First Congregational Church, UCC
Wolfeboro, NH
April 12, 2020
Easter Sunday
**For today : you will need some bread, a cup of juice or wine. It need not matter what kind or fashion, for communion was, at first, a ritual made from leftovers.**

Should you wish to participate in the responsive call to worship, and communion liturgy during worship. Please download this document to have at the ready.

A meditative prayer with song,
scripture and video.
Mark 16:1-8

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

This Easter Celebration
by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
(to be sung to the tune of "The Church's One Foundation")

This Easter celebration is not like ones we've known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We're distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too.

No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.
No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.
O God of love and promise, where's joy this Easter Day?
With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place
we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.

Our joy won't come from worship that's in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see —
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.

In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well:
Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell.
Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day!
Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.

We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be
a scattered, faithful body that's doing ministry.
In homes and in the places of help and healing, too,
we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.
The NH Conference of the UCC is hosting a series of theological roundtables around the themes and conversations of Holy Week. Panelists (including Pastor Gina and the Rev. Dr. Beth Nordbeck) are UCC pastors from all over New Hampshire.

There is a conversation for each of the days between Palm Sunday and Easter Morning.
You can find them on the Conference's Facebook page
or directly on the Conference's website .

If "study" is your way to move through Holy Week, be sure to tune-in.

I encourage you to make good practice of them in times that work for you. You will need a wreath with four candles in it, and one in the center (the Paschal light). If you do not have an advent wreath for candles, simply use four candles circling one in the center.

Please remember to send in your offering, as you are able.
We are still checking mail at the post office, and our counters are still making deposits. Many of our expenses continue.