First United Methodist Church of Schenectady
Worship for the Third Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2020
“A Fern Growing Out of Volcanic Lava” by Jan Huston
Photo Show: Stone Rolled Away
It may help to center yourself into worship by lighting a candle, as a symbol of God’s presence with you during the time of worship.
“One who sees all, grant us insight.”
Breath prayers involve breathing in the first phrase, and breathing out the second.
You may wish to simply pray for a moment before starting, or you may wish to pray while listening to the prelude.
“Simple Gifts” Improvisation by Richard Elliott
Call to Worship
based on Psalm 116
If you are with another person, you may wish to read this out-loud. Otherwise, you can read it as a reminder that this is communal worship done in a large geographical area.
One: We lift our voices to God in prayer.
Many: God hears our voices, and our requests.
One: Our God is a God who listens.
Many: When we cry for help, God responds.
One: We offer our gratitude to God, for all that God does.
Many: We offer our gratitude, for how God responds.
One: Holy One, you are our God,
Many: And we are your people.
Hymn #92: For the Beauty of the Earth
If you wish to sing along, the sheet music is here: For the Beauty of the Earth
Connecting in Prayer
Adapted from 21st Century Worship Resources for Native American Ministries Sunday by The Rev. Jeff Ramsland, who serves as pastor of the Cherokee United Methodist Church in Cherokee, NC.
Creator who made all that is, and proclaimed that ‘it is good.’
Creator, help us to discover in all You have made in Nature,
the good wisdom about the interconnectedness of all things,
about balance and about living in harmony.
Remind us that we are not above nature, we are part of Creation;
we live by the same laws as all of nature
and need to learn from what You have made.
Creator, help us discover the power that lies
in the wisdom and understanding of our role in the
Great Mystery, and in honoring every living thing as a teacher.
Creator God, may our spirits be in harmony with Yours
as we worship.
We will share joys and concerns during the Second Hour Zoom conversation.
If you have joys or concerns to add, please send them to the office.
“Nature Rolls Away the Stone” by Jane Baker
Photo Show Theme: Stone Rolled away
(Image taken at FUMC parking lot)
You are welcome to read this out-loud or silently.
Normally the pastoral prayer is in response to the prayers of the body,
this one is written hoping to respond to the prayers of the body
without hearing them first.
The first stanza is adapted from a prayer by Nadia Boltz Weber, shared by the General Commission on the Status and
Role of Women on April 23, 2020.
God who made us all,
Our healers are exhausted, God. Give rest to those who care for the sick.
Our children are bored, God. Grant extra creativity to their caregivers.
Our friends are lonely, God. Help us to reach out.
Our pastors and therapists are doing the best they can, God. Help them to know it is enough.
Our workers are jobless, God. Grant us the collective will to take care of them.
Our parents are losing their minds, God. Bring unexpected play and joy and
dance parties to all in need.
Our grocery workers are absorbing everyone’s anxiety, God. Protect them from us.
Our elderly are even more isolated, God. Comfort them.
Our dear ones are recovering from natural disasters, living in migration camps,
and struggling with illness and injury, all during this frightening time. Be with them.
Our dear ones are grieving. Be with them.
We haven’t done this before and we are scared, God.
Yet, in creation, we see and find hope.
When the sun shines, it illuminates possibilities.
When the rain falls, it makes possible new growth.
When our children play, we hear joy.
When we see neighbors and friends, we remember who we are caring for and
The masks that have been made, and the prayer shawls that cradle shoulders,
remind us what love looks like in physical form.
There are many who have healed and recovered, and they get a renewed
chance at life.
New opportunities are arising, bringing fuller life to some who have struggled, and we are grateful.
We feel You, working towards wholeness and peace within us. May we find the
ways to work with you. And may we find compassion for all who ache and struggle, including ourselves.
The Lord’s Prayer
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Word and Reflection
For the Beauty of the Earth – John Rutter
If you are not familiar with John Rutter, let this be an assurance that this isn’t a repeat of the opening hymn, and is worth hearing on its own merit. In fact, it is even better having heard the opening hymn as a starting point. – Sara, who loves Rutter
Scripture – Psalm 116:1-4; 12-19
Mission Moment: Native American Ministries Sunday – Jan Huston
One of the Special Sundays in the United Methodist Church is Native American Ministries Sunday. This year it is celebrated on April 26. Native Americans with many unique languages and cultures honor their heritage and live as Jesus-followers. They are led primarily by Native American pastors. Special offerings on this day equip and empower Native American pastors, congregations, and seminary students to worship God and follow Jesus while maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions.
The Upper NY Committee on Native American Ministries has created the following video about the Native American ministries within our conference.
Gifts designated for this special Sunday can be made by sending a check to
FUMC with a notation indicating the gift is for Native American Sunday, or online through our electronic giving. Scroll down to “Ministries that We Support” and you’ll see “Native American Ministries” as the first option.
Passing the Peace
If you are worshiping with others, please pass the Peace of Christ.
Whether you are alone or with others, please take a moment to find God’s peace within, and then to share it with the world. This may take several breaths or moments. Sometimes sharing works best this way: to think of a dearly beloved with whom to share the peace, then to think of other beloveds, then of friends, then acquaintances, then those who frustrate you, then those you don’t really know, then those you don’t known at all.
God’s peace is spread to all.
“Pot Holes” by Amanda Taylor
Photo Show Theme: Stone Rolled Away
Hymn #307: Christ is Risen
If you wish to sing along, the sheet music is here: Christ is Risen
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35
If you wish, you are welcome to use this time to make a donation to the church online, or to put a check in the mail.
The time of offering is not only about our financial gifts to the church, it is about offering our lives to God and the building of the kindom. This is a time for reflection: What is being asked of us? What is being given to us? What are we able to offer? What do we need?
“Alleluya! Christo Resucitó” (“Alleluia! Christ is Risen”) – Luis Bojos (Arranged by Nathan Zullinger)
Prayer of Presentation
As we pay attention to what you have given to us,
we find gratitude.
As we pay attention to the suffering around us,
we find compassion.
As we gift the gifts of our time, our talents, our gifts, and our service,
we hope that they are useful
in the building of your kindom.
May we give with open hearts,
that we may also be able
to receive with open hearts.
Hymn #707: Hymn of Promise
If you wish to sing along, the sheet music is here: Hymn of Promise
As God breaks into the the world, with insight, hope, and grace, may your life be transformed. Amen
“Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 – Allegro” – Johann Sebastian Bach
The Raleigh Ringers
“The Way Ahead” by Larry McArthur
Photo Show Theme: Stone Rolled Away