Worship Bulletin: 5/5/24

Worship Bulletin: 5/5/24

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, May 5, 2024 @ 10:15 a.m. – National Sr. High Youth Sunday

Your Life; God’s Direction | Jeremiah 29:11
11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares God,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Gathering PowerPoint | Music by Shawn Kirchner – used with permission

Video Welcome

Sharing Time | Joys & Concerns | Serenity Magnall and Miles Bauer

♫Centering Music | “Fly Away” (Medley) | arr. M. Ham
Jean Hendricks, piano

Opening Words | Miles Bauer and Noah Wilgers     
First Person:               We gather this morning not sure what tomorrow brings…
All: But God offers to guide our lives and show us a way forward.

Second Person:          We gather today full of anxiety and uncertainty…
All:                               Yet God assures us that we will be safe and not harmed.

First Person:               We gather here trusting the Divine to direct our steps…
All:                               God meets us where we are and enables us to keep moving, forward.

Second Person:          And we gather together knowing we need one another…
All:                               Because it is in sharing the load that we experience the Divine Hope of what is to come.  

♫Opening Song | “Great is Thy Faithfulness” | #327

Senior Time | Seniors share their stories and updates    
Lucy Bowman, Dayveon Crawford, Jordyn Hancock, Mallory Koelling, Jordan Martens,
Mickey/Hunter Mendez, Jadin Nowell, Jayce Schriner, Aidan Wheaton, Noah Wilgers

Story for the Children | Lucy Bowman and Kaia Pfeiff                 

Video Invitation to Give
Give online or send a check made payable to “McPherson Church of the Brethren,” 200 N. Carrie, McPherson, KS 67460

♫Musical Offering | “Lord, I Need You” | Matt Maher      
Youth and Worship Band

Lord I come, I confess – Bowing here, I find my rest –
Without You, I fall apart – You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You – Ev’ry hour, I need You
My one defense, my righteousness – Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more – Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free – Holiness is Christ in me (2x) REFRAIN

So teach my song to rise to You – When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You – Jesus, You’re my hope and stay (2x)         

Lord I need You, oh, I need You.  Ev’ry hour I need You.
My one defense, my righteousness – Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness – Oh God, how I need You

Congregational Prayer | Hunter/Mickey Mendez
Loving God, you who showed us how to live, turn your ears to us today.
You, O God, chase after us so that none should be lost, which brings us to this place today.
You rescued us, O God, and we await your call upon our lives.
Open our ears so we can hear you, whether in a still wind or raging storm.
Remove scales from our eyes so we can see you and follow the path you have set for us.
Surround us with your presence so we can feel you everywhere and in everything we do.
Calm the storms within us, so that we learn to trust in your promise that we will be prosperous.
Teach us to be still, no matter what, so that we can seek the peace of the city, just as you promised in Jeremiah.
And finally, Gracious God, grant us hearts to love all we meet along the way, because it is in loving all that we experience your Love the most.
In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

Prayerful Song | “Gentle Shepherd” | #352

Scripture Jam | Jeremiah 29:11 | Calla Stoltzfus (adapted) 
Kayden Friesen, Alejandro Pfeiff, and Daniel Bowen

Your Life, God’s Direction | Paraphrased from the New Living Translation (NLT) with excerpts from the Message

