March 21, 2021
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
Attendance was taken by ushers as you entered
Offerings may be placed in the plate by the doors.
The bulletins were placed specifically for social distancing, one household per pew. Please sit exactly where you found your bulletin.
Please keep your masks on and remain seated through the whole service.
There will be no singing but songs will be played, and no physical contact.
You may read along silently,
The office and the rest of the building remain closed, but you can contact Karla during her office hours.
March 21st will be a Session Meeting right after Church
WORDS OF WORSHIP
Leader: Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made the heavens and the Earth.
Response: We will trust in His blessings and seek His grace in our lives.
Leader: Our world and our country are in perilous times due to the pandemic; but even more because of sin.
Response: God is stronger and more wonderful than any peril we may face. Let us trust Him with our lives and faith.
As we reach the first Sunday of Spring, we are filled with a sense of hope for a better, warmer, and more blessed future. The past months have been an extreme trial for us all, and many have suffered much during these times. We pray that our love for You, o God, and our faithfulness to Your scriptures will lead us into a stronger future and more harmony and peace in the days to come. Amen.
HYMN “O For a Closer Walk With God” No. 397
CONFESSION AND PARDON.
Gracious God, we come before you in need of forgiveness and grace. You call us to trust in you completely, but we do not. We are timid and fearful as we follow your lead. We justify our actions and words, though we know they are not what You require. We struggle to understand the new life Christ offers, preferring old habits to risky change. Forgive us, we pray, Help us to be born again into the life of Christ, trusting that you have included us by grace in the family of faith. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast mercy. In the precious name of Jesus, I declare to you that our Savior, Jesus Christ, will forgive the sin that you confess and sustain your effort to walk in newness of life. Amen.
THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
As our Lord has provided everything we need and much of what we can imagine; so let us provide for the needs and the desires we have for our church family, the larger Church, and the world.
We present our best gifts to You, o Lord, in order that genuine ministry may proceed from this place into our community and into the larger world. Bless them, and the givers, with Your mercy and love. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
God of wonders and signs, we come to Your word again and again, seeking understanding and the new life it offers. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, illumine our hearts and minds so that we may believe this testimony and have eternal life. In the Name of Jesus Christ, our teacher and Savior, we pray. Amen.
SCRIPTURE LESSONS Isaiah 6: 1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Acts 9: 1-7
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
I Corinthians 12: 4-14
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines .12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
SERMON “The Call Of God.”
Welcome! This is the Facebook broadcast of the morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa. To watch this video, go to Facebook, type in “Dale Dykstra videos” on the subject line and it should pop up. I am the Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra. I am a candidate today to become the Interim Pastor of this congregation. I come to you from 48 continuous years of ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), serving in Pennsylvania for 23 years and Illinois for 25 more. My most recent service has been a 17-month Interim Pastorate at the First Presbyterian Church of Milan, Illinois. It ended at the last Sunday of February as they called a full-time minister beginning March 1, 2021.
I have studied your Annual Report from last year, and spoke with your Clerk, Elders, and members about your parish and its needs as they gave my wife Donna and me a tour of your church buildings. If you do employ me, I will want to hear from as many of you as I quickly can about your hopes and dreams for our future together.
I have been impressed with all that you have to work with! These are truly magnificent facilities –full of beauty and of meaning. You have an important sense of the rich history of your family of faith and a respect for the saints who have gone before. I have been assured that there are sufficient funds available in your endowed accounts to enable future programming to reach and attract new members. Truly, if this were a New Church Development, I would say we were blessed beyond measure!
What it seems that we need are people!
We need to energize the members we have with hope and the desire to work hard at church building.
We need to form a positive approach and mindset about ourselves to approach prospective new members.
We will need to find ways to invite the larger community into our building and into our programming to acquaint them with us.
We will need to welcome new members and involve them in our ministries.
We have various types of people- I don’t know you just yet, but my experience in ministry allows me to make some assumptions.
We have leaders who are currently serving and have served for a long time.
We have newly elected or appointed folks who are bursting with new ideas and energy.
Those who have served, but have “graduated” to “retired” status.
Guests who seek a church that welcomes new people and ideas.
Others blessed by our worship but avoided further service.
But excuses may abound! “ I have had my turn”; “ I have all I can handle”; “I don’t want to get involved.”
WHY SHOULD WE SERVE NOW??
BECAUSE IT IS OUR CALLING!!!
As for me, I fully believe that God called me to ministry 53 years ago. After two more years of college and 3 of Seminary, I have answered with 48 years of service. ANYTHING A CHURCH NEEDS ---THAT’S MY JOB!!
What does the Bible say? I have given you four citations. In Isaiah, God confronts him with a vision asking a key question ---OUR question! “Who will go for us?” The correct answer is “Here Am I”.
Paul was an enemy outside the new “Way” family of faith—not a believer, but a persecutor. God knocked him off his animal, blinded him and spoke to him. “Saul, why do you persecute me?” Paul’s life was changed for every day from then on.
The disciples of Jesus were regular fellows – townsmen, fishermen, tax collectors, etc. Jesus charged each of them “Follow me!” –that is OUR charge too! They left their usual patterns to make Jesus’ work the center of their lives.
Now I come back to us, Paul speaks of US using our spiritual gifts for the good of the body of Christ—OUR CHURCH. He uses the picture of the body –hand, feet, ears, eyes to show how we are to blend our particular assets and talents together. WITH 82 PEOPLE WE ARE GOING TO NEE TO ALL GO FORWARD TO RE-GROW OUR CHURCH.
It is my fervent prayer that we will say “Here We Are – Send us!” and become disciples of our Lord in His Service.
MANY PARTS—ONE BODY. Amen.
HYMN “Christ if the Upward Way” No. 344
“Christ of the upward way, my guide divine,
AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version
HYMN “Called As Partners In Christ’s Service” No 343
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son, and into the Holy Spirit within you and me, may it rest and abide within us, now and forever more. Amen.