Monday, April 04, 2011

The Way We Worship Together: April 3, 2011 at Union Center

Welcome to a weekly overview of Union Center Christian Church's Sunday  morning service. You can learn also learn about some of the songs we sing at Union Center each week in advance of the Sunday service by reading my “Getting Ready For Sunday” post each Thursday.

Call To Worship
Pastor Sal welcomed us as those gathered by God and invited us to greet one another. And then shared ministry updates for Good Friday and Easter events at Union Center as well as updates for the Transition Journey we are in as a congregation.

Let's stand together and hear the Word of God call us to worship.

Psalm 67:1, 3 and 4
God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His fact to shine upon us....Let the peoples praise You, O God! Let all the peoples praise You! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth.

Let's sing our hallelujahs to this gracious and just God!
Song: Agnus Dei - We use the Third Day arrangement of this song written by Michael W. SmithaThere's no stronger call to worship than to realize we are gathered together, joining our hallelujahs to the praises of saints and angels gathered around God's throne.  Listen to the song on

Song: Rock of Ageswritten by Reverand Augustus Toplady.  WAt all times, but especially in these Lenten days leading to the Great Easter celebration, we are reminded "Thou must save, and Thou alone.  Listen to the version we use from David Crowder at
Not the labors of my hands / can fulfill the law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know, / could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Words and Prayers of Confession
In this fourth week of Lent, we are seeking God to fill our city with people who bring peace. Read with me God's promise in Isaiah 33:5-8:

Beau:  The LORD...will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge.
All:  The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
Beau:Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly...The treaty is broken, its witnesses are despised, no one is respected.  This is the Word of the Lord. 
All:  It is true.

Beau:  We pour water again to remember the that He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us. 
[each week of Lent, we are pouring water from a red glass pitcher into six glass bowls, representing the Christ who poured Himself out for us]
 All:  Jesus Christ our Savior

Beau:  Just and loving God, those who pray for peace in this world are sorrowful to the point of weeping because we are always missing something. King Jesus, we ask You to overflow our city from the reservoirs of peace that fill heaven. Cause us to live in a holy fear that unlocks your blessings in our homes, workplaces and neighborhoods. Fill our  minds with knowledge. Fill our hearts with wisdom. Fill our agendas with redemption. And fill Greater Binghamton and Ngasyak with peace like a river.

Let's sing this song as a prayer that rises like incense to God's throne..

Song: Like Incence / Sometimes By Step,  a song by Brooke Ligertwood joined with and classic chorus by the late Rich Mullins. 
All Your ways are loving and are faithful
Your road is narrow but Your burden light
Because You gladly lean to lead the humble,
I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride.
Congregational Prayer
 Let's pray from the April 3 entry in Seek God for the City prayer book. You can also follow along on the screen.

Kendra:  Our Lord Jesus, we weep with You as You gaze upon our city. We have been blinded to how we can work with God in order to walk with God, in full-blown city-wide peace.
Men:  We pray for Jesus to open our eyes to how far we are from God's intentions.
Kendra: And we pray for hearts like His to grieve the daily devastation of our peace-deprived lives.
Women:  We agree and we pray that God will reveal how to give and live in peace to family members, neighbors, and co-workers.
Kendra:  We take You at Your Word that You are mighty to save and that You, Jesus, are the author of salvation who has conquered the grave. We trust You to hear and respond to our prayers for peace. 
 All:  Amen.

Let's praise this Christ who rose and conquered the grave!

Song: Mighty to Save,  written by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding. 

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Giving:
We respond to our Creator and Redeemer with words and acts of thanks.  We give from all we have - heart, soul, mind, strength, gifts and resources.

This Sunday the fourth Sunday of Lent, and the twenty-fourth week of our Story sermon series. Hopefully you've been reading along through the story of the Bible with us, but it's not too late to start!  Pastor John taught us from the Gospel accounts of Jesus words and actions during His ministry on the earth.  Through the altercation between Legion inhabiting the demoniac of iGarasene in the Gospel of Mark, we learn that spiritual warfar is a normative practice in the lives of Christ's disciples.  The text this week also covers Jesus' masterful and astonishing Sermon on the Mount as well as what the Church as come to know as the Lord's Prayer (which might be better entitled The Disciples' Prayer)

Remember, we'd love to hear how you've been impacted by this study through The Story.  You can share with us how God's using the study in your life by emailing us at

Song: Words to Build a Life On,  by Mike Crawford, worship leader at Jacob's Well in Kansas City.  The worship team prepared this powerful re-telling of the Sermon on the Mount to sing as a blessing over our community.  You can hear the song and read the lyrics here.

 Congregational Prayer of Response: Pastor John led us in the Lord's Prayer.
Benediction:  The April 3 entry in Seek God for the City encouraged us to pray for government leaders.  We were blessed and sent out to be a blessing.

Participating in a weekly blog carnival, "Sunday Set Lists", at
Also, linking with Graceful this week.
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