9:30 AM Sunday Bulletin

Celebration Service

May 24, 2020

Ascension Sunday

9:30 am

Prelude                       “Darwall’s 148th”                     Percy Whitlock


Welcome & Announcements


Call to Worship


Since we have a great high priest

who has passed through the heavens,

Jesus, the Son of God,

let us approach the throne of grace with boldness,

so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:14,16)       


Prayer of the Day


Eternal God, by raising Jesus from the dead you proclaimed his victory, and by his ascension, you declared him Lord of all. Lift up our hearts to heaven where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Hymn                         “The Church’s One Foundation”

The Church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ our Lord;
we are his new creation
by water and the Word;
from heaven he came and sought us
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought us,
and for our life he died.

Called forth from every nation,

yet one o’er all the earth;

our charter of salvation:

one Lord, one faith, one birth.

One holy name professing

and at one table fed,

to one hope always pressing,

by Christ’s own Spirit led.

Though with a scornful wonder
the world sees us oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping,
their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of our war,
we wait the consummation
of peace forevermore,
till with the vision glorious
our longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.

We now on earth have union
with God, the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
Oh, happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.


Words: Samuel J. Stone, 1866, alt.; st. 2 adapt. Laurence Hull Stookey, 1983, alt.

Music: Samuel S. Wesley, 1864; desc. Charles H. Webb, 1980


Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35  Lay Reader: Taryn Noelle

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
But let the righteous be joyful;
    let them exult before God;
    let them be jubilant with joy.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
    lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds[a]
his name is the Lord
    be exultant before him.

Father of orphans and protector of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
God gives the desolate a home to live in;
    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
    but the rebellious live in a parched land.

O God, when you went out before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness,Selah
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
    at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
    at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
    you restored your heritage when it languished;
10 your flock found a dwelling in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
    sing praises to the Lord,Selah
33 O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
    listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
    whose majesty is over Israel;
    and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God in his[j] sanctuary,
    the God of Israel;
    he gives power and strength to his people.

Blessed be God!


The Gloria Patri  


Prayer of Confession


Almighty God, you have raised Jesus from death to life, and crowned him Lord of all. We confess that we have not always bowed before him or acknowledged his rule in our lives. We have gone along with the ways of the world, and often failed to give him glory. Forgive us, and raise us from sin, that we may be your faithful people, obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who rules the world and is head of the church, his body. Amen.


Assurance of Pardon


Hymn                         “I Love Your Church, O God”


I love your church, O God,
on earth your blest abode,
the people our redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.

I love your church, O God,
whose walls before you stand,
dear as the apple of your eye,
and graven on your hand.

In love my tears shall fall,
in love my prayers ascend,
to serve your church, my toils be given,
till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joys,
I prize your people’s ways,
the sweet communion, solemn vows,
the hymns of love and praise.

Sure as your truth shall last,
to Zion shall be given
the brightest glories earth can yield,
and brighter bliss of heaven.


Words: Timothy Dwight, 1801, alt.

Music: Aaron Williams, 1770


Litany for Ascension and The Lord’s Prayer


Arise, O Lord, in your strength.

We will praise you for your glory!


Let us pray with joy to Christ at the right hand of God, saying:

You are the king of glory!


You have raised the weakness of our flesh.

Heal us from our sins,

and restore to us the full dignity of life.

You are the king of glory!


May our faith lead us to the Father

as we follow the road you trod.

You are the king of glory!


You have promised to draw all people to yourself;

let no one of us be separate from your body.

You are the king of glory!


Grant that by our longing we may join you in your kingdom

where your humanity and ours is glorified.

You are the king of glory!


You are true God, and you will be our judge,

so, lead us to contemplate your tender mercy.

You are the king of glory!


O King of glory and Lord of hosts,

who ascended triumphantly above the heavens,

do not abandon us,

but send us the promised one,

the Spirit of truth.

Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity,

now and forever.


The Mystery Box     Taryn Noelle  


Special Music            “The Prayer”                           Taryn Noelle


Gospel Reading         John 17:1-5


After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.


