This service marks the first day of Lent, the six weeks of preparation before Easter.

The video of the homily and closing of the service are listed below for you.


Order of Worship


The Lord be with you,

And also with you.


Prayer of the Day

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First Scripture Reading

Isaiah 58:1-12  (NRSV)

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 


Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.


This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Second Scripture Reading

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 


“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Homily

Rev. Kim Smith-Stanley

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Invitation to Lent


Litany of Penitence during a year of Pandemic

Holy and merciful God,

We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. In a year full of uncertainty and fear, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not extended forgiveness as forgiveness has been extended to us.

Have mercy on us, O God.

During this pandemic, we have not heeded your call to live generously so that all may have their basic needs met. While some have too much, others go without. Forgive us, God, for all that we store up on earth, for frivolous spending, and for our greed. Teach us to trust you in all things and to live more abundantly on less.

Have mercy on us, O God.

We have failed to turn to you, God, in our greatest hour of need when we felt we could not take being separated from one another, from our church, from our community, and from our lives for one more day. Yet, in our time apart, we have not always embraced a new togetherness.

Have mercy on us, O God.

There were times we doubted your direction, thinking in our limited way that we were moving backward but then realizing later that we were steadily moving closer to you and to each other.

Have mercy on us, O God.

Over this last year we have continued to shield our eyes from racial injustice. We have not spoken out when we should have. When God's black and brown children were being killed in the streets, we were silent. We have failed to confront a system that favors some and privileges others based on the color of their skin, their status, or their economic class.

Have mercy on us, O God.

While we have sought greater understanding of our place in the world, we have judged others who are different from us in faith, religion, political affiliation, culture, race, and gender, and failed to try and see the world through the perspectives of others. We have dwelt on divergences and failed to celebrate all that we have in common as children of God.

Have mercy on us, O God.

For our lack of care for your earth and all its resources, and for the damage that has been done by us to your creation, we admit our inadequate attention and response.

Have mercy on us, O God.

Restore us, O God, so we might collectively have compassion that soothes, hearts that listen deeply, and grace upon grace for one another with an abiding love that continues to grow.

Redeem us Holy God and make us more like Jesus.

It is in Christ's name that we offer these confessions to you on this Holy Day. -Amen



Imposition of Dust and Earth

Almighty God, You have created us out of the dust of the earth. May the earth and mud be for us a sign of our mortality and penitence, for it is by your gracious gift are we given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. - Amen

(People will make the mark of the cross on the forehead of themselves or those they are with saying these words.)

Remember that you are dust and to dust and the earth you shall return. Amen.


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Blessing and Charge