Fourth Sunday in Lent | Nurture — Order of Worship

March 26, 2017 (Year A) | Living Our Baptismal Calling Series

Order of Worship Preaching Hymns Music  Planning Formation Groups Resources


To parents and sponsors: Will you nurture these children/persons in Christ’s holy Church, that by your teaching and example they may be guided to accept God’s grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly, and to lead a Christian life?...
To the congregation:  Will you nurture one another in the Christian faith and life and include these persons now before you in your care?



Amazing Grace” (My Chains Are Gone)                           W&S 3104 (CCLI #4768151)
Beautiful Things” (stanza 3, chorus 1b twice)                  CCLI# 5665521 OR

“Amazing Grace,” st 1-5                                                     UMH 378

Pastor, from the font, to the congregation with all new members, newly baptized, those preparing for baptism or professing membership, and those baptized or received into professing membership in the church within the past year:

Will you nurture one another,
in the Christian faith and life,
especially those of us who have come among you
during the past year?

With God’s help, we will proclaim the good news
and live according to the example of Christ.
We will surround these persons
with a community of love and forgiveness,
that they may grow in their service to others.
We will pray for them,
that they may be true disciples
who walk in the way that leads to life.

Beautiful Things” (chorus) reprise OR
“Amazing Grace”, stanza 6


John 9:1-12, 24-25, 35-41                         Translated by Taylor Burton-Edwards

Reader 1: (Narrator)
And going along, Jesus saw a person blind from birth. And his disciples asked him:

Rabbi, who sinned? What it this man himself or his parents that made him born blind?

Reader 2: Jesus
Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God might be shown in it. I have to perform what I was sent here to perform while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Reader 1:
After he said these things, he spat upon the ground, made mud from the spit, and anointed the blind man’s eyes with the mud. Then he said to the blind man:

Reader 2:
Off with you now! Wash in the pool of Siloam.

Reader 1: (in an aside)
Siloam means “having been sent”.
(in a regular tone of voice)
So he went away from there, and washed, and he came out of the water, seeing.

Then his neighbors, and those who had seen him before because he was a beggar, said:

Band or Choir:
Wasn’t this man the one who sat and begged?

Reader 1:
Others were saying:

Congregation Left:
Yes, he’s the one!

Congregation Right:
No, but he looks like him.

Reader 3: Blind Man
It’s me!

How were your eyes opened?

Reader 3:
A man called Jesus made mud, and he anointed my eyes, and he said to me, “Off with you. Go to Siloam and wash.” So I went, and I washed, and I have new sight!

Where is that man?

Reader 3:
I don’t know.

Reader 1:
Later, some Pharisees called the man who used to be blind and said to him,

Give glory to God! We know that the man who cured you is a sinner. 

Reader 3:
Whether he is a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I know. I was blind. Now I see.

Reader 1:
The religious leaders threw him out.

Jesus heard they had thrown him out. When Jesus found him, he said:

Reader 2:
Do you entrust your life to the Son of Man?

Reader 3:
And who is this, sir, that I may entrust my life to him?

Reader 2: You have also seen him. It’s the one speaking with you.

Reader 3:
I believe, Lord. (Kneels prostrate before Jesus)

Reader 2:
I have come into this world in judgment, that those not seeing may see, and those seeing may become blind.

Reader 1:
Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and they said,

We’re not blind, are we?

Reader 2:
If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, “We see.” Your sin remains.

Sermon                                                                                 “Nurture”

Call to Nurture

Persons may be invited to write on cards at least one example of ways they are proclaiming the good news of Christ, living according to Christ’s example, surrounding others with a community of love and forgiveness, and praying for the growth of others, and one example of each they will commit to pursue during the coming week. Remind them that if they are participating in a formation group, they are already participating in at least the last two of these, and they may include this on their list. Invite them to make two copies of these items, and give one copy to one other person with whom they will check in during the coming week to share progress and offer mutual support. As they live the call this week, ask them to document times when they’ve successfully acted in each area, as well as times when they’ve failed and needed to ask for more help. Midweek formation groups will be another opportunity to check in, pray for one another, and encourage one another.

Music during Call to Nurture
            “Ubi Caritas”                                                             TFWS 2179 OR          

            “People of God”                                                        CCLI# 5639942

Prayers of the People

Proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom drawn near, we look for signs of your kingdom come we already see and pray for your saving power to continue to be made known: 
In all people kept in poverty or slavery,
in all who are in fear from abusers, terrorists, and oppressors,
in all who face addiction of any kind,
and in all who are targeted for unjust treatment because of who they are;

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Seeking to live according to the example of Christ, we seek the healing of our own blindnesses, and we pray:
For leaders in religious, political, economic, and social life;
and for all who work to sustain and protect our lives
            as military, civilian workers, and first responders;

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Surrounding one another with a community of love and forgiveness, we pray especially for: 
(List names of all candidates preparing for baptism or professing membership and names of all who have been baptized or become professing members within the past year):

Praying that all in our fellowship may walk in the way that leads to life, we seek spiritual and physical health for all, and we pray specifically: 
with families, friends, and neighbors,
near and far, like us and different from us;
with all who need your healing power,
for all who offer healing through their skill and presence;
and for all whom we have harmed by our action or inaction;


Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.


Receive the prayers of your people, most merciful God.
In your compassion, forgive our sins,
and drive us to lives of faithful service
in and through and beyond
the nurturing love you offer us through your church;
through Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord. Amen.


In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

All: Glory to God! Amen!


Forgiven, restored, and united with Christ,
let us offer the peace of Christ to one another,
and our gifts to God.

The people exchange the peace of Christ as the offering is collected. If Communion is celebrated, the gifts are presented during the offertory music. If Communion is not celebrated, the gifts collected are presented during the Act of Thanksgiving.

Music during the Offering and Peace  
            “Welcome”                                                              W&S 3152 OR
            “The Servant Song”                                                TFWS 2222

Act of Thanksgiving

“There’s a Spirit of Love in This Place”                               W&S 3148


The Great Thanksgiving                                     BOW 62-63

Music during Communion
            “Blest Be the Dear Uniting Love”                           UMH 566

Thanksgiving after Communion
Pastor and People:
Jesus, thank you!
You have fed us with yourself,
nurturing us with your presence.
You surround us with love and forgiveness.
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
send us forth as witnesses to your good news
and nurturers of one another
wherever we go. Amen.



Invite the congregation to face the back of the sanctuary, toward the exits.

            “Gracious Creator of Sea and of Land”               W&S 3161                                                   

Deacon or Lay Leader (from the back of the worship space)

Go into a world filled with bad news.
We proclaim the good news of Christ.
Go into homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
We live as Christ has shown the way.
Go into places of self-preservation and revenge.
We will surround one another with a community of love and forgiveness.
Go into an environment filled with messages that lead to death.
We will pray for one another to walk in the way that leads to life.

Go then, with the blessing of our Triune God.
We go to live our baptismal calling. Amen.

Postlude                                                                          Variations on People of God

Categories: Year A, Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 26, 2017