First Presbyterian Church Van Wert, Ohio

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(Sermon Video Link Below)


This worship is fairly serious, the raising of Lazarus from death, but we live in fairly serious times, where death and uncertainty invite us into fear. My prayer is that this worship may offer some reflection on the power of the new life we have received, and the abiding presence of God.


Pastor Dave

First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert

March 29, 2020, 5th Sunday in Lent


Preparatory Thoughts


They were on their way up to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way and the disciples were astonished while those who followed were afraid.

Mark 10:32


“In life and death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit, We trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of God’s people, whom alone we worship and serve.”

BOC 10.1



We Gather in God’s Name

Call to Worship

One: The grace of God has not lost its determination to reconcile.


Many: The love of Jesus Christ has not lost its ability to include.


One: The communion of the Holy Spirit has not lost its power to transform.


Many: By God’s Spirit, we are charged and we are empowered. We are led into the new life in Christ. Amen.



Prayer of the Day

Wondrous God,

You have brought us in safety to this new day.

You have made us for life and faith.

Preserve us with Your power,

that we may not fall into death,

nor into our own brokenness,

and safeguard us from adversity.

But in all things, we pray,

call and direct us to Your purpose;

to share love, to live in right relationship,

celebrating the life which You have given.

We pray through Christ

who lived Your love,

even through death,

and even now, calls us forth. Amen.


Words of Encouragement

One: By the obedience of Christ we are set free from bonds of selfishness to follow the will of God.


Many: In Jesus Christ we are set free.


One: By the resurrection of Christ we are loosed from the brokenness of our past and enter a world of possibility in each new day.


Many: In Jesus Christ we are set free.


One: In the dying and rising of Christ, the world is set aright with God. There is the possibility of love, of speaking the truth, of building right relationships and bringing justice to the world.


Many: In Jesus Christ we are set free.


One: If anyone claims the new life in Christ they are a new creation.


Many: All things are new! A new order has begun!


One: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:


Many: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! We are called into a life of hope and promise. We are able to share God’s love.


Time for Young Christians

Sharing God’s Word

Scripture Lesson Romans 14: 7-9

John 11: 1-45


Sermon “Staring you in the face!”    03/29/2020 Video Service  (Link)

Rev. David GoodThe Celebration of God’s love


One: After they had rolled the stone away, Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out!”


Many: We gather as a people in life with God, and as a community of faith in the journey of life and death.


One: The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound. And Jesus said, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


Many: We come to be unbound. To unbind our eyes to God’s Light. To unbind our hands to God’s Purpose.

Sharing of Joys and Concerns

Prayers of the People

The Lord’s Prayer

Charge and Benediction*



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A message from Rev. David Good:



Sunday Worship this week will be available through a link on Facebook.There will also be a link sent by email. 


Grace and Peace to you, amidst a time of turbulence and threat.Amidst the turmoil the church moves forward to meet our times with the resurrection power of our Lord.


The Session has met (by teleconference) twice this week and will meet at its normal time next week. This makes possible adjustments to the physical facility of the church, and arrangements for worship, pastoral care, and all staff relationships. So here is what the Session has accomplished.In matters of safety - our staff has at least three persons in their immediate families who are at health risk IF they are exposed to the coronavirus.


So, safety for staff is a clear priority. The building is closed to outside groups. The building is closed to church activity. The staff has entrance to the building to gather resources for work at home, and Jeff does his work cleaning (and disinfecting) the building alone. The safety of the church staff depends on the building remaining empty.


Each time someone enters the building – Jeff is careful to disinfect.Which bring us to the second matter – Worship. We will have worship this week through a link to the Presbytery website where our worship recording will be stored. You will be able to get the link at our Facebook page or through the email you receive. And, although we are working to have it go smoothly, keep in mind that technical glitches do happen.


In coming weeks, we will be moving toward pre-recorded services, probably on You-tube, and eventually we may have DVD’s for those who have no internet. All of this is an evolving effort to bring you worship from First Presbyterian.


Pastoral Care – If you are in need of Pastoral Care please call me. Pastor Dave Good 765-993-7791.


Staff relationships. At its teleconference on March 18 the Session voted to approve my relationship to the church as Pastor for the “Bridge period” (two months) and as Head of Staff. This makes formal my availability for Pastoral Care, and also streamlines staff adjustments during this turbulent period. The staff and Session are currently working out responsibilities and ministries in a changed environment. These discussions will balance our concern for staff in this economic crisis, our concern for the stewardship of the church, and our shape of ministries during this time. This will be a time of new efforts, long term projects, and development for the future.


If you have an insight as regards the staff, please call me to share your thoughts. Pastor Dave 765-993-7791Moving Forward. At the same time as this tumult, a committee has been working to develop a position description for Temporary/Transition Pastoral leadership. We are moving forward to announce that position across the Tri-state area.Changes. Lots of changes. And threats. Threats to people we care about.


In the midst of all of this the body of Christ moves forward. With a word of peace, and resurrection power.


My friends, First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert, grace and peace to you in Christ our Risen Lord.


Pastor Dave




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