2011 Ash Wednesday Service

I am so excited about our upcoming Ash Wednesday Services that I had to post the order of worship. As you can see, the services are driven by Scripture and song with a mix of hymns on piano and more contemporary selections on acoustic guitar. It was our hope that by eliminating the sermon, the service would encourage everyone to recognize the importance of worship as “the work of the people.” (If you use the service you could of course add a sermon if you wanted.)

I am especially excited about including two selections by the group Gungor off their release Beautiful Things. The entire album is a stunning, powerful worship set, much of which is perfect for Lent. – Lisa <><

For a PDF version of the service, click here
Ash Wednesday Blended Service- CUMC 2011

Trusting God's Provision


I praise Thee that all I am is Thine.
Oh, that I could delight Thee as the lily does, or the tree, or even the sparrows,
just living the life Thou has granted.
Oswald Chambers, Knocking at God’s Door

God is able and faithful to provide, yet we strain and struggle and worry. This liturgy reminds us to trust in God’s provision. It combines Matthew 6:25-33 (NLT) and the Lord’s Prayer with the classic hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness (United Methodist Hymnal #140).

Canticle: Trusting God’s Provision
ONE VOICE: Matthew 6:25-27 (NLT)
Jesus said, “Don’t worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.”

ALL SINGING
Great is thy Faithfulness, verse 1 and refrain

ONE VOICE: Matthew 6:28-30(NLT)
Jesus said, “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!”

ALL SINGING
Great is thy Faithfulness, verse 2 and refrain

ONE VOICE: Matthew 6:31-33(NLT)
Jesus said, “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

ALL SINGING
Great is thy Faithfulness, verse 3 and refrain

ALL PRAYING
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.
Forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever.
Amen.

Trusting God’s Provision Compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the scripture translation and art used in this post, please refer to the copyright information page.

Devotion: Let Me Remember

Remembering by Reginald K. Gee

Psalm 102:11-12
My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.

Recently, I came across the poem Let me remember by Winston O. Abbott. Four times the poet says, “Let me remember” before getting to what he wants to remember: “that my life is not a solitary thing.”

Abbot echoes the wisdom of John Donne, “No man is an island.” How true. What I do and who I am matters far beyond me. Each of us is interconnected to each other and to the natural world. We’re not just interconnected, we’re interdependent. Our actions, our words, our very being, ripple through countless lives. Yes, life is a series of fleeting moments of the present; yet when tied to others and tied to God, they are the powerful stuff of forever.

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.– Helen Keller

Time and again, my vision is shrouded to this truth. Shrouded in the mists of my daily doing: deadlines, calls, chores, family. Shrouded in the mists of heartache and longing. Even the most memorable moments can be lost in the mist of busyness, distraction, or trivial escape. It’s time for the mist to lift. It’s time to re-member, time to put the present bits together for the good of the whole.

Let us pray: Lord, take away the mists that keep us from the fullness of relationship and interaction. Lift the congestion and smog. Blow through. Clear the way till we are fully present to you , to nature, and to one another. In the Name of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Light, we pray. Amen.

Let me remember, by Winston O. Abbott
Let
me
remember
beyond forgetting —
let
me
remember—
let me remember always
for my spirit is often shrouded in the mists
let me remember beyond forgetting
that my life is not a solitary thing
it is a bit of the rushing tide
a leaf of the bending tree
a kernel of grain the golden wheat fields
a whisper of wind about the mountaintop
a reflection of sunlight upon the shining waters
it is fleeting
it is of the moment
it is timeless
it is of eternity.

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For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Celebrating God’s Forgiveness

This worship combination was born out of a deep sense of thankfulness for God’s gift of forgiveness. How can we praise God enough? Our debts are so deep, so great; yet God’s love and power are deeper and greater. The traditional version uses the hymn Praise, my Soul, the King of Heaven (United Methodist Hymnal #66) and the contemporary version uses You Are My King, aka Amazing Love (CCLI Song No. 2456623). The readings are selections from Psalm 103 as translated in the New Jerusalem Bible with one adaptation, the word “Lord” has been substituted for the word “Yahweh.”

For a pdf version of this work, click here  Celebrating God’s Forgiveness

Psalm 103 by Lee Hood

Celebrating God’s Forgiveness-
Traditional Version

ALL SINGING:
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven,
to the throne thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore God’s praises sing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Psalm 103:1-5
VOICE ONE:
Bless the Lord, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
Bless the Lord, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.

VOICE TWO:
He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
He redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
He contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle’s.

ALL SINGING:
Praise the Lord for grace and favor
to all people in distress;
praise God, still the same as ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Glorious now God’s faithfulness.

Psalm 103:8-14
VOICE ONE
The Lord is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
His indignation does not last forever, nor his resentment remain for all time;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.

VOICE TWO
As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.
As tenderly as a father treats his children, so the Lord treats those who fear him;
He knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.

ALL SINGING:
Father-like, God tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame God knows;
Mother-like, God gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Widely yet God’s mercy flows.

Psalm 103:19-22
VOICE ONE
The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven, his sovereign power rules over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels, mighty warriors who fulfill his commands,
attentive to the sound of his words.

