Peace Mennonite At-Home Worship: May 31, 2020

Welcome to Pentecost Sunday with Peace Mennonite Church!

Butterfly Milkweed – Photo by Ken Ratzlaff

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11.  Simply click this link. This morning the Worship Committee plans to have some structured sharing and prayer time for the first thirty or forty minutes, and then leave the zoom call open for more informal conversation afterwards.

A reminder that our current church announcements are available here.

Prelude: Sara and Perry

Welcome from Pastor Melissa

I have been exceedingly blessed by this month at Peace as Sabbatical Coverage Pastor. Thank you all very much for sharing yourselves and your gifts that keep enhancing our worship and fellowship times! As we celebrate Pentecost today, I pray that the Holy Spirit will surprise you in whatever way you need surprising.

In my interview project earlier this year, there was strong evidence that you all hope to grow in numbers to include “as many as are meant to be here.” Pentecost is sort of Intro to Church Growth 101: The Holy Spirit Arrives! The only way any growth toward God’s Shalom happens is through the movement of the Holy Spirit! As you worship, I challenge you to consider: Where am I seeing the Holy Spirit these days? That answer is good news that someone else needs to hear, someone who may be meant to be here!

Scripture Reading: Rosie Claassen, Joel 2:23-32

Prairie Burn, Chase County – Photo by Ken Ratzlaff

Call to Worship: written by Christina Rossetti

As the Wind is your symbol, so forward our goings.

As the dove, so launch us heavenward.

As water, so purify our spirits.

As a cloud, so abate our temptations.

As dew, so revive our languor.

As fire, so purge out our dross. Amen.

Hymn and Congregational Prayer: Holy Spirit, Come with Power (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #26)

Our Lord’s Prayer: in Swahili, to remind us of all the languages in which followers of Jesus sing and pray around the world!

Children’s Time: Jenny Welch Buller

Hymn: Breathe on Me, Breath of God (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #356)

Scripture Reading: Rosie Claassen, Acts 2:1-21

Sermon

Hymn: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit). A version can be found in the Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #298.

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).

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 is a photo of Roger Gibson’s lettuce bed taken a little over a month ago. He has written the reflection here in response to the Peace and Justice Committee’s request for personal testimonies of how you are participating in God’s mission in these troubled times. (Go here for that invitation; you too could submit!)

“I’m just not that crazy about salad, but I grow lettuce anyway, and sometimes I eat it, and sometimes I sell it at the Farmers Market. That’s what I was going to do this spring—the selling part, I mean. And then Covid-19 presented itself just after I planted my seeds.
My growing of lettuce has become somewhat of a ritual, an annual exercise in humility and awe. I am somehow proud of it, even though the burying of a seed, the transplanting of a seedling, the harvesting of a whole, beautiful head has very little to do with me. I’m really just an interested front-row bystander who has an appetite for being amazed over and over again.
That a tiny sliver of seed can grow into a big, beautiful salad, night after night, just astonishes me and makes my thoughts turn to things holy and sacred and beyond my understanding.


I have raised two teenage boys by myself. At their ugliest, both boys have been hard to like, at times, and routinely turned up questions in my mind about love, too. Attempts to express my love for them were mostly irrelevant. But in both cases, along about their fifteenth or sixteenth year, the daily regimen of cooking a good evening meal stopped being the production and serving of nutrition and became, instead, the only remaining way I could think of to let them know that they were loved. And so I served them, mindful of Jesus who lovingly served the throng, and said a silent prayer that someday they could recognize my meal as symbolic of my desire to be in loving communion with them.

So, Covid-19, miracles in a seed, and the giving of food as an expression of love. All have been relevant as I have sought and found a place for my lettuce this year, given the late start of the Farmers Market. The Ladybird Diner, which happens to be owned and operated by a former fifth grade student of mine, serves 200 sack lunches everyday, and is handing out 10 Pantry Boxes every week to people who have lost their jobs or are otherwise in crisis because of the virus. And I am thrilled that the lettuce I have given is being distributed to those who are hungry this year. It’s a very small thing in the overall picture, like a lost seed in the dirt, but I’m
glad to have found a way, however small, to help.”
—Roger Gibson

Roger’s full grown lettuce!

