Wherever and whenever we gather, we are the body of Christ… WE’RE GLAD YOU ARE HERE!
Settle in and engage the spirit. Here is some helpful information-
The Community Gathers…
Opening Meditation Harvesting Blessing
It is hard to find a balance in life between what God does and what we do. When things are going well, how do we find a balance between gratitude for God’s blessings and celebration of our own hard work? When things are not going well, how do we balance our own frustration with trust in God’s provision? We continue our worhsip series this Sunday with a focus on harvesting, gathering the gifts of God. Harvesting is an essential part of our life together and necessary for any bread-making, but farming is a difficult enterprise requiring a balance of God’s creation and human effort. There are many opportunities for us to be partners with God as God provides for the world. Let us worship!
Prelude & Passing of the Peace
Call to Worship
ONE: When the seeds once planted finally sprout and mature, then it is time for the harvest.
MANY: We are ready to gather the abundance shared with us.
ONE: What shall we do with the bounty God has provided for us?
MANY: We will enjoy what we have been given and share our plenty with others.
ONE: The harvest reminds us to work, to enjoy, and then to rest.
MANY: God provides us with enough so that we can let love rise!
ONE: God of the Harvest, we thank you for nourishing us with forgiveness and hope. You provide us with a generous portion of all that we need and ask us to share from it. As we harvest the grains of what will become the bread of life, we ask you to bless our work here together. If our pantries are full, then help us to share with others in need. If we are hungry, either in body or spirit, then fill us with all good things. Let this time of worship be like manna from heaven for our wounded souls and a reminder of the abundance of your crops in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Hymn “ Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer” #18
Prayer of Transformation
ONE: Accountability and truth is needed for growth. God does not want us to wallow in guilt or drown in despair and shame. Instead in this time of confession let us remember what we need to let go of, or heal from, in order to truly be whole, as individuals and as a society. Imagine God knowing we have fallen flat, and yet over and over again kneading the yeast of love into our lives until we rise again.
MANY: Generous God, we confess that we enjoy the fruits of the harvest but we forget that abundance comes from you. We acknowledge the times when we have become full and satisfied but we ignored those in need around us. We recognize that it is easy for us to become tempted to store up and horde what we need, rather than taking just enough. We admit to ignoring issues of justice and equity because of convenience. Forgive us, renew us, set us in the midst of a harvest unlike any other as we celebrate your Word. Amen.
Words of Assurance
God never stops planting seeds of love and forgiveness in our hearts. Even when we are tired or filled with grief, God is forever hoping, forever reaching, and forever tending. Receive this forgiveness now and understand that you are a new creation in Christ, free to grow and flower. Amen
Hymn “I Come with Joy” v. 1 #349
The Message for Younger Disciples
Kids, families, those young at heart, are encouraged to come forward to the steps to spend a few minutes together.
To Celebrate Community in Baptism…
Baptism of Dalton Josef Schelling, Parents: Desiree & Dave Schelling, Godparents: Nadine Ferry-Schelling, John Reichard
Hymn “Child of Blessing ” #325
To Share of Ourselves…
Prayers of the People
We grieve with the families and friends of… Ron Martin, Tony Manitone, Cass Forest, Mike Mecanko, Ed Peterson, Conni Weller Herr
We pray for… Those hospitalized, in recovery and rehabilitation and assisted living care, those serving in the armed forces, Linzy Carson,
We seek health and healing with… Rich Hebel - upcoming testing & procedure, Desiree - off work & recovery from surgery, Tom Kinser - surgery April 1st, Nancy S. - recovery after stroke, Dottie Harpel - broken bone in foot, Frank Harpel - still in hospital post surgery & memory issues
We continue to pray with... Carol Ann Simpson, Deb and Dave Johnson, Shirley Murphy, Pat Holmberg, Cecelia Shelhamer, Lisa Williams, Tammy Smith, Jan Mindish, Debbie Husser, Debbie, Andrea, Becki, Bobbi, Pam
The Lord’s Prayer
MANY: Our Creator/Mother/Father, who art in heaven, 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.
