Social Distance Worship - March 29, 2020

Social Distance Worship - March 29, 2020

An alternative gathering for the Coronavirus pandemic.


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

Lord, listen to Your children praying.

Lord, send Your Spirit in this place.

Lord, listen to Your children praying.

Send us love, send us power, send us grace.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O God of love, power, and grace I worship You and bless Your name, and I join Your people in other places to offer You my thanks and praise. Lord, within this moment we celebrate Your many gifts, and especially the gift of Christ Who is the Hope of glory and the Light of the world. May our dancing, singing, and praying be a lighthouse in these darkened times; a beacon of joy that shines for all with faith, hope, and steadfast love. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Siyahamba – We Are Marching)

We are marching in the light of God! We are marching in the light of God!

We are marching in the light of God! We are marching in the light of God!

We are marching (marching, we are marching)! Oo, we are marching in the light of God!

We are marching (marching, we are marching)! Oo, we are marching in the light of God!

 

We are dancing in the light of God! We are dancing in the light of God!

We are dancing in the light of God! We are dancing in the light of God!

We are dancing (dancing, we are dancing)! Oo, we are dancing in the light of God!

We are dancing (dancing, we are dancing)! Oo, we are dancing in the light of God!

 

We are singing in the light of God! We are singing in the light of God!

We are singing in the light of God! We are singing in the light of God!

We are singing (singing, we are singing)! Oo, we are singing in the light of God!

We are singing (singing, we are singing)! Oo, we are singing in the light of God!

 

We are praying in the light of God! We are praying in the light of God!

We are praying in the light of God! We are praying in the light of God!

We are praying (praying, we are praying)! Oo, we are praying in the light of God!

We are praying (praying, we are praying)! Oo, we are praying in the light of God!

 

We are marching in the light of God! We are marching in the light of God!

We are marching in the light of God! We are marching in the light of God!

We are marching (marching, we are marching)! Oo, we are marching in the light of God!

We are marching (marching, we are marching)! Oo, we are marching in the light of God!


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O Merciful Father, though we seek to walk in Your light, we sometimes walk in darkness and go astray like wayward sheep. Lord, shepherd us beyond our wants and give us faith. Lord, shepherd us beyond our fears and give us hope. Lord, shepherd us beyond all death and give us life; the life You bring through Jesus Christ, Who gives us grace for all our sins. In His name, we pray. Amen.

 (Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Shepherd Me, O God)

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,

Beyond my fears, from death into life.

 

God is my Shepherd, so nothing shall I want

I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love

I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

 

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,

Beyond my fears, from death into life.

 

Gently You raise me and heal my weary soul,

You lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth

My spirit shall sing the music of Your name.

 

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,

Beyond my fears, from death into life.

 

Though I should wander the valley of death,

I fear no evil, for You are at my side

Your rod and Your staff, my comfort and my hope.

 

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,

Beyond my fears, from death into life.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation!
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;

Let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.

Song of Forgiveness (You Gotta Walk That Lonesome Valley)

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

 

Some folks say that John was a Baptist,

Some folks say he was a Jew,
But the Holy Bible tells us
That he was a preacher too.

 

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

 

Daniel was a Bible hero,

He was a prophet brave and true,

In a den of hungry lions
Proved what faith can do for you.

 

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

 

There’s a road that leads to glory

Through a valley far away,

Nobody else can walk it for you,

They can only point the way.

 

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And He led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Then He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O My people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O My people. 14 And I will put My Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Beyond the Valley


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Precious Lord, I thank You for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that unites me to the Savior and my brothers and sisters in other places. Thank You for hearing our prayers and the answers You will give to us, and thank You for the privilege to offer prayers for all the world. I ask that you cure the sick and bring Your healing mercy to those who are afflicted, and renew the spirits of Your people that we might walk Your way of truth and life. Lord, take our hands as You walk with us in this valley, and lead us through the darkness with Your light to the home that we are hoping for. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Precious Lord, Take My Hand)

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall.
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

When darkness appears,
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide me feet, hold my hand.
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.


VII. Closing

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.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Social Distance Worship - March 22nd, 2020

Social Distance Worship - March 22, 2020

An alternative gathering for the Coronavirus pandemic.


