Nottingham Presbyterian Church

May 2, 2021

Fifth Sunday in Eastertide


Approaching God






Call to Worship


One: We are a resurrection people!

Many: We are those who seek new life – new beginnings.

One: And we, the church, must be a place of knowing and growing and accepting love.

Many: We look to Jesus Christ to teach us the way. Lord, teach us to dance to the beat of your heart.

All: Let us dance with God!


Hymn #65 Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah v. 1 & 2


Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.

I am weak, but thou are mighty, Hold me with thy powerful hand.

Bread of heaven , Bread of heaven,

feed me till I want no more; feed me till I want no more.


Open now the crystal fountain, when the healing stream doth flow.

Let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through.

Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,

be thou still my strength and shield; be thou still my strength and shield.


(Text: William Williams, 1762; stanza 1, trans Peter Willliams, 1771; stanza 2, trans. William Williams, 1772; Music: John Hughes, 1907; no copyrights; no further license needed).



Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Lord, we have been taught that to dance our best we must dance as individuals. Forgive us when we neglect to consider that every step we take may impact many other people. Forgive us when our insistence on doing things our own way makes it harder for others to live. Forgive us when we are certain that our dance is so much better than the dance of others. Teach us your rhythm; teach us to dance to the beat of your heart. In Christ’s name we pray.  (a time for confessing our personal sins in silence)




Assurance of Pardon (based on Titus 3:4-6)

One: God, in loving kindness and goodness, sent our Savior Jesus Christ to save us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but by grace.


Many: God poured out the Holy Spirit upon us richly through Jesus Christ, so we are justified by God’s grace!


Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost!

   As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be

     world without end! Amen. Amen.


Passing the Peace


Hearing God’s Word

Today’s Readings are from the New International Version of the Bible


First Lesson:    Acts 8:26-40


26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”


30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.


31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.


32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:


“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,

   and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,

   so he did not open his mouth.

33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.

   Who can speak of his descendants?

   For his life was taken from the earth.”


34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.


36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.

Many: Thanks be to God!


Gospel Lesson: John 15:1-8


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.


5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Pastor: This is the Word of the Lord.

Many: Thanks be to God!


Sermon          Learning the Steps; Guided by God


Our Response to God




Affirmation of Faith (Unison) The Apostles’ Creed (unison)


I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the

communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the

body; and the life everlasting. Amen.






Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise God all creatures here below,

Praise God above ye heaven host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



The Prayers of the People & The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

   Your kingdom, come.

Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

   Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

   Lead us, not into temptation,

   but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the Kingdom, and the power,

   and the glory forever. Amen.


Hymn of Preparation # 517 Here, O Our Lord, We See You v. 1-3


Here, O our Lord, we see you face to face.

Here would we touch and handle things unseen,

Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,

And all our weariness upon you lean.


Here would we feed upon the bread of God,

Here drink with you the royal cup of heaven;

Here would we lay aside each earthly load,

And taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.


This is the hour of banquet and of song;

This is the heavenly table for us spread.

Here let us feast and, feasting, still prolong

The fellowship of living wine and bread.

(Text: Horatius Bonar, 1855, alt. Music: Frederick Cook Atkinson, 1870; no copyrights; no further license needed)


Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper


     Prayer of Thanksgiving

     Words of Institution

     Sharing of Bread and Wine/Juice



Hymn # 757 Today We All Are Called to Be v. 1 and 4


Today we all are called to be disciples of the Lord,

To help to set the captive free, make plowshares out of swords,

To feed the hungry, quench their thirst, make love and peace our fast,

To serve the poor and homeless first, our ease and comfort last.


May we in service to our God act out the living word,

And walk the road the saints have trod till all have seen and heart.

As stewards of the earth may we given thanks in one accord

To God who calls us all to be disciples of the Lord.

(Text: H. Kenn Carmichael, 1985; Music: English County Songs, 1893; harm. Ralph Vaughan Williams 1906; Text copyright H. Kenn Carmichael; One License reprint and podcast/stream license A-736486.)



Nottingham Presbyterian Church Mission Statement


We the people of Nottingham Presbyterian Church strive to be Christ-centered, friendly and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We are called to surrender our individual desires in order to do God’s will. We are led by God to be a light in this world by:

•         Bringing the love of Jesus to our community with an accepting, nurturing and compassionate environment.

•         Expanding our missions and worship experiences to meet the needs of the community and the world.

•         Passionately and enthusiastically developing opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.

•         Seeking to develop partnerships with local and global organizations in pursuit of God’s vision.


Charge and Benediction






This service can also be found on our website ( Our CCLI license is: 3259522; our streaming license is: 20580343. One License reprint and podcast/stream license A-736486.

This service is adapted from the program “Holy Vessels” purchased from Worship Design Studios. © . Permission to make adaptation, to use, and to stream this service is included in the purchase of the program. Copyright is still held by Worship Design Studio. Reference in Call to Worship to “teach us to dance to the beat of your heart” comes from the song “Teach Me to Dance to the Beat of Your Heart” recorded by Graham Kendrick which can be found on Youtube:


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