The Liturgy of the Word 

Opening Hymn   Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus

1. O the deep, deep love of Jesus!

Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,

rolling as a mighty ocean

in its fullness over me.

Underneath me, all around me,

is the current of thy love;

leading onward, leading homeward,

to thy glorious rest above.

2. O the deep, deep love of Jesus!

Spread God’s praise from shore to shore;

how thou loveth, ever loveth,

changeth never, nevermore;

how thou watch over thy loved ones,

died to call us all thine own;

how for us now interceding,

watching over from above.

3 O the deep, deep love of Jesus!

Love of ev’ry love the best:

’tis an ocean vast of blessing,

’tis a haven sweet of rest.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!

‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me;

and it lifts me up to glory,

for it lifts me up to thee.

Opening Acclamation                                    

Priest: Blessed be the God of our salvation

People: Who bears our burdens and forgives our sins.

Collect for Purity    

Priest: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen

Collect for this Season                     

Priest: May God be with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest: Let us pray. 

God of our joy and of our sorrow, you entered a world in crisis as the vulnerable child of an occupied people; teach us to live, even as we fear death, to sing, even as we feel silenced, to love, even as we are separated, to act, even when we are afraid. Care for the sick and the suffering, bless the dying, attend to the lonely, release the captive, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Old Testament                                           1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

ReaderHear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.               Response: Thanks be to God.

Psalm                                                                  Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; *

I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures *

and leads me beside still waters.

3 He revives my soul *

and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.

4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil; *

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; *

you have anointed my head with oil,

and my cup is running over.

6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The Epistle                 Ephesians 5:8-14

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Sleeper, awake! 

Rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”       

Reader:Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.         

Response: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel                                                    John 9:1-41

Priest: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Response: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Following the reading

Priest: The Gospel of the Lord.   
Response: Praise to you, Lord Christ. 

Sermon                The Rev. Erin Maxfield-Steele

Liturgical Affirmation   

All: You, O God, are supreme and holy. 

You create our world and give us life. 

Your purpose overarches everything we do. 

You have always been with us.                  

You are God.

You, O God, are infinitely generous, good beyond all measure. 

You came to us before we came to you. 

You have revealed and proved your love for us in Jesus Christ, who lived and died and rose again. You are with us now. 

You are God.   You, O God, are Holy Spirit. 

You empower us to be your gospel in the world. 

You reconcile and heal; you overcome death. 

You are our God. We worship you. Amen.

Prayers of the People             

Reader: With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to God, saying, “God, have mercy.”

For the peace from above, for the loving-kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to God.

    All: God have mercy.

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to God.

        God have mercy.

For Michael our Presiding Bishop, José our Bishop, Erin our Priest, and for all clergy and people, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For all global, national, state, and local leaders, and for all in positions of power, that they be held accountable to the people impacted by their decisions, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For this city of Asheville, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to God.

        God have mercy.

For God’s good earth and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For all young people, protect and guide them that may grow in love and hope, and may find your peace and grace throughout their lives.

        God have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

In the communion of saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.

        To thee, O God.

The Confession and Absolution (Following a period of silence)

All: God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.    

The Peace

Priest: The peace of Christ be always with you. 
People: And also with you.

Announcements, Joys & Concerns—

Please send us a message and we will try to read it aloud!  

The Holy Communion

Offertory Hymn          

Breathe on me, breath of God                  H 508

The Great Thanksgiving   

Enriching our Worship, prayer 3      

(Please stand in body or in spirit)

The Priest continues: We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant.

From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing. You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways. But we rebelled against you, and wandered far away; and yet, as a mother cares for her children, you would not forget us. Time and again you called us to live in the fullness of your love. And so this day we join with Saints and Angels in the chorus of praise that rings through eternity, lifting our voices to magnify you as we sing: (All sing:)

The Priest continues:

Glory and honor and praise to you, holy and living God…

…Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say: 

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 for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of Bread                               

Priest: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 
People: Let us keep the feast.

All are welcome to receive. You may use the Communion Kit you picked up from the church.

Postcommunion Prayer

All: God of abundance, you have fed us with the bread of life and cup of salvation; you have united us with Christ and one another; and you have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth. Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen. 

Blessing 

Priest: God’s blessing be with you, Christ’s peace be with you, the Spirit’s outpouring be with you, now and always. Amen.

Closing Hymn    

Hard times, come again no more      

Dismissal

Priest: Go in peace to love and serve our God.

    People: Thanks be to God!

