March 31, 2024 Easter Sunday

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter Day

Acts 10:34-43 

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

I Corinthians 15:1-11 

John 20:1-18 

Call to Worship (inspired by Acts 10)
One:  Alleluia!  God anointed Jesus with the Spirit and with power.
Many:  Alleluia!  God was with Jesus as he did good and healed many.
One:  Jesus was betrayed, put to death on a cross, and buried.
Many: But on the third day, God raised Jesus to new life!
One:  Alleluia!  Because Jesus lives, we, too, have been given NEW LIFE!
Many:  Christ is risen!  
All:    Come, sing out the good news; Christ the Lord is risen today!

Opening Prayer  
(invite the congregation to shout “Alleluia!” when they hear that word in this prayer)

Living, loving God, we’ve come together to celebrate the Good News!  
Thank you for this day when we shout out what we know.  
Death is not the victor, for you raised Jesus Christ from the dead! Alleluia!
So raise us up this day to celebrate and give thanks for the abundant life 
you offer us in Jesus, the Christ.  
Receive our gratitude, our joy and our praise, Giver of Life!  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

The greatest offering comes from God, whose love is unending. 
The work of ministry to which this congregation is called is not to build a shrine to a dead God, but to spread this good news:

Jesus Christ invites each of us to “abide in me”.
  Like branches from one vine, 
 we, who are many, are fruitful, 
knowing Jesus is alive, and continually invites us to faithfully follow!

Our offerings—financial, sharing talents, contributing time—help us share that news of fruitful living. 

Today we also collect our special Easter offering, which supports the work of our General Ministries. Missionaries, our Pension Fund, home missions, and so much more depend on this offering.  If you have heard the story of a global mission partner, a National Benevolent ministry, new church starts, or a partnership ministry of the church, know this offering is one which makes a BIG difference.  When we talk about our worldwide presence, we support that with the Easter Special offering.  When we collectively seek to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and offer Christ’s Presence, we support that work with today’s special offering. 

Bring what you’ve prepared to give, knowing  
this God who brought LIFE in the beginning,
                   brought LIFE out of Jesus’ tomb
and still offers LIFE to each of us, today, 
this LIFE-assuring God goes with us as we seek to walk in the Way of Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Bless, O God, all we’ve offered, that in our seeking and our serving,
your work through this congregation might illumine paths and make the Way clear for each one of us, and for all who seek you.

Guide us as we use these gifts to show your presence to the world you love; 
the world for which Jesus was resurrected.  Amen

Invitation to Communion  

Was it just last Thursday we called to mind that Upper Room where Jesus gathered with his disciples?  That meal which began as a festival meal but saw Judas leave to betray Jesus?  

That meal, launching a night of prayer, betrayal, conviction and on to crucifixion …
that meal is now transformed into this joyful feast of the people of God!  
Open your eyes and SEE, 
      this wedding banquet table to which we are all invited. 

This is a time of rejoicing with the bread of life and the cup of salvation. 
This is a table of anticipation with food that never goes stale, never runs out, a table from which no one ever needs to leave, hungry. 

Come!  Take your fill of the joyous feast of our Risen Lord!