"Caught in grace, created for service, called into community"

April 19, 2020

Sunday Worship
"Doubting Thomas"

Christ shows himself to Thomas
-- mosaic by M Hildreth Meier,  National Cathedral Washington.


Call to Worship
A Coming Alleluia - The Reverend Erika Takacs
They say there will be no Easter this year.
No hats.
No hunts.
No hymning.
No lilies to fill a bright room with a fanfare of pollen.
No garden, no angel, no victory.

They say that our journey born in sackcloth and ashes will lead us at last to nowhere.

And so we sit worried that the tomb, this year, will be found, for once, still full.

That Mary and the others will leave with their spices and come back home with nothing.
That this year the women will finally end their work - anoint and then leave empty.

Ssh. Be still.
Do you not hear her?
Clucking close by like an old mother hen, brooding and sighing and stretching her wings?

Fear not, she says, for I did it before -
in the silence
in the dark
in a closed and locked room
in a world that had known
only death.

Did I not once prove once for all that there is nothing you can do,
no decision you can make (for good or for ill)
that can stop me rising?

Welcome to worship. The call to worship above clearly was meant more for Easter Sunday, but it was too good not to share. Easter has come and gone, but many of us are still vigiling through the dark of Holy Saturday and need to hear those words of hope and joy each and every day.
We are in the midst of transitioning from the worship we have shared together for the past month, to a new form of worship which will begin next week. Our worship during this transition week is slightly different. It is an opportunity both for individual reflection, and to hear God's Word through a number of different mediums. On this first Sunday after Easter we are blessed to have two of our bishops contributing to worship. Bishop Andy Taylor of the Pacifica Synod, has prepared a sermon for us all. Bishop Mark Holmerud of the Sierra Pacific Synod, has prepared a children's sermon. Our thanks to Chris Matthews for his musical gifts, and to our children for being awesome!
May you all be blessed today and every day with grace and hope in this difficult time. May the peace of the Lord be with you all.


2020 Children's Choir Easter Message
2020 Children's Choir Easter Message

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
"You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know- this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him,'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
"Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.' This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith-being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Children's Sermon
"How the Grinch Stole Easter"
by Bishop Mark Holmerud - Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA

John 20:19-31
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


Bishop Andy Taylor Sermon for April 19, 2020
Sermon from Bishop Andy Taylor, Pacifica Synod, ELCA
for April 19, 2020

Hymn of the Day

Chain Breaker
Chain Breaker - Chris Matthews

The Art of Enduring - Jan Richardson
This blessing can wait as long as you can.
This blessing has passed through ages and generations,
witnessed the turning of centuries,
weathered the spiraling of history.
This blessing is in no rush.
This blessing will plant itself by your door.
This blessing will keep vigil and chant prayers.
This blessing will bring a friend for company.
This blessing will pack a lunch and a thermos of coffee.
This blessing will bide its sweet time until it hears the beginning of breath,
            the stirring of limbs,
the stretching,
of what had lain dead within you
and is ready to return.