April 15 Easter Sunday (Worship online due to Face to Face Worship Cancelled due to Coronavirus)
Our Easter Garden picture from last year’s celebration
Follow along in this service by clicking on the links
for music, message, etc., coming back to the service
NOTE: Communion will be celebrated in this service,
with special permission during these difficult
circumstances from the Bishop and District Superintendent.
If you plan to participate, please set your table before you
begin. Maybe put out a special tablecloth, some candles.
A plate with your bread and cups for the juice.
Perhaps add some flowers or something special that
is meaningful for you. If you don’t have juice and bread,
substitute what you do have. It does not matter so much
what you use, but the symbol that it represents. The
elements are considered an outward sign of an inward grace.
God comes to us in the communion, not us to God. God is
with us even when we are separate from each other.
*Call to Worship
We are still isolated,
still feeling like we have been
left alone in a shadowed place,
but this is the day:
hope tiptoes us awake;
light guides us through the shadows.
We are keeping a safe distance from others,
we are quarantining ourselves,
we are not gathering as God’s people,
but this is the day the Lord:
plants joy in our winter hearts;
drowns out despair’s cries with laughter.
This is a time of uncertainty and fear,
we wonder what today will bring,
we worry about the coming tomorrow,
but this is the day the Lord has made
the day grace does cartwheels in graveyards;
resurrection wonder outshines the brightest sun;
an empty tomb fills us with good news.
© 2020 Thom M. Shuman
Children’s Church — https://sundayschool.works/lessons/easter-sunday-school-lesson/
we are putting on those
of burdens and worries,
but now they we are dressed
in joy and wonder,
which we will wear every day!
we walk through life,
alone, apart, afraid,
our good and faithful
friend, death, at our side,
in our ears,
but now death has lost its power,
now a new Friend walks with us!
we empty our worries
out of our pockets, leaving
them on top of the dresser,
but now, the dresser has been wiped down,
everything has been sanitized with joy!
We could continue to live
in the same old ways, the same old days,
but now, resurrection life is ours,
and we can sing, dance, and rejoice with you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we pray together, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
© 2020 Thom M. Shuman
Scripture: John 20:1-18
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Message with Communion following– Where is Jesus? — https://youtu.be/vzDsUaQzKgA
Take this time to put together your gift back to God of your tithe to the church and mail it to First United Methodist Church of Herkimer, PO Box 88, Herkimer, NY 13350. Consider having your bank automatically send your gift to the church either weekly, monthly or in whatever way you prefer. During this time the church is especially challenged to meet payroll and pay bills. The bills do not change when we are not coming together and taking an offering. Also use this time to brainstorm ideas in how you can reach out tangibly to others to show God’s love to the people around you this week even while living in a self-quarantine state. I am sure you can get creative.
Prayer of Dedication –
Though alone, separated from others, we can still offer our gifts on this joyous morning, praying that they may bring light to those in the shadows, laughter to all who mourn, and hope to those longing for life anew. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Scattered from one another,
we can still go with God into the world.
We will offer healing and hope to all
who wander in the shadows of life.
Separated from one another,
we can still go with Jesus to serve others.
We will listen to the ignored;
we will speak out for the forgotten.
Alone, stuck wherever we live,
we can still join the Spirit in offering steadfast love.
We will hold on to the fallen;
we will rebuild shattered communities.
© 2020 Thom M. Shuman