Sunday Sneak Peek – February 26, 2023

Join us this Sunday for the first Sunday of Lent at 915am (in-person and live stream when available)


S4K-color-horiz400“Where Your Treasure Is”

Thank you for worshiping online with us.  We are so glad that you are spending part of your day with us!

Order of Service

Worship Service Participants

  • Rev. Scott Siefert
  • Organist: Penny Rolf
  • Liturgists: Kenneth & Keith Kohls

Ringing of the Church Bell



Rev Scott: Let us look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was waiting endured the cross.

Call to Worship 

One: We have gathered in the presence of God our creator, who sets before us the ways of life and death.

All: We have gathered in the presence of Jesus the Christ, who calls us to accept the cost of discipleship so that we may know its joy.

One: We have gathered in the presence of the Spirit, who sustains us in trial and rejoicing.

All: In our living and in our dying, we belong to God. In the shadow of God’s wings, we sing for joy. Let us worship God. 

*Opening Hymn: “Just As I Am, Without One Plea” (The Hymnal #214)

Prayer of Invocation 

One: We gather to worship, O God, under the shadow of the cross, sing of human shame and divine wisdom. Like Jesus, we would follow faithfully your way; like Jesus, we would live to you and die to you. 

All: We are your people; we belong to you. We offer you our worship and our lives.

One: May your name be glorified in your church as we are open to your presence today.

All: In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.

Litany of Confession 

Rev Scott: As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor. Repentance,  prayer, study, and works of love help us return to that love. I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to God and neighbor by confessing and by asking God for strength and perseverance. 

All: Most holy and merciful God; we confess to you and to one another, and the whole community of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

Rev Scott: We have not loved you with all our heart, mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have forgotten others as we have been forgotten. 

All: Have mercy on us, O God. 

Rev Scott: We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true in the midst of the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

All: Have mercy on us, O God. 

Rev Scott: We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness. The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives. The anger at our own frustrations, the envy of others fortune, the wanting of worldly things and comforts, and times of neglect in prayer and worship. 

All: We confess to you, O God.

Rev Scott: Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty. For all false judgements, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us. For the lack of caring for your creation and for our lack of concern for those who come after us. 

All: Accept our repentance, O God.

–Time of Silent Confession-

All are invited to come forward to receive the ashes. This is completely voluntary and not a test of your faithfulness. You can have them placed on your forehead or on your wrist. Please let us know if you would like to have the ashes brought to you. 

Rev Scott: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. 

After all those who wish to participate have received the ashes. 

Rev Scott: Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation. 

All: That we may show forth your glory. 

Rev Scott: By the cross and passion of our Savior,

All: Bring us with all your saints to the joy of Christ’s resurrection. 

Rev Scott: Almighty God does not desire our death but rather that we may be faithful and live. Therefore we implore God to grant us true repentance and the Holy Spirit that those things which we do this day may be pleasing to God, that the rest of our lives may be lived in love and peace, and that at the last we may come to God’s eternal joy; through Jesus the Christ. 

All: Thanks be to God!

Scripture Reading

Psalm 51:1-17 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Pastoral Meditation:  “The Eternal Heart”

Hymn of Response: “Dust and Ashes Touch Our Face” (New Century Hymnal #186)

Prayers and Concerns

Joys – Concerns – Blessings 

Please share any special concerns, joys, and blessings.

Silent Prayer – Pastoral Prayer – Lord’s Prayer 

ALL: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  AMEN.

Collection and Presentation of the Offering

Invitation to the Offering

Rev Scott: Jesus tells us, “Do not store up your treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

*Hymn: “Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow” (The Hymnal #551)

*Prayer of Dedication

All: Loving God, let our hearts reflect your generosity. Let our treasures be used for your glory and given with cheerful hearts. AMEN.

Closing and Blessing

*Closing Hymn:  “God Be With You” (New Century Hymnal #81)

Benediction and Blessing

Ringing of the Church Bell

Upcoming Events & Announcements

  • Wednesdays – Confirmation Class – 6pm – schedule on website
  • Thursdays – Bible Fellowship – 6pm – Fellowship Hall and ZOOM
  • TODAY- Consistory Team Meeting Sync Up – Following worship
  • Mar. 1st – Lenten Service – 7pm – St. Paul’s UCC in Plato
  • Mar. 3rd – Free Food Distribution – 2pm – NYA City Hall
  • Mar. 8th – Lenten Service – 7pm – Freiden’s County Line in NYA
  • Mar. 15th – Lenten Service – 7pm – First Congregational in Glencoe
  • Mar. 22nd – Lenten Service – 7pm – St. John’s UCC in Bongards

Fruit of the Spirit.   February will focus on literacy to create a lending library at the Bongards Farmers Market.  A special collection basket at the rear of the sanctuary.  

Weather Watch Policy.  This includes weather forecasts for wind chills below -20 degrees, significant snowfall, or dangerous winter weather conditions.  Announcements cancelling services or events will be made via social media, our website, and email. 

God uses everyone’s talents.  We are compiling a list of opportunities and ways folks can use their time and talents in St. John’s ministries and the greater community we serve.  There will be something for everyone.  Contact Pastor Scott or Michelle Bachmann if you are interested in any of the 3 new teams announced at the Annual Meeting:  Faith & Service, Building & Grounds, or Worship & Gather.

Blessings Calendar.  Lent starts this Wednesday.  So does our Blessings Lent Calendar.  Pick up a copy and follow along at home. 

Find Food Carver County.  Volunteers are needed to pack produce, sort food items, and distribute food into vehicles in NYA the first Friday of the month.  This program helps with food insecurity and food rescue to reduce waste.  If interested, contact Michelle Bachmann at 952-361-3033 or

Live Streaming:  We want to train others on live-streaming and recording services.  Contact Michelle Bachmann if you’re interested.

Looking for a church community?  If you have been led to St. John’s looking to be more than a visitor, we welcome you openly and would love an opportunity to chat.  Contact Pastor Scott at 804-350-0826 or email

The Word To Go:  Find Sunday morning worship services on our YouTube channel, St. John’s UCC-BongardsWorship will also be live-streamed on Facebook, when available.

Bongards Buzz:  Submit items for the newsletter by the 1st of each month to Michelle Bachmann or

For Pastoral Care.  Please contact Pastor Scott at 804-350-0826 or email  


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