The Congregational Church, United Church of Christ Amherst, New Hampshire

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1 The Congregational Church, United Church of Christ Amherst, New Hampshire We are all on a quest for something. The distinguishing questions are two: For what am I seeking, and who am I as a result of the search? Sr. Joan Chittister

2 THE ORDER OF SERVICE FOR THE WORSHIP OF GOD The Congregational Church, United Church of Christ Amherst, New Hampshire May 6, 2018 Sixth Sunday of Easter 10:00 AM Let us be gathered in silence so that we and those who enter with us may pause, pray and prepare to worship God. PRELUDE Siciliano from Sonata for Flute J. S. Bach GREETING AND WELCOME Members and visitors are asked to sign the Friendship Register and to use a nametag. NOTICES OF PARISH LIFE INTROIT Chancel Choir *CALL TO WORSHIP Leader: For the living of these days, People: Let us heed promptings of possibility. Leader: For the living of these days, People: Let us evoke creativities of compassion. Leader: For the living of these days, People: Let us be poised for light on soaring wings of faith and love. All: O come, let us worship! *HYMN There s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit No. 398 Children leave for their church school classes. UNISON PRAYER OF INVOCATION and THE LORD S PRAYER (in unison) O God, who in Jesus Christ has called us into one body and invited us to share our lives and all we have with one another, let our time together this day provide a glimpse of eternal life. Let us know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent, that we may resist evil, discipline ourselves, and be alert to opportunities you give us to witness and serve and extend your reign among us. We pray in the name of Jesus the words he taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven,

3 Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. *GLORIA PATRI (Tune #579) Glory to the Creator, and to the Christ, and Holy Spirit, One; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, Amen. *THE PASSING OF THE PEACE The peace of God be with you. AND ALSO WITH YOU. ANTHEM A New Song Tina English/Eric Wake ield Chancel Choir Sue Werst, lute THE SCRIPTURE LESSON Acts 1:6-14 Page 947 COMMUNION MEDITATION What Next? *HYMN Lord, I Want to Be a Christian No. 372 verses 1, 2 & 4 only JOYS AND CONCERNS OF THE CHURCH PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE and PASTORAL PRAYER CHORAL RESPONSE Chancel Choir INVITATION TO SHARE OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS Along with our offering collected this morning, we dedicate the generous contributions of those who give monthly or electronically. All of our offerings support the work and witness of Jesus Christ here in this place and in the wider world. Each is given to the glory of God in faithful appreciation for many received blessings. Thanks be to God! OFFERTORY MUSIC Sonatina from God s Time is Best J. S. Bach Children return to the sanctuary. *DOXOLOGY (Tune: From All That Dwell Below the Skies) Praise God from whom all blessings low; Praise God all creatures here below. Alleluia, Alleluia. Praise God above, ye heavenly host; Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.

4 *PRAYER OF DEDICATION (in unison) Thank you, God, for empowering our prayers and multiplying our gifts. You provide for those in need through us. What a privilege! Widows and orphans, prisoners and the poor, ind hope in you because we join you in caring for all. You give homes to the desolate when we share. You feed the hungry through our outstretched arms. Your power is working in us. Blessed be your name, O God! Amen. CHILDREN S MESSAGE THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION ORGAN MEDITATION Choral Flor Peeters INVITATION TO COMMUNION We welcome all people to join in receiving this sacrament. Children may participate at the discretion of their parents. The cup contains grape juice. For those who wish to receive gluten, wheat and dairyfree communion bread, it can be found in the bowl on the communion plate. CALL TO COMMUNION Leader: God be with you. People: And also with you. Leader: Lift up your hearts. People: We lift them to God. Leader: Let us give thanks to God Most High. People: It is right to give God thanks and praise. COMMUNION PRAYER WORDS OF INSTITUTION and CONSECRATING PRAYER SHARING OF THE BREAD AND THE CUP In the tradition of our church, let us partake of the bread as it is served, remembering our individual uniqueness in the eyes of God and our diversity within the Body of Christ. Let us hold the cup until all have been served, remembering our oneness with God and our unity in the Body of Christ. PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (in unison) We give you thanks, Almighty God, that you have refreshed us at your table by granting us the presence of Jesus Christ. Strengthen our faith, increase our love for one another, and send us forth into the world in courage and peace, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. *HYMN God of Grace and God of Glory No. 420 verses 1, 3 & 5 only

5 *THE LIGHT OF CHRIST GOES OUT INTO THE WORLD *COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION *CHORAL RESPONSE Chancel Choir *POSTLUDE Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig J. S. Bach (*Indicates that those who are able may stand.) Portions of today s liturgy are adapted from Touch Holiness, edited by Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi, and from Taught by Love, by Lavon Bayler. Our Church Calendar May 6 12, 2018 Today 10:00 a.m. Worship 11:10 a.m. Fellowship Community Room 11:30 a.m. Annual Meeting Sanctuary 6:00 p.m. Senior High Youth Group Youth Room Monday 10:00 a.m. WA Workshop Vestry Tuesday 8:30 a.m. Men s Fellowship Youth Room 7:00 p.m. Tuesday Team Time Wednesday 9:00 a.m. Staff Meeting Parlor Thursday 6:00 p.m. Handbell Choir Sanctuary 7:30 p.m. Chancel Choir Vestry

