February 25 – Always Close

Today, we ask for God’s guidance as we come together on this second Sunday of Lent, moving ever closer to Resurrection Day.


PRELUDE — He Leadeth Me

One: In Christ, God has given us a holy invitation.
All: We are invited to walk with God.
One: Turn to God, all the earth.
All: God not only speaks, but God also listens.
One: God hears our prayers, and God answers.
All: Let us exalt God with our praises!

*HYMN — Have Thine Own Way, Lord — #414

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

God, we turn to you in prayer this morning. Come, Holy Spirit, be with us in worship today. You alone are our Creator and our Savior, Dear God. We are hungry to know you more fully and to serve you more completely. We treasure the astounding promises which you fulfilled in the lives of our ancestors and which you are fulfilling in our lives.
God, we praise you for gathering us together here. We come, seeking your guidance and your blessing. Fill us with your Spirit. Make us instruments of your love and grace.
God, full of compassion; lead us and be our peace on the journey. Amen.

*RESPONSE — O How He Loves You and Me — #254

Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave His life, what more could He give;
Oh, how He loves you,
Oh, how He loves me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.

Jesus to Calv’ry did go,
His love for mankind to show.
What He did there, brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you,
Oh, how He loves me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.

GOD’S WORD — Psalm 22:23-31 — Jan Wirtz

SPECIAL MUSIC — The Old Rugged Cross

GOD’S WORD — Mark 8:31-35 — Pastor Dan

SERMON — Pastor Dan


*HYMN — Wherever He Leads I’ll Go — #543

Take up thy cross and follow Me, ”I heard my Master say;
“I gave My life to ransom thee, Surrender your all today”

Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads I’ll go,
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads, I’ll go.

He drew me closer to His side, I sought His will to know,
And in that will, I now abide, Wherever He leads, I’ll go [Refrain]

It may be through the shadows dim, Or o’er the stormy sea,
I take my cross and follow Him, Wherever He leadeth me. [Refrain]

My heart, my life, my all I bring To Christ who loves me so;
He is my Master, Lord, and King, Wherever He leads I’ll go. [Refrain]


*POSTLUDE — Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Feb 18 – God’s Loving Paths


PRELUDE– Spirit of the Living God

One: God has blessed us with the gift of this precious morning.
All: This blessing raises our spirits!
One: Today, we praise our Ever-Faithful God.
All: This week, we have entered into a new season.
One: Our 40-day spiritual journey to Resurrection Day has begun.
All: As we navigate this wilderness, Eternal God is our compass.
One: Let us return to God our Savior.
All: God will put a new and right spirit within us.

*HYMN–My Faith Looks Up to Thee –#462

My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, Take all my guilt away,
Oh, let me from this day Be wholly Thine!
May Thy rich grace impart Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, Oh, may my love toThee
Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread, And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray From Thee aside.
When ends life’s transient dream, When death’s cold, sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, Fear and distrust remove;
Oh, bear me safe above, A ransomed soul!

God of Quiet Strength, we cannot resist evil completely by ourselves. Earthly temptations are around us everywhere. How can we deal with these temptations? We rely on you for help, Great God. You are always present; living among us; living within us. We are deeply grateful to be in your care.
God of Quiet Strength, help us to be still before you – – putting aside our cares and our distresses. In the stillness and in the beauty of this morning, may we be reminded that you are God. You repeatedly invite us to follow you. So then, Christ Jesus; come now, and fill us with the faith to receive your remarkable gift of life eternal. Amen.

*RESPONSE –Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord — #424

Teach me Thy way, O Lord; teach me thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford; teach me thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light; teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine thro’ the cloud and rain, thro’ sorrow, toil, and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain; teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!

GOD’S WORD— Psalm 25:1-10

SPECIAL MUSIC –Great Is Thy Faithfulness

GOD’S WORD — Mark 1:9-15

SERMON -Pastor Dan

Pastoral Prayer, Silent Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer (debts… debtors)

*HYMN –Grace Greater Than Our Sin– #383

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater– yes, grace untold–
Points to the Refuge, the mighty Cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today
. [Refrain]

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?


