How to use this resource:
Set aside intentional time to read the words below, watch the video, listen to the music, and be in prayer. Gather together everyone in your house for this time. Treat the time and space as sacred: shut of electronics, silence the cell phones, and minimize distractions. Designate someone to lead the unbolded parts of these pieces (or take turns!). After you have gone through the pieces, be sure to take time to reflect upon what you have heard and seen.
Time for Silence, Reflection, and Confession
During this season of Easter, we are taking time to quiet our hearts in preparation of worship. Set aside this time, at the beginning of worship, to be silent and have your house be silent. Call to mind the places where you feel like your doubt or disbelief have held you back from living out a new life. Hold those for a moment and then raise them up to God, saying aloud or in your heart, “Take my doubt and transform it.”
Words of Assurance – Inspired by John 20:19-31
This is Good News: God does not mock us when we fail to trust,
but invites us into a deeper, more intimate relationship.
Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Trust me!
God does not shame us when our faith waivers,
but challenges us to be strengthened by God’s promises.
Happy are those who don’t see…and yet trust!
God’s purpose is not to tear us down…but to build us up…
Psalm 16 – Read Responsively/Together
1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;
I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are in the land,
upon those who are noble among the people.
3But those who run after other gods
shall have their troubles multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings to such gods,
never take their names upon my lips.
5O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;
it is you who uphold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
indeed, I have a rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me night after night.
8I have set the Lord always before me;
because God is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;
my body also shall rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor let your holy one see the pit.
11You will show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Gospel Reading – John 20:19-31
The reading can be found here. It is also read by Bishop Deborah Hutterer during her message below!
Songs of the Day
Contemporary Song – Might to Save
Traditional Song – I Want to Walk as Child of the Light
Lyrics for the hymn can be found here.
Affirmation of Faith – I Believe
In spite of many unanswered questions, I believe.
I believe in the living God,
the joy of the universe,
who is the pulse and purpose of all things seen and unseen,
who from the dust of earth calls up living beings to be children of eternity,
who through countless ages has provided for us many liberators
and tirelessly seeks to bring victory out of defeat and life out of decay.
I believe in Jesus the Christ, God’s true Son,
who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,
who took upon himself the healing of the human race,
who bearing the burden of our sins went to Golgotha carrying his cross,
who was betrayed, crucified, dead and buried in a borrowed tomb,
who on the third day was found to be gloriously alive,
meeting with those who trust him and serve him to the end of the world.
I believe in the Holy Spirit of God,
within and among all who cherish Christ and his way,
who brings hope out of despair,
love out of apathy,
and joy out of sorrow,
who unceasingly regenerates and reforms the church
that it may always be the contemporary body of the risen Christ,
loving the world through prayer, word and deed.
In spite of unanswered questions, yes I believe.
Prayers of the People
As our worship comes to an end for this morning, we take time, once again, to quiet our hearts and open them towards God and the world. Below are prayers that you can use as written or put into your own words. If you are gathered with several individuals, take turns reading/leading each of these prayers, which the rest remain in silence.
Once again, we have heard of how your love overcomes all barriers. The tomb could not hold you. Locked doors could not keep you out. We pray that you would give us a portion of that love. Help us, as your followers, to overcome the barriers of this time and pandemic through love and care for one another. Hear our prayers:
For the church, struggling with faith in the midst of global suffering: God, we believe in your willingness to heal and your power to do so. Help our unbelief.
For those who have turned to faith in Jesus for the very first time during this pandemic: God, help our new brothers and sisters grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior.
For those who don’t know Jesus yet but find their hearts stirred by spiritual curiosities and eternal longings: God, in your kindness, lead many to repentance and obedient faith in your Son.
For first responders and frontline health care workers, especially in epicenters of infection: God, reinforce their ranks and strengthen them your love and Spirit.
For companies with the ability (and the mandate) to manufacture much-needed protective equipment for our frontline health care workers: God, establish the work of their hands.
For transit workers, police officers, and other public servants working tirelessly, often without adequate protection: God, give them stamina every day and keep them safe from illness and harm.
For nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other long-term care facilities: God, encourage the lonely residents and strengthen the staff members who help them. Prevent further spread of infection, and comfort families who can no longer visit their loved ones.
Hear our prayers, Gracious God. May we see them answered before our eyes and may we be a part of those answers. Hold us close, both in our belief and our disbelief, and teach us to pray…
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.
Sending – Inspired by John 20:21-22
Jesus said: “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am now sending you”.
He believes in you. The busy world awaits your compassion.
God believes in us.
Sometimes you will give your best yet fail.
God believes in us.
At other times you will succeed in spite of your stumbling.
God believes in us.
Go gladly, daring to succeed or fail to the glory of God,
and then at the very end, nothing shall dismay you.
God believes in us.
With Christ’s own breath within us, we shall travel well.
The help of the saving Christ,
the wisdom of the Living God,
and the support of the loving Spirit,
will be with you
every step of the way, now and always.
Offering and Giving
Shepherd of the Hills will continue to provide worship, support and outreach as the COVID-19 situation progresses. Of course, your giving helps support these efforts. As your finances allow, please consider continuing to support our shared ministries. There are two ways to give:
– Mail your tithe or offering to the church office. The office will remain open for normal business hours.
– Give online! Our online giving is secure and fully operational. It can be found here.
Thank for helping us continue to spread God’s Word and help those in need during these challenging times.
Words of Assurance written by Scott Cervas
Affirmation of Faith and Sending written by Bruce Prewer
Prayers of the People written by Jen Pollock Michel, Edited by Adam Barnhart