* Find pdf files of Orders of Worship at the bottom of this page.

Sunday Worship Service

March 19, 2023
10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Lent
In person in the sanctuary and via Zoom and Facebook

Zoom Meeting ID: 839 4473 4152
Passcode: 680497
Phone # +1 929 205 6099 (NY)

*Please Stand If You Are Able

Opening Voluntary “Reflections” by R. J. Hughes

Choral Introit



*Call to Worship

L:  Come into the wild pastures, where sheep graze, and nothing seems amiss.

P:  This place feels so very alive. 

L:  The trees clap, the birds sing, and the light bounces so that it feels like anything could happen here.

P:  We come to worship that promise and possibility.  We come to open our eyes to endless grace.


*Opening Hymn #381 – “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”         


*Opening Prayer

Loving God, walk beside us in this place and invite us to see what you see.  May we find more love in our gaze and more grace in our presence as we worship you today.  Amen.


Children’s Sermon – “Seeing Something New”


Old Testament – 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul?  I have rejected him from being king over Israel.  Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”  Samuel said, “How can I go?  If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.”  And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.”  Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem.  The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”  He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.”  And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.  When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel.  He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”  Then Jesse made Shammah pass by.  And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”  10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”  11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”  And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.”  And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”  12 He sent and brought him in.  Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome.  The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”  13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.  Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

L:  The Word of God, For the People of God.  PThanks be to God.


*Gospel – John 9:1-41 (Please stand if you are able)

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.  We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).  Then he went and washed and came back able to see.  The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”  Some were saying, “It is he.”  Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.”  He kept saying, “I am the man.”  10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”  11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.’  Then I went and washed and received my sight.”  12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”  13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.  14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.  15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight.  He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes.  Then I washed, and now I see.”  16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.”  But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?”  And they were divided.  17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him?  It was your eyes he opened.”  He said, “He is a prophet.”  18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How then does he now see?”  20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him; he is of age.  He will speak for himself.”  22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.  23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”  24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God!  We know that this man is a sinner.”  25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner.  One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”  26 They said to him, “What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?”  27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen.  Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you also want to become his disciples?”  28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”  30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing!  You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.  31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.  32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.  33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?”  And they drove him out.  35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  36 He answered, “And who is he, sir?  Tell me, so that I may believe in him.”  37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”  38 He said, “Lord, I believe.”  And he worshiped him.  39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”  40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?”  41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin.  But now that you say, “We see,’ your sin remains.

L:  The Word of God, For the People of God.  PThanks be to God.


*Hymn before Message #2140 – “Since Jesus Came into My Heart”  (The Faith We Sing Hymnal)


Message“After Vision Shifts”                           Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker, Pastor


Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer and Choral Response


Prayer of Confession

Forgiving God, in a world filled with so much pain, we would rather shut our eyes and be blind than see things as they really are.  Grant us the courage to face the reality of our world, and give us the strength to bring your light to those who walk in darkness.  Help us see others as you see them, and forgive us when we do not trust you enough to open our eyes to the possibilities before us.  Heal our self-inflicted blindness, O God, and lead us in the footsteps of the Light of the World, who reveals your glory in his life, his teachings, and his love.  In his holy name, we pray.  Amen.


Words of Assurance

L:  Christ came to lead us in paths of righteousness and to guide us through our lives.

P:  Christ is with us in times of danger and times of peace.

L:  The goodness and mercy of God are given to us each and every day of our lives.

P:  God forgives us for our failings, upholds us in love, and leads us to the place that Christ has prepared for us.

L:  Believe in your heart that God loves you and forgives you.

P:  We believe! God help our unbelief! Amen.


Passing of the Peace of Christ

We pray, Gracious God, that our gifts may provide nourishment to those who thirst for justice, strength to those who hunger for hope, a community to those living in loneliness.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Invitation to Tithes and Offering

Our God provides for our bodies, our souls, and our minds.  In thanksgiving and praise, let us bring our gifts to God. 


Choral Selection – “Prayer For Healing” by M. Ijames


*Hymn No. 95Presentation of the Offering


*Prayer of Dedication

We pray, Gracious God, that our gifts may provide nourishment to those who thirst for justice, strength to those who hunger for hope, a community to those living in loneliness.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Closing Hymn #206 – “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light”         


*Dismissal with Blessing


Closing Voluntary “Sortie In D” by B. Price

(Please remain seated for the Closing Voluntary)



Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker

Liturgist and Reader:

Coleen Murray

Director of Music:

Kenneth Richardson


Everett Fitch, Carol Provenzano, Michael Provenzano

Audio Tech:

Brandon Gauntlett

Counting Team:

Marisa Pershad




Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker, Pastor

21 South Franklin Avenue

Valley Stream, NY  11580


Church Phone Number:  516/825-1182

Church E-mail:  GraceVSNY@aol.com

Church Website:  GraceVSNY.org