*POSTLUDE — O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee


February 4 – Source of Strength

Today we break bread together, celebrating open communion as is the tradition of the United Church of Christ. Take a moment to gather the elements so we may gather at Christ’s table as one. All are welcome.


PRELUDE – Amazing Grace

One: Let your light shine, people of God!
All: Let us give glory to God!
One: You and I are blessed!
All: We are called to be God’s light in the world!
One: We can be the salt of the earth.
All: God is within each one of us, inviting us to live with flair and flavor!
One: No eye has seen,
All: No ear has heard,
One: No human imagination has envisioned,
All: What God has prepared for those who love God.

*HYMN – We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer – #27

We praise you, O God, our Redeemer, Creator;
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring;
We lay it before Thee, We kneel and adore Thee,
We bless Thy holy name: glad praises we sing.

We worship Thee, God of our fathers, we bless Thee,
Thru life’s storm and tempest our Guide hast Thou been;
When perils o’er take us, escape Thou wilt make us,
And with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win.

With voices united our praises we offer,
To Thee, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise;
Thy strong arm will guide us, our God is beside us,
To Thee, our great Redeemer, forever be praise!

Living God, you are our joy and our salvation. Through your supreme power, you bring all creation to life. God of astonishing love; we are grateful to you for teaching us your truth. Draw us away from the ways of the world. Empty us of all that would injure or harm. Help us to realize that you are alive within all creation. Lead us to treasure your closeness.
We depend on you, God. You are our Savior; no one else besides you. Your Living Water cleanses; and your Living Word gives life. Come, Holy Spirit; wash over us. Come as light in our darkness. Come as new life to the weary. Come as strength to our weakness. Take us – soul, body and mind. Come, Holy Spirit; we need you now. Guide us to live with grace and compassion. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Into My Heart – #391

Into my heart, into my heart,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus;
Come in today, come in to stay,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

GOD’S WORD – Isaiah 40:21-31 – Sue Wilson

SPECIAL MUSIC – It Is Well with My Soul

GOD’S WORD – Mark 1:29-39

SERMON – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Take Time to Be Holy – #171

Take time to be holy, Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, With Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, Still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive Beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Believing the Table of Jesus Christ is open to all, the United Church of Christ celebrates Open Communion. All who desire to share in the Sacrament are welcome to receive the bread and the cup. The cups in the outer circle on the communion tray contain grape juice. The other cups contain wine.


*HYMN – The Solid Rock – #315

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on HIs unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, His covenant, His blood Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my sould gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.


When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in HIm be found;
Dressed in HIs righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.



*POSTLUDE – Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit

December 31 – God’s Long-Awaited Gift

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!


 PRELUDE  –  Angels from the Realms of Glory 

*CALL TO WORSHIP           

    One:  Sing of God’s glory! 

    All:  Shout to God, all the earth!

    One:  Rejoice!

    All:  Christ is born! 

*HYMN – Joy to the World! – #194

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ,

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make his blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders of His love.

*PRAYER OF INVOCATION                                                     

          God, you are with us!  We have heard the promise of the prophets.  We have rejoiced at the melody of angels’ songs.  We have seen your star in the heavens.  We have followed your star to a humble birthplace.  We have come to be with you, because you have come to be with us.  Now, may all hope and joy fill our lives, as we echo your angels, proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest!  Peace to God’s people on earth.”  Amen.

*RESPONSE – Angels We Have Heard on High –  #206                                  

Angels we have heard on high,

Sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply

Echo back their joyous strains:


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

 GOD’S WORD – Isaiah 61:10-62:3                                

 SPECIAL MUSIC – Christmas Meditation   

 GOD’S WORD – Psalm 148                                                              

 RESPONSIVE READING – The Savior’s Advent / Luke 2:8-20

 – #639   

 SERMON  – Pastor Dan 


We will sing the first TWO verses of each selected carol.


*HYMN –  How Great Our Joy – #192

*RESPONSIVE BENEDICTION                                                                 

     One:  In a lowly stable, the Son of God is born.

     All:  God Most High comes down to earth.

     One:  No one except God would have imagined doing this! 

