Worship – May 17th – The Advocate

How to use this resource:
Set aside intentional time to read the words below, watch the videos, 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.

As you move through the service, share the leadership! If you have kids or youth in your household, invite them to do a piece or two of the service.

The kids’ bulletin, which is based upon the Psalm reading, can be found here for this week!

Time for Silence and Reflection
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. As we spend this time apart, focus in the silence upon that which connects us: the love of God in all places and times.


Gathering Litany
God, our Holy Parent, watches over us
with love and deep compassion.
We have not been orphaned.

Jesus, our brother and the pioneer of our faith,
leads us by truth, in word and deed.
We have not been orphaned.

The Holy Spirit, our Advocate, Guide, and constant companion,
breathes with us day and night.
We have not been orphaned.

The community of the faithful exists
beyond time and space.
We have not been orphaned.

The Word of Hope recedes into the past
and marches forward into the future,
carrying us through life of its way.
We have not been orphaned.

Thanks be to God.
We have not been orphaned.

Gathering Song – Come! Let Us Worship!
Performed by Marie Zelenka
Lyrics are in the video

Scripture Readings

Reading – Acts 17:22-29
The reading can be found here.
Read by Ben Barnhart

Psalm 66:8-20 – Read Responsively and Together
Read below by Jenny Hoffmann

Text is below the video.

8Bless our God, you peoples;
  let the sound of praise be heard.
9Our God has kept us among the living
and has not allowed our feet to slip.

10For you, O God, have tested us;
  you have tried us just as silver is tried.
11You brought us into the net;
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.

12You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water,
  but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
13I will enter your house with burnt offerings
and will pay you my vows—

14those that I promised with my lips
  and spoke with my mouth when I | was in trouble.
15I will offer you burnt offerings of fatlings with the smoke of rams;
I will give you oxen and goats. 

16Come and listen, all you who believe,
  and I will tell you what God has done for me.
17I called out to God with my mouth,
and praised the Lord with my tongue.

18If I had cherished evil in my heart,
  the Lord would not have heard me;
19but in truth God has heard me
and has attended to the sound of my prayer.

20Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer,
  nor withheld unfailing love from me. 

Gospel Reading – John 14:15-21
The reading can be found here.
Read below by Sandy Scott

The Message – Pastor Adam – The Advocate

Questions for Reflection
Have you ever felt completely alone? What was happening?

Who or what provided you company as you came out of that loneliness?

What spiritual practices do you engage in to welcome the Spirit into your life? (Prayer, scripture reading, etc.)

What new practices would you like to implement during this time?

Songs of the Day
Contemporary Song – You Never Let Go

Traditional Song – Children of the Heavenly Father

Centering Prayer – Apart but Together
Take turns reading a paragraph at a time

Spirit of life and love,
we gather together in different ways this morning,
from computer screens,
from telephones,
from car radios;

we gather,
reaching out across the wires,
waving from a safe distance,
to come together in religious community.

From living room to front porch to car seat,
we gather as we are able,
ready to be of service to each other,
to the world,
ready to build the community of hope and of love,
as we face this bright morning. 

We are apart,
but we are together,
offering our love,
our commitment,
our hope,
and our prayers,
in service to one another and this world.

We are apart,
but we are together,
knowing that your advocate,
the Spirit of love and truth,
is with and in all of us in these moments.

It is a new way,
but an old way,
that we come together in worship today.

Blessing and Sending
Go now into the world.
Search for the God who is not far from each one of us.
Offer to all who ask an account of the hope that is in you.
Keep your conscience clear
as you live the commandments in love.

And may God greet your prayers with constant love;
may Christ Jesus give you life through his own life;
and may the Spirit of truth abide with you and within you, always.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
in the name of Christ. Amen.

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.

Gathering Litany written by Pastor Julia Seymore – http://lutheranjulia.blogspot.com/
Blessing and Sending written by Natthan Nettleton – http://laughingbird.net/