MCCC Outdoor Worship Order 2021
June 6th, 2021
Gathering Music: Let’s Sing Unto The Lord (Cantemos al Senor) Jan Green
This is the Day that the Lord has Made! Let us Rejoice!
Welcome to the Mantua Center Christian Church
- we are a community seeking to have…
- Welcome whether You are here at the building or worshiping with us online.
- Today we are missing Pastor Sarah who is taking vacation over the next few weeks. Keep her in your prayers as she is away.
- We are blessed with our tent today from Tim Bennett and MaryEllen.
- With the mask mandate change, today in worship we are mask-optional. Vaccines have made this possible and we still want to make every effort to make people safe and comfortable. Feel free to continue wearing a mask and always respect where people are at.
- In worship today, we look into the Fruit of the Spirit--Joy. What is Joy? What does it mean to have joy in the midst of difficulty? Where does our Joy come from?
- As we prepare for worship, let’s listen to our scripture reading by
Opening Scripture: Psalm 16:5-11 (recorded) - Dottie Summerlin (in folder)
Let’s sing together Weave
*Response - Weave (recorded)
*Call to Worship (live) - Chad
ONE: We come to celebrate the God who is present amongst us.
ALL: The Lord our God is our strength and song, and is even
now our salvation.
ONE: We come together to celebrate with all the world, that the
Lord is God.
ALL: With joy we gather around God’s fountain of grace to be
refreshed and renewed.
ONE: We come to celebrate with songs of praise and joy that God’s eternal
Presence is forever amongst and with us, and all peoples.
ALL: We worship with joy: Thank the Lord, our Mighty God!
Praise God’s holy name! Amen
~ written by Joan Stott
*Song of Praise: (recorded) Come Ye Thankful People (ch)
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
Children’s Moment (live) - Ally Bozeka
- Chad Intro - And now we will have our Children’s Moment with Ally
Living the Resurrection Moment - Brian Hurd
Pastoral Prayer (live) - Chad Delaney
God of Life and Love, we give you praise and glory for this day that you have made and for the love you rain upon us. With joy we greet you in the newness of this day to listen for your word, yearn with hope, and fellowship in your love.
Accompanying God, on days when gloom is our constant companion, come and touch with your encouraging Spirit. On days when grief washes over us, give us a foundation of comfort in your love. On days when our perceived enemies get the better of us and release our worst selves...undergird us with your forgiveness and wisdom. On days when we feel heart-sick and feel like nothing is quite going our way, may your compassion be a healing balm. Help us, too, to listen to one another. May your JOY be our strength!
Welcoming God, as Pride Month begins we pray for the entire LGBTQ community. Give courage to those who are thinking about coming out to themselves, to their family, and to the world. Give strength to those who have endured cruelty, misunderstanding, and prejudice. We confess that the church universal has rarely been a safe-space for these your children. Bring us healing, compassion, understanding, and your welcoming Spirit.
Holy One, we all have joy in our hearts today for many different reasons. We all have so much to be thankful for. For the ways you have given life and love. For the joy and peace you have placed within us through the Gift of Jesus Christ, to sustain, heal, and redeem us. In silent prayer we give our joys and lay our burdens down to you...
In the name of the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit...Amen.
Scripture Reading John 15:8-13
Sermon Joy: Grace Recognized
2021 - 15 - Fruits: Joy - John 15:8-13 - June 6, 2021
8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
For some of us Joy in this strange season of our lives has been hard. It's been like a long rainy season. Through it, many of us have wrestled with many difficult situations and finding ways to get through. This last week, CJ and I were standing at the window of our back porch watching the rain pour down. Thinking about joy, I was inspired by the birds who despite the downpour, they were still coming to the feeder. They seemed perfectly content to flap down, get some seed, and fly up again under the cover of the porch. You could hear them chirping. They didn’t seem to let the rain bother them, but they didn’t stay in the rain the whole time...they were clearly glad to find cover under the porch. We do what we can right? Is that what joy is? What does sustained joy look like in the midst of all of it.
I think sometimes we can try to convince ourselves that joy is a kind of blissful avoidance. I’m reminded of that cartoon picture or meme that often gets circulated on social media. There’s this cute dog with a little hat and a coffee mug in hand sitting at a table. He’s got a big contented smile on his face and the caption reads “This is Fine.” Yet all around him there is a blazing inferno. There’s just something not right about it. That isn’t an authentic and deep joy.