Message                     2020 Vision

                                    The Power of Jesus’ Prayer



Why does Jesus pray this prayer?






Where did Jesus pray this prayer?






For whom did Jesus pray?






To whom did Jesus pray?






When did Jesus pray this prayer?






For what did Jesus pray?




Offertory                     “Hymn of the Ascension”       Guilmant




Offertory Prayer

Hymn                         “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation”

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one,
Holy Zion’s help forever,
and our confidence alone.

To this temple where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, today;
with all your faithful loving kindness,
hear your people as they pray,
and your fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here bestow on all your servants
what they ask of you to gain,
what they gain from you forever
with the blessed to retain;
and hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.


Words: Latin hymn (7th century); tr. John Mason Neale, 1851, alt.

Music: Henry Purcell, c. 1680; adapt. Ernest Hawkins, 1842



Postlude                     “Processional”                         Mathias


Calendar of Events


There are no events at the church for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19. We invite you to watch our livestream prayer services online daily at 9:30 am and 4:30 pm: www.stowechurch.org


Happy Birthday this week to:

Stephen Bennett, Betsy Damon and Michael Wentz today 5/24

Linda Berry on 5/25

Valerie Wise on 5/26

Hannah Marshall Normandeau on 5/27

David Demeritt on 5/28

Evelyn Rose Bower, Nic & J. P. Daliere on 5/30


Happy Anniversary this week to:

Matt & Leslie Anderson, and Tex & Diane Bruns on 5/25

Martin & Margery Adams, and Jeff & Caroline Williams on 5/28





The Missions Committee is coordinating help for people in our congregation and community who need it due to self-quarantine during the Covid-19 crisis. Please contact Chris DeRienzo at chrisd437@gmail.com or call 802-760-7389 if you need or would like to offer a helping hand.


If you, or someone you know, would like prayers for comfort or healing, the members of the Prayer Team are ready to support you. Please call the church office, 253-7257, with your prayer request.


Of course, many individuals and organizations have deep financial needs in the midst of this crisis. Stowe Community Church can certainly use your donations at this time. Click here to donate: http://stowechurch.org/donate/






Musical Notes by Karen Miller


            John Darwall (1731-1789) studied at Manchester Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1757 he became curate and later, vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in Walsall where he remained to the end of his life. He composed two volumes of piano sonatas, and tunes for all of the 150 psalms. These were published in Tate and Brady’s New Version. A few of these were included in some psalters, but the only one that survived to be included in succeeding generations of hymnals was his 148th tune.

Percy William Whitlock (1903-1946) studied at the Royal College of Music and held several organ positions in his lifetime. He wrote many pieces for organ but also for orchestra. He suffered from tuberculosis from an early age and died an early death. His hymn prelude “Darwall’s 148th” is from his Six Hymn Tune Preludes of 1945. This composition is a lively, bold prelude with the melody line appearing section by section on a trumpet (or tuba) stop.

Offertory: Ascension Day is the Thursday 40 days after Easter and is observed to commemorate Christ’s ascension into heaven. It was this past Thursday, May 21st. Several hymns have been written for this occasion including “Salutis Humanae Sator” which is the bases for Guilmant’s short three-voice composition for Ascension. (Felix) Alexander Guilmant (1837-1911) studied with his father and Jacque Lemmens in Brussels before becoming organist of Holy Trinity Church in Paris in 1871. He succeeded Widor as Professor of the Conservatoire. His organ compositions are extensive and range in difficulty from those that challenge recitalists to those that are easily accessible for the amateur parish organist. His short Ascension piece is from his collection L’Organist Pratique (The Practical Organist).

Postlude: William James Mathias (1934-1992) was one of the most significant Welsh composers. He wrote in several genres and composed eleven concertos, but his organ and choral works are a significant portion of his output. Educated at the University College of Wales, he held several posts in Great Britain, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1965. He also founded the North Wales Music Festival at St. Asaph Cathedral. His compositions combine a sharp rhythmic style with a strong tonal center in spite of a fairly dissonant idiom. His “Processional” is probably his best known organ work.