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United Methodist Church of East Berlin
“Ordinary people with extraordinary faith”
139 Main Street PO Box 265
East Berlin, CT 06023
Pastor Jeremiah Paul
Ministers: All members of the church
District Superintendent Rev. Alpher Sylvester
Bishop Rev. Thomas J. Bickerton
April 18, 2021
Third Sunday of Easter
Welcome and Church News
Call to Worship - Liturgist
(inspired by Luke 24:45-48)
We are witnesses,
to the love God has poured into us.
We are witnesses of God’s love,
sharing it with each person we meet.
We are witnesses to everyone we encounter,
little children like us,
sisters and brothers in God’s family.
(Written by Thom Shuman)
LOOK AT MY HANDS AND MY FEET- Liturgist
A Prayer for Luke 24:39-43
When Jesus appeared to the disciples, he offered his nail-scarred hands and feet as proof that he was, indeed, the Risen Lord. Then, he ate in their presence (from Luke 24:39-43).
Lord, we are living in a world that behaves as though you never lived. Our eyes behold atrocities and insults that we never thought possible and that our grandparents thought they would never see again. We live in a world that is longing for proof of the Resurrection, proof of the Living Lord.
Lord, show us how to prove your living through our lives. Put our hands to doing what you would have done were you still on this earth. Place our feet on a path that leads others to salvation. Pull us out of our caves of isolation so that we might be seen as ordinary, living, breathing, caring people of the Resurrection.
When the people of the land cry out for proof that you are alive, or even that you ever existed, may we be able to offer our hands and feet and our lives as living proof. Amen.
Opening Hymn: “I Love to Tell the Story” UMH 156
Joys and Concerns: Let us bring our joys and concerns to the Lord.
Pastoral Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer
PRAYER OF CONFESSION- liturgist
(based on John 20: 24-29; Luke 24:36-43)
Wondrous God, we confess that at times our doubts and fears override our hope and faith. Forgive us when we lose sight of the joy of Your love and instead fall into despair and gloom. Lift up our spirits, Lord, and help us to remember the promise of new life here and now, not just the hope of resurrection for the future. We give thanks for Your Son, Jesus the Christ, who continues to offer us new life, who continues to turn us around and upside down, who continues to break down the walls of death in our own life. Forgive us, restore us and renew us. In the name of our risen Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon - Pastor Jeremiah
The tomb is empty. The stone is rolled away. There is no darkness now, only light. God continues to renew us and restore us. We are forgiven, loved and restored, receiving the gift and promise of new life and resurrection now. Go and share the wondrous news of God’s love in Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Readings: Acts 3:12-19
1 John 3:1-7
Sermon Pastor Jeremiah
Hymn: “Lord Whose Love Through Humble Service” UMH 581
Offertory: Please leave your offering in the collection box at the front of the church or consider sending a check to PO Box 265, East Berlin, CT 06023. Thank you.
Offertory Prayer - Pastor Jeremiah
Mighty God who brings life and hope out of death and despair, help us hear the invitation Christ offered to the disciples, “Touch me and see!” Make us bold to grab hold of the risen Christ – not for this day but for all our days. May we offer our gifts this morning not to the church historical—the church that was—but to a church that is becoming, that is still being born, that Christ will bring into the future. May our eyes and ears and hearts continue to hold on to him as we help Christ lead his church forward! In his name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 24:36b-48)
Closing Hymn: “The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve” TFWS 2241
Commission and Benediction – Pastor J
Go now as God’s chosen witnesses
to testify that Christ has been raised
and that we are raised with him.
Do not look for him among the dead,
but be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
And may God raise you from all that would entomb you;
May Christ Jesus call you by name and go ahead of you;
And may the Holy Spirit empower you for all that is good.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
. . . In the name of Christ. Amen.
(Copyright © 2003 Nathan Nettleton)