February 20, 2021
Dear Beloved St. Paul's UMC and Wesley Foundation Family,
Grace and peace to you on this first weekend of Lent. Our theme for our Lenten journey this year is "The Broken Way" in which we are considering the brokenness of our journeys, individually and collectively, and how the broken places are not places to cover up, but places where the light shines through! We began on Ash Wednesday by talking about the brokenness of the soil. Today we turn our attention to the call to repent -- to turn around, or return -- and believe in the Good News. Our hope is that as you worship together today, you will feel the call to return to your first love, in this springtime of the soul. You can worship with us by clicking here.
Communion and Small Group Discussion
On this first weekend of Lent, we will celebrate Holy Communion together on Zoom at 11:00 AM on Sunday, February 21. 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). Be sure to have your elements ready, as we gather at the Gospel Feast. Following communion, those who would like to are invited to remain for our weekly time of conversation and relationship building, as we discuss the themes of this weekend's worship.
Children's Sunday School
Now that we're in Lent, our lessons will follow the events during the last week of Jesus' life. So, we start with his entrance into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. Please have the green palm branch and scissors ready as we'll be doing the craft at the beginning of our video. Also, we'll be opening the second egg today at the end of the lesson, so please have egg #2 available, too. The lesson is available here. After the lesson on Palm Sunday is over, there is an egg activity for your family to do together. If you have any questions, please let Pastor Becky know at rmcgee@susumc.org. May this Lenten season of introspection and preparation be a blessing to your family!
As we consider our broken paths, and repent of the ways we have wandered away, let us return to the One who calls us beloved, and became broken for us!
Grace|Peace,
Pastor Greg
Order of Worship
Greeting
Call to Worship*
One: Come, all you people, come and worship.
All: God has made a covenant with us.
One: Come, all creatures of the earth, come and worship.
All: God has made a covenant with all creatures.
One: God has sealed this covenant with redeeming love;
All: O lamb of God, we come to worship you!
Opening Hymn: "Just as I Am, Without One Plea" (verses 1, 3, and 5) (UMH 357)
Prayer of Confession*
God of the rainbow,
you made a covenant with all creatures,
promising life and hope.
God of pathways,
you show us how we should walk.
Yet we forget our connection with one another
and think that we are the center of the universe.
We wander from your paths of truth
into paths of deceit and pride.
Forgive us, turn us around, and lead us back
into the arms of your love. Amen.
Words of Assurance*
God is merciful and full of steadfast love.
God will not forget us,
but will wash us clean,
and lead us on paths of steadfast love
and faithfulness.
Passing the Peace
Children's Message: Debbie Harwell
Scripture: Mark 1:9-15 (NRSV) - Kevin Harwell
Message: "The Broken Way: Repent" - Rev. Greg Milinovich
Prayer Song: "Depth of Mercy" (UMH 355)
Pastoral Prayer
Offering
Closing Hymn: "Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast" (UMH 339)
Benediction
Postlude
*adapted from liturgy by Mary Petrina Boyd

Discussion Questions:
  1. How is Lent (or how might it be) like a "springtime of the spirit?"

  2. What do you make of the distinction between the "turn or burn" call to repentance, and the "even now return to me with all your heart" call in Joel 2:12? Is the difference important? Why or why not?

  3. Think again about Jesus' 3-point sermon in Mark 1. Given what we know about Jesus' life and ministry, what do you think Jesus' call to repentance was a turning from, and a turning to? How do you think people heard it then? How do you hear it today?

  4. Bonus Questions for personal reflection: How is God calling you to repent in this season? What do you need to turn from and return to? How might you need to believe the Good News once again?
St. Paul's United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation
250 East College Avenue | State College, PA 16801 | 814-237-2163 | stpaulsc.org