March 6 Livestream – 1st Sunday of Lent – Wilderness

Welcome to Ivy Chapel United Church of Christ. We’d like to thank Sarah Bereza for serving as our worship musician today. A reminder that we will be celebrating communion today, so be sure to gather the elements before worship begins so you can share in the experience with us.

A reminder to contribute to this year’s Lenten offering to benefit area children in need.


PRELUDE – My Faith Looks Up to Thee– arr. Mark C. Jones

One: We have come to worship God.
All: Living God blesses people with limits and boundaries, with free will and choices.
One: This week, we have entered a new season.
All: As God’s Church, we have set out on a fresh, Lenten journey.
One: Today, we remember some of the temptations Jesus faced.
All: May the way Jesus conquered all temptations be our guide for
responding faithfully in our own personal wildernesses.

One: May this time of worship serve as an oasis in our desert wilderness.
All: Let us rely on God’s strength in all situations.

*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 to Thee 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!

Life-Saving God; above all, you are our heart’s desire. You alone make our spirits soar. You have enabled us to break free from an exacting and exhausting world to come into your sanctuary.
Breathe new life into us, Faithful and Loving God. Bless us, we pray, with eyes to see earthly demands for what they truly are. Teach us. Change us. Lead us to love all people with your steadfast love, Jesus. By your grace and peace, empower our witness, Life-Saving God; for we long to serve you. Amen.

*RESPONSE – El Shaddai – #18
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
El-elyon na Adonia,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
We will praise and lift you high,
El Shaddai.

GOD’S WORD – Psalm 91:1-6, 9-16 – Pastor Dan

SPECIAL MUSIC – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – arr. Michael Burkhardt

GOD’S WORD – Luke 4:1-13 – Pastor Dan

SERMON – Pastor Dan

*HYMN – I Need Thee Every Hour – #169
I need Thee every hour, Most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine Can peace afford

I need Thee oh I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
Oh bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee

I need Thee every hour, Stay Thou nearby
Temptations lose their power When Thou art nigh

I need Thee every hour In joy or pain
Come quickly and abide Or life is vain

I need Thee every hour, Most Holy One
Oh make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed son

All who desire to receive the bread and the cup are welcome to receive.

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

*HYMN – I Want Jesus to Walk with Me – #480
I want Jesus to walk with me.
I want Jesus to walk with me.
All along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

In my trials, Lord, walk with me.
In my trials, Lord, walk with me.
When my heart is almost breaking,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me.
When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me.
When my head is bowed in sorrow,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

*SENDING OUT – Pastor Dan

*POSTLUDE Toccata in B Minor – Eugène Gigout

Feb. 28 Virtual Worship – Always Close

Thank you for joining us on the second Sunday in Lent. A note that we will continue online worship, but will be welcoming you back into our sanctuary beginning next week. Registration is required – click here to learn more.

Here is the order for worship:

Prelude – Anna DiVesta

Responsive Call to Worship – Pastor Dan Wilson
One: In Christ, God offers all people 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 now!

Hymn – Come, Holy Spirit – worship booklet, p. 35

  1. Come as a wisdom to children, Come as a new sight to the blind,
    Come, Lord, as strength to my weakness, Take me: soul, body and mind.

Come Holy Spirit, I need You, Come, sweet Spirit, I pray;
Come in Your strength and Your power, Come in Your own gentle way.

  1. Come as a rest to the weary, Come as a balm for the sore,
    Come as a dew to my dryness: Fill me with joy evermore,


  1. Come like a spring in the desert, Come to the withered of soul;
    O let Your sweet healing power, Touch me and make me whole.


Prayer of Invocation – Pastor Dan
One: Let us pray.
All: God, we long to live faithfully. We long to walk in the ways of Christ.
To do this, we need the light and the salvation you offer. Come to us this morning.
Come; fill us with your grace and mercy. Open our hearts in new ways to the promise of your healing grace.
God of Life, we want you to be the One we serve. We want you to lead us. Strengthen us to overcome any influences that are threatening to mislead us. Fill us with faith in you. May our love for you and our devotion to you continue growing. Amen.

Response – El Shaddai – #18

El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El Elyon na Adonai;
Age to age you’re still the same by the power of the name
El Shaddai, El shaddai. Er kahn ka na Adonai;
We will praise and lie You high, EL Shaddai.

