Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
For Meditation and Reflection:
“If we choose to be co-creators (and it is a choice; God does not coerce our cooperation) we can help bring into being a world where peace, love, and charity rule, where we actually embody God. We become God’s hands and feet and voices . . . we give God a body in this world . . . we take action on what God wills for us and for the world, and we remember and fulfill our role as co-creators.” (Debra Farrington, Hearing with the Heart)
Welcome and Announcements
Opening Prayer (Pastor)
Responsive Call to Worship (Traditional Monastic Liturgy)
Pastor: We wait for the word of the Lord as we wait for the rains.
People: and our God shall come down upon us like gentle dew.
Pastor: The hills and the mountains will be singing praise to God.
People: Every tree in the forest will be clapping its hands.
The Lord will come and rule for ever. Alleluia.
Opening Hymn Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise 1
Prayer for Illumination (Pastor)
Today’s Scripture Reading Mark 1:29-39
Sermon: Desert Strength (The Rev. Dr. Michael Lyle)
Hymn O Jesus, I Have Promised 493
A Litany of Thanksgiving
Pastor: All things come from you, O God, and with gratitude we return to you what is yours. All that we are, and all that we have, is your gift to us.
People: And so, in gratitude for all your gifts, we offer ourselves, and all that we have. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.
All: Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Joys and Concerns
Prayers of the Pastor and the People
The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional, with “debts”)
Closing Hymn God of Grace and God of Glory 436
Prayer of Benediction: (Pastor)
Go forward in the comfort and strength of God’s blessing. Remember that you are loved, that God is ever near, and that divine mercy is your way in the world. Amen.
Sharing the Peace as we go…….And we hope you can join us for post-worship coffee and conversation in Fellowship Hall.
Rev. Lyle is happy to stay following the service to talk about questions, concerns or thoughts you may have about today’s worship.
Thoughts for the Day/Week:
More Than Mighty Fortress
a tempest of silence
is our God
melody nothing made
in every spectrum color
to synthesize us
interspersed with years
FOR OUR VISITORS: Since the retirement of our longtime pastor in January, we at St. James have been on a journey of discernment……re-evaluating our worship and our direction and mission as a congregation. During this process, we have welcomed a number of visiting ministers to share their messages from our pulpit, several of whom are, or have become, active friends of St. James. We have had speakers and members share their messages of faith and service, and have had several open forums to discuss the needs of the congregation and the community. We plan to continue this process through this calendar year, although we are calling more often on those pastors whose messages fit most closely with our values. We always welcome input from visitors and those who are new to our community.