     All:  Go, tell it on the mountain  –  Jesus Christ is born!    

*POSTLUDE – Joy to the World!  

December 3 – Hope

The Advent Season begins. This season is a time of preparation for the coming birth of God’s Messiah. Today we also celebrate communion. If you are worshipping with us at home, please gather the elements before you get settled so you may celebrate with us.


PRELUDE – Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

One: The Holy One is alive today!
All: God is great and greatly to be praised!
One: The Holy One is living within people of this faith community.
All: We marvel at the splendor of God!
One: The Holy One – God Most High – is closer than our next breath.
All: Let us praise God!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – (verses 1 and 3) – #191

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King:
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Angels We Have Heard on High – (verses 1 and 4) – #206

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echo back their joyous strains:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heav’n and earth!
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth.

Go, Tell It on the Mountain – (verses 1, 2 and 3) – #216

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching O’r silent flocs by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens There shone a holy light.

The shepherds feared and trembled When, Lo! Above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Savior’s birth.

Down in a lowly manger Our humble Christ was born,
And God sent us salvation That blessed Christmas morn.

Living God, you promise to be with your people; and you faithfully fulfill this promise. Long ago, you sent your Spirit to live among us, guiding your creation toward a hope-filled future.
This morning, we come seeking your truth, your justice, your mercy.
O God, you are with us now. Help us to sense your closeness and to value your loving presence. May we recognize and welcome and serve you. Come, O God of peace; fulfill your desires for all the world this Advent. Amen.


RESPONSE – Emmanuel – #185

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
His name is called Emmanuel;

God with us, revealed in us;
His name is called Emmanuel.


O Christmas Tree – (verses 1, 2 and 3) – #221

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, your branches are uplifted.
You seem to say that on this day our world’s supremely gifted
The shining of your cadles bright, reminds us Light has come tonight.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you shine like stars above us;
And with your beauty silent say, “How greatly God must love us!”
You show us Him who with God’s face, brought to our hearts the gift of grace.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, in plainness you were growing
Until we came and brought you here and set your branches glowing.
Your living beauty helps us see how clothed with Christ our lives can be.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you lift our eyes to heaven.

What Child Is This? – (verses 1 and 3) – #202

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh
Come, peasant, king, to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone Him



GOD’S WORD – Psalm 80:1-9, 14-19 – Jim French

SPECIAL MUSIC – I Wonder as I Wander

GOD’S WORD – Mark 13:24-37 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

All people are invited to Christ’s Table. All who desire are welcome to receive the bread and the cup. The cups in the outer ring on the communion tray contain grape juice. The other cups contain wine.

*HYMN – Live Into Hope – worship booklet, p. 65

Live into hope of captives freed,
Of sight regained, the end of greed.
Th’ oppressed shall be the first to see
The year of God’s own jubilee!

Live into hope! The blind shall see
With insight and with clarity,
Removing shades of pride and fear,
A vision of our God brought near.

Live into hope of liberty,
The right to speak, the right to be,
The right to have one’s daily bread,
To hear God’s word and thus be fed.

Live into hope of captives freed,
From chains of fear or want or greed.
God now proclaims our full release
To faith and hope and joy and peace.


*POSTLUDE – Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

November 19 – Extravagant Opportunity

Welcome to Ivy Chapel UCC! Heartfelt wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving.

SILENT REFLECTION – Summons to Thanksgiving – #589


PRELUDE – For the Fruit of All Creation

One: Come into God’s presence with thanksgiving!
All: Make a joyful noise to God!
One: Praise God for wonders all around the world!
All: Rejoice!
One: Give thanks.
All: Bless God’s holy name.

*HYMN – We Gather Together – #597

Daring, Adventurous God, we marvel at the enormity of all that you have made and all that you are in the process of making! You are the Creator and the Caretaker of life everywhere.
Faithful God, there are times when life lulls us to sleep. We forget that you are the Giver of every good gift. Give us hearts to praise your unparalleled strength and goodness. Christ Jesus, you teach us to seek your Kingdom and to believe that nothing is impossible for you.
Extravagant Savior, bring us alive in your Spirit; for we long to be part of your daring, adventurous acts of creation! Make us instruments of your compassion and creativity! Ultimately, may we look beyond ourselves toward becoming a blessing to others. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Shout to the Lord! – worship booklet, pp. 80-81

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You


*HYMN – The Greatest Thing – #106

The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;
I want to know You more, I want to know you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You;

The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;
The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;
I want to love You more, I want to love you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is loving You;

The greatest thing in all my life is serving You;
The greatest thing in all my life is serving You;
I want to serve You more, I want to serve you more.
The greatest thing in all my life is serving You.

