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Summer is upon us, so things change a little on our schedule.

On thing that hasn’t changed is the Fresh Food Giveaway.  We need all your help again this coming Friday & Saturday, May 24-25. Come and be a part of this heart-warming ministry!

This Sunday, May 26, we begin our summer schedule with Bible Study at 8:30am and worship at 9:45am.  DON’T FORGET!!!  After worship we will have our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.  Council provides the meet, buns, drinks, and condiments.  You just bring a side dish to share and your own plates, cups, and utensils.

This Sunday, May 26, through Friday, May 31SALCA Bible Camp will take place for the first time at Southern Pines Baptist Camp on the road up to Mt. Lemon. Because of this, there will be no Bible study Sunday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Don’t forget this coming Monday, May 27, to honor the Memorial Day holiday.

The Wednesday Night Dinner & a Movie is finished for this school year and will begin again after Labor Day.

On Sunday, June 2, there will be a City-wide Via de Cristo Ultreya potluck at Tanque Verde Lutheran Church at 4pm.

The full week’s schedule is printed at the bottom of this email.  Or you can check out the calendar and watch any of our worship services or read our newsletter on our New Website:

Know that you are loved,

Pr Tom



1        Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.

Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2        Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,

which wert and art, and evermore shalt be.

3        Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,

though the eye of sinfulness thy glory may not see,

only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,

perfect in pow’r, in love and purity.

4        Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.

Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Text: Reginald Heber, 1783-1826, alt.


Chorus:  Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do you remember me,

Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do you remember me,

Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do you remember me,

Look away beyond the blue.

1.  I took Jesus as my Savior, you take Him, too,

I took Jesus as my Savior, you take Him, too,

I took Jesus as my Savior, you take Him, too,

Look away beyond the blue.  Chorus:

2. If you can’t bear the cross,

then you can’t wear the crown,

If you can’t bear the cross, then you can’t wear the crown,

If you can’t bear the cross, then you can’t wear the crown,

Look away beyond the blue.  Chorus:

3.  I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun,

I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun,

I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun,

Look away beyond the blue.  Chorus:

 4.  Glory be to God the Father and to God the Son;

Glory be to God the Spirit, ever Three in One.

As it was in the beginning, till our race is won,

We can live in the light of the Lord. Chorus


VerseCome, now is the time to worship;

Come, now is the time to give your heart;

Come, just as you are to worship;

Come, just as you are before your God. Come


One day every tongue will confess You are God;

One day every knee will bow;

Still the greatest treasure remains;

For those who gladly choose You now

Repeat verse and chorus

Come, now is the time, Come, now is the time, Come.

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Leader:           The Light came that we might not be condemned to eternal darkness.

People:          When we live in the Light we have fellowship with God and each other.

Leader:           For God was in Christ bringing reconciliation to the world.

People:          God did not hold our sins against us but gave us the message of love.

Leader:           Let us share that message with the world in our songs and praise.

All:                 Blessed be the name of the Lord!




Leader:           Gracious God,

People:           you gave us the light that we might choose it and live, yet so often we have chosen the darkness. You offer us the wonders of life and eternity and so often we would rather live in the shadows of our despair. You have opened the door for us to walk once again in Your love and yet we still elect to walk our sinful ways alone. Forgive us, Lord. In Christ we pray.  Amen.

(Silence for reflection and personal confession)

Leader:God did not send the Son into the world to condemn us, but in order that the world might be saved through him. The refining fire of God has touched you. Sisters and Brothers, your sins are forgiven; be at peace.

People:          Thanks be to God!


SONG OF PRAISE                         FATHER I ADORE YOU

Verse 1  Father I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

Verse 2  Jesus I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

Verse 3  Spirit I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

Verse 4  Three-in-one I adore you

And I lay my life before you

How I love you.

CCLI Song # 26557


Psalm: 29

1Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders;
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
11O Lord, give strength to your people;
give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace.

Romans 8:12-17

In describing the new life of faith, Paul refers to all three persons of the Trinity: the Spirit leads us to recognize that we are children of God the Father and sisters and brothers with Christ the Son.

12Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION                         THY WORD

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

And a light unto my path; you’re the light unto my path

John 3:1-17

Jesus’ miracles prompt Nicodemus to visit him in secrecy. Jesus tells him about being born of the Spirit and about the Son who has been sent by God to save.