St. George’s Episcopal Church

1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806

Tel. 828-258-0211

Website: stgeorgeswavl.org

www.facebook.com/stgwestavl/

Email: stgeorgeoffice28806@gmail.com

-Rev. Erin Maxfield-Steele, Priest in Charge

-Sarah Cayson, Parish Administrator

-Kathy Wallace, Parish Musician

A warm welcome to newcomers!

We’re glad you’re here!  

Some notes about the service

We are a small church with deep roots. We welcome people of all walks of life. We strive to love & honor one another deeply & authentically, to seek justice & peace in our community, & to extend radical love & hospitality—truly welcoming all.   Online worship: due to Coronavirus, we are currently only worshipping online or “virtually.” Please join us on Facebook for our live service each Sunday morning at 10:30 am. We will not gather in person until after Holy Week, but we hope you join us at the church when we do!   Families with young children, while we are not meeting physicially, Rev. Erin is live streaming a storytime on our facebook page twice a week: www.facebook.com/stgwestavl/When we are in the church, kids are welcome to move around in the sanctuary, make noise & explore. There are ways to help out: lighting candles, ringing the bell, reading, or helping with the offering. Let the greeter know if a little one would like to help! Kids have a corner of the sanctuary designed with them in mind & they may use the peace garden outside. There is a changing table in the hallway bathroom. The liturgy (meaning worship structure & the words we use) comes from The Book of Common PrayerEnriching Our Worship, & The New Zealand Book of Common Prayer (He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa). The Collect for the Seasonwas written by Rev. Erin, as were all changes made to hymn lyrics. We intentionally use expansive language for God & people when possible, meaning that we do not only refer to God as ‘he’ or to people as ‘men.’ Other than the hymns, everything the congregations says & sings is in the bulletin in bold italics.       Visitors, please email us your information at stgeorgeoffice28806@gmail.com, let us know a little about you, if you’d like to be on our email list, and if you’d appreciate a call from our priest. Thanks! Communion—we share the Eucharist weekly. All are welcome to receive. We believe that Jesus is present in the bread & wine that have been blessed, broken, & shared. We receive this holy food in remembrance of all that God has done for us, & in hope that through it we will be renewed & strengthened in faith & service. This week, communion kits can be picked up on the Sanctuary steps. For instructions, please see our website’s main page.        

We’re glad you joined us- 

May you feel God’s love & grace!

Congregational responses are bolded and italicized.Books we may use in this service are:theblue Hymnal 1982 (H), and the green Wonder, Love and Praise (WLP).You’ll find more notes about the service on the back of the bulletin.

Prelude  After the prelude ends, the bell is rung. Please stand, in body or in spirit, for the opening hymn.

The Liturgy of the Word 

Opening Hymn

    God, who stretched the spangled heavens   H 580

Opening Acclamation                                    

Priest: Blessed be the God of our salvation

People: Who bears our burdens and forgives our sins.

Collect for Purity    

Priest: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen

Collect of the Day                       

Priest: May God be with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest: Let us pray. 

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament                                       

Exodus 17:1-7

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

ReaderHear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.               

Response: Thanks be to God.

Psalm                                                    

1 Come, let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

3 For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.

5 The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

8 Harden not your hearts,
as your forebears did in the wilderness, *
at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
when they tempted me.

9 They put me to the test, *
though they had seen my works.

10 Forty years long I detested that generation and said, *
“This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways.”

11 So I swore in my wrath, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

The Epistle                                                        

Romans 5:1-11

Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person– though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reader:Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.         

Response: Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn   

I heard the voice of Jesus say                 H 692

The Gospel                                             

Priest:The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Response: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

John 4:5-42

Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on their way to him. 

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”

Priest: The Gospel of the Lord.   
Response: Praise to you, Lord Christ. 

Sermon                

The Rev. Erin Maxfield-Steele

Liturgical Affirmation   

All: You, O God, are supreme and holy. 

You create our world and give us life. 

Your purpose overarches everything we do. 

You have always been with us.                  You are God. You, O God, are infinitely generous, good beyond all measure. 

You came to us before we came to you. 

You have revealed and proved your love for us in Jesus Christ, who lived and died and rose again. You are with us now. 

You are God.   You, O God, are Holy Spirit. 

You empower us to be your gospel in the world. 

You reconcile and heal; you overcome death. 

You are our God. We worship you. Amen.

Prayers of the People             

Reader: With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to God, saying, “God, have mercy.”

For the peace from above, for the loving-kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to God.

    All: God have mercy.

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to God.

        God have mercy.