RESPONSIVE READING – Thanksgiving to God – #636

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.

Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

SPECIAL MUSIC – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 25:14-30

SERMON – Pastor Dan


*HYMN – Now Thank We All Our God – #592

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us,
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.


*POSTLUDE – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Now go into the world, rejoicing and giving thanks to God!

November 5 – Partners in Christ’s Service

A man prays in front of the setting sun.

Our Totenfest observance in worship this morning is an expression of thanks to God for loved ones who have passed on to life eternal during the past year.

Today, we will also celebrate communion. If you are worshipping with us from home, please gather the elements before you begin so you may partake with us. All are welcome at Christ’s table.


PRELUDE – Shall We Gather at the River?

One: Come; marvel at the splendor of God.
All: This morning, God’s altar serves as a banquet table.
One: Come; accept your invitation.
All: Look, here’s a place card with your name on it!
One: Come; be a guest of the One who sets all people free.
All: All are welcome at the table of this Amazing Savior!

*HYMN – For All the Saints (Verses 1, 2 and 3) – #548

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness dread, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

God of grace, we struggle to trust you in all aspects of our lives. Mistakenly, we seek validation from impermanent, inadequate sources. We confess that we base our identity on human structures, plans, and schemes. We fail to be satisfied with the gifts and purposes which you are giving us.

Deliver us from our inability to depend on you, Faithful God. Lead us to appreciate the ways in which we are uniquely and wonderfully made. Help us to be in community with one another rather than in competition with one another. Guide us, so that we will perceive situations where we may offer your love and care. Move us to respond faithfully where there is real need; for then we truly will be living out your commandment to love our neighbors. Lead us to love you more than anyone or anything else. Renew a spirit of humility and peace within us, we pray. Amen.

*RESPONSE – Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim (Verse 1) – #74

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful name;
The name all-victorious of Jesus extol;
His kingdom is glorious, He rules over all.

GOD’S WORD – Matthew 23:1-12 – Jan Wirtz

TOTENFEST – Thanksgiving for Loved Ones


SPECIAL MUSIC – Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

GOD’S WORD – Joshua 3:1, 7-17 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – Speak, Lord, in the Stillness – #157

Speak, Lord, in the stillness, While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen In expectancy.

Speak, O blessèd Master, In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord, Feel Thy touch of power.

For the words Thou speakest, They are life indeed;
Living bread from heaven, Now my spirit freed!

All to Thee is yielded, I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender, I am Thine alone.

Fill me with the knowledge Of Thy glorious will’
All Thine own good pleasure In Thy child fulfill.

All people are invited to Christ’s Table. All who desire are welcome to receive the bread and the cup. The cups in the outer ring on the communion tray contain grape juice. The other cups contain wine.

*HYMN – O Jesus, I Have Promised – #466

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near:
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.

O Jesus,Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be.
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.


*POSTLUDE – Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Today’s featured Image by jcomp on Freepik

October 29 – The Compassionate Life 

May our worship on this Reformation Sunday inspire each person participating
to become a messenger of our Savior’s Gospel of grace.


PRELUDE – Simple Gifts

*CALL TO WORSHIP – Pat Winship
One: Rejoice, people of God!
All: We praise God for the gift of life!
One: God is gracious and merciful.
All: God is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
One: Our God is a Mighty Fortress.
All: Together, let us praise God!

*HYMN – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – #1

A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same;
And He must win the battle.
82ils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still;
His kingdom is forever!

God Who Leads; we have not reached the Promised Land. We have not yet seen the fulfillment of all that you have spoken down through the generations. There remains much work to be done as your disciples in pursuit of “a just world for all.”

