Worship June 7, 2020
I welcome you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Let’s remember why we’re here.
We gather to celebrate the great good news of God’s love. Let this love be wrapped in justice and peace for all.
Join me in prayer
Merciful and Just God, we gather here, each of us with many concerns on our hearts. Our hearts are concerned with systems of injustice which strip people of their dignity and their very lives. Help us to be those who would seek peace with justice, who would fight for those who are oppressed, offer voices for the voiceless and dignity for all humankind. Be with us this day and guide our steps toward a more just world, in your name. AMEN.
Hymn UMH 145 Morning Has Broken
Children’s Message Ben Ziegler
Today we recognize our class of 2020 high school graduates. Please pray with me…
As you see the end of your high school classes and this phase of your education ceases, may you strive toward excellence in all you do.
As the speeches conclude, may your voices rise up to pronounce justice and peace in the world.
As the fanfares cease, may you sing of joy, even in the dark and lonely places.
As the applause quiets, may you celebrate and lift up those around you.
As you graduate, may your achievements grow and cause growth in your communities.
And may we all know of the overwhelming blessings of the One who created all things. Amen
Today we recognize Luke Nordstrom, son of Rich and Jackie Nordstrom. And we recognize
Joe Zins son of parents Dave and Amy Zins. Luke and Joe are member of the Mora High School class or 2020.
Join me in sharing the bolded print of our responsive blessing for Luke and Joe
We are gathered together to celebrate the accomplishments of a members of our community.
We give blessings to you Luke and Joe for all that you have achieved and your many more achievements yet to come.
One part of your life’s journey is complete. You will prepare to begin another phase that will take you to unimaginable places.
As you prepare for your next journey, we hope that you remember the ones you leave behind, who have loved and supported you throughout the years.
We give you blessings of good will and love as you journey forth into the world.
We thank you for the time and fellowship that you have shared with us and we pray that as you begin your next journey, you remember the times that we all have shared with you.
Use those memories as encouragement to guide you on your path. Don’t look back; continue only forward, while using those memories to create a new path.
We pray that God will give you strength and determination to develop new relationships that will help to strengthen and sustain your faith.
Because we are made in the image of God, we have been blessed with free will to make choices and decisions.
We pray that you make wise and rational decisions, always turning to God for help.
God hears, God listens, God is always with you. Do not forget that.
Always keep in mind that God is around and if you turn to him, he will guide you.
Let us pray
You, Great Teacher, guide us all as students of life lived in faith;
Since before written word, you have walked with us in our struggles and in our celebrations.
It was you bursting old wine skins with new wine on the mount.
It was you feeding the multitudes with your words on the plain.
It is you who are the light that is passed from generation to generation in the journey of life.
It is you walking with these graduates as we bless them in your name.
Continue to walk with Luke and Joe as we bless them in your name.
Join me in lifting our hands over our Graduates, continue praying…
May God’s bright flame from the lamp of knowledge guide you.
May God’s warm glow off the pages of this book of wisdom comfort you.
May the cool baptismal waters of God continue to refresh you in your endings and new beginnings.
May your Soul always be fed at Christ’s table,
may your Heart always be open in the presence of the Holy Spirit,
and may your Mind be transformed in the mighty presence of the Great “I Am.”
God is with you. God is with us. Go with God. Amen.
Scripture 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 Gayle Bergloff
Hi, I am Gayle Bergloff
Please pray with me,
Open our hearts and minds to hear and feel the words of the Apostle Paul. As he called the people of Corinth to live in peace, so he calls us. May we hear and abide by this call. Amen
Our scripture is taken from the book of Second Corinthians chapter 13 verses 11-13, and I am reading from the Common English translation.
This scripture comes at the close of a letter from the Apostle Paul and he has a great deal to say about his disappointment with the Corinthian Christians. They were definitely not a model church. This letter is written to people who have been behaving badly, badly and at the close of the letter Paul says:
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, good-bye. Put things in order, respond to my encouragement, be in harmony with each other, and live in peace—and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Say hello to each other with a holy kiss.[a] All of God’s people say hello to you.
13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
I am sharing a letter from Bishop Ough written May 27, 2020.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough issued the following statement following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police after an officer was shown pinning him down while he struggled to breathe.
