"Pied Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844 - 1889


Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swíft, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dím;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Gathering Our Spirit to God's Spirit

The glass cylinder in the center of the room has left the building and in its place is a large live tree (God has taken our imperfect creation and resurrected the real deal in its place) with cut flowers in its branches. There are several smaller live saplings positioned around the Living Room as well. Most of the comfy chairs are around the edge of the room to allow for the most possible seats for a large crowd on Sunday.

  • “Show the Way” by David Wilcox plays
  • A Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell 
  • David (E) and Leslie (L) make announcements

Worshiping with Our Children

  • A Journeyer leads our children in talking about how seeds have to be buried in the dirt before they spring to life as flowers and trees and vegetables. We don’t really know how it is possible, but the mystery is beautiful and helps us trust God when things are dark and difficult to understand.

From Our Spirit to God's Spirit

  • David welcomes, has us breathe…
  • David explains the series 
  • Renee/Dave leads us in singing “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”
  • Two Journeyers come to the microphone to read Readings 1 and 2

Reader 1: John 12:24-26 (The Message)

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.

If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you'll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment's notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

Reader 2: John 6:60-64, 66-69 (The Message)

Many among his disciples heard this and said, "This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow."

Jesus sensed that his disciples were having a hard time with this and said, "Does this throw you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where he came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don't make anything happen. Every word I've spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this."

After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: "Do you also want to leave?"

Peter replied, "Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God."

Reader 3: Mark 16:1-8 (The Message)

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, "Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?"

Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

He said, "Don't be afraid. I know you're looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He's been raised up; he's here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You'll see him there, exactly as he said."

They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.

  • Another Journeyer comes to the microphone to read Reading 4 as an offertory prayer

Reader 4: A Prayer by Cheryl Lawrie

We don¹t know what really happened
or if we have the faith to believe whatever did
but the resurrection doesn¹t depend on our faith
so come anyway.
We are too cynical for this:
We have trusted, and then lost, too often,
and we may need to sit this one out
but come anyway.
And, heaven knows,
we are probably waiting for it in the wrong place entirely
because life hasn¹t come in the ways we thought it would before
and you have never done what we expected.
Come anyway,
right to where we are.

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World  

  • Renee/Dave sing/play as the ushers pass the offering baskets and return them to the foot of the cross

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks
  • Rick instructs the community to come and take a flower from the tree as a reminder of God’s miracle of resurrection in our lives

Go Out to Serve with Mercy and Grace

  • David leads the community in reciting “Because He Is Risen”

Because He Is Risen: A Prayer by Gerard Kelly

Reader: Because He is risen,
Spring is possible
In all the cold hard places
Gripped by winter
And freedom jumps the queue
To take fear’s place
as our focus.
Because he is risen.

Journey: And because he is risen
A fire burns in my bones
And my eyes see possibilities
And my heart hears hope
Like a whisper on the wind
And the song that rises in me
Will not be silenced
As life disrupts
This shadowed place of death
Like a butterfly under the skin
And death itself
Runs terrified to hide
Because He is risen.

Reader: Because He is risen
My future is an epic novel
Where once it was a mere short story
My contract on life is renewed in perpetuity
My options are open-ended
My travel plans are cosmic
Because He is risen

Journey: Because He is risen
Hunger will go begging in the streets
For want of a home
And selfishness will have a shortened shelf-life
And we will throng to the funeral of famine
And dance on the callous grave of war
And poverty will be history
In our history
Because he is risen
Because he is risen
Thank You, God, that Jesus is risen!

  • Renee/Dave lead the community in singing the last verse of "Joyful Joyful"
  • David leads the community saying Genesis 12:1-4a

God spoke to Abram, and Abram was listening. He heard God tell him to pack up his family, dwellings, possessions and livestock and begin a journey that would start by leaving behind his lifelong home, many of his extended family, his business, and his country. God did not provide a trip itinerary, a GPS signal or a Google map. He simply said, “You go. I’ll let you know when you get to the right spot. And remember, the journey is as important as the destination. My part of the bargain is this: your faithfulness will manifest itself in the formation of a powerful community of people who both bless the world and will be blessed.” So Abram started packing…

  • David dismisses
  • “Are You Ready for a Miracle?” by LeAnn Rimes plays as folks depart