A Prayer Service for Holy Week
Prayer of Invocation:
Ever gracious God, we gather in spirit this day as friends gathered at the foot of the Cross. We come bearing the marks of a bitter and broken world. We come from many places with dry and thirsty spirits. Remind us in prayer of our great need and of your fullness of new life in Christ.
God Our Redeemer, with the surety of your unfailing love, we confess our sins to you. We confess that we are people of ashes and dust. Your Son taught us how to serve, but at times we fail to follow his example. Jesus showed us how to love, but often we fail to keep the Great Commandment. Forgive us, God of grace. By your mercy, grant us new beginnings so that we may become faithful disciples and share in new life offered us each day through Jesus, our Savior. Amen.
The Promises of God:
• God is near to all who call, who call from their hearts. The desires of those who fear God are fulfilled; their cries are heard; they are saved.
• I am the resurrection and the life; all who believe in me, though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die.
THE PASSION STORY: Sometime this week you are invited to read John 18:1 to 19:42 from your Bible.
Video of Music and Reflections for Maundy Thursday & Good Friday:
Prayer Greeting from Pastor Elisabeth Baer (April 8, 2020)
Love and Peace to our Zion Church community.
None of us anticipated the events of the past few weeks. These trying times challenge us to be resourceful, patient, and resilient. Now more than ever we are called to remain hopeful as we celebrate the new life ahead. This week’s Prayer Greeting finds us in the midst of Holy Week. Events throughout Holy Week, from Jesus’ joyous entry into Jerusalem to his gathering with his disciples in the Upper Room for a last meal, remind us of how quickly things can change. And, then, on Good Friday, we recall Jesus’ death on a cross.
I offer the following story and a prayer.
In one of our well-known churches at an Ivy League University, it was announced that a certain minister—known for his eloquent preaching skills—would be preaching on the love of God at the Easter Sunrise Service. A huge crowd gathered in the chapel to hear him preach.
As the service began, the dawn was just breaking. In the dim light, the much-anticipated famous preacher walked down the center aisle carrying a single candle. He carried it to the communion table where a crucifix had been placed.
With the candle’s light, the minister first illuminated Jesus’ crown of thorns, next Jesus’ two wounded hands, then the mark of the spear wound.
In the hush that fell upon the church, he placed the candle on the Altar (it was the same Christ candle that had been lit on Christmas for the birth of Jesus.) Next, he stepped to the pulpit, he turned to the Bible and simply read the resurrection story from scripture. And then he sat down.
Sometimes words fail us, but the love of God never fails! The Living Word of God speaks to us of hope! “God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Let us Pray,
Most Holy God, ever-present and always loving—you loved this world so much, that you gave your only Son, that we might be called your children. Jesus, our Savior and Friend, shows us Love and forever embraces us with Love. Lord, help us to live into the gladness and grace of Easter Sunday every day. Let us have thankful hearts. Let us have eyes that look upon your grace and rejoice in salvation. Help us to walk in mighty hope and share your Good News with the world! All for your glory, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Palm Sunday Worship Video from Zion United Church of Christ in Evansville
If you would like to hear more music related to Palm Sunday, recorded by Neal in our sister church St. Lucas UCC, you may click here.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Around Palm Sunday and Easter is when we traditionally accept donations to the One Great Hour of Sharing and the many types of aid and development work it supports in the USA and around the world. The mission work supported by this special offering is even more important with the challenges people around the world face today. You may still designate donations to OGHS through Zion. To watch a video about some of the mission this special offering supports, you may click here.
Worship Video for Sunday March 29, 2020 at Zion UCC, Evansville:
If you would like to hear more music, click here for handbell and organ music recorded by Neal at our sister church, St. Lucas UCC, for March 29th.
Coronavirus and the Church:
Click here for health and safety information, presented by Michele Daum.
Click here to read a letter from the United Church of Christ (UCC) national leadership about Church response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Welcome to Zion United Church of Christ and the Zion Center for Spiritual Development and Healing in Evansville, Indiana! Zion has been a place of spiritual growth and healing in downtown Evansville for more than 170 years. We invite you to share the rich history, engaging present and promising future of the Zion community. The Zion Church has a traditional worship service at 10:30am on Sunday mornings (not currently meeting). The Zion Center provides an array of activities throughout the week (not currently meeting).
We are located at 415 NW 5th Street in downtown Evansville, one block northwest of the new YMCA next to the Lloyd Expressway. Free parking is available in the lot beside the church, at 518 Ingle Street.