Sunday, March 21: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Origami butterflies have begun to venture out from the Lent Tree to other areas of the sanctuary; Sandy Barrow helped one into its spot in the flower arrangement this Sunday.

The service opened with a March 18, 2018 recording of G.F. Handel’s “Aria” arranged by Mark Schweizer and rung by the Sacred Sounds Handbell Choir, with Dr. Linda Lancaster accompanying on flute. Linda and clarinetist Steve Loew also accompanied the Chancel Choir in the Anthem–Bernadette Farrell’s “Unless a Grain of Wheat.” Both pieces were conducted by Dr. Michael Lancaster.

Duncan Greenlee offered the Opening Litany, the Prayer of Confession, and Passing of the Peace. His contribution to the worship service is of tremendous value and very much appreciated.

Pastor Emily Wilmarth gave the Welcome to Worship and Assurance of Pardon. She read John 12:20-33, and preached on Jesus’ words to his disciples concerning his impending death. Her sermon, “Come and See,” dealt with our calling to approach our faith with openness and curiosity. We are urged to open our eyes and see with our hearts Christ‘s journey to the cross, his suffering manifest even today in the suffering of the world; to recognize our complicity in this suffering, and to let what we see change us. Even as we come and see the cross, we live in the promise of the resurrection and participate in the act of making things new for all people in the world.

Pastor Curtis Fussell led the congregation in the Prayers of God’s People, the Lord’s Prayer and Offertory Prayer. Curtis and Emily then conducted the Service of Ordination and Installation of Elders. The candidates, Sandy Barrow and Scott Carter, have agreed to step in to fill Session vacancies for Worship and Personnel. Sandy and Scott responded to a series of Constitutional Questions, after which they knelt for prayer and the symbolic Laying On of Hands for new Elders.

Angie Jenkins closed the service with the Benediction hymn, “God Be With You Til We Meet Again” and as Postlude, Handel’s “Allegro in G” arranged by Charles Callahan, on pipe organ.

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