Baptism of the Lord
Greetings!
With all the pain and sickness brought about by the pandemic, with all the challenging events in Washington DC this week, with all the change we need to deal with in the normal course of our lives isn't it great to know that God is constant. He is always there for us. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit today as we sing His praises, hear His Word and pray for His grace. Let us worship the Lord!
Opening Hymn - I Sing the Almighty Power of God
Call To Worship
On that first day, when time began:
you gave birth to creation;
light danced through the darkness;
the waters of hope flowed free and clear.
On that first day at the Jordan, when redemption began:
you spoke of life for all your children,
as your Child stepped into the waters of forgiveness,
dancing in hope with his cousin, John.
On this first day of the week, when we begin anew:
you call us to faithfulness,
as we open our hearts to you,
your voice claiming us as your own.
The Opening Prayer

Beloved's Parent:
grace is the gift 
     which flows to us
     from your heart;
joy is the seed planted
     deep within our souls,
     that it might blossom 
          into lives of service to all.
And we cry: "Glory!"
 
Servant of sinners:
you emerge from baptism's water,
     to embrace us in your hopes;
you take our fears from us
     and toss them aside
     as you lead us into your kingdom;
you shine the Light
     which brings us out 
     of despair's shadows.
And we cry: "Glory!"
 
Wind upon the water:
you move among us
     sweeping aside our petty pride,
     and offering us the gifts
          of humility and servanthood.
You whisper of your yearning
for peace and reconciliation,
     until it silences our angry voices
     and unclenches our fisted hearts.
And we cry: "Glory!"
 
God in Community, Holy in One, 
we lift our voices as your Beloved teaches,
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.
Praise Hymn: When Jesus Came to Jordan
Praie Hymn: Shall We Gather at the River
Time For Our Children - How do we receive information? Is the news good, or frustrating? In this message, discuss who John the Baptist was and the message of hope he came to share. Encourage students to receive this good news and to tell others about the joy of Jesus.
The New Testament Lesson: Acts 19: 1-7
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul took a route through the interior and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you came to believe?”
They replied, “We’ve not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Then he said, “What baptism did you receive, then?”
They answered, “John’s baptism.”

Paul explained, “John baptized with a baptism by which people showed they were changing their hearts and lives. It was a baptism that told people about the one who was coming after him. This is the one in whom they were to believe. This one is Jesus.” After they listened to Paul, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in other languages and prophesying. Altogether, there were about twelve people.

L: This is the word of the Lord
P: Thanks Be to God
Special Music: Morning Has Broken - J.S. Bach: Gigue from Fifth Keyboard Partita, BWV 829 - Miles Walter, VUMC Music Director
The Gospel Lesson: Matthew 2: 1-12
John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

L: This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.      
P: Thanks be to God.
The Message - Voices - An unexpected voice can calm, challenge, or change the world. But how do we know which one to listen to? Pastor Kevan says the voice that defines us may only come once in a lifetime.

Joys and Concerns of the Community - Introducing Miles Walter as our new Music Director
The Morning Prayers

We are now the ones who step forth out of the safe waters of baptism, to bring hope, to share a word of grace, to carry healing into the brokenness of the lives around us. Let us follow in faith wherever Jesus leads us. Join as we pray, saying,

Heavenly Father, we continue to pray for our nation. We pray for our leaders who lead us day by day. We pray for all in authority who face difficult decisions that affect the lives of many; grant them wisdom and courage.

We pray for misinformation to be curbed that fear may take no hold in hearts and minds.

For those prayers too personal to speak aloud.

For Gregory Fucci, the husband of Anna, father of Kristi, and grandfather of Alena, passed away on Sunday, January 3 after a battle with brain cancer.

We pray for those who mourn the loss of loved ones, whether recently or some time ago. Let the knowledge of your resurrection in glory be comfort to all those who mourn

We pray for the sick, both at home and in hospital, or hospice. We think of the elderly, the housebound and those in care homes. And we pray for all who care to their needs, both professionally and in the family.

For the Manfredi family's friend John Walker. He is receiving a new kidney.
For Marilyn Van Tine who fell and is having difficulty walking. 
For a full recovery for Marilyn Van Tine's daughter, Karen Gerlach.
For Mary Kovoor's friend Dr. Bob Raniolo as he faces a tough battle with cancer.

For our friends working the Covid19 front lines: Alayne Snyder, Drs. Johnny and Riny Kovoor. and Erik Lindholm.

Help all hospital workers as they deal with overwhelming numbers of patients and give them strength to carry on when all seems hopeless and they are weary.

We pray for all families as they face the ups and downs of family life in the age of the coronavirus.

We thank you for the vaccines currently being distributed. As we set a record for deaths in the US every day, we believe we are at the beginning of the end in the fight against Covid19.

We pray for the homeless, the unemployed, the asylum seeker, the addict, the ex-prisoner. Lord Jesus who became a refugee from oppression be with all those who find themselves struggling.

Touched by the waters of life, fed at the feast of grace and hope, embraced in the warmth of God's love and hopes - this is good news! Blessed by baptism's tears, called to servanthood by the Beloved, filled with the peace of the Spirit, we are indeed God's people - redeemed, restored, refreshed to serve. Thanks be to God! Amen.
The Benediction
Go into the world as God's beloved children.
We will go to share the gift of grace which flows from God's heart.
Go into the world as baptized sisters and brothers of Jesus.
We will go to bring the light of hope to all in despair.
Go into the world as those filled with the Holy Spirit.
We will go to hear the whispered yearnings for peace and reconciliation.
Closing Hymn - Breath on Me Breath of God
Valhalla United Methodist Church | 200 Columbus Avenue, Valhalla NY 10595
914-949-6252 | valhallaumc@verizon.net