Dear Friends in Christ,
The night is drawing near on this Holy Saturday and Easter is almost here. It can’t come soon enough, if you ask me, and yet the darkness has much to teach us, too.
In a few hours, we’ll be able to officially say, “Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!” I hope you have a meaningful and joy-filled Easter tomorrow. You are loved and never alone, friends, and this is God’s “thunderous yes” to life in a world often hijacked by death.
Join us for virtual Easter worship – below you can find video links to our main worship service (along with a written order of service) and our family worship service. A button with a link to our Common Life is also below. 
A friendly reminder that we will also gather for worship outdoors and in-person tomorrow in the fellowship garden at 10 am. The service will be about 20-25 minutes in length. Feel free to bring a chair or to stand as we sing, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” read the Easter account from Mark’s gospel, and lift up our prayers together. Afterward, we will have a fellowship time in the parking lot. Please wear your mask and maintain physical distancing, as usual. The weather looks glorious for early April in Chicago – what a gift.
I am looking forward to celebrating the glorious good news of Easter with you tomorrow morning – whether virtually or in-person, whether you’re here in town or traveling.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia and Amen. 
With deep gratitude and Easter hope,
Pastor Jeff

Main Worship Service -April 4th, 2021
Family Worship Service - April 4th,, 2021


Call to Worship
We enter a virtual gathering space once again this season.
We worship together in spirit and in truth,
though not in person.
We pray, sing, and listen to God’s Word
We trust Christ’s peace,
a peace given freely, despite our doubts and fears.
We know the Holy Spirit is among us,
blowing with a hopeful wind of change.
We feel the presence of Christ,
the one who died and rose again and brings us eternal life.
We look for God’s leading in this time of transformation.
We experience the joy of Easter morning
when we celebrate all God has in store for us.

Opening Hymn No. 232 (verses 1, 2 & 4) Peggy
 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Call to Confession 
Christ has risen and we have risen to new life with him. Yet we must confess the ways we have continued to remain in our tombs of sin and death, first in a time of silent, personal prayer… 
Now, let us pray together: 

Prayer of Confession
Living Lord, when we stand before the empty tomb we don’t always feel the joy of resurrection. We feel fear, doubt, and distrust. We feel empty. Forgive the fear that paralyzes us at the brink of new life. Forgive our doubt of your love. Forgive our distrust of your surprising, joyous plan. Fill our emptiness with your glorious light. Raise us to abundant new life for the glory of your name.

Assurance of Forgiveness  
Wake up, sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Sisters and brothers, Christ has forgiven our sins. Christ calls us to new life. Christ will lead us into righteousness.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Response to Confession 
Christ is risen! Earth and heaven nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation where the world is still in pain.
Drink the wine of resurrection, not a servant, but a friend.
Jesus is our strong companion. Joy and peace shall never end.

Peace of Christ and Our Common Life

Scripture Reading - Mark 16:1-8

This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!


Hymn of Invitation No. 522 (verses 1, 4 & 5)
I Am the Bread of Life

Invitation to the Table

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving  
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise...

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Blessing of the Bread and Cup

Communion of the People

Communion Music

Prayer after Communion 
Gracious God, we thank you once again for this meal, this day, this gift of resurrection. Send us out into your world to be the presence of love and hope to all who despair and fear, that all may life, and life abundant. Amen.

Call to Offering
On this Easter Sunday, we are invited to participate in the kingdom emerging all around us. May we offer ourselves to God with glad and generous hearts, freely giving our tithes and offerings to the ministry of this congregation. In lieu of passing the plate, we invite you to give through our church website, our smartphone app, by texting the word “Wilmette” to the number 77977, or by sending a check to the church office. As we gather our gifts together and offer them to God, may we do so in gratitude and praise.

Congregational Response - The Doxology (LASST UNS ERFREUEN) 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise God all creatures here below, Alleluia, Alleluia;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Prayer of Dedication
God of Resurrecting Hope, we thank you with grateful hearts, recognizing how much you have given us in Christ, and what his gift has cost. Bless the gifts we bring so they may help spread the hope and joy we feel today in the world you love so dearly. In the name of your greatest gift, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Sending Hymn No. 239, verses 1, 2 & 4
Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing!

Charge and Benediction

Hallelujah from Messiah G.F. Handel, arr. Lorenz

Worship Leaders:
Rev. Jeff Lehn, preaching
Rev. Laura Sherwood, pastoral liturgist
Debbie Ackerman, liturgist
Chancel Choir, Nick Lin, hymn singers
Chancel Bells, postlude
Rick Drake, trumpet

Call to Worship (adapted) ~ submitted to by Rev. Dr. Libby Grammer, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Martinsville, VA. 
Confession Call and Prayer and Assurance - ~ written by Greg Scheer,
Communion Litany - Drawn from Thom Shuman and his liturgies 
Prayer of Dedication - from the Presbyterian Church in Canada