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

As the grains of wheat
Once scattered on the hill
Were gathered into one to become our bread;
So may all Your people
From all the ends of earth,
Be gathered into one in You.

As this cup of blessing
Is shared within our midst
May we share the presence of Your love.

As the grains of wheat
Once scattered on the hill
Were gathered into one to become our bread;
So may all Your people
From all the ends of earth,
Be gathered into one in You.

Let this be a foretaste
Of all that is to come
When all creation shares this feast with You.

As the grains of wheat
Once scattered on the hill
Were gathered into one to become our bread;
So may all Your people
From all the ends of earth,
Be gathered into one in You.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Loving God, I come this day to thank You for Your presence, which goes beyond the sanctuary and sacred times like services. Because You are with me as I go through life from day to day, then every place is a sanctuary and every moment is a sacred time. Lord, be glorified in the worship that I offer now, and in the worship of my brothers and sisters who bless Your name in other places. May our praises bring You joy and all our thanks uplift Your heart. Amen.

Song of Adoration (God In My Living)

God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
Be my everything

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

My Lord Jesus, with fellow believers in other places I bring to You my failures, and I long for Your forgiveness and Your grace that conquers every sin. I confess that sometimes I am blinded by a selfish heart, and sometimes I blind others with a heart of condemnation. Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me for these failures, and use me as Your instrument to care and heal instead of harm. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

 (Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Come, Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice)

“Come,” said Jesus’ sacred voice
“Come, and make My paths your choice
I will guide you to your home,
Weary pilgrim, hither come.

“Hither come, for here is found
Balm that flows for every wound
Peace that ever shall endure
Rest eternal, sacred, sure.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;  the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

Song of Forgiveness (Psalm 42 – Genevan Psalter)

“Comfort, comfort now My people
Tell of peace”, so says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness
Mourning under sorrow’s load.

To God’s people now proclaim
That God’s pardon waits for them.
Tell them that the war is over;
God will reign in peace forever!

For the herald’s voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Calling us to true repentance
Since the Kingdom now is here.

Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet Him,
And the hills bow down to greet Him!

Straight shall be what long was crooked,
And the rougher places plain!
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits His holy reign!

For the glory of the Lord
Now on earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token,
That God’s Word is never broken!


V. Message

Scripture Reading (John 9:1-7;24-34)

 1 As He [Jesus] passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed 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.” Having said these things, He spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

24 Later on the Pharisees called the man who had been blind a second time, and they said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. 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 And 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, “Why, this is an amazing 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 if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: The Blame Game


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O Gracious Lord, I thank You for this moment of enjoying Your presence, and I thank You for receiving all the prayers that You have heard today. As I and all Your people go about this brand new week, may we never cease to answer Your summons or calling for our lives on earth. To let Your love change us that it might be made known to others. To leave ourselves behind and take the risk of caring for others. To show Your matchless worth by bringing healing and freedom to others. And to put aside our fears and change this world for the sake of others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (The Summons)

Will you come and follow Me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let My love be shown? Will you let My name be known,
Will you let My life be grown in you and you in Me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let Me answer prayer in you and you in Me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean in you and you in Me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through My sight and touch and sound in you and you in Me?

Lord Your summons echoes true when You but call my name.
Let me turn and follow You and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in You and You in me.


VII. Closing

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.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Social Distance Church

Social Distance Church

How can we worship together while services are cancelled?


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have had to cancel our Sunday services from March 15th to April 4th, but this does not mean that Church is cancelled. Instead of buildings and social events, we believe that the Church is the followers of Jesus who are united together by His grace, the Father’s steadfast love, and the abiding fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

It is out of this belief that we have created an alternative way of coming together in this time, and we call this alternative way Social Distance Worship. Each Sunday, while we are apart, a special liturgy will be posted on our website. This liturgy can be followed in the comforts of your home, and it includes recordings of the sermon and worship songs led by our musicians.

Though you are free to do Social Distance Worship at any time, we ask that those in the Switzerland do each session on Sundays at 12:00 which is our regular service time.