Benediction

adapted from Sing the Story Worship Resources #195

Sending Song: Like the Murmur of a Dove’s Song, Twila Schmidt

Peace Mennonite At-Home Worship: May 24, 2020

Welcome to Worship with Peace Mennonite!

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11.  Simply click this link. This morning the Worship Committee plans to have some structured sharing and prayer time for the first thirty or forty minutes, and then leave the zoom call open for more informal conversation afterwards.

A reminder that our current church announcements are available here.

Plains Wild Indigo, photo by Ken Ratzlaff

Prelude – “Bird Song” sung by the Bonners

Welcome from Pastor Melissa:

Dear Lovers of God… that is what the name “Theophilus” means, the intended reader of the Acts of the Apostles. Today we enter into that book about the birth of the church. As Lovers of God, we have held on to Jesus in his resurrection appearances this month. Now we let go.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your cloud photos with us! God led the Israelites in a cloud. God met Moses on the mountain in a cloud. Jesus’ transfiguration was overshadowed by a cloud. Today we remember the ascension: Jesus leaves in a cloud!

Scripture Reading: Jill Allen

Call to Worship

We gather as pilgrims on a journey of faith.

We come seeking the cloud of your presence as we travel The Way.

We come seeking your pillar of fire to light our darkness.

Shine in our hearts, O God, with the light of your love.

Make your presence known through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Hymnal: A Worship Book #661

Come for a bike ride and cloud tour with Thomas and Tara!

Congregational Prayer

You are invited to pray in song, as you listen or sing along. This performance of Healer of Our Every Ill by Marty Haugen, writer and composer, begins with a segment in which our response is: God of mercy, hear our prayer. Lyrics for the more familiar part are found in the Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #377.

Our Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Time: Jenny Welch Buller

Hymn: Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God (Sing the Story #121)

Scripture Reading: Jill Allen

Sermon

Hymn: You’re Not Alone, from the Voices Together collection

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).

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.

Offertory: The Camel played by Elinor, who received a top rating at the virtual middle school band solo festival with this piece!

Benediction

Peace Mennonite At-Home Worship: May 17, 2020

Jack in the Pulpit, Photo taken by Ken Ratzlaff

Welcome to Worship with Peace Mennonite!

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11.  Simply click this link. This morning the Worship Committee plans to have some structured sharing and prayer time for the first thirty or forty minutes, and then leave the zoom call open for more informal conversation afterwards.

A reminder that our current church announcements are available here.

Prelude

Accordian Crimes/Golden Ticket by Coreopsis (Lauralyn Bodle, Noah Musser, & Whitney Baker
Dakota Verbena, taken by Ken Ratzlaff

Welcome from Pastor Melissa:

We are happy you are worshiping with us today! We’ve been praying that “as many as are meant to be here” will join us for songs, prayers, and a message of thoughtful faith. I trust you will find beauty here, and feel at ease bringing questions and comments to the Zoom hour of fellowship or by writing them to us on our Facebook page. We share our hope in Christ and new life with you, wherever you are.

Scripture Reading: I John 3:1-7 (read by Melissa Atchison)

Call to Worship

Gathering Hymn: Jesus Stand Among Us

Congregational Prayer: (Based on Hymnal: A Worship Book #805)

God, we come before you with gratitude for the beauty of spring

and with sorrow for the massive suffering in the world.

We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.

We grieve, but not as those who center their thoughts on death.

We sense loneliness, but not as those who are left alone.

We thank you that even in separation we experience love, peace, and hope.

We thank you that beauty can feed our souls.

Our help is in you.

Our hope is in your promise,

in Christ who taught us to pray…

Children’s Time: Jenny Welch Buller

Hymn: And Can It Be

Scripture Reading and Sermon: Piet Knetsch, Luke 24: 36-49

Hymn of Response: Thine Is the Glory, (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #269)

Thine is the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son!

Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,

kept the folded graveclothes where thy body lay.

Thine is the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son!

Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death has won.

Lo! Jesus meets us. Risen from the tomb,

lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.

Let his church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,

for our Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.

Thine is the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son!

Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death has won.

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).

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.

Do you enjoy cloud-gazing? Please take photos of clouds this week and email them to Pastor Melissa or the office to use in the service next Sunday.

Dave Mathis shares a request from our Justice Matters Team Leaders:

Sending Hymn: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #71), Bob and Melissa Atchison

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love.