There is more than one pandemic ravaging Minnesota and our country at this time. In addition to fighting COVID-19, we are besieged by a pandemic of racism, white supremacy, and white on black or brown violence. The tragic, racially charged, and unnecessary death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers is only the latest flare-up of this pandemic—and Mr. Floyd is only the latest victim. The list of Black lives who have been needlessly killed grows each day. The pervasive culture of racism and white supremacy, increasingly incited by political rhetoric, grows each day. The fear among parents of Black children grows each day. The flaunting of our laws against racial profiling and discrimination grows each day.
I applaud Mayor Jacob Frey and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for acting decisively and quickly to fire the police officers. I am grateful the FBI is launching a civil rights investigation. I join with many others in demanding that justice prevail in this situation. I am praying for the Floyd family and the police officers and their families.
Now, it is our responsibility as persons of faith, and particularly as followers of Jesus in the Methodist tradition, to address this pervasive pandemic of racism. We are compelled to address this pandemic with the same intensity and intentionality with which we are addressing COVID-19.
We begin by acknowledging that racism is sin and antithetical to the gospel. We confess and denounce our own complicity. We take a stand against any and all expressions of racism and white supremacy, beginning with the racial, cultural, and class disparities in our state and country that are highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic. We sound the clarion call for the eradication of racism. We challenge governmental leaders who fan the flames of racial division for political gain. We examine our own attitudes and actions; all change begins with transformed hearts continually yielding to the righteousness and love of God.
Let us not turn away or ignore the disease that has been tearing our country apart and destroying lives for centuries. This disease—the sin of racism and white supremacy—denies the teachings of Jesus and our common, created humanity. Let us renew our efforts to eradicate the disease that truly threatens our ideals and the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of so many of our neighbors.
I urge you to join me in continuing to pray for the Floyd family as well as the many families whose lives were tragically altered or whose fears have been heightened as a result of this inexcusable tragedy. May God’s grace, peace, justice, and vision of the Beloved Community overpower the forces of evil and death.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough
Resident Bishop, Dakotas-Minnesota Area
The United Methodist Church
This last week Rod and I had a few days off and we spent them in Alexandria. Together we watched the many hours of reporting starting with the killing of George Floyd followed by hours of protest, rioting and much.
I came home with a new understanding. A new understanding of me.
For many years I didn’t considered myself racially biased but at some point a number of years ago I acknowledged I was – you see I would reach to the lock on my car door to make sure it was locked when I saw black men on the street BUT I did not do the same when I saw white men. Yes I had to admit that indeed I was racially biased.
And I wasn’t just biased against black men. I have a good friend who came to the US many years ago from Cambodia. I worked with this man for many years and I considered him not just a co-worker but also a good friend. The first language of this friend caused him to have real challenges pronouncing the letter v in English. One of the products we often discussed was vessels. I regularly not only teased him about his inability to say the word but I also would set him up so he was forced to say the word and then I would laugh. Biased in my actions!
As Rod I processed all that happened last week, I started to peel away the layers of my bias. My layers are like that of an onion.
Peel First layer of onion
The first layer, this outside coating, for me was when I discovered there was one, yes one, person of color in my hometown. She was a couple years than me. I never met her, I didn’t know her name, but I sure snuck glanced at her whenever I could – kind of sneaky like – because I didn’t want her to see my curiosity.
Peel second layer
The second layer was removed when the college opened in my hometown. With a new school came lots of new people, many of which were black. I was still in high school and had no dealing with any of the – with any of “them”. And another layer of my onion was peeled away.
Peel third layer
I moved to the Twin Cities when I was 23 and the third layer started to peel away. I worked in Human Resources and I was involved in the hiring of hiring of many people including two men, both named Don, different last names and one black and one the other white. They worked in different departments, were built differently, different personalities and of course different colors of their skin. Even with all these differences I had an awful time getting their last names straight. I was forever mixing up their names.
Peel fourth layer
And the layers of the onion get thinner – One day I was walking down a hallway, and someone asked me if a certain person was in the manufacturing department I had just left. I was then and am still proud to say that I couldn’t answer the question. You see they asked if a certain co-worker, a man with black skin, was in there. I had seen an arm resting on a machine and I had no reelection what color that arm was. And another layer was gone.
Remove another layer
I could maybe peel another one or two layers but last week a very important layer was peeled away. Last week I stripped away a layer that was deep within me. Removing this layer causes me quilt and remorse. This layer, this layer removes my silence. I now see that my silence is the same as the saying “no decision is a decision”. My silence about racism, in myself and around me was in fact agreeing with it. Instead of showing my bias through words I chose to show it through my silence. My silence allowed no was my way of not changing. Not changing was what I did to continue not meeting racism head-on.
