Archive for Worship

Invincible Singing

Invincible Singing
by Mary Luti
“I will sing and make melody. Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I will wake up the dawn.” -Psalm 108:1-2
When human beings sing, we sing against the odds. It’s an act of faith, fundamentally defiant. It’s always been this way. We sing of hope when there’s no hope, of courage when we’re terrified, of gratitude in the midst of grief, of a new tomorrow as we’re led to the slaughter.
For centuries, we’ve stood powerless against tyrants, weaponless against bigotry, defenseless against greed, pride, and ambition, up to our necks in trouble, without a prayer-except for our songs. Anywhere you look in the human family, when trouble comes, the next thing you hear is singing.
The scriptures attest that Jesus sang a psalm the night he was handed over-a song sung by his people in exile and freedom, in trouble and peace. A song he learned from his mother, who learned it from hers. A song of life stronger than the death he knew he was facing. It was on his lips when he rose from the grave. As long as we’re singing, we’re invincible.
What repertoire of resistant grace are you singing today? What songs are you teaching your children? Are they loud enough, strong enough, joyful enough, confident enough, defiant enough to wake up the New Day’s dawn?

Lenten Sermon Series: “Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life”

This sermon series guides us through the Season of Lent, when we follow Jesus to the cross and to resurrection—our own spiritual journey. The sermon messages will draw on Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. The book jacket describes Rohr’s themes:

“In the first half of life we are naturally and rightly concerned with establishing our identity—climbing, achieving, and performing. But those concerns will not serve us as we grow older and begin to embark on a further journey, one that involves challenges, mistakes, loss of control, broader horizons, and necessary suffering that actually shocks us out of our prior comfort zone. Eventually, we need to see ourselves in a different and more life-giving way. The message of “falling down”—that is in fact moving upward—is the most resisted and counterintuitive messages in the world’s religions, including and most especially Christianity.”   

Holy Week Schedule

Holy Week – Sunday, March 24 to Sunday, March 31

During Holy Week, we recount the final events in the life of Jesus, ending with his execution for proclaiming a radical message inviting all to live God’s dream of a Kingdom where forgiveness, compassion, and self-giving replace the ways of judgment, power, and division.

Palm Sunday Service – Sunday, March 24, 10am.  Before the service we gather outside the sanctuary around a giant street-puppet of Jesus. To remember Jesus’ triumphant march into Jerusalem on the final week of his life, the young people follow behind Jesus leading us in a procession around the youth building, up the sidewalk, and into the sanctuary to continue our worship service.

Maundy Thursday Service – Thursday, March 28, 7:30 pm, Sanctuary.  Come and celebrate Jesus’ institution of a special meal to help us connect to God and each other in one Spirit, and a ritual of foot washing to help us remember Jesus’ command to love one another.  Pre-worship Taize music begins at 7pm.

Good Friday Meditation with Labyrinth – Friday, March 29, 12 pm – 3 pm.  This outdoor walking meditation will help you to enter Jesus’ spirit of self-giving during the hours in which we remember his crucifixion and death.

Multi-Church Good Friday Noontime Service Friday, March 29, 12:15pm, First United Methodist Church, 16th and I Sts. Several area churches remember the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion.

Good Friday Candelight Tenebrae Service – Friday, March 29, 7:30 pm, Sanctuary.  In this dramatic candle-light service that ends in darkness, we reflect on the story of Jesus’ arrest, suffering, and death on a cross.  Several local churches will participate with us in this service, joining our choir for special music.

Easter Sunrise Service – Sunday, March 31, 6:30 am, Church front lawn.  This simple service led by Sandy Sample celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and resurrection in our own lives.

Easter Sunday Service – Sunday, March 31, 10 am, Sanctuary.  We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with joyful music and praise. Easter Egg Hunt for children, following the service

 

 

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 13, 6pm, Cafe Esperanza, then Sanctuary. Start off the season of Lent with the imposition of ashes,  in an emergent-worship-style service of reflection, candlelight and prayer stations. We gather in Cafe Esperanza and then move to the sanctuary.

Noon Joint Good Friday Service – Friday, April 22

Please join us at First United Methodist Church for any of six half-hour mini-services starting at 12pm and ending at 3pm.  These are the hours of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Participating churches include: College Avenue United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, Geneva Presbyterian, Modesto Church of the Brethren, and Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Friday, April 22, 12pm – 3pm, First United Methodist Church, 850 16th Street and I Street, Modesto

Easter Sunday Service – April 24

Sunday, April 24, 10 am, Sanctuary

We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with joyful music and praise.

Easter Sunrise Service – April 24

Sunday, April 24, 6:30 am, Church’s Front Lawn

This simple service led by Sandy Sample celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and resurrection in our own lives.

 

Good Friday Tenebrae Service – April 22

Friday, April 22, 7:30 pm, Sanctuary

In this dramatic candle-light service that ends in darkness, we reflect on the story of Jesus’ arrest, suffering, and death on a cross.  Several local churches will participate with us in this service.

Good Friday Labyrinth – April 22

Friday, April 22, 2011, Church’s Front Lawn,  Available from Noon to 3 pm.

Come and use this walking meditation to enter Jesus’ spirit of self-giving during the hours in which we remember his crucifixion and death.  Allow 20 to 30 minutes.

 

Maundy Thursday Service – April 21

Communion and Foot Washing
Thursday, April 21, 7 pm, Sanctuary

Come and celebrate Jesus’ institution of a meal to help us connect to God and each other in one Spirit, and a ritual of foot washing to help us remember Jesus’ command to love one another.  Participation in foot-washing is optional.