ANNOUNCEMENTS

Confirmation Sunday begins at 10:00 a.m. preceded by a breakfast for the confirmands and their families at 9:00.  Wednesday Bible Studies meet at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Men’s Studies meet Thursday night at 7 at the Bayport UMC and Saturday morning at 7:30.  Next week is Music Sunday!

OPENING SONG:  “Thunder/Awesome God”

Here’s a mash-up by our church band of two songs we don’t believe anyone else has ever done together!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Come and worship, people of all ages!
CHILDREN AND YOUTH, JOIN YOUR ANCESTORS!
May every generation praise the Lord,
AND MAY THEIR SONGS INSPIRE OTHERS TO SING!

UNISON PRAYER

LORD JESUS,
WE THANK YOU TODAY
FOR THE WITNESS OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE,
WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO BECOME YOUR FOLLOWERS
AND TO BECOME MEMBERS OF OUR CHURCH.
MAY WE DO ALL IN OUR POWER
TO INCREASE THEIR FAITH,
FORTIFY THEM WITH HOPE,
AND ENCOURAGE THEM IN LOVE.
AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE:  Acts 2:17, NIV

In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

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 forever.
Amen. 

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

Thank you, Lord, for Alexander, Brayden, Brendon, Daniel, Isabella, Makenzie, and Steffani, who are joining the church this morning!  May their faith continue to grow throughout their lives, and may they always feel the blessings of the Holy Spirit!

We pray for the people of Ukraine ~ for those who are mourning, those who are injured,
those whose families have been separated, those who are fighting, those who have fled
and those who cannot leave.  Bless the nation with your Spirit and intervene with your divine hand.

Bless Janet H. in her struggle to be rid of a blood clot on the brain; we pray that she might be stabilized and healed without surgery.  Be with those in our church and community who have been recently diagnosed with COVID.  May their symptoms be light and their recovery be swift.  Be with Deb T.’s mom as she deals with setbacks from a recent illness and injury; help her oxygen levels to stabilize.

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Pat, Jim, Joanna, Sue, Joan, Mary, Lois, Dannie, Kathleen, Liz, Diane, Laurie and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts, attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON:  1 Timothy 4:12, Good News Bible

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

SUNDAY SERMON (Print only this week)

Today is Confirmation Sunday, and our seven confirmands will all be speaking in church, sharing a prayer, statement of belief, or mini-sermon.  They have been attending church throughout the school year, meeting as a class, and participating in service projects.

Two weeks ago, they took a confirmation test that was unlike any other.  Remembering that the Bible was written because people shared and remembered stories in groups, we asked the class to work as a team and to write down everything they could remember, from creation to heaven.  After 45 minutes, we asked their parents to come in and write down anything they thought their kids had forgotten.

The results were amazing, and rather amusing.  The youth did great, the parents not so great!  This isn’t such a surprise, as the youth had been in classes all year.  But it also highlights a few things about church communities:

1) The oldest people are often the most knowledgeable, but not always.  Sometimes God works through young people; they can even be teachers and leaders, like David, Samuel, Timothy, and the boy who volunteered his bread and fish to feed thousands.  In fact, Jesus tells his disciples that they must become like children in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven.  Children are always aware that they don’t know everything, so they are eager to learn in order to grow.  They have ideals that older people often abandon.  They are always ready to believe in love.

2. Churches are teams.  The Confirmation Class took their test as a team because faith does not exist in a vacuum.  We need each other for support and encouragement, and to help each other remember teachings and stories.  In the same way, confirmation is not just an event for youth, but for their families.  If parents stop attending church, usually their children do as well; but if families attend together, their faith can grow as one.  Extending the idea even further, churches are comprised of intergenerational families who rise or fall based not on the sum total of their individual faith, but of their communal faith.  To paraphrase a famous statement, the church that prays together stays together!

3. If we want our churches to remain vibrant, we are called upon to recognize our young people as equals; on this day, our confirmands become full members of our church.  This year’s class has impressed me with their faith, love, optimism, enthusiasm, caring for others and volunteering spirit.  If this were our own Christian resume, we’d be overjoyed!  Our youth remind us of the best in ourselves, the ideals we once had or still have, and the reason we became Christians in the first place.  Given all that is going on in the world, and the crisis of the global church, the faith of our confirmands is an extension of the Good News, a breath of fresh spiritual air.

We are truly blessed this morning!  Thank you, Jesus, for sending us such encouragement!  Amen.

OFFERING

As you fill out your checks and envelopes, please enjoy our band’s version of “Spirit in the Sky,” as requested by Mattie (drummer!).

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for the commitment and example of our youth.  May we continue to learn from them as they learn from us, and together may we continue to learn from you.  We dedicate these offerings to your teaching and your love.  Amen!

BENEDICTION

As we go forth, may we remember that we are part of a community, both physical and spiritual, old and young, new to the faith and lifelong travelers.  May we support each other along the way, carrying each other’s burdens and encouraging each other in faith, hope and love.  Amen.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you for worshiping with us.  May you feel the blessing of God today and always!