1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”




Craig Brian Larson tells a story of a bright young woman named Marian, who was working her way through college by cleaning the dorm rooms of her fellow students. She was often annoyed by their inability to say “thank you” or “please.”

One day she got so disgusted and disillusioned that she was ready to quit. She went to see her professor, Robert Coles. She said, “I’ve been taking all of these philosophy courses and we talk about what’s true, what’s important, what’s good. Well, how do you teach people to be good?”

“The answer to that question,” said her professor, “according to the Bible, is not education but conversion. No one can truly learn to be good, for only God is perfectly good. The light of true goodness dawns in the heart only when God shines there.”

That gets to the heart of Jesus discussion with Nicodemus. Nicodemus was talking about education and Jesus was talking about conversion. What kind of lives would we live if God’s light should truly shine in our hearts? From everything we know about Jesus’ teachings, what can we conclude he meant by saying that if we enter the Kingdom of God we must be born again?

Doesn’t it mean that we would become a new person? When we were born the first time we became a new person. Wouldn’t a rebirth imply that once again we would become a new person? That is, there would be some changes made in our life?

The Reverend John Buchanan retired after 48 years as a Presbyterian pastor. He wrote an article in which he looked back over his half century of ministry. He remembered one Sunday service in which he was baptizing a two-year-old boy.

After the child had been baptized with water, John Buchanan, following the directions of the Presbyterian prayer book, put his hand on the little boy’s head and addressed him in Trinitarian language. He said, “You are a child of God, sealed by the Spirit in your baptism, and you belong to Jesus Christ forever.”

Unexpectedly, the boy looked up and responded, “Uh-oh.”

Well, it was an amusing moment, and people in the congregation smiled, of course, but “it was [also] an appropriate response,” wrote Buchanan, “a stunning theological affirmation” from the mouth of this child. That “uh-oh” was a recognition that everything had changed, that this boy would never be the same.

Uh-oh is a proper response to a new birth. Someone once said, “We’re all in favor of progress provided we can have it without change.”  Many Christians verbally give assent to the idea of becoming a new person in Christ, but very few of us want to pay the price that such change would entail.

In light of Christ’s life and teaching, what changes would likely take place if we were to experience the new birth that Jesus recommends to Nicodemus?

First of all, wouldn’t our lives have a new focus, an outward focus rather than an inward one? When we are born into this physical world, we are born grasping things to ourselves. The first movements of a baby’s hands are to clutch, to grasp, to hold. We are born into this world utterly self‑centered. Recognizing that babies are cute, cuddly, and loveable we also must confront the fact that nature has fashioned the human infant to be utterly focused on its own needs. A new baby wants what it wants when it wants it. It doesn’t matter whether you are watching your favorite program on television or reading a newspaper, or doing some chore that badly needs to be done if a baby needs to be fed or to be changed, or even just to be held, that baby is going to let you know it, and will not let you rest until you have met its needs.

That drive toward oneself is essential, of course, for survival. The progress of maturity, of growth, is to learn to escape from being self‑centered to being able to accommodate others in the framework of one’s life. That is the natural process of the physical world to start off self‑centered and then to learn to share.

But if we were to become new persons, we would have to go further than that, would we not? We would have to focus on others’ needs just as intently as we focus on our own. This is so that we might accurately reflect the image of our true Parent who, in a spiritual rebirth, is God.

When we see a young boy, we may say: he is the spitting image of his father. Or we might say, a little girl has her mothers eyes. But how many people say about us, “He is as loving as his heavenly Father.” “She is as compassionate as her God?” And yet that is exactly how we are to live. Amy Grant sings in a song: “She has her Father’s eyes.” She was talking about our Heavenly Father.

Such a transformation would be difficult for most of us. We are the me‑first generation. We have been taught to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, but the emphasis has been on ourselves. A new focus would say that we should love the Lord our God first, and we would love our neighbors equally as much as we love ourselves.

In the second place, if we were truly born again, we would have a new system of values. That is one of the things that happens to us when we grow up is that we obtain values from our families, from our teachers, and from our friends. That is how values “happen.” We acquire them from the environment in which we live. If we were to experience a new birth, we would obtain a new system of values that were acquired from our new saturation in the world of God.