Children’s Message – Sue Wilson

God’s Word – Psalm 22:1-2, 22-31 – Pastor Dan

Special Music – Just a Closer Walk with Thee

God’s Word – Mark 8:31-38 – Pastor Dan

Sermon – Pastor Dan

Prayers of God’s Church concluding with the Lord’s Prayer – Pastor Dan

Hymn – Nearer, My God, to Thee – #436

  1. Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!
    E’en though it be a cross That raises me;
    Still all my song shall be, Nearer my God to Thee,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.
  2. Though like the wanderer, The sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me, My rest a stone;
    Yet in my dreams I’d be Nearer my God to Thee,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.
  3. There let the way appear Steps unto heav’n’
    All that Thou sendest me In mercy giv’n;
    Angels to beckon me Nearer my God to Thee,
    Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee. use,
  4. Then, with my waking thoughts Bright with Thy praise
    Out of my stony griefs, Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be Nearer my God to Thee,
    Nearer, my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee.
  5. Or if on joyful wing, Clearing the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot, Upward I fly,
    Still all my song shall be Nearer my God to Thee,
    Nearer, my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

Benediction – Pastor Dan

Postlude – Anna DiVesta

June 28, 2020 Virtual Worship

This week’s hymns:

Psalm 89: I Will Sing of the Mercies

  1. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing, I will sing.
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.
    With my mouth I will make known your faithfulness, your faithfulness;
    with my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.
  2. All the hosts of the angels sing God’s praise forever for the things he has done.
    All the hosts of the angels sing God’s praise forever,
    all the hosts of the angels sing God’s praise.
    Who can be compared to God in faithfulness, in faithfulness?
    Who can be compared to God in faithfulness to all generations?
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

Help Us Accept Each Other

  1. Help us accept each other as Christ accepted us;
    Teach us as sister, brother each person to embrace.
    Be present, Lord, among us and bring us to believe.
    We are ourselves accepted and meant to love and live.
  2. Teach us, O Lord, Your lessons, as in our daily life.
    We struggle to be human and search for hope and faith.
    Teach us to care for people, for all, not just for some;
    To love them as we find them, or as they may become.
  3. Let Your acceptance change us, so that we may be moved
    In living situations to do the truth in love;
    To practice Your acceptance until we know by heart
    The table of forgiveness and Laughter’s healing art.
  4. Lord, for today’s encounters with all who are in need,
    Who hunger for acceptance, for righteousness and bread,
    We need new eyes for seeing, new hands for holding on;
    Renew us with Your Spirit; Lord, free us, make us one!

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Eastertide Service from the Conference of Ministers

Thank you to the United Church of Christ Conference of Ministers for sharing this special worship.

If you would like to follow along, you click here to download the bulletin.

If you are unable to view the video, or would like to read along, click here to download the full transcript.

May 3 Virtual Worship

We are glad you could join us again for this week’s virtual worship, the fourth Sunday of Easter.

More Love to Thee

  1. More love to Thee, O Christ, More love to thee!
    Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
    This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee,
    More love to Thee, More love to Thee!
  2. Once earthly joy I craved, Sought peace and rest;
    Now Thee alone I seek, Give what is best;
    This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee,
    More love to Thee, More love to Thee!
  3. Let sorrow do its work, Send grief and pain;
    Sweet are Thy messengers, Sweet their refrain;
    When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee,
    More love to Thee, More love to Thee!
  4. Then shall my latest breath Whisper Thy praise;
    This be the parting cry My heart shall raise;
    This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee,
    More love to Thee, More love to Thee!

Spirit Song

  1. O let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love,
    let Him fill your life and satisfy your soul.
    O let him have the things that hold you and his Spirit, like a dove,
    will descend upon your life and make you whole.

Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs.

  1. O come and sing t his song with gladness as you r hearts are filled with joy,
    lift your hands in sweet surrender to his name.
    O give him all your tears and sadness, give him all your years of pain
    and you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name.


April 26 Virtual Worship

Of course we wish we could worship in person. However, we are blessed to be able to share this virtual experience with you.

Today’s scripture reading is Luke 24:13-35

Here, O My Lord, I See Thee

  1.  Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;

       Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

       Here grasp with firmer hand h’eternal grace,

       And all my weariness upon Thee Lean.

