January 16, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we are worshipping on the second Sunday of Epiphany, a season when we continue to look for the illumination of our lives and faith by the light of Christ. We also recognize the on-going effect of the ministry and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and pray for peace and justice to be lived out in our lives, in the Church, and throughout the world. For this special service today, we are honored to welcome our guest preacher – the Rev. Dr. Barbara Wilson. Rev. Wilson is the Director of Collaboration and Community Partnerships for our Presbytery, the Presbytery of Chicago.  

Adult Faith Formation is offering a four-week adult study class, we’ll hear from four different voices who have a particular view of the pandemic. They’ll reflect on what they are seeing and hearing in their field of work/ministry, and share how they think God is using them. We meet for an hour via Zoom (8:30-9:30 am) and we’d love to have you join us. Everyone is welcome! (Please click this Zoom link to join the class.)

Guest Speakers this month:
  • January 10 - Rev. Julie Windsor Mitchell, a chaplain at Northwestern through United Christian Ministry
  • January 17 - James and Natalie Crockett, Executive Dir. and Program Dir. for mission partner C24/7 in Rogers Park
  • January 24 - Steve Reinhart, works for NorthShore University HealthSystem as the Manager, Ambulatory Quality & Care Transformation. Steve is based out of Evanston Hospital.
  • January 31 - Carol Korak is Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Shawnee, MO) and Garrett Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Laura Sherwood


Worship Service, Sunday, January 17, 2021
Family Worship Video, Sunday, January 17, 2021

Prelude
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

Welcome and Call to Worship
We gather to worship God,
Who creates us and loves us;
Who gifts us with diversity and makes us for community;
Who gives Jesus Christ to show us how to live;
Who inspires children, youth, young adults, and people of all ages,
To seek justice, share power,
and live together in love and equality;
Who invites us to join the struggle for wholeness and wellbeing for all,
and whose presence, grace, and love
sustain us in our living.
We gather to worship God.
To God be all glory, honor, and praise!

Opening Hymn No. 137    
He Came Down

Call to Confession
God looks at us, to see if we are wise enough
to offer confession, to receive forgiveness,
to seek to know the healing love of Christ.
Let us prove our wisdom, and set aside our
foolish pride, as we pray together, 
First in a time of silent, personal prayer.

Prayer of Confession (unison) 
Wisdom's Heart: deep within, we know how we
have failed to be your people. Our hardened hearts
are closed to the love of Christ; our lust for more
and more blocks the fullness of your grace from
transforming our lives; our trust in the powers of
the world reveals our foolish nature.
 
Have mercy, God of every generation. Pour out
the rich blessing of forgiveness on our parched
souls. Feed us with Heaven's Bread, so we might
be nourished by your gentleness. Shape us as
your people, and restore us to faithful living,
as we seek to follow our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, in service to everyone we meet. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness
The wideness of God's mercy, the range of
God's forgiveness, the infinite love of God,
the Heart of hope which is never empty: all
these gifts are ours, as God restores us to
the fullness of life meant for us.
 
Grounded in love, rooted in discipleship,
we offer ourselves in service to others,
recognizing the limitless grace which
is ours to share in Christ. Thanks be to
God! Amen.

Sung Response No. 842
The Lord Is My Light Jacques Berthier

Peace of Christ and Common Life

Scripture Reading - Ephesians 3:14-21 

Sermon
Fragments Rev. Barbara Wilson

Responsive Hymn No. 451
Open My Eyes, That I May See
 
Prayers of the People and The Lord’s Prayer

Call for Offering
You are invited to participate in the kingdom emerging all around us - to receive the promised Holy Spirit and the invitation to walk in newness of life. May we respond this morning with glad and generous hearts, freely giving our tithes and offerings to the ministry of this congregation. In lieu of passing the plate, we offer four ways to make your offering: use our church website, our smartphone app, text the word “Wilmette” to the number 77977, or send a check by mail 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 
Great God of Heaven and Earth,
you call us to leave behind our preoccupations
and to follow you into the future.
Sometimes we find your call challenging.
We are comfortable, maybe even complacent, in our present.
May this act of giving be a gesture of our willingness
to follow where you lead.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
 
Sending Hymn 

Charge and Benediction

Postlude
Partita No. 6 in e minor (Toccata)    J.S. Bach

Worship Leaders:
Rev. Laura Sherwood, pastoral liturgist
Rev. Barbara Wilson, preaching
Rick and Diane Baer, liturgists
Cecilia Chow, postlude 

Sources
Call to Worship — from the 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, posted on the Presbyterian Church USA website.  
Confession Call and Prayer, Assurance of Forgiveness ~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies.
Prayer of Dedication ~ posted on the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan. http://www.umfmichigan.org/offerprayers.html