Service Recording: May 16, 2021
After the service, we will have Adult Forum in a Zoom video conference. Details for joining will be shared via email and at the end of the live stream.
The Building is Closed and the Church is Open
While we have restricted access to the building, Peace Church is very much open to ministry—working to respond to our own congregation, as well as the needs of our neighbors and community. Please consider giving either to Peace Church general fund or the Gabriel Fund – which is used to meet the needs in the community.
We recognize that in this time, people’s financial situations may have changed. We ask you to prayerfully consider what you can give. If you use electronic giving, we thank you for your constancy of support. If you would like to give through our online form, we would be grateful. For all the contributions from our members and friends—whether financial, time, or prayer—we ask God’s blessings on those gifts that Peace Church may be healing balm in this time when we are living in our own Gilead.
May 16, 2021 ⁂ 10:30am
The People of Peace Church
Marge Anderson, Lay Reader
Jim Pospisil, Music Director
Nathan Holst, Faith Formation Minister
Rev. Greg Briggs, Interim Minister
Prelude by Darin Bergsven, jazz guitar
Announcements and Ringing of the Peace Bells
God is Revealed as We Gather
*Responsive Call to Worship
We worship God, who created the heavens and earth,
God’s reign endures forever.
We follow Jesus, who made God’s love known to us,
Through his life, death, and resurrection
We listen for the Holy Spirit, who breathes in us,
And grants us wisdom and insight.
Come, worship our God together,
Celebrate all the ways God is made known to you, now.
Opening Hymn “Guide My Feet” (#497)
Unison Prayer of Confession
Creator God, we confess that at times we are stuck. We are unable to move forward, and only can look back on what once was. We wonder where You are leading us, as it seems we are alone. Help us to become unstuck. Help us to move by faith, to trust that You are with us, guiding us along the way. Call to us so we will follow Your ways. Encourage us to live into hope instead of frozen in fear. Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, help us in this journey of life and faith, now and always. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Story for All Ages by Nathan Holst
Special Music by Darin Bergsven
God is Revealed in the Word
God’s Word in the Writings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
God’s Word in the Gospel: Luke 9:10-17
Easter Halleluja! (#236)
Sermon by Greg Briggs
Hymn “God of Grace” (#436)
We Respond to God’s Presence
Sharing Our Prayer Concerns, Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, and Prayer of Our Savior (written by Mark Berry)
O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Imagine your possibilities now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.
Help us not forget our Source, yet free us from not being in the Present.
From you arises every Vision, Power and Song from gathering to gathering.
Amen! May our future actions grow from here!
Sharing our Offerings
Offertory by Ian Connell
*The Thanksgiving (Doxology)
*Prayer of Dedication
Dear God, We offer our generous gifts as a sign of our gratitude for creating us to care for one another. We pray your blessings upon these gifts, and hope they serve as our love for you and the world. Redeeming God, we ask that these gracious offerings be a witness to your healing and faithful love in order to bring hope to a hurting world. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Litany of Release
LEADER: Our church family is constantly changing. People come and go. Babies are born. Children grow up. People commit themselves to one another. Loved ones and friends among us come to the end of their lives. Individuals move into our community and church life. Others leave us, moving away to new places, new experiences, and new opportunities. It is important and right that we recognize these times of passage, of endings and beginnings. Today we share the time of farewell with a friend who is leaving. On January 1, 2021, this local church called Reverend Gregory Briggs to serve as Interim Lead Minister.
INTERIM PASTOR: I thank Peace United Church of Christ, its members and friends, for the love, kindness, and support shown me these last 4 months. I ask forgiveness for the mistakes I have made. I am grateful for the ways my leadership has been accepted. As I leave, I carry with me all that I have learned here.
CONGREGATION: We receive your thankfulness, offer forgiveness,
and accept that you now leave to minister elsewhere. We express our gratitude for your time among us. We ask your forgiveness for our mistakes. Your influence on our faith and faithfulness will not leave us at your departure.
INTERIM PASTOR: I forgive you and accept your gratitude, trusting that our time together and our parting are pleasing to God. When I joined my ministry with yours, I took on the responsibilities of your pastor for an interim season. I led worship services, provided pastoral care, and encouraged Christian faith formation. Will you now release me from these responsibilities?
CONGREGATION: We will.
INTERIM PASTOR: As your Interim Pastor, I took on a guiding role as you began to review your history, explore needed changes, identified and resolved old conflicts, explored new directions in ministry, and prepared to move forward with new pastoral leadership. Will you, with me, give thanks to God for the hard work we have done and the hard work that is yet to come?
CONGREGATION: We will, with God’s help.
INTERIM PASTOR: Together we have sought to sustain the life of this church and to grow in love and understanding and faith. Will the coordinating council identify and unmute themselves? You are the elected leaders of this church. Will you continue on the path of love and understanding and faith?
CHURCH LEADERS: We will, with God’s help.
INTERIM PASTOR: Will all members of the congregation support the elected committee members of this church?
CONGREGATION: We will, with God’s help.
INTERIM PASTOR: Will you commit to patience as your next pastor begins ministry among you, supporting their leadership efforts in accordance with the guidance given to this church by the Holy Spirit, and will you hold yourselves to wise communication practices to grow the relationship between congregation and minister over time?
CONGREGATION: We will, with God’s help.
INTERIM PASTOR TO MODERATOR: I have returned the keys you gave me when I came and unsubscribed from all of the church’s digital networks and social media. I thank you for that trust.
MODERATOR: I received the keys on behalf of this congregation. We express our gratitude and love for your wise and faithful leadership during this transition time.
INTERIM PASTOR: The prayers of the Church Universal will be always with you, as your prayers are with ministers and congregations everywhere.
REPRESENTATIVE Shari Prestemon: On behalf of the Minnesota conference and the United Church of Christ, I witness to the words spoken: words of thankfulness, forgiveness, and release. The member churches of our association and conference hold each of you in prayer. We pledge our support in the transitions signified in this service.
CHURCH LEADERS: Thanks be to God.
INTERIM PASTOR: Let us pray:
ALL: God, whose everlasting love for all is trustworthy, help each of us to trust the future which rests in your care. The time we were together in your name saw our laughter and tears, our hopes and disappointments. Guide us as we hold these cherished memories but move in new directions, until that time to come when we are completely one with you and with each other, in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Closing Song “In the Midst of New Dimensions” (#391)
Postlude by Darin Bergsven