No one can say exactly what those new values would be. When Jesus talked of the Kingdom life and said things like “Blessed are the meek” and “Blessed are those who mourn,” we can only partially understand the full meaning of his words. Through the years pastors and theologians and teachers have tried to understand what he meant. But Jesus saw the world through a fresh pair of eyes. He truly saw the world through his Father’s eyes.

Probably many of the things that we cherish most: our possessions, our nice homes, our affluent lifestyles would have less interest if we truly were born again. The things that this world could buy would dim in their glitter and glory. Our eyes would be fixed on a new world, a new heaven, a new earth.

There was an episode of the show The Simpsons on which Homer Simpson is told by his doctor that he has only a few days to live.  He is understandably frightened, but very soon after this dire pronouncement, he shows remarkable fortitude. 

Homer makes a list of all the things that he would like to do before he dies, and the list is full of things like ride in a blimp and tell off his boss.  But the list also contains items like making amends with the neighbor who he’s always borrowing things from but never returning.  Homer also realizes that not only has he not been a model neighbor, but also not the best father to his children.  So, he spends quality time with his son, and listens to his daughter play the saxophone instead of telling her to stop with all that racket.

Wouldn’t such a shift in values take place with a new birth? We can’t say with precision what our new values would be. However, we do know some of the things that we value now would fade in significance.

A new outward focus and a new set of values. In the third place, if we truly experienced a new birth, wouldn’t we have a new family? That is self-evident, isn’t it? When you are born the first time into this world, you are born into a family. When you are born into the Kingdom of God you have a new family. This would not be a family of the flesh, but a family of the Spirit.

Now then, who are your brothers and sisters? Jesus asked that question one time, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”.

When you experience a new birth, you acquire a new family. St. Paul describes that new family. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. It sounds to me like every child of God is our brother and sister.

A sheriff and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Keys, lived over the county jail. One day Mrs. Keys, a kind woman, came down to call her husband.

As she turned back to go upstairs, she heard someone crying. Listening carefully, she found the sound coming from a tiny figure huddled in a dark corner of a cell.

As her eyes became used to the darkness, she made out the form of a boy, perhaps eight or nine years old. “Son, what are you doing here?” she called.

Frightened at the voice, the boy, whose name was Charley, turned. After a pause, he came nearer Mrs. Keys and saw that she was smiling. Charley poured out his story. In a fit of rage, he had shot a twelve-year-old girl, and he was being held for murder.

“But what of your family?” the sheriff’s wife asked.

“Ain’t got none,” he said in a pitiful voice.

In an hour Mrs. Keys had permission from the local judge to move Charley from the cell block to their apartment. In two days, Mrs. Keys turned a frightened, half-animal into a well-dressed, smiling boy.

Soon the Keys’ home became his home. At the trial, Charley was sentenced to the reform school. “Can I come back here when I get done?” he asked in his pitiful voice.

“But son, you will want to go on your own,” Mrs. Keys said, her pitying heart and her Christian spirit going out to the homeless boy. “And besides, you wouldn’t want to live over a jail.”

The boy looked around. “It ain’t jail,” he said, “it’s home.”

The sheriff’s wife gathered the boy into her arms. Her eyes shone with happiness as she said, “I need a son.” And new life began.

If we were truly born again, we would be a new human being. “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” A new outward focus, a new set of values, a new family — are you ready for a second birth? Let God make it happen. AMEN.

Illustrations and ideas of King Duncan used by permission from

Sermon and Worship Resources @


 Come, join the dance of Trinity, before all worlds begun—

the interweaving of the Three, the Father, Spirit, Son.

The universe of space and time did not arise by chance,

but as the Three, in love and hope,

made room within their dance.

2  Come, see the face of Trinity, newborn in Bethlehem;

then bloodied by a crown of thorns outside Jerusalem.

The dance of Trinity is meant for human flesh and bone;

when fear confines the dance in death,

God rolls away the stone.

 Come, speak aloud of Trinity, as wind and tongues of flame

set people free at Pentecost to tell the Savior’s name.

We know the yoke of sin and death,

our necks have worn it smooth;

go tell the world of weight and woe that we are free to move!

