02 Mar Worship Bulletin: 3/5/23
Welcome to Worship at the McPherson 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, March 5, 2023 @ 10:15 a.m. | Second Sunday in Lent
Centering Music | “Let Your Light So Shine” | Tom Birchwood
Ellen Gilbert, organ
Sharing Time: Joys & Concerns | Bud Taylor
Opening Words | based on an essay by Rev. Dr. Deborah J. Kapp
Lent is a Spiritual Journey of discovery – one in which we are invited to be Open and Curious.
Will we risk exposing our questions to the Light of Day – or like Nicodemus – only secretly consider them under the cover of dark?
“There is much to praise about a Faith that thrives in the Dark. It can be genuine, heartfelt, personal and deep.
Hidden Faith is not faulty, just perhaps too small, incomplete and immature; like a child yet in the womb.
Jesus invites birth into an expanded faith – a mature belief with full participation in abundant life.
Rebirth is God’s gift to give, God’s work to accomplish. God is prepared – even eager – to do the hard, messy, sweating labor that will bring us from safe, warm gestation – into
greater maturity – into a new faith.”
Are we ready and willing to;
leave the womb of our faith, push through the Spiritual Birth Canal and live into New Life?
Opening Song | “How Many Times We Start Again”
1. How many times we start again on faith’s unwinding way; we want, dear God, to settle in, to build a home and stay, but then a dream, a voice, a light disturbs our peace and rest and sets before our straining sight new stages on our quest.
2. Before we go, we look around, surveying where we are, some ask, why leave familiar ground for somewhere strange and far? We know from all our startings out each journey has its cost; that sometimes faith gives way to doubt and sometimes we get lost.
3. But greater than the cost we find is our expanded view of what it means, with heart and mind, to trust and follow you: we hear a music never heard, a diff’rent light descends, and meeting strangers, we are stirred to welcome them as friends.
4. With eager hope we now depart the places that we know, to travel regions in your heart where you would have us go. In you we live and move and dwell, as close as breath and prayer, you are our home: Emmanuel, God-with-us ev’rywhere.
Eric Goering, trombone
Ellen Gilbert, piano
Scripture Focus | John 3:1-21
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.
For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a
second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can
enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but
the Spirit [b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born
again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes
from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we
speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our
testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak
of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of
Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that
everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not
condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the
name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved
darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not
come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the
light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Scripture Song | “Spirit of Life”
Spirit of Life, come unto me. Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea; move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free; Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.
Message | “Birthed Into New Life” | Jerry Bowen
Sending Song | “New Earth, Heavens New” | #299
Sending and Blessing – for travelers to South Sudan
Members of McPherson CoB Congregation; Roger Schrock, Marty Ward
Unison Words of Sending
Roger and Marty:
May you trust in God’s promises of:
peace, security and blessing – when your journey is easy and when it is laborious.
May you live out of and into the truth that God’s news – is Good news: nourishing and life-giving –
as you relate with a myriad of God’s people from multiple continents.
And as you encounter inspiration and difficult challenges, may your faith deepen –
strengthened and guided by God’s perfect wisdom and counsel.
Sending Music | “Trumpet Tune” | Telemann
Ellen Gilbert, organ
Videography and Editing: Eric Goering
Music Coordinator: Ellen Gilbert
Choir Director: Becky Snell
Technical Crew: Eric Goering, Ryan Goering, Shane Kirchner, Steve Lolling & Chris Whitacre
Chancel Decoration Team: Jill Brax, Colleen Gustafson, Michele Johnson, Shane Kirchner & Lara Schoming