Hearts unfold like flow’rs before thee, praising thee their sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.

Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heav’n reflect thy rays,

stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain, blooming meadow, flashing sea,

chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever bless’d,

well-spring of the joy of living, oceandepth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine.

Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began.

Love divine is reigning o’er us, leading us with mercy’s hand.

Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife.

Joyful music lifts us sunward in the triumph song of life!

Benediction: Pastor Melissa

Enjoy this slide show of photos shared by Tara Heilke, British Columbia: “Here you go: three pictures of arrow leaf balsam root (AKA “Okanagan sunflowers”) on the mountain not far from our house, and a bonus shot of our Mother’s Day picnic site, in the hope that it will lure some of our Kansas friends up for a visit someday, when travel becomes a good idea again.”

We read the Gospels not merely to get a picture or an image or an idea of Christ

but to enter in and pass through the words of revelation

to establish, by faith, a vital contact with the Christ who dwells in our souls as God.

Thomas Merton

Peace Mennonite At-Home Worship: May 10, 2020

Welcome to Worship with Peace Mennonite!

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11.  Simply click this link. This morning the Worship Committee plans to have some structured sharing and prayer time for the first thirty minutes, and then leave the zoom call open for more informal conversation afterwards.

A reminder that our current church announcements are available here.

Prelude

Twila Schmidt playing Be Thou My Vision (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #545)

Opening Worship Image: Kitchen Maid with Supper at Emmaus, or the Mulata, Diego Velàzquez

Poem: Kitchen Maid with Supper at Emmaus, or the Mulata—after the painting by Diego Velàzquez, ca. 1619, by Natasha Thethewey

She is the vessels on the table before her:
the copper pot tipped toward us, the white pitcher
clutched in her hand, the black one edged in red
and upside down. Bent over, she is the mortar
and the pestle at rest in the mortar—still angled
in its posture of use. She is the stack of bowls
and the bulb of garlic beside it, the basket hung
by a nail on the wall and the white cloth bundled
in it, the rag in the foreground recalling her hand.
She's the stain on the wall the size of her shadow—
the color of blood, the shape of a thumb. She is echo
of Jesus at table, framed in the scene behind her:
his white corona, her white cap. Listening, she leans
into what she knows. Light falls on half her face.

Welcome from Pastor Melissa

Happy Mother’s Day! As you are remembering your mother, I pray that the beauty of these flowers blooming in the church garden will comfort those who mourn, encourage those who struggle, and express joy for those who can rejoice. Thanks to Roger Gibson for the photos!

I’m blessed to get to preach on my favorite Bible story this week. It’s a vivid encounter with the risen Christ while on a journey. I took the opportunity to film the sermon while hiking the Konza Prairie Nature Trail, a Kansas version of the Road to Emmaus. I hope its not too windy for you!

Scripture Reading: Psalm 16 (read by Joe Casad)

Call to Worship

Opening Hymn: I Will Come to You in the Silence (Sing the Story #49) sung by the Douglas Mennonite Male Choir in Winnepeg

Congregational Prayer

How can we hold you in prayer  this week? Please consider sharing with the community by joining our 11:00 Zoom call, commenting below, or emailing Pastor Melissa.

You are invited to pray these words, silently or aloud, written by Joanna Harader:

God of the cross, you are with us
in our struggles for justice,
in our feelings of isolation,
in our physical suffering.

God of the Resurrection, you are with us
in our deepest healing,
in our claiming of your abundant life,
in our embrace of a new reality.

God of the Emmaus road, you are with us
in our overwhelming grief,
in our struggles to understand,
in our persistence on the journey.

You are with us God,
even when we want to look away,
even when we live with doubt,
even when we don’t know why our hearts are burning.

Thank you for walking with us on this road.
Teach us.
Feed us.
Open our eyes. Amen.

Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Time: Jenny Welch Buller

Hymn: On the Journey to Emmaus (Sing the Story #98)

Scripture: Luke 24:13-35 (Please note: There are brief and very realistic images of the crucifixion at 1:02-1:17)

Sermon

I am indebted to David Lyle Jeffrey for his translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Blessing of the Bread

Music for Prayer and Reflection: Abide With Me (Blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #653)

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see.
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence ev'ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless.
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold then thy cross before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav'n's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life and death, O Lord, abide with me.

