Monday, April 18, 2011

The Way We Worship Together: April 17, 2011 at Union Center

*This is also posted at thank you to the wonderful Hope Spicer for this week's photos!

Welcome to a weekly overview of Union Center Christian Church's Sunday  morning service.  You’ll not only read a list of the songs we led following the Call To Worship, but also the readings and prayers from our pattern of worship (aka, liturgy).

You can find links to the set lists of this church and many other churches each week in the Worship Blog Carnival at You can learn about some of the songs we sing at Union Center each week in advance of the Sunday service by reading the “Getting Ready For Sunday” post each Thursday.

Call To Worship
This week one of our church elders, Mike Comfort, facilitated our gathering as a service host.  After greeting the congregation as those gathered by God, we greeted each other.  Then, Mike led us in a call to worship. 

Today is Palm Sunday, a day celebrated in the Church that looks back on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. It was a day when He was honored and declared as a King. Today we echo those shouts of praise through Scripture and songs. Read with me the Word of God in Psalm 24:

 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts. He is the King of glory!
Let's sing to our King Jesus!

Song: King of Glory, written by Chris Tomlin. While this song is not necessarily new, it was a new song for our congregation, we echo the prophecy in Psalm 24, Who is this King of GloryListen to the song on YouTube.

Song: Sing to the Kingwritten by Billy James Foote.

Song: O Worship the Kingwords written by Robert Grant (1779-1838) and original melody attributed to Johann Micheal Haydn (1737-1806).  We use the version that has been reset  by Chris Tomlin.  Listen to it on YouTube.  For some reason, when Passion reset this hymn, they changed some of the lyrics that were most important to Pastor John.  We sing the original, instead (and we sang it at a pretty good clip today, didn't we?!?):
Frail children of dust
And feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust,
nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies, how tender,
how firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender,
Redeemer and Friend! 

Words and Prayers of Confession

In this final Sunday of Lent, we are seeking God to fill the world with His glory. Read with me the account of Jesus' triumphal entry:

A great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying,
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
We pour water again this final week to remember that the King of Glory 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 red bowls, adding one bowl each week.  This represents the Christ who poured Himself out for us and the living water of new birth.]
Jesus Christ our Savior.

Congregational Prayer
Let's pray from the April 17 entry in the Seek God for the City prayer books.  You can also follow along on the screen.
We pray that You would visit Your people in ways that cause the nations to turn their attention to You. Come! Fill this world with Your glory. Find Greater Binghamton and Ngasyak prepared by our prayers to welcome You.
Men: We pray for Christ to capture the attention and desire of many who have ignored or rejected Him.
Hosanna, Save us now!
Women: We agree and pray for believers to be filled with expectant love for Christ.
All: Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Song: What Wondrous Love Is This, an American Folk Hymn in public domain. We sing from the depths of our sinking down to the Christ who has saved us, is saving us now and will save us on that day "when from death I'm free We sing from a version reset by Indelible Grace Music.  Read all of the lyrics, download free chord charts and listen to a demo mp3 here.
To God and to the Lamb,
I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb
Who is the great "I Am".
While millions join the theme
I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme I will sing.

Song: What the Lord Has Done In Mewritten by Rueben Morgan.  We add our Hosannas to the worship of saints and angels singing Worthy is the Lamb!    Listen to the song on YouTube.  

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Giving:
The appropriate response to our Creator and Redeemer is to give from all we have - heart, soul, mind, strength, gifts and resources.

Message:  Dr. John Cionca, pastor and consultant from Ministry Transitions, Inc., updated us on the Transition Journey our congregation is on and then taught us from the Word of God.

In our Story sermon series, we'd read this past week about Jesus' last days before suffering crucifixion and death.  If you haven't read along with the Story series, it's not too late to start! This week's text covered Matthew chapters 26 - 27, Mark chapters 14-15, Luke chapters 22-23 and John chapters 13-14 and 16-19.   This week  our guest teacher, Dr. John Cionca, will led us through the hours of darkness when the crowds surrounding Jesus changed their exclamations of adoration to demands for His death.

Don't forget, 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

Communion as Response to the Word: 
There is no more appropriate week to remember the work of Christ in the bread and the drink, then at this outset of Holy Week.  Mike Comfort gave us spiritual direction in the taking of communion together and encouraged us to reflect on the love of Christ, who set before Him the joy of obedience to His Father.

Song: I Surrender All, 
written by Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter and Winfield Scott Weeden.  Our response to the obedience of Christ can only be a commitment to learn the same obedience and surrender ourselves.  Andrea led us in this song and time of commitment.

To the King and to His Kingdom.  There is a King!

Words of Sending and Benediction:
Mike blessed us with the words of Hebrews 12:2: "Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne"

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