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March 26, 2023
10:30 AM ET

Prelude: Meditation

by Charles Callahan (b. 1951)

Susan Goetcheus, violin; Sue Paro, organ

Welcome, Poem, and Chime

Rev. Cynthia Good

Gathering Words

by Dr. Lisa Hancock

Terry Rice, Worship Leader

Welcome pilgrims on the way to the cross.
We are learning to follow Jesus.
The journey is long, and the struggles feel so heavy.
Yet we will hope in God because with God, there is steadfast love.
All around us, we witness neighbors and communities who are lifeless,
despairing that they could ever be revived.
Yet God tells us that to come back to life, we must come together. 
Year after year of change and struggle have taken their toll—how can anyone bring forth life
when we feel so parched and tired?
Yet God meets the lifeless with the breath of life, reviving us again to worship and follow God’s way.
Pilgrims on the way, come let us worship God!
We come to worship God as we learn to live inside out! Amen.

Unison Prayer

by John Birch

You call us to be your voices in this world
and we stay silent.

You call us to be your hands in this world
and we keep them hidden.

You call us to be your feet in this world
and we go our own way.

When we meet those who are doubting
and say nothing, forgive us.

When we meet those who need your touch
and do nothing, forgive us.

When we are called to take up your cross
and carry nothing, forgive us.

Breathe life into these bones
bring freedom to these lives
that we might declare
with heart and soul and voice
that you are our God. Amen.

Passing the Peace

Please greet your fellow worshipers. If you are in the sanctuary, wave to the cameras; on Zoom, please unmute and say hello; on Facebook, write a comment!

Hymn: Spirit of God

(click the music to enlarge)

Scripture: John 11:1-45 – from The Message

A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”

When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. After the two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

They said, “Rabbi, you can’t do that. The religious authorities are out to kill you, and you’re going back?”

Jesus replied, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I’m going to wake him up.”

The disciples said, “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.” Jesus was talking about death, while his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap.

Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”

That’s when Thomas, the one called the Twin, said to his companions, “Come along. We might as well die with him.”

When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.

Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”

“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though they die, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”

After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”

The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”

“Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”

Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”

Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”

The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”

Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.”

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “God, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”

Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.

Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”

That was a turning point for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”

The word of God to us. Thanks be to God.

Children’s Time

Song: Walk With Me

Walk with me, I will walk with you and build the land that God has planned where love shines through.

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14 – from The Voice

The Eternal had a hold on me, and I couldn’t escape it. The divine wind of the Eternal One picked me up and set me down in the middle of the valley, but this time it was full of bones. God led me through the bones. There were piles of bones everywhere in the valley—dry bones left unburied.

The Eternal One said, “Human one, do you think these bones can live?” I said, “Eternal One, certainly You know the answer better than I do. The Eternal One said,

“Actually, I do. Prophesy to these bones. Tell them to listen to what the Eternal One says to them: “Dry bones, I will breathe breath into you, and you will come alive. I will attach muscles and tendons to you, cause flesh to grow over them, and cover you with skin. I will breathe breath into you, and you will come alive. After this happens, you will know that I am the Eternal.”

God is not only the Creator of life, but also the Restorer of life.

So I did what God told me to do: I prophesied to the bones. As I was speaking, I heard a loud noise—a rattling sound—and all the bones began to come together and form complete skeletons. I watched and saw muscles and tendons attach to the bones, flesh grow over them, and skin wrap itself around the reforming bodies. But there was still no breath in them. The Eternal One said, “Prophesy to the breath. Speak, human one, and tell them what the Eternal has to say: “O sweet breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these who have been killed. Make these corpses come alive.”

So I did what God told me to do: I prophesied to the breath. As I was speaking, breath invaded the lifeless. The bodies came alive and stood on their feet. I realized then I was looking at a great army. The Eternal One said, “Human One, these bones are the entire community of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dry now, picked clean by scavengers. All hope is gone. Our nation is lost.”

God told me to prophesy and tell them what God said. “Pay attention, My people! I am going to open your graves and bring you back to life! I will carry you straight back to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Eternal One. I will breathe My Spirit into you, and you will be alive once again. I will place you back in your own land. After that you will know I, the Eternal, have done what I said I would do.” So said the Eternal One.

The word of God for us. Thanks be to God.

Music: When Jesus Wept

by William Billings (1746-1800)

Calvary Choir; Sue Paro, music director


Rev. Good

Hymn: Breathe on Me, Breath of God

(click the music to enlarge)

Sharing of Prayers and Prayer of the People

We invite you to use your chosen words for God: Father, Mother, or…

Our Creator, 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 forever. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

In the midst of
unrelenting, unraveling, and unknowing
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
hunger, disease, and great need
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
conquest, prejudice, and oppression
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
questions, promises, and prayers
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
loneliness, hot tears, and agonizing decisions
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
betrayal, saving your own skin, and abandonment
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
injustice, brutality, and the misuse of power
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
mocking, torture, and excruciating pain
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
grave clothes, spices, and stone
You are the Resurrection and the Life

Walking with God

Gloria Mendez


Please place donations in the baskets outside the sanctuary. We invite you to donate to the Parish Fund, which Rev. Cynthia uses for emergency needs of members and neighbors, by using the Love Offering envelopes in the pew racks. If you have a financial need, please contact Rev. Cynthia; all requests are kept private.

Where do you need new life? Go to or scan the QR code to share your words.


(click the music to enlarge)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

 God of beginnings, we give thanks for new life and hope even in the midst of despair. We give thanks for your presence even in difficulty. May we always be open to your spirit and filled by your breath. May we share our gifts with your weary world. Amen.

Hymn: You, O Christ, Are Resurrection

1. You, O Christ, are resurrection
In a world that’s filled with pain.
You reach out when we are hurting
And you lift us up again.
Battered women, hungry children,
Lonely people, those in need
Find in you a hope that’s living
As they’re welcomed, loved and freed.

2. You, O Christ, are resurrection
When we’re caught up in our sin,
When we grieve the road we’re traveling,
When we see what might have been.
You give healing and forgiveness
In the place of sin and strife.
Christ, we’re drawn to what you give us —
Resurrection and new life.

3. You, O Christ, are resurrection
When a loved one’s memories fade,
For you never will forget us —
We’re the ones you came to save.
Lord, we trust that you will guide us
When each day brings grief and stress;
Living Christ, you walk beside us
Through this shadowed wilderness.

4. You, O Christ, are resurrection
When an illness takes its toll,
For the promise that you give us
Is that one day we’ll be whole.
So we need not fear the future
When the way seems hard to bear;
You will gently guide and lead us
To the place that you prepare.


Hymn: We Will Follow

(click the music to enlarge)


Postlude: “Little” Prelude in a Minor

by J. S. Bach (1685–1720)

Sue Paro, organ