Announcing Missions and Ministry
Centering on Generosity
Part of letting love rise is cultivating our own sense of generosity- giving of ourselves, our resources, and our time to create a better world. Here in this moment we give to sustain this church community, we give to the wider church, we give to care for our neighbors, local and around the world. But most of all we give back to God in thanks for all that God has given to us.
Sung Response # 780
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God for all that love has done
Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.
Prayer of Dedication
Holy One, you have offered us manna in the desert, a bumper crop in our fields, and more than enough to nourish our bodies and minds. Take these gifts, a portion of what you have given us, to do the same for the whole world. May all people everywhere have enough of whatever they need to thrive. May this offering be one small step towards that effort. Amen.
Hymn “We Praise You, O God” #420
To Open to Wisdom…
Psalm Psalm 22:23-31
You who fear the Lord, praise God! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify God; stand in awe, all you offspring of Israel! For God did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; did not hide their face from me but heard when I cried. From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear God. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek God shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship. For dominion belongs to the Lord, and God rules over the nations.
To God, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down, all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for God. Posterity will serve God; future generations will be told about the Lord and proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that God has done it.
Hebrew Scripture Exodus 16:2-5 , 13-30
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer per person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.” The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed.
And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it became wormy and rotten. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed, but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” So they put it aside until morning, just as Moses commanded them, and it did not rot, and there were no maggots in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”
On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.
Sermon “Harvesting” Pastor Beth Rogers
To Extend Love to the World'
Closing Hymn “ For the Fruit of All Creation” #425
ONE: God has given us all we need.
MANY: We are ready to do the work of God’s harvest.
ONE: Go to share the gifts of God.
MANY: We are ready to Let Love Rise.
Today in Worship
Liturgist: Joan Spire Tech: Jim Anderson-Greenover
Usher: MJ Farr-Stine & Wendy Whitehaus Cole Acolyte: Sophia Farr-Stine
The altar flowers are placed in memory of Mary Grubb Early under the Victor V Grubb Trust. The rose is in honor of the baptism of Dalton Shelling
Our Lenten Theme: Let Love Rise
We remember that Jesus called himself “The Bread of Life,” or that he said at the Last Supper, “This is my body broken for you.” We have come to know those elements as part of our ritual life of faith. Bread is part of church. What is harder to understand is what that bread meant to Jesus and to the people of his time. What is the connection between the physical recipe of bread and the spiritual preparation of Lent? How is God harvesting, mixing, and rising in our lives? How are we preparing and sharing those blessings of God?
LENTEN OFFERING This year's Lenten offering has been designated for Downtown Daily Bread of Harrisburg. For over 40 years they have been operating a a walk-in resource center for all hungry and homeless individuals. They offer a Soup Kitchen with weekday breakfasts and daily lunch meals; a Day Shelter with cots, computers, phones, and staff counselors; a winter season Night Shelter for men, and numerous assistance programs such as showers, lockers, mail delivery, laundry cards, vouchers for photo IDs, clothing, and other personal hygiene items. To give to this offering, you can include it in the special envelopes marked “Lent” in your boxes of envelopes, or give online on the HUCC website. For more information about their program, check out: downtowndailybread.org/
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” Matt.5:14-15 (The Message) On Easter Sunday in 1949, on nation-wide radio, Christians were challenged to donate one million dollars in one hour to help people devasted by the aftermath of World War II. Faithful Christians answered the challenge and the goal was met. That was the beginning of the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering. This year marks the 75th anniversary of its inception. Our world has changed since 1949, but human needs remain. OGHS continues to carry God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. Since that first offering, OGHS has expanded its mission to support domestic and international development, fight poverty and its consequences, bring aid and relief to communities torn by war or ravaged by national disaster, advocate and offer resettlement assistance for refugees and displaced persons, and combat injustice in its many forms. OGHS provides funding and hands on assistance in collaboration with local and international partners.