For Michael our Presiding Bishop, José our Bishop, Erin our Priest, and for all clergy and people, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For Donald our President, Roy our Governor, Esther our Mayor, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For this city of Asheville, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to God.

        God have mercy.

For God’s good earth and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For all young people, protect and guide them that may grow in love and hope, and may find your peace and grace throughout their lives.

        God have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to God.

         God have mercy.

In the communion of saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.

        To thee, O God.

The Confession and Absolution 

(Following a period of silence)

All: God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.    

The Peace

Priest: The peace of Christ be always with you. 
People: And also with you.

Announcements, Joys & Concerns       

The Holy Communion

Offertory Hymn          

Breathe on me, breath of God                 H 508

The Great Thanksgiving   

Enriching our Worship, prayer 3      

(Please stand in body or in spirit)

The Priest continues: We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant.

From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing. You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways. But we rebelled against you, and wandered far away; and yet, as a mother cares for her children, you would not forget us. Time and again you called us to live in the fullness of your love. And so this day we join with Saints and Angels in the chorus of praise that rings through eternity, lifting our voices to magnify you as we sing: (All sing:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eurc_bUAU_s

The Priest continues:

Glory and honor and praise to you, holy and living God. To deliver us from the power of sin and death and to reveal the riches of your grace, you looked with favor upon Mary, your willing servant, that she might conceive and bear a son, Jesus the holy child of God. Living among us, Jesus loved us. He broke bread with outcasts and sinners, healed the sick, and proclaimed good news to the poor. He yearned to draw all the world to himself yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love. Then, the time came for him to complete upon the cross the sacrifice of his life, and to be glorified by you. 

On the night before he died for us, Jesus was at table with his friends. He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, and said: “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again, he gave thanks to you, gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” 

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation, and remembering Christ, crucified and risen, who was and is and is to come, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice. 

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation, the Body of Christ given for the world you have made. In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints, from every tribe and language and people and nation, to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world. 

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say: 

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 for ever. Amen.

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 for ever. Amen

The Breaking of Bread                               

Priest: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 
People: Let us keep the feast.

Communion Hymn                                  Instrumental

This is Christ’s table. It is Christ who welcomes you. 

All are welcome to receive.

All who wish to may come forward to form a semi-circle below the altar. If you would prefer to receive a blessing, please come forward and cross your arms.

If you need gluten-free bread or non-alcoholic wine, please let us know.

Postcommunion Prayer

All: God of abundance, you have fed us with the bread of life and cup of salvation; you have united us with Christ and one another; and you have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth. Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen. 

Blessing 

Priest: God’s blessing be with you, Christ’s peace be with you, the Spirit’s outpouring be with you, now and always. Amen.

Closing Hymn    

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound         H 671

Dismissal

Priest: Go in peace to love and serve our God.

    People: Thanks be to God!

Postlude  

We share Coffee Hour following the service in the fellowship hall. Please join us!

Announcements:

Shape Note Sing! March 21, 10 am to 3 pm in the Sanctuary. Free & open to the community, the “sing” begins with lessons about shape note singing, so this event is open to all—experience or no experience! For more info, ask Rev. Erin or Rev. Willie Israel.

St. George’s Movie Series: March 22, 12 pm in the Parish Hall.Our second film is Dawnland, a documentary about the systematic use of foster care to erase the cultures of indigenous children in Maine. The film lasts 1 ½ hours and will be followed by a discussion. We’ll start the film at 12 o’clock, so grab some coffee and food and join us!

Christian Formation: A Time to Weep, Lenten Reflections by Joan Chittister, Sundays March 1st– April 5th, 9:30 am – 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall. Noel Schwartz will be our guide. Please come!

Asheville JAM Contact Improv Dance: Sat. 4-6:30 pm, Sanctuary.

Primary Purpose AA Meeting: M., T., W., Th., F. 8:30-9:30 & Th. 7-8 in the Fellowship Hall. 

Beginner’s Tai Chi Classes:T., Th., 10-11 am in the Fellowship Hall.

Contra Dancers:M. 7:30-10:30 in the Sanctuary.

AA Old Fashioned Book Study:T. 6-7 in the Fellowship Hall.

Mountain Mindfulness Sangha:T. 7-8:30 in the Fellowship Hall.

Open Circle Meditation & Mindfulness:W. 3:30-5 & 6:30-8 in the Sanctuary.

NA Ladies Night Out:W. 7 in the Sanctuary.

