May 16, 2021
Facebook Livestream and Recorded Worship:
Please remember – a virtual service is still available at our Calvary Moravian Church Allentown Facebook page each Sunday.
INSIDE Worship (please see the newsletter for a full listing of inside, safety precautions).
Please do not come to these services if you have a fever, do not feel well, or are simply not ready to return to the sanctuary for worship (Facebook livestream is available).
Masks will be required for the entire time you are inside the building, as well as physical distancing. Bathrooms are open if needed. Please continue to maintain appropriate social distancing.
Dining with Friends – Outside Pizza Party!
On our normal Dining with Friends date, Tuesday, May 25th, at 6 p.m., at the Allentown’s Rose Garden pavilion, we invite everyone to join us for an outside version of Dining with Friends. We’ll bring pizzas and beverages – you can just show up for a night of community outside. If you wish, you are welcome to bring your own food as well. The Allentown Rose Garden Pavilions are located on the opposite side of the park from the Rose Gardens, with the address of Honochick Dr, Allentown, PA 18104. It is Ott St. just before you get to Hamilton Blvd if you are coming from the church. Please RSVP to Sam or Sharon Spagnola.
Reading Room looking for Book Donations!
We are gearing up for several outside events this summer when we hope to share books with our community. We are looking for gently used or like new books for children, especially the “Learn to Read” level books or elementary chapter books. As you are doing your spring cleaning, please consider donating any children’s books to Calvary’s Reading Room. Please contact Pastor Janel (firstname.lastname@example.org, 484-903-3946) to arrange for a drop-off or a pick-up, depending upon location.
Participate in the West End’s Yard Sale at Calvary!
The West End Alliance’s community wide OUTSIDE yard sale is on June 5th, starting 8 a.m. Reserve your spot on our lawn (and access to a 8 ft table) with a $10 donation! Please RSVP now to the office and start your spring cleaning!
You will need to remain at your table(s) during the sale and take anything that doesn’t sell with you. All sales are yours to keep.
Liturgy for Reconciliation pg. 13 (Moravian Hymnal, used with permission).
With joyfulness and longing We look to you, O Lord;
Receive us in your mercy, And cheer us with your word.
Crown us with love enduring, And promises of grace,
And let your holy blessing, Remain within this place.
The years have all been crowded, With tokens of your love;
And many who have sought you, Now worship you above.
But we, O Lord, still need you, Our pilgrim feet to stay,
For evil often triumphs, As faith to fear gives way.
Almighty God, enthroned above all, you alone are God over the nations of the earth. Even the planets, the stars, and the galaxies are placed by your hand.
Where could we go from your Spirit? Where could we flee from your presence? If we go up to the heavens, you are there; if we go down into the caves of the earth or the depths of the sea, you are there.
God of all creation, we sing praises to your name; we stand jubilant before your glory, power, and beauty.
God of certainty, God of truth, our confidence is in you and in you alone.
Yet we live in a fallen world and we are an imperfect people.
Our world is filled with pain and alienation.
We know of illness when body or mind is failing, and the loneliness of spirit it brings.
We know of separation from parent or child, from friend or neighbor, and the emptiness of life it brings.
We know of strangeness in new communities and in changing communities, and the longing it brings.
We know of alienation caused by unemployment or poverty or discrimination, and the pain it brings.
We have become strangers to our relatives, and foreigners to our own families.
How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Let our cry for help come to you.
I am a God nearby, says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? I am the Lord your God. I have called you out from the peoples and you shall be holy to me.
We declare your praise, the One who called us out of darkness into your wonderful light. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to you.
Sing praise to God, who reigns above, The God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love, The God of our salvation;
With healing balm my soul he fills, And every faithless murmur stills.
To God all praise and glory!
The Lord is never far away, But through all grief distressing,
An ever-present help and stay, Our peace, and joy, and blessing,
As with a mother’s tender hand, He leads his own, his chosen band.
To God all praise and glory!
Gracious God, we humbly confess that we walk in the way of the indifferent, who depend on their strength alone. We sit among the scornful, who deny the need for your guidance and power. Our hearts are not satisfied with riches vulnerable to moth and rust and thief, yet we zealously store up those very treasures. Set our minds on things unseen and eternal, that our emptiness within may be filled.
We humbly confess that we fail to welcome the stranger among us. We pass by the neighbor who is hungry and thirsty, naked, sick, and in prison. We sing of your healing power and your unconditional love, but we fail to make our sanctuaries true havens for the suffering and the exiled. Give us the will to be ambassadors for our Savior and faithful stewards of the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.
Without Christ we were strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus we who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. He is our peace.
We are no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, with Christ himself as the cornerstone.
Therefore, let us affirm our faith in the Triune God.
We believe in the one God who has created the land and sea and heavens and all that is in them; who established a world that was good; who gives to us the task of watchful and responsible care over it; who is certainty and truth.
We believe in the one God who in Jesus Christ assumed our humanity and knew our life as child, youth, and adult; who dined with sinners and lived with the homeless; who confronted popular opinion and power; who remained obedient in temptation and suffering; whose triumph was a servant’s death and resurrection.
We believe in the one God who comes to us as comforter and advocate; who does not leave us as orphans; who brings peace and calms the troubled heart; who bestows gifts for serving, healing, showing compassion, and doing miracles; who alone is the power and the wisdom of our proclamation.
Let us in faith keep our eyes fixed on the promises of God, though we see them and greet them from a distance.
We confess that we are strangers and foreigners on the earth, a people who are seeking our true home.
We desire a better place, that is, a heavenly one. Indeed, God has prepared a city for us.
Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
O then what raptured greetings, On Canaan’s happy shore;
What knitting severed friendships up, Where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle, That brimmed with tears of late,
Orphans no longer fatherless, Nor widows desolate.
Bring near your great salvation, O Lamb for sinners slain;
Fill up the roll of your elect, Then take your power, and reign!
Appear, Desire of nations, Your exiles long for home;
Show in the heaven your promised sign; Great Prince and Savior, come.
Prayers of the People
Pastoral Prayer/Lord’s Prayer.
Special Music. Anne Ettinger, piano
Scripture Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:1-11. David Venditta, lay reader.
Hymn 371 “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise” (verses 1 and 2)
Sermon “What’s your Viewpoint?”
Hymn 371 “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise” (verses 3 and 4)
Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’