3.    I have no help but Thine; nor do I need

       Another arm save Thine to lean upon;

       It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;

       My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone.

4.    Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness;

       Mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood.

       Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;

       Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord, my God.

Shine, Jesus, Shine

Lord, the light of your love is shining

In the midst of the darkness, shining

Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us

Set us free by the truth you now bring us

Shine on me, shine on me

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence

From the shadows into your radiance

By the blood I may enter your brightness

Search me, try me, consume all my darkness

Shine on me, shine on me

As we gaze on your kingly brightness

So our faces display your likeness

Ever changing from glory to glory

Mirrored here may our lives tell your story

Shine on me, shine on me

Holy Week 2020: Easter Sunday

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!The Christian high holy day of Easter Sunday is the joyous occasion when God’s Church celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s Truth which proclaims the life, the death and the resurrection from the dead of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Three days after the Crucifixion of Jesus, the Resurrection comes as an unexpected, astonishing (and, in certain instances, ‘terrifying!’  –  see the Gospel of Mark 16:8) surprise to Jesus’ disciples.

From the days of the Early Church, it has been a custom for Christian believers to greet one another joyously on Easter Sunday in the following responsive manner:  

One Christian begins by saying, â€œChrist is risen!”

Next, a second Christian responds, â€œChrist is risen indeed!” 

In the Christian faith, Easter Sunday is called Resurrection Day.  This is the pinnacle event for Christianity and the pinnacle date in the entire Christian Church Year.  Another name which sometimes is given to Easter Sunday is “The Day of days!”  This name aptly describes the ultimate status of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Nothing tops it.  The meaning of Christ’s Resurrection (Easter Sunday) is that God’s power is greater than every other power, including sin and death.

Christ Jesus is alive…  alive today!

Jesus is risen from the grave.

There’s nothing there but an empty tomb!

Easter means that Jesus is still alive!

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

View our Easter Sunday worship here.

Today’s Hymns

Christ the Lord is Risen Today  #268

Christ the Lord is risen today!  Al-le-lu-ia! 

Sons of men and angels say:  Al-le-lu-ia! 

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Al-le-lu-ia! 

Sing, ye heav’n, and earth reply, Al-le-lu-ia! 

2. Lives again our glorious King, Al-le-lu-ia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting?  Al-le-lu-ia!

Dying once, He all doth save:  Al-le-lu-ia!

Where thy victory, O grave?  Al-le-lu-ia!

3. Love’s redeeming work is done, Al-le-lu-ia! 

Fought the fight, the battle won; Al-le-lu-ia! 

Death in vain forbids Him rise; Al-le-lu-ia!

Christ has opened Paradise!  Al-le-lu-ia!

4. Soar we now where Christ has led, Al-le-lu-ia! 

Following our exalted Head; Al-le-lu-ia! 

Made like Him, like Him we rise; Al-le-lu-ia! 

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.  Al-le-lu-ia! 

Our God Reigns!  #290

Who brings good news, good news.

Announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness.

Our God reigns, Our God reigns!


Our God reigns!  Our God reigns!

Our God reigns!

Our God reigns!

(next page for verses 2 and 3)

That we should be  –  drawn to Him.

He was despised, and we took no account of Him.

Yet now He reigns with the Most High.


He is alive, He is alive!

God loves us so, see here His hands, His feet, His side.

Yes, we know, He is alive!


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Holy Week 2020: Good Friday

A crown casts a shadow of thorns.

The Christian high holy day of Good Friday is the somber occasion when God’s Church remembers and grieves with deep sorrow the Crucifixion of Christ.

The Seven Last Words of Christ spoken from the Cross:

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

“Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, this is your son.”  Then Jesus said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” John 19:26-27

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

“I am thirsty.” John 19:28

“It is finished.” John 19:30

“Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46

After this final, spoken word, Jesus breathed his last.  As Matthew 27:50 states, “And when Jesus had cried out again with a loud voice; he gave up the ghost (breath).”

Jesus Christ died on the cross.  The End.

Tonight’s Hymn

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

1. Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand –
The shadow of a mighty Rock Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noon-tide heat, And the burden of the day.