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).

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.

Special Opportunity: PMC received a request from Woodlawn Elementary School to help local families in need. The Peace and Justice committee invites you to help cover the cost of four fifty-dollar grocery gift cards for families who have recently lost jobs. You can help by making a donation to the Benevolence Fund, designating Woodlawn Families. This is a wonderful example of how the Benevolence Fund gets used in times of need! 

Woodlawn Elementary School, North Lawrence

Sending Hymn: In Christ Alone performed by Lauren Daigle

Benediction: from Melissa

Enjoy this slideshow of places we enjoy walking!

The Teacher was walking with them along the way,

and he himself was The Way.

Augustine, Sermon 235.1-2

Home-Based Worship for May 3, 2020

A reminder that our current church announcements are available here.

You are invited to join us for sharing and prayer on Zoom each Sunday morning at 11.  Simply click this link. This morning the Worship Committee plans to have some structured sharing and prayer time for the first thirty minutes, and then leave the zoom call open for more informal conversation afterwards.

Painting by Roger Gibson now hanging in the church foyer.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. The mountains and the hills will burst forth in song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

You are encouraged 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.

Welcome from Pastor Melissa

Greetings to you all! Like Paul writing to the churches far away, I long for a day when we can be together. We are blessed to be able to share in worship in this way for now.

My spiritual director likes to remind me to hold onto Jesus, especially in challenging times. I invite you to hold onto Jesus with me as we explore a month of Easter stories. What I notice about the end of all four gospels is that Jesus showed up unexpectedly but in ways that were powerfully reminiscent of the last three years. It was an in-between time, a liminal space between the resurrection and the ascension. In-between times are ripe for God to show up! In this in-between time, this month of Joanna’s sabbatical, let’s watch for God to show up in surprising ways.

Scripture: Philippians 1:3-11 (Read by Katie Hobson)

Hymn of Praise: The Strife is O’er the Battle Won
The Episcopal Virtual Choir and Orchestra with Andrea Zuercher participating! You can see her (in a blue shawl) at 1:05 and 2:20 (and maybe other times as well). You’re invited to sing along from the blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #263; note that there is a different fourth verse from the one in the hymnal.)

https://episcopalchurch.org/virtual-choir

verse 4: 
He closed the yawning gates of hell,
The bars from heaven's high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell! Alleluia!

Call to Worship

Congregational Prayer

How can we hold you in prayer  this week? Please consider sharing with the community by joining our 11:00 Zoom call, commenting below, or emailing Pastor Melissa.

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, led here in American Sign Language

Hymn: Lift Your Glad Voices

You are invited to sing along with these Mennonites from Hatfield, PA. (#275 in the blue Hymnal: A Worship Book)

(text by Henry Ware, 1817)

Lift you glad voices in triumph on high,
for Jesus hath risen, and we shall not die.
Vain were the terrors that gathered around him,
and short the dominion of death and the grave.

He burst from the fetters of darkness that bound him,
resplendent in glory, to live and to save.
Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
the Savior hath risen, and we shall not die.

Glory to God, in full anthems of joy;
the being he gave us, death cannot destroy.
Sad were the life we may part with tomorrow,
if tears were our birthright, and death were our end.

But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow,
and bade us, immortal, to heaven ascend.
Lift then your voices in triumph on high,
for Jesus hath risen, and we shall not die.

Scripture Reading: John 21:1-14 (Read by Katie Hobson)

Children’s Time: Anne Bailey

A fish story!

Sermon

Music for Prayer and Reflection: Lord, you have come to the Lakeshore

You’re invited to sing along from the blue Hymnal: A Worship Book #229, in English or Spanish. Note that this performance reverses the order of verses 2 and 3.

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).

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.

Another way to contribute is by taking a photo of a place you enjoy walking (or finding one of somewhere you wish you could go walking) and email it to the church office or Pastor Melissa. We can enjoy a slideshow in next week’s worship!

Sending Hymn: You Shall Go Out With Joy (#427 in Hymnal: A Worship Book)

Benediction





Depictions of fish and fishermen, popular symbols in Christian art, can be found in the colorful floor mosaics at the sixth-century basilica at Horvat Beit Loya (also known as Khirbet Beit Lei). Photo: Gabi Laron