The Sacred Sounds Handbell Choir’s Prelude for the April 28, 2019 worship service was chosen to open the service this morning. The bell choir rang out the Irish folk tune “Be Thou My Vision,” arranged by Sandra Eithin.
Pastor Curtis Fussell gave the Welcome to Worship and the Assurance of Pardon. Celia McCullough and Gary Kaplan offered the Opening Litany, the Prayer of Confession and the Passing of the Peace via video from their home. Celia and Gary’s participation in leading the worship service was truly a blessing.
The morning‘s Anthem, also taken taken from the April 28, 2019 service, was “With a Voice of Singing” by Martin Shaw. It was sung by the Chancel Choir under direction of Dr. Michael Lancaster, with Angie accompanying on pipe organ.
The Scripture reading was John 20:19-23, which recounts the apostle Thomas’ moment of realization that Jesus has risen and is among the group of disciples.
Pastor Curtis’ sermon, “Surprised By Hope,” dealt with the unavoidable fact that grief, as it had come to Thomas after Jesus’ death, comes to us all sooner or later in our lives. Yet even in our grief we have hope. In the resurrection of Christ — this most defiant statement against death — we ourselves are also promised resurrection. We are “habitual believers”: Although we have not actually seen the risen Christ, because of the hope given to us by the Word, we do indeed believe.
Pastor Emily Wilmarth offered the Prayers of God’s People and led the congregation in The Lord’s Prayer and the Offertory Prayer
.Following the Benediction hymn, “God Be With You Til We Meet Again,” Angie’s Postlude on the pipe organ was a marvelous rendition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Alleluia” from Exsultate Jubilate, arranged by Gary Davidson.