We hope that this alternative way of gathering will be a blessing to you and enrich your spirit. And we pray that it will be bring us closer to our Gracious God and one another.


Social Distance Worship - March 15th, 2020

Social Distance Worship - March 15, 2020

An alternative way of gathering


While services are cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we will post a special liturgy to our website each Sunday. This liturgy can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, and you can find the liturgy for today below on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Melt me mold me
Fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

Gracious God, I come into Your presence in the name of Christ, and though I am apart from my brothers and sisters I worship with them through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Lord, in this troubled time calm our hearts from every fear, and encourage us by Your steadfast love which nothing can separate us from. Receive our songs of praise and the prayers we offer in different places today, and be glorified as we give You thanks for all that You have done for us. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Wonderful, Merciful Savior)

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, like Israel I have grumbled with fear, and have forgotten all Your mighty works and wonderous deeds on my behalf. I have forgotten Your faithfulness and blessings in the days now past, and I have failed to keep in mind Your loving promises for days to come. Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me of these failures, and take me from the hands of fear by Your strong hand of grace and truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 (Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (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

When I feel afraid
Think I’ve lost my way
Still you’re there right beside me
And nothing will I fear
As long as you are near
Please be near me to the end

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

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty—and I will meditate on Your wonderful works. They tell of the power of Your awesome works—and I will proclaim Your great deeds. They celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. Amen.

Song of Forgiveness (How Deep The Father’s Love For Us)

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Exodus 17:1-7)

 1 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?

Sermon


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Almighty and Merciful God, we thank You for this time of worship here today, and I thank You for receiving the praises and prayers of Your people. Father, as we go about this week, in the midst of a world in troubled times, give us wisdom, courage, and a heart that blesses Your name in all things. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Bless The Lord-10,000 Reasons)

[CHORUS]

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[CHORUS]

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger.
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
10, 000 Reasons for my heart to find

[CHORUS]

And on that day when my strength is failing.
The end draws near and my time has come.
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending,
10, 000 Years and then forever more

[CHORUS]


VII. Closing

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.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Coronavirus Update: All services cancelled

Corona virus: All services cancelled

There will be no Sunday services or other gatherings until further notice


No services till April 4th, 2020

We will not be able to avoid the Coronavirus. All current measures aim to flatten the curve of infections. This will help our society and country to deal with the rapidly spreading virus. In line with government strategy, we will refrain from services until further notice. The situation will be reevaluated by the beginning of April 2020.

St. Gallen, March 13th, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

As you all know the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly across Switzerland, and the World Health Organization has now declared Europe as the epicenter of the pandemic. Furthermore, the Bundesrat has announced a series of regulations that would greatly affect our worship gatherings, and the guest minister for our upcoming service in St. Mangen is unable to travel due to President Trump’s travel ban on Europe. In light of these new developments, and concerns for the health and safety of our members and all who worship with us, I now think that we should cancel services from March 15th until April 5th.

I have spoken with our Council Chair, Barbara Signer, and she also feels that cancelling is the best decision for our congregation at this time. Nevertheless, plans for an alternative way of worship called the “Social Distance Services” are in place . These services will entail a liturgy that can be found on the website with videos of the sermons and recordings of songs from previous services. Also, many apologies to those who were not contacted when this decision was made, and under normal circumstances I would have made sure to get everyone’s input, but the current circumstances are not normal and immediate action was and is required.

To be clear, cancelling services is very difficult for me, for my ordination vows call me be faithful in leading God’s people in Word and Sacrament. But those same vows also call me to protect the flock of the Good Shepherd, and to protect the flock in this instance requires social distancing. I will still perform my pastoral duties as good as I can at this time, but I will only do visitations in the event of a pressing emergency.

Remember that, as our brothers and sisters at Redeemer Grace Geneva have said, the Church is not a building or event. The Church is all of us united together by the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord bless you, keep you, and give you strength and courage in this season,

Scotty

 

Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams
All Souls Protestant Church

Be informed

The Swiss government and cantons all have appropriate information about the current status. Please check their websites regularly.