God Who Fulfills Promises; grant that we may have the vision of Moses, who trusted that your Realm Eternal, your precious Land of Milk and Honey, steadily is drawing near. Grant that we may be blessed with the courage of your prophets to continue working on behalf of your justice, even when these efforts seem futile.

Dear God, we give you thanks for gathering us together this morning. Here in your sanctuary, we vividly sense your closeness. We praise you for guiding us toward loving as Christ loves – toward being willing to sacrifice our own lives for others. Fill us with your Spirit of unselfishness, Jesus. We come to learn from you; for we long to walk in your footsteps. Amen.

*RESPONSE – We Bow Down – worship booklet, p. 93

You are Lord of creation and Lord of my life,
Lord of the land and the sea;
you were Lord of the heavens before there was time,
and Lord of all lords you will be.
We bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
we bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
we bow down, and we worship you, Lord;
Lord of all lords you will be.

GOD’S WORD – Psalm 1 – Pat Winship

SPECIAL MUSIC — Be Thou My Vision – Paul Manz

GOD’S WORD – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 & Matthew 22:34-46 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan


UCC STATEMENT OF FAITH – worship booklet, p. 4

*HYMN – Be Thou My Vision – #400

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by or by night,
Waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only the first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


*POSTLUDE – Prelude in Classic Style – Gordon Young

October 15 – Consecration Sunday

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ.
God is guiding us and God will continue guiding us on our life-long journey as growing givers. May today’s worship inspire each one here to become a living channel of God’s abundant love. You are a vital part of Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ. Because of You, God’s Church Changes Lives!

Everyone is invited to a Consecration Celebration in Fellowship Hall following worship.


PRELUDE – How Firm a Foundation

One: God’s blessings are plentiful!
All: Rejoice! God knows what God is doing.
One: You and I are being invited to follow ‘The Way of Jesus.’
All: Each moment, Christ is calling us to ministry.
One: Christ teaches, “Give my people something to eat.”
All: “Why don’t you feed them, Jesus?”
One: Christ commands, “Give them something yourselves.”
All: “But we don’t have enough!”
One: Christ assures, “Yes, you do.”
All: “How far can a few measly loaves and fish go?”
One: “Give it a try. With God, there is always more than enough.”
All: God’s blessings are plentiful!

*HYMN – Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above – #45

Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation;
with healing balm my soul he fills,
and every faithless murmur stills:
o God all praise and glory.

What God’s almighty power hath made,
his gracious mercy keepeth;
by morning glow or evening shade
his watchful eye ne’er sleepeth.
Within the kingdom of his might,
lo! all is just and all is right:
to God all praise and glory

The Lord is never far away,
But through all grief distressing
An ever present help and stay
Our peace, and joy, and blessing;
As with a mother’s tender hand,
He leads His one, HIs chosen band:
To God all praise and glory.

Then all my gladsome way along
I sing aloud thy praises,
that men may hear the grateful song
my voice unwearied raises:
be joyful in the Lord, my heart!
Both soul and body bear your part!
To God all praise and glory.

God of abundant grace; we worship you with joy. You offer love and life eternal to all people. What amazing gifts these are!
Master, you are Living Water who restores our souls. We are humbled that you have chosen us and called us friends. You are with each one of us in every personal situation that we are facing.
Risen Savior, we are grateful; and we are here this day to lift our praises to you! Amen.

*RESPONSE – Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart – worship booklet, p. 42

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son.

And now let the weak say “I am strong”
Let the poor say “I am rich”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.

And now let the weak say “I am strong”
Let the poor say “I am rich”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks, give thanks.



GOD’S WORD – Psalm 57:1-3, 9-11

SPECIAL MUSIC – I Surrender All

GOD’S WORD – Mark 1:21, 29, 32-42 & Mark 5:24-30, 32-34

SERMON – Because of You, God’s Church Changes Lives! – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – We Give Thee but Thine Own (Verses 1 &2) – #622
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be:
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our first-fruits give.

