April 24, 2021

Dear Beloved St. Paul’s UMC and Wesley Foundation Family,

Grace and peace to you, friends. As we prepare to move from April to May, and as we proceed along the uncertain road as Easter people, I keep coming back to a work used in 1 John over and over again: abide. To abide is to remain. What does it mean for us to remain in God? How can we stay rooted and anchored to God’s bold love, even as we venture into the new places where God is calling us? Join us, as we worship together, and consider these questions, by clicking here.

Children’s Sunday School
This Sunday we will be meeting at 9:15 via Zoom. It's been awhile, and we've missed seeing your children!!! So, I hope that you will be able to attend our lesson on "Jesus Heals Two Blind Men." Here are some handouts and the family page, and here is the Zoom link (Meeting ID: 895 2166 3244 Passcode: 876675).

Small Group Discussion
Still feeling disconnected? You don’t have to be! We continue to make real and meaningful relationships in our weekly discussion groups. We would love to have you join us on Sunday, April 25th at 11am on Zoom. You can join us by clicking here (if you are using the Zoom App, the meeting ID is: 859 0584 5591 and the Password is: stpauls).

Pray for St. Paul’s UMC and Wesley Foundation
Each week, people across our Annual Conference pray for a few churches within the bounds of our conference. This week, folks from Harrisburg to Huntingdon will be praying for us, for our ministries, for our vitality, and for each one of us. Let us join with this chorus of prayer, grateful for the connection which unites us with Christ-followers across the region. Let us pray, also, for wisdom, as we continue to discern how to walk the uncertain road ahead, managing the many issues regarding regathering. Let us pray that we might abide in God’s bold love, whatever happens.

Grace|Peace,
Pastor Greg
Order of Worship
Greeting: Rev. Greg Milinovich

Call to Worship
One: The call of Christ is this:
All: Love one another.
One: The law and the prophets teach this:
All: Love one another.
One: The world calls us to fulfill our desires,
All: But Christ commands us to love one another.
One: We do this best not in word or speech,
All: But in truth and action.
One: Beloved, let us love one another,
All: For Christ first loved us.
Come, worship God, who is Love.
 
Opening Hymn: “God, Whose Love Is Reigning o’er Us” (UMH 100)

World Methodist Social Affirmation (UMH 886)
We believe in God, creator of the world and of all people;
     and in Jesus Christ, incarnate among us,
     who died and rose again;
     and in the Holy Spirit,
present with us to guide, strengthen, and comfort.
We believe ;
God, help our unbelief.
We rejoice in every sign of God's Kingdom;
     in the upholding of human dignity and community;
     in every expression of love, justice and reconciliation;
     in each act of self-giving on behalf of others;
     in the abundance of God's gifts
entrusted to us that all may have enough;
in all responsible use of the earth's resources.
Glory be to God on high;
and on earth, be peace.
We confess our sin, individual and collective,
by silence or action:
     through the violation of human dignity
     based on race, class, age, sex, nation, or faith;
     through the exploitation of people
     because of greed and indifference
     through the misuse of power
     in personal, communal, national, and international life;
     through the search for security
     by those military and economic forces
     that threaten human existence;
     through the abuse of technology
which endangers the earth and all life upon it.
Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy.
We commit ourselves individually and as a community
     to the way of Christ:
     to take up the cross;
     to seek abundant life for all humanity;
     to struggle for peace with justice and freedom;
     to risk ourselves in faith, hope, and love,
praying that God's kingdom may come.
The kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Amen.

Words of Assurance

Passing the Peace

Children’s Message: Debbie Harwell

Scripture: 1 John 3:16-24 – Russell Bloom

Message: “Love in a Bold Font” – Rev. Greg Milinovich

Pastoral Prayer

Offering

Closing Hymn: “And Can It Be that I Should Gain” (UMH 363)

Benediction

Postlude
Discussion Questions:

  • In a book called Abba’s Child, author Brennan Manning says, “In my experience, self-hatred is the dominant malaise crippling Christians and stifling their growth in the Holy Spirit.” 1 John 3 seems to agree that our hearts condemn us. With all this self-condemnation, how can we have “boldness before God?”

  • What do you think about the distinction between “believing in” God and believing God? How might this reshape some of the ways you’ve thought about what Scripture says, and how we live out our faith?

  • Pastor Greg ended his sermon by talking about a few attributes of God’s love. In our final hymn, Charles Wesley suggested that God’s love is “amazing,” and we sang “Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.” How might we “abide” in this amazing love of God as we move through our lives?

St. Paul's United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation
250 East College Avenue | State College, PA 16801 | 814-237-2163 | stpaulsc.org