2. Upon that cross of Jesus Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears Two wonders I confess –
The wonders of redeeming love And my unworthiness.

3. I take, O cross, thy shadow For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by, To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame, My glory all the Cross.

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Holy Week 2020: Maundy Thursday

April 9, 2020 by  
Filed under Livestream Links and Order for Worship

Ivy Website Maundy Thursday

The Christian high holy day of Maundy Thursday is a subdued occasion when God’s Church remembers the final occasion on which Jesus of Nazareth gathered with his Twelve Disciples before his arrest, trial and crucifixion. Events which are remembered on Maundy Thursday include:

The foot washing. (John 13:15-17)
The Passover Feast.
The breaking of the bread.
The pouring of the cup.
The betrayal.

The name “maundy” is derived from the Latin word “mandatum,” used as a name for the commandment (commission or “mandate”) which Christ Jesus gives his followers in the upper room. Specifically, Christ’s “novum mandatum” is the new commandment to “wash one another’s feet.”

After he had washed their feet,… and had returned to the table, Jesus asked, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord… So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example to follow,’ says Jesus. “You also must do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them… I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that ‘I am.’ Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives the One who sent me.” (John 13:12-17, 19-20)

After saying this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, “Truly, truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” (John 13:21) “Lord, who is it?” asked the disciple whom Jesus loved. (John 13:25) Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread…” So when Jesus had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. (John 13:26) After Judas had received the piece of bread… Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you must do.” (John 13:27)



In the Garden

1. I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear,
Falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.


And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

2. He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.


3. I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go,
Through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.


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Holy Week 2020: Palm Sunday

April 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Livestream Links and Order for Worship

As we continue to observe stay-at-home orders, let us take comfort in the familiar journey toward Easter and Christ’s resurrection.


Droplet Crown

Today is Palm Sunday.

The Christian high holy day of Palm Sunday is the joyous occasion when God’s Church celebrates the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem.  The Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for this Sunday is Matthew 21:1-11.  This narrative describes Jesus sending two of his disciples to pick up a donkey and the foal of a donkey for Jesus to ride on his journey. The disciples successfully acquire the donkeys, and they bring the creatures to Jesus.  Next, the disciples place cloaks on the donkeys, and Jesus rides the donkeys up the road to the Holy City.

This event is considered the fulfillment of a prophecy. The quotation in Matthew 21:5 is a reference to Zechariah 9:9-10.  It was customary in ancient Near Eastern royal processions for the king to ride on a donkey.  By doing so, Jesus himself was behaving like a king.  The populous responded

In the Christian Church, it is a custom on Palm Sunday for a congregation to participate in a processional which serves as a reenactment of Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem.  Worshipers process throughout the sanctuary, wave palm branches, and shout, “Hosanna!” (This word “Hosanna” literally means “save us, we pray.”)

On the original occasion when Jesus rode to Jerusalem, crowds lined the roadside and cheered, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the One who comes in God’s name!  Hosanna in the highest!”



Palm Sunday Hymns

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

1.      Hosanna, loud hosanna, The little children sang

         Through pillared court and temple The Lovely anthem rang

         To Jesus, who had blessed them Close folded to His breast,

         Then children sang their praises, The simplest and the best,

2.      From Olivet they followed ‘Mid an exultant crowd,

         The victor palm branch waving, And chanting clear and loud:

         The Lord of men and angels Rode on in lowly state,

         Nor scorned that little children Should on His bidding wait.

3.      “Hosanna in the highest!” That ancient song we sing,

         For Christ is our Redeemer, The Lord of heaven, our King;

         O may we ever praise Him With heart and life and voice,

         and in His blissful presence Eternally rejoice!

    The Old Rugged Cross

1.      On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

         The emblem of suffering and shame;

         And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

         For a world of lost sinners was slain.


         So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

         Till my trophies at last I lay down;

         I will cling tot he old rugged cross,

         And exchange it some day for a crown.

 2.      O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,

          Has a wondrous attraction for me:

         For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above

          To bear it to dark Calvary.


3.      In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

         A wondrous beauty I see;

         For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died

         To pardon and sanctify me.


4.      To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,

         Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

         Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,

          Where His glory forever I’ll share.

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Thank you for joining us today. Please check back here on Thursday for our Maundy Thursday service, remembering the Last Supper.

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