3/22: Order of Worship

Order of Worship

9:50 am Zoom orientation (for those who have never been on Zoom)

Can you find the “raise hand” button?
Likely under “more” or it will become visible when you click “participants.”

Can you mute and unmute yourself?

Can you hear everyone and speak into your microphone?

Any other questions?

10 am Worship


All in-person activities at the church building are suspended until March 31st .

Easter Baskets Mission Project – If you have already purchased items, please let Pastor Joy know. We can figure out a safe way to pick them up. If you have not purchased your items yet, do not worry about it. The church will purchase them on your behalf due to the extenuating circumstances.

Easter Basket Fundraiser – Selling gorgeous Easter baskets made by the Women in Ministry. $12.  If you buy one, we will deliver it to your house or a house of your choosing (within the Shoreline area).

Prayer Partners – Would you like a prayer partner?  A prayer partner would be someone with whom you touched base one a week via phone.  You would share prayer requests, pray together and/or check-in with one another.  You can decide together what your time would look like.  If you would like a prayer partner, this is a great time to let me know.

Grocery gift cards and the fellowship fund are available. If you or someone you know is facing financial insecurity right now, please let us know so we can assist. Please contact Pastor Joy at revjperkett@gmail.com or 860-581-0493

Postponing our worship gatherings will put us as a congregation in a less stable place financially. If possible, we encourage people to mail donations and pledges into the church: First Baptist Church in Essex, 10 Prospect St, Essex, CT 06426. If you are able to send in your donations right now, thank you. It means a lot.

Deacons’ meeting this Tuesday, March 24.

We can’t speak or sing in unison on Zoom, so when there is a joint prayer or song, I will invite you to participate, but only the person speaking or singing will be unmuted. I can control that so don’t worry about figuring that out, okay.

Are there any other announcements?

Raise your hand or unmute yourself

Gathering Poem: Blessing of Mud by Jan Richardson

“He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” —John 9:15

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the dirt.

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the earth
beneath our feet.

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the dust,

like the dust
that God scooped up
at the beginning
and formed
with God’s
two hands
and breathed into
with God’s own

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the spit.

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the mud.

Lest we think
the blessing
is not
in the mire,
the grime,
the muck.

Lest we think
that God
cannot reach
deep into the things
of earth,
cannot bring forth
the blessing
that shimmers
within the sludge,
cannot anoint us
with a tender
and grimy grace.

Lest we think
that God
will not use the ground
to create us
once again,
to cleanse us
of our unseeing,
to open our eyes upon
this ordinary
and stunning world.

Written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook.

Opening Music: Gather Us In

Robin Hawkes will sing. You are invited to remain muted and sing along.

Here in this place the new light is streaming,
Shadows of doubt are vanished away;
see in this space our fears and our dreamings
brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken,
gather us in, our spirits inflame;
call to us now, and we shall awaken,
we shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young, our lives are a mystery,
we are the old who yearn for your face;
we have been sung throughout all of history,
called to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty,
gather us in, the proud and the strong;
give us a heart, so meek and so lowly,
give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we receive new life in the waters;
here we receive the bread of new birth,
here you shall call your sons and your daughters,
call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassion,
give us to eat the bread that is you;
nourish us well, and teach us to fashion
lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not just in buildings small and confining,
not in some heaven, light years away—
here in this place the new light is shining,
now God is present, and now is the day.
Gather us in and hold us forever,
gather us in and make us your own;
gather us in, all peoples together,
fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

Opening Prayer: You are invited to remain muted and pray alongside speaker.

All: Christ our teacher, you reach into our lives not through instruction, but story. Open our hearts to be attentive: that seeing, we may perceive, and hearing, we may understand, and understanding, may act upon your word, in your name, Amen.

Written by Janet Morley

Prayers of the People

What prayers do people have today?

Raise your hand or unmute yourself

Pastoral Prayer

Jesus’ Prayer: You are invited to remain muted and pray alongside speaker.

All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thine name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Scripture: John 9:1-41                                                                    Read by Mark Stiber

As Jesus walked along, he saw someone who had been blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, was it this individual’s sin that caused the blindness, or that of the parents?”

“Neither,” Jesus answered, “It wasn’t because of anyone’s sin – not this person’s, not the parents’. Rather, it was to let God’s work shine forth in this person. We must do the deeds of the One who sent me while it is still day – for night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

With that, Jesus spat on the ground, made mud with his saliva and smeared the blind one’s eyes with mud. Then Jesus said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” – “Siloam” means “sent.” So the person went off to wash, and came back able to see.

Neighbors and those who had been accustomed to seeing the blind beggar began to ask, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said yes; others said no – the one who had been healed simply looked like the beggar.

But the individual in question said, “No – it was me.”

The people then asked, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

The answer came, “The one they call Jesus made mud and smeared it on my eyes, and told me to go to Siloam and wash. When I went and washed, I was able to see.”

“Where is Jesus?” they asked.

The person replied, “I have no idea.”

They took the one who had been born blind to the Pharisees. It had been on a Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud paste and opened this one’s eyes. The Pharisees asked how the individual could see. They were told, “Jesus put mud on my eyes. I washed it off, and now I can see.”

This prompted some Pharisees to say, “Jesus cannot be from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others argued, “But how could a sinner perform signs like these?” They were sharply divided.

Then they addressed the blind person again: “Since it was your eyes he opened, what do you have to say about this Jesus?”

“He’s a prophet,” came the reply.

The Temple authorities refused to believe that this one had been born blind and had begun to see, until they summoned the parents. “Is this your child?” they asked, “and if so, do you attest that your child was born blind at birth? How do you account for the fact that now your child can see?”

The parents answered, “We know this is our child, blind from birth. But how our child can see now, or who opened those blind eyes, we have no idea. But don’t ask us – our child is old enough to speak without us!” The parents answered this way because they were afraid of the Temple authorities, who had already agreed among themselves that anyone who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why they said, “Our child is of age and should be asked directly.”

A second time they summoned the one who had been born blind and said, “Give God the glory instead; we know that this Jesus is a sinner.”

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner or not,” the individual answered, “All I know is that I used to be blind, and now I can see.”

They persisted, “Just what did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

“I already told you, but you won’t listen to me,” came the answer. “Why do you want to hear it all over again? Don’t tell me you want to become disciples of Jesus too!”

They retorted scornfully, “You’re the one who is Jesus’ disciple. We’re disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this Jesus comes from.”

The others retorted: “Well, this is news! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opens my eyes! We know that God doesn’t hear from sinners, but that if people are devout and obey God’s will, God listens to them. It is unheard of that anyone ever gave sight to a person blind from birth. If this one were not from God, he could have never done such a thing!”

“What!” they exclaimed, “You’re steeped in sin from birth and you are giving us lectures?” With that, they threw the person out.

When Jesus heard of this expulsion, he sought out the healed one and asked, “Do you believe in the Chosen One?”

The other answered, “Who is this One, that I might believe?”

“You’re looking at him,” Jesus replied. “The Chosen One is speaking to you now.”

The healed one said, “Yes, I believe,” and worshipped Jesus.

And Jesus said, “I came into this world to execute justice – to make the sightless see and the seeing blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were nearby heard this and said, “You are not calling us blind, are you?”

To which Jesus replied, “If you were blind, there would be not sin in that. But since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Scripture Discussion: Raise your hand or unmute yourself

What do you notice?

How is God speaking to you?

Music: Open My Eyes

Robin Hawkes will sing. You are invited to remain muted and sing along.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!


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