The "Pest Lied" liturgy

The "Pest lied" Liturgy

A prayer service for the Coronavirus and other epidemics


While suffering from the Plague in 1519, Ulrich Zwingli wrote a poem called the “Pestlied (Plague Song)”. In this three-part poem he documents his experiences with the sickness and how he comes to find hope in the promises and strength of God.

In light of the new Coronovirus, our pastor has written a prayer service liturgy that centers on Zwingli’s poem. You may view the liturgy by clicking on the image below, and feel free to use and adapt it according to the needs and worship style of your congregation. All we ask in return is that you acknowledge that this liturgy comes from All Souls Protestant Church in St. Gallen and East Switzerland.

Many thanks and God bless.



Call To Prayer: Coronavirus

For the Coronavirus epidemic

Call to Prayer March 2020


Help, Lord God, help in this trouble!

I think death is at the door.

Christ, stay with me, for You have overcome it.

-Ulrich Zwingli (Pestlied)

Dear Friends,

In 1519 a wave of the Plague moved along the Rhine, and after making its way through Basel and Schaffhausen it came upon the city of Zürich. At the time Ulrich Zwingli was pastor of the Grossmünster, and for several months he had stayed behind to ease the city’s suffering. You see, unlike everyone else Zwingli was not allowed to leave, for as Leutpriester or people’s priest he was like a captain on a sinking ship. While others could run away, he was bound by duty to keep his post, and to take the risk of getting the Plague until the final Zürcher had left or died. By all means, a bribe or two could have bought him a quick getaway, but despite this option he chose to stay and proclaim a promise that the Lord had made.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

In the face of pestilence Zwingli cherished and proclaimed this promise, and as his spiritual children we must do the same while facing a new pestilence today. Like the Plague the Coronavirus has made its way through different cities and countries, and we are constantly receiving news of how it has surfaced in another place. Furthermore, we are now getting news of Corona cases in Switzerland, which have changed the way we go about life from washing our hands to greeting our neighbours. We find ourselves in an atmosphere that is charged with a number of deep concerns, and it even touches the worship place and changes how we gather together.

Last Sunday at All Souls there was hesitance as we passed the peace, and this led the Elders to wonder if we should err on the side of caution and cancel all of our March events. To be clear, such caution is not unreasonable or a lack of faith, for our Council’s top priority at present is the health and well-being of others. After much discussion it was decided that the World Day of Prayer and the Brunch Seminar will be cancelled until further notice, but services will continue as planned until our cantonal Church says otherwise. Furthermore, this Sunday’s service will be a time of prayer for the areas affected by the Coronavirus, and for the peace of Switzerland and St. Gallen as our leaders seek to address the epidemic. The service will also feature readings from Zwingli’s Pestlied (Plague Song) that he wrote while recovering from the Plague which he contracted as he kept his post in Zürich.

In accordance with the regulations issued by our canton, we have set these conditions for all upcoming services:

  1. Those who have recently traveled to potential risk areas are kindly asked to not attend. These areas currently are China, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, and Italy.
  2. Those who are feeling sick are kindly asked to not attend.
  3. Those who attend must be careful during all personal contact with others (e.g., refrain from shaking hands and giving hugs).
  4. Those who attend must wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer (sanitizer dispensers can be found throughout the Church building).

Again, the health and well-being of others is the top priority of our Council, and as we worship together we want everyone to feel as safe as possible. I invite you to join us this Sunday at 12:00 in Kirche Rotmonten where we will pray for the world and its current troubles, and if you cannot join us then I invite you to pray wherever you will be.

Like Zwingli we will keep our post and proclaim the Lord’s promise in Deuteronomy 31, that He is with us in all things and He will never forsake us.

Blessings and may the grace, peace, love, hope, and joy of Christ be with you all,

-Pastor Scotty


Coronavirus: A Prayer For Medical Scientists by Alden Solovy

God of wisdom,
Bless medical scientists and researchers around the world
With insight and skill, dedication and fortitude,
As they combat coronavirus,
So that their work yields knowledge and understanding,
Speedily finding a vaccine, treatments and deterrents to its spread.

