Monday, May 16, 2011

The Way We Worship Together: May 15, 2011

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

pre-service: Jesus With Thy Church Abide
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, the 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.

Life at the Center
Pastor Craig welcomed us this week and reminded us that on May 29 we'll be concluding the 31-week series on The Story of the Bible with a service set aside to share our stories with each other, the ways we've been impacted through the series.  

He encouraged us with some prompts to help share our stories:
1.  Where has my "lower story" been lifted because Jesus has pursued me this year?
2.  How has the concept of "blessed to be a blessing" impacted your life or the life of your family this year?
3.  How has the concept of the Upper Story and Lower Story impacted your life or the life of your family this year?

We need your help to prepare this service. You can share with us how God's using the study in your life by emailing us at

Call To Worship

Hear the Word of the Lord:

Pastor Craig: You were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

All: Praise be to God!

Pastor Craig: But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.

All: Thanks be to God!

As a family, we need to remind each other the assurance that this passage sites. One way we can do this is by extending peace and generosity to each other just as Christ did for us. Lets greet each other with the peace of Christ this morning.

Margaret called us back from greeting each other with our Eastertide call and response:
He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Song: Famous One, written by Jesse Reeves and Chris Tomlin. A familiar favorite at Union Center. Listen to the song on YouTube.

Song: Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?, written by Martin Smith.  The lyrics of this song  draw a hope-filled picture of revival and restoration that happens when "young and old turn to Jesus".
     Open up the doors and let the music play,
     let the streets resound with singing.
     Songs that bring Your hope, songs that bring Your joy,
     dancers who dance upon injustice.        

Words of Confession
Scott: Paul said: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors

when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
“Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
All: You will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
Scott: They hardly hear with their ears,
And they have closed their eyes.
All: Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts
And turn, and I would heal them.
Scott: “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

Song: Nothing But the Blood, lyrics by Robert Lowry, arrangement by Page CXVI.   The group Page CXVI formed around the goal of making great hymns accessible and known again.  They chose their name from page 116 in C.S. Lewis' book The Magician's Nephew depicting Aslan singing Narnia into creation.  We began singing this version on Sunday mornings after our Elevate worship team began singing it on Sunday evenings.  Click through the tracks to track #5 in the audio player below to hear this new arrangement (while you're at it, enjoy the rest of them!).

Words of Assurance
(Dawn read this Scripture over us)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins - gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made alive with Christ even when we were dead in trangressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Song: And Can It Be That I Should Gain,  written by Charles Wesley.  No more powerful truths have ever been sung and we sang it with joy today!

No condemnation now I dread; 
Jesus, and all in him, is mine; 
alive in him, my living Head, 
and clothed in righteousness divine, 
bold I approach th' eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 
Bold I approach th' eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 

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.

Song: What I Know To Be True, written by Andrea Shields.  No more powerful truths have ever been sung and we sang it with joy today!
I know the church is the hope of the nations
Even in her fractured humanness
Community and grace meant to draw me and to keep me
This is what I know to be true
I know that one day, Jesus is returning
To ransom some from every tribe and tongue
Restore this chaos to original glory
This is what I know to be true

Pastor John took us through the second half of the life of the Apostle Paul, specifically the model he sets as one who hears and obeys the Holy Spirit.


Along the way, we stopped by one of Pastor John's oft-quoted film clips.  Wondering what Paul's missionary journies have to do with Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Check out the audio version of the message here.

Song: O Church Arise, written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.  When we began the series reading through the Bible together, Pastor John felt this modern hymn should be our "theme" song.  Listen to the song and read the lyrics here.

Words of Sending and Benediction
Pastor John prayed over us from Paul's words to the Ephesians

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...