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Bulletin – January 17, 2021

Second Sunday after Epiphany


Lighting the Christ Candle

We light this candle not only as a symbol of light in this place, or only as a symbol of light in our lives, but as a symbol of light in a world that so often lives in darkness. Epiphany is the season of light, may the light of your presence O God illuminate not only our lives but the world with your love, compassion, and mercy. May the glory of your love, like this candle illuminating the darkness, shine through each one of us for the whole world to see.

Call to Worship

One:   Jesus comes along side us and calls us by name:
All:     come and follow me. Jesus calls!

One:   A simple call. A hard call.
All:     Because following requires leaving, sometimes leaving so much behind.

One:   And we look around to see who else Jesus could be talking to.
All:     And we look around to see the trappings of the life we know.

One:   It’s hard to leave our nets and walk away from the lake. It is hard to leave our old life.
All:     But we have come this far, to this place, where we can listen and be transformed.
(adapted from Joanna Harade)

Hymn – “New Every Morning”

New every morning is the love our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought, restored to life, and power, and thought.

New mercies each returning day hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sing forgiven, new thought of God, new hopes of heaven.

If on our daily course our mind be set to hallow all we find,
New treasures still of countless price God will provide for sacrifice.

The trivial round, the common task, will furnish all we ought to ask,
Room to deny ourselves, a road to bring us daily nearer God.

Only, O God, in your dear love fit us for perfect rest above.
And help us, this and every day, to live more nearly as we pray.

Prayer of Approach

You call us to follow, to come and follow you, but what you are really calling us to, is to change. But we are afraid. We are afraid of changing, of leaving our old selves, our old lives behind. We are afraid of this unknown life that you call us towards.

Even though we feel our spirit being called to you, we turn away, continuing to follow the path of this world. But we know that your call is persistent always beckoning us to new life, to new life with and in you.

Help us to truly hear your call, to listen with our hearts and souls, to hear your call to come and follow. Give us the courage to answer your call, to follow with all that we are, so that we might find new life in you. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Time for All Ages

Hymn – “Will You Come and Follow Me”

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?|
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Christ, your summons echoes true when you but call me name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

The Word

Scripture Reading:          1 Samuel 3:1-20

1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 The LORD called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 11 Then the LORD said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15 Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17 Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the LORD; let him do what seems good to him.”

19 As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beer-Sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the LORD.

Scripture Reading:          John 1:43-51

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

Meditation – “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Anthem – “Servant Song”

The Response


One:   Eternal God, you are the maker of us all, and we are your creation, people formed in your image, as individuals, as community; formed and fed and furnished with understanding of who you are and of who and whose we are.
          We worship you today in recognition of your calling, of your communicating, of your caring to invite us to share in your creative and healing work. We are here because we have heard you speak in us and through others. Help us, loving God, to ever respond to you and your invitation to your grace…We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   God of all of our moments, of our days and our nights, you speak and you act in the world around us, not only to call all people to you, but also to direct and guide us in the way of healing ad wholeness. Awake us God, to hear what you would say to us. Help us to open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts to your presence. Help us to know when it is your voice we are hearing and when it is our prejudices and desires to which we are paying heed… We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   God, loving head of the church, we pray that your church may rise up with renewed commitment in answer to your call, that your people may be instruments of your grace and love…We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   God, who offers us unending grace, we pray for those who consider themselves inadequate and dismiss or avoid your calling in their lives. Give them a new vision, a vision in which you are their strength and their hope…We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   God of inspiration and imagination, we pray for those who, in answering your call, must leave the known for the unknown, the oasis for the desert, the comfortable for the uncertain. Grant them courage and steadfast faith…We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   We pray too, today, O God, for those in want and need—for those of us and the larger community who suffer in body or in soul. We remember before you…We offer our prayers to you this morning.

All:     Lord hear our prayer…

One:   Loving Father and Mother, bless us all with an abundant faith, a fruitful ministry, a joyful life. Bless us and all those who gather together to continue the work of Jesus, who came to heal, save, and deliver us all, and who taught us to pray as one family, saying…

All:     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 and ever. Amen.

Hymn – “Jesus Calls Us”

Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult of our life’s wild restless sea,
Day by day his clear voice sounding, saying, “Christian, follow me.”

Long ago apostles heard it by the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us, saying, “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures, “Christian, love me more than these.”

Jesus calls us by your mercies, Saviour, may we hear your call,
Give our hearts to your obedience, serve and love you best of all.


You speak in unexpected places and with unexpected voices God, as we go into this week help us to open our hearts, our souls, ourselves to hear you call to us. Give us the courage to follow your call and be your people in the world, knowing that as we go, we go with you, always. May the God of unending grace and infinite love go with you today and every day. Amen.

Response “I have decided to follow Jesus,”

I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back.

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