Source of life,
Grant public health and government officials
The strength to act swiftly and decisively,
With compassion and understanding,
In service to humankind,
Fighting this outbreak
And the other diseases that still plague the planet,
Diseases threatening the lives of our brothers and sisters,
Nations and communities,
Young and old.

Rock of Ages,
Bring an end to disease and suffering,
So that all may know
Your compassion and Your grace.

Praised are You, God, healer of flesh, and maker of wonders. Amen.


Pastor's Desk: Lent Is Remembering

Pastor's Desk: Lent is remembering

Pastor's Desk February 2020


He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

Dear Freinds,

It is the beginning of March and Fasnacht [Carnival] is over, which means that we are entering another Lenten season. Two days ago our congregation went to Kreuzlingen for Ash Wednesday, and it was such a joy to give ashes and Communion while worshiping with the Stadtkirche community. But apart from ashes and Communion the greatest joy was remembering, for Lent is a time of looking back and recalling three important things.

1. Remember where we came from

In Jesus’ parable called “The Pharisee and Tax collector”, the real problem of the Pharisee is that he has forgotten what he used to be. He is so caught up by where he is, or his present state of “righteousness”, that he fails to see that he was once the same as those that he is putting down. What the Pharisee needs is a reminder of life before his holy works, and this is what Lent does for us on Ash Wednesday ever year. As we receive the cross upon our foreheads and hear that we are really dust, we are reminded of where we came from before we knew of Jesus Christ. We were the people that we often despise and sometimes put down in our prayers, and the Lenten season humbles us by bringing up our former selves.

 

2. Remember where we are

Unlike the Pharisee, the tax collector’s prayer is short, and he does not mention his good works or how he comes to the Temple of God. Also, the tax collector does not think that he has arrived, and the Lenten season tells us the same as we fast and pray for forty days. Though good works are wonderful and pleasing in the sight of God, they do not mean that we can sit back and think that we are A-OK. In truth, we are still sinners who often fail while following Christ, and there will never be a moment in our earthly lives where we are not in need of grace. Lent reminds us that we are constant recipients of mercy, and in addition to adoration and gratitude our prayers must have confession.

 

 

3. Remember where we are going

At the end of the parable the tax-collector is justified, and despite his constant need of grace the Lord declares him righteous. In other words, sin and death are not the final word for him, and there will come a day when he need not pray for mercy as a sinner. The tax-collector can live with hope for a time where Christ will restore all things, and Lent allows us to share in this hope by pointing us to Easter. Through Lent we are reminded that our struggle with sin and death will cease, for like our fasting it is temporary and will not last forever. Just as this season meets its end with the light of resurrection on Easter morn, our season as sinners will meet its end with the glorious resurrection that is to come.

 

 

For the next forty days I pray that we would remember these things, and I pray that the Spirit would bring them to our minds as we face our temptations while clinging to the Word of God.

Blessed Lent and may the grace and peace of Christ be with you!

Your grateful pastor,

-Scotty J. Williams


Lent Devotional

Lent Devotional 2020


28. February 2020By Scotty Williams23 Minutes

(All Bible readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary, and all prayers are taken from the Creighton University Lenten prayer index.)

Thursday, February 27, 2020: Psalm 51; Jonah 3:1-10; Romans 1:1-7

Lord,
Let everything I do this day and in this season of Lent
come from you, be inspired by you.

I long to be closer to you.
Help me to remember that nothing is important in my life
unless it glorifies you in some way.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of my life and keep saying,
“Tomorrow, I will spend more time in prayer,”
but now my longing meets your love and I want to do it now.
Help me to rely on you for help.

The prayer asks you that I reach perfection.
Please, Lord, remind me that “perfection”
isn’t the crazy, “successful” way I try to live my life,
but a perfection of my most authentic, real self.
My “perfection” might be holding my many flaws in my open hands,
asking you to help me accept them.

Heal me, Lord, and help me to find you in the darkness of my life.
Let me reach out in this darkness and feel your hand and love there to guide me.

 

Friday, February 28, 2020: Psalm 51; Jonah 4:1-11; Romans 1:8-17

Lord,
I know how much you love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes,
but I know your love is always with me.

