This Weeks Sermon


The gathering music for today: Gathering Video: “The Same Love” by Paul Baloche. The video is 4:45 long and the link is located on YouTube (The Same Love – Paul Baloche).

ORDER OF WORSHIP                                        January 30, 2022 ● 10:00 am
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, YOU are welcome here.

PRELUDE                  Improvisation on “New Dimensions”                Jan Bordeleau                                                        
WELCOME                                                                                  Rev. Brian Donovan

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                       Johnny Stucklen
One:     Fear rips the edges of life!
All:       Come – let us be One in faith. 
One:     Fatigue licks my dull eyes!
All:       Come – let us be refreshed with hope.
One:     Failure stalks my every path!
All:       Come – let us all be enveloped by the Love of God
             who loved us before we were formed
             and who we come to worship – today.

One:      For, God is Love!!!

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND SHARING “GOD MOMENTS”         Rev. Brian Donovan

PASSING OF THE PEACE

*OPENING HYMN (NCH#102)       “O How Shall I Receive You”              FCC Choir

*OPENING PRAYER(Unison)                                                     Johnny Stucklen
Holy Loving God, inspire within us the enduring Love of Your Son, our Christ. A Love so bright that it shines in us and throughout our entire lives. Invoke these teachings, O God, so, we can continue on Your Way to invigorate all people with the Justice and Mercy of Your Holy Love. Amen.

*GLORIA PATRI
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is  now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen.


GOD’S MESSAGE FOR ALL AGES AND THE LORD’S PRAYER     Merri Carlson
Our 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.

SCRIPTURE              1 Corinthians 13:1-13                                Johnny Stucklen
                     
SERMON                       “Seeing our Way…through”                  Rev. Brian Donovan

CHOIR ANTHEM           “Treasure Each Moment”                                FCC Choir

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

*DOXOLOGY 
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost 


*PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Unison)
God of Love and teacher to all – to You, we dedicate these symbols of our time – talent – and treasure. Accept them and commit these gifts to support Your ministries and Mission revealed in this fellowship. May all that is given and received aid Your teachings and our learning of the generous Love You share with ALL of Creation. In the name of Jesus, who reveals the Way. Amen.


*CLOSING HYMN (NCH#393)     “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds”           FCC Choir

BENEDICTION     
   
                                                                                                 
POSTLUDE                        Improvisation on “Verbum Dei”              Jan Bordeleau  

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love

Quote of the Day
“While the mind sees only boundaries, Love knows the secret way there.” 
-Rumi 
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS                                                                                                  
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING…..SEE WEEKLY EMAIL FOR DETAILS

2/1            TUES       Bible Study, 11:00 am
2/3            THURS    Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, 8:00 am
2/6            SUN         Morning Worship/Online Worship, 10:00 am
2/7            MON        Fun & Games, 1:30 pm                                        
                                     All numbered hymns are from The New Century Hymnal. Permission is granted for this one-time use.
• “Treasure Each Moment” Words & Music by Joseph M. Martin © 1995, Pilgrim Press, All rights reserved. ONELICENSE, License #A-739577

O How Shall I Receive You (NCH#102)
O how shall I receive you,
how meet you on your way,
blessed hope of every people,
my soul’s delight and stay?
O Jesus, Jesus, give me now
by your own pure light,
to know whate’er is pleasing
and welcome in your sight.
 
Love caused your incarnation;
love brought you unto to me;
your thirst for my salvation
procured my liberty.
O love beyond all telling,
that led you to embrace
in love, all love excelling,
our lost and fallen race.
 
You come, O Christ, with gladness,
in mercy and goodwill,
to bring an end to sadness
and bid our fears be still.
In patient expectation
we live for that great day
when a renewed creation
your glory shall display.
 
Blessed Be the Tie That Binds (NCH#393)
Blessed be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
The sharing of a common life
is like to that above.

Before our God we come
and pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
each other’s burdens bear.
And often for each other flows
a sympathizing tear.

