 2020

Welcome to worship with Peace Mennonite Church. We are glad you are with us in worship and invite you to also join us for our Peace Pursuits Bible study and topic discussions on Wednesday nights at 7:30. This week we are on week 2 of our Acts Bible study.

Scroll through the pictures below to see the instruments Peace Mennonite people use to praise God.

“Praise God with the lyre; make melody to God with the harp of ten strings.” ~Psalm 33:2

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning from 11-11:45. We’d love to see you!  Simply click this link. 

Our church announcements are available here.

Prelude: “Sailor’s Wife” performed by Whitney Baker’s group, Coreopsis

Welcome from Pastor Joanna

“Let your steadfast love, O God, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:22) These are words I want to carry with me into the coming week–to take comfort in God’s enduring love and to live with hope.

With all that is going on in the world, it can be difficult to remember that God’s love and hope are with us–all the time. Joining with others in worship is one spiritual practice that helps me keep God and God’s love centered in my life. So I thank you for being part of this worship experience. And I pray that your participation in worship will help you live more fully into God’s steadfast love and hope in the coming week.

Welcome, my friends, to worship.

Photo by Grace Harader-Ellett

Scripture Reading: Psalm 33 (Read by Cheryl Harader)

Call to Worship: (based on Psalm 33)

God loves righteousness.
So let us seek to live in right relationship with God, with each other, and with creation.
God loves justice.
So let us notice the unjust structures in our world and work to dismantle them.
God fashions the hearts of all people.
So let us open our hearts to be shaped by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God observes all our deeds.
So let us follow the path of Jesus faithfully.
God’s steadfast love is upon us.
So let us hope in God.
Let us worship our God.

Gathering Hymn: Over my head (Sing the Journey #18)
Selected by Andrea Zuercher; we think this might be a Mennonite camp.

Congregational Prayer:
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?

You might enjoy getting some paper and markers (or pencils or crayons) and praying in color.

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: This is a video a colleague of Joanna’s made. (Go ahead. Follow along with the motions as you are able. Nobody is watching. 😉

Children’s Time

Hymn: In Christ there is no East or West (Hymnal a Worship Book #306)

If you would like to have a hymnal at home, please contact Pastor Joanna and the Worship Committee will get one to you soon!

Scripture Reading: Acts 6:1-7 (Read by Cheryl Harader)

Sermon

Resources referenced in the sermon:

Reflection Time: “Say a Prayer” from one of Grace and Joanna’s favorite musicals, Memphis

Offering our Money

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 need to adjust your pledge amount for this year, please let Roberta know.

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.

Offering our Efforts: Service Story from Ken Ratzlaff

Ninemile Creek meanders through Lansing Correctional Facility, and on a ridge, the old limestone buildings of the East Unit became the home of an inmate choir in 1995. Elvira Voth, after a distinguished choral career in Alaska, retired to the KC area and saw the need for arts activities for inmates. The East Hills Singers were born and are now 25 years old.

Inmates in minimum security join community volunteers to prepare for two concerts a year outside the prison walls. The inmates have an opportunity for a positive accomplishment in singing and a window into the outside. Their partners, many of whom come from Rainbow Blvd
Mennonite and Southern Hills Mennonite, are also given the opportunity to sing and to join the relationship. Inmates introduce the music in the concerts and often tell of what the relationships mean to them. Some who are released to the area later become community volunteers themselves.

During each choir season, volunteers rehearse bi-weekly on Mondays in Shawnee Mission, and the men in blue rehearse weekly in Lansing. I and my friend, Bob Franz, choose to go to the Lansing rehearsals.

In December, the minimum security population was moved into new, but very cramped, quarters, where the flu already spread like wildfire in January. So the choir is shut down by the covid crisis and may be difficult to get started again. But when we do return, we will be looking for more volunteers, men who enjoy singing and will support the inmates. The virus crisis shut the choir down at what would have been an exciting time. My fellow baritone, Daniel Ramos, had just been released and was looking forward to joining on the volunteer side. We were all excited about going to Europe virtually, singing the “Prisoner’s Chorus” from Beethoven’s Fidelio for an innovative New York opera company. When we restart is anyone’s guess. I’m looking forward to the restart, and I’m sure that our EHS colleagues are as well.

See this web page for more service stories. If you would like to share about a way you are seeking to serve others, please email Karen Brown.

Benediction:

May God bless you and keep you.
May the very face of God shine on you and be gracious to you.
May God’s presence embrace you and give you peace.

Closing Hymn: My Soul Cries Out (Sing the Story #124)
“A cry from Mennonites across the US for an end to white supremacy and police brutality against our siblings of color. This virtual hymn sing project has been a labor of love.”

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