Help me to use your love as a way
to persevere in my Lenten intentions.
I am weak, but I know with your help,
I can use these small sacrifices in my life to draw closer to you.

 

Saturday, February 29, 2020: Psalm 51; Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 18:1-7

Loving creator,
I am not asking to overcome my weakness,
but to use it in some way to glorify you.

Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that you use in such loving ways.

 

Sunday, March 1, 2020: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11;

Lord God,
you who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life you created.
Help me to find my way back to you.
Help me to use my life to reflect your glory
and to serve others
as your son Jesus did.

 

Monday, March 2, 2020: Psalm 32; 1 Kings 19:1-8; Hebrews 2:10-18

Loving God,
you call us back to you with all of our hearts.
I feel your call for me deep in my heart
and I know you want me back
as much as I want to return.
Please, Lord,
give me the wisdom to know how to return.
Make my journey back to you this Lent
one of grace, forgiveness and gentle love.

 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020: Psalm 32; Genesis 4:1-16; Hebrews 4:14-5:10

Father of my soul,
Mother of my heart,
I know your love for me is limitless beyond imagining.
You care for me as a loving parent.
Through my smallest Lenten sacrifices,
help me to become less selfish
and more aware of your ways.
Fan the flame of my desire
to draw ever closer to you.
Guide me to seek your love.

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020: Psalm 32; Exodus 34:1-9, 27-28; Matthew 18:10-14

Dear Lord,
I know you receive what is in my heart.
Let me be inspired by your words
and by the actions of your son, Jesus.
Guide me to make sacrifices this Lent
in the spirit of self-denial
and with greater attention to you
and to those around me.
Help me to believe that you will grant me this
because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me.

 

Thursday, March 5, 2020: Psalm 121; Isaiah 51:1-3; 2 Timothy 1:3-7

Lord,
I’m not always eager to do your will.
I’d often much rather do my own will.
Please be with me on this Lenten journey
and help me to remember
that your own spirit can guide me
in the right direction.
I want to “fix” my weaknesses
but the task seems overwhelming.
But I know that with your help,
anything can be done.
With a grateful heart,
I acknowledge your love
and know that without you,
I can do nothing.

 

Friday, March 6, 2020: Psalm 121; Micah 7:18-20; Romans 3:21-31

Creator of my life,
renew me:bring me to new life in you.
Touch me and make me feel whole again.
Help me to see your love
in the passion, death and resurrection of your son.
Help me to observe Lent
in a way that allows me to celebrate that love.
Prepare me for these weeks of Lent
as I feel both deep sorrows for my sins
and your undying love for me.

 

Saturday, March 7, 2020: Psalm 121; Isaiah 51:4-8; Luke 7:1-10

Loving God,
Sometimes my heart
turns in every direction
except towards you.
Please help me
to turn my heart toward you,
to gaze upon you in trust
and to seek your kingdom with all of my heart.
Soften my hardened heart
so that I might love others
as a way to glorify and worship you.
Grant me this
with the ever-present guidance of your spirit.

 

Sunday, March 8, 2020: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 12; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17

 

Monday, March 9, 2020: Psalm 128; Numbers 21:4-9; Hebrews 3:1-6

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020: Psalm 128; Isaiah 65:17-25; Romans 4:6-13

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Psalm 128; Ezekiel 36:22-32; John 7:53-8:11

 

Thursday, March 12, 2020: Psalm 95; Exodus 16:1-8; Colossians 1:15-23

 

Friday, March 13, 2020: Psalm 95; Exodus 16:9-21; Ephesians 2:11-22

 

Saturday, March 14, 2020: Psalm 95; Exodus 16:27-35; John 4:1-6

 

Sunday, March 15, 2020: Third Sunday in Lent

 

Monday, March 16, 2020: Psalm 81; Genesis 24:1-27; 2 John 1:1-13

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020: Psalm 81; Genesis 29:1-14; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020: Psalm 81; Jeremiah 2:4-13; John 7:14-31, 37-39

 

Thursday, March 19, 2020: Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 15:10-21; Ephesians 4:25-32

 

Friday, March 20, 2020: Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 15:22-31; Ephesians 5:1-9

 