Person 1:        We’re two miles in! Only 3 more to go!
Person 2:        WHAT?! Only 2 miles? My feet hurt! My neck is already sunburned! There’s no water anywhere! There’s no Wi-Fi! And I’m SOOOOO hungry! Why is this so hard?
Person 3:        Probably because you forgot your snacks and water bottle, you didn’t want to put on sunscreen, and we’re in the middle of nowhere right now.
Also, you decided to hike in flip flops.
Person 2:        Well sure, but we’re basically just walking.
Person 1:        C’mon, you can do this! And just for the record, we kept reminding you to get prepared, but you didn’t listen to us.
Person 2:        God must hate me. This is the worst.
Person 1:        Don’t blame God for this, you were the one who forgot to bring everything!
Person 3:        Yeah, and although God does ultimately know what will happen in your life, your decisions affect how it will turn out too.
Person 1:        Think of it this way. It’s your life, but God provides you with directions to the right destination.
You will never get to that destination on your own, and you probably won’t be using only God’s directions either.
Sometimes you might take some wrong turns, or take a pit stop, but as long as you always look back at God’s directions you will get back on track.
Person 2:        So, God gave me a roadmap. Oooooook? Why can’t I see it? I don’t have that map in my hands right now.
Person 3:        Probably because you also forgot the trail guide…
Person 2:        It’s not the Bible is it? Scripture doesn’t tell me what to eat for breakfast, or what friends I need to have,
or what college I should go to, or even what I should do in my future!
Person 1:        Well, it’s sort of the Bible. We should always be going back to God’s word and applying it to our lives.
But I get it, the Bible isn’t going to mention any specific scenarios that match your life word-for-word.
Person 3:        Prayer is a big part of it. You should talk to God about what’s going on in your life and ask God what you should do when you have some
big choices to make. Sometimes God will respond with some really obvious answers and other times with some very subtle answers.
Person 1:        Other times God might not answer at all. That means you just have to trust.
Person 2:        Yeah but, what does this have to do with God’s directions? I can still do whatever I want in my life. I am my own person, I just believe in God.
Person 3:        God has a plan for your life. And it’s a good one. God has a wonderful purpose for you, you just have to choose whether you want to pursue it or not.
Person 2:        But what if God’s plan involves me being miserable on a hike? I’m DYING out here! Why would God put me in this situation?
Person 1:        God’s plan is never meant to harm you or make your life harder in any way. When you come across difficult times,
it is God’s way of giving you a chance to come to God.
Person 3:        God wants you to seek God in every situation, even the bad ones. And when you do seek God,
Then God strengthens your faith and you see that whatever hardship you went through was all part of a bigger, beautiful picture.
Person 2:        So when life gets hard, as long as I turn to God, I’ll understand that it was all for the good and I will be able to learn from it?
Person 1:        YES!
Person 3:        You’ll never forget sunscreen and water on a hike again, will you?
Person 2:        Not after this experience.
Person 1:        Exactly!!
Person 3:        Hey, guys! I think we’re almost there!
Person 2:        I SEE WATER!!!
Person 1:        Wow this is beautiful!!
Person 3:        Come see!
Person 2:        God really did have a plan after all!
Persons 1&3:  God always has a plan!

♫Scripture Song | “Come Thou Fount” | #521                           

Message | “How Well Do YOU KNOW Them?” | Senior-led Trivia                       

♫Sending Song | “Here I Am, Lord” | #395

Sending Words | Ethan Gustafson
No matter where we are, the seasons of life continue to change.
We might have years where we stand on top of mountains and can sing with the angels.
There are other years when we feel deep in a valley and we can’t seem to find a way out.
God meets us at both.
There are times when we feel alive and our faith abounds.
There are times when breathing is a challenge and doubts overwhelm us.
God is present at those times too.
No matter where we are or what we are going through, God is there.
No matter how great or not so great our faith might be, God is there.
Through every breathtaking moment and every suffocating experience, God is there.
God is in it all proclaiming to us, as the author of Jeremiah records, “I know the plans I have for you…
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Amen.
Go in love.  Go in peace.  Go knowing God will meet you wherever your journey leads.

♫Sending Music | “I Will Follow” | Chris Tomlin
Youth and Worship Band

Where You go, I’ll go – Where You stay, I’ll stay – When You move, I’ll move – I will follow
Oh, oh, oh.

All Your ways are good – All Your ways are sure
I will trust in You alone – Higher than my sight – High above my life – I will trust in You alone

Where You go, I’ll go – Where You stay, I’ll stay – When You move, I’ll move – I will follow You
Whom You love, I’ll love – How You serve, I’ll serve – If this life I lose, I will follow You, yeah
I will follow You, yeah

Light into the world – Light into my life – I will live for You alone – You’re the One I seek –
Knowing I will find – All I need in You alone, in You alone REFRAIN

In You there’s life everlasting – In You there’s freedom for my soul
In You there’s joy, unending joy – And I will follow    

Where You go, I’ll go – Where You stay, I’ll stay – When You move, I’ll move – I will follow You
Whom You love, I’ll love – How You serve I’ll serve – If this life I lose – I will follow
Where You go, I’ll go – Where You stay, I’ll stay – When You move, I’ll move – I will follow You
Whom You love, I’ll love – How You serve I’ll serve – If this life I lose
I will follow You, yeah
I will follow You, yeah 3x

Graduation Celebration Potluck immediately after worship
Chicken and cake provided
Didn’t bring a side dish? Join us anyway
There’s always room for one more at God’s table!   

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