‘Always-Giving-Extra’ God, you extend to each of us a sacred invitation to become one of your disciples. What an amazing offer! ‘The Way that leads to Life’ can be narrow and difficult. Yet all things are possible with you.
We receive so much from you, Jesus. You are the One who generously blesses with ‘living water!’ Your life is our model for climbing higher; going farther; giving joyfully; loving beyond limit! May we receive the Spirit of love which you offer, and may we respond by giving with ‘joy beyond measure!’ Amen.

We offer God our expressions of intended giving, asking God to consecrate them. All are invited to offer God your commitment supporting Christ’s ministries at Ivy Chapel UCC by placing your 2024 Estimate of Giving Card in the designated offering basket during singing of the final hymn. Be exalted, O God! Let your glory be over all the earth!

*CONSECRATION HYMN – Amazing Grace – #299

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace, my fears relieved;
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
We have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought us safe thus far,
And Grace will lead us home.

When we’ve been there then thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.


*POSTLUDE – The Pipers – Dandrieu

October 1 – World Communion Sunday

Because of you, God’s church changes lives! Today, we join Christians around the world in celebrating World Communion Sunday. If you are worshipping with us from home, please gather the elements before the service begins so we may partake at Christ’s table together.

Watch this week’s service on YouTube.



One: Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
All: In all its fullness, the world belongs to God!
One: How astonishing is the goodness of God.
All: Watch and listen closely; for God is here.
One: God is continuously nourishing life!
All: God’s blessings abundantly overflow!

*HYMN – Christ for the World We Sing – #545

Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring,
With loving zeal;
The poor, and them that mourn,the faint and overborne,
Sinsick and sorrow-worn, For Christ to heal.

Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring,
With fervent prayer;
The wayward and the lost, by restless passions tossed,
Redeemed at countless cost, From dark despair.

Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring,
With one accord,
With us the work to share, with us reproach to dare,
With us the cross to bear, For Christ our Lord.

Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring,
With joyful song;
The newborn souls, whose days, reclaimed from error’s ways,
Inspired with hope and praise, to Christ belong.

God, you are more than merely ‘beside us.’ You are the very life within us; for we are yours. All people are your children; and all are in your care. Human beings do not create our own security. You are our security, God.
You are the Maker of life, who shapes us and re-shapes us. All that is good and faithful comes from you. It is thanks to you, Ever-Creating God, that miracles blossom; that relationships are healthy; that sorrow receives comfort; that brokenness is healed; that souls purely love one another.
We are humbled by and thankful for your tender mercies, O God. Morning by morning, we seek you. Let your beauty be seen in us, we pray. Lead us as we continue on this life-long journey toward living as your children of grace. Amen.

*RESPONSE – We Are the Reason – #245

We are the reason that He gave His life,
We are the reason that He suffered and died.
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give,
To show us the reason to live.
(Sing two times)

GOD’S WORD– Exodus 17:1-7 – Sue Wilson



GOD’S WORD – Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, 32, 37-39, 51-54 & Matthew 21:23-32 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

World Communion Sunday

*COMMUNION HYMN – Break Thou the Bread of Life – #175

Break Thou the Bread of Life, Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O Living Word.

Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, To me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread By Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, All fetters fall,
And I shall find my peace My All in all.

Thou art the Bread of Life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth That saveth me;
Give me to eat and live With Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, For Thou art Love.

Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord, Now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, And make me see;
Show me the truth concealed Within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.


All who desire to receive the bread and the cup are welcome to share in the Sacrament at Christ’s Table. Cups in the outside ring on the communion tray contain grape juice. All other cups contain wine. Please come forward down the center aisle. Return to your seat by way of the West Side aisle.

God, we are grateful. You welcome us into your Church. You welcome all people as guests at your table. We thank you, Christ Jesus, for this communion. The bread and the cup are simple yet marvelous reminders of your holy love. We pray for all people throughout your world this day. May each and every person joyously experience being fed, nourished, strengthened, and loved by you! Amen.

*HYMN – Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love – worship booklet, p. 57

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet,
Master who acts as a slave to them.

Neighbors are wealthy and poor,
varied in color and race,
neighbors are near us and far away.

These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love,
all these are neighbors to us and you.

Loving puts us on our knees,
silently washing their feet,
this is the way we should live with you.



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