Saturday, March 21, 2020: Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 15:32-34; John 1:1-9

 

Sunday, March 22, 2020: Fourth Sunday in Lent

 

Monday, March 23, 2020: Psalm 146; Isaiah 59:9-19; Acts 9:1-20

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020: Psalm 146; Isaiah 42:14-21; Colossians 1:9-14

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020: Annunciation of the Lord

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020: Psalm 146; Isaiah 60:17-22; Matthew 9:27-34

 

Thursday, March 26, 2020: Psalm 130; Ezekiel 1:1-3, 2:8-3:3; Revelation 10:1-11

 

Friday, March 27, 2020: Psalm 130; Ezekiel 33:10-16; Revelation 11:15-19

 

Saturday, March 28, 2020: Psalm 130; Ezekiel 36:8-15; Luke 24:44-53

 

Sunday, March 29, 2020: Fifth Sunday in Lent

 

Monday, March 30, 2020: Psalm 143; 1 Kings 17:17-24; Acts 20:7-12

 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020: Psalm 143; 2 Kings 4:18-37; Ephesians 2:1-10

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Psalm 143; Jeremiah 32:1-9, 36-41; Matthew 22:23-33

 

Thursday, April 2, 2020: Psalm 31:9-16; 1 Samuel 16:11-13; Philippians 1:1-11

 

Friday, April 3, 2020: Psalm 31:9-16; Job 13:13-19; Philippians 1:21-30

 

Saturday, April 4, 2020: Psalm 31:9-16; Lamentations 3:55-66; Mark 10:32-34


How To Practice Lent

How To Practice Lent


Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 6:1

Don’t Prove Yourself

In chapter 4 of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus goes into the wilderness, and for forty days He is tempted by the devil with a host of things. He is tempted to show His power by turning stones into loaves of bread, and He is tempted to test the Lord by leaping from a temple roof. Then after being tempted to bow down for the kingdoms of the earth, He tells the devil to go away for He will bow to God alone. In the end, Satan’s goal was making Jesus prove Himself, and the same is true for us today as another Lenten season begins.

For those unfamiliar with Lent, it is a time where we remember the temptation of Christ and prepare for Easter with forty days of walking through the wilderness. Of course, our wilderness is not some desert in the Middle East, but it is an arid lonely place that echoes with the tempter’s voice. During Lent we begin to feel that our usual prayers are not enough, and we are tempted to bring the Lord a prayer that is long and very eloquent. And we also begin to feel that our fasting and giving are not enough, and we are tempted to abstain from more things and increase our funds to charity.

Jesus wants us to be ourselves.

Be Yourself

Indeed, the devil aims to also make us prove ourselves, but as Jesus showed His followers the goal is that we be ourselves. Later on in Matthew’s Gospel He talks about hypocrites, and He warns against their holy works or practicing their righteousness. To be clear, He does not discourage long prayers or giving more, for there are many people who are eloquent and generous with a humble heart. Instead, He puts down an inauthentic piety where our good works do not match up with who and how we really are.

Jesus encourages us to be ourselves while offering prayers, and it does not matter if we say two words or speak for several minutes. He encourages us to be ourselves in every fast that we take up, and it doesn’t matter how many things we put down on our fasting list. And finally He encourages us to be ourselves to be ourselves with giving, and it doesn’t matter how much we give or if we are not recognized.

God leads us to the wilderness to fellowship and commune with Him.

God Wants You

Truly, as it was for Christ, we are tempted by the devil to prove ourselves, and as we hear his voice in our wilderness we must hold fast to the Word of God. Through the Word we are shown that God is gracious, merciful, and abounding in love, and He does not desire our good works; instead the Lord desires us. In addition to being ourselves Lent shows us that God ultimately wants us, and He leads us to the wilderness to fellowship and commune with Him. And as we do these things we must have an authentic piety, where our prayer, fasting, and giving matches up with who and how we are.

While practicing Lent this year may we hold fast to the Word of God, and I pray that it would help us hear the voice of the One Who made the tempter flee. Christ who tells us:

Be yourself in prayer!

Be yourself in fasting!

Be yourself in giving!

Be yourself in every season!

Be yourself in all things!