Worshiping Together in Different Places–Online Worship on the third Sunday of Lent (Year A)

Welcome to worship for the third Sunday of Lent, March 15, 2020. 

For worship you may wish to have a candle to light and to have bread and a beverage for communion – whatever you have available will be sufficient.

Bold text – say aloud, if desired.


Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, 1796, Angelika Kauffman, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany, found at https://www.sammlung.pinakothek.de/en/artist/angelika-kauffmann/christus-und-die-samariterin-am-brunnen



Acknowledgement of Land

(an act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years, First Nations people have walked on this land; their relationship with the land is at the center of their lives and spirituality. We are gathered on the traditional territory of the Coastal Salish and Puyallup people, and we acknowledge their stewardship of this land throughout the ages.



You are invited to follow along with this worship clip using the liturgy below it.

Lighting of the Community Candle

We light this flame in honor of the work of God in our past.

We light this flame in gratitude for the grace of God in our present moment.

We light this flame in trust for God’s direction into our future.


Opening Prayer


Gathering Song           Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing           Allred


Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon

You know our struggles, O God:

the times when our actions contradicted our words,

   or when we spoke words to hurt,

   or when we held back words in anger.

the times we have broken our covenants,

   wounded our relationships,

   with you, with those around us, with your creation, and with ourselves.

Forgive us, Lord.

(silence for reflection)

Redeemer and Savior, fill us with your love.

Gift us anew with resurrection life, our Healer and Friend. 

Mend the brokenness of our world through your grace. Amen.



Scripture Readings:  You can find all of the lectionary readings for Sunday, March 15, 2020, at this website.  https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=26, link to the Revised Common Lectionary readings: a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library



John 4:1-26

John 4:27-42

        God be in our listening.

        God be in our seeing.

        God be in our understanding. Amen.


Sermon        Living in Uncharted Territory

Pastor Nancy’s sermon is divided into three parts. After each video you’ll find reflection questions to consider individually or together with those who are watching with you.


Jesus chooses to walk into difficult places.


How do you respond to uncertainty? Does it raise your anxiety? Do you welcome the unknown?

If God so loved the world, even the parts unfamiliar or disorienting for us, how might that understanding guide us in times of uncertainty?

What unexpected route might the Spirit be opening up for you to explore?


Jesus engages us in deep spiritual work–no bumper sticker theology.


Take a moment and look at the painting of this scene by Angelika Kauffman that’s at the top of this page.  Using the spiritual practice of visio divina, prayerfully gaze at the image.  What catches your eye?  Is there anything that surprises you?  What point in their conversation do you think the painting depicts? 

Imagine yourself in the scene.  What would you want to ask the woman?  Would you have any questions for Jesus? What might Jesus say to you today?


Our personal spiritual journey transforms our community


John’s gospel understands discipleship as a journey of understanding, not as a single moment of revelation. How does that view of discipleship relate to your own?

Jesus engages in theological reflection with the woman, from personal experience, tradition, and hope. Have you found safe places for exploring your faith with others? What barriers might there be to such conversations? How can we create safe communities for faithful reflection?



Song for Reflection

As we pause together, we invite you to listen to the song To Be a Pilgrim by Darrell Adams, featured on his Facebook page as a hymn for Lent. Text was originally from Part 2 of The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan written in 1684. Verses were modernized in 1906 by Percy Dearmer.

To Be a Pilgrim        Darrell Adams



We have a number of ways to participate and contribute when you are unable to attend worship in person. You can make a one-time donation, or manage ongoing giving on our webpage at https://www.fccpuyallup.com/donate
You may also choose to use the GivePlus Mobile App.  Simply download the GivePlus app from the App Store or Google Play, and then search for “First Christian Church” using our zip code: 98371.  Through the app you can also set up one-time or ongoing giving from your phone.


Prayers of the People

You are invited to follow this worship clip using this response and the Lord’s Prayer below it.


Healing River, Source of Life… hear our prayer.


Our Father in heaven, 

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, 

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.


Sharing of the Peace

May the peace of Christ be with you.

We encourage you to share a sign of peace and reconciliation with those who are near you.



You are invited to follow along with this worship clip using the liturgy below it.


Invitation to Communion

        All are welcome at Christ’s table.

        Everyone is welcome at Christ’s table.

A Celebration of Faith  

Our celebration of faith is from the Iona Abbey Worship Book © 2017 Wild Goose Publications, the publishing division of the Iona Community. 

With the whole church

we affirm we are made in God’s image,

befriended by Christ,

empowered by the Spirit.

With people everywhere

we affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity

planted more deeply than all that is wrong.

With all creation

we celebrate the miracle and wonder of life,

the unfolding purposes of God

forever at work in ourselves and the world.

Prayer of Thanksgiving


Holy, holy, holy, Ever-renewing God,

Heaven and earth are full of your handiwork.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who mends the brokenness of our world.

Hosanna in the highest

Our Sacred Story at the Table        

Communion Prayer


Sharing of the Bread and Cup

You are invited to share the elements you have set aside for this worship time.  Bread, crackers, juice, wine, or water – all are signs of Christ’s abiding presence with us.


Communion Response

Transform us with compassion; gladden our hearts.

Circle us with love.

Mend our brokenness; sweeten our days.

Circle us with love.

Repair our divisions; give light to our paths.

Circle us with love.



Closing Benediction        (adapted from William Sloane Coffin and H. Stephen Shoemaker.) 


May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May God give you grace never to sell yourself short,

grace to risk something big for something good,

grace to remember that the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth,

and too small for anything but love.

So may God take your minds and think through them,

your lips and speak through them,

and your hearts and set them on fire.


Closing Song        Go In Peace                    Sam Baker



Minister: Rev. Nancy Gowler; Elder: Gretchen Mertes; Prayers of the People:  Janet Worden


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