24 May Worship Bulletin – 5/24/20
McPherson First Church of the Brethren
We invite your active participation in the life of this congregation, as together we continue to grow in grace and seek justice for God’s creation.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
McPherson College Graduation Sunday
Featuring Guest Speaker Dr. Kirk MacGregor, McPherson College Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Welcome | A Preacher Musing (adapted greatly)
This afternoon – will be – the first ever – McPherson College – Virtual Graduation
The College and the Church – have a long and intertwined history with one another.
As we gather this day – we acknowledge a threshold moment – a thin place –
between what has been AND what is to be –
between what has been studied, learned, accomplished, shared AND
all there is yet to study, learn and do with and for one another.
It is good to mark this moment with celebration.
It is good to note this mile-marker and take joy
both in the distance traveled and the distance yet ahead.
This liminal time and space – this ‘transitional’ time and space –
this time when we stand on a threshold and look back AND look ahead – is a BLESSING –
for both the Church – and the College.
May we reside fully in this moment – with both gratitude and anticipation –
with an awareness of the reality that growth is a life-long process –
a process that encompasses our entirety – our minds, bodies, spirits, and emotions.
May we be present in this moment with a profound sense of what it means to stand in the in-between –
looking back from where we have come and looking forward to where we might go –
May we be present in this moment as we stand in the in-between –
perceiving the magnitude of the arc of creation and living.
May we be present in this moment with God – who was – who is – who will be – forevermore.
Welcome to this Moment – Welcome to Worship
Centering Music | Ben Hopkins – Tuba, Kyle Hopkins – Horn
Opening Prayer | written by John Birch (adapted)
God Eternal – we give thanks for your unconditional acceptance of us – just as we are.
God of the past, we pray that you will accept the people we have been and the baggage we drag behind us.
God of the present, we pray that you will accept the people we are now and the potential that lies within us.
God of the future, we pray that you will accept the people we might become – as your Spirit transforms us.
Eternal God – we give great thanks for your acceptance of us – just as we are –
as we humbly enter into Worship. AMEN
Opening Song | “God of the Ages, History’s Maker”
Invitation to Give | Joe Shadle – Jesuit – Xavier University (adapted)
This is a time of Giving Thanks – and sharing our Blessings.
We give thanks for the gifts, talents and skills – which God blesses with in this life.
We give thanks for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We give thanks for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own efforts.
At this time – we share our blessings and bounty – Giving Thanks Always!
Children’s Story | Kathryn Whitacre
Prayer Song | ”Lord of All Hopefulness”
Prayer | Peter Haynes, Long Green Valley COB (adapted)
God of morning, noon, evening and night – ever present God –
in these times of change and transition – in these times when we seek Hope –
we pray – for the Light of Your Son Jesus – to awaken us to the splendor of your presence in our midst.
We pray for the Word made flesh – to shine among us in such a way – that the darkness within AND without –
might be illuminated – so that we may see what is true, just and real –
so that we might behold the world as you created it to be – as you created us to be.
We pray for the True Light – to light up the path we are called to trod –
providing us with clear sight for the journey – a journey we pray to take with;
peace in our hearts – offering gentle calm
love in our hearts – offering kindly grace
strength in our hearts – offering eager faith
bliss in our hearts – offering hopeful joy
This we pray – in the name of the light which is the light of all people –
This we pray – in the name of the ONE – who was and is and will be forever. AMEN
Scripture Focus | John 1:1-18 | ‘The WORD Became Flesh’ | NIV (inclusive)
In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.
The WORD was with God in the beginning. Through the WORD all things were made;
without the WORD nothing was made that has been made.
In the WORD was life, and that life was the light of all humankind.
The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the
LIGHT, so that through John – all might believe.
John was not the LIGHT; John came only as a witness to the LIGHT.
The TRUE LIGHT that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
The TRUE LIGHT was in the world, and though the world was made through this LIGHT,
the world did not recognize the LIGHT.
The LIGHT came to that which was the LIGHT’s own, but the LIGHT’s own did not receive the LIGHT.
Yet to all who did receive the LIGHT, to those who believed in the LIGHT’s name, the LIGHT gave the right to
become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision
or a spouse’s will, but born of God.
The WORD became flesh and the WORD made a dwelling among us. We have seen the glory,
the glory of the ONE and only SON, who came from God, full of grace and truth.
(John testified concerning the ONE. John cried out, saying, “This is the ONE I spoke about when I said,
‘the ONE who comes after me has surpassed me because this ONE was before me.’”)
Out of the fullness of the ONE we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus the Christ.
No one has ever seen God, but the ONE and only SON, whose self is God AND is in – closest relationship –
with God – has made God known.
Message | “Jesus Christ, the Divine Logic.” | Dr. Kirk MacGregor
Sending Song | “Go My Children, with My Blessing”
Sending Words | Thom Shuman (adapted greatly)
Go – with the WORD of God – who shelters us with Love and Grace
Go – with the WORD of God – who gives us GOOD NEWS of great Joy
Go – with the WORD of God – in whose Spirit we can place our Hope and Trust
Go with God – Go in Peace – AMEN
Hymn Leader: Dan Lichty
Instrumentalists: Ben Hopkins – Tuba; Kyle Hopkins – Horn; James Bowyer – Piano
Music Coordinator/Pianist/Organist/Accompanist: Ellen Gilbert
Technical Crew: Eric Goering, Ryan Goering, Shane Kirchner, Doug Lengel, Steve Lolling, Chris Whitacre