VOICE TWO
Bless the Lord, all his armies, servants who fulfill his wishes.
Bless the Lord, all his works, in every place where he rules.

ALL SPEAKING:
Bless the Lord, my soul.

ALL SINGING:
Angels in the heights, adoring,
you behold God face to face;
saints triumphant, now adoring,
gathered in from every race.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Celebrating God’s Forgiveness- Contemporary Version
Psalm 103:1-5
VOICE ONE:
Bless the Lord, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
Bless the Lord, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.

VOICE TWO:
He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
He redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
He contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle’s.

ALL SINGING:
You Are My King, aka Amazing Love (CCLI Song No. 2456623)
Verse and Chorus

Psalm 103:8-14
VOICE ONE
The Lord is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
His indignation does not last forever, nor his resentment remain for all time;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.

VOICE TWO
As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.
As tenderly as a father treats his children, so the Lord treats those who fear him;
He knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.

ALL SINGING:
You Are My King, aka Amazing Love (CCLI Song No. 2456623)
Verse and Chorus

Psalm 103:19-22
VOICE ONE
The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven, his sovereign power rules over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels, mighty warriors who fulfill his commands,
attentive to the sound of his words.

VOICE TWO
Bless the Lord, all his armies, servants who fulfill his wishes.
Bless the Lord, all his works, in every place where he rules.

ALL SPEAKING:
Bless the Lord, my soul.

ALL SINGING:
You Are My King, aka Amazing Love (CCLI Song No. 2456623)
Bridge and Chorus

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Compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

O Heart of Life

I didn’t really plan it this way, but the last few posts seem to share a common theme- Love. I must have it on the brain with St. Valentine’s Day just a few days away. So, in keeping with this most excellent theme I am posting a hymn text written back in 2000 in honor of the 40th wedding anniversary of William and Geraldine Degrenia, my husband’s parents. May this blessing extend to you and those you love as well. – Lisa <><

O Heart of Life
Meter 88.88D
Suggested Tune: Candler (United Methodist Hymnal #386)

O Heart of Life, Your children share
the gift of love You freely give
A love so strong it will not tear
against this jagged life faith-lived.
The world will rant and rail and thrust;
yet safe they’ll be, for You they trust.
Through storm and tear You make a way
for light to shine and hope to stay.

O Heart of Life, Your children seek
Your face in joy as well as pain.
For You are there for them to meet
when sudden loss turns sudden gain.
O fill their days with tender peace
and bless their way with eyes to see
how Your Great Heart beats strong within
the marriage of the two of them.

©1/5/00 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

One, Yet Three: God's Individuality and Community

Celtic Trinity Symbol by Kristen Fox

Excerpt from The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century, translated by William Johnston
Now you say, “How shall I proceed to think of God as he is in himself?” To this I can only reply, “I do not know.” With this question you bring me into the very darkness and cloud of unknowing that I want you to enter. A man may know completely and ponder thoroughly every created thing and its works, yes, and God’s works, too, but not God himself. Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love him whom I cannot know. Though we cannot know him we can love him. By love he may be touched and embraced, never by thought. Of course, we do well at times to ponder God’s majesty or kindness for the insight these meditations may bring. But in the real contemplative work you must set all this aside and cover it over with a cloud of forgetting. Then let your loving desire, gracious and devout, step bravely and joyfully beyond it and reach out to pierce the darkness above.

This lyric was born out of a reflection on the nature of God, One God and yet Three living in perfect freedom, love and unity with one another. God’s desire is for the people of God to live in this same type relationship with God and each other. God in Jesus Christ lays down his life so this might be possible for us. The simplicity of the lyric and tune, harkening to a lullaby, attempts to express the reality of God’s love;  profound and mysterious, yet beautiful, welcoming, creative and humble. – Lisa <><

COMMUNITY
God lives in community
One and yet Three
loving, creating, eternally
We’re called to community
one, yet many
loving, creating, one family

All praise to the Trinity
the One who is Three
who came as a baby
to calm our rough sea
who died on a lonely tree
and rose on day three
loving, creating, our victory

God lives in community
with all who believe
loving, creating,
what we’re to be
We’re called to community
for now we can see
that loving, creating,
makes us all free

© 1998 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to music or to have her original tune for this lyric notated.

For a Pure, Clean Heart

The following worship resource was inspired by the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus, that Jesus would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11; Luke:3:16) Water and fire seem opposed to one another, yet both cleanse and purify. The liturgy is made up of Brian Doerksen’s song Refiner’s Fire (CCLI Song No. 426298) and three scripture readings, all on the theme of seeking God for a pure, clean heart. – Lisa <><

Pure Heart 1 by Avalmaar

For a Pure, Clean Heart
ALL SINGING:
Refiner’s Fire,
verse 1 and chorus

VOICE ONE:
Matthew 3:1-2, 11 (NRSV)
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

VOICE TWO: Malachi 3:2-3 (NRSV)
Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.

ALL SINGING
Refiner’s Fire, verse 2 and chorus

ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 51:1-3, 7, 10-12 (NRSV)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

ALL SINGING
Refiner’s Fire, verse 3 and chorus

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Compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Be sure to also check out Purify Us by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.