Worship for March 7, 2021
We’re worshipping safely on Zoom this week and all through March. 

Be safe and at ease, Beloveds. Stay tuned for what's next for our community.
Reflection for Amistad Sunday
In 1839, 55 Africans who had been captured in the slave trade struck out for their freedom while being transported out of Havana, Cuba, on a schooner called La Amistad. The captives successfully took over the ship and ordered the crew to sail back to Africa, but weeks later the ship ended up far north, at the tip of Long Island, New York. U.S. officials boarded the ship, arrested the captives and jailed them in Connecticut. There they were befriended by Christian abolitionists, many belonging to churches that are now part of the United Church of Christ. The abolitionists hired lawyers, including former President John Quincy Adams, to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which declared the captives free in 1841. This abolitionist victory helped create momentum for the formation in 1846 of the American Missionary Association. This interracial agency’s work in education, discipleship and justice eventually became part of the national mission structure of the UCC which continues to this day.

Gracious God, we give thanks for the courage of the captives of La Amistad. We give thanks for the creativity of the abolitionists who served the cause of freedom. May we too embody courage and creativity in the cause of racial justice. Amen!
We Covenant One With Another
Adult Spiritual Formation - 10:00 am
It's the third week of Lent with its emphasis on reflection, renewal, and preparation. During Lent, we are talking about creativity and joy as part of a social justice journey. This Sunday, our discussion centers on myths about nonviolent action. Intrigued? Check out this introduction to the work of adrienne marie brown and Emergent Strategy.  

Transition Music - "Study War No More," performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Worship Begins - 11:00 am

Welcome and Announcements ~ Pastor Ken

Call to Worship
One: Our lips sing praise and our whole selves rejoice in the God who makes us all free.
All: We gather, recognizing that not all human beings have known this freedom.
One: The divine will was made known in Eden and in Egypt;
in Gettysburg and in Cape Town.
All: Born in freedom, redeemed from slavery, repenting from our history and our complicity; our destiny in Christ is liberty.

Opening Prayer ~ Karen Richter
Perceiving and Responding
Giving and Stewardship
Our community faithful. Giving is part of that faithful response to the world. Good things are happening, and our hope continues. You can find our weekly financial update, Heidi's Corner, at this link.

We're directing our Lenten offering this year to RIP Medical Debt, a campaign to free people from the burdens of a flawed system. On the Shadow Rock giving page, you can participate in this special offering. We join many of our Southwest Conference siblings and the Conference Executive Board in this effort. Our gifts will be put to work locally in Arizona, New Mexico, El Paso, and the Navajo Nation.

Celebrations and Prayer Requests
Celebrations are part of the good glue that holds our church family together. Unmute to share your birthday, anniversary, moments of grace, or other celebrations or celebrate using the Zoom chat box.

Pastoral Prayer ~ Pastor Ken

Special Music ~ “Come My Way, My Truth, My Life” shared by Forrest Bachtel
Table Fellowship and
Communion Celebration
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you, gracious creating Spirit. You brought all things into being and called them good. From the dust of the earth you tenderly formed us and breathed into us the breath of life.
Throughout human history, we have so often turned away from our calling to justice and compassion, yet your love has remained steadfast.

We remember this day the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, who shows us what a human life full of Spirit can look like. We give thanks for his teaching, example, and sacrifice.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we join our voices in praise: 
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, and blessed is our brother Jesus, who was led into the wilderness by your Spirit, where he fasted forty days and forty nights to prepare for ministry.
Through the mystery of his suffering, death, and resurrection, the Church was born. 
Now, when we your people prepare for the yearly feast of Easter, you lead us to repentance and renewal and the cleansing of our hearts, that during the days of Lent we may be gifted and graced to reaffirm the covenant you made with us through Christ.
On the night in which he gave himself up, he took bread,
gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to the disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
When the supper was over he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to the disciples, and said:
"Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, in humble obedience.
Pour out your Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Beloveds, take the bread and the cup; eat and drink.
May they be for you the body and blood of Christ, so that together we might serve the world as Christ’s body, perceiving and responding as the Spirit leads us.
All: Amen.
Balancing Word and Deed
Word About Life for Today ~ Rev. Ken Heintzelman
"A World for All"

Numbers 4: 4-9
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
  and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Introduction to Breakout Rooms and Discussion
  • When have you seen the wisdom of God overcome the wisdom of the world?

Words for Mission
One: Go into the world without fear, knowing that the weakness of the Holy is stronger than every human power. Live free! And the God who breaks the bonds of oppression will be your strength and your power. These are the times.
All: We are the people.
One: All of Creation is blessed.
All: May we love all and serve all.
One: May God be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Amen.
All: Amen.