Sunday Sneak Peek – April 23, 2023

Join us for the Third Sunday of Easter at 915am (in-person and live stream when available)


S4K-color-horiz400“Now You See Him, Now You Don’t”

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
  • Liturgist:  Vicki Moteelall
  • Choir:  YOU!

Ringing of the Church Bell



Rev Scott: Jesus said: I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in that person, will bear much fruit. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

Call to Worship 

Vicki: We are gathered in the presence of the risen Christ, who remains with us for ever.

All: When we abide in the love of Christ, love, joy, and peace grow.

Vicki: We are rooted in Christ’s love that we may bear these fruits together with all God’s people.

All: With the faithful of every race, tribe, people, and nation we sing: Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, and might be to God for ever and ever. AMEN. 

*Opening Hymn: “Great Is Your Faithfulness” (New Century Hymnal #423)

Prayer of Invocation 

Vicki: Holy God, the earth is full of your glory, and so we worship you. Our hearts are on fire with the awareness that Christ is with us, and so we thank you. Our fears have been calmed in the bright light of the Resurrection Day, and so we praise you and worship you. 

All: Let us abide for ever in the assurance of your love; through the grace of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Rev Scott: With all the signs of new life in Christ around us, we still cling to our old ways. Let us confess to God and to one another. When we do not accept as our sisters and brothers in Christ those who are different from us, forgive us O God. When we oppose you by opposing those who disrupt our routines and challenge our assumptions, forgive us O God. 

All: God, in your mercy, restore us to newness of life. Bind together your church universal through the coming of the Holy Spirit. Empower us to witness your courage to the presence of Jesus Christ among us. AMEN.

–Time of Silent Confession-

Assurance of Grace

Rev Scott: Take heart: God’s Spirit empowers us to move from the ways of death to the ways of new life. We are forgiven. Let us forgive one another in the joyful community of the risen Christ. 

All: Thanks be to God!

Scripture Readings

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 and Luke 24:13-35

Message for the Young and Young at Heart: “Pastoral Meditation”

Pastoral Meditation 

Hymn of Response: “He Leadeth Me” (The Hymnal #466)

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:  It is not the outward appearance or size of the gifts we have to share that matters to God. It is the loving generosity of our hearts that is closest to the heart of God. We are invited to give this day out of the abundance of our lives, from our heart, knowing that no matter the size of the gift that God knows our hearts.

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

*Prayer of Dedication

All: God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Along with these offerings we bring our hope that you continue to open our eyes to Jesus just as you did for the travelers on the road to Emmaus. Help us to see all of creation – the world and all that live in it – through your eyes. Help us to see and act, listen and pray, feel and respond to your larger vision of what can be. Help us to grow in you…may our eyes be Easter eyes to recognize Jesus wherever and whoever we are. AMEN.

Closing and Blessing

*Closing Hymn: “For the Beauty of the Earth” (The Hymnal #12)

Benediction and Blessing

Ringing of the Church Bell

Upcoming Events & Announcements

  • Wednesdays – Confirmation Class – schedule on website
  • Thursdays – Bible Fellowship – 6pm – Fellowship Hall and ZOOM
  • TODAY – Consistory Team Meeting – following worship
  • Apr. 30th – Fellowship & Coffee Hour – following worship
  • Apr. 30th – Building & Grounds Team Meeting – following worship

Fruit of the Spirit.   April focuses on world-wide food insecurity with donations to benefit Feed My Starving Children.  A special collection vessel is at the entrance of the sanctuary.  

God uses everyone’s talents.  Check out this month’s “Team Up” flier for ways to share your time and talents to inspire and uplift our community. Submit ideas and opportunities by the 25th of each month to Michelle Bachmann or

Walk on Waconia is Saturday, May 20th.  This fundraiser benefits the Gather and Grow Waconia food shelf.  Volunteers are needed for 6:30 – 8:30 for check in and on-site registration and on the route to guide participants. Contact Michelle Bachmann if you’re interested.

Bongards Market Helpers Needed.  A variety of opportunities for all abilities are available.  Wednesdays, June to September.  You pick dates/times that fit your schedule.  Contact Vicki Moteelall at 612-710-0508.

Live Streaming.  We want to train others on live-streaming and recording services.  If you can make a post on Facebook from your computer, you can do this.  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 Facebook Page, St. John’s UCC of 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  


We’ve partnered with easyTithe so you can use your bank account for a direct ACH, debit card, or a credit card to make a secure one time or reoccurring gift.

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