My silence was knowingly allowing racism to happen around me (maybe in me) and not do anything about it. I will not be silent anymore!
Another layer, I don’t know what the next layer that must be peeled away will be, but I want it gone, I want every layer of my onion peeled away. I want to rid of any and all racial bias from myself and will do the work to do so.
Communion and Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy Communion is the Lord’s Supper, not ours, and we believe that the host of the Supper invites people to receive the sacrament. As our ritual puts it: “Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.” We do not refuse any who present themselves desiring to receive. Whether you will receive Communion with us is between you and God.
Holy Communion is a sacrament in the United Methodist Church. A sacrament is ordained by Christ and uses symbols and pledges of both your faith and God’s love toward you. A sacrament uses an ordinary object like bread and juice to make visible something extraordinary like God’s grace.
In sharing Holy Communion we gather around a table and ingest the bread and juice as symbols for feeding our spiritual selves so that we can grow in our relationship with God.
Calling this sacrament Holy Communion reminds us that it is an act of the most holy and intimate sharing, making us one with Jesus Christ and part of his body, the church.
We believe that Christ is truly present at the communion table by the power of the Holy Spirit. And we believe that God’s grace is always available in this sacrament. The bread and the juice are elements of nourishment in daily life and they signify the spiritual nourishment we receive from Christ. Participating in this act enables us be Christ’s body in the world today, bringing hope, healing, reconciliation, and love to places that desperately need it.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.”
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, all honor and glory is your, almighty Father,
now and forever. Congregation – Amen
Sharing the elements
The body of Christ broken for you, take and eat
The blood of Christ shed for you, take and drink
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
Grant that we may go into the world
in the strength of your Spirit,
to give ourselves for others,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn TFWS 2173 Shine Jesus Shine
Offering and Prayer of Dedication
Jesus felt tender compassion for the suffering people he met. He realized that many workers would be needed for a great harvest of mercy and love. This day you and I are called to this work for the reign of God. This very day you and I are called to a sweet labor of generosity, healing, and peace. Let us share our gifts so that the ministry of this church will be a growing, vibrant witness to God’s love.
The church needs your gifts, let us offer them to God in gratitude and praise.
Prayer of Dedication
Please pray with me for the dedication of our gifts.
God, our Creator,
we call upon your name and pray for protection and nurture.
Jesus, our Redeemer, we call you Lord and submit our lives as your disciples.
Holy Spirit, our Sustainer, we need your guidance to encourage and lead us on.
Join me in a time of prayer (pray for and time of silence)
Pastoral Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer
Lord we come to you with a mixture of feelings. As we continue with the emotions caused by the COVID virus we add the many emotions that go along with challenges facing our divided nation. And Lord we also have joy, joy that comes from celebrating the graduation of Luke and Joe. So many emotions! How do we process them Lord, how do we make sense of what is happening around us and within us?
Help me Lord to now name my feelings…
How do I deal with these feelings…
And now in the words Jesus taught His disciples, we too pray…
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as 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, forever. Amen
Today our benediction is to be sung by all of us. As Ellen leads us in singing, Let There Be Peace on Earth, may each of us breath each word into our very being. May this be the moment that we truly ask God to help us walk with each other in perfect harmony. The time is now! May the words of this song become your words today, tomorrow, and always.
HYMN UMH # 431 Let There Be Peace on Earth
- Thank you, Gayle Bergloff, for the scripture today.
- Thank you to music leader Ellen Timmers and accompanist Elaine (Kear) Keehr for our worship music
- Thanks to Ben and his helpers for the children’s message
- Bishop Bruce Ough has asked all MN United Methodist churches to align with Gov. Tim Walz’s recently released phased re-opening plan. We are currently in phase two of this five phase plan. We continue to worship on-line and as conditions change we will adjust our worship plan accordingly.
- We are a people that do no harm. We practice physical distancing to minimize harm to others, especially the vulnerable.
- We are a people that do all the good we can.We care for the spiritual and physical needs of our neighbors, providing food, emotional support, and supporting our health care system
- We are a people that stay in love with God.When we love God through prayer, praise, and worship, we grow in love of our neighbor. Love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable.
So until we meet gather again, I wish you peace.