St. George’s Episcopal Church

1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806

Tel. 828-258-0211

Website: stgeorgeswavl.org

www.facebook.com/stgwestavl/

Email: stgeorgeoffice28806@gmail.com

-Rev. Erin Maxfield-Steele, Priest in Charge

-Sarah Cayson, Parish Administrator

-Kathy Wallace, Parish Musician

A warm welcome to newcomers!

Some notes about the service

We are a small church with deep roots. We welcome people of all walks of life. We strive to love & honor one another deeply & authentically, to seek justice & peace in our community, & to extending radical love & hospitality—truly welcoming all.   

Families with young children, kids are welcome to move around in the sanctuary, make noise & explore. There are ways to help out: lighting candles, ringing the bell, reading, or helping with the offering. Let the greeter know if a little one would like to help! Kids have a corner of the sanctuary designed with them in mind & the peace garden outside. There is a changing table in the hallway bathroom.       

The liturgy (meaning worship structure & the words we use) comes from The Book of Common PrayerEnriching Our Worship, & The New Zealand Book of Common Prayer (He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa). We intentionally use expansive language for God & people when possible, meaning that we do not only refer to God as ‘he’ or to people as ‘men.’ Other than the hymns, everything the congregations says & sings is in the bulletin in bold italics.      

Visitors, please let us know a little about you by filling out a Newcomers Form & putting it in the offering basket during the offertory. Forms are located by the bulletins at the back of the sanctuary & by the side door leading to the hallway. Thanks! 

Communion—we share the Eucharist weekly. All are welcome to receive. We believe that Jesus is present in the bread & wine that have been blessed, broken, & shared. We receive this holy food in remembrance of all that God has done for us, & in hope that through it we will be renewed & strengthened in faith & service. We havejuice & gluten-free bread for folks who would like or need them. Please let us know.All who wish to may come forward to form a semi-circle below the altar steps. If you would prefer to receive a blessing, please come forward & cross your arms in front of you.          

May you feel God’s love & grace in this place!

Coloring Page: “Carrying Water” 

Past Sermons

Second Sunday in Lent, 3.8.2020

From The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams. Courtesy of “Celebration of Women Writers,” online at http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/

The Velveteen Rabbit Once you are Real Art Print

“And then a strange thing happened. For where the tear had fallen a flower grew out of the ground, a mysterious flower, not at all like any that grew in the garden. It had slender green leaves the colour of emeralds, and in the centre of the leaves a blossom like a golden cup. It was so beautiful that the little Rabbit forgot to cry, and just lay there watching it. And presently the blossom opened, and out of it there stepped a fairy.

She was quite the loveliest fairy in the whole world. Her dress was of pearl and dew-drops, and there were flowers round her neck and in her hair, and her face was like the most perfect flower of all. And she came close to the little Rabbit and gathered him up in her arms and kissed him on his velveteen nose that was all damp from crying.

“Little Rabbit,” she said, “don’t you know who I am?”

The Rabbit looked up at her, and it seemed to him that he had seen her face before, but he couldn’t think where.

“I am the nursery magic Fairy,” she said. “I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don’t need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real.”

“Wasn’t I Real before?” asked the little Rabbit.

“You were Real to the Boy,” the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to every one.”

And she held the little Rabbit close in her arms and flew with him into the wood.

It was light now, for the moon had risen. All the forest was beautiful, and the fronds of the bracken shone like frosted silver. In the open glade between the tree-trunks the wild rabbits danced with their shadows on the velvet grass, but when they saw the Fairy they all stopped dancing and stood round in a ring to stare at her.

“I’ve brought you a new playfellow,” the Fairy said. “You must be very kind to him and teach him all he needs to know in Rabbit-land, for he is going to live with you for ever and ever!”

And she kissed the little Rabbit again and put him down on the grass.

“Run and play, little Rabbit!” she said.

But the little Rabbit sat quite still for a moment and never moved. For when he saw all the wild rabbits dancing around him he suddenly remembered about his hind legs, and he didn’t want them to see that he was made all in one piece. He did not know that when the Fairy kissed him that last time she had changed him altogether. And he might have sat there a long time, too shy to move, if just then something hadn’t tickled his nose, and before he thought what he was doing he lifted his hind toe to scratch it.

And he found that he actually had hind legs! Instead of dingy velveteen he had brown fur, soft and shiny, his ears twitched by themselves, and his whiskers were so long that they brushed the grass. He gave one leap and the joy of using those hind legs was so great that he went springing about the turf on them, jumping sideways and whirling round as the others did, and he grew so excited that when at last he did stop to look for the Fairy she had gone.”