Thank you to LINDA KAUFMANN for leading out worship and for an inspiring message!
Ann Marie S. - Prayers for all those in need of the services of the Appalachia Service Project but are unable to receive the help they need.
Cindy G. - Prayers for our member Leslie H. who fell on Easter and has been in rehab but not be able to return to Independent Living. She will be moved to an assisted living facility. Cindy is asking for cards to be sent once an address is known, to help Leslie as she adjusts to her new situation. More information will be made available cone we have it.
Bev A. - Prayers of Thanksgiving that she herself and all realtors are able to resume working.
Carol W. - Prayers for a former neighbor and his family. The neighbor has been in the hospital for 3 weeks with Covid 19. In the meantime the adult son Henry died due to an equestrian accident. Prayers of comfort and peace for the entire ESH family. (According to the Obituary, Henry is, along with his wife and father, survived by five sons and three daughters, all at home,)
Linda K - Lifted up prayers for Linda and Greg Manz who lost their son Scott. (https://rlwilliamsfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/1640/Scott-Manz/obituary.html)
Pastor Suzanne - Prayers for all of you. For staying connected with Trinity, for attending online worship, and for all you do. I thank God for all of you! And special thanks to Linda Kaufmann for today's service and message.
Today we were confronted with technical difficulties as the ZOOM service was not working well. The service consisted of several parts of a worship service lad by the Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ. Below is the link to the complete service - and parts thereof - led by the Council of Conference Ministers.
Here is the entire services, including parts omitted in our service
Prayer requests for today included all students as the semesters are coming to an end,
A prayer request sent to Pastor Suzanne by Heather W.: "I found out late yesterday afternoon my job status. I am NOT furloughed. I did receive a cut in pay but it is manageable, so my family is going to be okay.I do ask for continued prayers for my coworkers, especially those who were furloughed and those whose pay cut is a harder burden."
Angela asked for prayers for people she has come in contact with through the mask sewing project, especially two women who are currently undergoing cancer treatment and a family who was homeless and resided in a motel but was able to find an apartment and was able to move.
Below please find the video of today's worship service. Today was supposed to be my day off, so we read Chapter 34 of WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING by BRIAN MCLAREN.
Focus scripture is included in the video.
Attached is the video. Scripture readings are included in the video!
Have a blessed Easter Day!!!
On March 11, I was the last pastor to be able to preach for the 2020 Lenten Sermon Series by the Collegeville-Trappe Ministerium. Due to the Pandemic, all other services had to be cancelled. Below is a video of me "preaching" the sermon from that day for all of you from my office.
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah[b] remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”
Sadly, the video of the Palm Sunday service crashed while it was converting and was lost for good. There will be no recording of the Palm Sunday service. However, we hope that you will join us for our Maundy Thursday service. Log in and call in information is on the website. Our hope is that the service will record.
Matthew 6:19-7:12 - New Revised Standard Version
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
Matthew 6:19-7:12 - Contemporary Version
“There are two paths and two gates before you. Go in through the narrow gate not the wider one, just because it seems easier.
What I mean is: Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
“Along the way, watch out for false prophets or preachers who smile a lot and tell you everything you want to hear. They are more interested in accolades and in what you can do for them than they are vested in your salvation. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character.
“You will recognize false teachers by their fruits. You don’t find sweet, delicious grapes growing on thorny bushes, do you? You don’t find delectable figs growing in the midst of prickly thistles. People and their lives are like trees. Good trees bear beautiful, tasty fruit, but bad trees bear ugly, bitter fruit. A good tree cannot bear ugly, bitter fruit; nor can a bad tree bear fruit that is beautiful and tasty.
And what happens to the rotten trees? They are cut down. They are used for firewood.
Remember this: A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.
“Knowing the correct words—saying ‘Master, Master’ or “Lord, Lord,” for instance—doesn’t mean that you truly know me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills.
I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You got it wrong. All you did was use me to make yourselves important.’
I won’t be impressed.
“These words I speak to you are foundational words; they are words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
“But if you just read my words but don’t try to understand them or if you are listening but not hearing what I am saying - and don’t work my words into your life, you are like a foolish carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
With this, Jesus concluded his address.
The crowd was both surprised and in awe as they burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this.
His teaching was nothing like that of other religious teachers, but it was clear that he was speaking truths.
Pastor Suzanne Schwarz-Green is the pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, UCC, in Collegeville, PA.