6 THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF AMHERST A Welcoming, Open and Af irming Congregation of the United Church of Christ No matter who you are or where you are on life s journey, you are welcome here. We, the members of the Congregational Church of Amherst, New Hampshire, United Church of Christ, believe God s Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ call us to love all our neighbors as we would want to be loved. We are called to be as one body, seeking to walk together in the full life and ministry of our church. We welcome each individual as a child of God. As covenant members of Christ s church, we celebrate God s love for people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, all mental and physical abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all sexual orientations, all gender identities and gender expressions, and all of the other diverse attributes woven into the fabric of humankind. With God s grace, we invite all to share in the life and leadership, ministry and fellowship, worship and sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of our church. We are pleased that you have chosen to worship with us this morning. Our membership is open to all those who choose to walk with us in our witness. Please speak with any of our deacons or pastors should you have any questions regarding our church or our membership. Worship Notes: Nursery Care is provided for children ages two and under at the beginning of worship. Church School is available for children in preschool through grade 4 immediately following Children s Time. Joys and Concerns may be written on the cards found in the pew racks. Cards will be collected by one of the pastors during the middle hymn and shared during the Prayers of the People. Nametags Please remember to wear your nametag each Sunday, so that we may all greet our neighbors. If you do not have a permanent nametag, temporary nametags may be found inside the friendship registers. If you are in need of a new, permanent nametag, please see one of the deacons. Fellowship Please join us in the community room following worship to welcome visitors and friends. Emergencies In the event of an emergency, please remain seated until instructions have been given. An emergency plan is in place for the children in the nursery and in the church school. The church of ice is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Here s how to reach us: by telephone , or by If we are unavailable by phone, please feel free to leave a message using the personal directory, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Visit our church s website at and follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/ ccamherst. Grounded in God s Love Serving Neighbors Near and Far Welcoming to All

7 PARTICIPATING IN TODAY S SERVICE Members and Friends of The Congregational Church Ministers to the World Richard G. Leavitt Senior Pastor Maureen R. Frescott Associate Pastor Sara L. Phelps Director of Music Sandra LaBarge-Neumann Guest Organist Judi Simpson Deacon In Charge Susan Thornton, Don Holden Greeters Marilyn Gibson Church School Coordinator Laura Green Nursery Coordinator ******************************************* Michael Havay Organist/Accompanist Wendy Valeri Handbell Choir Director THE FLOWERS ON THE ALTAR are given by Liz and Hamilton Stewart in memory of loved ones. WE WELCOME Sandra LaBarge-Neumann this morning as our guest organist. And thank you to Sue Werst for playing lute in the choir anthem today. THE 2018 ANNUAL MEETING will take place TODAY in the community room following worship. All members are strongly encouraged to attend this important meeting. Copies of the Annual Report and copies of the proposed by law changes are available on the table in the narthex and in the church of ice. SPONSORS ARE NEEDED for the church school s MINI-CROP WALK, to be held on Sunday, May 20 during church school time. We have approx. 30 walkers requesting support through donations of $5 per walker. Envelopes are available during coffee hour today and next Sunday. RETIREMENT CELEBRATION: Please plan to join in a celebration of Pastor Dick's retirement at Labelle Winery on Tuesday, June 12 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30, followed by dinner and a time for remembrances at 6:30. Tickets are $40 per person, and a vegetarian meal is an option. Seating is limited, so please reserve your place by contacting Andrea in the church of ice, or by going to our website before June 1. This promises to be a special night. Don't miss it! The Lectionary texts for the next two weeks are: May 13: Acts 1:15-17, Psalm 1 1 John 5:9-13 Jon 17:6-19 May 20: Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21 John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

8 Sunday, May 6, 2018 Repackaging People employed in some professions often af ix the abbreviations for their degrees or licensure to their signatures. Churches do that, too. As part of our signature we let people know that we are a Protestant congregation in the United Church of Christ denomination. Then, we go beyond that by declaring that we are an ONA Church standing for Open And Af irming (repackaging). Hasn t Christ s church always been ONA? And now a new package for a 3,000-year old product is being introduced, named Creation Justice. The message that God s creation embraces every living creature, all life and the land, water, and air that sustains it was irst proclaimed and recorded by Moses in Genesis 9:15. God continued, This is the sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I ll remember the eternal covenant between God and every last living creature on the Earth. We were created to be a family of caregivers to each other and all the large and small of creation. Repackaging? A little. Sometimes the old message takes on new life and meaning with a little boot. The Creation Justice program and ministry is an effort to awaken congregations and each member to the needs of all creation. Any chance we would like to sign on as a Creation Justice Congregation? The Congregational Church of Amherst, NH UCC, ONA, CJ BBB, OC

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