Dear Friends in Christ,
 
Peace to you this evening as we celebrate Palm Sunday tomorrow and enter Holy Week. Join us for virtual worship, as Pastor Laura leads us in reflecting on this familiar day in new and fresh ways. And don't forget - you're invited to pick up your palms outside the 9th Street of the church from 9am - 12pm tomorrow morning.

We also celebrate the sacrament of baptism with Abigail Rose Linnihan in the service today - what a joy it was to be with Dan and Pam and a few members of their family last weekend for that special moment.
 
Our Lenten adult faith formation class ends tomorrow, with our final session using Amy-Jill Levine's book, "Entering the Passion of Jesus." We’ll gather from 8:30 - 9:30am over Zoom (Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 832 3379 4440; Passcode: 389051; Call-In: 312-626-6799). Please join us if you can - no need to read ahead of time!

I hope you caught the Holy Week schedule in the church email last Thursday. We'll have virtual worship services on both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with emails arriving at 9am both days. Then, on Easter Sunday, we will have both a virtual worship service as well as in outdoor in-person service in the fellowship garden at 10am, followed by fellowship at 10:30am.

Thank you for being the body of Christ, friends. You are loved and never alone!

With gratitude in Christ,
Pastor Jeff
Main Worship Service - March 28, 2021
Family Worship Service - March 28, 2021

Welcome and Introduction to Service

Call to Worship
Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey — even on a donkey’s colt.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
You are our God, and we will praise You!
You are our God, and we will exalt You!
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
Christ’s faithful love endures forever!

Invitation to Virtual Palm Processional
At this time we invite you to participate in our virtual palm procession or parade, as much as or as little as you’d like, at home. Take a moment to gather your palm or palm representative to wave, walk with or just keep in your sight during the traditional palm Sunday hymn, All glory laud, and honor.

Opening Hymn No. 196 Bell Solo
All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Call to Confession
Like the people who greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem and later pronounced, “Crucify him,” we are fickle people who often deny Christ in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Remembering the events of Jesus’ last week helps us see ourselves for what we are: sinners in need of a savior, a savior—praise God—we have in Christ. In honesty and hope, we confess now our sins to God. First in a time of silent, personal prayer…
Now, let us pray together:

Prayer of Confession
Loving God, you rode a donkey and came in peace, humbled yourself and gave yourself for us. We confess our lack of humility. As you entered Jerusalem, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna: Save us now!” On Good Friday they shouted, “Crucify!” We confess our praise is often empty. We sing Hosanna but cry out crucify. As the crowd laid their palms in front of you, you took the way of God: you took no glory for yourself. We confess that we want to be accepted and take the easy path. Forgive us, Lord, and help us be true to your will and follow in your ways. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 118: The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. In Christ, God answers us and sets us free! 
In Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God! Amen.

Our Common Life and Sharing the Peace of Christ

Baptism of Abigail Rose Linnihan

Scripture Reading Mark 11:1-11      

Imagining and Reflecting on Palm Sunday - 4 Movements
Movement 1: Palm Sunday Chant
Movement 2: Reading - Hold on to the Hosannas 
Movement 3: Palm Sunday: A New Hope
Movement 4: Pharisee Monologue for Palm Sunday

Hymn of Response No. 200
A Cheering, Chanting, Dizzy Crowd 

Prayers of the People and 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 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.

Call to Offering
In this week ahead we will be asked to walk the hard road of faith and face the full cost of discipleship. The sacrifice we are called to share involves true commitment and devotion. In that Spirit, may we share freely offer our gifts, tithes, and offerings. Since we can’t pass the offering plate in person this morning, we invite you to give online through our website or smartphone app or send a check in the mail. As we gather our gifts together and offer them to God, may we do so in gratitude and praise.

Doxology

Prayer of Dedication
Wise and gracious God, with these gifts, we offer ourselves to you, confident that you have a purpose for them and for us. Put us to work, loving God. Stretch our gifts to meet the needs of your weary world during this time of a global health crisis, and enlarge our efforts through your powerful Holy Spirit. In the life-giving name of Christ, we pray. Amen. 

Sending Hymn No. 198 (verses 1, 2 & 4) 
Ride On! Ride On in Majesty! 

Blessing for Palm Sunday and Entering Holy Week  

Postlude 
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna             arr. Barbara Boertje 

Worship Leaders:
Rev. Laura Sherwood preaching
Rev. Jeff Lehn, pastoral liturgist
Tammy Walker, liturgist
Claire DiVizio, hymn soloist
Dan Langewisch, Jossie Mullman, Brooke Todd, and Theo Woehrle; chant choir 
Greg Korak, Bell Soloist
Cecilia Chow, postlude

Sources
Introduction (adapted) and Call to Confession from The Worship Sourcebook
Call to Worship (based on Zechariah 9:9 and Psalm 118:26, 28-29)
Prayer of Confession from Companion to the Revised Common Lectionary, Volume 3, All Age Worship Year B, pp. 48-49, alt. © Judy Jarvis and Donald Pickard, 1999. Used by permission.Pharisee Monologue for Palm Sunday - Written by Rev. Beth Hentschel Scibienski
Hold on to the Hosannas— written by Rev. E. Crumlish of Castlehill Church, Ayr. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s excellent Starters for Sunday website. 
Blessing for Palm Sunday ~ written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/