When we are called to part
it gives us inward pain,
But we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.

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Pastor’s Letter November 30, 2022

“What’s Your Superpower?”

On the first day of Ms. Heinbeck’s kindergarten class, little Johnny came running into the classroom. The arms of his coat were tied loosely around his neck, and he was making ‘whooossh’ sounds while his hands were thrust out in front of him. 

Ms. Heinbeck stopped Johnny at the door with a smile. “Hello,” she began, “and who might you be?” Johnny looked up at her and smiled back. 

He then said, “you have to guess. But you can ask one question.”

 “Ok, what’s your superpower?”

Johnny’s smile grew even wider, and he ran around her and said, “I can fly, can you see me?”

Laughing with joy, Ms. Heinbeck replied, “Oh yes, yes, I see you Superman. Welcome. Would you find a seat on the rug; so, we can begin?”

Johnny (aka Superman) did as he was requested after a few more lazy circles around the room. 

‘Today is a good day,’ Ms. Heinbeck thought as they started to get to know each other and learn as a community. 

Each day over the next few months began the same way. Johnny came in with a new superpower and Ms. Heinbeck guessed who he was. Then the whole class set about engaging in the day’s lessons. However, as Ms. Heinbeck got to know the class, she witnessed something else. Johnny, in whatever superhero persona he was that day, always was the first to help other students. The first to include other people in a game. The first to offer a hug or a kind word. All of this brought a special joy to Ms. Heinbeck, one that no one knew she needed.

For, you see Ms. Heinbeck had become saddened by the school system and the students, almost jaded. In fact, her teaching had become bland and uninspiring because of so much that happened throughout the pandemic. Now, every day seemed to drag on with the school’s focus on testing and the students’ lack of participation which was disheartening. So much so that Ms. Heinbeck had considered quitting at the end of the year. That was until Johnny came in and started to fly around the classroom with joy at just being accepted for who he was.

Then one Monday, Johnny came walking in just like everyone else. Sad and not a glimmer of any superhero to be seen. Still, Ms. Heinbeck stopped him at the door with a smile and said, “hello and who might you be?”

Johnny glancing up started to say, “it’s me…” but, Ms. Heinbeck cut him off mid-stream.

“Wait, I’m sorry. I forgot. I have to guess, right?”

“No, ma’am,” he continued. “It’s me – just me. I had a birthday over the weekend and now I gotta be a big boy. Not a superhero. So, it’s just me…”

Ms. Heinbeck understood but did not let him finish before asking, “what’s your superpower?” 

The interaction seemed to confuse Johnny and make him all the more upset as he had really enjoyed “being” these superheroes with Ms. Heinbeck. Yet, he had to grow up now and be a big boy. So, he just stood there and gazed at her, unsure how to respond. 

Ms. Heinbeck did not miss a beat as she continued, ”hmmm, you are not telling me your power; so, it must be one of the best powers in the whole world. It’s got to be the one which can heal hearts. Make friends. Bring joy to everyone they meet. A power like that can welcome and accept everyone. If that’s your superpower, then never let it go because it’s the only one that matters in this world and the most powerful one of all. Does that sound like your power?” She asked.

Johnny stopped and thought for a moment and figured it would be ok to play for one more day. So, he nodded his head and smiled.

Ms. Heinbeck smiled back and said with a joy in her voice that had been gone for a very long time, “Oh wow, I think I know what your superpower is. It’s ‘Love’ and that would make you Johnny the superhero who saved me.” Johnny (aka Johnny) smiled even wider though not fully understanding as he threw his arms around her before they began the lessons of the day.

Johnny never did let go of that superpower, even though he became a big boy too.

Beloved,

May the Light of God’s Love fill your hearts in this Advent season and throughout all the struggles we face every day. Not only that but may we also ALL be the Light of Love that someone else needs in this world for this is the greatest superpower which God has given to each of us. Amen.

Your pastor and teacher

Brian

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