I was moved this year by the life and work of Julian of Norwich and how she found a deep joy in the struggles of life. Julian lived during the black plague of 14th Century Europe and she did not in any way try to avoid this harsh reality. Instead she acknowledged it and dealth with it. She spoke openly about how she experienced “a constant flow of woe here.” She said, “all our frailties and failings, our betrayals and denials, our humiliations and burdens and all our woe” seem to “utterly fill the horizons of this life.” Life was intense and hard for her in so many ways. Yet, we also hear her say things like “the fullness of Joy is our birthright” and that we possess within us an “everlasting joy.” She even invented the word enjoy. Reading her words on Joy you may think she was a bit “Pollyanna” or “Rosy-tinted glasses” about her joy...but it was much more than that. Julian looked into the darkness, but did not let it overcome her.
She found her inspiration in the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus was not one to avoid the challenges of life, but turned toward them, dealt with them, and trusted God through them. The Disciples did not want to face the reality of the cross that was ahead of Jesus, but Jesus wouldn’t hear of it. Instead he helped them to understand that even with the cross ahead, they were called to love and within them a joy that know one would be able to take away.
There is power in the Greek word Jesus uses here for Joy. “Joy” in the Greek is “xara” and doesn’t refer to any kind of surface joy. Instead a joy that sustains and rooted in the grace of God. The Greek word for Joy has the same root as the word “grace” which is “xaris.” So the word for “joy” can very appropriately be translated as “Grace Recognized.” Joy is “grace recognized.”
9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. Even with the specter of death before him, even recognizing that laying down his life was just ahead...there was still a deep love and joy that was theirs.
There was once woman full of faith who was suffering for weary months in painful illness and she said to her pastor: "I have such a lovely robin that sings outside my window. In the early morning, as I lie here, he serenades me." Then, as a smile brightened her thin features, she added, "I love him, because he sings in the rain."
Together We know and love a Savior and friend who walked into dark places and people. Who stared down betrayal and denial, and accusations...even death on a Cross. Yet still embodied grace and compassion. Still showed mercy and love. Christ was the light of all people….and the darkness would never overcome him.
No matter what space of life we are in...there will always be joy. Joy found in the recognition of God’s love poured out upon us. Joy found in the gift of Jesus Christ who lived and loved and rose so that we might live and love and rise. Sustaining Joy found in the little gifts of love and hope found everyday all around us. Church Family, may you find inspiration, encouragement, and redemptive power in the life of Jesus Christ. May you turn and face the darkness, face the storms of life and yet still sing in the rain. And may you recognize Grace. May it be so.
Meditation (live) - Pam Baynes
Communion Hymn (recorded) - I Come with Joy (Communion)
I come with joy, a child of God,
forgiven, loved and free,
the life of Jesus to recall,
in love laid down for me,
in love laid down for me.
As Christ breaks bread, and bids us share,
each proud division ends.
The love that made us, makes us one,
and strangers now are friends,
and strangers now are friends.
Together met, together bound
by all that God has done,
we'll go with joy, to give the world
the love that makes us one,
the love that makes us one.
Prayer & Lord’s Prayer (live) - Pam Baynes
Words of Institution (live) - Chad Delaney
Closing Hymn (recorded) - Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (in folder)
Joyful, joyful, we adore You,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before You,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Your works with joy surround You,
Earth and heav'n reflect Your rays,
Stars and angels sing around You,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Praising You eternally!
Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
God's own love is reigning o’er us,
Joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life.
*Benediction (live) - Chad Delaney
We have been blessed to be together this morning both in-person and online. After worship you are welcome to join us for our Conversation Circle for some fellowship and discussion. We will be worshipping together for a few more weeks in this way and if everything goes as planned, we will have worship inside the building. We will still be streaming online and hope you join us in the way that is most comfortable for you.
Hear now our Benediction, written by Nathan Nettleton
Go now, and bear fruit for God, fruit that will last.
As Christ has loved you, so love one another,
and abide always in God is love, that your joy may be complete.
And may God give you all you ask for in Christ’s name;
May Christ Jesus reveal to you God’s ways and call you his friends;
And may the Holy Spirit confirm the truth within you and make your joy complete.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
in the name of Christ. Amen.
Departing Music - We Have Heard A Joyful Sound arr. by Mary McDonald [tune: Jesus Saves by W.J. Kirkpatrick & J. Booth] Jan Green