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Sunday, March 29
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(The service has been pre-recorded.)
God Has Work for Us to Do: Faithful Disciples
Matthew 5:13-15
Our featured scripture this week speaks of being a “well-watered garden like a spring of water that won’t run dry.” Baptismal waters continue to feed the streams of justice as we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us every time we set our hands and feet to the work God has for us to do.
As we break bread today, we remember that as long as there are those who are hurting, hungry, excluded and oppressed, we are called to be faithful disciples, setting a table and inviting all to the feast.
Order of Worship:
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Fifth Sunday in Lent
           
Welcome and Sharing of Announcements (Pastor Seok-Hwan)

Call to Worship (Nancy Bush)
Liturgist: Holy and Living God, the list is long. 
People: May peace flow. Let justice roll.
Liturgist: Let us not feel overwhelmed, but convicted in our call.
People: May peace flow. Let justice roll.
Liturgist: Remind us as we sit at your presence that we are called to invite the least and the unlikely.
People: May peace flow. Let justice roll.

Opening Hymn: “God of Grace and God of Glory” UMH #577 (1,2,3)
1 God of grace and God of glory, on thy people pour your power;
crown thine ancient church's story; bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

2 Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
Fears and doubts too long have bound us; free our hearts to work and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

3 Cure thy children's warring madness, bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss your kingdom's goal,
lest we miss your kingdom's goal.

Opening Prayer (Nancy Bush)
Living water, flow through our hearts this day. Meet us in our desert wanderings and quench our thirst, that we may have strength for the hard times ahead. Well up within us, and bathe us in the waters of eternal life, that the spirit within us may flow with faith and love, through the power of your Spirit. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

Prayer Song: “Nothing Can Trouble”
The Faith We Sing #2054 (3 times)
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten. God alone fills us.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-15 (NIV) (Nancy Bush)
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Message (Pastor Seok-Hwan)
“God Has Work for Us to Do : Faithful Disciples”

A Time for Reflection:
Prayer Poem “Righteousness” (Nancy Bush)

God of Righteousness, May I fully embrace the truth that your Holy Word names as evil all forms of injustice and oppression. May I have the courage to confront the injustices I witness. May I be willing to open my mind and broaden my understanding of discriminatory practices and positions of which I was once ignorant. May I not stand idly by when another culture, language, or race is used as the punch line of ill-fated joke. May I speak out against systemic policies and practices that continue the oppressive privilege of the powerful over against the less powerful. May I live my faith by believing that the common good is served when all have enough, and that in your economy, there is always enough for everyone. But, righteous God, before I endeavor to do any of these things, may I find the courage to confront the evil and injustice that resides within me. Amen.

* Offertory Prayer
For the gift of passion for God’s work, we give thanks. For the way in which these offerings will become gifts of love embodied, we give thanks. For the gift of this community bound and working together, we give thanks. Amen

* Closing Hymn: “Here I Am Lord” UMH #593
1 I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Refrain:
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord,
If you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

2 I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people's pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone
I will speak my words to them.
Whom shall I send?

(Refrain)

3 I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send? 
 
(Refrain)

The Blessing and Sending Forth (Pastor Seok-Hwan)
Our Openness Statement
“The United Methodist Church of Westford is an open and welcoming community of Christian Faith. Without any exceptions, we welcome anyone who seeks to love and to serve God.”
Please click here for “A Statement of Our Openness”.