From the Pastor:      “Peace of Mind”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr. May 21, 2023


May 21, 2023

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,

Mental Health Month


Processional:                                                                        “Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise”


Invocation: Good morning and welcome!

God who loves us and cares for us, grant us the peace of knowing that in all our stresses, hardships, and responsibilities, we are not alone. You are with us. Grow our trust in your care, that we might first turn not to ourselves but to you. Reorient our lives so that in difficult times we would move toward joy in the deep remembering of all you have done, are doing, and will do for us. Amen.


Call to Worship: 

L: Break open our hearts this morning to hear your word, O God.
P: Let our fears be vanquished, our spirits restored!
L: Come and let us worship with great joy!
P: Let us drop the things of the past which weighed us down!
L: God is about to do something new in our lives!
P: Let God’s will become strong in our lives. AMEN.


Words of Welcome and Parish News:


*Gathering Hymn:                           “Thine be the Glory”                                308 UMH


Silent meditation and prayer:

Prayer Focus: Mental Shelter


The Lord’s Prayer

 Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Reading:


Acts 1:6-14

6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.


1 Peter 5:7-9

7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.


Special Music:                                      “Give Me Jesus”                                        Fred Love


The Message                           “Peace of Mind”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

There are challenges in life we face that can play havoc on your peace of mind. We must really ask ourselves, do we have peace of mind? This time of year, highlights a collective anxiety in many youth. Young adults go away to college, enter high school, look for employment, and living through the complexities of life. Some changes are never easy because some of our youth need a way to adjust to changes that enter their atmosphere. Our faith and journey in following our Lord can bring anxious moments along the journey. We recognize that the disciples had spent time with Jesus before his Ascension. When this took place, the disciples were asked: “why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” Can you imagine that emotion when you step into a new employment situation, the first time going into a church and not knowing anyone? The anxiety level of emotions can be overwhelming taking the focus off our Lord and Savior. During this month we highlight Mental health, but Mental health challenges are ongoing every day, every hour, and every minute. If there is any solace, we can reach out for in our relationship with Christ is found in 1 Peter. 7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Let’s remember some people are looking to feel this emotional tie to our Lord. Some people are going through hardships in their lives and they’re looking up! The word says they devoted themselves to prayer, well it can’t hurt, can it? There is so much suffering in this world, confusion, and hatred. There are places and spaces some people will not go into because of the possible consequences they could face in 2023. Right now, we need the church to model what a safe place this can be in the face of trials and tribulations. Can you imagine the anxiety level people have to come in here and ask for food? Believe me, people all around this world are looking for a peace of mind that extends down in their hearts and souls. There are some songs that can guide you:

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

My prayer is we all find that peace in Christ, because he cares!


Offertory Prayer:

God of wisdom and guidance, steer us, we pray, through our anxious times. The gifts we bring this day are a small part of all we have received. We hold back on inviting neighbors to church out of anxiety about how they might view the church right now. Remind us that it is Jesus we offer to the world, not us.


Offertory Music                                                                                       “Jesus Shall Reign”


*Doxology:                                                                                                                     UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.


*Unison Prayer of Dedication:

Help us to cast the anxiety on Jesus, for the one the tomb could not hold can carry our anxiety with ease. In the name of Jesus, who broke the hold of death once and for all. Amen. 


*Closing Hymn:                                           “I’ll Fly Away”                               2282 TFWS


Sending Forth:

Easter people, God has done great things for you! Go, now, carrying the story of God’s work in your lives that in all things, good and difficult, you can ask with confidence, “How will God show up now?” knowing all the while that God will, indeed, take all our caring and point us toward joy. Amen.


Recessional:                                                                                      “I Love to Tell the Story”

(Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music) 





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