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Fifth Sunday in Lent

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"  John 11:25
 

Texts & Discussion:
 

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45

 

This Week's Themes:

God's Life-Giving Spirit
Hope Against Hope
Resurrection & Eternal Life

Dramatic video presentation of the life, passion and resurrection of Christ:

   

Prayer of Confession

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have
made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and
make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily
lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wickedness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission
and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.

Closing Prayer:

Almighty and most gracious God,
allow your Spirit to walk with us,
before us, beside us, and among us,
to revive, guide, comfort, and encourage,
and to give us strength as we go forth
into a world filled with darkness and despair.
In the name of Jesus the risen Christ. Amen.

 

Children's Messages:

Sermons:

 

Sermon Excerpt:

Calling the Blessing Into Being
 Ezekiel 37:1-14
by Rev. Cindy Weber

...Once when I was in seminary, I went up to New York City with a group of students, got class credit for it, even. We visited a number of different churches and ministries, and one of the churches that we visited was Riverside Church, which is a nationally known congregation. The pastor of the church at the time was William Sloane Coffin. We got to talk to Rev. Coffin for about an hour, about 12 of us just sitting there asking him questions. I sat next to him, and never being one to keep quiet, I asked a fair amount of the questions.

When we got ready to leave, Rev. Coffin walked us to the door. Now, let me explain that I was a social work student. I had no intentions, no thoughts, no leadings whatsoever toward the pastoral ministry at the time. I was training to be a social worker, and had never even entertained the idea that one day I might be a pastor. So, back to the story, Rev. Coffin walked us to the front vestibule of the church, and as we stood there in the entrance of that huge, ornate, fancy room, he shook my hand, and he said, “Cindy, you’re going to be a great woman pastor someday.”

Now, I started to correct him, and tell him that I had no intentions of ever being a pastor, but because I rather enjoyed the discomfort of all of the my fellow men students who had been telling me all week long that women could never be pastors, I just smiled, and said, “Thank you.”

You know, I didn’t think of his words again for a very long time, but since I’ve become a pastor, I’ve often thought back to that time, to that gift of affirmation, to those words of blessing, and I’ve wondered if Rev. Coffin saw something in me that I could not see in myself, if he, in a sense, called something out of me that day, called some gifts, some awareness, some insight into being in that wonderful blessing that he bestowed upon me.

In this morning’s scripture reading, God takes Ezekiel to a valley where the ground is covered with dry bones....

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