John 11:1-44 and Psalm 104: 27-30
Call to Worship: God who gives us good things, so we can gather them up. Help us prepare our hearts for you. Lord Jesus who weeps with us as we weep. Give us time to mourn Holy Spirit who creates us. Create love in us today.
Prayer of Confession: Lord, the waiting is hard. Too often, we cry out “if only you were here” unable to see your presence among us. We confess that sometimes we want to give it all up, to lay it all at your feet, and go home to cry. Remind us that you are here, that your healing is beyond human understanding, and that crying is sometimes the best thing to do we pray. Amen
Assurance of Pardon: Know this: When God’s hands open, good things pour out, when God’s Spirit is sent forth, we are created and our God renews the face of the ground. It is in the name of this God we know we are beloved and forgiven. Thanks be to God.
Offering/Dedication Prayer: Loving God, remind us, even in this season of Lent, that you are the God of resurrection. Help us to go into the world, ready to do the hard work of waiting for you we pray in your most Holy name, Amen.
Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.
Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ.
She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible.
"Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal.
Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one. Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.
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