4  Within the dance of Trinity, before all worlds begun,

we sing the praises of the Three, the Father, Spirit, Son.

Let voices rise and interweave, by love and hope set free,

to shape in song this joy, this life: the dance of Trinity.

Text © 2001 Selah Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



            I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

            I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;  He descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.

            I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH                 

P:         Filled with the Holy Spirit, we join with the church in every place, praying for the world that God so loves.

A brief silence.

P:         Abba, when we cry to you, your Spirit bears witness with our spirit. Give to your church the confidence of the children of God, so that we boldly share with everyone your world-saving love. Hear us, O God.

C:        Your mercy is great.

P:         Your people cry out to you, seeking the goodness and hope of your holiness. Let the wind of your Spirit blow into the lives of all who suffer from injustice, want, or anguish of any kind (especially). Hear us, O God.

C:        Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

P:         By the sure guidance of your Holy Spirit, O God, we lift up our prayers in trust and thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C:        Amen.


Next, we will receive the gifts of forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation from our Lord Jesus, and respond gratefully with our offerings. Offering plates are in the front next to the aisle for your gifts. You may also donate online on the website, by text (the phone number is on the website), by mail, or personally deliver it to the office. Lives are changed through the ministry enabled by your gifts. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in the Gospel. Let us pray


 P:        O God, we are eager to be used by you in the work of your church, and so we present these offerings and ourselves to be instruments in spreading the Good News of your caring, forgiving love.

C:        Amen.


THE LORD’S PRAYER 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


COMMUNION SONG                                             SING ALLELUIA

1.  Sing alleluia to the Lord, sing alleluia to the Lord   

Sing alleluia, sing alleluia, sing alleluia to the Lord

2.  Jesus is risen from the dead

3.  Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth

4.  He’s coming back to take us home

5.  We give thanks to God our King

6. He died for us, we’ll live for Him

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As you go on your way may Christ go with you.

May he go before you to show you the way;

May he go behind you to encourage you;

Beside you to befriend you;

Above you to watch over;

Within you to give you peace. 

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.  Amen.



See the streams of living waters,

springing from eternal love,

well supply your sons and daughters,

and all fear of want remove. 

Who can faint while such a river

ever will their thirst assuage?

Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,

never fails from age to age.


Pastor:            Greet your worshiping neighbor. Go in peace and

                        Serve One Another!

People:          Thanks be to God!!!

Friday, May 24

9 – 10am   Sort Fresh Food

Saturday, May 25

9 – 11am   Fresh Food Distribution

Sunday, May 26

8:30 – 9:30am   Adult Bible Study & Sunday School

9:45 – 10:45am   Livestream Worship in-person

11am – 12pm   Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, Streams Lg Hall

11:50am – 12:20pm   Building & Grounds – Classroom A

1pm   SALCA Camp – Southern Pines Baptist Camp

3 – 4:30pm   NO Zoom Bible Study

Monday, May 27

SALCA Camp (Day 2/6)   Southern Pines Baptist Camp

Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 28

SALCA Camp (Day 3/6)   Southern Pines Baptist Camp

9 – 11am   Streams Food Pantry

10:30am – 12pm   NO Bible Study, Office Conference Rm

Wednesday, May 29

SALCA Camp (Day 4/6)   Southern Pines Baptist Camp

8:30 – 11:30am   Workday

9 – 11:30am   Quilters – Large Fellowship Hall

11am – 12pm   VdC Grouping, Office Conference Rm

5:30 – 6:15pm   Friends & Family Dinner & Movie will begin again after Labor Day

Thursday, May 30

SALCA Camp (Day 5/6), Southern Pines Baptist Camp

9 – 11am   VdC Grouping, Office Conference Rm

Friday, May 31

Until 3pm — SALCA Camp (Day 6/6), Southern Pines Baptist Camp

Sunday, June 2

8:30 – 9:30am   Adult Bible Study & Sunday School

9:45 – 10:45am   Livestream Worship in-person

12:20 – 1:20pm   Worship & Music – Meeting Rm A

3 – 4:30pm   NO Zoom Bible Study

4 – 6pm   Area-wide VdC Ultreya, Tanque Verde Lutheran Church