March 20th, 2020
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
Peace to you this evening and a blessed Lenten season to you. Join us for virtual worship on this fifth Sunday in Lent. Our Scripture text is from Isaiah 58:6-12, as Pastor Jeff preaches on the theme of repair as an aspect of God’s shalom.
 
Below you can find 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. 
 
Our Lenten adult faith formation class continues tomorrow, as we read through 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!
 
It’s hard to believe, but next week is already Palm Sunday and then we inch into Holy Week. It’s also spring break for many local school districts, and perhaps some of us will be traveling. We will have virtual worship for Palm Sunday (including an optional “Palm Pick-Up” in the church parking lot that morning, March 28). We will then have virtual worship on both Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with many church members offering readings and a lot of moving musical pieces. On Easter Sunday, finally, we will have both virtual worship and an outdoor in-person worship at 10 am (about 15-20 minutes in length) at the church, along with an outdoor fellowship time afterward. Whether you’re in town or not, please join us as we walk through this holiest of weeks together, following Jesus from the cross to the empty tomb.
 
I'm grateful to be on the journey with you, friends. You are loved and never alone.
 
With gratitude in Christ,
Pastor Jeff

Main Worship Service -March 21, 2021
Family Worship Service - March 21, 2021

Prelude
Be Still and Know That I Am God

Welcome 

Call to Worship
In this season of Lent, we are on the way to shalom and getting closer to the cross.
We remember the steps that led Christ down the path before us: betrayal and fear, justice and peace, healing and love, doubt and brokenness.
In this season of Lent, as we follow Christ down this path, we admit the mixed bag of feelings we hold.
We are grateful that no feeling is final and that the name of God is mercy. 
So, today, let us stay on the sacred path, putting one foot in front of the other. Let us do the next thing right, which is to worship God. 

Opening Hymn No. 421 verse 1, 4, & 5
Have Mercy, God, upon My Life 

Call to Confession
God is gracious and merciful and knows our needs before they even reach our lips. Still, we engage in confession, admitting to God all that rests uneasily in our hearts. Confident of God’s mercy and love, let us make our confession, first in silent prayer.

Prayer of Confession  
Gracious and vulnerable God, in whom we live and move and have our being: Accept us as we are and not as we ought to be this morning. We are slowly emerging out of a profoundly difficult time. Each of us has burdens to carry. Forgive us, God, for what we’ve done and left undone, what we’ve said and left unsaid, in the past week. Help us forgive ourselves, and our families, friends and neighbors who’ve hurt us. Remind us that we belong to one another. By your grace, heal and transform us. Fill us with sturdy compassion. Empower us with gritty hope. Touch us with your steadfast love. We are yours, ready to your will, whatever comes our way in the days ahead. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
Friends, nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The only thing that can separate you is the thought that you are separate. Rejoice in compassion. Rejoice in hope. Rejoice in steadfast love. Thanks be to God! Amen.

Choral Response
Change My Heart, O God
Change my heart, O God and restore my soul
Change my heart, O God; make it as your own.

You are the Author of true shalom.
Where peace and justice are made at home. (new lyrics by Rev. Laura Sherwood)

Peace of Christ and Common Life

Scripture Reading - Isaiah 58:6-12 
                                     
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon              Rev. Jeff Lehn

Hymn of Response No. 769 verses 1, 4, & 5 
For Everyone Born 
                                                
Prayers of the People and The Lord’s Prayer

Call for Offering 
In this season of Lent, we are invited to participate in God’s 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 (OLD HUNDREDTH - Hymn 606) 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise God all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Sending Hymn    
Your Peace Will Make Us One
American Folk Song, new lyrics by Audrey Assad     

Charge and Benediction 

Postlude
Be Thou My Vision
arr. Adnerson/Kramlich

Worship Leaders:
Rev. Jeff Lehn, preaching
Rev. Laura Sherwood, pastoral liturgist
Greg Korak, liturgist and postlude bell soloist
Jordan Roulo, hymn soloist
Chancel Choir, response and Doxology